Is anyone else ready for spring? Well at Interactive Achievement we’re getting cabin fever and we have a feeling you are too! Due to the latest snow storm, we are holding a Cabin Fever photo contest through our Facebook page.

You can tag us in photos on Facebook or send them to BeSocial@interactiveachievment.com and we’ll upload them for you! The photo with the most “likes” will win an IA t-shirt!! The contest will run through Monday, March 11th and voting will end at midnight on the same Monday.

We know you’re starting to spending way too much time on Pinterest, and we wanted to give you something else to do on these cold days. Photos can be scenic, funny, adventurous, or whatever scream…bring on Spring!

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Program Users are Making Our Software Better!

At Interactive Achievement, we love hearing from our clients and suggestions have been rolling in from our users to improve their experience with our onTRAC (online Teacher Resource and Assessment Community) and TRACbook LDS programs. We’d like to thank Sherry P. from Amelia County Public Schools in Virginia for letting us know our “Not Active” wording in the Testing Center interface was confusing. She recommended that we change the wording to better reflect what was happening- well Sherry if you log in you’ll notice it now says “not testing!”

We appreciate all of our clients and want to make their user experience the best it can be! Visit our website and add suggestions under our News & Info tab anytime!

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Is Coding Crucial?

Jackie talks code

Jackie talks code

“The world is so different than it used to be,” something I hear all of the time, and when it comes to technology, it couldn’t be more accurate. My family got its first computer when I was about 11 years old. We had to enter MS-Dos codes (or something like that) in order to start the computer. I made banners, played games, and eventually typed my homework on it. As my educational career progressed, I used the family computer to type homework, create PowerPoint presentations, search the internet, and chat with my friends via Instant Messenger. When I left for college, I lugged a giant desktop computer with me that did nearly the same things that my family computer did, by the end of my senior year though, I had a laptop that allowed me to search the world wide web in a capacity that was unheard of ten years earlier and I could connect with all of my college friends via Facebook. Today, eleven year olds are getting smartphones for Christmas and creating presentations in formats like Prezi and iMovie. Gone are the days of card catalogs and poster board presentations. *sigh* Technology is changing at a speed that gives me vertigo just thinking about it! Curriculum shifts are also happening in schools because students have to be prepared for a different world than prior generations. Technologically savvy is no longer an option, it’s a requirement. Within the next 10-20 years jobs will go unfulfilled because people do not possess the skills needed for them- I believe we need to change that fact and thankfully so do others.

The short YouTube video is from Code.org and it has many famous faces explaining why coding is so exciting for them. I remember the first website creation class I ever took- though extremely frustrating, it was so awesome to see my site come together. I think exposing students of all ages to the power behind coding is a smart idea, even if they only get to understand the basics. Understanding the code behind a program helps people understand the functionality of how it is supposed to work which can filter into careers like data management or analysis- both are desired and needed positions in the workforce. No matter the career a child pursues, basic coding can only be beneficial set of knowledge to possess.

What are your thoughts about teaching coding skills to students?

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The Start-Up Kids is Coming to The Lyric Theater and The Taubman Museum

The Start-Up Kids is a documentary about young entrepreneurs all over the world. The story allows them to share their story from conception to where it is today. Some of the stories are from companies many of us may know well: Vimeo and Dropbox.

As a small company that began with an idea and an entrepreneurial spirit, we want to invite you to attend one of the events. The Roanoke-Blacksburg Technology Council will be showing the film twice this month. The event is $5.00 per person.

Blacksburg, VA
When: February 19, 2013
Time: 7:00 PM – 9:30 PM
Where: The Lyric Theater
*Networking will follow at PKs at 8:15pm

Roanoke, VA
When: February 21, 2013
Time: 5:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Where: The Taubman Museum
*Networking begins at 5:00pm at Billy’s Restaurant; movie starts at 6:30pm

Register HERE!

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You’re Never Too Young to be an Entrepreneur

Entrepreneurs come in all shapes, sizes, and ages. Twelve year old, Zach Marks is the latest one making the news. Zach, who had been kicked off Facebook twice for being under age, wanted a social network where he and his friends could communicate and share thoughts, ideas, photos,and even educational content! With the capital investment from his brother, Zach started Grom Social, a social network for kids under the age of 17.

Grom Social’s features include integration with Instagram and Twitter and even has tutors on hand to help students with homework. So, here’s the real question- does Mark Zuckerberg have anything to worry about?

Check out the Entrepreneur article about Zach Marks.

Check out Grom Social.

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Secondary English Content Specialist

Hiring Department: Content

Position: Full-time Secondary English Content Specialist

Start Date: April 1, 2013 (Can be flexible based on current contracts)

Job Description: The Content Specialist is responsible for creating and maintaining content for IA products (e.g., onTRAC’s test item bank).

Full a full job description and contact information visit the Careers section of our website.

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Say Thank You to Your Favorite Educator

Herff Jones, a company that many will know for selling class rings, graduation announcements, and yearbooks, just to name a few, is also sponsoring the Teacher Shout Out contest. The company will reward the top 10 educators and their schools! For more information visit the Teacher Shout Out website.

Do you know an educator that deserves a pat on the back? Make it officially by sending them a Shout Out by March 15th and vote for your favorite Shout Outs until April 30th.

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Hot Spot (TEI) and Enhanced Multiple Choice

Interactive Achievement is excited to announce the launch of two new item types in its award-winning onTRAC (online Teacher Resource and Assessment Community) software!

Type 1: Hot spot
(Technology Enhanced Items)


Type 2: Enhanced multiple choice
(more than four answer choices)

IA will be releasing additional Technology Enhanced Items (TEI) templates as they are completed. Users can identify technology enhanced items by looking for the orange question mark in the Assessment Library item bank. Please see full instructions and FAQs by clicking the “What’s New” banner once you’ve logged into the software. As always, our Customer Support team is standing by to assist you!

**Please be advised that the new item types are only available to clients using the latest version of iTest (iTest 7).

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Are you prepared for

Digital Learning Day?

What is Digital Learning Day (DLD)? According to www.digitallearningday.org “Digital Learning Day is a national campaign that celebrates teachers and shines a spotlight on successful instructional practice and effective use of technology in classrooms across the country.”

When is Digital Learning Day? February 6, 2013

How can you participate in DLD? It’s easy and FREE to sign up. Sign up HERE!

If you want more information you can follow Digital Learning Day- @DLDay2013 or use the hashtag #DLDay to follow the conversation! Like them on Facebook too!

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Interactive Achievement names John Oberg as Director of Sales

Interactive Achievement, a leader in creating top-quality student assessment software for school districts, has named John Oberg director of sales to lead the company’s efforts to expand nationally.

Oberg, with more than two decades of experience in sales in the education industry, joins Interactive Achievement from Pearson Education in Chicago, where he was sales director.

“Interactive Achievement is thrilled to welcome John to our family,” said Jonathan Hagmaier, the company’s CEO. “His sales background, knowledge of K-12 education, and management experience make him a perfect fit for our growing company.”

“I’m looking forward to introducing educators across the country to creative new ways to track student progress and potential,” said Oberg.

Oberg holds degrees from Pacific Lutheran College and Portland State University.


About Interactive Achievement

Interactive Achievement (IA) employs current and former educators to create award-winning, high-quality, and standards-based instructional improvement tools. IA’s products assist educators with making data driven decisions for raising student achievement in all academic areas. IA provides exceptional resources for the education community enabling all to achieve success. For more information visit www.interactiveachievement.com.

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