News

CORE IDEAS IN LIFE SCIENCE A RECOMMENDED TEACHER RESOURCE! 
The Utah State Textbook Commission has named Visual Learning Systems’ Core Ideas in Life Science eTexbook as a Recommended Teacher Resource! They cited the quality and volume of vocabulary words, writing components, unit quizzes, and embedded videos as major assets to teaching. “Beautiful pictures and graphics” and advanced reading was also cited.

DUAL LANGUAGE SPANISH VIDEOS FILL A GREAT NEED
 
As school numbers increase, teachers seek out high quality resources
 
Visual Learning Systems (VLS) originally began making videos and teacher’s guides for K-12 science classrooms in English, but soon learned there was a strong demand to produce them in Spanish. VLS Producer, Brian A. Jerome, Ph.D. explains, “We found that with the number of Dual Language and Immersion schools increasing, there was a need for quality core-curricular academic science programs in Spanish and English”. The need to provide core-curricular science units of study to Dual Language programs played a key role in creating Spanish science videos. Now with 56 Spanish titles for K-5, VLS’ videos are widely used in Texas, California, Utah, and NYC Spanish Immersion, Bilingual, and Dual Language Programs. Each unit of study comes with videos, teacher’s guides, assessments, and student activities. Videos are available as a single title, series, or as a collection making it simple for teachers to supplement and teach the complete science curriculum. 
 

Utilizing narrators in Mexico City, Middlebury College professor, and bilingual classroom teachers to translate their teacher’s guides and student pages, VLS has succeeded in compiling high-quality science materials in an academic neutral Spanish. “Good science videos containing high-end academic Spanish are hard to come by. The Spanish titles produced by Visual Learning fill a great need”, commented E. Chavez of El Paso ISD. Each unit of study is correlated to state and national standards, Next Generation Science Standards and is Common Core compliant. Programs are available in digital and DVD formats. 
 
These engaging videos include narration in Spanish and English, subtitles in Spanish and English, frequent on-screen questions, repetition of vocabulary, and clear visual cues for understanding. Teacher’s Guides make it easy to create lesson plans with pre and post assessments, laboratory investigations, and vocabulary activities all in Spanish. With one week’s worth of lessons for each unit of study, they can be used in the science classroom and across the curriculum. "The Visual Learning Science materials provide a valued resource for our teachers,” wrote E. Gallagher, Dual Immersion Coordinator in Park City, Utah. “They are comprehensible with visuals and the speech is clear, but also natural. Teachers are using them to support weekly lessons and engage all students." Posted on eSchool News April, 2014

VLS DONATES SCIENCE IN SPANISH TO SCHOOL IN HONDURAS
By LEE J. KAHRS 
BRANDON – A mutual interest in quality education both here and abroad has led one Brandon business to help out a local educator’s labor of love. Visual Learning Systems, producer of educational science programming located in Brandon, has donated its entire K-12 Spanish science curriculum and programming to Susan Stone’s distance learning school in Honduras.

Stephanie Jerome, co-founder and owner of Visual Learning Systems, said Stone came to her to purchase the Spanish-language videos and teacher’s guides for her school, El Maestro en Casa (which means “The teacher in the home”). Stone, who splits her time between Brandon and Honduras, started running the school in 1995. It is geared toward improving literacy among the Lenca people, who represent the largest indigenous group in Honduras. Stone works with in the area around La Esperanza in the Intibuca Province. The school serves students aged 13 through adult. The Lenca have been living on the fringe of the public education system due  to poverty, geographic isolation, gender and/or ethnicity. Most villages have schools, but they only go to the sixth grade. Stone’s school picks up where local education ends, providing teachers that travel to the remote Lenca villages.

Rather than selling Stone the materials she was looking for, VLS went a step further. The company donated the entire middle school science curriculum in Spanish, free of charge. They loaded a hard drive with the programs and corresponding teaching guides so Stone’s teachers can download the curriculum to their laptops to take to the Lenca villages to teach. “So, it’s ready to go, it’s totally mobile,” Jerome said. The materials, all 46 videos, would normally cost about $3,400.  “This is an incredible help to our program,” Stone said. “Not just because our science materials are scant and outdated, but our classes are two hours, so an occasional 20-minute video will add a ton of interest for the students.” 

The VLS Spanish curriculum gets high marks in the industry for its complete, thorough and accurate materials. “The Spanish is very clear,” Jerome said. “We have the materials translated in Mexico City.” All of the worksheets, lab sheet, videos and teaching guides are in Spanish, so the curriculum can be used in dual language programs where no English references are allowed. “Students see the vocabulary, they hear the vocabulary, they’re reading and listening at the same time, and it corresponds with the standards,” Jerome said. As for Stone, she’s anxious to get the new curriculum up and running at El Maestro en Casa. “We are indebted to Brian and Stephanie Jerome for this very generous donation,” she said.

DIGITAL SCIENCE HELPS MOVE STUDENTS AND TEACHERS INTO 21st CENTURY LEARNING
Visual Learning Systems’ Digital Science and eTextbook engages students making blended learning easy
Visual Learning Systems’ (VLS) Digital Science and Core Ideas In Life Science interactive eTextbook’s groundbreaking teaching tools are a testament to the company’s innovation. Producer and CEO Brian A. Jerome, Ph.D. explained that “VLS wants to be ahead of the curve when it comes to technology-driven learning.” He added, “By providing teachers with the highest quality media, VLS can help students achieve a superior level of success in the Science classroom.”

Digital Science Online (Grades K-8) is an annual subscription service that enables users to access VLS’ media streamed over the web with a single click on their computers. Its intuitive design allows for little to no learning curve. The library of videos, video clips, images, animations, and teacher’s guides also come as a Digital Science Bundle (Grades K-12) that is streamed via a school or district’s central server. Designed and correlated specifically for the science classroom the media is colorful, dynamic, and exciting. Used alone or in conjunction with Core Ideas in Life Science, a Middle School etextbook for the iPad, it will revolutionize the way students learn science.

Tackling the challenge of engaging students in science, the new game-changing etextbook taps into student’s natural curiosities by utilizing hands-on applications and leveraging all the features of the iPad. Packed with captivating video clips, fun interactives, and vibrant images, student curiosity is peaked, making the curriculum come alive while opening their eyes and minds to the possibility of science as a career. Embedded self-assessment quizzes create the opportunity for students to learn at their own speed and comfort level. “The book embodies the type of interactive learning we want the students to be using”, said Del Ruff, Director of STEM for North Carolina Virtual Public Schools.

As teachers decide to blend their classroom utilizing the flipped learning method, tools such as Digital Science and Core Ideas will be vital. A survey from Classroom Window1 shows that 99% of teachers who flipped their classrooms would do it again the next year. The majority of these classrooms (46%) are science based. Led by Brian Jerome, Ph.D, the talented production team at VLS has masterfully created powerful learning tools familiar to the 21st Century student that will allow science teachers to make the switch to blended learning smoothly and easily.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 

STUDENTS ENGAGED IN A WHOLE NEW WAY WITH CORE LIFE SCIENCE E-TEXTBOOK 


Visual Learning Systems publishes iPAD® ready life science textbook for grades 5-9, available on the iBookstore℠


 Visual Learning Systems (VLS) launches a game changing (and first of its kind) textbook for the iPad that will revolutionize the way middle school students learn science. Tackling the challenge of engaging students in science, this new textbook taps into their natural curiosities by utilizing hands-on applications and leveraging all the features of the iPad. Packed with hundreds of captivating video clips, fun interactives, and vibrant images, student curiosity is peaked, making the curriculum come alive while opening their eyes and minds to the possibility of science as a career. Embedded self-assessment quizzes create the opportunity for students to learn at their own speed and comfort level. “The book embodies the type of interactive learning we want the students to be using”, said Del Ruff, Director of STEM for North Carolina Virtual Public Schools. 

Spanning 31 chapters and over 1,000 pages “Core Ideas in Life Science” fully supports the Next Generation Science Standards. With confidence, teachers will know that critical content is covered in an accurate, easy-to-teach, and easy-to-learn process. "The blend of well-crafted text, exciting educational videos, animations, and stunning visuals engages a wide range of students to learn in ways never before possible", said author Brian Jerome, Ph.D. 

VLS used their experience in education to reignite a passion for teaching and learning science with this textbook. Vermont-based animators, designers, videographers, and producers led by Brian Jerome, Ph.D. masterfully used their archive of videos, images, and animations to create this powerful learning tool. This talented team has created a textbook that inspires the drive to learn by using tools with which today’s students are familiar and comfortable. “We’ve been waiting for something like this”, said a District Curriculum Coordinator in Tennessee.  Students and teachers won’t be able to put this book down! 
For more information go to: 
https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/core-ideas-in-life-science/id575263524?mt=13

NY State and Digital Science Online: Time Saving, User-friendly, Cost-effective Streamable Database
Teachers in New York State are busy designing unit lesson plans to align to the new common core standards to comply with the Race to the Top requirements for funds from the U.S. Department of Education. This year just ELA and Mathematics standards must be incorporated.  The new Common Core Science Standards, not yet published by the state, are being anticipated for next year.  Visual Learning Systems (VLS), experts in the creation of standards-based science videos and teacher's guides to support the K-14 science curriculum, has introduced Digital Science Online just in time.  Digital Science Online is an online annual subscription service that enables access to a comprehensive collection of visual science teaching tools for the classroom.  Educators are able to access Visual Learning Systems' vast science media library through an easy and simple to use web-based interface.  Grade-specific visual elements make learning meaningful, interesting and long-lasting. Digital Science Online is available in three editions: Primary, Elementary, and Middle School.  Each edition includes numerous features that are cost-effective, time saving, intuitive and user-friendly.  Each keyword searchable edition includes full length videos, video clips, animations, images and student activities.   Included also is a large collection of printable activities including assessments, lab activities, vocabulary exercises, and reading activities.  The academic language used and the accompanying reading activities support a deeper understanding of text.  This is where the teachers really can take advantage of integrating ELA into the science curriculum as they are asked to create at least one new unit lesson this year.  NAMTC Newsletter  http://namtc.org/  March 2012


Digital Science
October, 2009
Visual Learning Systems' Digital Science Video Library was reviewed in the
International Society of Technology Education (ISTE)  publication, Learning and Leading with Technology, Volume 37 (2009-2010), September/October (No. 2). "Visual Learning Systems (VLS) has launched a new digital video library for integrated use of science videos in elementary and middle school classrooms. The Digital Science Video Library provides science videos specifically formatted for use with iPods and other portable video players. The library includes more than 1,000 video clips available in the H.264 digital format, a video-compression technology that provides high-quality video in small file format. Although the library contains videos specially formatted for use with iPods, it can also be used with a projector in the classroom. I found that both methods of viewing these science videos are effective in schools, depending on the availability of iPods and teaching preferences. 

The library features each title as a full show as well as shorter content clips (about a minute in length), metadata for enhanced search capability, and teacher’s guides. The collection covers a range of topics in earth science, life science, and physical science for elementary school students, and the series expands to include health science and integrated science for middle school students. Each video is enhanced with closed captioning and includes on-screen quizzes and relevant vocabulary.

VLS has optimized the video library for use with other media management systems. I found that the video library was a useful toolset for providing clear, sharp video in a small file size that is ready for immediate use on portable video players. The H.264 digital format provides great picture quality on small video screens and translates well on larger screens, if preferred. I manually uploaded the video collections through iTunes to iPod sets. Our 10 iPod sets then traveled from classroom to classroom in a portable iPod charger.
The collection of science videos clearly explains basic scientific concepts while presenting vocabulary study with interactive learning activities, such as video quizzes. Many of the videos provide real-life connections to natural wonders and hard-to-grasp science concepts, bringing learning to life in a portable multimedia format. VLS videos include live-action footage and computer animations to illustrate real-world examples of science concepts. With unique video footage and colorful animations, these multimedia resources explore science concepts and terminology in depth while breaking meaty topics into smaller chunks to meet diverse learning needs. The combination of video and graphics with extensive teacher guides and interactive learning activities presents a learning toolkit that stimulates multiple learning styles and preferences. The immediate accessibility to science resources through this pre-formatted video series provides an effective resource for teaching that covers many areas of student learning. The portability of the media makes it ideal for individualized instruction and small-group reinforcement." 

Narrator, Nina Keck
August, 2009
Visual Learning Systems' narrator and broadcast journalist, Nina Keck, delivers news, and is in the news! Vermont newspaper, The Rutland Herald, recognized her in their recent article,
Voice of Vermont. Nina has received several Edward R. Murrow Awards honoring her outstanding achievements in journalism. Read more about Nina Keck and link to her articles on the Vermont Public Radio blog, The People of VPR.


Producer/Owner, Brian Jerome
Fall, 2008
Brian Jerome was featured in
Education Exchange (Fall 2008), a publication of the Syracuse University’s School of Education. Brian received his PhD in Education from Syracuse University in 1990.


WCAX-TV Vermont
August, 2008
Visual Learning was featured in the "Made in Vermont" segment of Vermont's WCAX-TV, Channel 3 News.
Click here to see it.


Conferences
Contact us if you would like Visual Learning to present or exhibit at your school, district, or regional conference. Visual Learning System regularly attends the following major conferences: