Best Professional Learning Solution for Educators

Recognizes the best educational application or service designed to support PK-12 or higher education institutions and the educational needs/ professional development of teachers and administrative staff. Includes stand-alone or programs packaged with other products and delivered through an online application, streaming video or other means.

ClassLink Academy - ClassLink, Inc.

ClassLink formed the Learning Design (LD) Team after the recent ed-tech boom caused the company's customer population to expand exponentially. Soon after, the team launched ClassLink Academy, an on-demand learning experience that integrates learning theories, gamification, "Voices from the Field", and more. ClassLink Academy offers high-quality asynchronous learning experiences learners can access from anywhere, on any device. ClassLink Academy courses include professional graphics, instructional videos with professional Voice Over (VO) talent, and interactive content to heighten the learning experience. As of this submission, ClassLink Academy offers 50+ learning experiences that use multimedia principles to provide real-world examples and foster learner motivation, practical application, self-directed learning, and cognitive retention. The high-quality courses offer robust content, interactive simulations, and collaborative opportunities with ClassLink and other ClassLink customers in a similar role. ClassLink customers access ClassLink Academy via their ClassLink account and are auto-provisioned into the training environment, where role-specific, on-demand courses await them. One of the most popular ClassLink Academy events is the healthy quarterly competition, where customers compete with others across the globe serving in the same institutional role. The goal of the competition is to earn as many points as possible, primarily through the completion of courses, participation in online discussions. Individuals who place first, second, and third receive a celebratory package and are included in the ClassLink Academy spotlight. Explore more about ClassLink Academy by visiting

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    Brightspace - D2L


    Brightspace is an online learning platform built by D2L for educators and administrators who care deeply about student success and engagement. Brightspace provides a set of tools to quickly enable all student and faculty members to be more successful and achieve their potential.  

    Brightspace is a modern cloud-based learning platform that makes virtual and blended learning easy, flexible, smart and supports all types of learning experiences. We help our clients reach their learning goals by supporting all mobile devices, ensuring accessibility for all students and making it simple to drag-and-drop content to create engaging courses.

    D2L enables the future of learning with a gaming engine, adaptive learning, video management, virtual personal assistants, templated interactives for course design, full support for competency-based learning, and actionable learning analytics – helping both teachers and students improve outcomes – making predictions that help you take the right actions.  

    Access –

    Access to learning has changed for millions of students. Should buildings need to close or if a virtual option is preferred by families, it’s critical that students are set up for success. D2L Brightspace provides flexible access to learning, connecting students to their schools on any device, anywhere. 

    D2L Brightspace is the only leading learning management platform specifically designed for mobile, with native apps and fully responsive web design. It can be accessed from any browser—on cell phone, tablet, laptop, or desktop—so that students can learn from anywhere, at any time. D2L Brightspace also features offline content access so students can access materials whenever and wherever they need them. 

    D2L Brightspace is also the only learning innovation platform that includes accessibility tools and features aligned with WCAG 2.1 AAA. This commitment to Universal Design for Learning (UDL) means our platform is designed with accessibility in mind and is interoperable with assistive technologies. We support teachers in technology, content, and pedagogy, so courses are more accessible for students with disabilities in each of these areas. 

    • Our standards-compliant technology platform and tools allow teachers and students using assistive technologies to easily create and access learning content and activities. 
    • Built-in accessibility checking tools and accessible course templates assist with making great content for everyone. 
    • Numerous features in D2L Brightspace allow differentiation in instruction, assessment, and engagement, and enable teachers to align their pedagogy with the principles of UDL. 

    We are a trusted partner for schools that care as deeply as we do about using technology to make education more accessible. We’re passionate about helping teachers create and deliver transformative learning experiences that ensure all learners achieve more than they dreamed possible.  

    Customization, Design flexibility and Ease of use-

    We empathize with learners and educators to design delightful, intuitive experiences that foster lifelong learning. Progressive Disclosure is an industry term that means the interface shows a basic set of options that meet most needs and reveals more as required. It means we design our products so that all users can get the basics done, but also quickly incorporate more advanced options as they need them. We do this through insights gained from user research, so that we can ensure this is done well and that the end-to-end experience is meaningful and cohesive for educators and students.  

    This design philosophy helps achieve the full spectrum of technology adoption at an institution by providing a seamless, easy to use experience meeting the 80% of use-cases up-front while not sacrificing the flexibility and depth that the advanced 20% of the population requires. 

    With changes that impact the end-users of the product such as: instructional technologist, faculty, teaching assistants and students, it’s important that we listen to our end-users to drive future enhancements and streamlined user experience improvements. We do this by ensuring we have empathy in product design and development through conducting generative user research with people in the roles that we’re designing for. Research allows us to make sure that we understand users’ goals, challenges, needs, and expectations and to confirm that they can successfully use what we create.  

    For nonreaders and early readers, D2L Brightspace offers age-appropriate icons and “Funster mode,” where little ones can showcase their growth in Portfolio. As students mature, offer them more advanced features, like the ability to self-enroll in supplemental courses.  

    For English language learners with various language needs, D2L Brightspace auto-generates closed-captions for videos in different languages with Video Note. Various language translations of the platform are available and content translation can be provided through our partners. There are also many opportunities to incorporate audio and video instead of (or in addition to) text throughout the platform.  

    Continuous Innovation: New Services, Features, and Tools - 

    As we work to emerge from the changes that were brought about by the pandemic, we here at D2L continuously worked to deliver new features and improve upon existing ones to help them connect, communicate, and stage engaged while teaching and learning from home, blended, or fully online. 

    Distribute and Manage Courses Across Multiple Systems 

    When COVID-19 hit, we quickly heard from our clients that distributing and managing courses within an institution where there may not be an instructor available, and many institutions especially within a state, looking to share & consolidate wherever possible. Clients were struggling with exporting/importing course packages between different LMSs, lacking resources to setup and distribute accounts or arrange for single sign-on integrations. We responded with a new feature called Course Publisher. Institutions can simply take an existing Brightspace course, publish it and distribute it. This results in a seamless, secure transition into the Brightspace course from the external LMS, no user provisioning or SSO is required. The Course publisher removes the risk of distributing copies of their intellectual property through traditional course packages, as all the content remains securely in Brightspace. An additional benefit to our clients since external learners are enrolled into Brightspace through the tool, our customers can leverage all the great reporting tools available to them today to track external learner progress and measure effectiveness of their course content. For students, this means not having to manage multiple credentials - they simply log into their home LMS, click on a link to launch into our customers' full Brightspace course. 

    Enabling Human Connections  

    While there has been a complete transformation of the education system during the pandemic, learners with disabilities have also borne the brunt of lack of accessibility to high-quality education in the face of a lapse of the traditional learning space. When schools started to shut their doors due to the pandemic, it was clear that the first need was to quickly replicate the face-to-face classroom time with Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Google Meet. D2L responded by making many improvements to the integration experience, ensuring it was a key component of the learning ecosystem.  

    Now, schools are now revisiting and finding value to create a more accessible, efficient, and personalized experience with video and again D2L is responding with embedding video experiences throughout the Brightspace product and making it simple and easy to use for all users. Our Video Note tool provides teachers with a fast and easy way to record and upload accessible lessons and feedback for learners, resulting in a sharp rise in Video Note adoption (more than 3500%—over the past two years). Recently we’ve expanded the capabilities include searchable existing recorded content, editors, adaptive streaming, customizable content titles and descriptions, and the ability to utilize reporting. A strength of our Video Note tool provides automatic closed captioning in multiple languages for recording videos and the ability to manually add or update captions for all users in the Brightspace platform, no third-party technology required. Memorable, impactful online learning has human connection at its heart and with our video functionality it supports enabling learners who are deaf or hard-of-hearing to understand and respond to audio aspects of visual communication.  

    Brightspace Portfolio 

    Beyond video, our customers told us that they wanted easy ways to keep learners engaged – especially young learners who have been over the past couple of years, sporadically at home. Using Portfolio and the Portfolio app, students of all ages can capture and share their learning journey with educators, who can then evaluate and share with parents using Brightspace for Parents. Portfolio isn’t new, and having portfolio connected to a personal mobile device isn’t new either, but in the past couple of years several new needs emerged. What can we do to help families with multiple children at home now sharing a mobile device? Or those that rely on the Portfolio funster mode for non-readers, which is designed for in-class use only? For them, we created Portfolio family mode. With these changes, Portfolio usage has taken off with more than 7500% growth in adoption over the past couple of years.  

    Recently, our K12 clients have seen a need also arise for a way to collect evidence of and self-reflections for things such as extracurricular activities, internships, and independent learning/research. D2L responded by designing and releasing features that support students collecting, sharing evidence of learning not associated with a course. Watch this video as a student walks through a step-by-step guide on using Portfolio.  

    Brightspace Parents & Guardian App 

    It’s never been more important to ensure it is easy for students, families, and teachers to connect, stay informed and to receive notifications. Working in close collaboration with our clients, we have released our Parents & Guardian mobile application which displays some of the most important information in D2L Brightspace. In the Work to Do widget, you can view the following activities: Assignments, Discussions, Quizzes, Surveys, and Checklists that have an upcoming or past due date. Assignments and Discussions can also be opened to reveal more details. The app gives parents, guardians, caregivers, and families a window into the classroom in the palm of their hand. With the push notifications, everyone can stay informed and maintain awareness of upcoming work. For homes with multiple students in the same school district, the Brightspace Parent & Guardian App conveniently acts as a one-stop shop where each of their students’ progress can be viewed at any time. Watch this video as a guardian walks through common use cases for the mobile application. 

    Integration –

    Even with Brightspace’s exceptional track record of scalability, reliability, responsiveness, accessibility, we also benefit from online learning solutions outside of our platform. We believe open always wins—with people and with products. That’s why we continue to build integrations and partnerships that promote safe and secure learning experiences and encourage our customers to blend Brightspace into their broader online ecosystems. Unlike other walled garden learning platforms, Brightspace is open and includes source code libraries and standards-based integrations such as IMS One Roster, LTI Advantage, AICC, and xAPI that let users create their own ideal mix of tools, content, and applications. This open approach allows our customers to maintain easy access to their data through APIs, download critical datasets, and incorporate timely insights into their day-to-day workflows. 

    We offer our customers choice in the online tools they use in and outside the classroom. In 2021, D2L signed IMS Global Learning Consortium’s Standards First Pledge, demonstrating our commitment to make open standards the primary choice for education technology and empower customers to determine the right mix of solutions to support their business and learners. Today, D2L’s Brightspace platform is a leader in the industry with 17 IMS certifications and is recognized as the first commercial learning management system certified for IMS Learning Information Services. This interoperability between systems delivers a better experience for learners and helps customers avoid additional costs, inflexibility and barriers created by closed systems. Supporting open standards is entrenched in D2L’s DNA. We care deeply about building a learning platform that is a hub to an open ecosystem of over 1,800 integrated technologies. We work hard to give our clients choice and easy integration through open standards.  

    Positive impact –

    Feedback and assessment tools streamline the process for teachers to provide feedback. And with tools such as annotations, video and audio feedback, rubrics, and anonymous marking, feedback will be specific, relevant, meaningful and timely – leading to better student outcomes.  

    Reports –  

    Meaningful data drives better instructional decisions. Tying student achievement data to teacher evaluations is becoming a commonplace practice for many institutions. Being able to access and use data in the classroom itself is no longer an option, but a necessity. 

    The Brightspace platform offers flexible, multi-source data reporting features to help understand what students have mastered. Examples supporting data-driven instruction may include: 

    • Formative classroom assessment data for determining how effective a lesson is.
    • Benchmark test data for measuring mastery on units of study, or a set of learning objectives, as part of accountability.
    • Rubrics that provide teachers with standardized evaluation methods and give students the opportunity to assess their own work prior to submission.

    Data is available based on multiple assessment types, including diagnostic, formative, and summative. Diagnostic and formative assessment data allows a teacher to measure a student’s understanding and differentiate instruction in precise ways. Summative assessment data helps students prepare for state assessments and track schools’ accountability. 

    The Brightspace platform supports holistic and analytic rubrics for the evaluation of learner performance on activities linked to specific competencies and learning objectives. Rubrics are available through a variety of course tools, including Quizzes, Dropbox assignments, Grades, ePortfolio items, and Discussions. 

    Instructors can subsequently tie learning objectives to these various items to assess what students do not know before moving forward. State standards can be imported and used to align competencies and objectives within a course. This allows assessments, assignments, and activities to be tailored to the curriculum, further supporting the collection of student performance data. This information can be accessed through Quiz and User Progress Reports, and—more powerfully—analytics tools. 

    The Brightspace Advanced Analytics solution provides reporting at both institutional and user levels. Activity reports and academic achievement charts, for example, support the administrative team while specific learning deficiency reports assist classroom decision making. Advanced Analytics helps users identify specific student needs and interests. The solution presents data in meaningful ways that help efficiently meet academic challenges. Instead of waiting for standardized test results to gauge the direction of the classroom or school, Advanced Analytics provides the data immediately

    Security –

    At D2L, we take security and privacy very seriously. Our approach puts our client’s security and data confidentiality, availability and integrity first. Our process works, demonstrated by a track record of delivering reliable security to all of our clients. D2L’s contracts include confidentiality provisions that prohibit D2L from disclosing customer confidential information, including customer data, except under certain defined circumstances, such as when required by law. D2L agrees not to access customer’s accounts, including customer data, except to maintain the service, prevent or respond to technical or service problems, at a customer’s request in connection with a customer support issue, or where required by law. We take our responsibility to protect the confidentiality, availability and integrity of your data seriously, which is why we have the following certifications: 

    We design the Brightspace platform with privacy in mind. We have a long-standing practice of proactively incorporating privacy features into our products and practices. Privacy by Design is how we develop our solutions and helps maintain the trust of our learners. 

    We also understand the importance of regulatory compliance with respect to the security, and privacy of information. Our services support compliance with your privacy and security requirements. We have invested significant engineering, process, and security efforts into our offerings to help our clients address user data privacy under relevant privacy laws. 

    The Brightspace platform supports compliance with rigorous standards. 

    • GDPR (The General Data Protection Regulation 2016/679)
    • FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) 
    • COPPA (Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998) 
    • PIPEDA (Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act) 
    • LGPD (Brazilian General Data Protection Law) 
    • ISO 27001, 27018, SOC 1 Type 2 and SOC 2 Type 2, Cloud Security Alliance (CSA), Security, Trust and Assurance Registry (STAR) 
    • We are EU-U.S. Privacy Shield certified and are a proud signatory of the Privacy Pledge. 

    While certifications are an important step in making sure we’re doing the right things, we know that training our people is just as important. We use the Brightspace platform ourselves to train our employees on privacy and security best practices and to confirm their compliance with our internal security policies. And we run regular “tabletop” (fire drills) exercises to be certain that our employees are prepared to respond and protect user data in any situation. 

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    edWeb is a free professional learning and social network that is a model for the best practices in virtual professional learning. Our community has grown to 1.25 million educators in 185 countries. edWeb members have free access to over 100 virtual professional learning communities on the widest range of topics from preK – secondary education; 400 new real-time, professional learning edWebinars each year; 2,700 edWebinar programs available on-demand to watch anytime/anywhere; 130 programs available on all podcast channels. edWeb members who are teachers can receive a CE certificate the edWebinar they complete that is accepted for teacher license renewal in 43 states. edWeb’s social network and live edWebinars provide the opportunity for educators in all roles and at all levels to network and collaborate through live chats and forums to share ideas and practices and get the help and support needed in a time of unprecedented change and crisis. Our edWebinars have been presented by 3,000 of the most innovative and expert educators who share their best advice and information. Collaboration and peer-to-peer learning is the best way to share the most effective ideas, practices, and resources. Individual educators can use edWeb for their personal professional learning. They have access to the widest and most current topics that meet their needs, and they can view programs anytime, anywhere, and receive credit for their PD hours in most schools, districts, and states. Teams of educators can use edWeb to create their own private professional learning communities or hubs to aggregate all of their communications and resources to meet their own learning objectives. Our recent case study of how the Georgia Dept of Education has used edWeb over the past 5 years, especially during COVID, is a testament to the critical importance of virtual collaboration in times of crisis in education, and at any time to maximize improvement. edWeb’s free social network gives educators the ability to create any number of virtual communities to support their collaboration needs. edWeb communities include blogs, forums, file storage, messaging, professional learning plans, reports, and the ability to add any other web-based tool or resource. edWeb has accessibility features build into the website, and all edWebinar recordings have closed-captioning. edWeb is an ideal professional learning hub. edWeb is supported by 125 leading education organizations so that our social network and all of our edWebinars and CE certificates are free. edWeb has received outstanding reviews, awards, and recognition. We value the enthusiastic and thankful feedback from our members the most, especially during this terrible pandemic when they need all the support we can provide.

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  • Clerisy - has achieved success through the work of its dedicated, certified educators, all of whom have been trained on the company’s professional development (PD) platform Clerisy to become effective online tutors and instructors. On the basis of that training program, first launched Clerisy -- PD workshops developed for educators by educators – in mid-2020. One year later, re-launched Clerisy as a no- or low-cost library of more than 100 PD workshops, created by teacher-entrepreneurs, accessed by more than 2,700 educators, and accepted by 36 states for CEU credits toward teacher licensure requirements. The reason for the shift, according to CEO Ysiad Ferreiras: “Providing no- or low-cost career-enhancing professional development reflects our commitment to underappreciated teachers following a long and stressful pandemic, and the urgent need to stem the tide of a troubling nationwide teacher shortage.” The expanding Clerisy PD library includes content on diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI); social emotional learning (SEL); instructional best practices, content design and implementation, and more. K-12 teachers enjoy no- or low-cost access to all content: - Individual Teacher Account– Includes comprehensive, cost-free access to the Clerisy professional development collection of one- to two-hour online workshops. - Premium Faculty Program for Schools–A low district or school cost of $10 per teacher annually includes a school analytics and tracking dashboard and user management portal. - Clerisy-University of San Diego Partnership – A teacher cost of just $75 per credit for Graduate level extension units through the University of San Diego, based on completion of the Clerisy SEL and DEI tracks. Through the Clerisy PD platform, also offers teachers interested in sharing their expertise additional income and professional recognition when they become Clerisy content contributors. engages teachers nationwide to create, promote and present career-enhancing PD on Clerisy: - Teacher-contributors have unlimited earning potential and will receive $300 per completed PD workshop; $100 per hour for live presenting; $75 per blog post; and $10 per social media post to promote their offering. - Teacher-contributors have the freedom to select topics based on their experiences and expertise, become published leaders in K-12 education, and retain ownership of their contributed content. With the re-launch of its Clerisy teacher PD platform, expects not only to disrupt the K-12 teacher PD market, but more importantly, to keep more great teachers engaged, enthusiastic about their careers, and producing positive outcomes in their classrooms and for their students.

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  • Sibme - Sibme

    Sibme.. The software for schools who want to get better.. We believe great teachers are the key to student success.. And the only way for students to make progress is for teachers to make progress, every day in every classroom. That’s why thousands of teacher around the world use Sibme’s fully-integrated web and mobile platforms to connect with one another in secure private environments to set goals, track progress, collaborate, and observe great teaching. Whether you want to chat about a quick idea, share and discuss a resource, evaluate student work against customized rubrics and frameworks, or asses the effectiveness of a lesson on student achievement, the Sibme platform powers your professional learning strategy. We balance a bottom up approach to teacher connection with a district-wide desire to see meaningful data on teaching and learning with our flexible spaces and analytics dashboards. Schools, districts, and institutions can align learning expectations to professional and pedagogical standards. Or take a more organic approach, allowing people to connect how they want, when they want, and discuss what they want to drive their own growth. Either way, our rich analytics dashboards will capture engagement and impact, allowing leaders a window into every classroom, while still allowing classroom staff the privacy to have authentic conversations. Sibme virtualizes time with synchronous and asynchronous opportunities to interact through chat, formalized discussions, recorded and live video streaming, and scheduled events through a variety of web-conferencing and calendar integrations. Your entire system for educator collaboration and learning can be housed in a single space with Sibme. And with our full-featured native mobile apps, that single space is at your fingertips no matter where you go. Sibme is on a mission to impact student success by transforming the way educators learn, collaborate, and grow. Founded by experienced educators and technologists, Sibme supports schools and districts in delivering engaging, blended, and personalized professional learning experiences. We don’t just believe in collective teacher efficacy, we help you build it. Because the key to student success isn’t found in a book or a worksheet. It’s found in the daily work of a group of passionate educators who believe that if they grow, their students will grow. If you want your school to make progress everyday, Sibme is the way you achieve it.

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