Balefire Labs, EdTech Provider, Expands Advisory Board and Website Offering

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EdTech stars Ray Myers and Ken Royal join Balefire Labs Advisory Board

Balefire Labs, Inc -- provider of online, PreK-12, learning app and game reviews for teachers and parents-- announced today the addition of two new advisory board members.

"We're thrilled that Ray Myers and Ken Royal have joined our Advisory Board," said Karen L. Mahon, Ed.D., President and Founder of Balefire Labs. "These two men not only have decades of experience serving education and edtech, but they also have a true passion for helping kids, their teachers and parents. I know that they will bring much value to our team and, ultimately, to the customers who we serve."

Ray Myers, Ed.D., is recently retired from the Office of Educational Technology at the U.S. Department of Education where he worked as international liaison and led the office's social media outreach efforts. Before joining the Office of EdTech in 1998, Ray was in the Department of Education's Office of Special Education, where he was one of the first federal compliance officers charged with monitoring the implementation of the Education for All Handicapped Children Act in states throughout the country. He has taught at the university level and as a K12 classroom teacher and supervisor. Ray shares, "I am joining the Advisory Board to keep up-to-date with the growing number of technology tools that are now available to learners in the twenty-first century. Balefire Labs is a leader in this space, offering invaluable reviews of the vast number of apps and online resources now available to today's young learners, wherever they may be."

Ken Royal is a retired educator with 34 years of classroom, school, and district level experience, which included an instructional technology specialty. His post-teaching career stops have included Senior Technology Editor with Scholastic and District Administration Product/Technology Editor. Ken's teaching accomplishments include: 4-time district teacher of the year and Connecticut Middle School Teacher of the Year, as well as Bill and Melinda Gates award for Technology School of Excellence. Why is Ken joining Balefire Labs? "I trust Balefire Labs to help educators, parents, and grandparents vet which apps make the grade for our kids and I highly recommend it to everyone. When the opportunity came to offer further support I leapt at the opportunity. It’s an honor to be part of this important process that helps hold all to the highest standards of digital instruction," said Ken.

In addition to these two new advisory members, Balefire Labs has also expanded several functions on its website. The site now offers "Top App Lists," which include the most highly rated learning apps and games organized by topic. Further, teacher and parents can now search specifically for apps whose developers provide empirical evidence of their instructional effectiveness.

Since its inception in 2013, Balefire Labs has expanded its offering to include products from the Apple, Google Play and Amazon app stores. It reviews mathematics, English language arts (ELA), science and social studies apps, as well as puzzler games and serious games. On the Balefire Labs website, app reviews are searchable by subject, age level and language supported (in the apps), including English, Chinese, Czech, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish and Turkish. Recommended ELA and Math apps are searchable by Common Core State Standard alignment.

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