News

Marketplace trend update: 5 tools to help you stay ahead of the curve

By Laura Devaney, Director of News, @eSN_Laura
July 27th, 2016

Don't miss this recap of the latest product news, reports, and research in the ed-tech world

technology tools

It goes without saying that technology is always changing. School leaders are expected to help their teachers use current technology to enhance learning, but at the same time, they must keep on top of future technologies that might soon impact teaching and learning.

Changes in professional development delivery, virtual reality in classrooms, online learning innovations, and tools that enable students to share their progress and accomplishments are just a few of the fast-evolving areas educators must track.

Below, we’ve gathered some of the latest and most relevant marketplace news to keep you up-to-date on product developments, teaching and learning initiatives, and new trends in education.

KQED Teach, which launched on July 11, provides a series of free, self-paced courses to help K-12 educators develop the media skills necessary to bring media production and communication to their learning environments. These courses will take place in an online platform developed by KQED Education that tracks user progress and encourages sharing and feedback through an integrated social community. KQED Teach participants will have access to a wide range of social media and digital media tools allowing them to construct and remix media in multiple formats and across a variety of platforms while addressing many writing, reading, speaking and listening skills required by both the Common Core State Standards and Next Generation Science Standards. Read more.

Students are able to share their digital portfolio contents with parents and caregivers with ClassDojo’s Student Stories, an easy way for students to add photos and videos of their classwork to their own digital portfolio. Parents will be able to follow along with their child’s learning, whether it’s a photo of a poem they wrote, a video of a science experiment, or a reflection on finally solving a tough math problem, students can easily record and share their learning with parents. Read more.

In Arizona, all students in grades 9-12 in the Dysart Unified School District will be able to more effectively collaborate with school counselors to identify their strengths, plan academic coursework, determine career aspirations, find best-fit colleges, and discover scholarships using Naviance by Hobsons, a digital college and a career planning platform. Having tripled in size since 2000, Dysart is one of the fastest-growing school systems in the state, serving a high population of Latinos and English Language Learners (ELLs), as well as first-generation college-bound students. Despite its unprecedented growth, the district has maintained an 85 percent graduation rate among its four comprehensive high schools. Read more.

zSpace, Inc. is working with Google to create an end-to-end virtual reality classroom experience that combines the power of zSpace’s interactive Screen VR technology with the Google Expeditions Pioneer Program. Students will be introduced to learning content through the vivid photo and video Expeditions followed by in-depth exploration opportunities in zSpace. Google and zSpace will begin the program for back-to-school 2016 and showcase the virtual reality classroom experience at conferences and tradeshows in the United States. Read more.

This year’s D2L Brightspace Excellence Awards recognized the promise of online learning and its ability to connect more and more people to high-quality educational programs. Faculty dedicated to helping students learn online created robust online environments and high-quality tools to help students succeed in their online learning endeavors. This year’s crop of winners demonstrated progress and innovation in student and teacher engagement, student retention, and teaching and learning efficiencies that resulted in cost savings. Read more.

About the Author:

Laura Devaney

Laura Ascione Devaney is the Managing Editor, Content Services at eSchool Media. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland's prestigious Philip Merrill College of Journalism. When she isn't wrangling her two children, Laura enjoys running, photography, home improvement, and rooting for the Terps. Find Laura on Twitter: @eSN_Laura http://twitter.com/eSN_Laura