Promethean Planet joins forces with ClassFlow

Promethean Planet, an interactive whiteboard community for educators, is now part of ClassFlow, a collaborative teaching and learning software community. With the merger, all lessons and resources designed to be presented on an interactive whiteboard can now be shared across a connected classroom and sent to students’ Chromebooks, tablets, and laptops using ClassFlow.

“We’re extremely excited about what this integration means for the 2.5 million Promethean Planet members around the world,” said Vincent Young, the Chief Marketing Officer at Promethean. “By uniting the Promethean Planet and ClassFlow teacher communities, we can empower educators globally with thousands of high-quality interactive teaching resources that can ensure the active engagement and participation of every student in the classroom.”

ClassFlow is teacher-designed lesson delivery software that energizes the classroom learning experience by allowing teachers to showcase lessons on any interactive display, share digital lesson materials with students, administer quizzes and polls, and assign group learning activities using mobile devices.

With ClassFlow, Promethean Planet users can search among the library of thousands of teacher-created lessons and resources now available in the ClassFlow Marketplace. These free resources within the ClassFlow Marketplace support a wide range of file formats including PowerPoint presentations, Microsoft Word documents, ActivInspire FlipCharts, Adobe PDF files, and more. As a part of the ClassFlow community, Promethean Planet users can now sell their lesson resources to other teachers in the Marketplace.

“As a teacher, ClassFlow is easy for me to use,” said Valerie Burton, a business teacher in New Orleans and a ClassFlow Ambassador. “ClassFlow gives me the freedom to customize my lessons. I can use either my own resources or some of the many resources within the Marketplace to customize my presentations and lessons. ClassFlow makes it easy to cater to my students. Whether it’s the great content in the ClassFlow Marketplace or the ability to create interactive assignments, ClassFlow allows me to send an interactive lesson to my students on their individual devices with just a few clicks of the mouse. This simplicity and efficiency really make a difference and save time.”

According to Sarah Wright, Senior Lecturer at Edge Hill University, UK, “ClassFlow can change the dynamic of the classroom. It gives learners the opportunity for interaction, engagement, and meaningful assessment with complete ease. Planet joining this platform opens up huge potential for taking existing resources and elevating them to ensure high-quality, meaningful, and exciting learning in our classrooms.”

Educators can sign up for a free ClassFlow account by visiting ClassFlow.com. Promethean Planet users can learn more about the merging of Promethean Planet with ClassFlow by visiting the FAQs page on the ClassFlow website.

 

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Who are the educators driving flipped learning?

Educators searching for flipped learning inspiration can now find it in a list of 100 people who are innovating and inspiring others in their pursuit of flipped instruction.

The Flipped Learning Global Initiative (FLGI), a worldwide coalition of educators, researchers, technologists, professional development providers and education leaders, published the FLGI 100, an annual list identifying the top 100 innovative people in education who are driving the adoption of the flipped classroom around the world.

The list is compiled by the FLGI executive committee, led by Jon Bergmann, one of the leaders of the flipped classroom movement. The FLGI 100 list includes flipped learning researchers, master teachers, technology coaches, literacy specialists, math and science experts and educators from kindergarten to higher education.

Educators from around the globe are represented, including flipped learning practitioners from China, Taiwan, Spain, UAE, the United Kingdom, Turkey, Italy, Korea, Argentina, Iceland, Sweden, India and the United States.

“The FLGI 100 list includes some of the most experienced and innovative flipped learning people on the planet,” Bergmann said. “The value of their collective insight into flipped learning is immeasurable and we’re excited to identify them as role models for those new to flipped learning.”

The FLGI list will be updated annually and the complete FLGI 100 list can be seen at http://flglobal.org/the-flgi-100/.

 

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14 classroom management strategies to increase student learning

When the right classroom management tools are in place, students are able to learn more as their engagement increases.

Focusing on physical classroom management, behavioral management, resources for effective instruction, attendance and gradebook tools, and tools for a school-home connection can help students master classroom lessons.

During an edWeb webinar, Eileen Lennon, a technology teacher at Nathaniel Hawthorne Middle School 74 in Queens, New York led an exploration of tools to help teachers establish an engaging and productive classroom environment.

Topics included:

  • Class behavior sites for every age group, from ClassDojo to ClassCraft to Google Classroom tools that measure classroom sound levels
  • Timers for students to monitor their time management
  • Random student selectors and random group creators to help students feel they are treated equally and fairly
  • Online discussions or group collaboration to increase student engagement
  • Badges as a method of classroom management

Next page: Resources to boost student learning

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Marketplace trend update: 5 ed-tech developments

Remaining a tech-savvy educator means keeping on top of the myriad changes and trends in education, how technology can support those trends, and how teaching and learning can best benefit from near-constant change.

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.

Libraries can now change the look and feel of their websites instantly with the release of Stacks, a hosted, turnkey web content management system designed specifically for libraries. Stacks is available through EBSCO Information Services, empowering libraries to engage their patrons anytime, anywhere. With Stacks customizable themes, configurable drag-and-drop layouts, social media integrations, granular user roles and multi-language support for more than 60 languages, libraries are now able to create online content with ease. Stacks allows libraries to market programs and services, manage event registrations and room bookings, conduct surveys and polls and create research guides. Read more.

Turnitin’s Feedback Studio for iPad app has merged the benefits of mobile technology with the power of learning and engagement through feedback. This release gives students the power to submit papers, analyze similarity reports (to check for originality), and review instructor feedback on the go. An enhanced interface for instructors offers streamlined grading on- and offline. More than ever, students use mobile devices to manage their assignments. With the Feedback Studio app for iPad, institutions can ensure that students are not only able to complete and submit assignments on their iPad, but they also have immediate access to their instructors’ comments, feedback, and grades where and when they need it. Read more.

As record numbers of students with autism are back to school this month, the National Autism Center at May Institute is offering teachers its popular educators’ manual – Evidence-based Practice and Autism in the Schools, 2nd Edition – as a free resource. This manual and other informative publications focused on autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are available as free downloads at www.nationalautismcenter.org. Since the manual was first published, tens of thousands of copies have been downloaded or purchased by teachers and front-line interventionists from across the country and throughout the world. Responses to a national survey indicate the manual has made a significant impact on improving educators’ knowledge about ASD and providing effective interventions for students on the spectrum. Read more.
Global learning company Houghton Mifflin Harcourt announced the launch of GO Math! GO, a new playful learning app available for iPhone and iPad that offers kids ages 3-7 a fun, engaging interactive math experience. From creators of the leading math curriculum GO Math! and the popular math app Sushi Monster, GO Math! GO takes students on a learning journey filled with friendly monsters, lovable animals and adventurous heroes that will inspire them to master math, whether at home or on the go. Read more.

Generation Global, an education nonprofit created for students ages 12–17, today announced its relaunch into the U.S. as Generation Global, an initiative of the Tony Blair Faith Foundation. Generation Global provides practical, support for educators to guide the next generation of young people in becoming global citizens by peacefully navigating cultural and religious differences through meaningful dialogue. All over the world, destructive ideologies based on cultural, religious, and ideological stereotypes are hampering development, dialogue, and understanding of the world around us. Generation Global believes that education is one of the most effective instruments in countering these ideologies. Read more.

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Report: More states are taking steps to protect student privacy

A new analysis from the Data Quality Campaign shows more and more states are taking steps to ensure student privacy through legislation.

During the past three years, every state but Vermont has introduced at least one bill and 36 states now have at least one new student privacy law. In 2016, 14 states passed 16 laws.

Most of the states that passed new student data privacy laws in 2016 had already passed a student data privacy law, a sign that states continue to refine laws to ensure they protect student information while allowing educators to use data in service of student learning. While states signed fewer new bills into law this year than in 2015 or in 2014, the analysis, which is available online, shows that states are considering more diverse issues and thinking more broadly about data and privacy in schools than in recent years.

Separately, a report on data privacy from the Southern Regional Education Board, found that 34 states (including 14 SREB member states, mostly located in the U.S. South) enacted new legislation designed to protect student information that spell out everything from who can collect and view student data to what information schools can share with vendors to the creation of a state controller to manage student data security.

“It’s clear that states are building on prior legislative efforts and continuing conversations about how to use data effectively while ensuring student privacy,” said Paige Kowalski, executive vice president for the Data Quality Campaign.

“Although states enacted fewer new laws this year, schools across the nation are operating under a significantly altered legal framework than they were just a few years ago. Congress will need to examine this new landscape if they are looking to update federal privacy laws in the next session.”

Over time, the student data privacy bills have become more focused on data governance (establishing processes for making decisions about data use) with fewer bills that would compromise the basic functioning of state’s education services. In 2014, a quarter of the bills introduced threatened states’ ability to use data to help students, compared to 2016 when that proportion was less than 10 percent. In 2014, less than half of the bills provided for governance.

The states’ legislative efforts this year focused on three key areas: regulating online service providers, establishing greater transparency around how states and districts are handling student information, and granting new responsibilities for safeguarding data to districts.

Nearly half of the bills introduced (52) governed the data activities of third-party service providers. Thirty-six of those bills contained provisions based on California’s SOPIPA Act, which was passed in 2014 to govern online service providers.

Sixty-nine bills sought to establish greater transparency around how states and districts are managing student information.

States proposed assigning new responsibilities for safeguarding data to districts, including governance. Forty-four bills proposed giving new responsibilities to local education agencies.

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How one district improved its personalized learning by failing forward

In the MSD of Wayne Township, there are several blended and online opportunities available for students. Perhaps the same is true in your district, but how many of those same opportunities are available to teachers as well?

Recently, the teachers in one particular program in the district inspired a personalized approach to professional development. The Ben Davis Extended Day (BDED) blended learning program is an extension of one of the district’s high schools, Ben Davis High School. The program operates in the evenings and serves students who, for one reason or another, are not able to attend during the day.  The students move through their courses online and at their own pace, while physically attending school in the evenings in a lab setting. There are four teachers that work in the evening that teach the courses for English, math, science, and social studies.

As part of the professional development for BDED, the teachers went through a design thinking process to develop strategies to overcome one of the teachers’ main perceived issues and provide more personalized learning for students. While moving through the process to find a way to improve student engagement and consistency in effort, the group explored various strategies that could be implemented to solve the identified problem.

Each strategy was evaluated and ranked based on several characteristics (ease, training necessary, cost, predicted success, etc.). Ultimately, the teachers decided as a group to research and implement Individualized Learning Plans (ILPs) with their students. The teachers wanted to create learner profiles for each student that would be used to personalize and individualize instruction for the students.

At the time, there was no tool in the district necessarily built for this work, so the teachers at BDED did some online research to find other schools and programs implementing something similar with their students. The group studied ideas from Providence Public High School in Rhode Island, the work of Barbara Bray and Kathleen McClaskey, Maureen Devlin at Wayland Public Schools, the Open College at Kaplan University, and various other templates. Borrowing from these templates and ideas, the teachers developed their own template using the only collaborative tool they had — Google Docs.

Next page: Why it didn’t work. And what we did next

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Elementary and high school students build Maze Runner-like challenge for Sphero

Naper Elementary School students could be the envy of their peers when it comes to a labyrinth for testing their robotic skills.

With technical assistance from Naperville North High School, Naper fourth-graders will be rolling robotic Sphero balls through what one elementary student likened to the always-changing maze in “Maze Runner,” a literary reference that brought a smile to the face of Ryan Shambo, Naper’s learning commons director and lead teacher.

The collaboration between the two schools started after Shambo had trouble finding a maze to complement the school’s technology.

Like many local elementary schools, Naperville acquired the robotic balls to teach the basic concepts of computer coding.

Shambo said students need some type of maze to apply those skills, but a search of the internet revealed little for him to purchase. Most of the suggestions called on teachers to tape off a section of the floor or create mazes using blocks, textbooks or other classroom objects.

Shambo wanted a more permanent, wooden, three-dimensional maze that also was self-contained so students wouldn’t be chasing the robotic Sphero ball around a classroom.

He turned to the technology education department at Naperville North for guidance, and initial results far exceeded expectations.

A mock-up labyrinth was presented to Shambo and fourth-graders last week when the students toured the woodworking shop at the high school.

Josh Murawski, who teaches woodworking at the high school, proposed a maze with slots to hold removable walls so students can alter their mazes or create new ones.

“This is really amazing. I never thought of that,” Shambo said. “I can see other schools will want a maze like this, too.”

Murawski said the final design will be up to the students, who will decide how large and what other features they’d like to see in their maze, such as permanent structures or custom etchings.

During the tour, the fourth-graders watched how the grooves on the mock-up were cut using the school’s computer numerical control router.

Murawski explained how the same basic computer programming concepts high school students need tell the high-tech machine where to cut the wood will be used by the fourth-graders to code their Sphero robots.

The goal, Shambo said, will be for students to program the rolling balls by giving a series of two-dimensional commands — forward or backward and left or right.

Murawski said the big difference between coding for their robot ball and the computer-guided router is an up-and-down direction where the programmer tells the machine how deep to make the cut.

The high school teacher said as students are learning skills at younger ages, it forces junior high and high school teachers to adjust accordingly.

“We’re going to have to step up our curriculum and difficulty in our program,” said Murawski, who said he’s up for the challenge and the new possibilities it opens for students.

Naperville North freshman James Recendez, whose Woodworking 1 class met the same time as the elementary visit, watched fourth-grader Luke Mundt’s turn maneuvering the robotic ball briefly through the maze using an iPad as a joystick.

James didn’t recall playing with robots when he attended Naper Elementary, though he said he wished he’d had the chance.

Luke was looking forward to having a maze at his school. “I think it’s good so kids learn how to program and code,” he said.

Shambo said he also sees the collaboration between the two schools as a means of opening the door for creating a maze kit that schools throughout the area might use.

[image via Andreas Rabe/flickr]

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What does a flipped classroom look like at each grade level?

Although the term “flipped learning” is almost universally recognized, teachers apply it in many forms, in all grades levels, and in various school environments. If you are a teacher using flipped learning, the chances are that you share some similarities with other teachers who flip—as well as some differences. However, the major commonality among all flipped learning teachers is that every one of them is creating personal learning experiences for each student.

We asked three flipped teachers — one from an elementary school, one from a junior high, and one from a high school — to describe what learning looks like in their world.

Beth Hobbs, third-grade teacher
Burkett Elementary, Pennsylvania

“Over the past few years, I have transformed my traditional classroom into a student-centered classroom. Through flipped learning, my students are able to complete weekly reading assignments and tasks at home to extend their learning beyond our regular curriculum.

Depending on the student’s role within each task, students question each other, share an interesting part of a reading passage, provide a summary, define new words, and connect the reading to their experiences or similar stories. Students become excited to meet and discuss their novels.

Before I moved to a flipped classroom, it would take weeks to read a novel together in class, and the discussion was led and influenced greatly by what I said. By completing the assignments at home, the students are able to form their own opinions and even challenge their classmates to look at the book through different perspectives.

With the help of exciting apps such as Chatterpix, iMovie, Adobe Voice, Touchcast, and ClassFlow, students can showcase their mastery of learning through a fun outlet. Without flipped learning, it would not be possible for me to integrate the use of such engaging apps within the classroom. Flipped learning has allowed me to go outside my comfort zone and put the learning into my student’s hands.”

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5 reasons girls don’t pursue technology-related careers

Exposing girls to technology early, along with having parents and role models support girls’ interest in technology-related hobbies and career paths, can help encourage more girls to pursue technology in and after college, according to data from CompTIA, a nonprofit association for the technology industry.

More than 5.1 million people worked in core technology jobs in the U.S. at the end of 2015, but just 25 percent of those jobs were held by women.

CompTIA-commissioned research, based on a survey and focus groups of girls between the ages of 10 and 17, identifies several critical factors that discourage girls from considering careers in tech.

CompTIA’s Make Tech Her Story: What Needs to Change to Inspire Girls’ Pursuit of IT Careers, an e-book and companion website, are the centerpieces of a new awareness campaign to inspire tech industry leaders, educators, parents and, most importantly, girls to make the industry more gender inclusive.

Next page: Five ways girls are discouraged from technology-related studies

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