5 ways residency programs boost teacher preparation

Across the country, residency programs are growing in popularity to help address teacher shortages and in teacher preparation. These programs provide alternative licensure for educators who are often changing careers to work in high-need schools–particularly in rural communities–and in hard-to-fill subject areas.

While some larger districts may run their own residencies, there are programs, such as the Boettcher Teacher Residency at Public Education & Business Coalition (PEBC), that work with districts of all sizes to support this type of teacher preparation model. In this model, residents have the unique and valuable opportunity to be paired with an experienced mentor teacher for an entire school year.

Related: Do teacher prep programs need an overhaul?

As a former teacher and elementary school principal, and now as the field manager for the Boettcher Teacher Residency where I help support our coaches and residents, I understand the importance of having teachers-in-training receive hands-on experience facilitated by an expert in the field. This provides residents with the tools, training, and support needed for them to be successful in the classroom.


Teachers: Empower your students and help them prepare for the future

Here are some of eSN’s most popular articles for teachers over the past month:

1. 10 things I do to boost my students’ self-esteem
Try any (or all!) of these strategies to make students feel safe, cared for, and loved

2. 4 ways I make learning fun in the classroom
From playing games to giving choices, this middle school teacher shares how she engages her students

3. How can educators support the parents of students with anxiety?
Schools must find practical ways to support not just students suffering, but parents as well


NEC Display Solutions adds 6,000-lumen, ultra-quiet option to P Series of entry-level laser projectors

NEC Display Solutions of America, Inc., a provider of commercial projectors and displays, today announced the expansion of its popular P Series line of projectors to include a new 6,000-lumen entry-level installation laser projector equipped with Whisper Quiet technology and the only filter-free LCD, low-maintenance design in its class.

NEC’s proprietary Whisper Quiet technology features a patented sealed cooling engine that almost eliminates fan noise, making the P605UL the quietest 6,000-lumen projector on the market. While typical projectors in its class generate an average of more than 37 decibels, the P605UL will generate just 19 decibels of noise in Eco mode. This makes it ideal for higher education classrooms, conference rooms and other locations where a large, high-quality image is needed with as few noise distractions as possible.

The P605UL is also equipped with advanced features including LCD technology, manual lens shift, and HDBaseT connectivity. The laser technology means there’s no lamp to replace, while the sealed cooling engine eliminates the need for a filter, considerably reducing maintenance costs – a key consideration for budget-conscious education and corporate customers.

“Our new P605UL is the quietest 6,000-lumen projector on the market today,” said Ryan Pitterle, Product Manager, NEC Display Solutions. “The P605UL makes laser projection technology more accessible than ever before, bringing professional-level brightness and advanced features like a sealed cooling engine to a whole new set of customers. The filter-free, low-maintenance design is a high priority for corporate and higher education customers who have projectors deployed across a broad campus, and we’ve designed the P605UL to meet their specific needs.”

The 6,000-lumen brightness enables the P605UL to deliver large, clear and dynamic images up to 4K/30hz resolution even when the lights need to stay on in the lecture hall or board room. In addition, the laser light source offers a minimum of 20,000 hours of reliable life, which combined with its filter-free and low maintenance design, lowers its total cost of ownership.

True to NEC’s P Series heritage of offering exceptional value and performance, the P605UL has a unique combination of installation features at a low cost, including manual horizontal and vertical lens shift, 1.6x zoom lens and HDBaseT input. The P605UL also offers improved wireless collaboration capability and advanced networking connectivity including:
• Dual HDMI for seamless switching between Blu-ray, computer or other digital sources
• USB with 2.0A support for powering third-party devices
• LAN port for network control and asset management
• Optional Wireless Module (NP05LM1) with MultiPresenter capability for up to 16 simultaneous connections.

The P605UL is backed by a 5-year/20,000-hour warranty with NEC’s InstaCare replacement program included. The P605UL begins shipping in July for a minimum advertised price of $3,599. For additional information and specs, please visit NEC Display Solutions.

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About NEC Display Solutions of America, Inc.
NEC Display Solutions of America, Inc., a leading designer and provider of innovative displays, offers the widest range of digital signage products on the market, such as commercial- and professional-grade large-screen LCD displays, desktop LCD monitors, direct view LED panels, a diverse line of multimedia and digital cinema projectors, integrated display solutions, and analytic business intelligence solutions. The NEC Analytic Learning Platform (ALP) optimizes message delivery with automated content creation and recommendations using AI-based analytics, enabling retailers to customize content based on non-identifying demographic data. Benefitting from the technologies of NEC Corporation and its own Research and Development, NEC produces leading-edge visual technology and customer-focused solutions for a wide variety of markets, including education, retail, transportation, broadcast, enterprise, healthcare, houses of worship, and many more. NEC is orchestrating a brighter world with the quality and reliability of its products and outstanding customer service. For additional information about NEC Display Solutions of America products, call (866) NEC-MORE, or visit the website at www.necdisplay.com. Follow us on our social media channels: Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter and LinkedIn.


7 new online education trends

Career and employment goals continue to be one of the top reasons students pursue online education, according to an annual report recapping higher-ed online education trends. As higher-ed models change according to student needs, what proves successful in higher ed could make for promising models in K-12.

A full 69 percent of surveyed online students say employment is their primary goal for enrolling in an online education program, according to the Online Education Trends Report from BestColleges.com.

Related: 7 myths about online learning in higher ed

This year’s report includes candid feedback from more than 450 school administrators and 1,500 students.


Using a growth mindset as the foundation for SEL

Research continues to show the benefits of social-emotional learning (SEL), especially with elementary-age students. But as SEL gains ground, educators need to think about best practices for adding it to their classroom. One of those approaches includes using a growth mindset.

In “SEL and Academic Learning Catalyst: Growth Mindset,” presenters Dr. Desiree Margo, principal at Redmond Early Learning Center, and Dr. Kendra Coates, Growing Early Mindsets (GEM) author and professional learning specialist at Mindset Works, explain why a growth mindset is the strongest foundation for both SEL and academic learning. They caution, however, that both principles need to be integrated into the regular classroom and throughout school activities to achieve the best results.

Related: 10 signs you’re doing SEL right

First, Coates explains that in a growth mindset, all forms of intelligence abilities, skills, and talents are malleable. Rather than viewing mistakes or setbacks as a sign of low ability or intelligence, students and educators who embrace a growth mindset will actually view the challenge as an opportunity. They are inspired by the success of others and may use them as an impetus to work harder rather than seeing someone else’s success as a threat.


4 ways to identify and support your struggling teachers

When you’re happy, you’re better at your job. As a principal, I want to make my school a happy place, but it’s not just about making work more fun. It’s about creating an environment where teachers feel fulfilled in their hearts so they can give more of themselves to their kids.

As a leader, I model and live out the 7 Mindsets, which our school follows. “The time is now,” is an important one right now. To me, that means embracing every moment by letting my teachers know that I appreciate them and see how hard they’re working.

Related: 4 fun ways principals can boost self-care

Every night, I send texts or emails to three different teachers to praise something I saw them do that day. I’ll say, “I just wanted you to know how proud I was of you in that meeting, and how you represented your student.” Or, “I was peeking in your classroom today, and I saw you working with a child. I didn’t want to interrupt, but it just warmed my heart, and I wanted to let you know that you’re the type of teacher that I would want my own child to have.”


12 teamwork activities and tools for students

Building social and emotional learning (SEL) skills such as teamwork requires face-to-face interaction, meaningful discussion, and reflection. Edtech is no complete substitute for that, but there are teamwork activities and tools that can supplement the development of character in the classroom and at home. Besides doing your share, teamwork is working respectfully and effectively within a group.

While some tools focus specifically on teamwork, the websites and apps that you use daily (in all subjects) can be used to promote partnership, too. You don’t have to stop using the tools you love or toss out your lesson or curricular plans to start developing SEL. Below we have included some tips, tools, and actionable ideas for seamlessly integrating teamwork and life skills-building into your content classroom.

Related: 10 activities  to integrate SEL into your classroom

Why teamwork?

Everyone from sports franchises to the military to businesses is on a quest to crack the code of the perfect team. Google spent years studying their working teams and recently announced the results. They determined that success wasn’t based on “who” was on a team, but on the culture created by the team–for example, a group that takes turns talking vs. one in which members speak over one another.


3 digital developments for visually impaired students

As someone with years of experience working with visually impaired students, I am thrilled by the transition from traditional to digital classrooms–and I am particularly excited by the opportunities that new technology is bringing with it.

Although there has long been a shortage of accessible educational apps for this population of students, especially at the preschool and elementary levels, fresh innovations in educational game design are coming to the rescue. Let’s take a quick look at three positive developments in this arena.

Visually impaired students are gaining new learning opportunities

Tablets are now employed in many classrooms–and as a result, most apps geared to young children are visual. Unfortunately for visually impaired students, these apps have traditionally not been accessible with a screen reader. At the same time, a number of textbook companies have been transitioning their offerings from print to online, which brings with it a similar opportunity: how can these digital materials, which are often interactive in nature, be made fully accessible for the blind?

Related: 4 examples of engaging vision-impaired students in STEM


Career exploration is made possible with community partnerships

There’s a big difference between working at a job that you have to do and discovering a career that you love to do. Our goal as educators should be to help students pursue careers they’re passionate about by encouraging them to explore their interests–and by connecting them to career exploration and possible career paths that align with those interests.

At Chula Vista Elementary School District in California, we have formed partnerships with local businesses and community organizations to make instruction engaging and relevant, while exposing students to future career options at a young age.

Our career exploration efforts began a few years ago with a program called the Innovation Station, a partnership between the school district, the Chula Vista Public Library, Qualcomm, Microsoft, and other organizations. Inspired by Qualcomm® Thinkabit Lab™, the Innovation Station infuses a maker space and STEAM lab with a journey of self-discovery for students.


3 ways our school is fighting back against trauma

The impact of trauma poses a substantial risk to students–something that is recognized more now than ever before. Increased reports of trauma and tragic circumstances resulting from trauma–such as increases in at-risk behaviors, and even suicide–are bonafide challenges schools face today.

Students need adults and school communities that foster for them the freedom to make their own decisions and to learn in a safe environment while at liberty to take reasonable risks. That’s the framework for learning and growing at our school, and the byproducts are happier, healthier students whose development is incubated in both a student-specific and schoolwide manner.

Following are strategies we employ with our students that help them succeed. These strategies are easily replicable in any school, because they use existing resources. “Stacking” strategies together like this perpetuates a cycle of success that reverses the status quo.