3 big questions schools should ask edtech developers

Partnerships between school districts and edtech developers can be incredibly beneficial--but schools should make sure to ask the right questions at the outset

Educators on Twitter know that sharing is something teachers love. If you’re a school leader, it’s likely your school is at the center of your community, with close links to parents, local groups and valuable community initiatives. Working together is the whole ethos of a school. In the daily activities of teachers with their students, collaboration and teamwork is the heart.

Extending that cooperative spirit to embrace edtech vendors is a beneficial mindset for schools. It’s a great chance for teachers to provide real-world guidance and feedback to developers, helping them to shape solutions that fulfil a real purpose and with specific functionality the school needs.

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5 innovative cybersecurity training strategies to try in 2021

As much as 88 percent of data breaches are caused by human error, but only 43 percent of workers admit having made mistakes that compromised cybersecurity. In the past year, one-third of the breaches incorporated social engineering techniques and the cost of a breach caused by a human error averaged $3.33 million. The need for consistent and effective cybersecurity training is evident.

To mitigate the risk, enterprises develop complex cybersecurity strategies and action plans, yet they are insufficient unless acknowledged by every member of their organization. Half of chief information security officers (CISOs) plan to extend cybersecurity and privacy into all business decisions and that makes it every employee’s concern.

Special education success, even during a pandemic

When it comes to integrating technology into the day-to-day workings of special education, even during rolling lockdowns and remote instruction, there is no longer a question of either/or when it comes to using tech.

Teaching preschoolers to love STEAM

In the spring and summer of 2020, Brooklyn Preschool of Science closed down for six months due to COVID-19. During those same six months, almost 300,000 people left New York, so there are certainly fewer families in our zip code than there were in March.

Even so, our independent preschools are back to serving 300 families at three locations, offering in-person classes for students ages 2 to 5. Parents are trusting us with their children not just because of the safety precautions we’re taking, but because of our pedagogical approach, which begins with a spirit of inquiry and ends with students who have a lifelong love of science.

Finding the silver linings in a pandemic

As we sift through the consequences of the pandemic for our children, educators and education researchers are likely going to be learning lessons about our school system for years to come. One truth has already been made clear: learning doesn’t just happen in the classroom.

That may sound like a prosaic observation, but the pandemic has put it front and center in a visceral way by bringing teachers, via Zoom, into all the places children are learning—none of which are classrooms. Teachers have been able to see how hard parents work to support their children’s education. They’ve also seen that, whether due to lack of ability, resources, or their own educational experience, not all parents can support their students’ education to the same degree.

10 new edtech tools to power teaching and learning

Instead of the usual hustle and bustle through bright and crowded exhibit hall aisles, edtech trade shows kept exhibitors and attendees at home this year and took a virtual approach.

During FETC and TCEA in late January and early February, virtual attendees attended presentations and engaging keynotes–and also had the chance to explore the online exhibit hall full of new edtech tools, products, and solutions to help educators as COVID learning approaches its one-year mark.

How to ensure your edtech tools support equity goals

As I meet with team leaders in my suburban Chicago school district, I ask: What is your department doing to create equitable and inclusive learning conditions for all of our students?

It’s a complicated question in the age of COVID-19. As we discovered in the spring, some families still lack the devices or broadband connectivity they need for remote learning, despite mobile computing being a ubiquitous facet of our lives. That sad reality had school districts scrambling to provide devices and broadband access to students when the pandemic originally closed schools.

Why encryption is key during remote learning

While the numbers are constantly changing based on fluid circumstances and data, it’s safe to say that millions of students across the U.S. are engaging in virtual learning. This has largely been the way of life since COVID-19 caused school shutdowns nationwide in March 2019, and the path forward toward in-person school as we knew it is still unclear.

As most institutions and school districts are well aware, remote learning brings with it a host of cyber security threats and considerations. These concerns have brought the idea of encrypted data to the forefront of the discussion, because student data is now being stored in, and accessed from, a variety of locations.

5 character development strategies for a dual immersion classroom

It’s important for teachers to find ways to teach social-emotional learning and character development to help their students build the skills necessary to process the events of 2020 and to persevere and succeed in (for many students) a distance learning or hybrid environment. This can be challenging, especially for ELL teachers.

I teach a first grade dual language immersion program at an elementary school outside of Madison, Wisconsin. Our school district has made character development a main focus and I’ve found some specific strategies and resources that can be helpful for early elementary school teachers – and especially for ELL teachers – who are trying to teach SEL and character development remotely.

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