3 approaches to help students become responsible cyber citizens

Children are getting more screen time than ever—a side effect of the pandemic’s impact on our usual routines.

It’s not just the pandemic, however. Kids’ media preferences are changing as new apps and sleeker technology make it easier to stay connected (and be entertained) wherever they go. Just in the past four years, we’ve seen dramatic shifts in online video viewing, smartphone ownership, and more.

Technology and the internet are omnipresent—and today’s youth must be equipped with skills to safely consume, evaluate, and share information online—including how they interact with their peers.…Read More

Alma Announces System Upgrades to its Student Information System

Portland, Ore. (August 12, 2021) – Alma Student Information System (SIS) has updated its award-winning SIS platform with several new features to support schools and families this school year. Upgrades include the addition of Navigator to help schools transition to Alma, the App Center to integrate third party apps, and Multilingual Parent and Student Portals which allow families to use the Spanish version of the portals to register their children and access their grades. The upgrades are all available now to start the new school year.

“Alma’s upgrades make the onboarding and overall day-to-day SIS experience for schools and districts even better, and also support our mission of increasing educational equity, inclusion and family engagement,” said Andrew Herman, CEO and Founder of Alma. “If schools and districts learned anything in 2020, it’s that technology demands on educators and parents are greater than ever. We are creating tools such as the App Center to make it easier for educators to use the apps they love while using their student information system.  And we are improving access to student information for Spanish speaking families making Alma a comprehensive SIS solution for schools.”

What’s new:…Read More

5 learning apps for students with special needs

Millions of students transitioned to online and hybrid learning during the COVID-19 pandemic. While that transition was relatively easy for some students, many–including students with special needs–found it difficult or impossible to access in-school services and therapies.

While many schools returned to full in-person learning or hybrid learning, COVID-related learning loss is still a concern. There are a number of apps and online tools that can help parents and caregivers of students with special needs fill the gaps as much as possible during the summer months.

These apps can be especially helpful for parents looking for easy-to-access resources even after in-person learning resumes in the fall.…Read More

imagiLabs brings coding to teenage girls’ phones with imagiCharm wearable accessory

imagiLabs is the all-female founded Stockholm-based startup that aims to bridge the gender divide in coding with its imagiCharm: a device which can be visually customised by coding into an accompanying mobile app.

The imagiCharm’s 8×8 matrix of LEDs can be customised to display tens of thousands of different designs, such as flowers, rising suns, animals etc., based upon the Python code written by the user into the imagiLabs iOS or Android apps, which connect to the device via Bluetooth.

By using Python to change the appearance of the accessory, girls are shown the real-world applications and possibilities of programming and what physical manifestations of code can look like. …Read More

21 awesome AR and VR tools for learning

Nearly everyone has experienced augmented reality and virtual reality to some degree, and while they’re fun, AR and VR can also be incredibly powerful when integrated into classroom learning.

During an engaging ISTELive 21 session, Jennifer Hall, NBCT, an educational technology specialist with Atlanta Public Schools, outlined an abundance of AR and VR apps for students and educators.

Augmented reality is the idea that you’re bringing something into your real world and using your device to see something that isn’t actually there. Animation or 3D images come into your real world. Virtual reality is where a person is immersed in the experience, as if they’re actually there.…Read More

What makes a good digital math tool?

During the COVID-19 disruption to education, the use of edtech tools surged. In fact, according, recent research, downloads of education apps in the U.S. increased by 130 percent. 

Within this surge, math saw the biggest jump in edtech tool usage. Math has historically been board-based in the classroom and paper-based at home. And while students had used digital tools like math games and at-home practice apps, these were strictly supplemental. Over this last year, however, as a result of COVID-19, teachers and students have had to adapt to using digital math-related tools, some for the first time. 

Since March of 2020, the usage of Texthelp’s own STEM application, EquatIO, has risen by more than 150 percent. …Read More

Education needs to go back to school for cybersecurity

The education sector has not been immune to the digital revolution transforming businesses and organizations across the world. The year before the pandemic saw sky-high growth and adoption in education technology, with global edtech investments reaching €15.87 billion in 2019.

Many education institutions have their own bring your own device (BYOD) policies, while downloads of educational apps have risen by 130 percent over the past year.

Everything from laptops and mobile devices to interactive touchscreens and even virtual reality are becoming commonplace in schools districts, colleges, and universities.…Read More

Osmo for Schools Supplies Cincinnati School District with Learning Systems for Pre-K to Grade 12 Specialized Learning Units

Palo Alto–Osmo for Schools announces that it has supplied the Cincinnati School District with various Osmo for Schools learning systems which will be implemented into 50 classrooms by the start of the fall semester (August, 2021). The learning systems are intended for specialized learning units covering preschool to grade 12. Cincinnati schools recently reopened to full-time, in-person learning on April 1.

“At first, we tested out popular Osmo for Schools apps like Words, Tangrams and Numbers, allowing teachers to sign the product out at our lending library for about one year, and this went very well,” says Joelle McConnell, Intervention Specialist for the Curriculum Access Team at Cincinnati School District, whose focus is instructional technology for students with disabilities. “Based on their positive experience, our district moved forward with a larger purchase of Osmo for Schools products that included Coding Family, Pizza Co., Monster, Detective, Little Genius, and Cases.” 

McConnell came across Osmo a few years ago when researching tech solutions which are fun, engaging and educational for the district’s students in specialized learning units, which includes those with autism and a range of disabilities. After the district’s dedicated IT department tested the Osmo for Schools’ products to make sure they are safe and ensure privacy, she and others began testing Osmo out.…Read More

How text and voice apps are changing student engagement

The COVID-19 pandemic ushered in some major changes for educators across the globe. Classes became virtual, as did most everything else, and administrators, teachers, and students alike received a crash course on the finer points of digital learning technology. As a result, digital transformation is no longer an alien concept–it’s a reality that everyone has had to embrace with open arms.

Although Zoom made a lion’s share of the headlines over the last year, other innovative new tools and concepts were also hard at work filling the gaps between students and teachers. One such technology, developed by Mote Technologies, is a Google Chrome extension enabling teachers to leave voice notes and feedback on documents, assignments, and emails via Google Classroom, Gmail, Google Docs, and more.

Thanks to the likes of Clubhouse, voice apps are extremely popular right now. However, they aren’t just being used for social purposes. Teachers are turning to voice apps like Mote to give students richer and more meaningful feedback on homework assignments. Of Mote’s 1 million users, most are teachers and students.…Read More