Future of School Awards Scholarships to Students from 23 States

Future of School (FoS), a national public charity focused on access to quality public education, today announced its 2020 Student Scholarship Program (SSP) winners. High school graduates from 23 states were awarded this competitive scholarship of up to $10,000 each. The financial award will support post-secondary education plans for nearly 40 students who are choosing to attend vocational, tech or trade programs, community colleges, or four-year universities

Since 2016, FoS has supported digital pioneers—both students and teachers alike—with the ultimate goal of demonstrating to all Americans the importance of transforming schools to include more innovative, tech-enabled teaching and learning opportunities. Student scholarship winners submit written essays and video testimonials focusing on the impact of digital education on their lives. Now more than ever, these success stories are important lessons for schools as they navigate plans for reopening amidst the pandemic.

In her video, 2020 SSP Scholar Alaina Smith stated, “In these trying times it’s been so difficult for all of us. There hasn’t been a single one of us that hasn’t been affected by what’s going on. However, I can say that my schooling was unaffected. Because I was already going to online school…I didn’t miss a beat.” Learn more about Alaina’s story here, as well as other students taking charge of their futures.…Read More

6 reasons why district-wide tech implementations are the right choice

In any given K-12 district, you’ll find at least some teachers choosing their own edtech products. Why? If their district hasn’t shown tech leadership, there are no shortage of tempting free apps to choose from. Why not fly solo, so to speak?

But that’s contrary to what districts have come to learn over time: that students and their parents benefit most when all teachers in a district are assessing and reporting on students using a common, approved set of tools and schemes.

In some instances, teachers independently using their own technology can work out well. But teachers run multiple risks when finding solutions to use on their own that aren’t integrated into the district’s systems or procedures. Without centralized budgetary or student-privacy management, teacher-sourced software in classrooms is getting some teachers and their districts into trouble.…Read More

School’s out! Finding teacher tools that finish at the top of the class

Technology delivers plenty of tools to help teachers manage their classroom and transform how they teach–from solutions rolled out by schools and districts, to personal mobile apps and programs. The challenge for teachers is sorting through the possibilities to find what truly works, what can be consolidated into a broader tool—and what should get a failing grade.

Based on our many years of experience as education technologists, here are key items to consider, both good and bad, in choosing technology tools that truly help teachers (and their students) succeed in the classroom.

Focus on Tools that are Easy to Use…Read More

Alan November to host student engagement webinar

Students are not engaged in the classroom like they should be, and educators are searching for ways to bridge this gap to create the best learning environment for each of their students.

Modern technologies are making it easier to engage students, but choosing the right technologies to support student engagement in the classroom is a difficult task, and one with an important goal: creating learner-centered environments in which students can thrive.

On Thursday, 8/25 at 1 PM EST (12 PM CST, 10 AM PST), Alan November will give a live presentation on Student Engagement.…Read More

A helpline for schools tackling cyberbullying

Pilot program lets schools tap into a helpline with close ties to Twitter and Facebook

cyberbullying-socialWith a reported 55 percent of all teens on social media witnessing outright bullying via that medium, and with 95 percent of those youngsters who witnessed bullying on social media choosing to simply ignore the behavior, K-12 districts are growing increasingly concerned about the impact that such activities can have on their students.

This concern is warranted according to the advocacy site NoBullying.com, which reports that just one of out of every six parents are even aware of the scope and intensity involved with cyber bullying and that the victims are more likely to suffer from low self-esteem and to consider suicide as a result.

Anne Collier, founder and president of nonprofit Net Family News, wants to get K-12 districts in California — and eventually nationwide — involved with the anti-bullying movement as it pertains to social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Collier, who is co-creator of the recently-launched iCanHelpline.org, teamed up with #iCANHELP to develop a social media helpline for schools.…Read More

5 new ways students are choosing their colleges and universities

Survey reveals social choosing habits of graduating high school students; gives advice to colleges and universities

students-choose-collegeGone are the days when students chose their postsecondary education institution based off of news reports or annual publications. In this mobile-enabled culture, today’s students are redefining how colleges and universities should market their offerings by using diverse online resources and social media word-of-mouth.

The 2014 Social Admissions Report, a survey of college-bound high school students, is designed to identify trends in digital, social, and mobile tools represented in a student’s college search and enrollment process.

“Year after year new tools are created to help us organize, share and collaborate online,” according to Uversity—a platform for social networking and higher education. “Inevitably when these tools hit the mainstream the debate begins as to the impact of these networks on the college search and recruitment process. Through thousands of student surveys and national focus groups, the Zinch, Chegg and Uversity teams have collaborated to complete the third installment of The Social Admissions Report.”…Read More

10 questions to ask when choosing education technology

Experts say technology placement, features that allow for creation are factors to consider

choosing-technology-questionsPut a child in front of an iPad and they’ll be learning, right? Not exactly, say two early childhood experts. Thanks to extensive research, experts now know that choosing the right education technology is about pedagogy and creativity, not ways to quiet kids down.

“One of the best things you can do when choosing technology is to turn off that autopilot,” explained Fran Simon, chief engagement officer for Engagement Strategies and cofounder of the Early Childhood Technology Network (ECTN). “Be intentional and select tools that align with your curriculum objectives. Plan technology use as another tool to get the job done, like books or crayons.”

Karen Nemeth, founder and lead consultant for Language Castle and cofounder of ECTN, also emphasized that the first place to begin, before even thinking about technology, is in the tools already available in the classroom.…Read More

10 school solutions for mobile device management

Bring Your Own Device initiatives just got a whole lot easier for schools

school-device

Schools usually never do anything on a small scale, and that includes the recent boom in “bring your own device” (BYOD) initiatives. From smartphones to tablets and iPads, mobile device management (MDM) has never been more vital for a successful school BYOD program. However, choosing a mobile device management solution can be a daunting task, especially in light of already-strained school IT resources and limited administrator knowledge beyond what device to implement.

That’s why the editors of eSchool News have hand-picked 10 school solutions for mobile device management, based on scope of the solution, how well the vendor incorporates school-specific needs, and industry reputation.…Read More