Meet the 2022 K-12 Hero Awards winners!

eSchool Media is pleased to announce the three winners of the eSchool News  K-12 Hero Awards: Dr. Ann Hughes, Director of Student Intervention for Sanger ISD in Texas; Kim Leblanc, Chief Technology Officer for Calcasieu Parish School Board in Louisiana; and Daniel Olivas, Network Analyst at Austin Independent School District in Texas.

Winners were chosen for their commitment to education during and in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, their creativity and innovation in helping all students continue learning while ensuring students felt safe, empowered, and engaged.

The K-12 Hero Awards Program, sponsored this year by JAR Systems and SAP Concur, recognizes the dedicated efforts of education professionals across K-12 departments, including IT, curriculum, instruction and administration. …Read More

How I use PowerPoint to make learning more engaging

In my role as a 5th grade teacher, I’ve come to believe that one of the best ways to integrate technology into the classroom is to start with the lesson itself.

Lessons can be turned digital, and formatted in a PowerPoint. I teach using PowerPoint or Google Slides. These resources are very user friendly for teachers and students. This makes the process of creating the content easier for the teacher. If
the students are creating a presentation, a simple How-To-Use would cover the basics of where certain options are located and how to use them.

When students create their own slideshow presentation, it makes them use their creativity and it boosts their confidence in themselves. Most of my students love presenting the work they have created because they are proud of what they
accomplished and want to share it with others. It is a way for students to show their abilities and artistic ideas in their work. When students are turning in their presentations, teachers can comment directly on the slideshow. This real-time feedback allows students to see where they made an error, and they can edit just the portion of the presentation where the error was made. …Read More

The path to success is paved with durable skills

Workforce needs are ever-changing, and in order to keep pace, today’s students should develop–as early as possible–the durable skills necessary for technological and interpersonal success.

Durable skills include skills like critical thinking, creativity, collaboration, along with leadership, mindfulness, the ability to fail, and a growth mindset. And it doesn’t matter which career path a student takes–durable skills will be necessary for success on that path.

In a report, America Succeeds partnered with Lightcast to look at 82 million job postings from 2019 and 2020 and identify how large the demand is for job applicants with these skills.…Read More

How this teacher uses story coding to spark creativity and collaboration

When coding merges with storytelling, you have story coding, in which students use computational skills and design thinking as they demonstrate creativity across core curricular areas.

During an ISTELive 22 virtual session, computer science, robotics, and design thinking educator Paige Besthoff demonstrated how story coding–combining storytelling and coding–helps students develop critical skills.

Story coding involves using computer programming to retell stories–students might summarize a story, write original stories, or use programming to create alternative endings to well-known stories. Teachers can use story coding to bring history, science, world languages, ELA, and even math into their lessons.…Read More

6 tools to help kids learn coding and robotics

Introducing students to coding and robotics gives them early exposure to STEM in general. This early exposure, according to research, is key to the future of the workforce.

Aside from the cool factor K-12 coding and robotics offers, students will learn a number of skills they’ll take with them well into adulthood, including creativity, problem solving, and the ability to fail without quitting. These skills stick around even if students don’t pursue STEM-related study paths or careers later in their lives.

Coding and robotics can be introduced in any subject, with a little creativity.…Read More

4 engaging strategies that promote student SEL

In 2020, the World Economic Forum released a list of the most sought-after skills for the jobs of tomorrow. Among them were a number of surprising entries such as creativity, coordinating with others, emotional intelligence, and service orientation. At least, they were surprising if you weren’t an educator. For those of us who spent the last year teaching through a pandemic, the necessity of social-emotional learning (SEL) has been only too apparent. After all, what good is a knowledge of STEM if you don’t have the ability to recognize and manage your own emotions?       

As educators, we know all too well how important social-emotional learning is to a student’s overall development. Science, math, and reading are vital subjects, but empathy, self-awareness, and responsible-decision-making are what allow someone to apply those subjects in ways that make the world a better place.

But with so many standards and subjects competing for our attention, how do we make space for effective SEL in the classroom? Well, it starts with the right activities. Here are just a few engaging lessons that can make a huge impact on students’ emotional growth:…Read More

5 ways to engage your students with Minecraft

As an educator for over 27 years and a Digital Learning Specialist (social studies) for the past 7 years in Atlanta Public Schools, I have supported educators across my district and beyond as they purposefully integrate technology in the classroom to promote engagement and 21st century skill development.

While there are many tools and resources available to educators to support their efforts to create dynamic digital learning environments, one of the newest and most engaging is Minecraft Education Edition (M:EE). Popular among students (and teachers!), M:EE is a game-based learning platform that promotes creativity, collaboration, and problem-solving in an immersive digital environment.

Here are five ways that I have helped my district’s teachers use M:EE into classroom instruction that you can use in your teaching practice. Best of all, you don’t even need to be a Minecraft expert to get started!…Read More

Inspiring STEM Creativity and the DIY Spirit with a New Virtual Field Trip from The Home Depot and Discovery Education

Silver Spring, MD (Friday, May 20, 2022) — To empower students to embrace STEAM and tackle DIY projects, Science Fair Central presents the Operation Build It Virtual Field Trip, which premiered on May 17th at 1 PM EST and is now available on-demand. Science Fair Central is an educational initiative from The Home Depot and Discovery Education that is helping STEAM-powered classrooms and homes across the country prepare students for the careers of tomorrow. With 10 million students from grades K-12 participating in science fairs and STEAM events every year, Science Fair Central provides students the tools they need to take their projects to the next level. 

The Operation Build It Virtual Field Trip introduces students to innovative DIYers who demonstrate how to set-up workshops anywhere and tackle real-life challenges that they are passionate about. The Home Depot is celebrating 25 years of the Kids Workshops, and the new Operation Build It Virtual Field Trip further supports these efforts. Suited for students in grades 6-12, this Virtual Field Trip provides educators with ready-to-use classroom activities and a valuable educator guide that makes this plug and play virtual experience suitable for almost any lesson plan. Watch the VFT here or on Discovery Education’s K-12 learning platform. 

“At The Home Depot, we’re here to help people make, create, and explore every day. Science Fair Central, in partnership with Discovery Education, empowers students to connect with and grow their curiosity and creativity. This new virtual field trip is another way for students to explore the world around them,” said Lisa DeStefano, Vice President of Brand Marketing & Creative at The Home Depot.  …Read More

Creatorup Raises Additional Investment To Disrupt The Video Creation Sector

CreatorUp has raised an additional round of financing from Gaingels and JFF (Jobs for the Future) to expand its first-of-its-kind video marketplace – that helps organizations of all sizes create professional video content easily and affordably anywhere in the world – while simultaneously providing training and opportunities for its creative workforce. 

Funds will be used to expand operations of the CreatorUp marketplace, which features more than 650 proven video solutions, in a multitude of styles and formats, that give clients the ability to choose, purchase, and create bespoke media with just a click.

“Powering the production of CreatorUp’s content is a network of almost 7,000 creative professionals, who bring a wealth of diversity and creativity to our projects,” said Mike Tringe, CreatorUp’s Co-founder and CEO. “We’re thrilled to be able to offer these opportunities in this new creative landscape.”…Read More