How to find the right edtech tools for public schools

Key points:

Do public schools have the means to adopt the latest edtech for modern teaching? After all, the days of chalkboards and lightbulb-powered screen projectors are long gone. And with the popularity of smartphones and tablets, children are learning to interact with digital devices at younger ages.

Public schools must keep up with the modern times. This means investing in edtech to prepare kids for the real world.…Read More

SMART Technologies Unveils the New Performance SMART Board® RX Series, Empowering Teachers and Students with Advanced Features to Enhance Inclusion

CALGARY, AB – SMART Technologies is proud to announce the launch of the company’s latest innovation for education: the SMART Board® RX series. This revolutionary display is designed with accessibility in mind and provides teachers with the tools they need to make learning more engaging for students, while saving precious time for teachers, too. This performance display comes with optically bonded glass and a multi-color stylus for an effortless inking experience, as well as leading student device integration, putting it in a category of its own.  

At the heart of the SMART Board RX series are the features and functionality, purposefully designed to help make classroom time higher quality time and engage all students in inclusive and accessible learning experiences. Most notably, the RX series comes with SMART’s exclusive Tool Explorer® technology that enables all students – including those with diverse learning needs – to actively engage with content and easily communicate with their peers and teachers.  

Tool Explorer digitally recognizes blocks that come in pre-programmed sets with images such as emojis that can help enable social and emotional learning. The blocks are also programmable, giving teachers or students the ability to program any image onto a block.  Tool Explorer provides a unique way for students to communicate and participate – including those students who are non-verbal, those who struggle to hold a pen or to write, and those who require or simply prefer different methods of communication. Tool Explorer is only available with the SMART Board RX series.  …Read More

Now is the time to plan for next year’s technology upgrades

Key points:

While school districts are well underway into their new year – and their new budget – many are already planning for the year ahead, and technology remains one of the top priorities schools focus on to keep their students, faculty, staff, and administration effectively moving forward.

There are significant advantages of planning technology upgrades over the winter, not the least of which is moving your school forward by giving your leadership team — including the technology and finance directors, as well as operations staff and even your school board —time to research, plan, and coordinate any upgrade initiatives that will need to happen over the summer. Here are just a few advantages to planning ahead of time for next year’s technology upgrades.…Read More

If zero trust is good enough for the government, it’s good enough for your school

Key points:

  • Zero trust is akin to modern, agile defense systems that scrutinize every object seeking entry
  • Embracing zero trust is an investment in a school’s future–and also a commitment to safeguarding knowledge and innovation
  • See related article: Bolstering cybersecurity with zero trust

Educators and administrators are holding their breath at the dawn of another academic year. They are well aware that schools are increasingly targeted by hackers, with 1 in 4 falling victim to cyberattacks in the past 12 months.

These hallowed halls of knowledge store vast amounts of sensitive data, from student records to financial information. Consequently, this makes them attractive targets. To make matters worse, growing connected device networks and remote learning opportunities present even more vulnerabilities.…Read More

Cybersecurity, like charity, begins at home 

Key points:

  • Cybersecurity is a risk to anyone with a device–no matter their age
  • Children are uniquely vulnerable, and strategies like password managers and open communication can help shore up strong cybersecurity practices
  • See related article: Preparing for ransomware attacks begins with education

We are living at a time when many of the most advanced, profitable, technologically-sophisticated companies in the world are barely treading water when it comes to cybersecurity. With that being the case, what chance do our children have of staving off these threats?

More than half of U.S. children now possess their own smartphone by the age of 11. And long before they have a device of their own, they’re using their parents’—to play games, to watch movies, to do their homework. That’s not to mention the panoply of devices they interact with at school, at friends’ homes, at after-school activities — on and on and on.…Read More

Public Television’s Instructional Learning Series Let’s Learn Returns with New Episodes

New York – Let’s Learn, The WNET Group’s instructional learning series for children ages 3 to 7, has launched new episodes on public television stations nationwide (check local listings) and The series debuts 20 episodes, additional content partners and added accessibility features. Let’s Learn has also launched a new website, making it easy to stream all episodes on any device at any time. In the New York metro area, Let’s Learn airs weekdays at 11 a.m. on THIRTEEN and 4 p.m. on WLIW21.

Let’s Learn serves as a supplemental resource to support children’s learning at home and in the classroom. Featuring a dynamic and diverse group of educators, episodes offer age-appropriate content focusing on foundational reading, writing and literacy skills, with literacy coaches modeling best practices for using science of reading-based pedagogy. The series also focuses on math, science, social studies, arts and social-emotional learning. Content partners include Education Through Music, Memphis Zoo, National Dance Institute, New Victory Theater, New-York Historical Society, New York City Children’s Theater, Studio in a School, University of Connecticut’s Feel Your Best Self program, and WUSF’s Meet the Helpers.

Let’s Learn stands out because it features teachers who speak to kids directly, inviting them to learn,” said Sandra Sheppard, Director and Executive Producer of Kids’ Media & Education for The WNET Group. “Families, caregivers and educators rely on Let’s Learn as a trusted resource that supports children’s academic and social development. We’re thrilled to bring new episodes and an enhanced digital experience to young learners in the tri-state area and beyond.”…Read More

Lightspeed Systems’ New ‘Digital Equity’ Module Provides Actionable Insight Into Students’ Internet Connectivity And School-Issued Device Health When Learning Outside of School

AUSTIN, TX –  Lightspeed Systems, the leader in safe, secure and equitable education technology, announces  Digital Equity—a module that provides robust and real-time connectivity and device health data on students’ school-issued devices. Digital Equity helps school and district leaders understand the challenges students experience while trying to study outside of school so they can ensure all students stay connected to learning. 

According to the  2022 Student Home Connectivity Study from the Consortium for School Networking (COSN), gaps remain nationwide in network performance and internet speeds at all grade levels for students connecting from outside a school, with approximately one-third of high school students experiencing “Far Below” or “Below Guidelines” for connectivity from home. In addition, large disparities exist among student subgroups, particularly by ethnicity and socioeconomically disadvantaged students.  

Empowering school and district leaders, Digital Equity provides a complete, real-time view of each student’s school-issued devices, including a device’s overall health, operating system, internet speed, service provider and more. Leaders can drill-down into specific data on each individual student and their devices, as well as view overall district-wide usage to help identify local communities that need additional support and resources. Digital Equity is customizable, giving leaders the option to turn on specific data and usage stats.  …Read More

eSchool News wraps up Celebrate 25! and spotlights winners

eSchool News is celebrating 25 years in 2023, and during a March contest, 25 winners took home Amazon gift cards, with one additional grand prize winner receiving an Apple iPad.

Winners in the Celebrate 25! contest included curriculum coordinators, school office managers, classroom teachers, principals, technology directors, and school library professionals.

From being among the first new outlets to bring awareness to edtech initiatives such as one-to-one device programs in K-12 schools, to covering the myriad ways the COVID-19 pandemic has changed what education looks like, eSchool News continues to bring new developments, ideas, and innovations to its audience of K-12 decision makers, IT leaders, and classroom educators.…Read More