4 edtech SEL trends to follow this year

Technology has become increasingly important to every level of education, and its value to social-emotional learning, or SEL, is no exception. Just as digital tools provide educators with innovative and flexible ways to reinforce learning in core academic subjects, they can be used to more effectively teach the social-emotional and life skills that students need to thrive in the classroom and beyond.

An essential part of my role as vice president of product for Committee for Children, an industry leader in SEL, is to keep a close eye on trends in education technology. After spending more than 25 years in edtech, I know how crucial it is for educators to understand how to leverage technology to support SEL in practical, meaningful ways.

Here are four of the latest SEL edtech trends that districts and schools can use this year to support the social-emotional well-being of students and staff, enhance students’ engagement with SEL content, and improve family communications.…Read More

KCAV and Rise Vision Help Middle School Use Digital Signage and Social Media App to Boost Student Motivation and Engagement

Derby, Kansas – Derby North Middle School (DNMS) in Derby, Kansas, has found a unique and effective way to build culture and increase student engagement with the help of Rise Vision digital signage software and Class Intercom.

DNMS had faced issues with their previous digital signage provider, including hard-to-use software, inconsistent uptime, and lack of support. With the help of Kansas City Audio Visual (KCAV), a Rise Vision partner, DNMS switched to Rise Vision for their digital signage needs. 

DNMS has taken a unique approach to student recognition with the integration of its social media accounts and Rise Vision displays. With the use of the Class Intercom app, students create photo and video content, write a post about DNMS, and select which school social media channel to post it to. The content then gets delivered to moderators at DNMS who approve it or send back changes to the student. Once the content is approved, it gets published on DNMS’s social media accounts and automatically pushed to displays around the school for everyone to see.…Read More

Join the revolution: The 4th Industrial Revolution is changing learning

The 4th Industrial Revolution is the current phase of rapid technological change. It is also known as Industry 4.0, and the advent of robotics, artificial intelligence, and automation has marked it. Klaus Schwab coined the term in 2013 in his book “The Fourth Industrial Revolution.” He defines it as “a new stage of industrialization characterized by a fusion of technologies blurring the lines between the physical, digital, and biological spheres.”

The 4th Industrial Revolution is a time of significant change. It is a time when new technologies and innovations are transforming the world. The role of educators in this revolution will be to prepare students for the future. Educators are uniquely positioned to help students understand how these changes will affect their lives and careers. They can also help students learn how to use these technologies responsibly and ethically.

How Technology is Changing the Way We Learn…Read More

How computer science education bridges the digital divide

Amid the havoc that the pandemic wreaked on our lives, there were important lessons to be learned. It proved that people skilled with technology could navigate and succeed, and that many of the potential problems of the future could be solved by technology.

Many institutions and people who embraced technology survived–and in some cases, thrived.  But for those without digital skills or access to a computer and an internet connection, it was a very different story.

During the pandemic, the term ‘homework gap’ was used to describe children without reliable or any access to the internet and appropriate digital devices and who were unable to complete their assignments. At the beginning of the pandemic, an estimated 15 million public school students in the US lacked the connectivity needed for online learning. This gap was especially pronounced in low-income, Black, and Hispanic households. As nearly every school adopted some form of online learning, students without computers and connectivity suffered. Schools worked hard to address this situation, but for others, they could only watch their students struggle and fall behind.…Read More

How to provide effective and engaging virtual therapy for kids

As was the case for so many other therapists working with children and families, March 2020 felt overwhelming in our center for child and family therapy. From seeing clients in-person all day in our client-centered, carefully designed therapy rooms equipped with all the therapeutic tools that a child therapist might need to engage a child in the hard work of therapy, we scrambled to figure out a way to transfer our clinical tools to the virtual realm. The transition from using toys, games, animal assisted therapy, art, music, movement, and parent-child attunement enhancing interventions to connecting through a digital screen seemed at times to be an impossible mission.

The transition was especially challenging for our very young clients and those who appeared to have significant struggles with the adjustment to virtual education. Even after weeks of creating and identifying multiple virtual tools that enabled us to engage most of our clients in expressive ways to process their experiences and share their internal worlds with us, we consistently received skeptical messages from parents who were certain that their child would not be able to effectively use a virtual platform for their therapy work.

We were convinced that we would be eager to return to our carefully designed, in-person therapy rooms as soon as we possibly could safely do so. Little did we know that we would not only find the virtual therapeutic tools to be highly effective, even in some of our most challenging and complex cases, but we would also discover that there are many unexpected and valuable therapeutic benefits that come with this virtual approach to providing child and family mental health therapy services. …Read More

Certell’s Poptential™ Free American History Curriculum Highlights Legacy of African Americans for Black History Month

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — Poptential™, a family of free, award-winning social studies course packages that infuse lessons with digital storytelling, offers an array of engaging content about the Civil Rights Movement for instruction during Black History Month. Click to tweet.

Observed in the United States since 1976, Black History Month is celebrated yearly in February to honor the contributions and legacy of African Americans across U.S. history and society. Poptential’s American History Volume II curriculum, Bell Ringers, and digital media clips feature the accomplishments of African American leaders and civil rights activists as they fought for racial equality.

Poptential’s Unit 6: The Fracturing of America includes content and multimedia to help teachers lead discussions on the Civil Rights movement, including:…Read More

MackinVIA Receives Its 7th Consecutive Modern Library Award From LibraryWorks, Winning The Distinctive Platinum Award

Burnsville, MN – Mackin, a leading provider of print and digital fiction and nonfiction books for PK-12, is pleased to announce it is a multiyear honoree, winning another Platinum Award in LibraryWorks’ ninth annual Modern Library Awards (MLAs). The MLAs were created to recognize the top products and services in the library industry.

Products and services were submitted in the fall using a simple application, and then were posted on a private site with an enhanced description and attendant materials. These products were batched into small groups and sent to the LibraryWorks database of more than 80,000 librarians in public, K-12, academic, and special libraries. Only customers with experience with these products/services in their facilities were permitted to judge the products/services, resulting in a truly unbiased score.

Each judge scored the product from 1-10 on a series of questions regarding functionality, value, customer service, etc. MackinVIA received a remarkable score of 8.84, resulting in their seventh Platinum Award from this prestigious organization. “Since its inception over a decade ago, MackinVIA has made great progress becoming the preferred digital content management system in schools around the world and has continued its technological growth to remain one of the world’s top choices. As a company, Mackin has always been known for their ingenuity and superior customer service. It’s no surprise that these motivating forces helped MackinVIA to be recognized and validated again,” remarked Troy Mikell, Director of
Marketing and Communications at Mackin.…Read More

Envisioning the personalized edtech of tomorrow

Before the pandemic, the trend for more personalized, learner-centric experiences in education already existed—the resulting lockdowns merely accelerated digital transformation, which continues to gain momentum across industries.

Dubbed the “Fourth Industrial Revolution,” our entire world is rapidly digitizing, which means jobs—and the knowledge and skills they require—are changing faster than ever. As a result, the half-life of the newest technology is shrinking rapidly, and the skills gap is widening with potentially detrimental effects.

Today’s workers must continuously learn and evolve throughout their careers, making the need for upskilling and reskilling more vital. While technology continues to advance, a single degree or credential will not sustain the average worker, as today’s younger generations switch jobs and industries far more than their parents and grandparents did.…Read More