This school year, align teaching strategies with student learning styles

The COVID-19 pandemic created an educational environment that had never been seen before. Many students –– and instructors –– were abruptly forced to transition from traditional classroom learning to adopt a new remote format. It accelerated the emergence of a new dynamic learning environment, where students learn in innovative ways far different from how education systems were originally designed. With advancements in technology and the rise of remote learning, classrooms are being remodeled and redefined to fit the evolving needs of modern digital learners.

But if there’s one thing that educators have learned over the last two years, it’s that a one-size-fits-all approach to instruction doesn’t work when you want to empower everyone to succeed in the classroom. Many educators were forced to rethink how to keep students engaged, and pandemic-era learning has only further highlighted the importance of differentiated instruction.

The forced disruption was also the catalyst for students and teachers to quickly acquire digital skills that are ripe to be amplified, taking them from consuming skills to creating skills. As teachers integrate technology into their lesson plans, they’re discovering various classroom tools effective in reaching and enriching the minds of all types of students—from visual and auditory to kinesthetic learners.…Read More

How hands-on education creates better educators

The profession of Educator is one of the most important occupations in the world. A great teacher inspires, motivates, encourages, and has direct impact on their students’ academic and career goals.

Educators are held to very high standards and are expected to have advanced knowledge and skills, as well as adopt and adapt to evolving practices and technologies. Great teachers know that their role first and foremost is to treat the student as an individual and understand their needs, learning styles, and abilities.

A teacher’s job is no longer simply delivering facts and information, but to help students learn how to use them, develop abilities to solve problems, make informed decisions, and build knowledge.   …Read More

Discovery Education’s Augmented Reality App Earns Spaces4Learning New Product Award

Silver Spring, MD (Tuesday, August 2, 2022) – Discovery Education—the worldwide edtech leader whose state-of-the-art digital platform supports learning wherever it takes place—recently earned the Spaces4Learning New Product Award in the K-12 Remote Learning Technology category for its Sandbox AR app. The Spaces4Learning New Product Award program honors the outstanding product development achievements of companies whose products or services are particularly noteworthy for their ability to enhance the learning environment.  Spaces4Learning is a leading publication for companies and organizations interested in creating high-quality facilities in both K-12 and higher education.  

Discovery Education’s  Sandbox AR app empowers students and teachers to create, share, and even inhabit virtual environments. Within Sandbox AR, users can create virtual worlds and populate them with some of the hundreds of unique objects from history, the built world, science and nature, and more. Sandbox AR also gives students new ways to express themselves and demonstrate their learning through a feature that lets learners take photos or record a video walkthrough with their own voice over. Sandbox AR even offers a mode that allows users to scale up and inhabit their own life size virtual environments. 

For those new to AR, Sandbox AR includes many pre-built sandboxes exploring diverse subjects such as ancient Egypt, space exploration, Mayan civilization, road construction, and more, with additional sandboxes coming soon. Discovery Education is also making available several free, pre-built lessons educators can use with the app to familiarize themselves with integrating AR into classroom instruction. Sandbox AR is available for download  here…Read More

Next-generation tech for schools–right now

In this episode of Innovations in Education, hosted by Kevin Hogan and sponsored by Galaxy Next Generation:

  • 7 things K-12 IT teams can do now to manage OT risks
  • AI is the key to scaling personalized, one-on-one instruction
  • A look at cybersecurity with past Hero Awards Winner Brevard Public Schools

…Read More

How 3 past Hero Awards winners navigated COVID

The eSchool News K-12 Hero Awards program, sponsored by JAR Systems and SAP Concur, has returned for 2022 and recognizes the dedicated efforts of education professionals across K-12 departments, including IT, curriculum, instruction and administration.  The nomination period runs from June 27 – September 1, 2022.

“The great education beta test brought on by the pandemic has resulted in discoveries and innovations across education — from distance learning and closing the digital divide, to addressing the need for diversity, equity, and inclusion in schools, and so much more,” said Kevin Hogan, eSN’s editor-at-large. “I’d like to encourage everyone to participate in this year’s Hero Awards, so your real-life challenges and successes can be celebrated and shared with the education community.”

As nominations come in from across the country, let’s take a look at last year’s winners and the amazing efforts they put in to keep learning accessible for students, teachers, and staff during an unprecedented global pandemic.…Read More

PowerSchool to Launch Connected Intelligence, First Fully Managed Data-as-a-Service Platform for K-12 Schools

FOLSOM, Calif — PowerSchool (NYSE: PWSC), the leading provider of cloud-based software for K-12 education in North America, today announced it has launched Connected Intelligence by PowerSchool®. Partnering with  Snowflake via the  Powered by Snowflake program, Connected Intelligence by PowerSchool is the first fully managed K-12 Education focused Data-as-a-Service (DaaS) platform. It provides school districts and education agencies with a unified, global, fully managed, and secure platform. With Connected Intelligence by PowerSchool, school districts retain sole ownership of the data and have the ability to collaborate with internal stakeholders and external partners efficiently and securely.

By unifying all data under one comprehensive platform, segregated by school district, with built-in, stringent data security and governance controls, educators and school district or state-wide leaders will be able to take advantage of many benefits, including the following:

  • Increase equitable opportunities for all students. Connecting data from early childhood to adulthood can help improve a wide variety of initiatives aimed at supporting student outcomes and can even be leveraged within post-secondary support and workforce development.
  • Spend fewer resources managing data access and storage. Instead, educators can spend their time actually using data thanks to machine learning and analytics that create alerts if a student is exhibiting warning signs (e.g., an increased chance of not graduating on time).
  • Store education data securely and in one place. Access to all data in one place empowers educators and stakeholders with key insights to improve student outcomes.
  • Expand access to all data, including historic, current, future and any third-party data sources. This includes labor and workforce development data and secure inter-agency data sharing and collaboration, such as with juvenile justice, foster care, and other social services agencies, which aims to position all students for life-long success and their communities for positive social and economic futures.

“Connected Intelligence by PowerSchool gives state departments of education and school systems the ability to transform the economic and social outlook of their communities by bringing all their data together and giving them unprecedented ease of access, unparalleled performance, and the peace of mind that comes with knowing their data is safely secured,” said Shivani Stumpf, Group Vice President, New Solutions of PowerSchool. “This innovative, all-inclusive data ecosystem that we’ve developed, and built on Snowflake’s Data Cloud, aims to help education leaders make the most effective and efficient use of data with greater agility, and to inform their investments so that they can focus on what matters most — improving student outcomes and preparing all learners for success.”…Read More

The critical link between scholastic esports and career pathways education

When I first approached my administration back in August 2021 about implementing a scholastic esports program at school, I had imagined facing significant opposition to the idea, and, in preparation, had rehearsed my talking points and done my research in order to be persuasive.  I was prepared to talk about the connections to STEM learning, the opportunity to engage otherwise disengaged students, the inclusive nature of gaming, the research behind gamification and game-based learning, and more. 

None of that was necessary, however, as my school principal was extremely supportive in my effort to implement scholastic esports at the school and, more importantly, to use the program to teach students transferable skills while simultaneously encouraging them to explore related career pathways.

I began my esports program with a focus on social-emotional well-being using resources from NASEF to structure initial lessons.  Before jumping into the competitive aspects of esports and gaming, we spent three weeks discussing the importance of positive mental health and the negative effects associated with some online gaming cultures.  This included discussions of toxicity and online “trash talk” of opponents, as well as the impact on one’s emotional well-being and overall confidence as a result of being repeatedly subjected to such toxicity. …Read More

110% humidity, 100% human collaboration

This summer, thousands of educators and vendors who serve education descended on New Orleans and braved 110% humidity for the first “back to normal” conference for the International Society of Technology in Education, or ISTE. After two virtual conferences, folks were excited to be back in person, and despite continued COVID protocols, hugs abounded as friends and colleagues reunited on the tradeshow floor and during sessions throughout the New Orleans convention center. 

My conference experience began at the Future Ready Library Summit on Collaboration where 150 librarians from across the country—and even overseas—gathered to brainstorm ways in which they could better collaborate with teachers, principals, district leadership, and each other. I had the opportunity to welcome the group and felt compelled to share a story about one of my previous visits to New Orleans in 2005, about a week after Hurricane Katrina made landfall. 

Back then, I worked as a television journalist in Oklahoma City. I traveled with the Army to New Orleans to cover the search, rescue, and recovery missions.  While there, we slept in the Walmart parking lot in the Ninth Ward. I had to wear a mask (many years before masks were the norm) and put Vicks VapoRub under my nose to combat the smell of the flood water and waste. My videographer smoked cigarettes at the time, and I found myself standing next to him because the cigarettes smelled better than the air (and I’ve never had a cigarette in my life)!…Read More

Discovery Education Announces Latest Enhancements to Award-Winning K-12 Learning Platform

SILVER SPRING, MD (Thursday, July 28, 2022)Discovery Education—the worldwide edtech leader whose state-of-the-art digital platform supports learning wherever it takes place—today announced a host of new enhancements to its award-winning K-12 platform. These improvements make it easier for educators to find, build, and deliver compelling lessons that capture students’ attention and drive deeper student engagement no matter the subject.  

Among the latest enhancements made to the Discovery Education K-12 learning platform for back-to-school are:  

More ready-to-use tools to assess student outcomes and address learning gaps.
Educators can refine instruction to keep students motivated with the classroom engagement tool, Quiz. Quiz gives multiple ways to promote active learning in the classroom and track progress in real time. Quiz now features: …Read More