5 useful tips to get the most out of virtual field trips

To help educators save time, we’ve put together a quick recap on how to prepare for your next virtual field trip (VFT) and five of the best VFT’s based on their relevancy, quality of resources, and potential for student excitement. Student engagement starts with excitement, so get planning!

Prepare: Like any lesson plan, consider how you can prepare your students. First, don’t forget the standards, curriculum, and content you are helping your students uncover. By connecting these virtual field trip experiences to content that you want students to learn, you can ensure students come to the event ready to participate. Also look for pre-event activities your students can participate in. Not only do these activities promote student thinking about what might happen during the virtual field trip, they also allow you to create connections to the specific content you wish to cover.

Engage and connect: During the event, make sure that you take advantage of any virtual connections that are possible, such as submitting questions for panelists before or during the event, or participating in Twitter backchannel conversations as the VFT unfolds. Your participation helps guide live panelists and provides your students the opportunity to be recognized. There’s not too much more exciting then hearing your class’s name and question read aloud during a live virtual field trip.…Read More

Submit your boldest, biggest ideas for reimagining education

NewSchools Venture Fund is looking for educators, creators and visionaries who believe in the power and potential of reimagining learning.

NewSchools finds, funds and supports teams of educators and entrepreneurs whose bold ideas have the potential to achieve outstanding results for students. Nearly 18 months into a refreshed strategy, the organization is focused on investments and support in three specific areas:
Creating innovative schools
Building technology tools to better support student learning
Cultivating pipelines of diverse senior leaders in education

“Every young person deserves a school that meets them where they are and helps them develop and reach big goals,” said Stacey Childress, CEO, NewSchools Venture Fund. “Some in education believe our existing school models can do this if we all just try a little harder. We don’t see it that way. That’s why we support teams that are reimagining the learning experience to help students develop everything they need for long-term success.”…Read More

Renaissance Learning and ClassLink align for single sign-on solution

Renaissance Learning, provider K-12 cloud-based assessment and learning analytics, announced a major new alliance with ClassLink, provider of single sign-on and rostering solutions for schools.

The partnership paves the way to faster, easier access to one of the most trusted education providers and offers millions of educators and students secure, OneClick access to Renaissance solutions.

ClassLink’s OneClick delivers single sign-on to online cloud-based resources, such as the Renaissance platform, and to files, whether they are stored in the cloud, on a device, or on the school network. With more than 3,000 single sign-on connectors, ClassLink has brought together more resources than all other single sign-on platforms combined.…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

Tutoring marketplace offers on-demand learning

The social learning marketplace MindSpree is revamping the tutoring landscape by offering on-demand services nationwide.

The Arizona-based education technology company was founded in 2015 by Keith Rezendes after noticing the tutoring industry was not fulfilling the needs of many. As a former professor and veteran tutor, Rezendez wanted to create a place where students could receive the highest quality tutors for the best value.

“MindSpree is committed to education and student success,” said Rezendes. “By utilizing the sharing economy, MindSpree can utilize tutors across the United States to share their knowledge and expertise with all types of students who are eager to learn.”…Read More

Reading Horizons launches teacher platform to manage blended learning

Reading Horizons has introduced Reading Horizons Accelerate™, an educator platform designed to provide free resources for teachers and implementation support for Reading Horizons products in a blended learning environment.

The new Reading Horizons Accelerate platform fully integrates with and supports the digital curriculums for Reading Horizons Discovery® (K-3) and Reading Horizons Elevate® (Grades 4-12), making implementation simple, sustainable, and successful.

“Reading Horizons Accelerate is the next step in blended learning planning and instruction for educators using our literacy curriculum,” said Tyson Smith, the president and CEO of Reading Horizons. “We are dedicated to providing educators and students with the best possible solutions to increase literacy skills and reading comprehension. With clear and easy-to-follow lesson summaries, on-demand professional development resources, a lesson planning tool, and the addition of online forums, teachers can focus on teaching their students rather than spending hours on planning, tracking, and reporting.”…Read More

Chalk & Wire unveils MyMantl learning recognition network

As educational institutions and employers alike are moving away from macro-credentials, Chalk & Wire, a higher education assessment platform, unveiled MyMantl, a first-of-its-kind Learning Recognition Network.

Available this fall, MyMantl will provide a way for learners, educators, employees, and employers to recognize and showcase a lifelong journey of learning.

For the first time, learners–beginning in high school–will be able to track their academic and professional achievements and own their portfolio collections of learning, training, mentorship and digital credentialing. In addition to portfolios, MyMantl will offer digital badging tools, competency-based education program designers and job tools.…Read More

14 surprising facts about educators’ social media use

Social media has fast become an educator’s dream, with almost immediate responses to questions about teaching strategies, resources, and professional development opportunities.

But how are educators really using social media, and is it really as widely-used as everyone assumes?

FrontRow Education recently asked 1,000 K-8 teachers how they are using social media personally, professionally and as a communication tool with parents and students.…Read More

Free learning platform targets improved media literacy

KQED Teach, which launched on July 11, provides a series of free, self-paced courses to help K-12 educators develop the media skills necessary to bring media production and communication to their learning environments.

These courses will take place in an online platform developed by KQED Education that tracks user progress and encourages sharing and feedback through an integrated social community.

KQED Teach participants will have access to a wide range of social media and digital media tools allowing them to construct and remix media in multiple formats and across a variety of platforms while addressing many writing, reading, speaking and listening skills required by both the Common Core State Standards and Next Generation Science Standards.…Read More

Arizona implements K-6 language development and literacy intervention for English learners

The Arizona Department of Education (ADE) is continually seeking effective ways to support educators as they work to help English language learners (ELLs) develop academic English fluency. Toward that end, the ADE, in cooperation with the Arizona State Board of Education, has embarked on an innovative, two-year pilot program to bring a technology-based language development and literacy intervention to ELLs in grades K-6.

Following a competitive bidding and review process, the State Board of Education has chosen to partner with Scientific Learning Corp. to implement the neuroscience-designed Build English Fast™ solution for this project to help ELLs accelerate their English language acquisition, and make fast and lasting gains in their language and reading skills.

Approximately 70,000 of Arizona’s K-12 students are ELLs. On the 2015 AzMERIT statewide benchmark exam, only 2 percent of ELLs passed the language arts section, and 6 percent passed the math section of the exam.…Read More