6 tools for real formative assessment

Delivering formative assessments is made easier with classroom technology tools

As education policy moves away from the much-maligned No Child Left Behind and toward new legislation focusing on learning outcomes, technology-enabled formative assessments are moving to the foreground as a way to gauge student learning in real time.

Assessments have long presented a challenge for educators in their various forms and frequency. Under the new Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), the summative assessment pressure of NCLB eases and formative assessments become more important.

Research indicates formative assessments still deliver needed data to educators, who, when equipped to properly interpret and use data, can adjust their instruction depending on students’ needs.…Read More

Impero Software’s keyword library addresses online safety concerns

New terms will help schools flag potential instances of bullying, abuse, self-harm or radicalization

It makes the headlines often: A young man or woman in the U.S. ends his or her own life due to bullying or becomes radicalized and attempts to join ISIS or other hate groups. In both instances, adults in these youth’s lives are often left wondering what they could have done to intervene.

In an effort to protect students in this always-on and connected world, Impero Software, a remote monitoring and management software provider, has updated its keyword libraries to include a more comprehensive list of U.S. specific terms related to bullying, self-harm, radicalization and more, in order to alert educators so they can help students before a tragedy occurs. Impero will showcase the updated library in their booth #708 during the 2016 ISTE conference June 26-29, 2016 in Denver.

The updated library, combined with Impero Education Pro software, gives educators an edge on internet safety by helping them monitor and analyze student activity on school devices. The software alerts educators when a student uses words or phrases that match a term in the keyword library.…Read More

Vernier releases free back-to-school resources

Professional learning and support tools include in-person workshops, webinars, video tutorials, grant opportunities and more

To support science and STEM teachers in delivering quality instruction to their students at the start of, and throughout, the school year, Vernier Software & Technology is offering an abundance of free professional learning resources, support tools, grant opportunities and more. This comprehensive collection of offerings provides teachers with the skills and resources needed to effectively use data-collection technology in their classrooms.

“Helping both educators and students succeed in today’s science classrooms is our top priority,” said John Wheeler, CEO of Vernier Software & Technology. “To support this, we are committed to providing stellar service, teacher-based tech support, and useful professional development year round to meet the needs of our customers.”

Free resources from Vernier include:
● Award and grant opportunities: Among others, these include the annual Vernier/NSTA Technology Awards and Vernier Engineering Contest, both of which award teachers with cash and technology prizes.
● Community Forum: Customers can access the forum to exchange advice, trade used equipment, look at DIY projects and discuss lab ideas with other educators.
● Hands-on workshops: These free educator-led seminars provide teachers with innovative ways to integrate probeware into their curricula.
● Sample experiments: The student version of these classroom-ready investigations can be downloaded directly from the Vernier website. More than 1,000 sample experiments are available.
● Tech Tips Videos: This collection of more than 180 videos provides helpful tutorials on using various Vernier data-collection technologies.
● Technical Information Library (TIL): An extensive collection of technical information, troubleshooting advice, frequently asked questions and more than 1,000 searchable technology tips are available 24/7. The Vernier TIL was honored with a Stellar Service Award from Tech & Learning magazine.
● Warranty and repair program: In addition to an ample five-year warranty, Vernier will attempt to repair most products, many times at no charge.
● Webinars: These personalized, customized webinars provide an effective way for educators and their science departments to learn more about using Vernier technology.…Read More

The big events, keynotes, and 5 major trends at ISTE 2016

Are you heading to Denver? Here’s a quick look at what you’ll experience

Educators preparing to travel to Denver for ISTE 2016 can expect thought-provoking keynotes, interactive learning opportunities and more than 900 sessions at this year’s conference.

The annual event offers networking and professional development opportunities for educators from every discipline, education leaders, ed-tech coordinators, library and media specialists, and more. And while sessions and events run the full gamut of ed-tech topics, there are a handful of major themes that crop up again and again.

Playgrounds will feature hands-on learning opportunities that let attendees see, touch, hear and feel classroom solutions. Playground themes include Computational Thinking & Computer Science and Maker playgrounds on Sunday afternoon. Creativity, Digital StoryTelling, Early Learning, Ed Tech Coaches, and Games & Virtual Environments.…Read More

Lifeliqe Creator empowers teachers to create, publish interactive 3D content at ISTE

VR-enabled STEM models immerse students in a trip to space, a walk with a dinosaur, and a voyage through the inside of a shark

Lifeliqe, a learning and productivity platform for interactive 3D, VR, and AR, launched Lifeliqe Creator, a feature giving educators the power to create and publish interactive presentations and ebooks that integrate 3D models instead of 2D images.

Lifeliqe users can explore objects with interactive 3D views, zoom deep into the structure of the objects, experience augmented reality, view supplementary text on a subject, and change the language for a bilingual view in English and Spanish. With the Lifeliqe Creator feature, any of the 1,000 interactive 3D models can be dragged and dropped right into a presentation, ebook or lesson plan, so teachers can provide students with full, interactive 3D experiences.

“Lifeliqe Creator pushes the boundaries of publishing,” said Lifeliqe’s co-founder and CEO Ondrej Homola. “Embedding a real-time, interactive 3D model directly into a text document or a presentation takes it to another level. This enables teachers and students to create resources they have never been able to before, using 3D models instead of images.”…Read More

The 7 questions every new teacher should be able to answer

Teaching for the 21st century looks a lot different. Here’s what admins — and teachers — need to know for job interviews and beyond

Not long ago, the leadership team of a school district I was working with asked me: “If you were going to hire a new teacher, what would you ask in the interview?” They were concerned that hiring teachers with the right skills now can save a district a lot of money in staff development later. Moreover, they wanted to hire teachers who would be open minded about changes to come. The problem is to balance the reality of today’s pressure for test scores and required teacher evaluation with the changes that can be anticipated during the next two decades.

As I wrote in my last column, the traditional skill we valued in teachers when paper was the dominant media—the ability to transfer knowledge of a subject—is becoming less important. Increasingly, a teacher’s knowledge can be found online and in various learning styles. As the internet drives down the value of a teacher’s knowledge, their ability to personalize learning with resources from around the world will increase. We will have more data generated about our students as we build out our online communities. We will need teachers who understand how to make meaning of this data to personalize learning for every student from a vast digital library of learning resources. Also of increasing value is their ability to teach students to be self-disciplined about how “to learn to learn.” Rather than losing overall value, teachers will be more important than ever.

The big change is not adding technology to the current design of the classroom, but changing the culture of teaching and learning and fundamentally changing the job descriptions of teachers and learners.…Read More

First-ever Israel EdTech Summit brings a global reach

Debut event featured ed-tech entrepreneurs, educators, and more

The first-ever Istrael EdTech Summit has just wrapped, bringing together a decidedly global group of educators, startup founders, and other critical stakeholders to discuss innovations in the future of ed-tech. The event, held June 8-9, took place at the Tel Aviv Cultural Center.

Throughout the two days, more than 500 attendees from around the world — including China, Brazil, Germany, and the United States — listened to panel discussions on topics such as personalized learning and big data, improving STEM education, and the role of capital in ed-tech investment success. Other sessions focused on closing the skill gap, bridging tech inequality among students, and building out a successful company.

The keynote was delivered by former president of Intel Israel Mooly Eden.…Read More

3 major ways to boost basic data literacy in K-16

A new report outlines the need for K-16 students to develop key data literacy skills

Focusing on three specific areas could be key to boosting K-16 students’ data literacy in a world where big data’s importance grows daily, according to a new report.

EDC’s Oceans of Data Institute (ODI) convened an expert panel of data analysts and educators for a workshop on data literacy, and panelists focused on what it means to be data literate in today’s world of big data, as well as what to teach students to prepare them to be part of today’s workforce and society.

The panelists’ recommendations are included in a new report, Building Global Interest in Data Literacy: A Dialogue.…Read More

You are a global educator. It’s time to start thinking like one

Building collaboration skills today means building global collaboration skills. Educators have their work cut out for them

PLCs-communitiesEd note: Innovation in Action is a monthly column from the International Society of Technology in Education focused on exemplary practices in education.

It’s one thing for today’s students to connect with the world and to appreciate the diversity and significance of potential interactions through everyday, real-time interaction. It is a whole different challenge to be able to collaborate with learning partners across town — or around the world.

The latter, in truth, is what all educators and learners should be aspiring toward, but the reality is you cannot run before you can walk. Unless educators understand and experience the power of using digital technologies for online collaboration in a local context first, it is likely that jumping head-first into global contexts — with its myriad challenges — will not be successful.…Read More

Survey: Teaching demands taking toll on educators

U.S. teachers say they are frustrated with testing, changing agendas, lack of influence

A new survey reveals teachers are concerned and frustrated with shifting policies, an outsized focus on testing and a lack of voice in decision-making.

Listen to Us: Teacher Views and Voices, from the Center on Education Policy (CEP), found a majority of teachers expressing satisfaction with their own school, but about half or more agreed with statements indicating diminished enthusiasm, high stress and a desire to leave the profession if they could get a higher-paying job.

Teachers also expressed their views regarding their limited impact on certain decisions affecting their professional lives. Forty-six of teachers surveyed cited state or district policies that get in the way of teaching as a major challenge. Roughly 94 percent of surveyed educators said their opinions are not often factored into state or national decisions, and 77 percent said their voices are not often considered in district-level decisions. At the school level, however, 53 percent of educators agreed that their opinions are considered most of the time.…Read More