The best PD webinars of 2016—did you watch?

edWeb.net just completed an analysis of their 2016 webinar viewership stats for 2016.  The professional learning community hosted 260 PD webinars in 2016 that were viewed by 165,000 educators – an average of 635 educators per webinar.  Thirty eight webinars (15 percent) were on early learning topics and had 45,000 (27 percent) of the viewers.  Early learning webinars had an average of 1,160 viewers, almost twice the average of all webinars.

Fourteen of the top 25 webinars of the year were on early learning topics, presented by some of the most expert and engaging early childhood educators. All webinars have been archived, and can be viewed by clicking the links:

  • From Chaos to Calm: Building a School Family where even the Most Difficult Children become Helpful and Caring presented by Becky A. Bailey, Ph.D., award-winning author and Founder of Loving Guidance, Inc.
  • S/he Hit Me First: Learn Proactive Solutions to Teach Social Emotional Skills through Daily Conflict presented by Jill Molli, M.A., Educator, Keynote Speaker, Instructor for Conscious Discipline
  • Jean: Brain Breaks to Help Students Move and Learn presented by Dr. Jean Feldman, teacher, consultant and celebrated author of more than 10 books on the topic of early
  • Teaching Numeracy to Young Children: A Responsive and Differentiated Approach presented by Brian Mowry, M.A., Early Childhood Mathematics Consultant and Specialist
  • Jump into Literacy, Math, & Science: Active Learning for Preschool Children presented by Rae Pica, Author, Keynote Speaker & Education Consultant
  • Much More Than the ABC Song! Music That Naturally Supports Children’s Language and Literacy Skills presented by Devi Borton, M.A., Early Childhood Music Specialist, Outreach Mentor, and Teacher Trainer at Music
  • Transition Activities that Build Young Brains, Manage Behavior presented by Ellen Booth Church, Adjunct Professor, Nova Southeastern University

(Next page: 7 more of the top early learning PD webinars of 2016)

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How media literacy is critical to saving our democracy

[Editor’s note: This post by Alan November, written exclusively for eSchool Media, is part of a series of upcoming articles by this notable education thought leader. Check back on Monday, January 23rd for the next must-read post!]

“At present, we worry that democracy is threatened by the ease at which disinformation about civic issues is allowed to spread and flourish. … If the children are the future, the future might be very ill-informed.” —Stanford History Education Group, 2016.

The fact that 80 percent of middle school students in a recent study could not distinguish between fake news and authentic news on the web shows that we, as educators, have to do a better job of teaching media literacy in the digital age. That means paying just as much attention to teaching students how to be smart consumers of information as we pay to what we filter in our schools.…Read More

In the marketplace: Schools expect digital learning budgets to increase

Tech-savvy educators know they must stay on top of the myriad changes and trends in education to learn how teaching and learning can best benefit from technology’s near-constant change.

Check below for the latest marketplace news to keep you up-to-date on product developments, teaching and learning initiatives, and new trends in education.

Gallup, a global research and analytic company, just released Gallup’s Top Education Findings in 2016, and the list includes a key data point uncovered in Making Assessments Work for All Students: Multiple Measures Matter, results of a national education survey commissioned by the nonprofit NWEA. The full Make Assessment Work for All Students report includes findings from a survey of more than 4,200 students, parents, teachers, principals and superintendents. Overall it reveals that educators, parents, and students want a balanced approach to K-12 testing that utilizes a variety of academic assessments designed to support and improve teaching and learning. Read more.…Read More

Principals: The lessons we learned in 2016

[Editor’s note: This story is Part 2 of our 3-part series on Lessons Learned in 2016. Check back tomorrow for Lessons Learned by Educators. Click here for yesterday’s article from Superintendents.]

The best educational leaders are lifelong learners. They are constantly expanding their knowledge, refining their skills, and looking for creative ways to help kids learn. As these four principals look back at 2016, they recall the most important ed tech lesson they learned this year—and look forward to inspiring their staff and students anew in 2017.

discipline…Read More

#8: 10 TED-Ed videos your students can use today

[Editor’s note: This story, originally published on November 1st of this year, was our #8 most popular story of the year. The countdown continues tomorrow with #7, so be sure to check back!]

More often than not, students pick up a mobile device or use a computer to access videos and digital media online. With a wealth of resources online, educators can find content that meets students where they’re comfortable learning, with interactive and engaging presentation.

TED Talks have grown in popularity in part for their inspiring and frank perspectives on any number of world issues, and educators can leverage these resources for learning.…Read More

14 trailblazing educators you should follow on Twitter

Social media plays a large role in today’s society, and most educators aren’t scared to jump in and leverage Twitter, Facebook and other social networks to increase their professional learning networks.

In fact, regular Twitter chats that focus on professional development, resources for students, special educations, and myriad other educational topics can do wonders for teacher morale.

But as great as Twitter is, it also can be overwhelming. Who should you follow? How often should you tweet? Which chats should you participate in, and how frequently?…Read More

5 critical considerations for CBE and CBL implementation

As schools begin to invest in competency-based education (CBE) and higher ed institutions set up competency-based programs, two of the big questions often unanswered become “is their focus on education or on learning?” And “what’s the difference?”

Educators can argue that the characteristics of CBE call for increased attention to learning: clearly defined competencies, flexible time structures for competency mastery, and teacher and faculty roles for mentoring learners, to name a few.

But to what extent is academic culture, even in CBE programs, actually changing to be more learner-centric? How often are educational business decisions made with clear consideration of learners’ perspectives? Are academic credentials simply assumed to represent relevant learning, or do they actually document and verify competencies with evidence of learning? Are we meeting the needs of lifelong learners?…Read More

In the marketplace: Funding for active learning, a helping hand for innovative programs, and an interactive book program

Tech-savvy educators know they must stay on top of the myriad changes and trends in education to learn how teaching and learning can best benefit from technology’s near-constant change.

Check below for the latest marketplace news to keep you up-to-date on product developments, teaching and learning initiatives, and new trends in education.

ClassLink, a provider of single sign-on and rostering solutions for education, announced a new relationship with Istation, an e-learning program. This relationship will provide millions of educators and students with secure OneClick access to Istation, enabling faster, easier access to one of education’s most trusted providers. Read more.…Read More

In the marketplace: Measuring student progress, new digital solutions, personalized learning, and more

Tech-savvy educators know they must stay on top of the myriad changes and trends in education to learn how teaching and learning can best benefit from technology’s near-constant change.

Check below for the latest marketplace news to keep you up-to-date on product developments, teaching and learning initiatives, and new trends in education.

A new web-based tool will offer far greater ease and clarity for state and district leaders seeking to set learning goals and measure progress under the sweeping Every Student Succeeds Act. The tool, called the Student Growth Simulator, was developed by Chiefs for Change, researchers at the Johns Hopkins School of Education, and Tembo, an education technology firm. Read more.
Canvas by Instructure launched a new, first-of-its kind mobile app that allows parents or designated guardians to monitor their children’s education and progress at a glance. The Canvas Parent app is available to all iOS and Android users to help parents of K–12 students stay informed on their children’s assignments, grades and overall schooling. Read more.
Skyward has launched Qmlativ Education Management System, the next evolution of the company’s SIS and ERP technology. The SQL-based platform features a revolutionary user experience, preemptive support measures, and a focus on the growth and development of every user. The platform’s simplified interface and commonsense navigation are designed to ensure a successful and enjoyable experience for even the least tech-savvy users. Read more.
A new K-12 digital solution from Britannica Digital Learning, called LaunchPacks: Social Studies, is designed for classroom use and to make lesson planning more efficient. The solution helps teachers engage students with ready-to-use content that covers the entire curriculum. LaunchPacks includes more than 1,600 current, trustworthy and highly relevant content sets, from American Folk Heroes to World War II, offering a full range of articles, images, videos and primary sources presented in an engaging interface and optimized for any size device. Read more.
OnCourse Systems for Education, a provider of cloud-based technology for schools, has announced a partnership with Hopewell Valley Regional School District. Over an 18-month period, the district transitioned 400 staff members onto the new, all-encompassing platform with the aid of OnCourse Project Management and Support. After implementation, educators, administrators, and students reported numerous improvements to their daily experience. Read more.
The Houston Independent School District is installing adaptive security motion detection from NAPCO Security Technologies in all its schools. NAPCO’s adaptive motion detection equipment automatically selects the appropriate mode in order to optimize intruder catch and reduce false alarms, according to the company. HISD, the seventh largest K-12 school district in the United States, has secured a bond that would fund considerable spending on upgrading its security needs. Read more.
Education Elements, which builds and supports school systems that meet the needs of every learner, will partner with Fairbanks North Star Borough School District to design and implement personalized learning across all its elementary and secondary schools over the next three years. The district has set five strategic goals, including personalized learning, effective communication, parent and community engagement, organizational support, and technology integration. Read more.…Read More

Kick off your Hour of Code with Minecraft’s help

Just in time for Computer Science Education Week and the Hour of Code, Microsoft Corp. and Code.org have unveiled the Minecraft Hour of Code Designer, a coding tutorial for students and educators.

The Hour of Code is an annual global campaign held during Computer Science Education Week, which this year runs Dec. 5–11.

The new web-based tutorial, available for free at http://code.org/minecraft, helps novice coders to create and share their own simple “Minecraft” game, and is designed to empower anyone to begin learning the problem-solving and critical thinking skills required in today’s tech-fueled world.…Read More

We used these Google tools in our schools and saw tangible results soar

Authors’ Note: We’re often asked by educators, “what impact do you see with Google technology in schools?” Last year we engaged Evergreen Education Group on a journey around the world to answer that question. During Education on Air on Sunday December 3rd, we will share the findings in Impact Portraits. These case studies demonstrate the success with Google for Education through the lens of teachers, students and administrators. To hear Linda Darling-Hammond lead a discussion on Impact Portraits, register now for Education On Air.

At Evergreen Education Group we’ve studied K-12 digital education for sixteen years. Among the most important developments we have seen is the proliferation of devices in the classroom, whether through bring-your-own-device, district-led one-to-one programs, or other channels. However, relatively little study to date has examined how devices are successfully deployed and what their impact has been.

Getting Real Input from the Ground…Read More

ISTE seeks your opinion on its Standards for Teachers

The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE®) announced that it is seeking public comment on the first draft of the refreshed ISTE Standards for Teachers. More than 600 individuals from around the world provided insight into the contents of this initial draft and, by the time the second draft is released in early 2017, ISTE anticipates that thousands more will have participated in the process.

HOW:  Similar to the recent refresh of the ISTE Standards for Students, the refresh process for the ISTE Standards for Teachers is open and inclusive, soliciting input from educators around the world at every step. To help educators participate in the process, ISTE today released a free toolkit for facilitating a public forum, Twitter chat, or conference session with colleagues to provide feedback to the process.  The toolkit includes a facilitator’s guide, surveys for gathering feedback and annotated presentation slides.  For more information, visit http://www.iste.org/TeacherRefresh

WHERE: The first draft of the refreshed ISTE Standards for Teachers is available for comment at http://bit.ly/2eU05Rl…Read More