27 digital tools and edtech resources from FETC

As aspects of pre-pandemic life slowly emerge from nearly two years of masking, testing, and social distancing, educators are once again gathering at edtech conferences to experience the latest and greatest solutions, digital tools, and professional learning opportunities.

In Orlando, the Future of Education Technology Conference (FETC) kicked off with keynotes and sessions from top edtech experts and real-world practitioners.

Here’s a sampling of new digital tools and announcements from edtech solution providers.…Read More

The biggest takeaways for the post-pandemic future of education

There is no argument that teachers are the most valuable asset in a student’s learning experience. This fact was only further underscored over the past 18 months.

While the increase in easy-to-use technology used in the classroom has been a significant improvement, teachers remain the most important factor in the learning equation and should be recognized as such.

Lessons learned over the course of the pandemic have highlighted ways that schools and districts can best support teachers and students throughout the learning experience.…Read More

iTutor’s Virtual School Allows School Districts to Transform the K-12 Online Experience

With most K-12 students, parents, teachers and administrators engaged in another semester or full academic year of pandemic-induced remote learning, it is clear that the future of education is going to include a significant online component.

That online future will be much brighter for school communities using iTutor’s Virtual School – a secure interactive learning platform that allows administrators and teachers to build, organize, schedule and offer live, synchronous classes and instruction using the district’s own teachers coupled with school-produced and branded content, all in one place. Schools report that this approach is far simpler than juggling and toggling back and forth between multiple technologies and platforms.

Even better news:  iTutor’s Virtual School has proven effective since 2014, as it has been widely adopted and used by more than 20,000 K-12 students and 1,500 teachers at more than 1,000 schools nationwide, as part of iTutor’s  partnership with school districts in 20 states, from Alaska, to New York, to South Carolina. School districts can be up and running in three to five business days, along with a dedicated iTutor team that provides tech support on an ongoing basis.…Read More

School librarians can save democracy

Regardless of one’s political views, there seems to be consensus on one political reality: America is dangerously polarized. According to Michelle Luhtala, Library Department Chair at New Canaan High School in Connecticut, in a recent edWebinar, “The future of democracy presents a case for the critical need for school librarians in every school.”

School librarians are essential to help students gain equitable access to high-quality inquiry instructional experiences for all learners–not just for the future of education but also for the future of democracy.

The problem…Read More

Is it time to retire letter grades?

The COVID-19 pandemic has been incredibly disruptive to education, hindering instruction and other services for thousands — perhaps millions — of K-12 students across the United States. But those who see the glass as half full would say it has also presented schools with a unique opportunity for change.

Count Michael Horn among these optimists. In his podcast series “Class Disrupted,” Horn — an author and consultant who focuses on the future of education — has teamed up with Diane Tavenner, co-founder and CEO of the Summit Public Schools charter network, to discuss how the sudden shift to remote learning this past spring exposed the limitations of many educational structures we take for granted. Yet, it also suggests what might be possible if K-12 leaders are bold enough to see a new way forward, Horn and Tavenner agree.

For instance, a lot of the time wasted in transitioning from one class to another during a traditional school day could be reclaimed for learning and practicing essential life skills, they say. The factory-style model that herds students in groups from class to class could be replaced by a more personalized, student-centered approach that caters to each child’s unique interests and learning needs. And the letter-grade system that schools have been using to evaluate student learning for generations could be supplanted by a mastery-based grading system that gives stakeholders much more insight into what students know.…Read More

How we found budget for student programs in our printers

Demographics

Hatboro-Horsham School District, located in suburban Philadelphia, has a strong history of academic excellence. Serving approximately 5,000 students, the district provides education from grades K-12.

It has received blue ribbon honors from both the Pennsylvania and United States Departments of Education. Hatboro-Horsham’s schoolboard, parents, teachers, and staff are committed to moving into the future of education.…Read More

5 edtech accelerators that are changing K-12

Five powerful edtech accelerators are influencing the skills and needs of K-12 students and educators, according to a new CoSN report released during the advocacy group’s 2019 conference.

These edtech accelerators are major disruptive shifts in the status quo that redefine the future of education and accelerate the pace of technological change. They vary in speed, speed, the report notes, with some suddenly appearing and others gradually becoming more important over several years.

The five accelerators are: learners as creators; data-driven practices; personalization; design thinking; and building the capacity of human leaders.…Read More

Creating the future of education

The power to create the future of education technology is very appealing. The ability to fabricate and then implement a technological universe that could lead our future generations of learners might be our generation’s greatest achievement. If I were going to put together a formula, I would probably do the following:

1. Identify around 1,000 of the best available education minds from all over the world.
2. Assemble these big thinkers in one place, and over a period of four or five days have open discussion and lively debate around some carefully thought-out subject areas.
3. Include areas of innovation, academics, emotional intelligence, and the business of technology.
4. Invite at least 10,000 working educators and administrators to join in the discussion.
5. Watch carefully as the magic happens.

If I could put together this much firepower in one place and ask the right questions, imagine what could be accomplished.…Read More

The Friday 4: Your weekly ed-tech rewind

Every Friday, I’ll recap some of the most interesting news and thought-provoking developments from the past week.

I can’t fit all of this week’s news stories here, though, so feel free to browse eSchool News and read up on other news you may have missed.

This week? The future of education, including citizen science apps, increases in gamification and game-based learning, and artificial intelligence’s impact on the education industry.…Read More

Are these 8 trends the future of K-12?

Here are eight ways the future of education could change

future-K12In a recent blog I wrote for Wired, I discussed Jack Uldrich’s book, Jumping the Curve. Essentially, it suggests that the best entrepreneurs, innovators, and visionaries are those who see the intersection of two curves on a paradigm chart, and set up a solution based on the new curve, rather than the old.

As such, I’ve done my best over the years to blog about those “jumping off points” for eLearning each December, specific to the New Year. Some of those predictions have been spot on, such as MOOC-fever in 2009, while others have not, such as confidence based testing in 2007 (I still think we missed the mark by not pushing this concept). But overall I’ve done pretty well looking ahead. As 2014 arrives, the time has come to look at more paradigm curves.

In an attempt to illuminate the possible future, here are 8 trends that I believe will hit their stride, really get (meaningfully) started, or otherwise dot the education landscape.…Read More