3 ways schools can use data to help students

Educators across the country are seeing a greater need to collect and use data to inform decisions as they work to help students. The pandemic severely disrupted our schools, and many districts used any student data they had to identify who was struggling and how to best provide support.

As districts continue to respond to the evolving circumstances of the pandemic, making the most of all available data to improve student outcomes remains critical to understanding the factors that most contribute to students’ success.

The power of using data is immense. When used properly, it can help districts make vital decisions about setting goals and providing targeted support for students. Whether you are new to data analytics in K-12 or a seasoned veteran, here are three practical ways to apply data to help drive better student outcomes.…Read More

3 ways families can support students’ learning at home

For parents and caregivers, supporting your child’s learning can be stressful. Academic concepts are taught differently than they used to be. In addition, we’re all grappling with a scarcity of time and juggling competing priorities. It is hard to keep up–especially if you don’t have the resources to do so.

At Brooklyn Landmark Elementary School, we recognize that part of supporting students’ success is supporting families. Research shows students who have families engaged in their learning are more likely to attend school regularly, have improved social skills and behavior, and achieve high levels of academic performance.

One of our goals is to build the capacity of our families to make supporting their child’s learning as easy and accessible as possible. For example, we offer family coffee chats and family workshops that provide practical strategies and ways to support their own mental health and wellbeing—as well as their children’s.…Read More

ShopWithScrip Rebrands as RaiseRight, Announces Lou Agnese as Chief Executive Officer

GRAND RAPIDS, Michigan (May 12, 2022)—ShopWithScrip, the largest gift card fundraising platform in the United States, has rebranded as  RaiseRight and announced that Lou Agnese, an executive with extensive experience in consumer-facing digital marketplaces, has been appointed as chief executive officer to drive a new era of growth.

“Our new brand and website more strongly reflect our mission to offer non-profits and community-based organizations the easiest, most effective way to meet their fundraising goals,” said Lou Agnese, Chief Executive Officer, RaiseRight.  “I am honored to have joined the passionate, purpose-driven team at RaiseRight during this exciting time and look forward to working with them to develop new, innovative tools to magnify our impact in local communities.” 

The RaiseRight name was created to underscore that the company’s solution is the right way to fundraise.  RaiseRight’s year-round fundraising platform is easy and more convenient than selling goods or recruiting volunteers. Nonprofits and other community-based organizations earn money simply by purchasing gift cards for their favorite brands at face value and getting a rebate back from those purchases.  The new website offers a seamless, more consistent user experience across the platform for shopping all brands, including a mobile wallet for ease of redemption and a dashboard to manage fundraising proceeds.…Read More

3 ways to turn classroom robots into powerful SEL tools

If I had one teaching tool at my disposal in a classroom besides pencils, papers, and books, it would be an educational robot. A robot is the single most engaging learning tool I’ve used with students. It appeals to children of all ages, genders, and backgrounds—and it goes beyond technology to include so many learning goals. In fact, when I was at the pre-K-8 Park School, I considered it one of the most important social-emotional learning tools I’ve used.

There are so many demands on teachers’ time, especially at the beginning of a new school year, that teaching with a robot may not be on their lists of must-do activities. But robotics can be easily incorporated into instruction. As a lead makerspace educator, I’ve found that the best way to help teachers integrate robots into their lessons is to identify the skills they’re looking to teach and demonstrate how they can accomplish it with classroom robots.

As students return to the classroom after a tumultuous and traumatic year, SEL is going to be especially important. Here are a few activities that have helped the teachers in my school connect STEAM and SEL.…Read More

New AI Coach by Edthena Expands Access to Coaching for All Teachers

SAN FRANCISCO (February 10, 2022) – Edthena is revolutionizing teacher professional learning with the AI Coach™ platform. This first-of-its-kind solution helps schools and districts provide all teachers with supportive coaching in order to improve teaching effectiveness. The AI Coach platform uses artificial intelligence to guide teachers through coaching cycles aligned to common growth areas.

While working inside the AI Coach platform, teachers have a conversation with Edie, their virtual coach. Edie asks teachers about their professional goals, and then teachers analyze and reflect on videos of their classroom instruction by adding time-stamped comments.

Edie takes a guide-on-the-side approach to help teachers summarize the evidence found during video analysis and develop action plans to increase impact with their students. As part of their conversation with Edie, teachers develop a short-term goal, identify a strategy for change, and commit to a timeline for implementation. This evidence-based process enables teachers to receive many of the benefits of instructional coaching even if an in-person coach is not available.…Read More

7 fun digital learning tools to try in the classroom

Each year, we share our 10 most-read stories. Not surprisingly, many of this year’s Top 10 focused on student engagement and online or hybrid learning strategies related to pandemic teaching. This year’s 5th most-read story focuses on under-the-radar digital learning tools.

During pandemic learning, educators have seen a plethora of digital learning tools and resources, and they’re figuring out what does and doesn’t work for their instructional methods.

There are some well-known and much-loved digital learning tools that are part of every educator’s must-try list, but why not throw some new resources into the mix?…Read More

How educators can make time for self-care

This time of year sees email in boxes filled with information about how to prepare for the next year, reminders that grades are due, and papers await grading. We are deluged with predictions about the future, what to worry about, and sometimes even what to be excited about. Those with calendar year goals are often rushing to complete projects or solidify a final sale. Family and other holiday obligations can often add an extra level of stress as well. One thing often missing is how to make sure you are balanced and ensure you are taking time for self-care.

According to a recent NBC article about the increasing educator shortage, between retirements among an already-aging population and the stress and burnout of the pandemic, the number of potential educators in the pipeline is not nearly enough to match needs.

An October 2021 NPR report showed that 80,000 aspiring nurses were turned away from nursing schools due to a lack of adequate nursing instructors. It is clear that educator burnout can directly lead to shortages in other critical areas such as health care.…Read More

The unbeaten path to hybrid learning

Virtual learning, and the forms in which virtual and in-person education meet, have sparked controversy in the educational community. 

Often we debate what consequences this type of education has. We wonder whether traditional learning methodologies–with their big appetite for control and constant evaluation–are even achievable when classes are hybrid. But by focusing on impacts only, we overlook the essential issue: What’s the real purpose of education?

We should be primarily concerned with how education helps students achieve their personal and professional goals, whether virtual, in-person, or hybrid–a methodology targeting students’ development will help teachers capitalize on every lesson triumphantly.…Read More

4 ways online tutoring helps our at-risk, low-income district achieve goals

Our urban Title I district serves a population of 78 percent at-risk students and 84 percent low-income families. We were already managing low proficiency rates on math and ELA state assessments prior to the pandemic, and the move to remote learning made it even more difficult for teachers to engage with students who couldn’t be on campus.

The shifting rigor of Maryland’s College and Career Ready Standards pushed our students even further behind the curve. We knew we needed a program to accelerate learning outcomes and boost proficiency rates on MCAP/PARCC assessments while also providing academic support to students in need.

Finding the right solution…Read More

10 SEL activities for high school students

Between balancing core instruction, administering assessments, grading homework, and ensuring students are prepared for college and career, high school teachers have a lot on their plates. SEL activities can make your jobs easier!

When students have strong social and emotional skills, they are more motivated, engaged, and understand the value of their learning. SEL also helps reduce disruptive behavior and office referrals, which allows teachers to spend more time on their instruction. Additionally, SEL activities can improve high school students’ college and career readiness and help them set goals for life after high school.

It’s easy to integrate SEL activities in your core instruction! Here are 10 activities and lesson ideas for high school students–organized by subject area–to get you started.…Read More