Nominations open for The Harold W. McGraw, Jr. Prize in Education

The nomination window is open for the 2017 Harold W. McGraw, Jr. Prize in Education, which honors innovation and has become one of the most prestigious educational awards since its founding in 1988. The Prize is administered through an alliance between McGraw-Hill Education and Arizona State University, which began in 2015.

The public will have the opportunity to submit nominations by visiting McGrawPrize.com until October 31st, 2016. The 2017 Prize winners will be featured at and join in an evening reception during the ASU GSV Education Innovation Summit in Salt Lake City, Utah, on May 8-10, 2017.

The Harold W. McGraw, Jr. Prize in Education annually recognizes outstanding individuals who have dedicated themselves to improving education through new approaches and whose accomplishments are making a difference today. The Prize includes three categories: U.S. K-12 and higher education, and international education. Honorees receive an award of $50,000 and a bronze sculpture designed by students from ASU.…Read More

New partnership expands video content management

Sterling Partners’ Education Opportunity Fund, a fund focused on partnering with purpose-driven companies and leaders who foster innovation within the education sector, announced today that it has invested in Panopto.

Panopto’s partnership with the Education Opportunity Fund will allow the company to build upon its position as a technology leader in video content management, recording, and live streaming, and will fuel Panopto’s plans for business expansion.

Founded in 2007, Panopto pioneered the categories of lecture capture and enterprise video content management. Today, the company offers a comprehensive video platform that enables a diverse set of organizations to capture and manage all of their video assets.…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.

K-12 innovation is essential if today’s students are to be prepared for college and careers in an increasingly global society. This means educators at all levels must feel supported and empowered as they try new things and explore new instructional possibilities. At the same time, students should feel encouraged to do the same.…Read More

The link between arts-based learning and STEM

The Art of Science Learning (AoSL), a National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded initiative, spearheaded by its Principal Investigator, Harvey Seifter, has released its newest report, titled The Impact of Arts-Based Innovation Training on the Creative Thinking Skills, Collaborative Behaviors and Innovation Outcomes of Adolescents and Adults.

The report was written by Audience Viewpoints Consulting, the independent research firm AoSL retained to conduct the study. The effort compared the impacts and outcomes of arts-based innovation training with more traditional innovation training that does not incorporate the arts.

“With this research, we now have clear evidence that arts-based learning sparks creativity, collaboration, emotionally intelligent behavior and innovation in both adolescents and adults,” Seifter said. “The implications for 21st Century learning and workforce development are profound.”…Read More

Brightspace Excellence Awards highlight innovation in online learning

This year’s Brightspace Excellence Awards, announced at FUSION 2016 by global learning technology provider D2L, recognized the promise of online learning and its ability to connect more and more people to high-quality educational programs.

Faculty dedicated to helping students learn online created robust online environments and high-quality tools to help students succeed in their online learning endeavors.

This year’s crop of winners demonstrated progress and innovation in student and teacher engagement, student retention, and teaching and learning efficiencies that resulted in cost savings.…Read More

Are you a Hooray, Hmm, or Hell No educator?

Change is hard. How can you get reluctant teachers to embrace change and try new innovations in teaching with technology? At ISTE 2016, popular ed-tech speaker Jennie Magiera shared several strategies for doing just that—turning those “yes, but…” objections into “what if…” adventures.

Magiera, a former Chicago Public Schools teacher who is now the chief technology officer for School District 62 in Des Plaines, Ill., said there are three types of people whom ed-tech leaders will encounter when they encourage their staff to innovate: “hoorays, hmms, and hell nos.”

The “hoorays” are those who are eager to try new tools and techniques in their classroom, she said. The “hmms” are those who watch with interest but aren’t ready to dive in right away, and the “hell nos” are those who actively resist.…Read More

eSchool News, Xirrus launch Innovate to Educate Awards at ISTE 2016

Innovate to Educate Awards to recognize the best ed-tech innovation and commitment to making the digital classroom and personalized learning a reality

eSchool News, in partnership with Xirrus, provider of next generation, cloud-enabled Wi-Fi networks, invites K-12 schools and districts nationwide to participate in the first ever Innovate to Educate Awards program, kicking off June 27 at the ISTE 2016 conference at Xirrus Booth No. 2937.

The Innovate to Educate Awards program recognizes the country’s finest ed-tech initiatives, and offers schools and districts across the U.S. the opportunity to showcase their groundbreaking approach to improving teaching and learning through the use of technology. ISTE 2016 attendees will have the first chance to enter the contest which runs until October 14, 2016. Attendees can enter by creating a video that describes their ed-tech innovations at the Xirrus booth and will receive five free raffle tickets for the daily Xirrus Apple Watch drawing.

The winning school or district will be awarded the grand Innovation Showcase Prize November, 2016—a multi-faceted eSchool News media package that promotes the success of the winner’s technology program to local and national stakeholders and constituents. The award package includes a feature story in eSchool News print and digital issues, a success story for the winner to share and distribute, a grand prize winner press announcement, and a custom-designed “Innovate to Educate Winner” icon for online posting and promotion.…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

4 radically different school models upending education

Goal setting and PBL serve as cornerstones for new school models. Is self-directed learning every student’s future?

These days, there are few that would disagree that education needs to start looking more like the world students will one day work and live in and less like, well, school. What that might look like in the future is anybody’s guess, but it may be safe to assume a lot more will be required of students than simple passive learning.

Four school leaders recently spoke about their innovative school models and visions for student success in an increasingly digital world during a panel hosted by Clayton Christensen Institute cofounder Michael Horn at this year’s ASU GSV Summit in San Diego. The new models overwhelmingly favor some combination of project-based learning coupled with self-directed goal-setting and skill building for students’ life after school.

Here are the four school models and their approaches to teaching and learning.…Read More

Looking for an innovation model for your school? Try asking students

Two Chicago schools find looking to students a very freeing experience

How do you combat student engagement problems and encourage students to take an interest in their own learning? For many schools the answer seems to be some variation of personalized learning, as interpreted by school administrators or outside curriculum savants. For two Chicago-area schools, however, the solution came down to asking students: How do you want to learn?

LeViis Haney and Karen Breo, the Chicago-area principals in question, recently spoke about their experiences in reshaping school culture at a panel during the ASU GSV Summit in San Diego, a conference that brings education investors and philanthropists together with educators and ed-tech entrepreneurs. The panel, centered on how schools can go about choosing an innovation model for themselves, brought together a handful of school leaders who had taken part in pilot programs from LEAP Innovations, an organization which helps facilitate that process.

A few years ago, Haney, the principal of Joseph Lovett Elementary School, noticed a school culture of stagnation. Students learned at their desks, typically from worksheets given to them by teachers who were disengaged with students and the teaching process. “We were experiencing very low levels of engagement and it manifested itself in a lot of data points that were not conducive to teaching and learning,” he said. “We knew we had to do something to change the culture. What would create a fun environment for kids?”…Read More

eSchool Media, Casey Green to host interactive interviews from ASU GSV Innovation Summit

Shindig, a platform for large-scale video chat, to power the three-day event

eSchool Media and Campus Computing announced plans for interactive Thought Leader Interviews at the 2016 ASU GSV Innovation Summit on April 18, 19 and 20 in San Diego.

The interactive interviews are intended to connect educators in schools and on college campuses with the Summit presenters and participants. Shindig, a turnkey solution for video chat teaching and events, will power the three day event, allowing moderator Casey Green, founding director of Campus Computing, and the interview participants to engage directly with the online audience.

The annual ASU GSV Innovation Summit brings together educators, entrepreneurs, business leaders, policymakers, philanthropists, and university and school district leaders to create partnerships, explore solutions, and to shape the future of learning.…Read More

13 apps that promote higher-order thinking standards

These mobile apps go way beyond games

Mobile devices are becoming increasingly common in schools because they cost so much less than computers—especially since so many students are willing to bring their own devices to school.

While mobile devices, tablets in particular, have been commonly used to reinforce math and reading skills through the use of games, they can also be used to promote the development of higher level skills and knowledge included in the National Educational Technology Standards for Students (NETS*S): creativity and innovation; communication and collaboration; research and information fluency; and critical thinking and problem solving. Here are a handful of high-quality apps that reinforce these skills and promote others.

Writing skills

Students who resist typical writing instruction with pencil and paper may blossom as authors when given the opportunity to compose electronically on computers and tablets. Some that struggle with the fine motor skills necessary for producing legible print are liberated by the ability to type. Although pressing letters on a flat screen without being able to feel them may be awkward for an adult accustomed to typing on a keyboard, students that learn to type on these devices when they’re young are likely to be as skilled on them as they are on a traditional keyboard.…Read More