How you can bring pandemic tech into post-pandemic learning

As an Instructional Technology Coach in Georgetown County, South Carolina, I have the amazing opportunity to work closely with teachers and students as they use educational technology in meaningful ways. 

It is clear that COVID-19 has changed how teachers use educational technologies to support teaching and learning.  During the “Emergency Teaching Era” of the pandemic, educators grew quite familiar with edtech resources and developed many new competencies and strategies for integrating those resources into instruction.  However, as the education community tentatively moves into what I think of as the post-COVID world of education, the competencies and skills teachers built, and the edtech tools they acquired, can be used in new ways within your classroom.  Here are some of the best strategies and skills I’ve recently learned for the new technologies I began to use during the Pandemic:

Write Around the Room: This is a great activity to do with upper elementary through high school aged students, and capitalizes on devices students received and the keyboarding skills students picked up while learning remotely.  For those of you who have ever found yourselves searching for creative ways to inspire your students to write while also reinforcing important skills related to story structure, having your students “write around the room” is a fun way to get your students excited about writing. …Read More

3 steps to tech infrastructure that supports learning

Like instructional technology specialists across the U.S., I spent most of 2020 helping teachers navigate the world of edtech–explaining video conferencing tools, and demonstrating how our district’s selected edtech can support learning–as we abruptly transitioned to remote learning.

Now that we’re approaching the two-year anniversary of this transformation, I’m happy to say that technology adoption is baked into the curriculum at Ysleta Independent School District. Our teachers are much less likely to ask my colleagues and I how to use an edtech tool than how they can integrate it into their lessons, whether those lessons are taking place in a physical classroom or online.

I wouldn’t have it any other way. In a perfect world, technology serves the curriculum, and not the other way around. Ysleta’s 2,800 teachers must meet the needs of our district’s diverse learners, including a high population of dual-language learners, migrant learners, and students from economically disadvantaged communities. Our teachers need to be focused on providing the content those students need to build skills and knowledge, not worrying about how they’re providing it.…Read More

MobileMind Launches MobileMind Sync, a Full-Service Scheduling Solution

ATLANTA (PRWEB) NOVEMBER 03, 2021 — MobileMind, the modern professional learning hub for schools, has launched MobileMind Sync, the first full-service PD scheduling solution. MobileMind Sync allows districts to seamlessly manage all asynchronous and synchronous PD efforts within the same platform.

“MobileMind Sync has been a transformative tool for our district in the fact that it enables us to connect and carry out effective, informative PD from any location. Having a central hub for all our PD needs has made my job as an Instructional Technology Director easier,” explained Adriane Ellis, Director of Instructional Technology and Media Services for Murray County Schools in Georgia.

MobileMind Sync allows districts to create and schedule synchronous training events, invite participants, track attendance, assign asynchronous prerequisite courses, and much more. The full-service scheduler eliminates manual work for facilitators. For example, tasks like taking attendance, awarding credit hours, and releasing micro-credentials are all automated as learners use join codes to enter virtual synchronous PD events. Districts can create single-session events like workshops, as well as conference-style PD days that consist of multiple days and/or sessions. MobileMind Sync also provides an excellent resource for department/grade-specific training and meetings (e.g. PLC, Data, or Team meetings).…Read More

3 ways to strengthen your student data privacy compliance strategy

Cyberattacks and data breaches are infiltrating K-12 communities. To proactively thwart these attempts to steal student data, states such as New York are passing legislation that requires school districts to adhere to stipulated student data privacy compliance regulations.

With so much on their plates already, creating, implementing, and monitoring an effective data privacy compliance strategy is a time-consuming and stress-filled task for most school district leaders.

As the Director of Instructional Technology at a New York school district, I have been leading our data compliance efforts, and I very much understand the significant challenges schools are facing. To help other districts navigate this unpredictable landscape, I have put together the following recommendations:…Read More

Heroes at Work: How San Diego USD made PD a pandemic priority

Heroes at Work is a three-part series featuring excerpts from conversations with the grand prize winners of the 2021 eSchool Media K-12 Hero Awards program, sponsored by Trox. See below for the full interview.

Here, eSchool News highlights the San Diego Unified School District–one of three K-12 Hero Awards winners. Keep reading this interview with Julie Garcia, the district’s Director of Instructional Technology, to discover how the district prioritized meaningful teacher PD and student engagement.

eSN: From the very beginning of the pandemic, it seems you have had a strong focus on teacher professional development.…Read More

5 ways this district evaluates its digital content purchases

K-12 schools spend billions on edtech tools, but often, many of the tools go unused or aren’t evaluated for effectiveness. So how can district technology teams ensure an effective evaluation and purchasing process for digital content and new software?

The Pickerington Local School District in Ohio has done just that, with a carefully-honed process that ensures communication and transparency between its curriculum and technology departments, as well as with teachers.

“The big problem is that we spend a lot of money on edtech,” said Brian Seymour, PLSD’s director of instructional technology, during an ISTELive 21 session. “Now, with everything that happened with COVID, so much more money was invested into edtech so much more quickly than in the past, because we had to adapt. The problem is that we’re spending a lot of money, and are we really doing it in a wise way?”…Read More

Here’s how to put coding and robotics programs in K-8 classrooms

Coding and robotics programs in classrooms reflect how integral technology is in our lives.

Educators like Angie Kalthoff, a technology integrationist in St. Cloud, MN, and Ann Bartel, an instructional technology specialist in Chilton, WI, teach K-8 students about technology through coding and computer science programs that incorporate the 4Cs of learning: collaboration, creativity, critical thinking, and communication.

Related content: 3 things to consider when introducing a K-12 coding or robotics program…Read More

Early coding can greatly benefit students–here’s how one school does it

Coding and computer programming are slowly becoming part of the core curriculum in schools and districts across the U.S.–and some educators say the earlier students start coding, the better.

Research says students are more likely to maintain their interest in coding if they’re exposed to it at an early age, and now, some schools are starting in elementary school.

At The Village School in Houston, TX, instructional technology specialist Ruth O’Brien and middle school teacher Marc Abrate are helping students develop skills that help not only in coding, but in areas such as problem solving, critical thinking, and collaboration.…Read More

School district invents custom charging solution for all schools

As Denton Independent School District (ISD) prepares for future ready classrooms with technology and builds new schools, the Texas district is partnering with LocknCharge to create a new mobile device charging cabinet – the Carrier 15 Charging Station™.

“There were no solutions designed to fit the unique needs of Denton ISD,” said Judy Bush technology manager. “LocknCharge stepped in and constructed a new charging station to fit the vision of the curriculum and technology team to incorporate Chromebooks into classrooms.”

This customized solution will store, charge and deploy up to 20,000 devices in the school district.…Read More