110% humidity, 100% human collaboration

This summer, thousands of educators and vendors who serve education descended on New Orleans and braved 110% humidity for the first “back to normal” conference for the International Society of Technology in Education, or ISTE. After two virtual conferences, folks were excited to be back in person, and despite continued COVID protocols, hugs abounded as friends and colleagues reunited on the tradeshow floor and during sessions throughout the New Orleans convention center. 

My conference experience began at the Future Ready Library Summit on Collaboration where 150 librarians from across the country—and even overseas—gathered to brainstorm ways in which they could better collaborate with teachers, principals, district leadership, and each other. I had the opportunity to welcome the group and felt compelled to share a story about one of my previous visits to New Orleans in 2005, about a week after Hurricane Katrina made landfall. 

Back then, I worked as a television journalist in Oklahoma City. I traveled with the Army to New Orleans to cover the search, rescue, and recovery missions.  While there, we slept in the Walmart parking lot in the Ninth Ward. I had to wear a mask (many years before masks were the norm) and put Vicks VapoRub under my nose to combat the smell of the flood water and waste. My videographer smoked cigarettes at the time, and I found myself standing next to him because the cigarettes smelled better than the air (and I’ve never had a cigarette in my life)!…Read More

Maplewoodshop Partners with the Northeast Carpenters Apprenticeship Fund to Introduce Middle School Students to the Trades

(East Orange, N.J.) – Maplewoodshop, a leader in teaching woodworking to elementary and middle school students, announced its partnership with the Northeast Carpenters Apprenticeship Fund (NCAF), one of the Eastern Atlantic States Regional Council of Carpenters’ Training Funds, to help increase the number of high school students in CTE programs throughout the Northeast. With this partnership, schools that work with Maplewoodshop will now also have the opportunity to utilize the Carpenters International Training Fund (CITF) Career Connections curriculum from NCAF.

“We’ve worked together with dozens of schools to offer hand tool versions of CITF Career Connections projects,” said Mike Schloff, CEO of Maplewoodshop. “Growing this partnership is very exciting as it will allow us to introduce the trades to more students and expand potential apprenticeship opportunities.”

The Maplewoodshop program, now in more than 120 locations nationwide, trains non-CTE educators to teach woodworking with hand tools via digital and live teacher training, curriculum, and ongoing support. Maplewoodshop also provides hand-powered tools, proprietary workbenches, and a purpose-built tool chest to enable any classroom to become a woodshop.…Read More

Is the education system working?

PISA, the OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment, measures 15-year-olds’ ability to use their reading, mathematics, and science knowledge and skills to meet real-life challenges. Its league table of results suggests which of the 90 participating countries have been able to improve their education system and student performance.

But when we look back at people throughout history who have made a significant impact on society, it’s not their school reading, math, or science test results that measure their success.

One well known winner of the Nobel Prize for physics was told by his teacher at school that he would ‘never amount to anything.’ For Albert Einstein, it was his fascination with the invisible forces that deflected a compass needle and a book on science that ignited his lifelong fascination with the world around him. But how do we strike a balance between the core curriculum and the invaluable importance of developing a child’s hard and soft skills, their curiosity, and their creativity?…Read More

Riverside Insights and Educator Impact Partner to Improve Student Well-being and Enrich School Cultures

ITASCA, Ill. – May 6, 2022 – Riverside Insights®, a leading developer of research-based assessments and analytics, today announced a new partnership with Educator Impact, an international,  Australian-based Ed Tech company dedicated to enriching school cultures through student and staff well-being “pulse checks.”  Educator Impact’s Pulse product, on its easy-to-use platform, provides key insights to help educational leaders regularly gauge the well-being of students and staff, inform SEL strategies and school wellness programs, and enhance overall school health. 

Unlike other observational well-being tools, ei Pulse quickly gathers and amplifies student and teacher voices and empowers educators with direct feedback to help personalize connections, shape classroom climates, and strengthen school communities. 

“Riverside Insights’ partnership with Educator Impact further illustrates our commitment to support the whole child and their ‘Limitless Learning’ by empowering them to unlock their full potential” said CEO, Rajib Roy, Riverside Insights. “We know that students learn best when they feel safe, supported, and loved. These contextual student well-being insights, paired with student ability and achievement measures, empower teachers with a 360-degree view of students so they can serve their classroom’s needs. Riverside Insights will now be able to support educators with a more comprehensive set of insights to accelerate student learning.” …Read More