5 tech tools for kinesthetic learners

Key points:

  • It’s key to remember that students need to move–and that’s OK
  • There are a number of edtech tools that encourage students to move around while reinforcing important learning concepts
  • See related article: 5 edtech tools to save time this year

Educators often share a useful mantra: “The mind can only absorb what the bottom can endure.”  This is a great phrase to remember as districts, schools, and educators increasingly rely on technology tools to support student achievement. Although many teachers (and too many school administrators!) believe quiet students seated in front of computer screens is indicative of good classroom management, remembering that our students need to move is always sound instructional strategy.

I have a vivid memory of a co-worker visiting me in the library at school to mention that my older son Gus had fallen out of his desk in class. When my calmer younger child Flynn began high school, I asked what he thought at the end of the first week, and his comment was, “High school hurts my butt,” directly echoing the above quote about “bottom endurance!” As an adult, I personally struggle to sit through presentations or professional development lasting longer than 20 minutes. Additionally, many schools are emphasizing longer learning blocks where students are expected to be seated for over an hour.…Read More

Believing the Hope, Not the Hype, of AI

How much longer will our newsfeeds be stuffed with headlines either extolling AI as the greatest thing since sliced bread or damning it as a sign of the coming education apocalypse? It’s going to be a while I’m afraid. In the meantime, I suggest you listen to this insightful interview with Dr. Eric Wang, Vice President of AI at Turnitin, who puts much of the hoopla into context. 

Turnitin has been working in AI since before it was cool—25 years this month. The company’s tools are built into popular learning management system (LMS) workflows across 16,000 institutions, in 140 countries, and used by over 40 million students at both the k-12 and higher ed level. In April 2023, Turnitin launched its AI writing detection tool, which as of July 2023 has processed over 76 million paper submissions.

Eric conjures a future where AI detection tools in education serve as a means to foster learning and growth rather than a gotcha app meant to punish or shame students. The goal is not to discourage AI use but to teach students how to use the tool effectively while valuing authentic human work. Click below to listen and scroll down for some takeaways and other resources offered by Turnitin.…Read More

8 lessons to help school leaders manage change

Key points:

  • Patience will go a long way in ensuring all members of your school system are comfortable with change
  • Keeping wellness in mind goes a long way in ensuring effective change management
  • See related article: These 2 things can guide your change management

As a former turnaround principal, I know firsthand how difficult it can be to manage change within a school system. That’s why, when I retired from the school system to pursue my PhD, Industrial Organizational (I/O) Psychology seemed like such a perfect fit. I/O Psychologists concentrate on systems improvement, focusing on how individuals and organizations work together. I loved helping school systems that needed improvements turn around and become environments where students grow and thrive, and here was a whole field full of insights and strategies to help people adopt a growth mindset and learn to embrace change.

Education, like the world we prepare students for, is constantly changing, yet it sometimes seems to have one foot in the past. Teachers are always striving to understand how they can work through change to best help their students. Administrators are managing and supporting not just their students, but their faculty as well, even as they are dealing with new initiatives, new federal laws, new local regulations, new testing mandates, and more.…Read More

Scribbles Software Announces “Mass Lottery” Feature to Help Schools and Districts Quickly Manage Complex Lotteries

Charlotte, North Carolina – Scribbles Software, a leading provider of K-12 records and enrollment software, announces significant updates to streamline and improve lottery management for schools and districts – especially for those managing complex lottery systems.

Managing lotteries – the process in which students apply for high-demand specialty programs or schools – is challenging. It requires processing incoming applications, assigning students to programs or schools, and managing waitlists.  The larger and more complex a school lottery system is, the more challenging it is to oversee.

Scribbles Software has helped districts and schools streamline and automate lottery management processes for more than a decade with its ScribChoice lottery management software. The new mass lottery feature allows districts and schools to automatically configure multiple lotteries of any size and level of complexity.…Read More

SmartPass Launches New Product Innovations Expanding Beyond Hallway Management

NEW YORK – SmartPass, a digital solution for hallway management, expands its SmartPass Hall Pass product by adding three new products SmartPass Flex, SmartPass Attendance, and SmartPass ID Cards (which is completely free for schools) to support educators with student management tasks throughout the school day.

“We found that our customers were jury rigging our hall pass product to use it for other needs,” said Peter Luba, CEO of SmartPass. “We listened to their feedback and created new products built for specific student movement management tasks. They got a great reception at ISTELive 23 and we look forward to helping more schools manage student movement through technology.”

More than 1,000 schools across the country use SmartPass to manage hall passes, improve time on task, reduce disruptions, and help ensure all students feel safe and are accounted for while at school. In addition to SmartPass Hall Pass, SmartPass now offers:…Read More

Swivl Launches Engageable, a Real-Time Attention Management Tool That Empowers Educators and Students to Navigate AI Transformation

MENLO PARK, Calif. (Newswire.com) – According to Gloria Mark, Ph.D., attention spans are declining,  averaging just 47 seconds on any screen. This is making it harder than ever for educators to develop their students’ interests in learning. Now AI is about to make that even harder by putting the cognitive challenges that used to require sustained attention a click away.  Swivl, a future-ready edtech company with a suite of reflective tools, is addressing this challenge with its latest offering,  Engageable, a real-time attention management tool with embedded mindfulness.

“AI’s impact on education will be 10x larger and faster than the internet,” said Brian Lamb, CEO and co-founder of Swivl. “We believe that creating an intentional process for how students manage their attention is a necessary part of the education community’s response to AI.”

Engageable helps users take on the attentional resistance of developing new interests in a more mindful and measured way. In the classroom, when a user starts the Pulse timer, they are prompted to take a deep breath and constructively recommit their attention in short intervals, tracking the ensuing time spent by activity. This helps build awareness of attention and how they are developing interests. Then, Engageable provides options to Recharge whenever stress or anxiety gets in the way, or to Record actions and reflections when it makes sense.…Read More

Virginia Chooses iteach as the Alternative Teacher Certification Provider for 24 Divisions of the Commonwealth

DENTON, Texas — In an effort to fill more than 3,500 teaching vacancies, the Virginia Department of Education has chosen iteach as the identified partner for alternative teachers certification in 24 divisions of the Commonwealth. Now, Virginians with bachelor’s degrees can use iteach’s innovative hybrid model to navigate the process of becoming certified K-12 educators.

“The program will help us build a larger applicant pool to include current teacher assistants and substitute teachers who possess a bachelor’s degree,” said Paige Tucker, director, talent acquisition and management-licensed staffing in the Department of Human Resources at Arlington Public Schools. “iteach can be utilized with our current provisional teachers as a more affordable and efficient alternative to obtaining their license. iteach will also help us recruit in our most high-need areas, which include special education and elementary.” 

For aspiring teachers who have completed a bachelor’s degree, the iteach program offers a 1-year path to teacher certification, making it both faster and less expensive than certification through a university. Teachers complete iteach coursework online on a flexible schedule, and earn full pay while they complete their in-classroom teaching requirements. While they’re enrolled, they have free access to the Teaching Channel professional development platform and test prep from Passage Preparation. Once they’re hired, the district will assign each new teacher a Classroom Supervisor to help them navigate the challenges of their first year in the classroom. …Read More

Open LMS Partners With Copyleaks, Adding Advanced AI-Driven Plagiarism and AI Content Detection

Raleigh, N.C. — Open LMS, a leading global provider of open-source learning management systems (LMSs), today announces its new partnership with  Copyleaks, the leading AI-based text analysis, plagiarism identification, and AI-content detection platform. This partnership comes at a critical time when AI-generated content is becoming more prevalent in all industries, particularly academia.

Copyleaks uses advanced AI to detect AI-generated content, including outputs from cutting-edge AI tools such as ChatGPT-4. It also detects various forms of plagiarism while accounting for a wide range of common detection-evasion tactics such as hidden characters, paraphrasing, and even image-based text plagiarism. Through these methods, the tool provides institutions and organizations with a deeper understanding of the composition of submitted content while exposing attempts to deceive detection software.

Open LMS and Copyleaks’ partnership adds a powerful tool to clients’ arsenals as conversations around AI-generated content intensify.…Read More