What did 2021 bring to K-12 edtech?

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 2nd most-read story focuses on the K-12 edtech predictions educators and experts had for 2021–were they right?

When we posted our 2020 predictions on January 1 last year, we–along with the majority of the world–definitely didn’t anticipate the curveball that was (and continues to be) the global COVID-19 pandemic.

2020 has been called a dumpster fire, the worst year in recent memory, and more. Abrupt shifts to virtual and hybrid learning laid bare the vast inequities that exist in the U.S. education system. The move to online learning also made people wonder: Are there practices we can continue when the pandemic abates? What can we take from this when we return to our classrooms? And will we return to our classrooms to teach in the same manner as we did before COVID?…Read More

How positive psychology reduces stress and boosts reading comprehension

Learning to read is a higher brain function. Reading comprehension activates the cerebral cortex of a child’s brain. This part of the brain is important for complex cognitive tasks, but it’s also the part of the brain that’s the most sensitive to the harmful effects of stress.

Because stress impairs both learning and memory, teachers can improve reading comprehension and enhance classroom learning by reducing student stress through positive psychology.

The psychology of happiness and learning…Read More

High Prevalence of Mental Health Risk Amid COVID Pandemic Taking a Serious Toll on U.S. Students’ Cognition

Neuroscientific research conducted by Total Brain and the Center for Adolescent Research and Education shows students’  focus, planning, memory and resilience scores fall well below standard average

The COVID pandemic is having a dramatic impact on U.S. students’ mental health which, in turn, is affecting precious cognitive capacities like memory, focus and planning.  According to a neuroscientific study conducted by Total Brain and the Center for Adolescent Research and Education (CARE):

  • 48% of high school and college students are at risk of general anxiety
  • 45% are at risk of social anxiety
  • 39% are at risk of PTSD
  • Risk of common mental health conditions is 19% to 41% higher for females than males

Deteriorating mental health is usually linked with a decline in cognitive capacities. Expressed in percentile ranking, the standard average for any capacity is the 50th percentile ranking. However, the average percentile rank for students in this study fell well below the standard average:…Read More

30 K-12 edtech predictions for 2021

When we posted our 2020 predictions on January 1 last year, we–along with the majority of the world–definitely didn’t anticipate the curveball that was (and continues to be) the global COVID-19 pandemic.

2020 has been called a dumpster fire, the worst year in recent memory, and more. Abrupt shifts to virtual and hybrid learning laid bare the vast inequities that exist in the U.S. education system. The move to online learning also made people wonder: Are there practices we can continue when the pandemic abates? What can we take from this when we return to our classrooms? And will we return to our classrooms to teach in the same manner as we did before COVID?

We asked edtech executives, stakeholders, and experts to share some of their thoughts and predictions about where they think edtech is headed in 2021.…Read More

HEARBUILDER Online Foundational Literacy Program Builds Basic Skills in Young Students

With the onset of the COVID virus, millions of PreK to Grade 5 students across the U.S. may have fallen critically behind in the basic skills they need to become good readers and be successful in school. Now more than ever, parents, educators and specialists are focused on helping their young students make up for lost learning time. The HearBuilder online, research-based, foundational literacy program provides an excellent way for students to build their early education and literacy skills.

HearBuilder is the only online researched-based foundational literacy program in the country that addresses the four essential pre-literacy skills:

  • Following Directions with Basic Concepts
  • Sequencing
  • Auditory/Listening Memory and Comprehension
  • Phonological/Sound Awareness

It is ideal for helping young learners trying to stay current and get ahead in these basic skills because it:…Read More

Super Duper Publications Provides Unique Educational Materials for PreK-5 Distance Learning and Teletherapy

Distance learning has become a staple of our current educational system. With the launching of its new Digital Library, which includes more than 340 resources to support distance learning and teletherapy, educational publisher Super Duper Publications is leading the way in providing online learning materials for young students.

This unique Library:

  • Has more than 340 instructional games, cards, and worksheets for educators and parents to use with PreK-Grade 5 students
  • Is updated with additional materials and features weekly
  • Targets specific skills – basic concepts, literacy, grammar, social skills, critical thinking, sequencing, listening, early skills, phonemic awareness, memory, motor skills, sensory integration, phonics, reading, and more.
  • Offers both short and longer activities to benefit students with limited attention spans
  • Is web-based for easy accessibility at school or home
  • Can be used in-person in a classroom
  • Works on a desktop, laptop, or digital whiteboard, as well as on mobile devices such as a Chromebook, tablet or smartphone.
  • Complies with State and Common Core educational standards

“When the pandemic hit, all education shifted online,” said Thomas Webber, chairman of Super Duper. “Nowadays, educators need easy-to-access resources that they can use with students during distance learning and online special education/speech therapy sessions. Parents are also looking for easy-to-understand materials that their children can use during at-home learning. We created this online Digital Library of our most popular print materials, so that educators and parents would have access to the learning materials their children need.”…Read More

5 tips for new, easy and affordable school edtech upgrades

Waiting on a slow computer to load or update wastes valuable time and can detract from lessons and class time. However, shrinking budgets make it hard for schools to offer reliable computers and technology to students and teachers. Many school administrators think buying new devices is the only way to provide computers that will help students and teachers succeed. Rather than allocating budget toward expensive new computers, schools can easily improve system performance, save money and extend the life of existing systems.

The importance of memory and storage is often unknown until something goes wrong with a computer. Upgrading a computer’s memory or storage can help students and teachers be more productive, use classroom apps, and find new ways to engage via technology.

Here are 5 things you can do with upgraded systems that you may not have been able to do before:…Read More

The impact of Google on our memory

What is the last time you memorized  something? do you still retain it in your memory or has it faded away? Memorization, though severely undermined  in progressivists works, is an important mechanism by which our brains keep their alertness and readability to quickly take in and absorb new information, Educational Technology and Mobile Learning reports. This intricate relationship between memorization and  brain powers is clearly documented in cognitive science and while the scope of this short post does not permit to go over some of the scientific studies in favor of this claim, I would  recommend for those of you keen on learning more about this to read Michael E Reese wonderful book Improve Memory: Boost Your Brain Power…

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Net PCs: Can they TKO your TCO?

Net PCs are scaled-down machines that derive most of their power from a central server. They don’t contain CD-ROMs or disk drives, and their hard drives are meant to be used as a local memory cache. The server performs most of the work such as storing data and processing applications. As a result, Net PCs are relatively easy to install and manage, which may keep you total cost of ownership (TCO) down. If you’re considering Net PCs for your computing needs, here are a few models you’ll want to check out.

Gateway e1000N

Processor: Intel Pentium 200 MHz …Read More

EDSITEment offers a grand tour of time and place

The EDSITEment site is a valuable resource for social studies, language arts, and art history teachers of any grade level. The site is sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities in conjunction with the Council of the Great City Schools, MCI, and the National Trust for the Humanities.

A page called Top Humanities Websites links teachers with dozens of the most interesting and informative sites in their field. Links include the American Verse Project (http://www.hti.umich.edu/english/amverse), an electronic archive of poetry before 1920, and Oyez, Oyez, Oyez: the Supreme Court WWW Resource.

Our favorite link, listed under three of the four categories, is the American Memory Project (http://memory.loc.gov), a Library of Congress site that offers a fascinating collection of resources such as photographs, documents, maps, motion pictures, and sound recordings. Through the Motion Pictures link, we were able to download and watch some of the earliest motion picture recordings, such as Edison’s “The Great Train Robbery,” an 11-minute silent film recorded in 1903. …Read More