How the edtech industry can help get education back on track

As we reflect on the last 14 months in the education space, we all understand the toll the COVID-19 pandemic has had on students, teachers, and schools in the U.S. and around the world. With this understanding, we must look for ways that we, the edtech industry, can add true value to these groups in order to help get them back on track in the current and post-pandemic worlds.

Although there are many areas where the edtech industry can help, I have identified a few areas in which edtech leaders, including myself, can make an immediate and meaningful difference:

PD to support in-person, hybrid, and remote learning…Read More

Districts Leverage $300,000 Matching Grant Program to Improve Flexible Learning and Address Social Justice

Recipients receive services from BetterLesson to ensure continuity of learning and resilient pedagogy implementation

“It’s incredibly heartening to see that despite an ongoing pandemic and social and political unrest, schools and districts across the U.S. are motivated to improve teaching and learning in new environments and adopt strategies that promote social justice,” said Matt Kennard, CEO of BetterLesson. “Our team enjoyed reading through each and every grant application – the awarded services are well deserved, and we look forward to supporting recipients in achieving their goals.”

Recipients shared how they will utilize grant services:…Read More

Curriculum Associates Launches Magnetic Reading to Help Students Build Confidence While Mastering Critical Reading Skills

New supplemental reading program for Grades 3–5 engages students with grade-level content using culturally relevant texts

To help students build confidence while mastering critical reading skills, Curriculum Associates has launched the supplemental Magnetic Reading program for Grades 3–5. By providing actionable data and insights, knowledge-rich learning, culturally responsive pedagogy, and scaffolds to support learner variability, the blended research-based program helps teachers facilitate lively classroom discourse and engage all students with grade-level content using culturally relevant texts.

“Providing a combination of both print and digital resources to support students’ acquisition of reading skills and comprehension is a top priority for us—we understand this is what teachers want and what they need to help their students succeed,” said Rob Waldron, CEO of Curriculum Associates. “Magnetic Reading, from its built-in scaffolds to diverse and authentic content, helps teachers truly engage students in the learning process as they practice the skills necessary to become confident and validated readers.”…Read More

7 Mindsets and K12, Inc. Virtual Schools Expand Partnership

7 Mindsets, the pioneer in delivering social emotional learning (SEL) solutions that include mindsets, equity and multicultural pedagogy, is taking on an expanded role in the SEL delivered by K12, Inc., one of the nation’s leading virtual/online education providers. 7 Mindsets will now provide SEL courses and curriculums, leadership training and teacher professional development throughout the entire K12, Inc., system for the next three years.

7 Mindsets and K12, Inc., alliance began in 2014. At that time, 7 Mindsets provided services for four schools designed to help struggling students that were on the verge of dropping out. Three years later, K12, Inc., added 11 more schools to the 7 Mindsets roster. With the expanded partnership, 7 Mindsets is now serving all of K12 Inc.’s schools and over 120,000 students, up from just 27,000 students in 2019.

“K12, Inc., is the largest virtual school organization in the United States, and we are very pleased to be an integral part of their expanding SEL program,” said 7 Mindsets President, Lupita Knittel. “We know that our age-appropriate, culturally-relevant curriculum is not only engaging but as an adaptable, digital curriculum it’s the perfect resource for a virtual school environment.”…Read More

3 ways districts can use AR and AI

Artificial intelligence (AI), mixed reality, and cognitive science research sound like science fiction for today’s classrooms, but this technology is available today. Innovation and technology are as integral to education today as chalkboards were in the past. And with the introduction of emerging, new, and proven technology-enhanced innovations, teachers are creating new ways of teaching and improving student learning, leading to a shift in pedagogy.

Here are three of the latest innovations our district is using.

Lumilo…Read More

Do students like your teaching? Try this and find out

We may underestimate our students’ ability to understand their learning styles. A little experiment can help

teaching-stylesWhat if we asked our students about the type of work they would prefer to do while in class? It may reveal a lot about their personal learning styles. These days, when I meet with students across the country, I perform a little experiment.

After informing the class that they are to learn about Romeo and Juliet, and specifically how to go about interpreting the text, I present them with a choice between two teaching styles, in the form of two different teachers, who I call Teacher A and Teacher B.

I have received some fascinating answers when asking them to explain their first choice. After reading, you may want to design a series of choices (Teacher A-Z) for your own students to see for yourself. Or, even better, have your students design assignments that match their own learning styles.…Read More

6 Characteristics of Great PD (And Great Classrooms)

Great and effective PD usually has these characteristics

PD-6For nearly a dozen years I’ve traveled to various schools and districts to deliver professional development workshops and presentations. Over the years, I’ve also sat in on many ed-tech workshops and presentations at schools, conferences, and “unconferences.”

These experiences have taught me that if our goal is to create fundamental change in classrooms, professional development workshops should ultimately devote less time to the “nuts and bolts” of technology and more time addressing pedagogy and best practices. Technology, in and of itself, doesn’t necessarily change learning. So, the primary focus of any workshop must be the educator’s vision of a technology, and not the technology itself.

My EdTechTeacher colleague (and HarvardX researcher) Justin Reich and I believe that if we want teachers to integrate exemplary practices and lead and inspire the next generation, then we must prepare them in exemplary learning environments.…Read More