3 ways schools play a vital role in community safety

Schools do so much for a community. They provide a safe place for children to learn and grow each day, filled with educators who truly care. However, as a parent or educator, it’s important to understand that many schools aren’t being used to their full potential.

When utilized properly, local schools can uplift safety in your community, providing a place outside of traditional school hours for children and families to feel secure and supported.

The task of neighborhood safety shouldn’t fall solely on teachers and administrators. However, these individuals who have regular contact with local youth can spearhead the initiatives that promote safety in the community.…Read More

Running the numbers: New data on the state-of-play in education

In this week’s Innovations in Education, hosted by Kevin Hogan:

  • Educator retention hinges on these 3 things
  • E-rate spending reveals schools’ tech evolution
  • New report: Equity, Cybersecurity Top List of State Education Technology Priorities

Read more:

All about the IT department: Proven strategies for success…Read More

6 things parents can do to boost school security efforts

As students head back to the classroom, parents of school-age children can play a significant role in helping assure violence prevention and school security measures are implemented in their child’s school.

Parents can be as influential as school board members, superintendents, principals, and teachers in helping prevent violence in schools. In fact, parents–who are also taxpayers and voters–have the power to effect change if they are willing to become involved both individually and collectively.

All members of the education community–including parents–need to be involved in helping provide a safe and secure environment where children can learn without fear. Don’t wait until something bad happens.…Read More

Creating support ecosystems for neurodivergent learners

Since March 2020, we have all assuredly witnessed firsthand the importance of our community – our friends, family, co-workers, and loved ones who supported us, helped us deal with the layers of adversity, and played a critical role in helping us come out of the pandemic stronger. 

While ecosystems are important to all individuals, they are especially crucial to the caregivers and families of neurodivergent learners. Ecosystems for these individuals help provide a sense of belonging for those going through similar experiences, but also serve as a community or network of confidantes and advisors who can help give families direction when time is of the essence.  

Educational professionals play a starring role in learner ecosystems and help bolster them as they provide a listening ear, a credible source of support and validate recommendations to parents. …Read More

Creating student engagement through the power of play

Recently, my colleagues and I attended a summer camp where we introduced students to some fantastic STEM activities. Kids learned how to create their own lava lamps out of everyday kitchen materials. They programed Sphero robots and used them to make cooperative artwork. We also taught them how to make circuits out of batteries and wire, as well as exploding paint bags. The events were endless, and the students had a great time, because more than anything science should be fun!

As I look back on the events of camp, I’m reminded of how important this type of play is for young minds. Play is an essential part of learning and growth. In nature, animal cubs play to sharpen their hunting skills or learn valuable foraging techniques. Among humans, play teaches valuable social skills like communication and cooperation. It also fosters a learning mindset, teaching students to absorb knowledge through exercise and practice.

While unstructured play has its place in education, most teachers need something with a little more organization if we’re to help our students grow. We can accomplish this by dividing play into two distinct categories: Playing Downhill and Playing Uphill.…Read More

COVID crushed engagement–is student-centered learning the solution?

In a new survey of thousands of U.S. educators, teachers validate concerns over student engagement due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but believe that technology and student-centered approaches to teaching can help to reinvigorate students in the fall.

Seven in 10 teachers believe that their students are more engaged when lessons involve play, and 68 percent of teachers said that their students are more likely to remember what they learn during learning activities they choose themselves. The survey of 8,000 was conducted by Kahoot!. 

“Even with most schools back to fully in-person learning, educators are reporting that their students continue to struggle. So much was out of students’ control for so long, and it’s no surprise that we’re seeing teachers pick up on the importance of student choice in their own learning,” said Louisa Rosenheck, Director of Pedagogy for the Kahoot! Group. …Read More

Royelles Launches Industry’s First Inclusive Mobile Gaming Metaverse Dedicated To Educating And Empowering Young Girls

WASHINGON D.C., June 14, 2022Royelles, a global educational gaming (Ed Gaming) platform empowering girls and non-binary individuals through inclusive play, today announced it’s official launch. Royelles is on a mission to disrupt the $180B+ mobile gaming industry through transformational storytelling and inclusive role modeling, in an effort to dismantle the global identity crisis disproportionately impacting girls. 

A female-founded platform for girls, Royelles aims to bridge the gap between girls’ potential and their dreams, and ignite their curiosity and confidence towards solving the world’s biggest problems in STEAM. Royelles’ gamified mobile play platform meets the demands of 21st century 6-12 years olds, and their adult influencers. Powered by AR, AI, and voice technologies, the newly launched, learning-based mobile app is anchored in fierce female avatar personas and real-life super(s)heros with inspiring professions across science, technology, engineering, the arts and math.

“We believe that everyone deserves to be bold, fearless, and undaunted architects of their destinies,” said Múkami Kinoti Kimotho CEO & Founder of Royelles. “Our mission is rooted in opening the window of possibilities to every girl, so that they know that they are fully equipped to realize their greatest potential. And, that their difference is their superpower.” …Read More

How one district is channeling the Power of One for student success

The Columbus City Schools recently released a new Strategic Plan that details how we are going to achieve our mission over the next five years.  This plan is a new North Star for our district, guiding us as we work every day to ensure that all our students are highly educated, prepared for leadership and service, and empowered for success in a global community.

Our plan is called “The Power of One: Students Leading the Way.” It defines exactly how we are going to create our future – where every one of our CCS employees and every one of our partners and community stakeholders has a role to play in contributing to better student outcomes.

It is a plan to come together as one district to ensure every one of our students achieves their full potential. It is a plan that puts student achievement at the forefront, leading the way for our district’s future.…Read More

5 ways technology can help you combat teacher burnout

Teachers are balancing a lot every day, and that pressure has increased since the start of the pandemic. According to the National Education Association, 55 percent of the teachers in a recent poll said they “will leave teaching sooner than they had originally planned” and 90 percent of members who responded said “feeling burned out is a serious problem.”  

Finding ways to ease the stress experienced by teachers and prevent teacher burnout is critical to teacher morale and ultimately, student outcomes. While no one area alone can prevent teacher burnout, tools that are designed with teachers’ needs in mind can play a big role in supporting teachers and making their jobs less stressful.

This is where technology – and specifically the right technology – can make a huge difference in lessening workload, promoting more productive communication, and boosting morale. Choosing the right technology tools can help give teachers more time and support for doing what they love – teaching and impacting students.…Read More