Professional Learning Summer Webinar Series

Flinn Scientific is hosting a safe return to school series of webinars, designed to provide facts and information to enhance student learning and facilitate instruction in a safe format, regardless of the learning modality.

Webinars cover safety measures, processes, and protocols required to keep students and staff safe. They have curated the top recommendations from recognized leaders in education, safety, and protection worldwide to help you sort through the overwhelming avalanche of content and readily get to the facts, links, and information that you need.

For School District Personnel
Guidance to Safe School Re-Entry: We all recognize that there is not a ‘one-size fits all’ solution to safely returning to school. In this session, they discuss safety preparation and concerns within schools and maintaining a physically and mentally healthy school environment.…Read More

Helping educators digitize their curriculum

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of thousands of educators have turned to Screencastify to digitize their curriculum and communication in preparation for (or in response to) school closures. In response, we have created a number of free e-learning resources to help both new and experienced Screencastify users get more comfortable using video for this purpose.

To make the transition to distance learning a little easier, we are granting all impacted educators free access to our suite of products through at least April 30. This includes:

  • Recorder. Unlimited access, no restrictions.
  • Video Editor. Full access. Edit, merge, and polish all videos, not just Screencastify recordings.
  • Submit (phased release). We have accelerated the development and launch of Submit, a new product specifically designed for distance learning. With Submit, teachers can easily collect recordings from their students, no extension required.

We will be monitoring the situation closely, and will extend access beyond April 30 if necessary.…Read More

Why should schools change?

The transformation of our schools–from the outdated model that focuses on rote learning of content and short-term preparation for tests, to one of deeper learning that prepares students for success in a rapidly evolving future–is, finally, inevitable.

At a 30,000-foot level, our broad community of education stakeholders—learners, parents, practitioners, administrators, and community builders—is faced with three big questions: “Why” should schools change? “What” does that change look like? And, “how” do we make those changes?

Why should schools change?

During this new millennium of radically increased dynamism in the world around us, our basic system of education has stayed remarkably static.…Read More

5 Cool STEM Grants for 2019

Although we’re still in the middle of our current school year, it’s never too early to get a jump on grants for the 2019-2020 year–especially where STEM funding is concerned.

Grants of all sizes can support research to learn more about STEM instruction, or can help pique students’ interest in STEM.

Check out the following 5 STEM grants–some are research-based, others are for teachers, and a couple are focused around student involvement…Read More

3 ways lesson planning is like following a recipe

Recently, when a friend shared a recipe on Facebook for a pumpkin cheesecake (yum!), it reminded me of the time I tried to make my own cheesecake. I purchased all the ingredients and some new equipment, including that special pan that snaps around the cake. Unfortunately, I missed a step. I did not soften the cream cheese properly. All these years later, I’m recalling myself with four different spoons in the bowl, trying to maneuver my creation and figuring it to be an utter failure. Because I did not want to waste my ingredients, let alone my fancy new bakeware, I pressed on. In the end, the cheesecake was delicious, but the preparation was a bit of a horror story.

Not too long after my attempt to make the cheesecake, I became a teacher (trust me, I’m going somewhere with this). And recently, it occurred to me that lesson planning is like following a recipe.

Like following a recipe, lesson planning ……Read More

Blog: Technology Creates Dynamic Insights at Tampa Preparatory School

At the Tampa Preparatory School, the mission is to provide students “a preparation for life with a higher purpose than self.” Each classman must abide by an honor code and resolve to make a positive difference both in the school and outside world by being honest, respectful, trustworthy, and fair.

Conversely, the educators and staff at Tampa Prep promise to create a place where young people can Think, Create, Be Themselves, Aspire to Excellence and Go Beyond. Students are encouraged to reflect and analyze on the path to personal understanding. They are asked to celebrate the imagination in geometric proofs and formal essays, on canvas, the computer, and stage, in poetry readings and morning assemblies. They are taught to respect people’s differences. And, they are guided toward winning attitudes in academics, athletics and arts so that they may meet the challenges that exist beyond their communities and experiences.

The academy offers concentrated studies in the academic areas of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), Global Studies and Art.…Read More

Kaplan Test Prep launches free live PSAT prep

For many high school students, the PSAT/NMSQT® is more than practice for the SAT® or ACT® — it’s the first meaningful step on their path to college, as a high PSAT score can attract notice from colleges and open the door to scholarship opportunities.

Kaplan Test Prep is launching a free, live PSAT preparation program beginning October 1, with lessons that cover every section of the exam. Free for all students, Kaplan’s PSAT Prep Live will give the 3.8 million students who take the PSAT annually groundbreaking access to live interactive instruction online, taught by master teachers who can answer their questions in real time.

“The PSAT is the kickoff to the college admissions process, and a great score can get students on the college radar for recruitment and scholarship money,” said Lee Weiss, vice president of college admissions programs, Kaplan Test Prep. “With $180 million in National Merit scholarships awarded to top-scoring PSAT takers, we want to help students achieve their best possible PSAT scores, which is why we decided to make our best teachers available for free. We’re excited to provide all students with engaging, motivating content delivered live from dynamic, expert teachers, which will give them the ability to ask and have their questions answered in real time — within a community of other motivated PSAT preppers.”…Read More

Study finds successes, challenges in shift to intensive principal preparation

A report released from the Illinois Education Research Council (IERC) at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, in partnership with the University of Chicago Consortium on Chicago School Research (UChicago Consortium), assesses the progress of sweeping legislation to redesign the way school principals in Illinois are prepared, with the goal of improving schools statewide through higher quality leadership. The report summarizes findings from a two-year study assessing the progress of these ambitious reforms and describing the changes that occurred as a result of the new policy.

“This in-depth look at principal preparation programs is the latest in our series of studies of Illinois’ school leadership and provides insights into the challenges programs face after major reforms and the innovative ways that they have navigated through these challenges,” says IERC Executive Director Janet K. Holt.

Illinois’ new principal preparation policy required universities across the state to shift from a general training model geared toward multiple school administrative positions to more targeted and selective principal-specific preparation beginning in the 2014-15 school year. As a result, the study finds that preparation programs experienced substantial, but not unexpected, declines in enrollment.…Read More

Report: States improve teacher policies

NCTQ’s annual report finds state policies to support teacher effectiveness are no longer the exception in the U.S.

teacher-policyTeacher policies across the U.S. averaged a C- grade, according to the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ), which on Dec. 8 released its ninth annual State Teacher Policy Yearbook.

The annual policy yearbook analyzes every state law, rule and regulation that shapes the teaching profession, from teacher preparation, licensing and evaluation to compensation, professional development and dismissal policy.

Across the 50 states and the District of Columbia, states average a C- for their teacher policies in 2015, up from an overall grade of D in 2009. The average state grade has held steady since NCTQ’s last comprehensive report card in 2013, despite the bar being raised on several key topics, including aligning teacher licensing policies with the expectations of college- and career-readiness standards adopted by many states.…Read More