Think Together Brings in More Than $500,000 at Annual Raise A Hand Event to Support Expanded Learning, Afterschool and Student Learning Recovery Programs

The live virtual event held April 23 was attended by more than 300 guests from across the state of California.

Santa Ana, Calif. (April 28, 2021)Think Together, California’s largest nonprofit provider of afterschool, expanded learning, and school improvement programs, held its annual Raise A Hand event raising $515,000 on Friday, April 23.

Think Together’s annual fundraiser was reimagined this year as a virtual experience with nearly 300 guests registered to attend. The event brought together passionate individuals and corporations to raise funds for student learning recovery programs amid the COVID-19 pandemic and honor students who have overcome challenges in pursuit of their education.…Read More

Think Together’s Helen Welderufael is Named a 2021 “Next Generation of Afterschool Leaders”

Think Together, a Santa Ana-based and California’s leading nonprofit provider of afterschool, expanded learning and school improvement programs, is proud to announce the National AfterSchool Association (NAA), has named Think Together Regional Operations Analyst Helen Welderufael, as one of NAA’s 2021 Next Generation of Afterschool Leaders.

Welderufael joined Think Together in 2018 as the Regional Operations Analyst for the San Bernardino Region. In her role, she oversees the compliance, evaluation, data collection and training for one of Think Together’s largest regions which includes 91 schools across seven school districts.

“We’re so proud of Helen and all she has already accomplished during her very promising tenure at Think Together,” said Randy Barth, Think Together founder and CEO. “Her strong organizational skills, reliability and drive have earned her the respect of her peers and leaders alike and we’re thrilled to have her represent our organization among our industry’s top leaders.”…Read More

Report: Students’ tech use remains infrequent

Students’ use of digital tools and other learning technologies remains relatively sporadic, according to a new study.

Based on direct classroom observations of 140,000 K-12 classrooms across 39 states and 11 countries, the study by the school improvement organization AdvancED found there are still relatively few classrooms in which the use of digital tools and technology is a regular part of a student’s school experience.

The findings come from an analysis of three years of data from AdvancED’s learning observation environments observation tool, eleot, which measures and quantifies active student engagement through learner-centric classroom observations, to determine how extensively technology is being used to engage students in learning.…Read More

Debunking the myth that good teachers shouldn’t use curriculum aids

Expecting teachers to go it alone hurts school improvement. It’s time to reframe the debate

curriculum-teachersThe myth that good teachers have the Midas touch and therefore don’t need curriculum programs has been around for decades. This myth paints teachers as curricular experts who are best positioned to create instructional plans tailored to particular students. It also reflects the prevalence of low-quality and uninspired textbook series that have dominated the market throughout the latter half of the 20th century. Some packages simply did not have much to offer, while others talked down to teachers, as the oft-used phrase “teacher-proof curriculum” suggests.

The perception that good teachers reject textbooks and design their own curriculum has been a persistent belief of educators over the years. Researchers have long noted unease about using teacher’s guides among many teachers, regardless of whether the curriculum in question was a traditional textbook from the 1980s1, 2 or a more innovative program reflecting the vision outlined in the widely adopted National Council of Teachers of Mathematics Standards of the 1990s.3, 4

Under the current era of the Common Core State Standards, this myth is playing out in some districts and schools in a different way. Teachers are encouraged to use the new standards as their guide for what to teach and are expected to gather and develop instructional resources to determine how. Curriculum resources of any kind are viewed as unnecessary, redundant to what teachers already do or should be doing.…Read More

Could your school lead in world rankings?

A new test from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) will let individual schools see how their achievement ranks compared to schools in other countries around the world. The goal, say the creators, is to spur school improvement.

According to a recent report released by the nonprofit educational organization America Achieves, it’s not just low-income schools in the U.S. that have poor performance—it’s the country’s middle-class students, too.

“While the need for educational improvement in low-income communities is real and important, this new report suggests that the need also extends deeply into America’s middle class,” the organization maintains.…Read More

TCEA 2013: Teacher development and school improvement

Users of Pearson’s Schoolnet program now will have access to School Improvement Network’s video segments showing best teaching practices from classrooms across the country.

At the 2013 Texas Computer Education Association (TCEA) conference, a number of ed-tech companies introduced new products aimed at fostering teacher development and school improvement. Here’s a look at some of those solutions.

Atomic Learning demonstrated its iPad app at TCEA: Using the app, educators can watch ed-tech training videos on an iPad from wherever they are. The company also discussed its Mobilize solution, which offers help in deploying mobile learning. Atomic Mobilize includes resources, examples, and stories from fellow educators that illustrate how educators can use mobile devices to create personalized learning experiences for students.…Read More

The science of the sudden school turnaround

New innovations developed by ed-tech company School Improvement Network make it possible to elevate student assessment scores by as much as 20 percent in a single year.

New research helps to unveil the science of the school turnaround, revealing that improving schools dramatically isn’t about working miracles—it’s about having the right tools and the right focus.

Administrators today carry higher expectations on their shoulders than any generation before. With so much at stake, many school leaders question how they can possibly accomplish what’s being asked—to not only raise student achievement, but in some cases to double, triple, or quadruple student success rates.…Read More