When it comes to edtech, it’s not about the tools, but how you use them

In this week’s Getting There: Innovations in Education, Editor at Large Kevin Hogan explores how to get the most impact out of the edtech tools in your district.

Also in this podcast:

  • New cyber security standards attempt to help secure district networks through awareness.
  • Dr. Matthew X. Joseph, Executive Director of Learning, Providence Public Schools on the power of human networks.
  • How video creation tools can improve parental relations.
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Cybersecurity learning standards offer a new look at a consistent threat

CYBER.ORG has released the nation’s first voluntary K-12 cybersecurity learning standards to be used to in schools and districts around the country. As the United States continues to face an onslaught of sophisticated cyberattacks, there are more than 464,000 unfilled cybersecurity positions nationwide.

As the first national effort to align cybersecurity learning criteria across all 50 states, the K-12 cybersecurity learning standards aim to build a strong, more diverse talent pipeline to protect U.S. national security and maintain U.S. competitiveness on the world stage, while helping address the cybersecurity workforce shortage. States now have the option to adopt the K-12 cybersecurity learning standards ahead of the 2022-2023 school year.

“The national K-12 cybersecurity learning standards are critical to providing the next generation of students with the skills and knowledge to pursue cybersecurity careers, ultimately helping solve the cybersecurity workforce gap,” said Kevin Nolten, Director of Academic Outreach at CYBER.ORG. “For the first time, educators have a roadmap for uniformly teaching cybersecurity to students in each grade band across the country. We are thankful to all our partners who dedicated their time to making the standards an incredible success and look forward to helping states adopt the standards in the coming year.”…Read More

West Sound STEM Network Expands Partnership with Slooh to Engage More Students in Space Exploration

Washington Depot, Connecticut, October 29, 2021 – Slooh, the only organization offering live online telescope feeds of amazing astronomical events to students, and the West Sound STEM Network recently expanded their partnership to help more teachers and students throughout northwest Washington State engage in space exploration that is aligned with state and national standards. After successfully providing a number of Network member schools with access to Slooh’s robotic telescopes and patented Mission Interface last year, West Sound STEM Network is now expanding the program to reach 250 teachers and 10,000 students. This comes as Slooh works toward its goal of helping one million students nationwide experience the wonder of space from their classroom and home computers.

“Our partnership with Slooh is – and has been – highly inspirational for our teachers and students,” said Dr. Kareen Borders, executive director of the West Sound STEM Network. “Our schools are actively exploring the moon, Mars, and beyond in real time!”

Serving the Olympic and Kitsap peninsulas, the West Sound STEM Network is a public-private regional network committed to building PreK-career pathways to postsecondary credentials and a stronger STEM workforce. The cross-sector network of businesses, school districts, education agencies, higher education institutions, Career and Technical Education (CTE) practitioners and providers, government, military, community, Tribes, library systems, nonprofits, out-of-school providers, and workforce development agencies introduce and link students, teachers, and the community to high-quality STEM resources, such as Slooh.  …Read More

How 3D tech can help overcome learning hurdles

Over the past year, virtual learning proved to be a mixed bag of success. Some students adapted; but for others, learn-from-home was a gargantuan hurdle. Many school systems, in fact, were forced to alter their student performance standards simply due to the number of failing grades students were receiving.

A recent McKinsey study showed that present forms of virtual learning, especially those built around videoconferencing, actually widen learning gaps. But don’t make the mistake in thinking that technology itself is to blame for these educational struggles.

If anything, new solutions are sorely needed. Students need the ability to learn effectively both inside and outside the classroom. There needs to be a seamless connection between modes of learning, with immersion at the core. The right technology can make this happen.…Read More

Marking a New Era in Education, MindSpark Learning® Launches First of It’s Kind Certification in Disruption

August 3, 2021 — Denver, Colo. — MindSpark Learning® (MindSpark™), a nonprofit that delivers extraordinary and sustainable learning experiences for educators and professionals, is taking the concept of ‘disruption for good’ further than ever before in the education sector with the launch of the Disruption Certification (D-Cert). D-Cert is designed to recognize and reward the highest possible standards in education. 

The Disruption Certification uses a human-centric architecture designed to renovate the global education system, with district and school leaders being at the forefront of the change. This certification is not a band-aid but a solution that places meaning and value on the preeminent leverage points for education. The D-Cert is based on emergent practices driven by accountability, transparency, and performance. This certification is intergenerational and comes with a duality to retain and expand our educator talent, while activating the next generation to take its place in the workforce. 

While companies have long focused on stakeholder value, education has been slow to follow suit and acknowledge the broader ecosystem. The landscape of global education is changing and D-Cert defines a new set of rules. D-Cert’s robust, peer-to-peer network will fuel a collective vision, amplify the voices of strongest education leaders, and drive enduring prosperity for our society. It will put intelligence into practice by upskilling and uplifting educators across the globe – changing mindsets and behaviors about what it means to lead and learn. …Read More

Osmo For Schools Celebrates Five Years and Upgrades to Plastic Manipulatives in School Bundles for Classroom Hygiene & Safety

Osmo Projector App for Teachers Reaches 100,000 Downloads

Osmo for Schools, the educational division of Tangible Play that promotes in-classroom usage of Osmo’s award-winning educational systems, celebrates its fifth anniversary March 30, 2021 and highlights recent achievements. These include upgrading to plastic pieces in all its school bundles to maintain the highest standards of classroom hygiene, along with reaching 100,000 downloads of the Osmo Projector App intended for teachers, which helped grow Osmo’s community of active users. 

“Osmo for Schools began thanks to all the incredibly enthusiastic teachers across the U.S. and Canada who adopted Osmo as an educational device for classroom settings, promoting its usage, so that schools and districts started to purchase it,” explains Jan Richards, head of education sales and marketing at Osmo for Schools. “In early 2016, Osmo began our division by forming a sales team, a conference strategy, plus a Classroom Kit for schools, which really took off. It’s come a long way since!” The division now has 15 sales and consulting executives who work under Richards, offers nine different learning system bundles, and works with thousands of school districts.…Read More

Osmo For Schools Celebrates Fifth Anniversary

Osmo for Schools, the educational division of Tangible Play that promotes in-classroom usage of Osmo’s award-winning educational systems, celebrates its fifth anniversary March 30, 2021 and highlights recent achievements. These include upgrading to plastic pieces in all its school bundles to maintain the highest standards of classroom hygiene, along with reaching 100,000 downloads of the Osmo Projector App intended for teachers, which helped grow Osmo’s community of active users. 

“Osmo for Schools began thanks to all the incredibly enthusiastic teachers across the U.S. and Canada who adopted Osmo as an educational device for classroom settings, promoting its usage, so that schools and districts started to purchase it,” explains Jan Richards, head of education sales and marketing at Osmo for Schools. “In early 2016, Osmo began our division by forming a sales team, a conference strategy, plus a Classroom Kit for schools, which really took off. It’s come a long way since!” The division now has 15 sales and consulting executives who work under Richards, offers nine different learning system bundles, and works with thousands of school districts.

All Learning System Bundles Upgraded To Plastic Manipulatives for Effective Sanitization…Read More

Twig Science Nevada Approved for Statewide Use

The Nevada Department of Education has adopted Twig Science Nevada, a complete Pre-K–6 curriculum from leading education multimedia company Twig Education, making it available for purchase statewide.

Twig Science Nevada is aligned to the Nevada Academic Content Standards for Science (NVACSS) and transforms the standards into immersive, investigative journeys in which students take on real-life STEAM roles—from astronomers and ecologists to roller-coaster designers—to make sense of local and national phenomena and design, build, and test solutions to engineering challenges.

“Twig Science is my pixie dust,” said Julie, a 4th grade teacher. “It keeps the students excited about learning something new. They can’t wait for the next lesson.”…Read More

BenQ Introduces First Wireless Presentation System Purpose-Built for Classrooms

BenQ, an internationally renowned provider of visual display and collaboration solutions, is ensuring teachers and educators can quickly and easily respond to new demands in the classroom with the launch of the InstaShow WDC20E. The first wireless presentation system (WPS) built for the education market, the WDC20E delivers the same intuitive screen-sharing functionality to meet user and IT standards as leading corporations but fit for a school budget.

“There’s no time to waste in the classroom, and teachers must be ready with easy-to-use, network-free tools that engage and immerse students smoothly and immediately,” said Bob Wudeck, senior director of business development at BenQ America Corp. “Our new InstaShow WDC20E was built in direct response to the rising need for educators and students to share their screens right from their seats and to do so easily, affordably, and securely. Learning is just a tap away.”

Tap & Teach …Read More