What did 2021 bring to K-12 edtech?

Each year, we share our 10 most-read stories. Not surprisingly, many of this year’s Top 10 focused on student engagement and online or hybrid learning strategies related to pandemic teaching. This year’s 2nd most-read story focuses on the K-12 edtech predictions educators and experts had for 2021–were they right?

When we posted our 2020 predictions on January 1 last year, we–along with the majority of the world–definitely didn’t anticipate the curveball that was (and continues to be) the global COVID-19 pandemic.

2020 has been called a dumpster fire, the worst year in recent memory, and more. Abrupt shifts to virtual and hybrid learning laid bare the vast inequities that exist in the U.S. education system. The move to online learning also made people wonder: Are there practices we can continue when the pandemic abates? What can we take from this when we return to our classrooms? And will we return to our classrooms to teach in the same manner as we did before COVID?…Read More

7 fun digital learning tools to try in the classroom

Each year, we share our 10 most-read stories. Not surprisingly, many of this year’s Top 10 focused on student engagement and online or hybrid learning strategies related to pandemic teaching. This year’s 5th most-read story focuses on under-the-radar digital learning tools.

During pandemic learning, educators have seen a plethora of digital learning tools and resources, and they’re figuring out what does and doesn’t work for their instructional methods.

There are some well-known and much-loved digital learning tools that are part of every educator’s must-try list, but why not throw some new resources into the mix?…Read More

7 tips for a strong remote learning strategy

Each year, we share our 10 most-read stories. Not surprisingly, many of this year’s Top 10 focused on student engagement and online or hybrid learning strategies related to pandemic teaching. This year’s 9th most-read story focuses on strategies for impactful remote learning.

It’s halfway through the academic year, and schools across the United States are still wrestling with how to keep students enthusiastic about learning through a computer screen. According to a recent survey of high school students, more than half (54 percent) reported being less engaged during remote learning than during in-person classes.

In a virtual environment, educators are continually competing with diversions that aren’t present in the classroom, such as social media, television, and video games. Family distractions are also at play, particularly for older students who may care for younger siblings while parents are at work. Amid these disruptions, it can be challenging to get students to consistently log on, stay on, and participate in learning.…Read More

21 great tools for AR and VR in the classroom

Each year, we share our 10 most-read stories. Not surprisingly, many of this year’s Top 10 focused on student engagement and online or hybrid learning strategies related to pandemic teaching. This year’s 10th most-read story focuses on engaging AR and VR tools to use in the classroom.

Nearly everyone has experienced augmented reality and virtual reality to some degree, and while they’re fun, AR and VR can also be incredibly powerful when integrated into classroom learning.

During an engaging ISTELive 21 session, Jennifer Hall, NBCT, an educational technology specialist with Atlanta Public Schools, outlined an abundance of AR and VR apps for students and educators.…Read More

Whatever it takes: How one underserved district continues to make it through the pandemic

Listening to Alena Zachery-Ross, Superintendent of Ypsilanti Community Schools in Michigan, managing her district through this pandemic almost sounds like a positive story.

In this conversation with eSchool News, Alena recalls her strategies for success. From a new appreciation for student voice to closer interactions with the wider community, her ideas will help any district not only survive, but thrive, in these times.

The following has been edited for clarity.…Read More

7 under-the-radar digital learning tools to try this fall

During pandemic learning, educators have seen a plethora of digital learning tools and resources, and they’re figuring out what does and doesn’t work for their instructional methods.

There are some well-known and much-loved digital learning tools that are part of every educator’s must-try list, but why not throw some new resources into the mix?

Here’s a small collection of digital learning tools and resources you may not know about. Give them a look during a much-deserved summer break and see if one, two, or more of them fit into your teaching strategy and academic goals for your students.…Read More

Teachers Offer Tips To Make Summer Learning More Inspiring, Creative and Challenging, Using Osmo for Schools’ STEAM Technology

Exploring Nature, Creating Stories, Learning Financial Literacy, Are Among Ideas Suggested

Palo Alto- From exploring nature to story creation to financial literacy, teachers from around the U.S. offer tips to colleagues on how to make summer learning more inspiring, creative and challenging for students, using Osmo for Schools’ STEAM technology.

Brittany Thomas, 5th grade teacher at Glen Burnie Park Elementary in Glen Burnie, Maryland, says: …Read More

5 reasons to not pass on password protection

For many of us, not a day goes by that we aren’t logging into an account for various tasks, entertainment, or work. As such, we’ve all heard stories of failed password protection…the cousin who had their bank account emptied after their account was accessed or the friend who had their data stolen from a company-wide hack. 

Beyond the stories we share, recent statistics tell an even more compelling story in favor of strong passwords. Here’s how: according to recent studies, 81 percent of breaches at companies or organizations leveraged stolen or weak passwords (2020 Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report) and one million passwords are stolen every week (2019 Breach Alarm). 

Although no password is uncrackable, increasing the complexity of the password can make the process more difficult and has proven an effective method for dissuading hackers, ultimately keeping your accounts and information protected. Check out these five tips to inform a more secure password strategy:…Read More

Creating educational opportunity with equity and fairness

We open this story of opportunity in America where many would begin — with our children, and what opportunity looks like for them today.

Some are born to privilege, with parents who have both the time and resources to invest in their development, living in neighborhoods with strong and cohesive social networks, attending good schools, and benefiting from substantial public investments that support them as they grow. Others are born to struggling families that face daily challenges to provide for them, living in communities with a lack of safe housing options and few job prospects for residents — communities with inadequate schools, many shattered by poverty and violence.

These different starting points place children on distinctly different trajectories of growth, leading to an accelerated accumulation of advantage or disadvantage and, ultimately, to vastly different adult outcomes.…Read More

Kanopy Enhances Kanopy Kids with Short Films from Sesame Workshop and Highlights

According to a soon-to-be released Kanopy survey of more than 730 librarians — primarily in the U.S. –50% of public libraries believe it is their responsibility to provide their local K-12 schools with streaming films that support their curriculum. Despite that, just over 14% say they are currently collaborating with local schools to help meet their needs.

To help facilitate collaboration between public libraries and the communities they serve, Kanopy is adding a dozen Spanish-language videos from Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit organization behind Sesame Street,and 30 films from Highlights to Kanopy Kids. This carefully curated collection now includes a growing selection of more than 1,500 educational, age appropriate videos with parental controls covering topics from STEM to history and story time.

“Parents, educators and librarians know that having access to quality content is important,” said Darryl Eschete, Director of the West Des Moines Public Library. “The educational and instructional films that Kanopy offers helps our library make sure that we meet the strategic goal of supporting education and making content appropriate to all grade levels accessible wherever our patrons are.”…Read More