Pivot Interactives Announces New Iris™ Technology to Increase Students’ Active Phenomena-Based Learning

(May12, 2022) — Pivot Interactives introduces a new set of tools, Iris™, which make learning critical science concepts—such as heat transfer, Beer’s Law, light emission, population density, temperature (infrared and blackbody), pH, and wavelength—accessible to students regardless of classroom equipment or teaching experience. With this new patent-pending collection of color and light measuring tools, students can now take quantitative measurements of color & light for themselves directly from information encoded in a video within a web browser.

“Making measurements using light is a fundamental practice of science. From optical measurements made by microbiologists to the light gathered by powerful telescopes, light, and color-based measurements are at the heart of science at every scale,” says Peter Bohacek, CEO and Founder of Pivot Interactives. “But light- and color-based measurements are normally out of reach in the classroom, limited to expensive and complex equipment. Pivot Interactives brings the power of light- and color-based measurements to students’ fingertips. As the leader in using interactive videos for science education, we are thrilled to be the first to make the power of light- and color-based measurements available to classrooms everywhere.”

Iris technology addresses three critical issues that science classrooms face:…Read More

10 cool AR and VR tools for the classroom

We all know that augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) are super fun, but AR and VR tools can also be incredibly powerful when integrated into classroom learning.

What’s the difference? AR is the idea that the user brings something into their real world and using a device to see something that isn’t actually there–animation or 3D images come into the real world. VR immerses a person in the experience, as if they’re actually there.

AR and VR tools have a number of benefits for students, and because the tools are engaging, students are more likely to absorb classroom lessons and concepts. Plus, students are engaged in active learning with AR and VR tools.…Read More

3 tools to support trauma-informed teaching

While the awareness of trauma-informed teaching has been a concept I have grappled with, teaching amidst the COVID-19 pandemic has moved this concept to the forefront in terms of how to be effective as a trauma-informed educator in the virtual classroom. 

Trauma is prevalent in the lives of both educators and learners.  Though prevalent, it can also be silent in that it is not always a visible or known quantity.  Living through a pandemic, by its very nature, has been traumatic for everyone and it is important to debrief and reflect on the failures and successes of our educational practices during this time.

It may be surprising to learn that as of 2020, according to the CDC-Kaiser Ace Study, up to two-thirds of U.S. children have experienced at least one type of serious childhood trauma.  Some examples include abuse, neglect, or witnessing violence.  Trauma may be the largest public health issue facing our children today (CDC, 2019).  It is imperative that we are not only aware of these statistics but that we act on known strategies that help our students cope with trauma so that they can meet with success in both in-person and virtual classroom spaces.…Read More

Unistellar Research: Got Questions About Outer Space? Forget Google—Just Ask Your Kids

San Francisco—February 3, 2022— A pathbreaking study just confirmed something that many parents already suspected: young Americans have a voracious interest in outer space, already know a lot about it, and are eager to learn much more. But while most parents are excited to know that their kids are interested in space, and are eager to encourage that interest, they’re unsure about how to do it. The study was released today by Unistellar, the pioneer of New Astronomy, whose smart telescopes give space lovers novel tools so they can explore the cosmos in new and exciting ways. The survey queried more than 500 American parents with children ages 7-14.

Our kids have their eyes on the skies

According to parents, there are a vast number of young space lovers in the U.S.—93% of American kids are interested in outer space, and 84% became even more interested in the subject over the last year. The numbers tell a dramatic story:…Read More

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.
…Read More

How social and emotional competence leads to educational equity

Educational equity is achieved by equipping students with tools to overcome some of the pre-existing barriers that impede their ability to succeed in school and thrive. Although educational equity was a priority in many school districts prior to the events of the past year and a half, talks surrounding the initiative have amped up–of the 10 largest school districts in the United States, eight now identify equity as part of their mission statements or core values.

Achieving educational equity requires multiple strategies and initiatives because the sources of inequity are so numerous and varied. One of the most important strategies is the promotion of students’ social and emotional competence (SEC).

First, we must understand how equity is defined. Recently, Jagers, Rivas-Drake, and Borowski asserted that educational equity “means that every student has access to the resources and educational rigor they need” (2018, p.1). Similarly, the Center for Public Education stated that, “equity is achieved when all students receive the resources they need so they graduate prepared for success after high school” (2016, p. 1). Both definitions make clear that the focus of educational equity efforts needs to be on the individual student. Equity is achieved when every (Jagers et. al) or all (CPE) students can benefit from education.…Read More