5 immersive learning tools for the classroom

Immersive learning might sound like a no-brainer strategy, but it’s a superb way to ensure students are engaged in lessons and core concepts.

Augmented and virtual reality apps are excellent ways to engage students in immersive learning, while at the same time offering a fun learning experience.

Students can explore historical sites, meet sea creatures up close, and more.…Read More

3 familiar tools that enable 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

Community Brands Adds MobileCause to Its Suite of Fundraising Tools

Partnership Creates Powerhouse Solutions to Elevate Fundraising Programs and Results

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. June 16, 2021 – Community Brands, the leading provider of cloud-based software and payment solutions for associations, nonprofits and schools, today announced its acquisition of MobileCause, a premier comprehensive digital fundraising platform.

MobileCause complements the Community Brands fundraising suite by making available self-service, digital campaign tools, aimed to help K-12 schools and nonprofits augment their fundraising programs quickly. Paired with Community Brands’ GiveSmart solution, MobileCause will support the fundraising strategies of midsize and large nonprofits that want to engage donors through a combination of mobile, virtual, hybrid, or in-person events with the support of advanced event fundraising tools, such as auctions and guest management.…Read More

Facing the future through Future Ready

In Part I of this series, I reflected on the journey that led Follett Learning to Future Ready Librarians® and why the time has never been better for librarians to transform their programs using Future Ready tools. 

Now, let’s explore the most important question: Where do you start?

I used to advise librarians to pick a wedge of the Future Ready Librarians framework that aligned with their school’s or district’s strategic objectives. Today, aspiring Future Ready Librarians have a new Self-Assessment Tool designed to assess their strengths and areas of growth related to the Future Ready Librarians framework. Where are you on your Future Ready journey?   …Read More

4 under-the-radar data points to track as schools reopen

One of the most powerful tools in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic has been data. Data analytics has informed what we can do, when we can do it, and has kept us safe. As more schools reopen their doors, data is also playing a vital role in ensuring they do so safely.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) issued key indicators for dynamic school decision making, which include measures of underlying community transmission as well as a measure of adherence to key mitigation strategies. While these indicators provide a solid foundation for establishing and maintaining in-person plans, they aren’t always inclusive of the data that parents, teachers, and staff need to feel comfortable about returning to the classroom.

To gain buy-in from these stakeholders and help inform plans as schools reopen, schools districts must also consider four under-the-radar-data points. Let’s take a look.…Read More

4 ways our district finds educational opportunities during the pandemic

The pandemic has created plenty of seemingly insurmountable challenges, but it has also presented amazing opportunities for school districts. Maybe the opportunity is the chance (or the necessity!) to try new tools that may have been too risky or training-intensive in more normal times. Maybe it’s an attitude of goodwill and mutual aid that strengthens relationships among district stakeholders. Maybe it’s a big injection of funding from the CARES Act that will let you make long-needed purchases or investments in your district that previously felt out of reach.

Whatever the case, the post-COVID world is going to be different. The good news is that the world to come, especially in your own school district, has not been determined yet, and we have the opportunity to put our stamp on it before it ever arrives.

Here’s how we’ve been taking advantage of opportunities at Marion County School District to keep students on track as much as possible throughout the pandemic, along with a few ideas about how we’ll do things differently in the post-COVID world.…Read More

How to use VR for engaging art lessons

There’s no shortage of interactive digital tools for the classroom, and virtual reality is no exception. Virtual reality can help engage students in all manner of lessons, including art class.

I’m really into using tech in my art classroom in any way (read about how I use Plickers in art) and I based one of my Masters assignments on research around technology, differentiation, and self-paced learning. I’m usually tweeting about it, too.

If you’re interested in getting to know a bit more about edtech and self-paced learning, this TED Talk by Salman Khan called ‘Let’s Use Video to Reinvent Education’ is a good starting place.…Read More