Five Posts You've Found Most Valuable in 2018

We receive a lot of feedback from the teachers and administrators we work with on ways to enhance their experience with LearnPlatform and on which topics in the world of edtech they find most beneficial or would like to learn more about. When educators share their insights, we listen. And over the past few months, we noticed a handful of topics seemed to resonate within the education community more than others.

In an effort to continue helping educators understand how to make their edtech work smarter for them and drive increased student outcomes, we want to re-share some of the recent posts that our readers have engaged with and shared the most in 2018. As always, your feedback is welcomed.

Six Resources to Brighten Any Teacher's Summer

As another school year inches closer to an end, summer is just around the corner. For some teachers, that means teaching summer classes or participating in professional development training. For others, it might mean enjoying an all-too-brief respite before the fall semester comes rushing back. No matter how you spend the coming months, it can be hard to relax and enjoy the summer, knowing how much planning and work it’ll take to prepare when the new school year starts. That’s why our team is here to give you a little extra peace of mind, with a handful of resources to help you enjoy the summer and feel confident about kicking off the new semester on the right foot.

To the Teachers Who Inspire and the Teachers We Admire: Thank You!

It’s #TeacherAppreciationWeek – a time to admire, reflect on and show our appreciation for the incredibly challenging and fruitful work that teachers do every day.

Teachers are tasked with not only preparing us for future academic success, but success in life and our careers as well. Not one of us can say we’d be where we are today without the guidance and motivation of at least one inspirational educator who pointed us in the right direction. With that said, we like to send a monumental “THANK YOU” to all the teachers out there. You deserve to be celebrated every day for all the hard work you do!

Data Interoperability: Applying Playground Principles to EdTech

Share. Play nicely together. Get along with others. For most of us, these lessons are imparted at a tender and impressionable age in order to lay the groundwork for our development into successful adults. If these concepts are so fundamental to our development from a young age, and so obviously beneficial to our success, why is it that we struggle to incorporate them in the methods and standards we employ when collecting and disseminating data on the edtech being used in the same classrooms that imparted this essential wisdom in the first place? This “get along with others” approach to edtech tools and platforms is commonly known as data interoperability and is a key concern in edtech management, and an opportunity for developers to apply lessons learned about sharing and cooperation into effective use.

Steps Toward Better Student Data Privacy

Cybersecurity has been at the forefront of many news headlines in the past year, shining a spotlight on what education leaders are doing to protect their students’ data from potential attacks. The administrators we work with - from those running a single school to those managing entire states and networks - are concerned with the best way to accomplish this, while still driving the endless list of goals and activities to equip and prepare students for success in college, career and life. With so many pressing requirements and needs on their plates at any given moment, finding solutions and methods for addressing student data privacy regulatory compliance and safety can seem like an insurmountable task. LearnPlatform was designed hand in hand with educators and administrators to address issues just like these.

Student Data Privacy: A Who, What, Why and How

School districts are mandated to protect student data, but it is a difficult task when rules and regulations are still in development and vary between districts. When it comes to the sheer amount of data collected, education is no exception and the sensitivity of the personal data, when collected from students, is great. In this post, read some essential facts regarding student data privacy, as well as how LearnPlatform provides a solution to these needs while preserving districts’ budgets and protecting your district from the consequences of noncompliance. Understand the who, what, why and how of student data policies in the U.S., and what this could mean for both the developers and implementers of edtech within classrooms.

Musings from Austin - SXSW EDU 2018 Recap

SXSW EDU holds a special place in our calendar, as I outlined on their blog a few months ago, “Quality Time Takes Quantity Time.” It serves as:

  1. A useful touchpoint on the high water challenges of the education innovation space;

  2. An opportunity to connect with old and new friends to share our work and theirs; and  

  3. An anniversary for us to reflect on progress on our mission to expand equitable access for all students to the tools and teaching that drives the best outcomes for them.  

A week after the close of the conference, I’ve had 17 seconds to decompress and reflect on what we saw, heard and thought while in Tejas…

Four Reasons We Come to Work Every Day

We’re biased. I’ll admit it. Our CEO tells us that we should operate with a “bias toward responsible action” in every decision we make, with team and customer interest at the heart of everything we do. In fact, it’s a core value that every new employee is introduced to even before day one – during the interview process.

In essence, this commitment to responsible action translates to a cohesive team built on integrity and trust. Every member of our collaborative team functions with support from the others, but ultimately has all of our trust to make decisions, take action and move forward in the best interest of our network of educators based on the best information available. That level of organization-wide trust is rare and can only exist in an environment filled with rock star team members who strike that delicate balance between autonomy and collaboration. Here are a few of the awesome team members who help advance learning, and provide educators with tools to personalize learning at scale and increase equitable access for all students — and make working at Lea(R)n a joy.