Convening with a Network of Educational Innovators in the City of Brotherly Love
Reflections from ISTE 2018
This week, we’re attending one of the most collaborative and innovative annual gatherings for education stakeholders in the country — the 2018 EdClusters convening in Philadelphia, PA.
We’ve talked about this in a past post, but to give you a quick recap, Education Innovation Clusters (or EdClusters) are local communities of practice that bring together educators, entrepreneurs, funders, researchers, and other community members (such as families, local government officials and non-profits) to support innovative teaching and learning in their region.
Each year, leaders from EdClusters across the country gather during a multi-day workshop to share new ideas, resources, frameworks and discoveries in an effort to learn from one another and accelerate the pace of educational innovation in their local communities.
Meet our 2018 Lea(R)n Fellows
ISTE 2018 has somehow come and gone, and this one was one for the books - the largest attendance on record (and the best use of an inflatable magical creature, thanks to Project Unicorn). There was electricity in the air from the second you stepped foot in the exhibition hall. Tens of thousands of educators roamed the aisles, interacting with each other and meeting with product providers to check out the latest innovations in edtech (not to mention participating in some of the best karaoke you’ll find anywhere).
Personalize Learning @ Scale: A Framework for Identifying (and Improving) EdTech Outcomes for All Students
LearnPlatform was designed by, with and for educators. Several summers ago, we kicked off the Lea(R)n Fellowship program to take that collaboration to the next level. Now in its fourth year, the program received applications from incredible educators across North Carolina who wanted to help peers get control of their many digital learning tools - and make the best (data-led) decisions for their teams, classrooms and students.
After speaking with a number of fantastic teacher leaders and edtech champions, we are excited to announce our two newest 2018 Lea(R)n summer fellows — David Balmer, an educator with Wake County Public Schools and Laura Linton, Instructional Resource Teacher at Davis Drive Elementary School.
We’re thrilled to begin working with both of these outstanding educators and want to help you get to know a little more about each of them:
Turn Data into Dollars: 3 Tools to Maximize Your Return on EdTech Investment
Effective individualized academic support (i.e., personalized learning) can play a critical role in fostering better student outcomes, regardless of factors such as demographics, environment or prior achievement. While the impact of technology-enabled learning tools has continuously expanded in the U.S., the practice of pairing edtech with best teaching practices and established learning science has created a more efficient and effective means of scaling personalized learning to all students in an equitable manner.
Six Resources to Brighten Any Teacher's Summer
It’s time to lock in budgets for next school year... when schools and districts find themselves asking lots of questions regarding their instructional technology in an effort to work smarter and extend their resources:
What are teachers and students using? What are they not?
Which tools are correlating to positive student outcomes? Do we know?
How well has our spending aligned to instructional goals and budgets? How will it align in the future?
As former educators and active partners with administrators doing this work across the country, we understand the challenges that accompany budget planning. Trying to weigh the costs and usage of your edtech tools with their impact on student outcomes and alignment to your goals and standards is a massive undertaking, primarily if, like many schools and districts, you don’t have enough quality data to support your budgetary decisions.
To the Teachers Who Inspire and the Teachers We Admire: Thank You!
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.
Data Interoperability: Applying Playground Principles to EdTech
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!
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.