Moving Ahead in 2017


New Year, New Technology

A new year always welcomes us with the promise of new opportunities, a chance for change, and the ability to begin anew.

Teachers beginning a new year might begin with reflection. What is working with students, or what could be changed to engage students more? These are common questions that  teachers ponder continuously as well as at the beginning of a new year or semester. A teacher might discover that the answer doesn't lie in her methodology but in the tools available.  

 

So, what if the barrier is lack of technology?

Technology has been infused into almost every aspect of our lives. However, many classrooms lack the technology that is commonly available in our homes and on our phones.  Students are accustomed to interacting with technology. In fact, a recent study by Kelly Wallace of CNN, found that young people ages 8 to 18 spend almost nine hours per day engaging with media technology for their enjoyment. 

 

Understanding that these age groups are drawn to and enjoy interacting with this medium should give us better insight into engaging the Generation Z student.  However, most schools are not equipped with the training or technology to implement programs that promote learning in a way that appeals to this generation. 

 

The challenge for schools is to find the right technology, software, and professional development to propel learning beyond the school day that is meaningful to students. Students should be engaged with learning continuously not just in the classroom.

 

At Thrivist, we want to help schools reach the goal of lifelong actively, engaged  learning.  That's why we created platforms that work for the students of today, and partnered with companies that understand the importance of this work as well.

When planning your next technological move, consider the following:

 

  • Blended Practice Profile
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3 ways xAPI will make you a hero

Use the xAPI or IMS Caliper specs to bring clarity to your schools

If you've been reading this blog, hung around our website or been digging into something called distributed learning then you're likely familiar with newer learning specifications like xAPI (Tin Can) and IMS Caliper. 

Acronyms with an 'x' in them and terms like 'learning specification' are not very approachable. So here's a one sentence summary:

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How to get started with Blended Learning: Part 5

Step 5: Data collection

The decision to adopt a new teaching approach is both exciting and angst inducing. Blended learning offers a new way to reach students, so it makes sense that districts want to harness it's potential. As school districts explore the possibilities of blended learning they are also faced with challanges and obstacles that must be acknowledged and planned for. If you are thinking about how to get started with blended learning, this 7 part blog series will explore the steps you should consider as you adopt this new methodology.

It's helpful to read these posts in order, so before continuing:

As stated in Part 4, selecting an LMS that meets the needs of your teachers and students is a critical step to successfully implementing blended learning. 

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The benefits of a learning record store

The benefits of an LRS are many. We'll spotlight six to whet your appetites. 

A Learning Record Store is (say it with us now) a place to store, sort and share all kinds of learning data. 

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What tools are working best in our classrooms?

Teachers are using a lot of tools to deliver instruction. It's time we made sense of it all using learning analytics. 

Technology has made it possible for institutions to deliver instruction in all kinds of ways. The data generated by these learning tools could provide profound insights to improve outcomes. 

This is particularly true for K-12 schools and districts. Thrivist is collecting vast amounts of data on what takes place throughout the learning experience -- both online and offline. This, in turn, can give us a rounder idea of how each individual learner can be better served. 

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5 facts about Gen Z learners that educators need to know

Meet Generation Z students where they are, not where you think they should be

If we, as educators, are not adapting our curriculum and instruction to be in step with what our students expect, then we are performing a gross disservice to them.

In this post we'll look at 5 facts about Generation Z students and what they mean for teachers, administrators and other educational leaders.

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