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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Cool Toys That Make You Think


Not done with your holiday shopping list? 

 

Not sure what to get your children? You might want to consider some cool toys that promote curiosity and creativity.  Toys that promote STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) not only help children achieve academically but also help them achieve in life. Exposing children to STEM through toys cultivates interest in these subjects in school.

In addition to STEM products, children should be exposed to the Arts.  There is evidence that children involved in the Arts experience both social and academic benefits.  Children tend to have better critical and creative skills and are better at independent learning when the Arts are part of their lives.

So, whether you choose to buy some gifts focused on STEM, the Arts, or better yet, both, your child will benefit from your thoughtful gift choice.

 

Here are some examples of some cool STEM or Arts related gift ideas:

  • ThinkFun
    • From the Escape Game puzzle phenomena to circuit board building games, your child will learn valuable STEM skills sparking an interest in these critical subject areas.
  • Color Alive
    • Color Alive combines art and technology. Design a character with color, then capture the figure on the app and see the character in full animation — lots of popular characters to choose from for boys and girls!
  • Fat Brain Toys
    • A variety of active learning toys including the Code and Go Robot Mouse Activity.  With this toay, children "can build a maze, and then use the coding cards to create a step-by-step path for the programmable robot mouse. Create endless maze path possibilities, and then watch the mouse race to find the cheese."
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Give Thanks


Thanksgiving is a time greeted by celebrations of friends and family.  It is the season of giving thanks for the people in our lives and the things we hold dear.

 

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How will ESSA impact schools in your state?

We know that with the new education law in place states will now have increased control on how their education systems are constructed. But how will that part of ESSA impact schools?

Perhaps there will not be a more obvious outcome of ESSA than how states deal with their classroom teachers.

In the past the federal government was able to dictate the terms of teacher evaluations on a national scale. Many teachers feel that his is a good thing (we agree, by the way) because states will obviously be more in tune with what is happening in local districts and communities and will take those into account when evaluating their teachers.

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ESSA and edtech

What the new education law means for the future of educational technology

As an edtech company and given that we’ve been exploring ESSA over the past few weeks, it was inevitable that we would arrive at the issue of ESSA and edtech.

What does the new law mean for edtech vendors?

Does ESSA allocate more funding for state districts and schools to spend on edtech?

Where will the funding come from?

So many questions. We’ve got answers.

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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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Moving Ahead in 2017
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