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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Holiday Shopping Ideas Promoting STEM


Looking for gift ideas that support education?

The holidays are here which means a lot of you are looking for gift giving ideas.

Items that inspire education and promote STEM can make great gifts. Unfortunately, these gifts might not get the same attention as the 'hot' trending items do.

Below are a few companies that are making toys that are not only fun but build imaginations!

  • Goldie Blox
    • GoldieBlox is the award-winning children’s multimedia company disrupting the pink aisle in toy stores globally and challenging gender stereotypes with the world’s first girl engineer character. Through the integration of storytelling and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) principles, GoldieBlox creates toys, books, apps, videos, animation and merchandise; the tools that empower girls to build their confidence, dreams and ultimately, their futures.
  • K'nex
    • Founded in 1992, K’NEX, a division of Smart Brands International Co., LLC, was established to make and sell what has become one of the world’s leading integrated construction systems for children, and is America’s STEM building solution. Winner of over 370 international awards and recognitions, K’NEX is focused on Building Worlds Kids Love® and encourages youngsters to “imagine, build and play.”
  • Snap Circuits
    • Snap Circuits® makes learning electronics easy and fun! Just follow the colorful pictures in our manual and build exciting projects, such as FM radios, digital voice recorders, AM radios, burglar alarms, doorbells, and much
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Get the right tools to move from NCLB to ESSA

What technology can you adopt to ensure you seamlessly transition into the new ESSA era?

With the changeover from NCLB to ESSA, (Every Student Succeeds Act) two new funding streams will be made available to schools and districts that support the use of effective education technology. 

The two funding streams will come in the form of block grants. 

With new funding streams becoming available and with the changes that ESSA brings with it... how can you use those funds in order to set your school and district up for success?

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Capture informal learning data into your learning record store

3 ways to populate your learning record store with informal learning data.

Our friends at Watershed published a post earlier this week about different stratgies to collect data from learners distributed learning activities. 

That lead us to consider the different ways that K-12 educators, administrators and stakeholders could do likewise. 

How? 

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How to get started with blended learning: Part 7

Step 7: Putting all the pieces together

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:

Everyone benefits from having a plan when implementing a new program. If you've read all previous 6 posts in this series (and good on ya by the way!) then you've got the steps to begin implementation of a blended learning model at your school and/or district. 

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