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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Experience Based Learning

Recently, I participated in my first Escape Game.  Those of you who aren't familiar with the concept should really check them out.  The basic premise is that a group of people are locked in a theme based environment and must break the code / solve several puzzles in order to beat the clock and escape before time runs out.  These puzzles can vary from beginner level to advanced leves and are a mixture of all subject areas.  

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Are you prepared for ESSA?

ESSA begins to take effect in early 2017. Are you ready?

ESSA, or Every Student Succeeds Act, the long awaited successor to No Child Left Behind will start to take effect at the beginning of this coming year. 

A major focal point of the new law is on formative, rather than summative assessments. 

This can cause a major shift in the instructional models schools are using and the way districts have set up their curriculum.

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Why have a Learning Record Store?

You know what a Learning Record Store is but why do you need one?

That’s a quote from an outstanding blog post by the good people over at Learning Locker where they explain why a company or organization would need a Learning Record Store (LRS).

It’s a broad and basic quote for sure but, in our minds, is extremely applicable within the context of education.

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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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Can a Checklist Really Give You a Clear Picture of a Classroom?

Based on Dr. John Tenny’s whitepaper Observation Checklists vs. Observation Data

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