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Parent Satisfaction in Private Schools

As school choice initiatives have grown in recent years, a new priority has evolved for school administrators. While student success is ultimately the focus and mission for all schools, many are looking more closely at parent satisfaction as a critical driver for school success. Nowhere is this trend more intentional than in private school environments, where parent satisfaction is one key to competing successfully and maintaining student enrollment in increasingly crowded markets.

When deploying new technologies, consider what parents value the most and develop a strategy that incorporates those values into the tools that parents will consistently use. In a private school setting, consider the following values to increase parent satisfaction:

  • Happy parents value communication
  • Happy parents value transparency
  • Happy parents value community
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ESSA and Its Impact on Personalized Learning

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) gives states and districts the opportunity and responsibility to create a more engaging and effective education system. ESSA embraces a more expansive view of student performance by requiring multiple measures of educational outcomes. Moving away from summative-based accountability aligns with models of personalized learning that incorporate a more comprehensive view of achievement. Read More »

Reality Check: Augmented, Virtual, and Wearable Technology in Education

For months on end The New York Times, Bloomberg, Forbes, Fortune, and others have touted 2016, and later 2017, as “the year of virtual reality.” Was it? Will it be? There’s no argument that alternate, augmented, virtual, wearable, and highly portable digital technologies have been around for some time, with breathless media reports waxing and waning, as they are wont to do. But the question remains: can we avoid the hype-cycle to develop and deploy these technologies where there are real use cases supporting them? Maybe this time is the charm. Read More »

Two Major Trends in the Future of Large-Scale Assessment

Media reports are full of stories that the new administration intends to “repeal the Common Core,” expand vouchers and charter schools, and slash education funding. Talk about disruption. What does all that mean for large-scale accountability testing? In my view, not very much. Large-scale accountability assessments will continue to be necessary in the current administration because they provide information on school performance and provide evidence to support policy-making at the state and federal levels. Large-scale accountability assessment will continue to evolve on many fronts. I see two significant aspects to this evolution.

  1. Continuing Trend Toward Balanced Assessment Systems
  2. Continuing Expansion of the Role of Technology
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Emergence of OERs Part of the Solution to Improving Student Outcomes

Every year there seems to be a new movement in education, more specifically ed tech, that promises to address all the pitfalls that came before it, offering new hope to finding the elusive “answer” to the reason why so many students are failing to achieve the goals we expect of them. Current models, whether traditional textbooks, “set-in-their-ways” teachers, or large and bureaucratic organizations, are vilified, and the new model is always deemed the answer. Oftentimes, however, these models or solutions are started and offered by companies that have never spent a day in a real classroom, which is why they fail when the rubber hits the road. Read More »

Better Learning Through Real-Time Adaptivity and Artificial Intelligence

Browse to any of your favorite news feeds, and you are likely to run across a piece on how artificial intelligence is changing the way we look at everything. Advances in artificial intelligence, specifically in machine learning and deep learning, hold immense promise for providing better learning opportunities and helping more students and teachers achieve their full potential. These advances allow for real-time adaptivity and will greatly improve the classroom ecosystem. Some of the benefits include:

  1. Leveling of the playing field for all students with applications for every learner
  2. Optimized student learning in a more engaging way, leading to improved persistence and self confidence
  3. An optimized classroom ecosystem that improves both teacher and student performance
  4. Discovery of what works and doesn’t work and the ability to keep learners on a sustainable path of continuous improvement
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Dyslexia: Awareness Is Key to Transforming Lives

Dyslexia is today’s most common learning disability, affecting from five to 20 percent of K-12 students across the nation. That means up to 10 million kids face an uphill battle on a daily basis. In reversing this discouraging life trajectory, awareness alone is a crucial first step. The good news is that, to date, 29 states have recognized the importance of awareness by committing to universal screening for all public school children. Along with these screenings comes an obligation to include professional development. Read More »

Reaffirming Our Commitment to High Quality Digital Content

While educators are inundated with free digital content purported to be appropriate for classroom use, standards-aligned High Quality Digital Content (HQDC) specifically developed for diverse student audiences and curated by experts for ease of access is among the most powerful resources available to school systems seeking to improve equity. Key characteristics of HQDC include:

  • The Capability to Boost the Vocabularies of Young Learners.
  • The Ability to Break Down Barriers To Learning For All Students.
  • The Opportunity to Provide All Students Multiple Ways to Demonstrate Mastery.
  • The Ability to Engage All Students in High-Level Thinking.
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Response to Intervention: This Generation of Data-Fueled Decision Making

Response to Intervention (RTI), the result of commitments in the late 1970s to find better ways to identify and support struggling students, continues to evolve in response to more rigorous standards, concerns about assessment, and the impact of advanced technology. Evolution and innovation go hand-in-hand in this next generation of RTI, with three core areas to explore:

  • Distance
  • Partnership
  • Growth
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Rigor with Balance: Exploring interconnected topics and skills for the mathematics classroom

The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) call for three shifts in the approach to teaching mathematics: a greater focus on fewer topics; more coherence of topics across grades; and increased rigor in math instruction.

Teachers need to know what products are truly successful in developing conceptual understanding when they are implemented with fidelity. Criteria to look for in Instructional Materials:

  • Encourage discussion and discourse.
  • Offer multiple visual models.
  • Offer experiences with all types of each operation.
  • Provide powerful visual tools.
  • Delay the introduction of procedures as described in the CCSSM.
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