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Creating a Culture of School Technology

February 09, 2016
Heather Horton wants to get rid of the front of the classroom. The tech director at Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools in North Carolina, Horton is leading the charge as her district goes digital. She knows that change starts in the classroom, and if the teacher is a “coach, guide, facilitator for groups of kids working together,” there’s no need for a talking head at the blackboard. So what else is on the agenda for seven of the schools in Forsyth County? Using tech to foster collaboration, communication, and independence, and to get their students prepared for the future. Horton and her...

From Attendance to Assessment (and Beyond): What Data Can Do

February 05, 2016
There are plenty of ways for teachers to use data to support their students - we’ve even written about some of them on this very blog. But analytics tools aren’t just about tracking student performance and behavior in class – they can also uncover important trends and give teachers the insight to offer help when it’s needed most. All around the country, schools are using the power of data in creative ways to make a difference for their students. In Hattiesburg, Mississippi, for example, the school district uses data analytics to find students whose test scores are dropping, or who have...

Supporting Student Social Media Use, Safely

February 03, 2016
I was exchanging pleasantries with a fellow skier on a chairlift this weekend. He was on ski patrol on the mountain and is about the same age as I am. The conversation turned to what I do for a living. I explained that I was a middle and high school history teacher, but now I help teachers at my school use technology to create engaging learning experiences for their students that are more like what professionals do. His reaction was interesting. He said, “Aren’t you glad that all of this technology and social media wasn’t around when we were in school? At least we know we didn’t plaster some...

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