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July 16th, 2014

School Improvement Network Releases Edivation

Edivation Replaces PD 360 and Brings a New On-demand Professional Learning Platform, Personalized Content Recommendations, and Advanced User Interface

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    Connecticut principal Stafford Thomas blogs about his experience at the School Improvement Innovation Summit 2013.
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  • CNN

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    Cory Linton, executive vice president of operations at School Improvement Network, speaks with CNN about school safety in light of the tragic teacher deaths in Ne
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  • Fox 25 News

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    Cory Linton speaks on Fox 25 News about what's being done to keep students and teachers safe after recent the deaths of Massachusetts and Nevada teachers.
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  • eSchool News

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    eSchool News highlights LumiBook Mobile as one of the 10 best Apple and Android apps for education in 2014.
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    GAEL Summer Conference, Jekyll Island Convention Center, Jekyll Island, GA
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    MEGA Conference, Mobile Convention Center, Mobile, AL
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    Vision2020 Conference, Cox Convention Center, Oklahoma City, OK
  • M.A.S.S. Executive Institute 2014 – July 16-17

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    M.A.S.S. Executive Institute 2014, Mashpee High School, Mashpee, MA
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  • Teaching to Tomorrow

    teaching to tomorrow
    teaching to tomorrowGuest Post by Deia Sanders, Master Teacher and Instructional CoachWith all of the changes occurring in education, we’ve had some push-back from community members who feel as if we should teach our students the way we did when they were in school, and even educators who feel like the change is unnecessary, or too much. I can’t say that I agree with all of the changes we are seeing in education, but I can say that we needed new standards and new methods of teaching. It’s not easy, but it’s necessary.The last time the educational system experienced the upheaval we are feeling now was when we entered the industrial age. This was when we went from one room school houses to schools that were structured more like an assembly line. We still move students through a school building in groups, grade by grade, in a systematic way, just as if we are moving them through an assembly line. This system has worked for a long time, but as the world has changed, experienced a technological revolution, and entered the digital age, the time has come to change again. The truth is that the world is not going backwards, so as an educational system we can’t go backwards by doing things like we’ve always done them, or else we would fail to produce children who can contribute and function in this fast changing world.Here’s research on the world we are preparing our students for. Two-thirds of the careers we are preparing students for don’t currently exist right now. Anything that can be automated will be automated. This has impacted careers at every level. Robots have taken assembly line careers, impacting blue collar workers. Turbo Tax has impacted white collar accounting jobs. Secure middle class jobs such as bank tellers are disappearing thanks to online banking, mobile banking, and ATM’s. Secure jobs where specialists were needed to mold and craft products have been replaced by 3-D printers. Careers with isolated skills are fading away every day.Just getting a job is very different than it used to be. This week I heard a colleague talk about her son’s interview for an accounting position within a company. It was a group interview where he was placed in a room with four other people interviewing for the same position. They were given a business idea then the group had to collaborate and plan a business model together. Afterwards each interviewee went in a room and individually pitched a business model to the interviewers and answered questions.I also heard another colleague discuss her son’s recent web developer interview. He was given a computer generated problem. For his interview he had to figure out how to solve the problem, and then walk a team of people through the process. People no longer want to see your resume or hear you recite rehearsed responses. They want to see how you solve problems and how innovative you can be.A researcher named Tony Wagner recently published his findings regarding the most sought after and needed 21st century skills. The following are the results of his research.
    • Critical thinking, creative thinking, problem solving
    • Collaboration across networks
    • Agility and adaptability
    • Initiative and entrepreneurialism
    • Effective written and oral communication
    • Accessing and analyzing information
    • Curiosity and imagination
    See, if we want our students to be taught the way we were taught, they will memorize facts, work in isolation, learn one skill without having to make connections, learn one way to solve, learn the Dewey decimal system, use encyclopedias, memorize, and look to the teacher for answers to all of their questions. None of those even made the list.Today’s students can access any information they want to know. It’s the role of the teacher to teach skills, and those include helping them know where to get information, discern good information from false, communicate the information they collect, look at items from multiple perspectives, explore different ways of solving, analyze methods, question knowledge, and explore by developing their own methods and knowledge. Educators are responsible for making sure the students have specific skills at specific grade levels similar to skills we learned, but that information has to be presented and assessed through methods that will develop these 21st century skills.As educators our role is to do what is best for our student’s future. Despite politics, despite our own weaknesses, despite it being different from what most of us were taught. We are accountable for being pioneers and innovators in a world we are learning ourselves. We are responsible for incorporating technology that most of our students are better at operating than us. When research shows that classes who use Twitter score higher on assessments, 81% of students use devices to do research, 70% prefer taking notes on a device, 65% use a device in presentations, nearly ¾ of students prefer e-books to textbooks, and 90% of student say tablets or e-books are more efficient, we can’t ignore the changing needs of our students. We can’t teach the way we were taught and reach today’s students or prepare them for tomorrow.If a teacher is teaching the same way you and I were taught, research shows that’s not a very effective teacher. If your child isn’t being challenged and stretched to think in different ways and discern information, they aren’t being prepared for the world they will graduate in to. For some reason we’ve developed this feeling that if we remove our children from the fast-changing educational system we are saving then from the fast-changing world. Or, if we can stop education from changing, we can save our kids. But the truth is that by removing them from these opportunities we are preparing them for our world, not theirs. The fastest growing economies are Brazil, Russia, India, and China, not the United States. By 2030, China will have 200 million college graduates—more than the entire U.S. workforce. By 2017 India will graduate 20 million people from high school—or five times as many as in the United States. Also, by 2035 research predicts that computer processors will think better than us. We have a lot more to prepare students for than what you and I needed to learn when we were in school. And it’s not going to come from answering questions at the end of a chapter.Here’s what research says about educators. They are the most honest, decent, and moral group of people. We don’t think of education as what we do, it’s who we are. Without ego, educators believe we can make the world a better place and change lives. What motivates educators is social justice, or the belief that education is a child’s ticket to success. On the flip side teachers are some of the most resistant to change. So here we are, five days a week, going against our urge to do what we’ve always done, because we want to change the world, and we plan on doing that by pouring ourselves in to educating your child to reach their full potential and be successful in a fast changing world at careers that most likely don’t exist. We understand change is difficult; it’s not easy for us either. But we love your children, and despite our legislature who doesn’t understand adolescent behavior and education, making decisions about education, despite rumors, and sometimes despite what you understand, we are experts in our field, we see your child’s academic learning as a process, we understand the progression before and beyond the year we teach, we see how the future is changing, and we see where your child needs to go. It’s not just our job, it’s our calling to push and prepare your child not only for their academic future, but to be prepared and compete in the 21st century.So to those who say we should teach the way you and I were taught, I say no. No, because I change the world by empowering students every day, and it’s unfair for a child to feel unprepared for the world because you and I didn’t feel like putting in the work to change. No, because when I look at those children I see their futures, and I’ve got to prepare them.
  • Peer Guidance for Student Misconceptions

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    With the proper supervision, peer guidance is often just as helpful as teacher guidance.  When students are given the freedom to teach and learn from their fellow classmates, the classroom blossoms for students and teachers alike. Watch 4th grade teacher Shannon Washburn from Louisville, Kentucky, guide her students to help their peers clarify misconceptions about […]
  • Effective Classroom Management

    Effective classroom management is one of the most difficult facets of teaching. That balance between amiable relationships with students and holding a disciplinary role in the classroom is a difficult line to straddle. Positive classroom atmospheres allow teachers to successfully relay lessons, and even more importantly, enhance a student’s ability to learn. To become an even more effective classroom manager, teachers need to be deliberate, developing strategies before they ever enter the classroom. This can be a strenuous task on top of the heavy load of a teacher’s work. Our blog is here to help and provides a few approaches for effective classroom management that are laid out in our Strategy of the Week section.In an effective classroom, nothing is more important than the student-teacher relationship; in fact, one study calls it the keystone for all other aspects of effective classroom management. This study describes how characteristics of this relationship are not based on the personality of the teacher, but specific teacher behaviors, including:
    • Exhibiting appropriate levels of influence for effective classroom management
    • Exhibiting appropriate levels of cooperation
    • Being aware of high-needs students
    Understanding how to fully invest in each kind of student (the class clown, the leader, the quiet one, the talker, etc.) will allow each pupil to feel acknowledged. This acknowledgement quickly leads to motivation.Although there are a growing number of strategies available, without an emphasized focus from the teacher on effective classroom management,the students are left with a less engaging experience in the classroom. If teachers immediately begin setting rules that are clear and direct, and students consistently abide by those rules, the classroom will continue to be an environment conducive for learning. Time spent preparing at the beginning of the year to manage the classroom effectively sets a foundation for unequivocal classroom learning and behavior.

Edivation is research proven to elevate schools

When teachers use Edivation for as little as 10 minutes a week, it makes a significant impact on student achievement—and on schools as a whole.
*Research based on peer-to-peer comparison.
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Higher student achievement growth*

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