Tech & Learning - August 2019

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VOLUME 40 / NUMBER 1

TECHLEARNING.COM

IDEAS AND TOOLS FOR ED TECH LEADERS

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EDTECH EDEN THE BEST OF ISTE19

HOT TOPIC: SOCIAL EMOTIONAL LEARNING See page 20 for more.

See page 32 for more.



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CONTENTS 13

FEATURES

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TECH & LEARNING AT ISTE 2019

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SOCIAL EMOTIONAL LEARNING REVOLUTIONIZES ISTE: IS “EDTECH” EDGING TOWARD REDUNDANCY?

Highlights from ISTE’s annual edtech conference

By Caitlin Krause When SEL is partnered with technology, isn’t it just learning?

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REPORT: TECH & LEARNING LEADERSHIP SUMMIT, JUNE 2019 By Eileen Belastock

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WHEN INVENTIONS BECOME INNOVATION

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DISTRICT LEADERS SHARE WHAT THEY’VE LEARNED WITH NEW TECH INITIATIVES

By Todd Dugan Cutting-edge Philadelphia schools focused on student-centered projects

By Annie Galvin Teich

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A Q&A WITH FUTURE READY PRINCIPAL SANÉE BELL, MORTON RANCH JUNIOR HIGH, KATY (TX) ISD By Tara Smith

PRODUCTS

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BEST OF SHOW AT ISTE 2019

Meet the winners of Tech & Learning’s ISTE Best of Show 2019

DEPARTMENTS & COLUMNS

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EDITOR’S NOTE: SHOW BUSINESS

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TRENDING What leaders want most from data dashboards; 10 design principles for high schools; esports expand opportunities for K–12 players; Common Sense survey results.

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BIG IDEAS The next big trends in #edtech; esports: the down and dirty stats for educators; tips and resources from Microsoft and Google; inspiring teachers.

30 EXECUTIVE BRIEFS 31 BACK OFFICE BUSINESS Tech & Learning (ISSN-1053-6728) (USPS 695-590) is published monthly (except July and December) by Future US, Inc., 11 West 42nd Street, 15th Floor, New York, NY 10036-8002 POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Tech & Learning, PO Box 8746, Lowell, MA 01853 Periodicals Postage Paid at New York, NY, and additional mailing offices.

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EDITOR’S

note AUGUST 2019

SHOW BUSINESS

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hat a week! The numbers from Philly confirm the claim that the ISTE show remains the biggest edtech event in the US. The total number of participants topped out at 20,369. They came from all 50 states and 81 countries. They learned from 3,196 presenters, including 479 students. They sent 123,479 tweets using #ISTE19, #ISTE2019, and #ISTEinPA and shared 104,222 Instagram stories. More than 550 education companies exhibited in the ISTE19 Expo Hall at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. For Tech & Learning’s part, we tried our best to cover it all—from the keynotes and sessions to the parties and press conferences. We followed the social media scene live through our social media hub. We hosted a few events of our own (see page 15). We also asked some of our favorite edtech bloggers to share some of their takeaways from events, which you’ll find in our Big Ideas section. One of the biggest efforts of the week was performed by our stalwart crew of pseudo-anonymous advisors who braved the show floor and the avalanche of pitches and tchotchkes to judge this year’s Best of ISTE competition. More than 100 companies entered their latest and greatest FOR TECH & LEARNING’S edtech wares to be scrutinized. Those companies whose PART, WE TRIED OUR technologies were identified as extraordinary should know BEST TO COVER IT ALL— that this recognition is not just a badge of participation FROM THE KEYNOTES but a true endorsement by some of the most innovative AND SESSIONS TO THE educators in the country. Congratulations to the winners. PARTIES AND PRESS What were your takeaways from ISTE19? Drop me a line at CONFERENCES. WE kevin.hogan@futurenet.com.

— Kevin Hogan Managing Director, Content kevin.hogan@futurenet.com

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FOLLOWED THE SOCIAL MEDIA SCENE LIVE THROUGH OUR SOCIAL MEDIA HUB. WE HOSTED A FEW EVENTS OF OUR OWN AND ASKED SOME OF OUR FAVORITE EDTECH BLOGGERS TO SHARE SOME OF THEIR TAKEAWAYS FROM EVENTS.

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twitter.com/techlearning Group Publisher Christine Weiser christine.weiser@futurenet.com CONTENT Managing Content Director Kevin Hogan kevin.hogan@futurenet.com Contributing Editor Annie Galvin Teich Advisors Carl Hooker, Andrew Wallace, Marianthe Williams, Steve Baule, Jean Tower, Hank Thiele, Jenith Mishne, Frank Pileiro, Patricia Brown, Phil Hintz, Ken Wallace, Rick Cave, Chris Aviles, Diane Doersh, Mike Jamerson, Rico D’Amore, Todd Dugan, Grace Magley, Andrew Marcinek, John Marcus, Laura Chesson, Jon Castelhano, Karen Fuller

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All contents © 2019 Future US, Inc. or published under licence. All rights reserved. No part of this magazine may be used, stored, transmitted or reproduced in any way without the prior written permission of the publisher. Future Publishing Limited (company number 2008885) is registered in England and Wales. Registered office: Quay House, The Ambury, Bath BA1 1UA. All information contained in this publication is for information only and is, as far as we are aware, correct at the time of going to press. Future cannot accept any responsibility for errors or inaccuracies in such information. You are advised to contact manufacturers and retailers directly with regard to the price of products/services referred to in this publication. Apps and websites mentioned in this publication are not under our control. We are not responsible for their contents or any other changes or updates to them. This magazine is fully independent and not affiliated in any way with the companies mentioned herein. If you submit material to us, you warrant that you own the material and/or have the necessary rights/permissions to supply the material and you automatically grant Future and its licensees a licence to publish your submission in whole or in part in any/ all issues and/or editions of publications, in any format published worldwide and on associated websites, social media channels and associated products. Any material you submit is sent at your own risk and, although every care is taken, neither Future nor its employees, agents, subcontractors or licensees shall be liable for loss or damage. We assume all unsolicited material is for publication unless otherwise stated, and reserve the right to edit, amend, adapt all submissions.



NEWS TRENDING ANDTRENDS THE LATEST NEWS & STATS AFFECTING THE K-12 EDTECH COMMUNITY

top10 WEB STORIES

From techlearning.com

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Best of #ISTE19 Podcasts Great

for Those #NotAtISTE Podcasts include experts discussing accessible technology, digital equity, digital portfolios, inclusive classrooms, podcasting with students, and more.

UBTECH Education Launches

Early Innovator Grant for Robotics, Coding Information on a competitive grant to provide free robotics kits, curriculum, and professional development to integrate robotics into STEM programs.

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Transform education by making learning experiences more immersive for students.

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Free Tutorials for Digital Design

Autodesk Design Academy offers free, easy-to-follow projects with tutorials, guides, and videos.

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Amazing Green Screen Ideas for Fun Learning Adventures Use these tutorials and examples to engage learners with green screen technology.

4 Ways to Improve Digital Equity in Your Classroom From inconsistent homework policies to a perceived lack of empathy and understanding from teachers, these solutions address digital equity from the student perspective.

TechRadar Selects: The Best VR Apps for Education

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10+ QR Code Activities to Inspire

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“Kids don’t hate history. Not if it’s done right in an engaging style with images and great questions and small groups and problems to solve.” —Glenn Wiebe “Adults should help kids change headlines by turning negatives into positives. Dr. Marialice B. F. X. Curran provides advice for how kids can be responsible digital citizens by sharing their voice, solving problems and creating solutions, and empowering other kids.” —Lisa Nielsen

Curiosity and Engage Learners Tips and resources to create active learning opportunities with QR codes and activities.

The World is Complex—Our Kids Need to Understand That National Geo survey reveals gap in what young people know about the world and what they need to know.

How Do Teachers and Schools

Develop Young Innovators? The key to inspiring young innovators is S.A.I.L.—Several Attempts in Learning. Innovation is a long, difficult journey to the right solution that involves failures along the way.

15 Ideas to Make Sure Project

Based Learning Supports the Standards In true project based learning, the project uncovers and facilitates the learning of significant content.

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BLOG BITS

TOP TWEETS Megan Frazer Blakemore @meganbfrazer: The Stupid Ideas in Tech session at #ISTE19 is a good reminder that any tech tool can be purposeful in the hands of a good, creative educator ... and … any tech can be useless if we are lazy with it. It all comes back to the teaching. Chris Stengel, CETL @CRStengel: What if high school wasn’t preparation for real life but instead actually was real life: @chrislehmann #TLTechLive



TRENDING

APPS OF THE DAY FROM TECHLEARNING.COM

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App of the Day picks are selected from the top edtech tools reviewed by Common Sense Education.

WHAT YOU WANT

Evo by Ozobot is a miniature robot with lights, sound, sensors, and wheels.

A recent Common Sense survey of 1,200 US teachers confirms some assumptions but finds some surprises when it comes to tech in the classroom:

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Digital citizenship is being taught in a majority of schools.

Teachers believe digital citizenship is effective in helping students make smart, safe, and ethical decisions online.

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Teachers worry about their students’ ability to critically evaluate online content.

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More than a quarter of high school teachers report sexting as an issue. Video is the king of edtech in the classroom.

Teachers place a high value on digital creation tools in developing 21st-century skills, but these tools are among the least used in the classroom.

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The gap between the edtech products teachers use and what they say is effective is real and cuts across subjects.

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Many teachers are not receiving effective professional development (PD) to support their use of educational technology.

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Many technology products purchased by schools and districts go unused.

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Home access to technology continues to be a challenge for teachers and students in schools serving lower-income students.

PicCollage—Photo Collage Maker and Picture Editor

PicCollage is a creativity app that allows users to create fun and playful designs combining photos, text, drawings, and stickers.

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Teachers who assign homework that requires access to digital devices and/or broadband internet outside of school are more likely to teach in affluent, non-Title I schools than in Title I schools.

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Approximately a third of teachers (29 percent) said that it would limit their students’ learning “a great deal” or “quite a bit” if their students didn’t have home access to a computer or the internet.

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Tiny Robot Teaches Kids Programming Basics

Classic Puzzle Play Enters Digital Age with Tangram

Osmo Tangram provides plenty of puzzles and levels of difficulty to engage and challenge students.


TRENDING

10 ESSENTIAL DESIGN PRINCIPLES FOR HIGH SCHOOLS

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WHAT K–12 LEADERS WANT MOST FROM DATA DASHBOARDS A data dashboard is an information management tool that visually tracks, analyzes, and displays key performance indicators (KPI), metrics, and key data points to monitor the health of a department or specific process. What do educators need from a data dashboard? ■ It must be easy to use and easy to understand ■ It’s important that the data show clearly when a trend is meaningful ■ It must facilitate quick decisions by making the problem and the source of the problem obvious ■ It must present student information from multiple sources to create a complete picture of the student’s strengths and weaknesses ■ It should display educational KPIs to measure and evaluate school and district progress.

Springpoint Schools is a national nonprofit that partners with districts, charters, and networks to design and launch innovative high schools that can meet the needs of all students, preparing them for college and career success. They provide school design and planning workshops, implementation supports, tools and resources, customized coaching, and learning experiences that help educators do school differently. Their work is based on the premise that a high-performing high school:

1. FOCUSES ON POSITIVE YOUTH DEVELOPMENT 2. HAS A CLEAR MISSION AND COHERENT CULTURE 3. MANAGES SCHOOL OPERATIONS EFFICIENTLY AND EFFECTIVELY 4. HAS AN EFFECTIVE HUMAN CAPITAL STRATEGY 5. DEVELOPS AND DEPLOYS COLLECTIVE STRENGTHS 6. EMPOWERS AND SUPPORTS STUDENTS 7. ADHERES TO MASTERY OF RIGOROUS STANDARDS 8. IS POROUS AND CONNECTED 9. PERSONALIZES STUDENT LEARNING 10. CONTINUOUSLY IMPROVES ITS OPERATIONS AND MODEL

SOURCE: THE TECH EDVOCATE SOURCE: SPRING POINT SCHOOLS

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TRENDING

ESPORTS CLUBS EXPAND LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES FOR K–12 PLAYERS With a global fan base of 380 million, a growing number of schools are creating esports clubs. Over the past year, the number of schools affiliated with the High School Esports League (HSEL) grew from 200+ to more than 1,200. Esports offer an opportunity for all students—not just those who excel in traditional athletics—to enjoy skill-based competition. Esports enable some students to express themselves and develop self-confidence in social engagement. A growing number of research studies suggest that esports help students learn to multitask, solve problems, collaborate with peers, and develop perseverance through trial and error. Esports also develop a foundation for STEM careers.

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SOURCE: ED TECH MAGAZINE

CoSN

The Early Career K–12 CTO Academy is a new program that was developed to address the needs of education technology leaders who are new to their positions. Participants will have the opportunity to enhance their understanding of edtech leadership and make a positive impact on student-centered, digital learning in their school districts. The academy prepares new technology directors with fewer than four full years of experience to: Be part of discussions centered around new strategies for meeting the needs of diverse learners.

Launches Early Career K–12 CTO Academy

F O R M O R E I N F O R M AT I O N G O TO CO S N .O R G / T H E AC A D E M Y 9

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Lead the creation of a culture of innovation in their school district. Benefit from the experience of veteran tech and curriculum leaders in the areas of supporting student-centered learning, technology budgeting, technical support strategies, infrastructure, effective strategies for communications, and more. Improve the soft skills necessary to work effectively with others in the culture specific to their school district. Build a Professional Learning Network (PLN) of edtech experts and other new CTOS through face-to-face and virtual meetings.



BIG IDEAS

power of understanding and sharing educators’ stories about education. You can check out her story at https://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=0gw6FPry6Ys.

PHOTO COURTEST OF ISTE

DIGITAL CITIZENSHIP: STUDENT STYLE

ISTE CEO Richard Culatta

THE NEXT BIG TRENDS IN #EDTECH FROM @ISTE CEO RICHARD CULATTA AT #ISTE19 By Lisa Nielsen

DIGITAL EQUITY

DeGennaro also participated in the ISTE U Artificial Intelligence Course.

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nnovative educators understand the importance of being in touch with the latest trends in edtech. Richard Culatta, CEO of the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), brought the next big trends to life at ISTE19 by asking global leaders in four different areas to explain what’s in store. 2019/20: The Year of ...

EDUCATOR VOICE Patricia J. Brown, a tech specialist for Ladue (MO) School District, has learned first-hand the

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ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE AI is so important, Culatta says, that General Motors approached ISTE with their concern that today’s students won’t graduate prepared to work for them. They need students who are immersed in and knowledgeable about AI—but most teachers aren’t teaching these skills. Fortunately, teachers like April Keck DeGennaro, who teaches at Peoples Elementary School in Georgia, is teaching AI. In her SCREAM lab (science, computing, robotics, engineering, artificial intelligence, and math), students use technology to interact with others around the world to solve real-world problems in their community and beyond.

Virtual and augmented realities were on full display on the show floor at ISTE19.

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Dr. Marialice B. F. X. Curran and her twelveyear-old son, Curran Dee, explained the importance of including students in digital citizenship conversations and lessons before they’re teenagers. Mother and son have a joint social media account so that when he turns 13 he’ll have the tools and guidance necessary to be successful. Curran Dee explained that to learn about the digital world, kids need to be in it. Instead of telling kids what not to do, adults should help kids change headlines by turning negatives into positives. Curran provides advice for how kids can be responsible digital citizens by sharing their voice, solving problems and creating solutions, and empowering other kids. You can check out their story: DigCitKids: Lessons Learning Side-by-Side, to Empower Others Around the World.

Dr. Nicole R. Howard, assistant professor at the school of education at the University of Redlands, and Dr. Sarah Thomas, regional tech coordinator in Prince George’s County (MD) Public Schools, explained the importance of digital equity and hearing and sharing all voices. Both are members of the ISTE digital equity network. The COSN Digital Equity Toolkit is a useful resource. Some digital equity strategies include: ■■ Homework hotspots: Provide a map of internet hotspots around the community. ■■ Low-cost broadband programs: Search for programs that serve your community, such as EveryoneOn. ■■ Mobile hotspots and devices: Programs like the 1Million Project provide mobile hotspots and devices. ■■ School bus wifi: Companies like Kajeet can provide internet access for students who have long commutes. ■■ Schools as wireless hubs: Some schools are using LTE technology to push internet access to their communities. ■■ Digital Equity PLN: Join the digital equity network Lisa Nielsen (@InnovativeEdu) has worked as a public-school educator and administrator since 1997. She is a prolific writer best known for her award-winning blog, The Innovative Educator.


BIG IDEAS

ESPORTS: THE DOWN & DIRTY STATS FOR EDUCATORS— LIVE FROM #ISTE19 By Lisa Nielsen If you want to know about the next big thing in edtech, you should know about esports. Here are takeaways from the “Esports in Education: Everything You Wanted to Know” session at ISTE19 hosted by Microsoft.

❱ WHAT ARE ESPORTS? When people play video games competitively, they’re playing esports, or electronic sports. Just like football players play football together, esports players play video games together. Baseball players fill stadiums, and so do esport players. It’s a billion-dollar industry with more than 500 million people predicted to watch them in 2020.

❱ THE STATS

❱ COLLEGE SCHOLARSHIP OPPORTUNITIES Hundreds of colleges provide scholarships for esports athletes. Currently there are more than 16 million dollars in scholarships available.

❱ STEM INTEREST Video game playing is positively correlated with interest in STEM fields. Esports are STEM.org approved.

Future ready skills Improvements in: • Attention • Problem solving • Digital literacy • Technology fluency • Math achievement

❱ THERE IS A CURRICULUM

❱ SCHOOL SUCCESS

Esports teach students about platform technologies, databases, big data, and machine learning.

Students who play esports are known to have: • Improved attendance • Improved participation in school activities • Decreased at-home game play • Improved GPAs.

The High School Esports League has a curriculum, and you can access it at bit.ly/ gamingcurriculum.

❱ CAREER READINESS

❱ ACCESSIBILITY AND INCLUSION All students can participate in esports (unlike traditional sports).

SOCIAL CONNECTIONS Esports are a great way for students to connect.

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Lisa Nielsen (@InnovativeEdu) has worked as a public-school educator and administrator since 1997. She is a prolific writer best known for her award-winning blog, The Innovative Educator.

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BIG IDEAS

#ISTE19: Top News, Tips, and Resources from Microsoft and Google Education By Shelly Terrell MICROSOFT EDUCATION Microsoft Education’s Immersive Reader, a free and powerful literacy tool, is the tool I’m most excited about this year because it helps support struggling readers of all ages. This year’s ISTE conference highlighted lots of ways to use Microsoft Education apps and tools to engage and support learners. Top Microsoft Education Tips and Updates ■■ Minecraft Edu and third-party apps have integrated Immersive Reader into their products. ■■ The Flipgrid video camera will be the default video recording tool in OneNoteto allow students to record and embed videos. ■■ Teachers and students will be able to log in and use Office365 apps with their Google accounts. ■■ Immersive Reader will be available for the full captioned transcript of every Flipgridvideo response. ■■ With Flipgrid AR you can scan a video’s QR code and watch in AR. ■■ Presenter Coach is a new PowerPoint feature that allows students to enter rehearsal mode and receive on-screen guidance about pacing,

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inclusive language, profanity, filler words, and originality as they speak into a microphone. ■■ Skype Classroom’s fall update will feature easier searching and filtering. Go to https://www.techlearning.com/news/ top-microsoft-education-news-tips-and-resourcesfrom-iste19 for links to updates and some of the top tweets on Microsoft tips and resources from #ISTE19.

GOOGLE EDUCATION ISTE19 also highlighted lots of ways to use Google apps and tools to engage learners and make grading, assessment, feedback, PBL, gamification, student engagement, collaboration, student choice, and student voice easier and more effective. Top Google Education Tips, Updates and Resources ■■ Studentscan now earn a GSuite certification ■■ Google Classroomis adding several grading features, including rubrics, and has a new user-friendly design. ■■ Now you can import questions from other forms on Google Forms, which is also getting a makeover.

■■ Google Expeditions is now compatible with Chromebooks and students can use Tour Creator to build their own virtual reality tours. ■■ Google has new grammar suggestions to improve writing. ■■ In their presentation, Get in the Game! Lil Gamers, @mrsnpartyka and @k8wakeshare downloadable Choice Menus and Game Boards, tips for managing choice work in Google Classroom, and ideas for gamification with Google Forms. ■■ Add Screencastify’s screen recording videos(create tutorials or show students how to use websites) to Google Slides. Go to https://www.techlearning.com/news/ top-google-education-news-tips-and-resourcesfrom-iste19 for links to updates and some of the top tweets on Google tips and resources from #ISTE19. Shelly Terrell is a Technology and Computer teacher, education consultant, and author of books including Hacking Digital Learning Strategies: 10 Ways to Launch EdTech Missions in Your Classroom.


BIG IDEAS

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THE TEACHERS WHO INSPIRED OUR TOP INNOVATORS By Sascha Zuger

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hile Professor Larry Hedges was out of the country on a previously scheduled engagement, we were lucky enough to celebrate our other four Top Innovators of 2019 in person at a reception in their honor at Philadelphia’s McGillin’s Olde Ale House during the 2019 ISTE Conference. Always eager to recognize the impact teachers have on students—and on the future of tech—we asked our innovators to share a little about the educator who most inspired them.

MICHAEL COHEN “The Tech Rabbi” I’ve had a few incredible teachers over the years, and it’s difficult to choose one who you can credit with impacting your life. For me, one of those educators is Dr. Tim Green—my grade-school

professor. He’s more than just an incredible teacher; he modeled many of the characteristics I admire in educators today. Beyond his dedication to his students, he connects and learns from a global community of educators through social media, and he’s constantly refining his craft through presenting at conferences and creating content. As far as teachers go, he continues to have a significant influence on me, on a personal as well as a professional level.

RICHARD MARGOLIN CTO and Founder of RoboKind (MILO, the Robot) Mr. Corbin Doyle is an arts and technology teacher from whom I had the good fortune to take several classes. Through his photoshop, film, and other art classes, he taught me how to think through projects and tell stories, and he challenged my ideas in ways that helped me shape them into fully formed pieces. He helped me learn to think

creatively through digital art, showing me that technology is not just a tool but a creative outlet worth understanding. He is still an amazing teacher, and his students love learning from him. I was lucky to be in his first class.

IRAN DAVAR ARDALAN Founder and Storyteller-in-Chief, IVOW The educator who inspired me in my own school days is Mary Ann Irvine. She passed away last year, but she was a champion for multiculturalism and embedded in me a love of learning and acceptance of global cultural values. I will accept this honor in her memory.

TYLER MENEZES Executive Director, SRND (Code Day) Working in computer science education, one might assume a CS teacher had the biggest impact on my life, but I think it was actually my high-school biology teacher, Max Rose. Biology was a subject I thought I hated, but with his relentless enthusiasm and focus on crossovers with my existing interests, I left his class feeling excited. (It’s still a casual interest today.) I’ve made a career out of replicating that feeling for the millions of students who think they hate programming.

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Show Starters ISTE19 in Philadelphia was a marathon for the Tech & Learning team. Events started the weekend before at the Tech & Learning Leadership Summit. Attendees began the event touring Drexel University’s ExCite Center and FirstHandPhilly, two cutting-edge programs devoted to experimenting in new forms of education technology. The following day involved intense workgroup discussions that touched on everything from the emergence of CTE in schools to the importance of data privacy for students. The fun continued Sunday night after the keynote as Facebook for Education hosted an event for more than 100 Tech & Learning readers to announce some of their new initiatives. Finally, to wrap things up, the editors celebrated the most inspirational people in edtech for 2019 with a party at Philadelphia’s legendary McGillin’s Olde Ale House.

Group Publisher Christine Weiser with game changer Iran Davar Ardalan,Founder and Storyteller-in-Chief at IVOW.

Group Content Director Kevin Hogan with game changers Milo and his creator Richard Margolin (above) and Michael Cohen “ The Tech Rabbi” (right).

A fun time was had by all at McGillan’s Olde Ale House, the oldest continually operating pub in Philadelphia.

PHOTO COURTEST OF ISTE

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ISTE attendees pour into Maggianos Philadelphia after the Sunday night keynote session to a reception hosted by Tech&Learning and Facebook.

More than 125 innovative educators attended the invite only event.

The edtech team from New York City ham it up in front of the photobooth.

Adam Seldow, Head of Facebook Education Partnerships, gives attendees a sneak preview into the company’s next step’s in education.

Innovators line up for the party to start.

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An EdTech Extravaganza! Scenes from a full week exploring the powerful possibilities of using technology in the classroom.

ALL PHOTO COURTEST OF ISTE

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Social Emotional Learning Revolutionizes ISTE: Is “Edtech” Edging Toward Redundancy? By Caitlin Krause

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t this year’s ISTE conference, three sessions had the words “socialemotional” in their titles. This isn’t an overwhelming number by some standards, yet it’s more than in the past, when the word “emotion” was a rare term at a conference all about technology. Social-emotional learning (SEL) is earning its “buzzworthiness,” as research shows it to be a prime consideration and priority when designing for effective learning. And ISTE, a conference well-known for its tech leadership, is leading the charge in promoting SEL integrated with tech. For example, one of this year’s sessions featured coding training combined with fostering social-emotional skills, another highlighted engagement-driven social-emotional learning for greater inclusion and well-being in schools, and a third promoted using

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collaborative tools and multimedia, including music and video, to incorporate social-emotional learning (SEL) in the modern tech-rich classroom. I came to ISTE to present a series of talks about mindfulness and learning, to co-lead a preconference workshop and featured session about virtual reality and presence, and to debut my book, Mindful by Design. To me, technology facilitates learning, and aspects of mindfulness and SEL are foundational. Everything is connected in a learning community, and educational technology is, of course, part of the picture. During the conference, as I met more and more people who joined ISTE for empathyinfused themes, including storytelling, sketchnoting, visible thinking and SEL, the thought dawned on me: could it be that “edtech” is becoming a redundant term? Should it just be

“learning?” After all, technology is ever-evolving and is becoming a seamless part of learning worlds as it focuses more and more on what is holistic and human-centric. Tech conferences (including ISTE, right at the forefront) seem to be shifting to embrace what’s been known since Piaget, Dewey, Minsky, and Papert proclaimed it: community and belonging make a difference, and in learning worlds, it’s all about projects, passion, peers, and play. Tech is a natural part of this, as is the social-emotional. We build meaning through a connected experience, and that connection happens inside and out. At ISTE, the connections were palpable and emphasized the “whole learner”—in fact, ever since ISTE rolled out the updated student standards, which include attributes like “Global Collaborator: I strive to broaden my perspective,


SEL AT ISTE 2019 understand others, and work in teams effectively using digital tools,” and “Digital Citizen: I understand the rights, responsibilities, and opportunities of living, learning, and working in an interconnected digital world,” it’s been clear that empathy, self-awareness, and social-emotional skills are foundational values. In these standards, the ISTE executive board has made them visible. SEL is something that can and should be fostered at every level of education. The question in my mind soon became not if or why SEL is being integrated into tech and learning, but how is it being interpreted and used? And who is leading the charge? I soon found solidarity, discovering that third SEL-focused session at ISTE, led by Tamara Fyke, a creative entrepreneur who founded the organization Love in a Big World in 1996. Fyke came to ISTE to show how multimedia (namely music and videos) gets students thinking creatively and collaboratively. She says prioritizing SEL is vital to learning, as it “helps kids identify what is going on in their heads and in their hearts, so they can use their hands to build up and not tear down.” And, when SEL is partnered effectively with technology, the two amplify each other. “Like arts and games, technology can provide a microcosm of the real world for kids where they can practice their SEL skills,” Fyke says. As I then led sessions about mindfulness, SEL, and storytelling (and some VR, too) with a group that included IT directors, curriculum developers, administrators, teachers, and others, it became clear that everyone is using tech in some way—

The team at the Wabisabi booth at ISTE

Kiddom’s team

and most are extremely motivated to use it in the best way possible, in their environment, with their communities in mind. It’s social, and it involves emotion as well as a design thinking skillset, with empathy for the user experience prioritized. I would

certainly call that being Mindful by Design. Exploring ISTE reinforced my view that this new prioritization is happening across edtech, from apps to learning platforms. From wellestablished Goliaths to startup Davids, the scene is starting to feature SEL in a major way. Here are four standout examples from the ISTE expo you might not have heard of (yet): 1. Mind Yeti is a mindfulness app conceived in the innovation lab of the nonprofit Committee for Children, a leader in social-emotional learning. Mind Yeti’s product development team, which includes seven PhDs, developed the app based on current research. “SEL skills are best learned when dialog is part of the learning process,” says Polly Stansell, VP of Product. “Deeper learning of SEL skills happens when they’re explicitly and directly taught. We’ve seen some promising results when children are able to practice the skills that they’ve learned in either immersive environments or through games that allow them to practice executive function.” 2. An AR app from Finland called 3DBear is

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SEL AT ISTE 2019 taking SEL to new levels through its innovative use of storytelling. Founder Jussi Kajala says they were inspired by Minecraft Education, also a Finnish invention, which helped to level the playing field but lacked interaction with the environment. 3DBear helps kinesthetic and visual learners flourish in the classroom, he says, by giving students a chance to tell stories in AR and represent emotions. The mission is to turn every child into a maker and designer able to visualize their world and solutions to problems. 3DBear earned an ISTE19 “Top Pick in Learning” award from Common Sense Media and has announced a partnership with the Digital Citizen Institute. 3. Wabisabi is a program designed to capture evidence of learning at every step of the journey, with formative digital tools, resources for portfolio work, assessments, and more. Founder Lee Watanabe-Crockett describes how the company is true to its name: “Wabisabi embodies the essence of a learner’s journey. At its core, it’s about growth and transformation, but also about learning from mistakes, adapting to uncertainty, and dealing with change. Our mission is to help teachers and learners leave the fear of imperfection and finality in learn-

LIKE ARTS AND GAMES, TECHNOLOGY CAN PROVIDE A MICROCOSM OF THE REAL WORLD FOR KIDS WHERE THEY CAN PRACTICE THEIR SEL SKILLS. —TAMARA FYKE, FOUNDER OF LOVE IN A BIG WORLD ing behind. … Nothing is permanent except change.” The company is redefining pedagogy through “brave conversations” about values and meaning, both within and beyond traditions of learning, to create a growth mindset. 4. Kiddom is a platform that’s designed to help teachers save time, connecting schools from bottom-up and top-down, using data and research as a guidepost. Because Kiddom is interdisciplinary, SEL is interwoven into its fabric. Kiddom includes resources to ensure teachers know how to incorporate SEL. As Chief Academic Officer Abbas Manjee says, “As technology gets smarter and continues to empower us, the future won’t depend on students learning how to code or take AP calculus.” Students need to learn instead “how to solve complex problems with empathy and sound decision making. We need to work on fusing SEL skills into ‘professional’ skills and then drop the label.” It’s not just views about SEL that are changing—the tenor of the entire approach to edtech is changing. As we enter an age of robust artificial intelligence that’s able to partner with humans, The Mind Yeti area had “spa water” ( fruitinfused), stress balls, and soft, fluffy seats, plus a screen to demo the mindfulness app.

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increasing productivity and performance through the automation of tasks and replicable processes, the emphasis in education focuses more and more on our ability as humans to give information context and meaning. We need to build and innovate with keen perception, ingenuity, and compassion. Why shouldn’t SEL be top priority in education? The fact that ISTE and other organizations recognize and encourage SEL as a necessary coponent of education is ushering in the next era of learning. The coming fifth industrial revolution will be one of building meaning as we integrate digital materials with purpose. As ever, the heart leads the way. Caitlin Krause (@MindWise_CK) is a former teacher and curriculum designer who now runs the consultancy MindWise. She is the author of “Mindful by Design,” with resources and a global community online at caitlinkrause.com.



TECH AND LEARNING

LEADERSHIP SUMMIT, JUNE 2019 By Eileen Belastock

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he elation felt while attending the June 2019 Tech & Learning Leadership Summit in Philadelphia could be compared to the exhilaration of running up the Rocky Steps in the City of Brotherly Love. This edtech summit brought district leaders together to discuss innovative models of schooling, tech breakthroughs that drive innovation, and what schools are doing to create the next generation of innovators. The leadership summit began with four innovative guest speakers committed to the projectand inquiry-based learning in their schools and communities. A statement from Chris Lehman, founding principal and CEO of the Science Leadership Academy Schools network, hit home with the leaders assembled: “the key to innovative learning is for educators and administrators not to fall in love with the curriculum at the expense of the students.” Lehman described how the Academy Schools focus on the “why” that drives the learning, and curricula are designed to meet the needs, interests, and goals of each student. The group was engaged when Ayris Colvin, principal of Building 21, a competency-based school, described how the school focuses on finding alternative ways to teach students and meet students where they are. Using learning models, teachers develop problem-based learning projects based on community or career problems. Students are not the only ones who need innovative learning environments, as is evident in the mission of the nonprofit Philadelphia Learning Collaborative. Founding director Crystal Cubbage described the PLC as a grassroots organization focused on training and supporting K–12 educators who are student-centered, progressive, and interested in more in-depth learning. The organization’s purpose is to compile, create, and share resources that help schools support student growth related to real-world problems and interpersonal skills. Ron Woodard, the assistant superintendent of instruction at Maury County (TN) Public Schools, inspired Summit attendees when he declared that

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it was time for the narrative to change. It’s our civic duty, he said, to provide every child with the excellent education they deserve. His district is committed to ensuring that there are no barriers to learning, and they focus on producing a great product (students) by developing partnerships and relationships with local business to support the interests and needs of students. Energized by the innovative and visionary work being done in districts around the country, edtech leaders had the opportunity to discuss, with each other and with the four presenters, what innovation does and could look like in their districts. These roundtable discussions were the catalyst for themed working group sessions where attendees and sponsors gathered in conference rooms to discuss challenges, share best practices, and offer solutions regarding innovative learning that support teaching and learning in school districts.

The session on blended and personalized learning focused on the importance of school districts developing platforms that combine and integrate robust synchronous and asynchronous tools to truly enable an anytime, anywhere learning environment. Edtech leaders like Travis Taylor from Little Rock, Arkansas, described how traditional personalized learning provides a platform to teach students based on a particular need. However, he emphasized that personalized learning should also be viewed as an opportunity for students to choose their educational path, with schools providing the resources and support to meet those goals. Changing pedagogy happens when innovative learning and anytime, anywhere learning are a priority for districts. In the working group session with this particular focus, edtech leaders agreed that the challenge for districts is determining how to shift the focus from the technology itself. Diane Doersch, from the Green Bay Area Public School District, said that school districts need to rebuild curriculum for universal instruction. Many in this session echoed her thoughts. Most school districts are well equipped with tech tools but must now provide guidance and resources for teachers to make pedagogical changes that meet the learning needs of all students with multi-level systems of support. The escalating concern of student data privacy in school districts was evident in another working group session. All agreed with Andrew Wallace, from South Portland (ME) Schools, that districts need to be out ahead of student data privacy issues. Developing partnerships with student data privacy alliances, training teachers on the importance of student data privacy, Attendees learn more about their off-site visit in a Q&A with Andy and partnering with vendors to limit Stutzman, who leads civic technology efforts at Drexel University’s shared information are steps that all ExCITe Center, and Adam Durant, Program Manager for High School school districts should be taking. programming at FirstHand, an educational initiative of the University While states are proactively creating City Science Center legislation that protects student data


privacy and PII, these laws often have unintended consequences that can hamstring teaching and use of digital tools. Many new school buildings have been built across the US in the last ten years, and innovative state-of-the-art buildings are providing school districts with opportunities to create learning spaces that encourage collaboration and personalized learning. In the working group on learning spaces, school districts like Anderson (SC) school district discussed how traditional classroom spaces and outdoor areas are being converted into “Innovation Learning Labs” and playgrounds that provide both Attendees visit Drexel University’s ExCITe Center. physical and virtual learning experiences. Attendees in this session agreed that when designing new spaces, build(AL) SD, emphasized that every emerging idea ings, or classrooms, it’s essential to envision what or technology needs to provide compelling, chalsuccess will look like in the new learning space. lenging, and engaging educational experiences for Artificial intelligence, drones, virtual assisevery one of our students. Pete Just, from Wayne tants, esports, and interactive media were focus of Township (IN), advised having edtech coaches discussions in the emerging technologies working train teachers on both the mechanics and the ingroups. Donna Williamson, from Mountain Brook structional impact of technologies such as VR and

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AR in classrooms. All agreed that, to be successful, the implementation of any emerging idea or technology requires strategic planning that involves all stakeholders—including library media specialists, tech coaches, students, and teachers. The carnival-themed snacks in the afternoon brought the attendees together at the day’s end, but what enticed them to stay was the opportunity to share lessons learned during the Summit. Discussions ranged from planning for staff, administrators, and community partnerships to creating digital citizenship programming for parents and students. The edtech leaders praised Summit organizers for providing them with opportunities for one-onone vendor meetings, hands-on visits to innovation schools, and for the chance to hear different perspectives on these topics from districts across the country. A consistent theme echoed throughout the Summit was the power of edtech leaders embracing technology, not as an isolated component, but as an integral partner in providing innovative experiences for our students and teachers. Eileen Belastock, CETL (@EileenBelastock) is a Director of Academic Technology in Massachusetts.

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WHEN INVENTIONS BECOME INNOVATION By Todd Dugan

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ach year in late June, ISTE is held in a large US city, drawing educators and administrators from across the globe. Hailed as the premier gathering for all things “edtech,” the ISTE conference hosts some of the largest and most interactive displays of classroom technologies. Many of these tools claim to be capable of innovating teaching and learning. What sets these products— whether they be software or a new device—apart from the numerous edtech inventions flooding the growing K–12 edtech marketplace?

privacy screen. These and other student-led inquiry projects demonstrated how empowering students and providing them with access to the tools they need to create can lead to end results every educator and administrator strives to see daily: demonstrated competencies. At the second site, the Drexel ExCITe Center for Expressive and Creative Interaction Technologies, participants saw similar demonstrations of learning, with more emphasis on the advanced expression involving “technologies.” As students demonstrated the game they had coded, which is now for sale on Xbox One Marketplace (the game is called Sole), or showed how they learned to program an automated drum set to play the “Su-

entering the program at a fifth-grade reading level to make rigorous and relevant contributions to both the school and local businesses, including both professions and vocations—the 21st-century’s definition of career readiness. The extraordinary success of Building 21, which is part of Philadelphia Schools’ Innovation Network, is the result of combining personalized learning pathways with a strong culture focusing on staffstudent relationships—all while being completely immersed in problem-based learning. The school’s laser-like focus on “improving skills, not percentages” seems to be paying off in preparing students for success outside the school walls. Throughout the weekend of learning and net-

Maker tools and work spaces at FirstHandPhilly, an educational initiative at the University City Science Center where classroom lessons are brought to life through engaging projects and real-life lab environments. For me, this question was answered not at ISTE but at the annual pre-ISTE Tech & Learning Leadership Summit held this year in Philadelphia. As is typical at a Tech & Learning Summit, the weekend kicked off with site visits to two schools that are doing amazing things for kids in the classroom with the help of technology. At FirstHand Philly’s Science Learning Academy, a school that has embraced Project Inquiry learning, student-centered projects were on abundant display. These included a re-imagining of what a student desk should be, complete with snack boxes and a built-in

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per Mario Brothers” theme song, or even as they wrote the necessary code to ensure a robot could “see” via an Xbox Kinect sensor, the transformative approach of allowing students to personalize their own learning, including their assessments, adorned the center. Throughout the summit, other outstanding examples of schools that were bold enough to innovate the manner in which students’ learning was assessed were highlighted. The following morning, Building 21, which is located in urban Philadelphia, shared many of their bold initiatives. They’ve enabled high-school students

working in the City of Brotherly Love, many more examples of “best practices” regarding instruction with technology were shared. And while many new inventions were on display later in the week at ISTE, this practice of boldly using any available technology (devices, shop tools, software, musical instruments, etc.) to transform the teaching and learning experience into something more meaningful and personalized for students is the definition of true innovation. Todd Dugan is the Superintendent of Bunker Hill CUSD #8 in Bunker Hill, Illinois.


District Leaders Share What They’ve Learned with New Tech Initiatives By Annie Galvin Teich

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GETTY IMAGES/DRAFTER123

ave you ever gotten fired up by great ideas at a conference and wanted to take them home for a test drive? That’s the idea behind Tech & Learning’s new monthly “Think Tank.” Our leader community meets virtually once a month to share new ideas they’re testing or implementing in their districts. Here are some highlights from the first Think Tank session where leaders shared rollout plans for programs they piloted last year on personalized professional learning, digital portfolios, virtual reality, and mindfulness.

PERSONALIZED PROFESSIONAL LEARNING Hank Thiele, Superintendent of Community High School District 99 in Illinois, outlined his district’s new personalized professional learning program. Educators will have choice and control over their professional learning and will be trusted to determine for themselves what the gaps in their knowledge are and how they’ll close them. Educators will be able to choose their own learning path from a slate of options, and they’ll meet with a trained partner several times during the year to reflect on their ongoing learning journey. There won’t be badges or other accountability requirements. “Our program is built on the trust of our people to be professional,” says Thiele. “This program will be effective if people are willing to do the work.”

DIGITAL PORTFOLIOS Massachusetts’ Lee McCanne, Director of Technology and School Libraries in Weston Public Schools, described how Weston piloted both learning and showcase portfolios during the last school year. They chose to implement both types of portfolios because students want to curate digital portfolios that showcases the best of their work,

and curriculum teachers want students to have learning portfolios that include formative assessments showing learning growth over time. During the pilot, some high-school classes created portfolios to showcase their art, which they intend to use in the college application process. The learning portfolios will eventually span a student’s school experience from pre-K to grade 12 and document their learning over the course of their school career. The pilot was successful, so district administrators are hoping to get everything in place by the fall to roll out the initiative. Since they’re a Google district, they’re using G Suite to make portfolio onboarding as simple as possible.

MINDFULNESS AND VIRTUAL REALITY After Joe Kuzo visited Headspace and learned about mindfulness as part of one of the Tech & Learning Leadership Summits, he presented the product at a district cabinet meeting. Kuzo, Di-

rector of Information Technology at Quakertown (PA) Community School District in Bethlehem, was impressed that Headspace was providing educators and staff a free subscription. He also liked that they provided guidance and support for teachers who wanted to foster mindfulness in their classrooms. After learning that there were already some users in the district, Kuzo recommended a rollout to all educators and staff with educators reporting benefits to themselves and their students. Kuzo also recently piloted a program of VR carts using Google Expeditions Virtual Reality headsets, and he hopes to expand the number of headsets this fall. Teachers and students are building virtual tours using 360-degree cameras and taking students to places that they may never see in real life and that creates a dynamic learning experience. To join our “Think Tanks,” search for Tech & Learning Leadership Group on Facebook and request to join the group.

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A Q&A with Future Ready Principal Sanée Bell, Morton Ranch Junior High, Katy (TX) ISD By Tara Smith Can you tell us a little about Morton Ranch Junior High? Morton Ranch Junior High celebrates the culturally diverse backgrounds of its 1,225 students. Over half are Hispanic, 17 percent African American, approximately five percent Asian, and 20 percent White. Sixty-six percent meet criteria as economically disadvantaged, 14 percent receive special education services, and 14 percent are English Language Learners. Morton Ranch Junior High was selected as a 2018 N2 Schools Transforming Learning recipient by the Principals’ Institute. This recognition honors and showcases the work of campuses making exceptional strides on their journeys to provide innovative learning opportunities for all students. We were also recognized as a 2019 Character.Org Promising Practice School for our work in building character and community in our school. What does it mean for your students, staff, and administrators to be “Future Ready”? Administrators. Shared leadership is how organizations create ownership of school goals. As we work on creating leaders at all levels, the Future Ready Principals’ Framework is a great resource. Being Future Ready means being prepared and skilled in adapting to challenges and being able to work with others in different settings. Staff. The leadership gives clear guidance to teachers, who know that their role is to prepare students for their future, not our past. This means shifting practices and beliefs and knowing our

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students’ academic, social, and emotional needs so we can design learning experiences to help them grow. Students. Students can create agency when they know how to set goals and advocate for their needs. Teaching students how to adapt to different settings and work with others prepares them for our constantly changing world. Our students practice communication skills and teamwork and build character, relationships, and community. Knowing content will always be important, but knowing how to learn and unlearn is a critical skill for Future Ready students.

What does the Future Ready framework look like in practice for you as a principal?

CURRICULUM, INSTRUCTION, ASSESSMENT Teachers who are able to reflect on their own instructional practice are able to solve curriculum, instruction, and assessment challenges. Pre-assessments in math classes, for example, have helped teachers to be more intentional about meeting individual student needs. Assessment data also helps teachers teach students how to set and monitor personal goals. In other departments, teachers

Participants engage in a character-building workshop at Morton Ranch Junior High.


POWER WITH PEOPLE LEADS TO COMMITMENT, DEDICATION, AND OWNERSHIP. POWER OVER PEOPLE LEADS TO RESENTMENT, COMPLIANCE, AND BUY-IN. FUTURE READY PRINCIPALS KNOW HOW TO USE THEIR INFLUENCE TO SHARE THE LEADERSHIP ROLE WITH OTHERS.” use protocols to examine student work. Not only has this helped teachers reflect on their practice, but it also has helped me to know where to target professional development.

PERSONALIZED PROFESSIONAL LEARNING Our teachers set individual goals and we have instructional coaches, a video coaching platform, and other resources to help teachers meet their goals. Meeting teachers where they are and helping them grow to where they want to be is intentional, purposeful work. We also focus all professional learning on campus or departmental goals. For example, next year we’ll be focusing on literacy across

A mural created collaboratively by Morton Ranch Junior High students over the course of the school year. the content areas. Professional learning days are integrated throughout the calendar to allow teachers time to learn, model, and share new skills.

COLLABORATIVE LEADERSHIP

Team leaders and department chairs have opportunities to learn and practice how to use different leadership strategies to help them build high-performing teams with shared commitment, responsibility, accountability, and trust. Using protocols in PLCs to structure conversation and determine outcomes helps teachers to express their thinking and learn from each other. It also allows all teachers’ voices to be heard. In addition to department chairs and other formal leadership roles, we have team leaders in every core content area and grade level as well as multiple teacher-led committees. Focus groups generate ideas and target specific areas of growth related Morton Ranch Junior High staff enjoy a planning session together. to school-wide improvement.

Students are also leaders and serve on panels and in focus groups. Our students know they have a voice. By being available and accessible to engage with students, I’m able to capture their voice and use their suggestions to help us improve. What lessons have you learned as you’ve implemented these ideas and practices? There’s power and energy in working with people to achieve a goal. Being a Future Ready principal requires seeing beyond your current context and working with others to create an organization that’s equipped to lead and adapt to changes. Building leadership capacity in teachers and students gives them a voice and the opportunity to lead from wherever they are in the building. Being intentional about building leadership capacity has created ownership and pride in our work together at Morton Ranch Junior High. As leaders, we can be afraid to give power away. If given the choice, would you rather have power over people or power with people? Power with people leads to commitment, dedication, and ownership. Power over people leads to resentment, compliance, and buy-in. Future Ready principals know how to use their influence to share the leadership role with others.

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EXECUTIVE BRIEFING GETTY IMAGES/HERO IMAGES

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Improvement Science Helps Districts Succeed at New Initiatives

An approach to problem solving called improvement science may give district and school initiatives a better chance of success. Well-intentioned directives, whether arising from the grassroots level during summer in-service training or communicated at the district level, are often adopted but then gradually abandoned. Changing this pattern requires a shift in how schools introduce, manage, and learn from their improvement efforts. According to the Carnegie Foundation, improvement science has six key principles: ■■ Make the work problem-specific and usercentered ■■ Focus on variation in performance ■■ See the system that produces the current outcomes ■■ Measure key outcomes and processes to scale up initiatives ■■ Use disciplined inquiry to drive improvement ■■ Accelerate learning through networked improvement communities.

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Access Does Not Equal Equity

According to the Hechinger Report, some schools in New York City’s highly segregated school system are embracing diversity through mastery-based learning. At the city’s Urban Assembly Maker Academy high school, educators use a mastery-based learning model in which static letter grades are jettisoned for

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detailed feedback on student progress toward mastery of clearly defined skills. The school saw 90 percent of its inaugural class graduate in 2018 and also surpassed the citywide average in measures of college readiness. At Maker Academy and three dozen other mastery-based schools in the city, culturally responsive teaching practices are taking root and beginning to impact the city’s persistent achievement gap. These schools are among the most diverse in the city and mirror their surrounding neighborhoods. “Mastery-based learning is a complete paradigm shift for most teachers. It means thinking about grading as a way to provide feedback, and not a random act that we do because the quarter is ending,” says Danielle Salzberg, principal of Frank McCourt High School in NYC. Salzberg stresses that this approach is relevant for all students, whether their challenges are tied to racial or gender identity, economic status, or parental expectations of high achievement. “We want to break through to make sure every kid feels like they’re being met where they need to be met,” she says.

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Digital Promise Updates Its Maker Learning Leadership Framework

Whether you’re a teacher creating maker learning experiences while advocating for their growth throughout your school or a district superintendent looking to improve and expand an already successful program, Digital Promise’s Maker Learning Leadership Framework can help you develop a sustainable maker learning program that serves all of your learners. Informed by work with national and regional leadership cohorts of maker educators, as well as by interactions with thought partners, researchers, and practitioners from around the world, the Framework has been redesigned and expanded to highlight resources, strategies, and models focused on:

Building support systems between administrators, teachers, and the community Teaching and learning that meld core content and maker-centered facilitation and assessment practices to help students construct new knowledge Acquisition and allocation of funds, spaces, and tools necessary to facilitate maker learning programs. Become a Maker Champion. Sign the Maker Promise and commit to advocate for maker learning in your community; create and support opportunities for youth to make; and share stories of the impact of making on learning and life.

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Rethinking Career and Technical Education

The Center for Reinventing Public Education (CRPE) at the University of Washington profiles 32 innovative CTE career pathways programs nationwide—run by districts, charters, and small nonprofits—in a new report. These programs represent the variety of efforts being used to reinvent Career and Technical Education. Schools are breaking down the boundaries between school and community by partnering closely with industry, trade unions, and four-year institutions. And schools have formed partnerships with one another to open institutions that focus on career training. These institutions are then paid for through a share of student enrollment. Programs are dismantling tracking by making sure students are in control; each student selects a pathway only after taking exploratory coursework and working with a counselor and has the option to change programs. ■■ But in order for CTE to fulfill its promise, educators and policy leaders must push harder to: ■■ Develop systematic training for in-demand careers. ■■ Provide accessible information about employment prospects to guide student choice. ■■ Create consistent work-based learning opportunities. ■■ Improve the quality of basic education. ■■ Improve access to high-quality schools and programs. ■■ Identify outcomes and student demographics, especially for part-time programs. ■■ Leverage opportunities from post-secondary and business partnerships.


BACK OFFICE BUSINESS How Chromebooks Compare to Traditional Laptop Computers Understanding how Chromebooks differ from other laptops will help educators and administrators decide if Chromebooks are right for their digital classrooms. Operating system, software capability, security, and battery life are all key factors in determining the best laptop for student use. Generally speaking, Chromebooks are light and cheap laptops that run Google’s ChromeOS operating system. Its lightweight operating system is one of the reasons why Chromebooks are so appealing to schools. It doesn’t need powerful components to run, and it can use hardware that Windows 10 or MacOS would struggle to run on—which keeps the overhead price down. Chromebooks are therefore much more affordable for users than other laptops. Chromebooks also have impressively long battery life—a must for schools. ChromeOS used to be seen as a limited operating system, but because the scope of the software users can now run on a Chromebook is truly impressive, it’s now more than ever a viable alternative for more users.

Edsby Deploying Countrywide in New Zealand After two years of competitive evaluations, the New Zealand Ministry of Education has awarded Edsby a contract to build and run the country’s Te Rito National Learner Repository and Data Exchange, formerly the Student Information Sharing Initiative (SISI). This multi-year key Ministry project is aimed at strengthening the continuity of learning for New Zealand’s 800,000 students by consolidating critical information to ensure it’s available to teachers when a student arrives in a new school. Edsby is being configured to the Ministry’s requirements and is to be deployed in two early-stage rollouts. The first stage is already underway. The system will then be rolled out to all 2,500 public schools in the country, so that regardless of the individual school’s Student Management System (SMS), information will be available to support each learner at school when it’s needed. All data will be

hosted in Ministry-approved cloud data centers operated by Microsoft. The Ministry is working with legal, ethics, and privacy experts to ensure data privacy and access are managed appropriately. New Zealand’s student data privacy regulations are among the strictest in the world.

Anacortes School District to Implement the Boxlight Classroom Solution Districtwide As part of its initiative to “engage every student every day in real work that matters,” Anacortes School District (ASD) in the state of Washington is expanding use of the total classroom solution from Boxlight from its high school to all classrooms in the district. The interactive flat panel features 4K video resolution, so its crisp images and vibrant, accurate colors enable students to see information on the screen from any vantage point. The newly released MimioClarity classroom audio distribution system provides a microphone for the teacher to wear and four speakers that are placed strategically above students’ heads so that they can clearly hear the teacher’s “inside voice” no matter where they’re seated. The digital document camera allows users to capture videos, take photos, or connect to a microscope, and it’s compatible with Chromebooks. Classrooms will also receive the award-winning MimioStudio™ classroom software, which seamlessly connects all Boxlight products and allows educators to create interactive lessons and collaborative activities, to use existing ones, and also to perform real-time formative assessment.

Code with Google Introduced Code with Google brings together Google’s free curriculum and programs that build coding skills—from beginner level to advanced—to help students succeed. In addition, the company announced a $1M Google.org grant to the Computer Science Association, to support their mission of building community and providing computer science professional development to teachers in communities across the US.

UPCOMING 2019 EVENTS

LEADERSHIP SUMMIT

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October 4-5 | Chicago, IL Theme: Personalized Learning

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December 5-6 | New Orleans, LA Theme: Digital Equity

Attendance at a summit is complimentary for those invited by Tech & Learning. To be considered, please complete this short survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/TLSummit19

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PHOTO COURTEST OF ISTE

MEET THE WINNERS OF TECH & LEARNING’S

ISTE BEST OF SHOW 2019

For the sixth year, Tech & Learning presents its awards program that honors nominated products at the annual ISTE conference. The products below were selected by an anonymous panel of educator judges, who scoured the exhibit hall floor during the conference in Philadelphia. The judges rated their impressions of individual products on a sliding scale, evaluating areas such as quality and effectiveness, ease of use, cost, and creative use of technology. They then met in person to decide which technologies deserved to be named Best of Show. “Our stalwart judges tromped through the Pennsylvania Convention Center evaluating 125 different edtech products and services over two days at this year’s ISTE,” says Kevin Hogan, Managing Director, Content. “Those companies whose technologies were identified as extraordinary should know that this recognition is not a badge of participation, but a true endorsement by one of the most innovative educators in the country.” Please join us in congratulating the following winners!

ACER AMERICA PREDATOR HELIOS 300 GAMING NOTEBOOK (WWW.ACER.COM/AC/EN/US/CONTENT/ PREDATOR-SERIES/PREDATORHELIOS300) Acer’s redesigned Predator Helios 300 gaming notebook is ideal for schools teaching eSports and/or graphic design skills. Features include 15.6-inch or 17.3-inch 144Hz FHD IPS displays, overclockable NVIDIA GTX or RTX GPUs and 8th or 9th Gen Intel Core processors, fast networking and WiFi, speedy PCIe NVMe SSDs and an advanced thermal design to maximize cooling. Judges favored the Notebook for having great power with an equally favorable price point.

ACER CHROMEBOOK SPIN 512 (R851TN) (WWW.ACER.COM/AC/EN/US/CONTENT/PROFESSIONAL-SERIES/ ACERCHROMEBOOKSPIN512)

The Acer Chromebook Spin 512 (R851TN) is ideal for K-12 students. It has a 12-inch display in a 3:2 aspect ratio, giving students more room to view visuals on maps, web pages and schoolwork, a display made of Antimicrobial Corning

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Gorilla Glass, a U.S. MIL-STD 810G-compliant design that survives 122cm drops, and a water-routing keyboard. These features, along with its cameras, notation, and dockable stylus additions, had judges deem this a “quality Chromebook.”

ALIVE STUDIOS CLASSROOMS ALIVE! (ALIVESTUDIOSCO.COM)

With Classrooms alive!, a multi-sensory, supplemental reading and math curriculum for pre-K and kindergarten, teachers can create magical learning experiences powered by zoothemed software, mobile apps, and manipulatives for hands-on interaction and collaboration. Features include a Learning alive Plus kit, an Alphabet Classroom Rug with a free, STEM-based mobile app, and reading and math journals with accompanying free mobile app for personalizing learning. Judges favored it for being a “simple, yet innovative solution.”


ISTE 2019 AUTODESK INSTRUCTABLES

DELL LATITUDE 3300 EDUCATION

Instructables is committed to helping teachers inspire, engage, and prepare students through hands-on projects to make in the classroom. Judges liked the platform, pointing out its amazing community of Autodesk users who share great, practical lessons on an easy to use platform. Students can also share projects they produced as well, another point that won the judges over.

With best-in-class durability and long battery life, the Latitude 3300 stands up to the school day, so that students can have the confidence to go wherever learning takes them. Dell up-leveled the durability, adding in a new micro-drop test to simulate small drops over time that can add up to critical damage over the years. This 13-inch laptop is built school-yard tough and student ready, a feature the judges appreciated along with its affordability.

(WWW.AUTODESK.COM)

AUTODESK TINKERCAD (WWW.TINKERCAD.COM)

Tinkercad is a free, easy-to-use online app for learning 3D design, electronics, and coding. It supports design thinking and maker education. Judges selected Tinkercad for its ability to help students demonstrate their understanding of any subject area, and felt it was a great tool for anyone wanting to add STEM and DesignThinking into their curriculum. They also deemed it a “wonderful platform” for creation and learning from failure.

AVER INFORMATION, INC. AVER M15W (WWW.AVERUSA.COM/ EDUCATION/PRODUCTS/ DOCUMENT-CAMERA/M15W)

The AVer M15W mechanical arm document camera has an ultracompact and lightweight form factor and folds down to 11(L) x 3 (W) x 1.6 (H). It also features 4K output on HDMI and 13 megapixels with 22x digital zoom. With wireless connectivity, an on-board battery, and a weight of approximately 3 pounds, the M15W is perfect for sharing around the classroom. Judges loved its compact size and ease of traveling features.

AVER INFORMATION, INC. EP65 (WWW.AVERUSA.COM/BUSINESS/PRODUCTS/ INTERACTIVE-FLAT-PANEL/EP65)

The EP65 is an all-in-one display designed to make collaboration more efficient and effective, including integration with Zoom software and easy connectivity to live video with one touch and share ideas face-to-face across multiple devices.The display also features a 4K built-in conference camera and a 65” screen. Judges liked the all-in-one display and considered the Zoom integration a “great partnership.” They also liked its device-agnostic design.

(WWW.DELL.COM)

DELL CHROMEBOOK 3100 2-IN-1 (WWW.DELL.COM)

This new Chromebook features the latest Intel Gemini Lake Celeron processors, and up to 13 hours, 25 minutes of battery life to help students get through the class-to-homework day. This includes a convertible (360 degrees) design with an 11.6” Gorilla Glass NBT Tough display, an optional world-facing camera to encourage student creativity and multiple usage modes such as tablet, tent, or laptop. Judges favored the Chromebook’s durability, front and rear cameras, and good hinges.

DELL CHROMEBOOK 3400 (WWW.DELL.COM)

The Chromebook 3400 is built to empower studentled learning. This accessible and durable 14-inch laptop is ideal for learning that requires advanced applications. Featuring rubberized edges, spil-and-tamper resistant keyboards, top-mounted design, and ports covered and secured with reinforced brackets, this Chromebook is built to keep up with the entire school day and then some. Judges loved the rugged durability and power this device brought to the table.

BLOOMZ

(WWW.BLOOMZ.NET)

Bloomz is the free mobile and web app connecting educators with parents in a secure, social, and private environment. Teachers can coordinate meetings and schedules with parents, all while sharing photos and videos each day to keep them connected with their child’s learning. By signing up, teachers can send out reminders, volunteer requests, and even reinforce positive behavior, such as teamwork or staying on task, with students. Judges deemed its notification system “excellent.”

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ISTE 2019 CAPSTONE PEBBLEGO (WWW.PEBBLEGO.COM)

PebbleGo is a curricular content hub specifically designed for K-2 students, featuring text appropriate for K-2 readers; engaging read-aloud audio; extended learning through video/audio clips; 508 & WCAG 2.0 compliant technology; simple navigation; easy at-home and on-thego access with mobile-responsive design; administration tools and an online community for educators. Judges deemed the product “amazing” for introducing research skills to children at a very early age and for helping underserved Pre-K to 2nd grade students.

CASIO AMERICA, INC, CASIO SUPERIOR XJ-S400UN LAMPFREE PROJECTOR (WWW.CASIOPROJECTOR.COM/ PRODUCTS/SUPERIOR/ XJ-S400UN)

Casio’s Ultra Short Throw Projector can project brilliant shadow-free, crisp, images of up to 110” with its built-in 0.28:1 fixed lens. Casio’s unique cool running Laser & LED Hybrid Light Engine lasts up to 20,000 hours, requiring minimal maintenance. The XJ-UT352WN produces 3500 lumens of brightness, 20,000:1 contrast ratio, and boasts WXGA (1280 x 800) resolution. Judges loved its picture quality, engine longevity, affordability, and its lack of need for bulbs.

CLASSLINK ANALYTICS (WWW.CLASSLINK.COM/ANALYTICS)

ClassLink Analytics gives decision makers real-time utilization data of all their instructional, productivity and systems software tools. Available reports include unique logins by period, total logins per period, top apps by launches, most active groups, schools, and users. The ability to see peak hour, day and month give additional insight for school administrators. Product updates include: Track application license costs, showing the number of users, subscription start and end dates, and funding source(s). Judges liked its ability to give schools insight into its use of apps along with its assistance with budgeting and PD.

CLASSLINK LAUNCHPAD (LAUNCHPAD.CLASSLINK.COM)

ClassLink LaunchPad is a single sign-on (SSO) experience designed for education. It provides instant access to all your web, Windows, and Google applications, and includes over 6,000 SSO connectors. Accessible from

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any device, LaunchPad is ideal for 1-to-1 and Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) initiatives. Judges favored its huge list of apps to choose from, its multiple sign in options that make it easier to login to use SSO apps, and intuitive interface.

CLASSLINK ONESYNC (WWW.CLASSLINK.COM/ ONESYNC)

ClassLink OneSync is a comprehensive account provisioning platform designed to streamline the synchronization between data systems, faculty, and student directories. OneSync connects any number of data sources, including student information, finance, HR, and OneRoster databases, to one or multiple directories, including Microsoft Active Directory, Azure/ O365, and Google. Judges liked its syncing and user account creation abilities as well as its ability to reconcile account information that may not match.

CLEARDIGITAL EVOLITE (WWW.GETCLEARDIGITAL.COM/ PRODUCTS/EVO-LITE)

Clear Digital’s digital signage solution, the Evo Lite features an on-board battery delivers up to 14+ hours of charge at a time and displays that offer both digital capabilities and ease of use. Users simply need to load their multimedia content via USB to get started. The display also has a sturdy steel frame and features an ergonomic folding design and large puncture-resistant wheels. Judges loved the product, calling it a “portable and versatile solution.”

CLEAR TOUCH 6000K INTERACTIVE FLAT PANEL (WWW.GETCLEARTOUCH.COM)

The Clear Touch 6000K panel is the innovative, sleek, and powerful solution to engage the classroom or board room. Featuring a fast processor for interactive panels allows for blazing speeds at the touch of a finger. It is capable of streaming multiple devices - including Chromebooks- at a pace that can keep up with today’s connected classrooms. Judges liked the product for its flexible and versatile design.


ISTE 2019 CLEAR TOUCH 7000X INTERACTIVE FLAT PANEL WITH CONVERTIBLE MOBILE STAND (WWW.GETCLEARTOUCH.COM)

The Clear Touch 7000X panel features a smooth, capacitive touch screen. When paired with the Clear Touch convertible stand it provides a truly interactive and collaborative experience. The convertible stand allows the panel to move from presentative to table with just the press of a button, giving versatility for presentation and collaboration and allowing multiple students to interact together. Judges favored the mobile stand’s features and felt the product overall had great qualities.

CURRICULUM ASSOCIATES I-READY (WWW.CURRICULUMASSOCIATES.COM)

EDMENTUM EXACT PATH

(WWW.EDMENTUM.COM/PRODUCTS/EXACT-PATH)

Whether running stations in 3rd grade for individualized support or steering 10th graders through closing achievement gaps, Exact Path can help set students on a path toward success. Features include digital assessments that target unique learner needs, data visualizations and reports, a competency-based curriculum, and a diagnostic valid adaptive assessment system. Judges deemed the platform “engaging” and favored its personalized aspects as well as its longtime partnership with the NWEA MAP testing platform.

ELMO USA CORP PENTACLASS G2 CLASSROOM AUDIO SYSTEM

The research-based i-Ready online program combines powerful assessments and rich insights with effective and engaging instruction in reading and mathematics to address students’ individual needs. The adaptive diagnostic provides teachers with actionable insight into student needs and offers a complete picture of student performance and growth, eliminating the need for multiple, redundant tests. Judges liked that it provided teachers with a great diagnostic that identifies gaps in learning along with instructional pieces and teacher support.

(WWW.ELMOUSA.COM)

DREMEL DIGILAB LASER CUTTER

(EPSON.COM)

(DIGILAB.DREMEL.COM)

The Dremel DigiLab Laser Cutter lets students assemble their visions into tangible items at a fraction of the speed and cost. Simply draw on paper or create digitally, then export the file onto the software in order to bring the project to life. Offering a vast material library, the Laser Cutter allows students to cut, score, or engrave without worrying about compatibility. Judges loved its easeof-use and its capacity for unlocking student creativity.

EDGENUITY UPSMART (WWW.EDGENUITY.COM)

UpSmart’s powerful adaptive engine extends classroom instruction with automatic differentiation. Based on each student action, UpSmart triggers the right level of support for the student via video tutorials, feedback or additional practice. Teachers and administrators can easily track mastery of standards and topics for each student, for a class, or for the whole school. Judges liked it diagnostic capabilities and its ability to help close a student’s learning gaps at their own level.

The PentaClass G2 is an All-In-One Voice Enhancement and Audio Solution. PentaClass G2 uses a 40W, 360° Omnidirectional Soundfield for a rich sound whenever and wherever a user is seated in the room. The PentaClass G2 also has an Auto Power Off feature for automatic energy saving. Judges praised its ability to have 2 audio sources simultaneously, thinking it would be of interest to teachers who want to talk over other AV sources.

EPSON BRIGHTLINK 1485FI The Epson BrightLink 1485Fi interactive laser display provides one-step calibration of touch and interactive pens to turn any flat surface into an instant interactive digital whiteboard. The display offers 5,000 lumens of color and white brightness with an 100-inch 16:9 or ultra-wide 120-inch 16:6 display, bringing better readability and increased engagement in K-12 classrooms. Judges liked it for its image quality and size, low maintenance, PC free mode and split screen capability.

FOLLETT MYDESTINY (WWW.FOLLETTMYDESTINY.COM)

MyDestiny combines an expansive library of ebooks and OERs with built-in artificial intelligence to help teachers find quality, standards-aligned resources and to guide students on their learning path from discovery to mastery. MyDestiny leverages machinelearning capabilities to allow users to easily locate recommended content, all aligned to national and individual state standards. Its access to over 40,000 ebooks and 750,000 digital resources impressed judges, having them deem it one of its standout features.

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ISTE 2019 GALE IN CONTEXT: FOR EDUCATORS

HOVERCAM ULTRA 10

Gale In Context: For Educators is designed for classroom teachers, with additional content and tools to make it easier to find curriculum aligned content, curate it for the classroom and educate students. Educators can work independently or collaborate to build classroom resources. It also includes lesson plans, activities and tools to bring it all together in a classroom environment, engaging students and getting them one step closer to academic success.

HoverCam’s Ultra 10 features a 7.1-inch capacitive touch screen, integrated true 4K wireless-to-display output as well as wired HDMI output, 16 MP sensor, and a powerful Android computer. The built-in, 7.1 inch, multitouch viewing monitor allows educators to see exactly what their students see without having to turn their backs on the room. Judges liked its big LCD screen and that it is a self-powered Chrome device.

(WWW.GALE.COM/DATABASES/IN-CONTEXT)

GOGUARDIAN DNS

(WWW.GOGUARDIAN.COM/DNS.HTML)

GoGuardian DNS is a unified and scalable cross-platform cloud filtering solution designed to provide K-12 schools the ability to confidently filter all student, staff and guest devices regardless of platform. Through this product, schools can efficiently manage and help protect all devices on a school network through a single, agile platform. Judges favored its nice student privacy features, that no software is needed, and that it works on all devices.

HOUGHTON MIFFLIN HARCOURT AMIRA, READ 180, & MATH 180 (WWW.HMHCO.COM)

Amira Assessment is the classroom assistant that assesses oral reading fluency (ORF) and screens for Dyslexia. Amira listens while a student reads, recognizing the subtleties of various dialects, speech deficits, and accents, and delivers bias-free results in fewer than five minutes. Judges liked its AI system and its capacity for providing intervention based on the reports it generates. HMH’s classics READ 180 and MATH 180 were also selected as winners. Both intervention programs have helped schools improve test scores and reduce dropout rates.

HOVERCAM PILOT X (WWW.HOVERCAM.COM/PILOTX)

With the HoverCam Pilot X wireless digital teaching station, teachers are no longer tethered to a desk or lectern. Teachers can work from the station or undock the 13-inch 10-point-touch tablet for even greater mobility. The system features Windows 10 OS, 13MP document camera, and wireless 4K image mirroring function that allows for the touchscreen to appear on displays around the room. Judges liked the detachable Windows 10 tablet and its other improvements.

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(WWW.HOVERCAM.COM/ULTRA-10)

HUE HD PRO CAMERA AND HUE CAMERA VIEWER (HUEHD.COM/PRO)

The HUE HD Pro classroom camera can view a full A4 or US letter sheet and project it onto the whiteboard via your PC and projector. HUE Intuition software included and the new addition to the HUE family is HUE Camera Viewer for Chromebooks. HUE Camera Viewer allows for recording and stop-motion animation capabilities on Chromebooks through a web-based Chrome app. Judges liked its included software, its easyto-embed format for captured content, and Skype connectivity.

KINDERLAB ROBOTICS, INC. KIBO (KINDERLABROBOTICS.COM)

KIBO is a STEAM robotic kit where young students can build, program, decorate, and create their own robot without any screen-time. Students transform KIBO into imagined animals, vehicles, storybook characters, and more. Students plan a coding sequence using wooden programming blocks, scan their sequence with the built-in barcode scanner, press its button and KIBO comes alive! Judges liked its approachability and its capacity for impressive block combinations that’d keep students engaged.

LEXIA CORE5 READING

(WWW.LEXIALEARNING.COM/PRODUCTS/ CORE5/STUDENT-DRIVEN-LEARNING)

Lexia Core5 Reading is a literacy program that accelerates the development of fundamental through advanced literacy skills for students of all abilities in grades pre-K-5. Core5 underwent a large update, adding support for students in upper elementary grades, including three new levels and over 200 new online units each with added practice and explicit instruction when students need it. Judges liked its ability to remediate students’ reading difficulties and for making reading fun for kids.


ISTE 2019 LEXIA POWERUP LITERACY

(WWW.LEXIALEARNING.COM/PRODUCTS/POWERUP)

Lexia PowerUp Literacy is designed to enhance core English language arts instruction for struggling readers in grades six and above. PowerUp addresses the instructional needs of a wide range of students, from struggling to nearly proficient readers, by identifying skill gaps and providing personalized, systematic instruction in Word Study, Grammar, and Comprehension. Judges liked the product’s focus on helping older readers improve their skills and its badge system that encourages students as they complete modules.

LIGHTSPEED SYSTEMS ANALYTICS POWERED BY RELAY (WWW.LIGHTSPEEDSYSTEMS.COM/ ANALYTICSEA)

Analytics powered by Relay pulls together usage information for devices, apps, applications, and online resources into a single, actionable dashboard. The program uses Smart Agent to view and report on all traffic from the root level of the school device and does so without disrupting or delaying activity. Judges praised its excellent features, such as its ability to send links to principals and guidance counselors to determine best ways to support struggling students.

MACKINVIA

(WWW.MACKINVIA.COM)

MackinVIA is a free digital content management system created to provide schools with easy access to their eBooks, audiobooks, read-alongs, databases, websites, and videos. With a single login, users can view, utilize, and manage all of the school’s digital resources on all major mobile and desktop devices through free apps available for iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Android devices, and more. Judges liked its yearly additional features and praised its endorsements from librarians.

MANGO CLASSROOM BY MANGO LANGUAGES (MANGOLANGUAGES.COM/ HIGHER-ED)

Mango Classroom by Mango Languages is a language-learning resource crafted exclusively for student engagement and instructor support. In-depth critical thinking and retention are developed with an authentic

native-speaker audio backdrop in over 70 world languages and over 20 ESL/ELL courses. Its other features can help organize classes, activities and assessments, as well as provide family learning profiles. Judges favored its comprehensive function and its ability to be used with existing materials.

MAXCASES EDGEPROTECT

(WWW.MAXCASES.COM/CATEGORY-LANDING-PAGE/EDGEPROTECT)

The cost-effective EdgeProtect case offers a thinner, lighter alternative for device protection where it’s needed the most in the event of a drop. The slim profile provides charging cart compatibility; the lightweight design reduces student backpack weight. It delivers access to ports/openings while in use, and unobstructed access for asset tags and installations. Judges favored the product for its slim and durable device protection.

MAXCASES EDGEPROTECT PLUS (WWW.MAXCASES. COM/EDGEPROTECTEDGEPROTECTPLUS-PAGE)

The EdgeProtect Plus features MAXCases new FrameGuard bottom, which evenly distributes the vibrations across a wider area of the device, offering greater drop protection. The impactresistant top features protective corners that overlap the sides of the device. EdgeProtect Plus complements the latest engineering developments from Chromebook/laptop manufacturers, including Acer, Asus, Dell, HP, Lenovo, etc. Judges liked that it’s a product that offers overall good protection in a low profile.

MERGE EDU

(MERGEVR.COM/EDU-PLATFORM)

MERGE EDU is a subscriptionbased AR/VR platform for STEM designed to work with the MERGE Cube. The platform includes the Explorer app, a premium version of the Object Viewer app, lesson activities, and a teacher dashboard. Students can interact with complex 3D models, perform a simulated frog dissection, experience scientific phenomenon and place virtual objects in the real world. Judges deemed the product an “educational game changer” for its augmented reality capabilities.

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ISTE 2019 MIMIOCLARITY & MYBOT EDUCATIONAL ROBOTICS SYSTEM (MIMIO.BOXLIGHT.COM)

MimioClarity works by having teachers use wearable, wireless microphones, and a multichannel 60-watt amplifier to distribute their voices and multimedia audio throughout the classroom via two or four speakers that are placed above students’ heads on classroom walls. Judges deemed MimioClarity an excellent student microphone and liked it for its approachable cost. The Mimio MyBot Educational Robotics System enables students from preschool to high school develop STEM skills and a passion for programming and robotics. Through innovative robots and a comprehensive software platform, educators receive an out-of-the-box solution, complete with a robust curriculum, STEM lessons, tutorials and videos. Judges favored it for offering a good middle level robot that could appeal to both younger and older students.

NEARPOD VR (NEARPOD.COM)

Nearpod VR allows students to tour the world from their own classrooms. It works on any device, from iPads and Chromebooks to Macs and PCs. Educators can choose from 450+ VR lessons from VR Explorations and VR College Tours, allowing students to study subjects such as history through VR and tour places like Harvard and MIT from their devices. Judges loved the VR lessons and felt the entire product empowered teachers in a major way.

OZOBOT EVO CLASSROOM KIT (18 BOTS) / OZOBOT CLASSROOM (OZOBOT.COM)

The Ozobot Evo Classroom Kit comes with the eponymous bot itself, allowing students to practice either Color Code blocking or Ozoblocky visual programming. The kit also features Educator Bot Camp, an Edu App for Evo updates, and 150+ lessons for both STEM and non-STEM subjects. The product will also be supported by Ozobot Classroom, a management system that tracks student progress onand-offline in real time. Judges liked Evo’s student-friendly accessibility and Classroom’s progress-tracking feature.

PIPER COMPUTER KIT

(WWW.PLAYPIPER.COM/PRODUCTS/PIPER-COMPUTER-KIT-2)

The Piper Computer Kit allows students to build a working computer, connect electronics, and learn to code on the computer they built. Students make

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connections physically and mentally as they assemble their Piper Computer Kit. Once built, the Piper Computer Kit’s immersive software teaches students complex engineering concepts and shows learners how to bridge electronics with code. Judges liked its self-paced concept and especially favored its Minecraft-inspired lessons.

PROMETHEAN ACTIVPANEL ELEMENTS SERIES (WWW.PROMETHEANWORLD.COM)

The new ActivPanel Elements Series was designed by teachers for teachers. The ActivPanel Elements series is based on user research to deliver innovation and ease-of-use that matters to teachers and students, as well as the security and manageability trusted by IT professionals and administrators. The ActivPanel Elements series comes preloaded with a variety of teaching tools like a new unified menu; the ability to draw, highlight, and annotate over any content from any source; lesson delivery software with no annual subscription, and more.

RENAISSANCE STAR 360 & MYON READER (WWW.RENAISSANCE.COM/PRODUCTS/ASSESSMENT/STAR-360) & (WWW.RENAISSANCE.COM/PRODUCTS/MYON-READER)

Star 360 delivers the valid, reliable screening, progress monitoring, and student growth data educators need to make informed decisions. Educators see precisely what students have mastered, the goals they need to reach, and optimal paths to proficiency.Judges liked its assessment capabilities and its ability to facilitate student growth through actionable data. myON Reader is a studentcentered, personalized literacy program that gives students access to more than 6,000 enhanced digital books. Students can read at school or at home on any internet-enabled device. Combined with a suite of close reading tools and embedded supports, myON Reader fosters student engagement and achievement.

SCREENBEAM 1000 EDU (WWW.SCREENBEAM.COM/PRODUCTS/ SCREENBEAM-1000-EDU/)

ScreenBeam 1000 EDU transforms classrooms, empowering educators and students to collaborate on experiences. ScreenBeam natively works with Windows and macOS extended screen mode ensuring content privacy. Leveraging native Windows


ISTE 2019 Inking across Microsoft Education 365 applications, educators provide realtime feedback on student devices without the need of dongles, cables or other restrictive models that limit agility and flexibility. Judges rated it well for its fast connectivity, responsiveness, easy set up and affordability.

24 BY SECURLY

(WWW.SECURLY.COM/PRODUCTS/24)

24 by Securly is a comprehensive cloud-based, AI school safety ecosystem. The service pairs AI with expert human analysts for real-time 24x7 monitoring that keeps students safe online, in class, and at home. Securly’s AI technology uses sentiment analysis to ensure student safety by flagging concerning searches, websites visited, and messages involving bullying or self-harm. Judges stated it was a good safety tool to make sure students that are in crisis are getting proper help.

TEXTHELP WRIQ (WWW.TEXTHELP.COM)

WriQ is a Chrome extension for Google Docs that grades papers digitally - saving time for other classroom activities. It’s faster, more accurate and consistent than subjective, pen and paper manual assessment - giving clear

visibility of progress over time. WriQ automatically reviews the documents for spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors, in addition to helpful metrics like time on task, vocabulary maturity and more. Judges deemed it an innovative tool that gives consistency in evaluating students’ writing.

UL XPLORLABS PLATFORM (ULXPLORLABS.ORG)

UL Xplorlabs is a free, online module-based educational platform developed by Underwriters Laboratories. Xplorlabs encourages middle-school students to solve through science and deepen their understanding of the world through hands-on experiences, created to involve them in the scientific process. With two interactive modules, Xplorlabs bridges the gap between classrooms and engineering challenges. Judges loved the concept of bringing realworld CSI into the classroom and its ability to engage students.

WWW.TECHLEARNING.COM

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ISTE 2019 VERNIER SOFTWARE & TECHNOLOGY EXPLORING MOTION AND FORCE WITH GO DIRECT SENSOR CART (WWW.VERNIER.COM/PRODUCTS/BOOKS/MSB-CART-E/) The new Exploring Motion and Force with Go Direct Sensor Cart e-book engages students in hands-on learning as they investigate key STEM concepts. The investigations found in the module explore friction, motion, and simple machines like the pulley or lever. Judges deemed it a terrific resource for any STEM program or science classroom in middle school through high school, praising the cart’s experiments and the bluetooth sensors’ ability to easily collect data while performing experiments.

VERNIER SOFTWARE & TECHNOLOGY CODING WITH MBOT LIFE HACKS (WWW.VERNIER.COM/PRODUCTS/LAB-EQUIPMENT/MBOT-KIT/) The new Coding with mBot Life Hacks activity module from Vernier Software & Technology teaches middle and high school students about important 21st century coding concepts as they participate in hands-on learning. The seven activities featured in the downloadable module introduce problem solving strategies, nurture creativity, strengthen critical thinking skills, and build students’ confidence as they learn a coding language. Judges felt the product brought relevance and fun to coding and robot building.

VERNIER SOFTWARE & TECHNOLOGY WIND ENERGY EXPLORATIONS AND SOLAR ENERGY EXPLORATIONS (WWW.VERNIER.COM/PRODUCTS/BOOKS/MSB-WIND-E/)

The Wind Energy Explorations and Solar Energy Explorations middle school e-books utilize Vernier data-collection technology and software to engage students in handson scientific discovery. By introducing alternative energy solutions to real-world problems, the experiments strengthen students’ critical thinking skills as they explore and analyze renewable energy and engineering concepts included in the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). Judges liked that the books were both reasonably priced and engaging.

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VIEWSONIC VIEWBOARD IFP7550 INTERACTIVE FLAT PANEL DISPLAY (WWW.VIEWSONIC.COM)

The ViewSonic ViewBoard IFP7550 interactive flat panel display is a 75-inch 4K UHD collaboration solution that features upgraded hardware and software, including an ultra fine 20-point touchscreen with enhanced latency reduction, built-in speakers with subwoofer and a SmartPort USB hub that allows devices to be plugged into any video source on the display while providing simultaneous access to the display’s front-facing USB ports. Judges liked its display the best and also liked its casting software.

VIEWSONIC CORP. XG350R-C GAMING MONITOR (WWW.VIEWSONIC.COM/US/XG350R-C.HTML)

The ViewSonic ELITE XG350R-C is a 35inch, ultra-wide, curved gaming monitor, ideal for school eSports clubs, teams, curriculum and in competitions. The XG350R-C offers HDR10 content support for a dynamic range of color and contrast; ClearMotion technology to produce clear visuals and reduce image blur; gamer-centric specifications such as AMD FreeSync technology; customizable RGB lighting technology, 100Hz refresh rate and 3ms response time. Judges praised its sound quality, curved display, and image quality.

VIEWSONIC CORP. CDE9800 4K COMMERCIAL DISPLAY (WWW.VIEWSONIC.COM)

The ViewSonic CDE9800 is a 98-inch (97.5-inch viewable) 4K Ultra HD commercial display for high-impact messaging and communications. This commercial grade digital signage display can generate impressive and influential visual messaging in installations in a variety of campus environments. It delivers a powerful and reliable messaging tool, 16 hours a day, 7 days a week. Judges liked that the product’s flexible display options could make very large images easily.



ISTE 2019

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WRITABLE

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(WWW.WRITABLE.COM)

Writable is a guided writing program for grades 3-12 that helps teachers scaffold and motivate students to become purposeful, proficient writers, and helps schools assess and monitor writing growth. With 600+ assignments and prompts (or create your own), and district or state-level benchmark assessments, Writable helps teachers save time on prep and grading while focusing their writing instruction. Judges liked the product’s ability to create solid foundations for teachers to effectively teach writing.

WEBINARS How to Launch an Instructional Technology Strategy Sponsored by: OverDrive Education

Strategies for Building Proficient K-12 Writers

WURRLYEDU

Sponsored by: Voyager Sopris

(WWW.WURRLYEDU.COM)

Content, patience and a plan: How to launch an instructional technology strategy

Sponsored by: BrightBytes

WURRLYedu offers culturally relevant content and interactive digital tools to make music education fun, effective and affordable, qualities that especially impressed the judges. WURRLYedu’s innovative approach increases student engagement, while also improving the development of musical, social and emotional skills. With WURRLYedu, students have all the resources necessary to discover, practice, and record music both inside and outside the classroom. WURRLYedu’s partnerships with several other education organizations is another strong aspect of this platform.

8 Ways Teachers Can Incorporate Technology into the Classroom

ZSPACE EXPERIENCES

Sponsored by: OverDrive Education

Strategies for Delivering Required ESSA Reporting and Supporting Student Success

(ZSPACE.COM/EDU/INFO/ZSPACE-EXPERIENCES)

Sponsored by: Voyager Sopris

zSpace provides all-in-one computers and laptops featuring 3D technology, head tracking glasses, and styli that allow students to interact with AR/VR content in an immersive environment. zSpace Experiences include simulations that are experiential in nature. Students observe cause and effect, collect live data, and change conditions in the environment through lessons based on Next Generation Science Standards. Judges liked its interactive 3D experience and that it allowed students to receive real world multimedia experiences.

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2019

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40 Years | 40 Finalists | 1 Big Party!

Deadline: October 15, 2019

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As Tech & Learning celebrates its 40th anniversary, our editors and advisors will recognize 40 outstanding products in our annual Awards of Excellence contest. For 40 years, Tech & Learning has reported on how edtech products are improving teaching and learning. In keeping with this mission, our 2019 Awards of Excellence contest will focus on stand-out products that are improving the way educators work and students learn. To further celebrate our 40th anniversary, we’ve added a new category this year: Best re-invention of a classic legacy technology.

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2019 Awards of Excellence Opens

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