Tech & Learning.com - Gearing up for Back to School - Sept 2022

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SEPTEMBER 2022

TECHLEARNING.COM

TECH & LEARNING AWARDS OF EXCELLENCE WINNERS

What You Need For The Year Ahead



CONTENTS 32

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Bringing Back Joy to the Classroom By Dr. Kecia Ray

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28 Abbott Elementary: 5 Lessons for Teachers

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By Ray Bendici

Best Tools for Back to School

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By Diana Restifo, Erik Ofgang, and Ray Bendici

Quiet Quitting in Education By Erik Ofgang

36 10 Innovative Ideas for Integrating Technology

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By TL Editors

42 9 Digital Etiquette Tips By Lisa Nielsen

Group Publisher Christine Weiser christine.weiser@futurenet.com

Event Manager Blake Pippin blake.pippin@futurenet.com

CONTENT

Production Manager Heather Tatrow heather.tatrow@futurenet.com

Managing Editor Ray Bendici ray.bendici@futurenet.com Senior Staff Writer Erik Ofgang erik.ofgang@futurenet.com Event Partnership Director Marquita Amoah marquita.amoah@futurenet.com VISIT US www.techlearning.com

Managing Design Director Nicole Cobban

MANAGEMENT Senior Vice President Group Elizabeth Deeming Head of Production US & UK Mark Constance Head of Design Rodney Dive

ADVERTISING SALES Sales Manager Allison Knapp, allison.knapp@futurenet.com Sales Associate Anne Gregoire, anne.gregoire@futurenet.com FOLLOW US

All contents © 2022 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.

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HAPPY LEARNING

Bringing Back Joy to the Classroom How to get that joy, joy, joy back in our teaching By Dr. Kecia Ray

CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES

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atch any toddler trying to recite the alphabet or count their numbers while jumping up and down, and you cannot help but notice the pure joy in learning letters and numbers. Every teacher aspires to see the ecstasy of acquiring new knowledge in their students, and now more than ever, teachers should strive to make the classroom a place of happiness. The emphasis on social and emotional learning through the curriculum is undoubtedly focused on raising awareness to have a more cohesive and engaged classroom. Still, it takes more than SEL to have joy in a classroom. As recently as 2018, psychologists were still debating the concept of joy, and the body of work related to joy in psychology remains relatively small. Still, a group of psychologists, philosophers, and theologians are working to connect the research on joy into a more unified collection of work as part of an interdisciplinary project called the Theology of Joy and the Good Life at Yale University. Harvard Graduate School of Education is also pondering the topic of joy in teaching. In the

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HAPPY LEARNING recent article, the author quotes Decoteau Irby, who describes an erosion of joy in our schools and notes that although learning isn’t always a joyous experience, the confidence gained by academic struggle does produce joy. Gholdy Muhammad’s equity framework, as shared through her book Cultivating Genius, includes joy as one of its five pillars.

INSTILLING JOY IN LEARNING How can a teacher move from SEL to JOY? Consider the definition of joy, and work backward from there. Keeping in mind that within the definition, we learn joy takes two forms: passive and active. Passive is connected to feeling contentment, and active involves a desire to share feelings with others and involves engagement. With this in mind, we think of ways to engage the learner in more positive, less overwhelming, and intrinsic ways. To get started infusing more joy in your classroom, consider these ideas: • Offer students an opportunity to experience some form of success throughout the day because small achievements serve as catalysts toward

meeting greater learning goals. • Incorporate play! All grade levels and all subject areas can incorporate elements of play. • Offer choices. A student who has options can be inquisitive and creative. • Be patient and allow student’s enough time to enjoy the activity. This is similar to wait time in questioning but feels much longer when trying to apply to practice. Yet, it can make a difference in your student’s level of engagement. • Allow students to choose activities that align with their interests and abilities. • Encourage collaboration and creativity. • Be flexible. The learning environment greatly influences whether a student wants to learn or shut down. Try to create a flexible classroom that accommodates a variety of interests and skill levels. Students naturally want to learn (remember our toddler), and allowing the opportunity for them to have positive experiences through learning ultimately leads to joy. Our schools are full of emotions, and joy should be the leading one.

CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES

Welcome back 6

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PRIMARY EDUCATION WINNERS

BEST tools for

BACK

to SCHOOL 2022

Age of Learning My Math Academy My Math Academy is a comprehensive, standards-aligned program to help students pre-K through 2nd grade achieve mastery and accelerate learning in mathematics. Our judges especially liked the data analysis that helps teachers to create learning groups in their classrooms more easily.

By Diana Restifo, Erik Ofgang, and Ray Bendici

As schools get ready for the 2022-23 school year, Tech & Learning’s Awards of Excellence program, “The Best Tools for Back to School,” is designed to help our readers find the most impressive products and solutions that will support their work in any learning environment. Eligible products included hardware, software, curriculum, and more, all divided by grade levels to make it easier to get to the solutions you need. “As we head into another uncertain year in education, technology will continue to be one of the key drivers for innovation,” says Tech & Learning Group Publisher Christine Weiser. “Our judges chose the winning products recognized here for their versatility, compatibility, value, and ability to help schools solve challenges and support continuous instruction. Congratulations to all of our winners.”

WINNERS PRIMARY EDUCATION

Accelerate Learning Inc. STEMscopes Suite The STEMscopes suite of STEM-blended curriculum solutions for grades K-6 includes: STEMscopes Science, STEMscopes NGSS 3D, STEMscopes Math, STEMscopes Coding, STEMscopes DIVE-in Engineering, and STEMscopes Streaming. “STEMscopes Suites provides teachers with everything they need to create a meaningful learning experience that empowers students to succeed in STEM careers,” our judges said.

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Acer Chromebook C734/T

AVer DL30 AI Auto Tracking Distance Learning Camera The DL30 is a distance learning and classroom lesson capture camera that allows teachers to move around the room while the camera automatically follows. Tech & Learning’s judges called the camera “very slick,” and particularly liked the Zoom integration.

The Acer C734/T Chromebook is designed for use in education settings, delivering a combination of durability, performance, portability and battery life, at an affordable price. Our judges liked its honeycomb support structure, enhanced wireless, audio, and video features, and its use of recycled plastic.

AVer VB130 All-in-One Classroom Collaboration Camera The VB130 is an all-in-one distance learning and collaboration tool that combines 4K video with built-in audio via soundbar and microphone. “The versatility of this camera is nothing short of amazing. It’s packed with many customizable features such as manual and automatic Pan-Tilt-Zoom,” our judges said.


PRIMARY EDUCATION PRIMARYWINNERS EDUCATION WINNERS

AVer Information Inc. M5 Document Camera The M5 USB document camera is a plug-n-play document camera with an 8MP camera, UHD resolution, and frame rates up to 60FPS, allowing content to be clear, crisp, and smooth. Our judges liked the peer-to-peer connectivity and the motorized, remote-controlled camera.

BenQ BenQ Board RM03 Series

Boxlight EOS Education Professional Development services

BenQ’s BenQ Board Mainstream RM03 Education smartboard features single sign-on for cloud storage, device and account management, and communications systems. Our judes said, “The BenQ boards are extremely easy to use and bring engagement to the classroom like never before.”

EOS Education by Boxlight has developed training solutions to support technology integration, increased efficiency and effectiveness, and improved outcomes for teachers and students. Our judges said, “This can be a powerful tool to help teachers get PD on their own time.”

AVID Products AE-25 Multi-use audio solution

Bloomz Bloomz

Boxlight MimioConnect

The AE-25 is an audio solution for Pre-K-2 learners, whether in-person, hybrid or remote. “This universal headphone/headset comes with the innovative SideKick, AVID’s exclusive microphone management system,” said Tech & Learning’s judges.

Bloomz is a parent-teacher communication app that aims to increase parental engagement through everything from text translation to emergency announcements to health forms. Our judges deemed it an “excellent communication tool,” and also noted its assignment capability.

MimioConnect Blended Learning Platform combines lesson-building and instructional tools and can fully integrate with existing technology including iPads, Chromebooks, interactive displays, and interactive projectors. Our judges termed it “a great product,” and highlighted its versatility, variety of lessons, and ability to integrate with other technology.

Barron Associates NeuroSPARKS NeuroSPARKS is a suite of lesson modules that are integrated into a video game and presented through a muscle sensor control interface to offer students an interactive learning experience. Content is easy to present as part of core lessons, or for review for students who need support, and are offered within a framework of inquiry-based, hands-on challenges.

Boxlight CleverLive digital cloud management platform CleverLive digital signage is a cloud content management platform that turns an interactive display into a communication tool, providing alerts, messages, and announcements. Tech & Learning judges called it “a very good solution.”

Boxlight MimioPro 4 Interactive Display Boxlight The MimioPro 4 interactive display is a touchdriven LCD Android display that can function as an interactive whiteboard, PC, and collaboration tool for everyone in the class and those learning from home. Tech & Learning’s judges called it “user-friendly” and liked its clear display, sharing capabilities, and access to Clever.

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PRIMARY EDUCATION WINNERS

Boxlight MyStemKits.com MyStemKits.com is the online platform for all Boxlight STEM products. In addition to ready-toprint 3D models, MyStemKits curriculum bundles include: teacher guide, student handouts and assessments, answer keys, programming/design procedures, and assembly guides. Our judges praised the kits’ ability to engage kids with handson learning.

Center for Educational Outreach, Baylor College of Medicine BioEd Online BioEd Online provides access to cutting-edge information and educational tools for biology and related subjects. Materials are standards-aligned and field-tested by teachers and students. Our judges liked the variety of resources as well as the research basis for the tools.

CTL CTL Chromebook PX14EXT The CTL Chromebook PX14EXT includes a front-facing HD camera, digital mic, USB ports with PD and DP functions, Bluetooth 5.0, and WiFi 6. “This device is great for students needing to complete work and engage in online learning,” said the judges.

BrainPOP BrainPOP BrainPOP is a digital education solution for grades 3-8+ using animated movies, interactive learning activities, and educational games that allow students to explore concepts across the curriculum. Our judges said, “BrainPop is such an engaging platform. The stories, questions, and supplemental resources are extremely helpful for educators.”

Capstone Capstone Connect Capstone Connect offers thousands of pieces of K-5 standards-aligned content including nonfiction articles, ebook bundles, and instructional ideas. Tech & Learning judges said, “Students can explore, create, and learn all within the Capstone platform. Great content!”

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ClassLink ClassLink Suite ClassLink offers instant access to apps and files with a single sign-on to streamline class rostering, automate account provisioning, and provide actionable analytics. “ClassLink is a teacher’s dream, a one-stop shop for teachers and students to access district resources,” said the judges.

Discovery Education Discovery Education K-12 learning platform Discovery Education is an enhanced learning platform facilitating engaging instruction in any environment and featuring integration with Microsoft Teams, Google Classroom, Schoology, Canvas, Brightspace, and Clever. “With videos, current events, quizzes, and interactive activities, this tool is pretty awesome!” said the judges.

CTL CTL Chromebook NL72

Discovery Education Mystery Science

The CTL Chromebook NL72 provides rugged reliability, a safe and secure connection, and a speedy Intel Jasper Lake processor ideal for multitasking, making media, or toggling multiple tabs. T&L’s judges found it “durable and fast,” and liked the camera with rotating views and how it helps keep kids on task.

Mystery Science provides hands-on science lessons that begin with a question, allowing students to explore answers through interactive videos featuring real-world visuals. The judges deemed it “excellent” and highlighted the TEKS alignment, video content, hands-on activities, and the ability to add lesson elements.



PRIMARY EDUCATION WINNERS

Edmentum Exact Path Exact Path combines K-12 diagnostic assessments with individualized lessons in math, reading, and language arts. “ExactPath is a really nice tool for taking assessment scores and standards from summative assessment companies and projecting a unique learning path for students to improve,” said the judges.

FrontRow by Boxlight Attention! AV campus communication system EiE, Museum of Science, Boston Engineering is Elementary, 2nd Edition Engineering is Elementary is an evidence-based, elementary engineering curriculum consisting of five hands-on and hybrid lessons with 8-10 hours of instructional time. The curriculum covers topics in earth and space science, life science, and physical science, with an engaging storybook introducing each unit. Our judges called it “a wellthought-out and comprehensive tool.”

The FrontRow by Boxlight Attention! communication solution combines the FrontRow Conductor campus-wide bells, paging, and intercom platform with Boxlight’s CleverLive cloud management platform and the MimioPro 4 interactive display. “This product really delivers where others fall short,” T&L’s judges said.

Edthena AI Coach The AI Coach platform uses artificial intelligence to guide teachers to self-reflect and accelerate their professional learning even if an in-person coach is not available. “I liked that it was designed by experienced instructional coaches,’’ said one judge, adding, “Teachers will like the personal, yet private, feedback and growth.”

eGlass by Pathway Innovations, Inc. eGlass Station eGlass Station is an all-in-one wireless podium that allows teachers to use the eGlass lightboard anywhere in the classroom. Our judges said, “This product is a game changer for the classroom. Students will be engaged and begging for instruction from this tool!”

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ExploreLearning Reflex Reflex helps students of all abilities develop fluency with basic math, combining researchbased methods and technology to provide math fact fluency. “It is a great target tool for those students who need more practice/repetition in math fluency while using fun graphics, sounds, and games,” said the judges.

Hoot Reading Hoot for Schools Hoot Reading connects students with certified teachers to advance literacy with evidence-based reading programs. “This is like having an aide for students, taking pressure off the teacher,” said one judge, adding, “The analytics are very helpful to show student needs and growth.”

HUE HUE Animation Studio Frontline Education Frontline Absence Mobile App With Frontline’s Mobile App, employees can request an absence, administrators can review and approve, and substitutes can get notifications delivered to their device, allowing them to view and accept jobs without waiting for robocalls. “It’s very user-friendly,” said our judges, noting the speed and efficiency for all involved.

HUE Animation Studio for Windows is a STEM. org authenticated, movie-making starter kit for children aged 7-13. The kit fosters skills such as collaboration, planning, and critical thinking through creative play and project-based learning. Our judges called it “an easy way to create video content for students and teachers.”


PRIMARY EDUCATION WINNERS

Logitech Logitech Pen

Illuminate Education FastBridge FastBridge is a K-12 research-based universal screening and progress monitoring solution to assess reading, math, and social-emotional behavior in a single platform with intervention recommendations. Our judges said, “FastBridge’s comprehensive reports will be critical when assessing and supporting students as they transition back to school.”

The universally compatible “Works With Chromebook”-certified Logitech Pen provides students with the control they need to work and collaborate, without requiring the extra step of bluetooth pairing. Our judges said, “Finding a stylus that works with Chromebooks and various devices is so important.”

MobyMax MobyMax MobyMax offers a comprehensive K-8 curriculum for 27 subjects, including math, reading, phonics, writing, science, social studies, and more. Students begin with a placement test to identify learning gaps, then follow a directed learning path. The judges deemed it “a great product for progress monitoring and growth,” and especially liked the individualized lessons

MAXCases Shield Extreme-X2 for iPad 7/8/9 Learning Ally Excite Reading - PreK-2 Excite Reading is a supplemental Pre-K-2 literacy program based on the science of reading and whole child literacy to help emergent readers learn fundamental reading skills and to accelerate prereading skills. Tech & Learning’s judges called it “a great reading program,” and added, “This platform will be great for students, teachers, and families.”

The Shield Extreme-X2 features a durable friction-hinge kickstand, which enables users to customize their viewing angle, plus other features to reduce drop and impact damage, enhanced corner protection, and a removable screen protector. “This does an outstanding job at protecting the iPad in its most vulnerable areas, like the screen and corners,” said the judges.

PowerSchool Unified Classroom PowerSchool Unified Classroom provides student performance data, special programs information, behavior support, curriculum mapping, and lesson planning tools for personalized instruction. Our judges called it “a robust solution” and “a powerful learning tool with workflows and data to help improve learning.”

MobileMind MobileMind LEGO Education SPIKE Essential Set LEGO Education SPIKE Essential is a crosscurricular STEAM tool for grades 1-5 that integrates literacy, math, and social-emotional learning into playful STEAM lessons. Lesson plans are designed to help teachers easily implement SPIKE Essential in their classroom. “LEGO offers quality materials and technology for creativity and hands-on learning,” said the judges.

MobileMind is a professional development platform that facilitates district-scaled, sustainable, personalized learning in gamified, self-paced micro-courses. Compatible with Google Workspace for Education and Microsoft, it also offers digital badging, tracking, reporting and more. The judges called it a one-stopshop for virtual PD, adding, “This tool has versatility and can be designed for individual teachers or schools.”

Presence Kanga Kanga is a therapy platform that offers clinicians access to technology to provide personalized therapy to each student, either in person or remotely. Tech & Learning’s judges called it “a great tool for clinicians who are traveling, limited on time or space,” and liked its online database and game content.

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PRIMARY EDUCATION WINNERS

Progress Learning Progress Learning Elementary

Savvas Learning Company Savvas Realize Learning Management System

Progress Learning for Elementary School provides online assessments to help prepare elementary and intermediate students for state testing. The judges called it “an awesome platform for selfpaced learning,” adding, “Teacher assignments, accountability, and varied question types makes this a great platform for comprehensive individualized learning.”

The Savvas Realize LMS is home to more than 1,000 K-12 programs for blended learning. The single sign-on platform allows educators to access standards-aligned content, customize materials, monitor student progress and create lesson plans. “A single place to sign on and access curriculum resources makes this platform extremely valuable,” said the judges.

Promethean ActivPanel with ActivSync Promethean’s ActivPanel is an interactive display with secure sign-in options, streamlined connection to content, flexible lesson delivery software, and personalized user experience. “Promethean’s ActivPanel is a great product that offers mirroring, multiple sign-in options, cloud connection, and student device connection,” said T&L’s judges.

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RedCritter CritterCoin With CritterCoin, schools sort students into Houses, then teachers create custom-branded 3D coins to reward students for positive behaviors. Coins can reward effort, achievement, attendance and more. Our judges called it “inventive,” adding “It’s a great way to encourage positive behavior with positive group thinking and outcomes.’’

Rise Vision Digital Signage

Seesaw Seesaw Lessons

Rise Vision is cloud-based digital signage software that helps schools improve communication, increase student involvement, celebrate student achievements, and create a positive school culture. The judges found it “easy to use and effective.”

Seesaw Lessons provide research-based, standardsaligned, engaging Pre-K-5 curriculum in math, ELA, computer science, and more. Lessons can be used as a standalone resource or supplement an existing curriculum.

Read Naturally Read Live

Samsung Electronics America Samsung Interactive Pro WMB

Read Live is a research-based program for struggling and emerging readers, with tools to improve fluency, phonics, vocabulary, comprehension, and more. Our judges spotlighted features such as word prediction, read-along, reading practice, and quizzes, and called it “a good tool to help students read and learn in an online environment.”

The Samsung Interactive Pro interactive display is available in 75- and 85-inch clear UHD models, and features touch latency of 26ms, shatterproof film and simultaneous connectivity for up to 50 devices.“Not only does this interactive panel offer vibrant displays, but it’s also amazingly versatile, accepting and converting outside content and lessons,” said the judges.

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SMART Technologies Lumio Featuring a newly improved teacher dashboard, Lumio by SMART is a digital learning tool that turns PDFs, Google Slides, and PowerPoints into interactive lessons. “Lumio is a powerful learning platform that gives teachers and students the tools they need to learn in a variety of ways,” our judges said.



SECONDARY EDUCATION WINNERS

tutoring to students, at no cost to them or their families. Said the judges, “The live tutoring aspect sets itself apart from competitors because of how quickly students can connect with a tutor and the wealth of options available regarding how lessons are conducted.”

WINNERS SECONDARY EDUCATION

SMART Technologies SMART Board 6000S The SMART Board 6000S is an interactive display that allows multiple users to write, erase, touch, and gesture at the same time, over any program or application, without interfering with one another’s tool choices. Our judges liked the ease of use, variety of tools, and SEL component.

Wacom Wacom Intuos SpringMath SpringMath by Sourcewell SpringMath is an evidence-based math intervention program for K-8 students, combining tools for assessment, reporting, and interventions. “This MTSS-based math program is a great solution for educators, math coaches, and interventions as they support math learners,” said T&L’s judges.

Wacom Intuos digital pen tablets include a battery-free pen with more than 4,000 levels of pressure sensitivity, allowing teachers to write, annotate, and create lessons or videos using digital whiteboarding. Our judges called the tablet “a complete solution” and especially liked the collaboration and engagement aspects, as well as the bundled software.

Acer TravelMate Spin B3 The TravelMate Spin B3 is a convertible Windows notebook that features an HD touchscreen and webcam, features military-grade MIL-STD 810H compliant durability, a spill-resistant keyboard with mechanically anchored keys, and a moistureresistant touchpad. Tech & Learning’s judges said, “The device gives school districts a full Windows computer at about the price of a Chromebook.”

Study.com Keys to the Classroom Keys to the Classroom aims to combat the teacher shortage and improve the diversity of America’s teacher pipeline. Study.com donates licenses for its test preparation software to partners who distribute those licenses to aspiring teachers. Our judges said it goes “above and beyond in preparing all teachers for their exams.”

TutorMe TutorMe TutorMe partners with schools across the country to provide 24/7 access to on-demand

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Xello Xello for Elementary

Benq BenQ Board RM03 Series

Xello is an online K-12 college, career, and future-readiness program that uses a discoverybased model to help students plan for the future. “Xello prepares K-12 students for future success with an engaging program that builds self-knowledge, personalized plans, and critical life skills,” said the judges.“This software is easy to navigate.”

The BenQ Board Mainstream RM03 Education smartboards provide a feature-rich ecosystem that includes a single sign-on for cloud storage and device management, an antimicrobial touchscreen and pens, annotation and collaboration software, and wireless screen sharing. “The BenQ boards are so easy to use and help to make student learning more engaging,” said our judges.


SECONDARY EDUCATION WINNERS

instructional tools to help teachers create an active and engaged learning environment, and integrates with existing technology including iPads, Chromebooks, interactive displays, and interactive projectors. T&L’s judges liked this tool’s versatility, praising its ease in connecting in-person teaching with remote students.

ClassLink ClassLink Suite ClassLink is a global education provider of access and analytics products, and also offers instant access to apps and files with single sign-on, streamlines class rostering, automates account provisioning, and provides actionable analytics. “ClassLink is a teacher’s dream!” said our judges. “It is a one-stop shop for teachers and students to access district resources!”

Boxlight CleverLive digital cloud management platform CleverLive digital signage is a cloud content management platform that keeps everyone informed on campus with alerts, messages, announcements with a few taps. It includes hundreds of pre-made templates, a customized user interface, and an easy-to-read dashboard. The judges simply said, “This is a very good solution.”

Boxlight MimioPro 4 Interactive Display The MimioPro 4 interactive display is a touchdriven LCD Android display that can function as an interactive whiteboard, PC, and collaboration tool. Other key features include anti-glare glass and screen-mirroring software so that students can share. The judges praised its versatility, adding, “It offers so many ways to connect with current technology for a truly blended approach.”

CTL CTL Chromebook NL72TW The NL72TW features the combination of a touchscreen and a spill-proof keyboard, an Intel Quad-Core N5100 CPU running at 2.8GHz, and gorilla glass screen protection. “This is rugged and durable, and the fact that it is convertible is a game changer,” said the judges. “It is a device that is keeping up with the times.”

Boxlight EOS Education Professional Development services The EOS Education philosophy is based on three fundamentals: teacher motivation, teacher effectiveness, and purposeful engagement. The customizable research-based programs are designed to engage, assess understanding, and encourage application of learned strategies and methods. “This can be a powerful tool to help teachers get PD on their own time,” the judges said.

BrainPOP BrainPOP Science

Boxlight MimioConnect MimioConnect Blended Learning Platform combines innovative lesson building and

BrainPOP Science features ready-to-use, standardaligned investigations and guiding questions that are centered around relatable real-world phenomena. It also includes data manipulatives, simulations, 3D worlds, and overarching claimevidence-reasoning processes for opportunities to “be a scientist” in the classroom. The judges: “BrainPOP Science keeps students engaged and brings real-world situations to the classroom.”

Discovery Education Discovery Education K-12 learning platform Discovery Education’s learning platform offers a collection of high-quality, standards-aligned content, ready-to-use digital lessons, quiz and activity creation tools, and professional

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SECONDARY EDUCATION WINNERS

learning resources. The judges said, “Over time this resource has proven to be a trendsetter in its relative space. With videos, current events, quizzes, and interactive activities, this tool is pretty awesome!”

Edlio Edlio K-12 Communication Suite The Edlio K-12 website and communication suite provides a centralized platform with a plethora of tools including school news, custom forms, Google and Office365 integration, and social media manager. “This is a well-conceived and complete website and communications platform,” said the judges. “The use of an admin app, as well as a community app, is great.”

Edmentum Tutorials Tutorials offer personalized learning for grades 6-12 , including real-time insight into progress and performance against standards. It helps students remediate learning gaps and build grade-level proficiency using standards-based instruction, practice, and review. T&L’s judges liked how it identifies gaps in prerequisite skills that indicate standards readiness and then focuses on mastery of the on-grade skills.

eGlass by Pathway Innovations, Inc. eGlass Station eGlass Station is a wireless podium that allows teachers to teach from anywhere in the classroom with an illuminated transparent

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writing glass and built-in camera. Teachers write with glowing ink while facing their students. The judges called it “a game changer for the classroom,” adding “Students will be engaged and begging for instruction from this tool!”

Epson Epson BrightLink Interactive Laser Displays The BrightLink provides interactive displays that work with existing dry-erase boards so teachers can ideate, annotate, and share ideas in real time locally or with remote participants. “The fact that it can project an image up to 120 inches diagonally so vibrantly and remain interactive throughout the entire display area is amazing,” said our judges.

Forward Edge Edge•U Badges Edge•U is an instructionfocused professional learning system that adapts to the needs of educators by providing concise, just-in-time professional development opportunities. The judges called it a great source for on-demand professional learning, adding, “It offers teachers choice on the topic, requires an artifact of use of the learning, and offers badges.”

Frontline Education Frontline Absence Mobile App Built for K-12 education, Frontline HCM software provides real-time visibility into positions, staffing, and vacancies, and features automated workflows, forms management, proactive alerts, actionable dashboards, and professional growth tools. The judges called it very user-friendly, adding, “Having a mobile option will help with the speed and efficiency of the information for the user and the reader.”

Explore Learning Gizmos Gizmos are more than 400 online simulations that cover topics and concepts in math and science for grades -12. Each one comes with teaching resources and can be used with full classes, small groups, or 1:1 lessons. “Great tool for science and math,” said the judges. “Fun, eye appealing, and easy to operate.”

FrontRow by Boxlight Attention! AV campus communication system FEV Tutor FEV Tutor FEV Tutor provides scalable, personalized, high-dosage tutoring for learning acceleration powered by live 1:1 online tutoring that is available 24/7/365. Tutoring sessions are customizable and use a synchronous two-way whiteboard. “FEV has a balance of computer feel with an individual personal touch,” said the judges.

The FrontRow by Boxlight Attention! communication solution combines the FrontRow Conductor campus-wide bells, paging, and intercom platform with Boxlight’s CleverLive cloud management platform and the MimioPro 4 interactive display for a fully integrated audiovisual messaging and alerting system. The judges: “Combined with the FrontRow classroom audio system, this product really delivers where others fall short.”



SECONDARY EDUCATION WINNERS

product provides timely solutions for school districts who need to assess student performance and social and emotional behaviors.”

Gale, part of the Cengage Group Gale In Context: For Educators Gale In Context: For Educators is a curriculum and instruction tool that merges quality, standards-aligned content with lesson plans and personalization features to support everyday learning. The judges said, “It’s a great tool for teachers to utilize when planning and creating lessons. Offers quality resources with the ability to differentiate and collaborate on lessons.”

HUE HUE HD Pro The HUE HD Pro is a document camera featuring full HD 1080p resolution, an integrated microphone, and LED lights that also allows users to record videos and sound, capture and annotate images, and live stream. “This looks like an excellent document camera offering recording, viewing, capture image, and even live streaming!” said the judges.

Illuminate Education FastBridge FastBridge is a K-12 research-based universal screening and progress monitoring solution to assess reading, math, and social-emotional behavior in a single platform with intervention recommendations. T&L’s judges said, “This

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Incident IQ iiQ Assets

IXL Learning Wyzant

iiQ Assets is an asset management toolkit that supports K-12 technology, such as deploying devices, managing assets, or conducting yearend audits. Our judges appreciated how well this product integrates into SIS systems, adding, “If you run a 1:1 program you need something like this, especially if you have a large deployment of assets.”

Wyzant enables learners in secondary education to receive private, one-on-one tutoring in more than 300 subjects, including English, language arts, physics, calculus, coding, SAT/ACT test prep, and more. Learners and tutors collaborate through video, interactive whiteboards with text, code, and math editing tools. The judges called this an interesting solution.

IXL Learning Rosetta Stone for Schools Rosetta Stone for Schools is a web-based learning platform and app that helps students learn new languages. Every unit engages students in all four domains of language: reading, writing, listening and speaking. The judges called it a great program for learning a second language, adding that it is tried and true.

Kahoot! Kahoot! Kahoot! is a global learning platform to create, share, and play learning sessions. Educators and learners can explore millions of ready-to-use interactive learning sessions on any subject, including collections created by partners such as NASA, Disney, and Minecraft Education. “Kahoot is an amazing tool for bringing gaming and increased engagement into the classroom,” said the judges.

IXL Learning Vocabulary.com

Lightspeed Systems Lightspeed Alert

Vocabulary.com offers vocabulary-building activities for instruction, review, and assessment that teachers can assign and students can work on independently. It integrates with any curriculum, allowing teachers to create literacy-building activities based on any text. “We like that students do a brief assessment when they first join and are provided with vocabulary words at their level,” said the judges.

Lightspeed Alert is an early-warning threat detection solution that helps schools prevent suicides, bullying, and school violence by scanning student activity in email, chat, search queries, and more for concerning behavior, and flagging incidents. The judges said, “In today’s landscape of education and safety, a tool like this is critical to ensure safety and enhance learning.”


SECONDARY EDUCATION WINNERS

USB Type C connectivity with 65 Watts of power delivery, embedded 20-Watt 2.0 channel speakers, and anti-microbial, -fingerprint, and -reflective glass. The judges lauded it as an “affordable and powerful solution for the classroom” with features to make learning more accessible.

MAXCases Shield Extreme-X2 for iPad 7/8/9 The Shield Extreme-X2 features a durable Lightspeed Systems friction-hingeManagement kickstand, which enables Classroom users to customize their viewingactivity angle, plus With real-time visibility of student and otherover features reduce drop and impact control theirtoonline workspaces, teachers can damage, enhancedwith corner protection, and a remove distractions Lightspeed Classroom removable screen protector. “This doesURLs an Management. They can also share vetted outstanding job atdistracting protectingtabs, the iPad with students, close blockin its most vulnerable areas, like the screen inappropriate websites, and enable screenand sharing. said the judges. Thecorners, judges”liked its ease of use as well as being able to “set and forget” about it.

NoRedInk Co. NoRedInk NoRedInk offers diagnostic tools, instructional resources, targeted skills practice, and scaffolded writing activities to teach writing. Plus, assessment reports as well as interactive tutorials, models, and lessons to provide students with just-in-time support. “NoRedInk engages students in grammar lessons far better than other resources we have tried,” said the judges.

Mango Languages MobileMind Mango Classroom Mango Classroom features interactive software, MobileMind MobileMind is a professional development lesson-planning guides, and activities to teach that facilitates district-scaled, 70 platform world languages as well as provide English sustainable, personalized learning learning support. Reporting tools allowineducators gamified, self-paced micro-courses. to track progress, identify gaps, and inform Compatible Google Workspace for instruction. Thewith judges praised the app’s relevancy, Education andsee Microsoft, also offers adding, “We can how this itwould be a very digital way badging, tracking, reporting and engaging to learn. ” more. The judges called it a one-stopshop for virtual PD, adding, “This tool has versatility and can be designed for individual teachers or schools.”

and state DOEs to deliver 1:1 tutoring and academic support—at no cost to families. Students get on-demand 24/7 live help and writing feedback. The judge said, “1:1 tutoring 24 hours a day! Wow! Teenagers who do their homework at 10 PM can now get needed tutoring that meets their schedule.”

ObjectiveEd BuddyBooks

Perfection Learning AMSCO AP Edition, U.S. History interactive edition The AMSCO Advanced Placement edition of U.S. History in its interactive edition provides core instructional content as well as highquality primary sources; scaffolded instruction; updated questions based on the AP-exam formats; and a practice test. “Wow!” said the judges, adding, “WOW! Where was this product when we were taking AP US History?”

BuddyBooks is designed for students with dyslexia, reading impairments, or low vision, and features a computer and the student alternate reading sentences aloud from almost any popular book. Using AI-based speech recognition, the computer verifies the student has read each sentence correctly. The judges liked that this tool offers the ability to help students practice fluency.

Perfection Learning Vocabu-Lit

Newline Interactive Q Series The Q series features include an Android 11-based operating system, a built-in Wi-Fi 6 module,

Paper Paper Paper partners directly with schools, districts,

The 30 lessons and 300 words in each interactive Vocabu-Lit student edition provide a full year of instruction, with each lesson focusing on ten master words with seven exercises of increasing complexity to extract meaning, apply vocabulary skills, and assess mastery. The judges liked the accessibility features, calling it, “a great supplemental resource for vocabulary building.”

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HIGHER EDUCATION SECONDARY EDUCATION WINNERS WINNERS

display with secure sign-in options, flexible lesson delivery software, and personalized user experience that works in hybrid, synchronous, and asynchronous learning environments. The judges called it a great option for classrooms, praising it for the multiple ways to sign in as well as easy navigation and connection to cloud storage.

pi-top Robotics and Electronics Superset pi-top Robotics and Electronics Superset provides hardware and a suite of tools to teach computer science and robotics, plus more than 125 hours of standards-aligned lessons ranging from beginner-level coding to advanced concepts such as AI, facial recognition, and computer vision. The judges really loved this, adding, “We want this product now for our students!”

PowerSchool Unified Talent PowerSchool Unified Talent has HR tools to support personnel administration, professional learning, staff recruitment, and candidate assessment. The judges called it a very good tool for managing HR processes and evaluating teachers, and said, “Having the tools and data in one program lets districts help improve teacher performance as well as retain successful educators.”

PowerSchool Naviance by PowerSchool Naviance by PowerSchool is a college, career, and life readiness platform that helps students by building SEL skills, creating goals, and managing a career path. “Naviance is a wellconceived approach to helping students plan out their future,” said the judges. “Including SEL as part of the approach is a smart move.”

Progress Learning Progress Learning High School

Samsung Electronics America Samsung Interactive Pro (WMB) The Samsung Interactive Pro is available in 75- and 85-inch clear UHD models, and comes with a shatterproof film and simultaneous connectivity for up to 50 devices. The judges: “Not only does this offer stunning, vibrant displays of life-like content for learning, but this product is amazingly versatile in accepting content from many curriculum companies.”

Progress Learning’s High School Platform provides standards-aligned practice items, including for national tests such the SAT and ACT. It includes readiness courses, benchmark assessments, and professional development for educators. “Awesome platform for self-paced learning for students to master state standards in preparation for the SAT or ACT exam,” said T&L’s judges.

Savvas Learning Company Savvas Realize Learning Management System

Promethean ActivPanel with ActivSync Promethean’s ActivPanel is an interactive

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The Savvas Realize learning management system is a single sign-on platform to access standards-aligned content, customize materials, monitor student progress, and create lesson plans and activity playlists. “A single place to sign on and access curriculum resources makes this platform extremely valuable,” said the judges. “The collaboration pieces are a huge benefit to teachers.”



HIGHER EDUCATION SECONDARY EDUCATION WINNERS WINNERS

280Hz refresh rate and a 1ms response time. “This is overall a very good monitor with features, tech, and price point to make it a valuable addition to any e-sports program,” said the judges.

SMART Technologies Lumio Lumio by SMART is a digital learning tool to turn content such as PDFs, Google Slides and PowerPoint into interactive lessons. Options include game-based activities, collaborative workspaces, and multiple ways to enable classroom conversation. The judges praised Lumio’s inclusion of an SEL component, adding that it gives teachers content and tools to add SEL to lessons.

TutorMe TutorMe TutorMe provides 24/7 access to on-demand tutoring to students–at no cost to them or their families. Features include live audio/video chat and the ability for students to submit written assignments to receive feedback from our writing experts. The judges highly recommend this for secondary schools, adding, “The live tutoring aspect sets itself apart from competitors.”

UWorld UWorld Learning Tools for AP Courses UWorld Learning Tools for AP Courses uses

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Varsity Tutors Varsity Tutors for Schools

Vivacity Tech PBC Mobile Charging Station

Varsity Tutors is an online tutoring platform that offers 1-on-1, small group, and ondemand tutoring. Recently added: a single platform for teachers to request and schedule tutoring, share insights and instructional materials with tutors, and get real-time updates. The judges called it “an excellent solution,” especially for hard-to-reach or economically disadvantaged communities.

Vivacity Tech’s Mobile Charging Station is a multi-functional surge protector tower that offers simultaneous device charging for up to 16 devices; four USB-A and four USB-C charging ports, and eight AC outlets. The judges appreciated the station’s smaller footprint and praised the padded area on the top and the ability to adjust its height.

realistic, up-to-date questions modeled after College Board-level content with answer explanations so that students understand why they got an answer wrong, retain the information, and master concepts. “The feedback and data are very important and a nice feature of this product,” said the Tech & Learning judges.

Vector Solutions Diversity and Inclusion Courses for Middle and High School Students Vector Solutions’ Diversity and Inclusion Courses (formerly DiversityEDU) are video lessons to help students in grades 6-12 learn how to use language and make choices that support inclusion. Courses feature interactive exercises and video reenactments, and come with facilitator guides. The judges called it “a unique solution for a very important and relevant topic.”

ViewSonic Corp. ELITE XG250 Gaming Monitor The ViewSonic ELITE XG250 gaming monitor is a 25-inch display designed for esports that features a

Vivacity Tech PBC Student Repair Academy (SRA) Vivacity Tech’s Student Repair Academy provides students with interactive training and core knowledge to help create an in-house repair center for Chromebook component functions, Chromebook repairs, hardware configuration, and troubleshooting. The judges called it “a nice solution,” and lauded that students can learn repair and have an opportunity to discover pathways to careers.

Vivacity Tech PBC V3P The V3P case is made of a polyester water-resistant fabric with a scratch-free microfiber lining, can fit all 11.3-inch devices, and is made of multiple high-density layers for protection against drops, falls, and other damage. “This is a good solution for both at a good price point,” said the judges.


HIGHER EDUCATION WINNERS

camera, anywhere in the classroom, letting teachers depart from traditional direct instruction models. “This product is a game changer for the classroom,” said the judges.

WINNERS HIGHER EDUCATION

ClassLink ClassLink Suite

BenQ BenQ Board RM03 Series BenQ’s BenQ Board Mainstream RM03 Education smart boards integrate with Microsoft Azure Active Directory, which provides security and educators with features such as a single sign-on to access cloud storage, device and account management, and an antimicrobial touchscreen. “The BenQ boards are extremely easy to use and bring engagement to the classroom like never before,” the judges said.

Cengage Group Gale Digital Scholar Lab Gale Digital Scholar Lab is a cloud-based research environment that integrates digital primary source material with popular tools for digital humanities analysis and visualization. “Gale is a valuable research tool,” said the judges.

ClassLink provides access analytics products, instant access to apps and files with a single signon, and the ability to streamline class rostering and automate account provisioning. “ClassLink is a teacher’s dream,” said the judges. “Having an SSO for quick links and being able to customize the user dashboard is such a timesaver.”

Ellucian Ellucian Experience Ellucian Experience is a personalized dashboard that integrates with other higher ed solutions and aggregates content such as course schedules, advisor meetings, and financial aid updates. The judges said, “College is a busy time for students so having a tool like this would definitely be a timesaver and get them the information they need when they want it.”

Cypher Learning NEO LMS

Meazure Learning ProctorU Proctoring Platform

NEO LMS is an intelligent learning platform used by schools and universities. It facilitates building and delivering learning materials, assessing students, tracking progress, automating learning processes, and promoting collaboration between students and faculty. The judges praised the platform’s versatility, adaptability, and automation as “big time savers,” and were also impressed by the features which facilitated student-to-student communication.

ProctorU has proctors that monitor exams in real-time or review recorded exam sessions and help guide test-takers through launching the exam and the multifactor authentication process to verify their identity and enforce test-taking rules established by the institution. “Having the visibility to verify academic and test integrity is crucial for institutions that administer exams online,” the judges said.

eGlass by Pathway Innovations, Inc. eGlass Station eGlass Station is a wireless podium that allows teachers to use the eGlass lightboard, an illuminated transparent writing glass with a built-in

PeopleAdmin HigherEd Platform PeopleAdmin’s HigherEd Platform includes an applicant tracking system, employee records, position management, professional development and learning, and a faculty information system. “This program’s professional development features are also a great addition,” said the judges.

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HIGHER EDUCATION WINNERS

ReadSpeaker ReadSpeaker ReadSpeaker provides text to speech using natural-sounding voices for learning materials, in an LMS, on websites, for assessments, or any other need a student might have. The tools are all cloud-based and work with any device. “This is a comprehensive screen reader with easy-tofollow menus,” the judges said.

Samsung Electronics America Samsung Interactive Pro

Shure Incorporated Stem Ecosystem Stem Ecosystem offers customizable solutions, including wall and table speakerphones as well as a ceiling microphone that pairs with Stem Speakers, and a central hub. “The Shure Stem Ecosystem really does a nice job of bringing all of the tools needed for teachers to easily manage a distance or hybrid learning classroom,” the judges said.

The Samsung Interactive Pro is an interactive display that comes with touch latency of 26ms. Additional features include a shatterproof film and simultaneous connectivity for up to 50 devices. “This product is amazingly versatile in accepting content from many curriculum companies as well as converting lessons that were created using other brands of displays,” said the judges.

This giant display can be set up in minutes thanks to its pre-assembled design and built-in motorized height adjustment stand. Once ready, it can be moved around with 360-degree silent wheels that can be stabilized with push-button locking. “This is a high-quality and versatile display that is mobile, flexible, and easy to set up and manage,” said the judges.

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Zoom Whiteboard is designed to facilitate asynchronous and real-time collaboration between students and educators. Our judges praised the tool for “raising the bar in terms of bringing interactive collaboration to fruition,” as well as the way it facilitated easy collaboration across various devices including web browser, tablet, desktop, and the Zoom Rooms for Touch tool.

zSpace, Inc. Inspire AR/VR

ViewSonic Corp. LDS135-151 DirectView LED Display Solution Kit

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Zoom Video Communications, Inc. Zoom Whiteboard

The zSpace Inspire includes Windows-based AR/ VR laptops, software, standards-aligned content, and professional development that supports zSpace, Inc.’s evidence-based augmented/virtual reality (AR/VR) services. “zSpace offers students experiences they wouldn’t otherwise have in the ‘real’ world and it’s all accessible through their device,” said the judges.


TEACHERS LOVE LUMIO •

MEANINGFUL COLLABORATION GREATER FLEXIBILITY gamification instructional value

Why? Because Lumio helps them level up any lesson with increased interactivity, collaboration, and game-based learning with a tool that does it all.

Save costs and simplify your tech approach. Plan, evaluate, and deliver fun and engaging lessons, all in one powerful platform.

Get it FREE > School license options >

Discover how more schools put Lumio at the center of their instruction.

Lum.io >


CREDIT: DISNEY GENERAL

ABBOTT ELEMENTARY: 5 LESSONS FOR TEACHERS The popular sitcom Abbott Elementary provides laughs–and teaching lessons By Ray Bendici

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ABBOTT ELEMENTARY

1

ABBOTT ELEMENTARY: ALWAYS STUDENTS FIRST

Despite being underfunded, understaffed, and under the rule of a principal (Janelle James) who, at first, is more interested in boosting her own status as a social media influencer than boosting educational outcomes, Janine and her fellow teachers constantly put the needs of their students before themselves. At times that means intentionally embarrassing themselves to engage students, starting their own garden to grow fresh

vegetables for the students, and even obtaining rest time rugs from lessthan-reputable sources, all in the name of doing what’s best for the students. By letting the students’ needs guide their actions, the teachers of Abbott Elementary ultimately help themselves to make the right choices and grow as educators and humans.

2

COLLABORATION AND COMMUNICATION IS ESSENTIAL

In multiple situations, Janine teams up with colleagues to accomplish a range of goals, including easing the transition for students from one grade to the next and handling disruptive students. In one episode, Janine and her fellow idealistic teacher Jacob Hill (Chris Perfetti) take over the enrichment program together, and when they realize the success is inadvertently causing bad feelings among students who are not participating, they create a rotational enrichment program for all grades. Schools are complex social environments, and it’s impossible to succeed in one as a teacher or a student without the help of others. Learning to work together and communicate with one another is a significant component of finding success.

3

MENTORSHIP MATTERS

Janine constantly talks about how much she looks up to her fellow teacher Barbara Howard (Sheryl Lee Ralph), looking to her as a mentor (and even accidentally calls her “mom” at one point). Barbara takes Janine under her wing and provides instructional guidance and tough love as needed. Janine also learns from her other colleagues, including Melissa (Lisa

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CREDIT: DISNEY GENERAL

A

bbott Elementary is a mockumentary-style sitcom television series created by Quinta Brunson, who stars as Janine Teagues, a second grade teacher at the fictional Abbott Elementary School in Philadelphia. Since premiering in December 2021, the series has become a popular and critical hit, particularly resonating with educators who see it as close to depicting actual school building dynamics. Brunson, the daughter of a kindergarten teacher, based the show on her own experiences attending school in Philadelphia with her mother and her favorite teacher, Ms. Abbott. In addition to featuring Janine’s evolution as an instructor, the show mixes humor with many real-life outside-theclassroom challenges facing educators, from struggling without proper funding to navigating district politics. “My goal with the show is to make people laugh, but I do hope that it gets people thinking,” Brunson told the Los Angeles Times. “And [that] it puts a little bit of pressure on the people who need to be pressured a little.” Although a TV comedy, Abbott Elementary does offer lessons that reallife teachers can appreciate.

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ABBOTT ELEMENTARY Ann Walter), a savvy and seemingly Philly-tough teacher, who appreciates Janine’s wide-eyed optimism while tempering her youthful exuberance. In one episode, veteran teachers Barbara and Melissa give teaching tips to Gregory (Tyler James Williams), a young teacher who is struggling to connect with his students. They share how over the years they’ve learned that what seem like inane questions from students sometimes could be examples of critical thinking and that occasionally injecting a little fun (and dancing) into instruction can make a big difference. Just as educators serve as role models and guides for students, they themselves need to learn from more experienced colleagues as they progress through their careers. They can then turn around and share that experience and knowledge with the next upcoming generation.

4

BE OPEN TO CREATIVE PROBLEM-SOLVING

Partially because of the TV sitcom structure, challenges presented at the beginning of an episode are rarely ever resolved in a straightforward manner. For example, when trying to control the viral challenge of “desking,” (in which students record themselves jumping from desk to desk when teachers’ backs are turned and then post on social media), the teachers at Abbott first try to get the students to stop via traditional means such as explaining the dangers of the activity. Eventually,

they come upon the solution of recording and posting a clip of Jacob, the most “uncool” teacher, doing the trend and thus the “cool” allure is subsequently busted. Funding, supplies, and administrative support are often in short supply in real life. However, there’s no limitation on ingenuity, creativity, and perseverance when addressing challenges. Keeping an open mind and being flexible can result in unexpected solutions and successes.

5

REMEMBER THE JOY OF TEACHING

Even with all the challenges in each episode, the team at Abbott Elementary ultimately continues to draw strength and inspiration from their love of teaching. As Janine says when Gregory tells her that his military father doesn’t want him to pursue education as a career, “Teaching is the best job in the world.” Of course, in real life problems are not solved in 22 minutes (plus commercials). Given all the hurdles and vast range of personalities present in any school, teaching can be an extraordinarily challenging experience. It’s important to welcome joy in the classroom as well as support your mental health and identify and reduce burnout. Or as Melissa says: “We care so much, we refuse to burn out, otherwise you open a whole other box of Panera’s problems.”



CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES

QUIET QUITTING IN EDUCATION 32

The term quiet quitting has spread across social media recently. The concept has important implications for education, say school leaders. By Erik Ofgang

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QUIET QUITTING

Q

uiet quitting is a viral term with a meaning that’s open to interpretation. Some say it entails mentally checking out from your job and doing just the bare minimum to avoid getting fired. Others claim that despite the negative-sounding connotations, quiet quitting actually refers to establishing healthy work-life boundaries and not working outside the hours you are paid for or engaging in activities beyond the scope of your position. No matter how you define it, quiet quitting has important implications for educators. “It is detrimental for us to have quiet quitters who are disengaged from the work, but it’s also very important that we’re helping to build some work-life balance to retain the amazing teachers that we have,” says Dr. Andi Fourlis, Superintendent of Mesa Public Schools, the largest district in Arizona. “Teachers are known for not having a very good work-life balance, they become dedicated to their children. And so they work 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 12 months a year.” Fourlis and three other superintendents discuss how they guard against burnout in their districts by encouraging positive work-life balance.

“I was working 80 hours a week,” says Creasman, now superintendent at Fleming County Schools in Kentucky. “I would get to school at 4:30 a.m., I would leave at 10 p.m.” The intensity and stress of this work schedule twice landed him in the hospital with an irregular heartbeat. Creasman, 2020’s Kentucky Superintendent of Year, realized that not only did he have to change but that the culture of education needed an update as well. “We are trained from teacher to principal to superintendent to focus on the health and wellbeing of students – ours comes last,” he says. Creasman is now dedicated to updating that mindset and improving the lifestyles of educators. His book addressing that, Prioritizing Health and Well-Being: Self-Care As a Leadership Strategy for School Leaders, will be published in October. A healthy work-life balance might look different in different schools and districts but a key is creating a culture that recognizes that educators are not truly helping their kids when they don’t take care of themselves. “We can’t do our work if folks aren’t okay. We can’t be our best if people aren’t well,” says Dr. Curtiss Cain, superintendent of the Rockwood School District in Missouri and AASA’s 2022 superintendent of the year.

QUIET QUITTING AND CULTURE OF OVERWORK IN EDUCATION

PROMOTING WORK-LIFE BALANCE IN YOUR DISTRICT

About a decade ago, Dr. Brian Creasman was the opposite of a quiet quitter. In fact, he succumbed to the dark side of overwork as a principal.

Dr. Andrew R. Dolloff, superintendent of the Yarmouth School Department in Maine, is the author of The Trust Imperative: Practical

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QUIET QUITTING Approaches to Effective School Leadership. His advice for promoting a culture of work-life balance: “You need to focus on what’s important, and a lot of the minutia may not be.” With this thinking in mind, Dolloff frequently lets staff at his district’s central office leave an hour early on Fridays in the summer and cuts meetings short if the agenda items have all been met. This naturally helps guard against the wrong type of quiet quitting. “You get so much more mileage with your staff when you say to them, ‘Hey, the rest of the afternoon is yours,’” he says. “In education, we don’t have a lot of additional financial resources to provide people with other incentives, and studies show that those aren’t all that effective anyway. What we can do is try to give people back a little bit of their time.” Providing a diverse network of support is also key. In Fourlis’ district, they are creating teacher teams so educators can help one another and are not isolated. Each school has a counselor who is available to teachers in addition to students. The district is also providing instructional coaches who Fourlis says can help teachers realize it’s okay to work less. “Many, many of our teachers, are working around the clock, and they need to be given permission that ‘What you’re doing is enough, it is okay to take good care of yourself.’”

ADDRESSING NEGATIVE QUIET QUITTING

CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES

On the opposite end of the spectrum, the education field, like others, has those who have checked out from their work. Individuals who appear to be

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truly quiet quitting in the negative sense of the term should be met with to discuss the issue, school leaders say. Dolloff holds these meetings in private and tries to approach each one with curiosity and compassion. For instance, one employee of his was suddenly constantly late. Rather than tell her if she wasn’t on time her pay would be docked or it would go on her evaluation, Dolloff met with her and said, “Hey, we noticed that you’re not getting here on time. It’s been pretty consistent. This is a new pattern for you. What’s going on?” As it turned out her partner was having significant health challenges and she was struggling to handle everything. “By showing empathy, we were able to help her figure that out, and yet also get her to work on time,” Dolloff says. Cain agrees that the best way to deal with a negative form of quiet quitting is with compassion. “If you see someone who is struggling, or someone operating in a manner that is atypical for how they typically operate, I think it’s important that we have a conversation. What can we do? What support can we provide? How can we be of assistance?” he says. Promoting wellness in schools needs to be a teamwide effort. “It’s not just about the administrator supporting the teacher,” Cain says. “It’s the teacher supporting the instructional assistant in the classroom. It’s supporting a fellow teacher. It’s the teacher checking on the administrator.” He adds that all educators need to look at colleagues and ask, “What can we do to help make sure that you’re okay so that you are then okay to be working with kids?”



Tech & Learning partnered with the New York City Department of Education to host their 10th annual #NYCSchoolsTech Summit in August.

CREDIT: NYC DOE: AMY MILSTEN

10 INNOVATIVE IDEAS FOR INTEGRATING TECHNOLOGY

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Ideas, strategies, and practices to help shape the future of teaching and learning from the #NYCSchoolsTech Summit & Beyond By TL Editors

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O

n August 17, more than 2,000 educators attended the #NYCSchoolsTech Summit–half of whom attended in-person! They learned about the latest education technologies and got the chance to connect with colleagues. This was the first time in three years that the summit was held in-person and the first time the event was offered as a hybrid opportunity. Participants attended a range of sessions and connected with vendors both in workshops and at their tables.



#NYCSCHOOLSTECH SUMMIT New York City Schools Chancellor David Banks shared his vision for the district during his keynote address.

Presenters and facilitators offered innovative ideas for integrating technology into schools. Here are some ideas, strategies, and practices they believe can shape the future of teaching and learning:

1

PROVIDE STUDENTS WITH ACCESS TO CURATED DIGITAL COLLECTIONS

We must harness the power of technology to bring students, staff, and families access to books and other resources where our students can see themselves and their experiences. School librarians are essential in providing access to curated digital collections of culturally-relevant ebooks, audiobooks, and content to meet the needs of all learners and readers. An example of this work is viewable in the Citywide Digital Library on Sora.

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Being back in person for the first time in a few years, attendees were able to connect with solution providers and receive in-person professional development.



#NYCSCHOOLSTECH SUMMIT

Educators from across the five boroughs were able to come together for a full day of learning, collaboration, and networking.

CREDIT: NYC DOE: AMY MILSTEN

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USE TECHNOLOGY INTENTIONALLY TO ENHANCE YOUR WORK

personal lives. These skills are taught through every content area and are an integral aspect of learning in every classroom and grade level.

Technology is embedded in our lives. This makes it imperative that schools and districts think critically about what technology they use. Is it accessible? Is student data and information private and secure? Is the tech increasing students’ learning, or is it just the latest trend? This also means that, as the SAMR model of technology integration teaches us, technology is used in a way that augments, modifies, or redefines what we do with students, staff, and families. For example, don’t digitize worksheets. Instead make interactive and collaborative digital activities to help students learn.

4

SCHOOL AND DISTRICT STAFF ARE ALL RESPONSIBLE FOR INTEGRATING TECHNOLOGY INTO THE SCHOOL EXPERIENCE

5

3

Technology integration is no longer something done by one or two teachers in a building. It’s now everyone’s job to know how to use technology to teach, learn, lead, communicate, and connect effectively. The Empire State Information Fluency Continuum prepares each one of our students to develop the skills and agency to be both critical consumers and creators of information as they navigate and succeed in their academic and

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PROVIDE STAFF WITH ON-DEMAND LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES

As proven by the summit’s success! Classes that were once only delivered in-person or live online should also be made available on-demand. On-demand learning is now more available and used by staff. Schools and districts can focus on learning opportunities that are available anytime/ anywhere. At the summit, presenters shared that staff feel on-demand PD is the easiest way to fit learning into their lives. They also shared the importance of receiving continuing education credit for the classes they take.

USE BEST PRACTICES FOR HYBRID OPPORTUNITIES

Hybrid structures are a part of how we work today. Using best practices for facilitation for both in-person and for virtual attendees assures greater success, both for the presenters and the learners. And it keeps us all from having to reinvent the wheel. This frequently means we must provide additional staffing to facilitate the virtual side of a session to ensure that all voices are heard and valued–elevating virtual voices and encouraging in person attendees to use mics so their audio is shared with the virtual audience.



#NYCSCHOOLSTECH SUMMIT

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BALANCE MEDIA USE WITH TIME OFFLINE

As we spend more time interacting with technology, we have to be intentional about when it makes sense for both staff and students to step into and step away from it. Provide opportunities to move, to laugh, to observe and connect with nature, to become grounded in the worlds around us. Incorporate art and the natural sciences into your English class journaling assignments. Teach higher math problems using physical manipulatives. Rearrange the classroom seating to provide opportunities for paired or small group conversations. Start your lesson off with a mindfulness activity that helps the students center themselves, practice breathing exercises before and after stressful assessments and check in with students emotionally as well as academically.

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MAKE ALL CONTENT DIGITALLY ACCESSIBLE

We must always provide digital content that is accessible to all students, staff, and families, including those with disabilities and who speak languages other than English. Provide and promote digital accessibility training to all staff members so everyone knows how to create accessible content–from the superintendent’s office to the school administrator who makes and distributes decorative monthly calendars.

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LEVEL THE PLAYING FIELD FOR EVERYONE WITH ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY

Assistive technology helps level the playing field for all students, including those with disabilities and who speak languages other than English. It provides a way for students to access their curriculum, communicate, and connect. Providing all students with devices along with education plans and assistive technology devices tailored to their needs supports student success.

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LEARN, LEVERAGE, AND INTEGRATE ACCESSIBILITY FEATURES

CREDIT: NYC DOE: AMY MILSTEN

Technology alone is not automatically accessible, so what makes it so? Free built-in accessibility features give everyone access to learning tools within suites on platforms such as Microsoft, Google, and Apple. Learn, play, leverage, and integrate these features into your classroom! You may be able to help a student (including ELL students), a friend, a family member, or a complete stranger benefit!

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REMEMBER WE ARE ALL GLOBALLY CONNECTED

In her keynote at the summit, Roya Mahboob, internationally known for her efforts to educate and empower Afghan girls, reminded us that our work reaches beyond the walls of the classroom or school. We are globally connected, and a major part of our work with students and staff is to show the power that can be harnessed when we think at this scale.

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9 DIGITAL ETIQUETTE TIPS Teaching proper digital etiquette to students starts with modeling it By Lisa Nielsen

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CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES

t’s undeniable that the pandemic changed the way we teach, learn, work, and live, but when some people returned to in-person learning and their schools, it seemed they could use some advice on digital etiquette for the new, and extremely connected, world in which we are now operating. This is a world where at any time you may be meeting or teaching in-person, via video, phone, or a combination thereof at the same time. While adapting was easier for some, others could use a bit of help. For those people, you may want to share or discuss these tips with them.

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DIGITAL ETIQUETTE

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USE EARBUDS / HEADPHONES

There is never a time when you are in the company of others that you should listen to a device through the device. Lowering the volume also doesn’t work. If you don’t wear earbuds or headphones, you may come off as inconsiderate.

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KNOW HOW TO HANDLE HYBRID

While remote was king in the first year or so of the pandemic, hybrid is now the norm. It’s beneficial to know how to do this effectively. Learn to use your camera to livestream and even record meetings, lessons, conversations. If your district prioritizes this, there are products such as WeVideo, Screencastify, and Flip that make this easy peasy. Having a backchannel for chat, insights, and feedback has many advantages. Have a moderator for this. They can bring any questions or comments to the attention of the presenter and/or participants as needed.

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ASK IF IT’S OKAY TO POP ON BY

CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES

Whether it’s a student or a staff member doing deep work it is important to respect their time. While some may not mind unexpected interruptions, others may. It’s best to ask rather than just popping over to someone. If they’re okay with that, great. If not, let them know when you plan to connect in advance and make sure that time works for them. This is true whether you’re popping by in-person or connecting via video or phone conference. Respect the time and work schedule of others, know how to use digital calendars, and determine a time that is mutually convenient.

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When you are inperson be with the persons you are with and put away the phones unless it is a part of what the group is doing together. If you think you must use your phone (relative in the hospital, sick child, etc.), then explain this to others and be discreet.

MULTITASK MINDFULLY IF YOU MUST

You may think that you are not captain obvious when you are doing something unrelated to the work at hand. However, usually, you are. If you must multitask on your phone, laptop, or other device, let the person in charge and those you are meeting with know, and give you feedback if it is okay or if it is better you don’t participate.

COURTEOUS CALENDARING

Calendaring technology, such as Calendly, makes scheduling easy. Use calendars to coordinate and book meetings and events. Know how to read the calendars of others to know when they are free rather than asking. Don’t book someone when they are already booked. Staff should also know how to share their calendar so it is visible to colleagues. This can also apply in school settings. Get rid of the bells and teach students and staff how to use a calendar to coordinate where they are going when.

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PEOPLE OVER PHONES

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CONSCIOUS CAMERA CONNECTING

How do we find the right balance between Zoom fatigue and connection with cameras on? The answer is to choose consciously. If it’s an ongoing meeting or class, you may want to discuss norms with participants. For example, you can acknowledge that having the camera on for everyone can be exhausting. Perhaps, you ask that cameras come on when folks speak. Or, cameras can be on in certain types of video conferencing and not others. Not talking about it can lead to discomfort. Instead, talk. Discuss. Create norms and figure out what makes sense for people. The organizer of the activity should share expectations up front, but be open if some folks have preferences or sensitivities.

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DON’T ATTACH. LINK.

Never attach files when sharing. Instead share links. Why? Attachments often have a variety of issues including version control, ability to access from any device, storage waste, and more. Additionally, if you mention a document when communicating, link to it. You can create links using a variety of platforms such as Dropbox, OneDrive, or Google Drive. Simply upload your file to the desired platform and access a copy of the link. Make sure you check visibility and share the file with the correct audience.

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INTERACT

Learning and meetings are more effective when participants react and interact rather than sit back as passive participants. If you are leading the meeting or lesson, encourage the use of emojis or hand signals. Use polls to get reactions from those in attendance. Create time for whole and/or small group discussion. Use tools such as Adobe Express for folks to create and other tools to collaborate such as Padlet or a digital whiteboard. As we move to a new normal that values digital teaching, learning, and working, it is more important than ever to integrate digital etiquette into our work, and into our students’ work. Each of these tips will be crucial to ensure we all are as successful and effective as possible in the work we do with our colleagues and students.








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