Wednesday, 12 February 2020 / Published in News

For the Love of Teachers! 

It’s February, Heart Month, and love is in the air. In this month’s newsletter, we are excited to show our love for teachers and share some awesome developments from EdTech.

Our first bit of news is that we have launched our new website EdTechSolutions.com and with it comes some amazing new resources for teachers. 

Also, in this newsletter, we share three ways schools can promote healthy hearts.

We are passionate about inspiring teachers to inspire greatness in their students!

Founder & CEO

For The Love of Teachers 

At EdTech, we are all about going the extra mile for teachers. They work hard, are often under appreciated, and make a huge difference in the lives of children.

With the launch of our new website, we are excited to announce our resource page for teachers that includes access to free training webinars, digital platform support, and professional development.

Webinars
February 18th, 2020 will kick off the webinar series EdTech Tuesday. Teachers are invited to join us for a 30 minute webinar to master strategies for teaching in a digital environment. Webinars will continue on the third Tuesday every month and cover a range of topics including Teacher Tech Best Practices, Digital Classroom ‘How-Tos’, Digital Teaching for the Exceptional Learner, and more.

Digital Platform Support
Some of the biggest challenges schools have when implementing new technology is gaining buy in from teachers. This usually stems from a lack of training resources and support for teachers. We provide easy access to technical training for all major platforms.

Professional Development
In the ever changing world of education, teachers are continuing to grow through professional learning. We provide convenient opportunities for teachers to access courses in person and online.

Now more than ever teachers need to be shown some support and this is one way EdTech is here to help.

Happy Heart Month- Three Ways Schools Support Healthy Hearts

February is Heart Month and brings with it an important opportunity to spread awareness on health issues impacting the rise of heart disease in people of all ages.

Here are three ways schools are making a difference:

1.Jump Rope For Heart
Schools across the country are jumping for heart health. The mission of the American Heart Association Kids Heart Challenge is “Through Kids Heart Challenge, kids learn jump rope skills, how their heart works and raise money to help kids with special hearts. Have fun, learn how to stay healthy and make a difference in the lives of others!” This is a fun way for schools to encourage physical activity and teach students about helping other children.

2. Youth Vaping Crisis
Chances are most teenagers today know someone who vapes. Vaping on high school campuses has become a serious problem across the United States. The American Heart Association has taken a stand to fight this epidemic and schools are implementing changes to educate parents and students in order to reverse this trend. The AHA has funded a huge initiative to research and provide education on the effects vaping has on adolescents including development issues and cardiovascular disease. Schools play a huge role by informing parents on how to recognize vaping devices disguised to look like USB drives, make-up, and pens. By working together, communities can protect the health of our youth.

3. Promote Physical Activity
Physical activity is one of the most important things  individuals can do to improve health and walking is a simple way to start. Schools can encourage activity by providing safe routes for children to walk to school, opening playgrounds to the community on weekends, and creating opportunities during the school day to incorporate walking activities.

With over 7 million teachers in the U.S., schools have an incredible opportunity to impact the lives of children and educators are well positioned to set a positive example for students and communities. Happy Heart Month!

Check Out Our Free Teacher Training Webinars 

Free Webinar Subscription

Sign up here for a free subscription to our monthly teacher training webinars.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Monday, 20 January 2020 / Published in News

The Future of Education Is Exciting! 

One of the best parts of working in this industry is not only being able to see firsthand the incredible advancements in educational technology, but also how these advancements are benefiting students in ways beyond our wildest dreams.

In this month’s newsletter, we are taking a look at the digital trends of 2020.

There’s been a big push for developing technology that benefits every type of student, no matter their learning style, location, or accessibility needs. It’s going to be exciting to watch students meet their potential with these additions to the classroom. The sky is the limit!

Also, in this newsletter, an article about the latest school sport, robotics! It makes perfect sense. This organized sport develops team skills, offers a sport to those who may not be cut out for other team sports, and creates a scholarship opportunity.

We are so excited for these advancements and the future of education! 

Founder & CEO

A New Decade Brings Exciting Technology Advances for Education – Five Trends to Watch 

We’ve come a long way! Education technology can be traced back to the 1960s when audio-visual tools were introduced for better communication and knowledge retention. Fast forward to 2020, innovations in education technology have taken the teacher-student community by storm!

The Association for Educational Communications and Technology (AECT) defines educational technology as “the study and ethical practice of facilitating learning and improving performance by creating, using and managing appropriate technological processes and resources.”

Similar to life, the only thing constant in digital technology is change. And boy are those changes exciting! Our world is becoming a place where we can quickly learn anything, and in many fields, our experience is only a small part of our ability to learn and achieve.

Here are five digital technology trends to watch in 2020:

1.Customized Learning Experiences
Children have different ways of learning—visual, auditory, kinesthetic, etc. New digital transformation trends in technology are going to make it easier for students of different learning types to learn in the way most appropriate to them, be it through interactive games, modeling tools, video production, etc.

2. Accessibility
Digital technology makes information accessible regardless of how well someone is able to read it. This is true for voice-to-text and text-to-voice transcription technologies that are especially helpful to students with dyslexia and other learning issues. There is also an increasing volume of information available in video and audio form, ensuring that learning is no longer limited by the ability to read.

3. 5G-Increased Capacity, Faster Network, and Lower Latency
Integration of the Fifth Generation (5G) of wireless networks is set to have an impact on the way education institutions interact with connected devices and new classroom technology. Three key areas where 5G will improve on the current 4G networks are increased device capacity, faster network speed, and lower latency. Creating smarter, more connected schools opens the gate for a higher level of learning.

4. Videoconferencing on the Rise
It used to be having a pen pal was the best way to learn about someone from another state or country. Not anymore. Nowadays, kindergartners are exchanging thoughts with other kindergartners across the country through videoconferencing. Imagine your class talking to astronauts aboard the space station!

For students, videoconferencing is about more than just the marvels of meeting someone hundreds of miles away. It’s a unique opportunity for students to practice their communication skills, to collaborate in real-time on projects, and to learn from professionals and experts who might otherwise not be able to visit a classroom.

5. Student-Centered Learning
Passion drives motivation. When we tap into student interests, it becomes much easier to build skills and knowledge.2020 will see a reinvigorated focus on building lessons based on students’ interest and their personal learning goals. Working with students will, at least theoretically, create more active and dedicated learners.

Our world is becoming a place where we can rapidly learn anything, and in many fields, our experience is only a small part of our ability to learn and achieve.

Robotics: A New Sport That Takes More Brain Power Then Brawn

When it comes to high school sports, there’s a new kid in town. The sport is robotics, and it has opened the door for a new type of athlete!

This innovative athletic program requires hours of practice, dedicated teamwork, and has kids tinkering with technology. Who could ask for more? The skills students learn, including collaboration and problem solving, are the same as those learned in other sports.

Unlike most sports, robotics provides all students, no matter their background or physical ability, the opportunity to become STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) professionals.

The sport includes students raising funds to support their project, and designing a team ‘brand,’ all for the goal of building and programming industrial-size robots. This hard work is put to the test by playing a field game against like-minded competitors.

The concept behind this idea came from Dean Kamen, an entrepreneur and inventor. He re-invented the wheel when he founded the nonprofit organization FIRST (For Inspiration Recognition Science Technology) in 1989. This organization helps develop school robotics teams, places professional mentors, and oversees hundreds of competitions every year.

See What One High School Principal Had to Say About Working with EdTech 


Tuesday, 03 December 2019 / Published in News

It’s Been A Blessed Year 

As this year comes to a close, we want to take time out to thank our loyal customers who share in our passion for providing our next generation the best education possible!

Since the beginning of EdTech, we have been committed to ensuring the success of each client throughout their digital transition. 2019 was no exception. Our library of resources has expanded in a big way! We’ve added 19 complete ebook integration accounts.

We now offer integration with McGraw Hill SSO, Automatic Rostering, and HMH Rostering. Last but not least, we have made even more improvements in providing seamless integration in the classroom through one on one teacher training and live webinars.

We’re in the midst of a digital revolution and schools are continuously seeking ways to meet the needs of their tech-savvy students. EdTech is dedicated to being at the forefront of new technology in education. Throughout 2020, you will see EdTech Software continue to forge relationships with publishers throughout the K12 ecosystem, implement mobile purchasing abilities, and create an even more dynamic user experience. We’re also excited to expand on our teacher resources both in-person and online as we roll out our teacher support portal. Another goal for 2020 is to upgrade features in our software and implement reader updates. Needless to say, we are excited for 2020 and the future of education.

On behalf of everyone at EdTech, I would like to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Thank you for being a part of this community of teachers and learners.

Founder & CEO


Give the Gift of Experience! 

The holidays are a time for family, friends, festivities, good food and gift-giving. Of course, there are always the “must-haves” included at the top of every wish list. Even if purchased, these sought-after items will probably end up at the bottom of the closet after one week of use. An undeniable frustration for parents everywhere!

According to a Gallup study, we’re spending a lot of money on gifts: about 2 percent of our annual income to be exact! So, it only makes sense that we should make the most of the items we buy for family and friends.

Research performed by the University of Toronto offers a refreshing alternative to material gifts. It found that giving a gift of experience instead makes a more positive and lasting impact.

The best part of a gift of an experience is it creates a strong emotional response when the recipient uses it. Guitar lessons, an annual zoo or museum pass, a fishing trip, even an outing to a concert or movie, are just a few gift ideas that won’t end up at the bottom of the closet!

See What One High School Principal Had to Say About Working with EdTech 


Friday, 15 November 2019 / Published in News

Reflecting on Our Blessings

November is a month to reflect on blessings. We couldn’t feel more fortunate to work with so many inspirational educators.

Speaking of inspiration, many schools are giving back to their communities in amazing ways. Take a moment to read our article about how students are transforming lives.

We would love to hear about your school’s volunteer efforts!

Choosing an ebook provider is a challenging process. Our main article covers five questions to ask potential providers. The ideal company for your school should make the implementation process smooth and seamless. When you work with EdTech not only are you getting a quality product, you’re also getting ‘day-one-and-beyond’ support.

It’s time to put together your digital resources wish list. Contact us with your ideas. We will do our best to come up with solutions and make them happen!

Founder & CEO


5 Questions to Ask Potential Etextbook Providers 

Are you interested in implementing etextbooks but don’t know where to start? You aren’t alone. It’s a big step into a new frontier!

First off, if you think they’re just the print version of your standard textbooks in PDF format, think again. Digital textbooks have come a long way. With collaborative tools, built-in multimedia study aids, note-sharing capabilities and interactive features like quick search and definition look-up, etextbooks are one of the most valuable study partners your students will have.

How are etextbooks implemented in the classroom? Let’s talk about the ebook platform. The platform is the technology an ebook provider uses to provide ebooks to users. In a sense, it’s the “librarian” of the ebook world!

It will have a web-based administrative interface or dashboard and may also include an app that makes the books readable on mobile devices. With a well-designed platform, teachers can customize their etextbooks to meet their curriculum needs, and monitor student progress.

When evaluating an ebook implementation service, these 5 questions will help you find the perfect ebook provider:

1. Is the implementation process smooth and seamless?
The last thing a school needs is an implementation process that takes weeks to provide etextbooks to students and teachers. Look for a company that provides instant service with unique administrative dashboards for schools to manage books, orders, and course curriculum. It should create an easy to use system for students and teachers to utilize. When a student enters a code for a class etextbook into the app, it should instantly download on multiple devices.

2. Does the company provide knowledgeable customer service and support staff?
No matter how advanced technology is, it can have issues due to the operator or the technology itself. To avoid disruptions, instant and knowledgeable support is vital. The goal should be to provide a digital tool that enhances education, not hinders! Needless to say, make sure the provider you choose is readily available to guide you through any questions you may have. Look for a company that’s proactive and works closely with schools before an issue occurs.

3. Is continuous learning available?
With any new technology introduced to a school, it’s important to provide teachers with flexible support and learning options with webinars or other types of professional development. Etextbooks are an exciting addition to the classroom. There are so many ways to make the most out of them and customize them to meet educational needs. Who better to provide this knowledge than the company providing your etextbook service?

4. Is the software compatible with the school’s Student Information System?
Nowadays, the Student Information System (SIS) is the “lifeblood” of a school. The web-based application software is designed to introduce a conducive and structured information exchange environment for integrating students, parents, teachers and the administration of the school. Needless to say, the etextbook software used should seamlessly interface with your school’s software system. If a student changes to a different class mid-semester, that student should have access to the new etextbook immediately!

5. Will the company be the go-to for publisher questions and concerns?
It’s not unusual for schools to contact publishers with questions or concerns. This can get difficult when a school uses multiple textbook publishers. Your etextbook company should have a positive, working relationship with each publisher in the system, and field all questions and concerns your school may have.

Giving Back: A Lesson Plan that Makes a Difference

Giving back is something we have all done; whether it’s helping a neighbor carry in their groceries or volunteering at the local food bank. When schools get involved in volunteer efforts, the impact made in the community can be huge.

Not only do the students make a difference in the lives of others, they also gain valuable life experience. The time they spend volunteering develops job and social skills, looks great on a college application, and encourages a sense of community.

Here are three inspiring examples of students giving back.

  1. A program developed by the ASPCA enlists students to write persuasive biographies explaining why each shelter animal should be adopted. The results: Many animals have found their forever homes!
  2. As part of a legacy project, a Fremont, NE, teacher’s second-grade class spends the first half of the year making no-sew blankets. During the holidays, students proudly deliver their finished products to members of an early childhood center, and a senior care facility.
  3. Habitat for Humanity of San Antonio, TX, has teamed up with high school shop classes to build walls for Habitat family homes. The benefits: families gain well-constructed homes, and students learn about the tools and materials used to successfully execute a residential construction project!

See What One High School Principal Had to Say About Working with EdTech 


Saturday, 19 October 2019 / Published in News

Living in A Digital World  

Fall is in the air, which means beautiful weather, wonderful festivities, and….in the education community midterm season. We want all students to ace their tests and have time to enjoy the fall weather!

Get the most out of studying by using our comprehensive digital test preparation tools. Over 100 flashcard courses for middle and high school test prep are available for download on our Exambusters page.

We live in a world where everything is digital, and schools are no exception. Thanks to the internet, things, including studying, have become much more user-friendly!  Who would have thought we would have so many digital resources and tools at our fingertips?

In this issue, read about why this might not have been the case if not for the man known as the Father of Information Theory, Claude Shannon, who invented the digital circuit. To think that kids are now learning the digital language of coding. Dr. Shannon would be so proud! Take a few minutes to also read about all the benefits learning to code has for our students.

Founder & CEO

10 Reasons Students Should Learn the Language of Coding 

From farming to manufacturing, computer coding plays a part in everything. It’s safe to say our economy, our well-being, and our very lives depend on it. In a nutshell, coding (also called programming or developing) is telling a computer, app, phone or website what you want it to do.

It’s a 21st-century concept so important that every child needs to learn the basics to excel in our rapidly changing world.

Picking up this skill is a win/win; coding not only helps improve kids’ mathematics and writing skills but also gives them valuable life skills.

The next quarter-century will see rapid innovations in machine learning, artificial intelligence, and the Internet of Things (IoT). Behind all of these breakthrough advances will be computer programmers and designers blazing the trail.

Teaching kids coding gives them a fluency in the architecture of tomorrow’s world. Even if they don’t end up as developers, the skills they will learn will pay dividends in nearly every career path on the planet.

The 10 reasons why kids should learn to code:

1. No Cyberbullying
Computer programming is a language, and it’s now one of the most widely used languages in the world. Seeing that most jobs involve computers and software, understanding the language that powers them is essential.

2. It builds critical thinking skills
Computational thinking teaches students to break down large problems into small, achievable steps. Building this skill alone is priceless, and many of our students claim that they now use this approach in general problem-solving.

3. It encourages creativity
Coding stimulates creativity. In other words, learning to code provides students with the ability to take what is in their minds and bring it to life on their computer screens. When a child’s unlimited creativity meets a tool with nearly unlimited potential, sparks fly!

4. It strengthens academic skills
Coding is the language of math. Learning to program involves many skills including organizing and analyzing data. Children can grow their math skills while coding without even realizing it! Using their logic and calculation skills while creating something of their own can make math more engaging and fun. Coding also strengthens a student’s reading and spelling ability.

5. It helps improve focus and concentration
Coding encourages children to stay focused and concentrate. Kids know that if they stay focused, master coding concepts, and execute them without errors, they will be rewarded with an awesome custom creation that they can try out and play with their friends.

6. It improves communication
People who clearly communicate complex ideas in simple terms tend to be successful in different industries and walks of life. When kids learn to code, they learn how to communicate in a way that’s effective and easily understood.

7. It teaches perseverance
When students use high-quality computer science curricula, they will experience bugs, exceptions, and other unintended consequences. Students learn quickly that bugs and errors are part of the development process.

8. It builds confidence
As they learn to code and give direction, they learn that there are multiple ways to do something. Making mistakes is part of the process and they can improve upon what they have already done without worrying about failing.

9. It teaches another language
Language teaches children how to communicate and teaches logical thinking. Language also strengthens both verbal and written skills. Coding has a language all its own. Every letter in the Alphabet has a special formula of 0’s and 1’s that represent it. These 0’s and 1’s give the technology around us directions on how to perform. What better way for our children to understand why and how the technology around them operates than by learning to code and speak to the technology around them?

10. It helps kids prepare for the jobs of tomorrow The world is quickly evolving, and our students will end up in careers that don’t even exist yet. Many of these jobs will involve technology, and students who are well-prepared with technical skills such as coding will stand the best chance for success.

Big Thank You to Everyone Who Stopped at Our Booth
We Had A Great Time! 

October 10-12 at St. Louis, Missouri


The Mathematician Who Rocked the World 

When Claude Elwood Shannon submitted his master’s thesis in 1940, little did he know the way the world communicated would be changed forever. He holds the distinguished title as the founding father of the electronic communications age.

The American mathematical engineer’s work on technical and engineering problems within the communications industry set the groundwork for both the computer industry and telecommunications.

Shannon pursued his graduate studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). While at M.I.T., he partnered with Dr. Vannevar Bush on one of the early calculating machines, the “differential analyzer.”  This piece (like a fine-tuned clock) used a precisely honed system of shafts, gears, wheels, and disks to solve equations in calculus. Though analog computers like this turned out to be little more than footnotes in the history of the computer, Shannon quickly made his mark with digital electronics, a considerably more influential concept.

In his prize-winning master’s thesis, Shannon proposed a method for applying a mathematical form of logic called Boolean algebra to the design of relay switching circuits. This innovation, credited as the advance that transformed circuit design “from an art to a science,” remains the basis for circuit and chip design to this day. Thanks to Shannon we have the internet!

Do You Have a High School Junior or Senior?

With the arrival of fall comes many important deadlines for high school juniors and seniors. Parents and Educators are an integral part of helping to ensure college bound students don’t miss out on crucial opportunities including applications for preferred schools, federal student aid, scholarships, and college entrance exams.

FAFSA

The 2020-2021 FAFSA form became available on October 1, 2019 for the 2020-21 award year. Some schools have limited funds, so it is important to apply early and be mindful of the three FAFSA deadlines: Federal, State, and College. The Department of Education also provides checklists for juniors and seniors as well as FAFSA help resources.
2020-21 FAFSA Deadlines:

Federal Deadline- 11:59 p. m. Central time on June 30, 2021
State Deadlines- Each state has its own deadline which can be found here.
College Deadlines- This varies by school.

College Entrance Exams

Collegeboard.org has many college readiness resources from test prep to registration and college readiness guides for parents and students. Collegeboard partners with Khan Academy to provide test prep options for most entrance exams.

Scholarships

There are many scholarship opportunities available but be sure to use caution as a fee should never be required to apply for scholarships or federal financial aid. The U.S. Department of Labor has a free scholarship search and most schools also have search resources available.

See What One High School Principal Had to Say About Working with EdTech 


Friday, 20 September 2019 / Published in News

Cultivating Digital Citizenship 

It’s the beginning of another school year. We’ve had the pleasure of meeting many of you while assisting with implementing your ebook platforms. Feel free to touch base with us if you have further questions. We are here to make your life easier.

In last month’s newsletter, we talked about the importance of developing critical online research skills to be able to decipher fact from fiction – weeding out the fake news!

This month we’re addressing something that’s equally, if not more important, Digital Citizenship. Research from stopbullying.gov shows that among U.S. teens who use social media, 88% experience, or witness mean or cruel behavior, 67% observe others participating in those negative behaviors, and 21% admit to joining in at least once in a while.

These statistics need to be turned around. Cultivating digital citizenship skills is essential for all of us to thrive in today’s increasingly tech-driven world. While tech savviness seems to be an inherent trait, digital citizens aren’t born – they’re taught by teachers like you!

Take a few moments to read this newsletter. And, once again, don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions about your digital needs!

a

Founder & CEO

6 Rules of Digital Citizenship 

Our kids are digital natives, they’ve grown up in the digital age. They are exposed to and use digital devices from a very early age. But just because they have been the home IT expert since first grade and can play the latest and greatest video games like a champ – doesn’t mean they don’t have a lot to learn about digital conduct.

If anything, their agility (and comfort) on the internet is all the more reason to teach them how to be good digital citizens.

Taking the time to instill digital responsibility at an early age is crucial for our students as they move forward from playground friendship to Facebook friends. The lessons aren’t new concepts. They complement what we are already teaching students about how to behave throughout their lives, as well as ensure a safer, healthier, digital footprint.

  Think:

A practice that we should all 
whether communicating
face-to-face or online can be 
remembered with a simple
acronym: THINK

T – True: Is this fact or just an opinion?

H – Helpful: Does it help you, them or the situation?

I – Inspiring: Does it inspire and motivate you?

N – Necessary: Would this be better left unsaid?

K – Kind: What is your motivation for communicating?

Here are the 6 Rules of Digital Citizenship:

1. No Cyberbullying
Not only should people be good citizens in reality, but they should be digitally as well. Either in person or online never bully, troll, make fun of, or harass people. Cyberbullying remains a huge issue in today’s digital society. It’s critical to teach students how to behave respectfully online as well as how to respond if they become the target of a cyberbully or if they are otherwise the target of hurtful behaviors.

2. Never Give Out Personal Information
Not only should people be good citizens in reality, but they should be digitally as well. Either in person or online never bully, troll, make fun of, or harass people. Cyberbullying remains a huge issue in today’s digital society. It’s critical to teach students how to behave respectfully online as well as how to respond if they become the target of a cyberbully or if they are otherwise the target of hurtful behaviors.

3. Maintain Internet Personal Safety
Protecting your online privacy is a fundamental part of staying safe on the Internet. A big part of this is being able to tell when someone else’s behavior is inappropriate and taking the necessary action to stop it.

4. Privacy and Security is Vital
While there are security programs and privacy settings that can help block things like computer viruses and protect your online privacy. Starting at an early age, kids should learn about how important it is to ask for permission before creating an account or downloading a file, for example. By developing skills about privacy and safety on the Internet, kids lay a strong foundation for the rest of their digital lives.

5. Digital Footprints and Reputation
It’s vital to be aware of the footprint you’re leaving online and how it could potentially come back to haunt you later on. Respect the privacy of others online when tagging, posting, or copying personal information.

6. Creative Credit and Copyright
Giving credit for someone else’s creations is a very important part of digital citizenship. It’s important to know about the rights to copyrighted work, how to identify copyrighted work that isn’t in the public domain, how to know what constitutes fair use, and what piracy and plagiarism are along with the consequences of them.

Does Classroom Design Affect Learning? Yes!

With all the talk about how workplace design affects productivity, it only makes sense that the same principals apply to our students’ learning space. No longer are the days of rows of desks, fluorescent lighting, and stark, “beige-ish” walls!

A 2015 study by the Building and Environment journal found that classroom design affects a student’s academic progress over an academic year by 25% in either direction – positive or negative.

The difference between the best- and worst-designed classrooms accounted for a full year’s worth of academic progress.

In a nutshell, all aspects of classroom design make a difference to the space’s ambiance and the learning environment students walk into each day. Want to make an impact in your classroom? These design details have the strongest impact and can yield the best results without a complete overhaul of existing furniture and fixtures in a classroom.

  • Air Quality – Good air quality and comfortable room temperatures improved student progress by 28%.
  • Color Providing enough visual stimulation around the classroom through the use of color on walls, floors, and furniture
  • Choice – Quality furniture including interesting and ergonomic tables and chairs that support a sense of ownership
  • Complexity – Providing novel surroundings and attention-grabbing décor in balance with orderliness
  • Flexibility – The ability of a classroom to accommodate students without crowding them, along with how easily furniture can be rearranged to support a variety of activities and teaching approaches.
  • Light – Quality, and quantity of natural light, and degree of control with the level of lighting

See What One High School Principal Had to Say About Working with EdTech 


Sunday, 18 August 2019 / Published in News

Simplifying Technology for Learning 

It’s that time of year! We hope your summer was both relaxing and enjoyable. Setting up a smooth-running classroom not only includes the physical: desks, decorations, dry erase boards, and of course plenty of office supplies, but nowadays it also includes a wide array of digital aspects: computers, tablets, smartboards and, our personal favorite…..ebooks!

While as much as we would love to, we can’t help with setting up your classrooms.

We are here for you when it comes to implementing your ebook platform. Our mission is to aid teachers in customizing their students’ educational experience by simplifying technology for learning!

These days students do much of their research online. It’s true the information they need often can be found on the internet, but the accuracy of that information isn’t always well scrutinized.  Read our article on evaluating information that is found online. The tips are not only valuable for our student researchers, but also for anyone who uses the internet for fact finding. And, consider including the “endangered tree octopus” in your digital research lesson plan!

Founder & CEO

It’s a Fact! Or, is it? The Art of Digital Research – 8 Strategies

Have you ever heard of the amazing tree octopus found in the Pacific Northwest? This endangered “eight-legged tree hugger” has a detailed website full of scientific facts. It’s on the internet so it must be true! But, is it? Read this article then make that determination yourself.

Ask almost any student where they begin research for an assignment and it’s no surprise “Google!” and “Wikipedia!” are their enthusiastic answers.

Our students face a mountain of online media content that is not sorted by reliability and If using a personal device, “customized” depending on search history. A group of students could easily research the same topic and come up with different results!

While not on the top of most students “to do” list, developing a curating tactic to manage and evaluate the rapid flow of information is a vital life lesson. It’s time for them to act like librarians who seek, sort and evaluate information, not rely on the most immediate results. It’s important for educators to help them learn to sift through it and come to evidence-supported conclusions.

“I was bold in the pursuit of knowledge, never fearing to follow truth and reason to whatever results they led.”Thomas Jefferson

A good habit to develop is when confronted with a claim that may not be 100% true, use the following checklist to get closer to the truth:

  • Check for previous work: Look around to see if someone else has already fact-checked the claim or provided a synthesis of research.
  • Go upstream to the source: Go “upstream” to the source of the claim. Most web content is not original. Get to the original source to understand the trustworthiness of the information.
  • Read laterally: Once you get to the source of a claim, read what other people say about the source (publication, author, etc.). The truth is in the network.
  • Circle back: If you get lost, hit dead ends, or find yourself going down an “Alice in Wonderland” rabbit hole, back up and start over knowing what you know now. You’re likely to take a more informed path with different search terms and better decisions.
  • Check your emotions: When you feel strong emotion–-happiness, anger, pride, vindication–-and that emotion pushes you to share a “fact” with others, STOP. Above all, these are the claims that you must fact-check.
  • Use the three-source rule: Students must confirm information they find on three different websites to make sure it’s valid. Try doing that with the tree octopus!
  • Give the CRAAP test: Check the credibility of a website with a scoring guide like the CRAAP test worksheet (An evaluation tool used in libraries!). CRAAP stands for “currency,” “relevance,” “authority,” “accuracy” and “purpose.” Students score websites on things like domain, spelling and grammar, authors listed, and dates updated.
  • Determine the domain: Remind them that websites that end in .edu, .org and .gov are generally more credible sources for academic research than those that end in .com.

Immersive Education – See the World with Virtual Reality 

Imagine taking your class on a dream fieldtrip to the Galapagos Islands and going on a snorkeling adventure in Tortuga Bay. How about exploring the Sierra Negra volcano on Isabela Island and becoming a wildlife watcher in the small town of Puerto Ayora, all from the comfort of your classroom?

Welcome to the world of immersive education!

The rapid advancement of virtual reality (VR) is giving us the ability to transform how we see and learn about the world around us. Similar to the concept of exploring topics through links in etextbooks, VR provides an added experience to instruction, a big benefit to visual learners. In fact, with these tech devices, all learners are inspired to further explore for themselves.

The virtual reality of the future will involve more than headsets and game controllers used for a visual experience; it will become better for all the senses, including such additions as temperature, and even smell. How about joining a group of student peers from Japan in a virtual stroll through a fish market in Tokyo?

Quite simply, VR changes how our students see the world and learn, taking them places they have never gone before. Students will be able to travel back in time for history (and math!) lessons. Wouldn’t geometry be more interesting by watching the Egyptian geniuses of our past design and construct the pyramids?

See What One High School Principal Had to Say About Working with EdTech 


Saturday, 20 July 2019 / Published in News

It’s Summer – How Are You Spending Your Time?

Only a few more weeks till the start of the new school year, and some teachers are working long hours trying to get everything ready. Others are taking advantage of their time off because we have done the ‘heavy lifting’ for them.

Although we cannot help you with everything you need to get things ready for the new school year, we can certainly help you with your ebooks!

Our ebook implementation experts are helping thousands of teachers, and they are ready to help you too! We can get everything set up and ready for you, typically within 5 days. No more worrying about matching students with the right books, manually making changes due to schedule changes, or dealing with multiple access codes – Our ebooks are available for students, instantly by using one access code, in most cases.

It‘s not too late! Contact us today and enjoy the rest of your summer.

Founder & CEO

“The Gentleman’s Club” 

It’s all about the manners 

Educators know school is about more than good grades, it’s also a stage to develop social skills and responsibility. The first step to acquiring these critical skills is something that many of us begin learning as toddlers……. manners! Unfortunately, many kids don’t acquire this crucial social skill until they start school. It’s not easy teaching students the established curriculum let alone the needed social skills to behave.

It’s a fact, people with great manners have a powerful advantage over those who do not. They make friends easier, get along better with their teachers, and eventually make much better employees and spouses. Asking for permission, greeting others with a smile, and treating people in a friendly way can make all the difference. There is nobility hidden behind every friendly act.

Raymond Nelson, School Support Specialist at Memminger Elementary School in South Carolina, is very familiar with the lack of manners many students have. He thought of a creative way to teach this life lesson to at-risk children. Every Wednesday afternoon, 60 boys at his school dress up in ties, bowties, button-downs and blazers for an afterschool “Gentleman’s Club” — a program that teaches the power of politeness with the motto, “Look good, feel good, do good.”

The club teaches at-risk boys, many who do not have male role models in their lives, social etiquette that will help them succeed, such as how to shake hands, make eye contact, hold open doors and address elders.

According to a study conducted by California State University, Northridge, clothes may in fact make the man. The study found that people who dressed more formally are more open-minded and abstract thinkers. They can consume events, people and objects. The term “dress for success” has never looked so good.

Tips from the “Gentleman’s Club” to Teach Manners in Your Classroom:

Eye Contact and Being Fully Present

This isn’t a natural trait. It’s amazing what happens when you bring this to a child’s attention. Eye contact is the basis for feeling and showing that you are confident. Isn’t it a beautiful gift when someone pays attention to what you are saying and shows they are interested?

Handshakes and Greetings

Greet your students every morning or end the day with a handshake. What a great way to start the day. There really is an art to this transaction! Say good morning or good bye to your students or co-workers

Introductions

Learn by doing! Organize a role-playing activity for your students. They can pretend they have never met each other. Teach them to say “hello, my name is”.

Posture

Sit up straight.  Stand up straight.  Walk with your head held high. Having good posture shows that you are confident and interested.

Fine Dining

Teach students to put the napkin in their lap during lunch. Next, holding a fork correctly is important and shows good table manners. And, of course, chewing with a closed mouth. Dining etiquette is endless!

Conversation Skills

Do your students know how to start or carry on a conversation with each other or with someone they don’t know? We all need a few conversation starters up our sleeves!

It Was Great to See Everyone at the Blackbaud K-12 User Conference

In case you missed the Blackbaud K-12 User Conference, we will be extending our offer of the FREE Implementation of EdTech’s Blackbaud Connector to Pearson! (available till July 31,2019)

If you want to find out more, call us today at 844-501-7851 or use the button below:

 

 

EdTech Software offers a comprehensive integration service to schools to synchronize their Blackbaud student roster data with EdTech’s digital content delivery platform.

Students Jump Onboard the New Space Race 

An emphasis in STEM in the classroom is paying off! This summer a team of undergraduates at the University of Southern California’s Rocket Propulsion Laboratory successfully launched an 8-inch diameter, 13-foot tall rocket called Traveler IV. Their achievement completes a decade-long informal competition among engineering schools worldwide to create the first university rocket to achieve spaceflight.

The USC team is one of the several groups of college students across the United States and Europe who have been racing to send a rocket above the Karman line, the altitude of 62 miles which is considered the international boundary between earth’s atmosphere and outer space

Students launched the rocket from New Mexico’s Spaceport America, where future space-tourism provider Virgin Galactic is the anchor tenant. Traveler IV successfully reached a maximum recorded altitude of 339,800 feet, and a top speed of 3,386 mph.

See What One High School Principal Had to Say About Working with EdTech 

Friday, 21 June 2019 / Published in News

It Is Summer: Relax, Recharge, and Reflect! 

Summer is a great time for teachers to relax, recharge, and reflect. While relaxation should be top priority, reflection is also a part of every educator’s summer – “How can I make my next school year better?” has probably gone through your mind a time or two.

Rather than spending your time ruminating – tackle these thoughts head-on!

Unfortunately, we don’t have the magic secret to a perfectly calm classroom. If your thoughts concern e-textbooks, we’re ready to answer any question you may have. Students making schedule changes and needing different e-textbooks, we’ve got you covered. A question about an application, call us, we’ll guide you through it. Concerned about students dealing with multiple access codes? There’s only one (in most case) – available instantly, online. Contact us, we want to help you have a worry-free summer break!

1

Founder & CEO


School Is Out for Summer – 8 Ways to Relax

They’ve been dreaming about this since Spring Break! Sleeping in, lounging by the pool with friends; basically, just relaxing and living the summertime good life!

While this sounds like the dreams of every student, the focus of this article is on an equally deserving group, the teachers! 

You’ve been putting in long hours and weekends grading papers, arriving at school early and leaving late, and, most importantly, always ‘being there’ for a classroom full of students. Now, it’s important to take time to recharge and relax over summer break, reigniting that fire and preparing mentally for the upcoming school year.

Here are 8 ways for you to relax over the summer and enjoy your much-needed break.

  1. Read for fun! It can be any book you want. A bestseller, an old favorite, or a recommendation from a friend. This is your time – it doesn’t need to be reading to learn something. Start a book club with friends, take turns hosting and make plans to meet year-round. Take a trip to your local library and check out the free resources it has to offer!
  2. Try something new. Go to a yoga class. Take a hike. Learn a new skill. Try a new kind of food. Get a massage. Explore a neighboring city. Do something you’ve always wanted to do. Now is the time!
  3. Take a vacation…or staycation!  You don’t need to stay at a 5-star, all-inclusive resort or go away for an entire week. This vacation is all about relaxing, not about busting your budget.  There are many great deals out there…something for every budget.
  4. Take care of you. Hectic school year schedules mean a variety of personal necessities get set aside, often including your own health and wellness. Whether you schedule annual eye or physical appointments or develop healthy habits that can last through the school year, take time to take stock of your physical needs.
  5. Sleep does a body good. According to Harvard University, sleep plays a huge role in your body’s immune function, memory, learning, metabolism, and other important functions. Sleeping also helps improve your outlook. We all know how a sleepy student performs. Take what you tell your students to heart and get plenty of rest!
  6. Eat real meals, like lunch AND dinner. You have more than 10 minutes to eat now, so enjoy! Maybe you can even make time for the most important meal of the day, breakfast. Try out new recipes with family and friends. Maybe practice some meal prepping for the school year.
  7. Get involved with your local community. From volunteering to lending a helping hand, this is the ideal opportunity to learn more about the town you live in. Who knows what you will find out or discover!
  8. Do whatever you want! Just enjoy your time off. Don’t think about kids, planning, school improvement, or professional development for at least a month. You deserve this time off, so use it wisely!


Come See Us At 



A Day in the Life of Students in Japan 

On any given school day, most kids in the U.S. are dropped off by a parent or a bus, maybe even getting themselves to class via a short bike ride.

Across the planet in Japan, it’s common to see students as young as six responsible for getting themselves to class, riding the subway along with adult commuters heading to work. This independence doesn’t stop when they start class. Janitors aren’t seen on campus; students clean and maintain their own classrooms, serve lunch to their classmates and even clean the toilets!

While these practices might be considered odd in the U.S, (in fact, sending a young child alone on the subway is illegal, rightfully so!) in the Japanese culture it’s essential and they believe these practices allow children to grow up as responsible citizens, fostering the idea of taking care of one another. An important goal of Japanese education is to instill in the student the ability to become a fully integrated and productive member of Japanese society.


See What One High School Principal Had to Say About Working with EdTech 


Friday, 24 May 2019 / Published in News

It Was A Great School Year 

As this school year is coming to an end, I wanted to personally thank our customers and partners for another great year.

Here at EdTech, we consider ourselves very fortunate to serve students and their parents by providing them with easy access to great books. We also feel privileged to work side-by-side with the teachers and administrators of the finest schools, and help them make digital content management easy. Last, but not least, we are proud and grateful to partner with the best publishers in education.

Our team is comprised of dedicated and highly skilled individuals who built their careers helping students and their parents, as well as supporting schoolteachers and school administrators. We are guided by three very simple principles:

  • We take personal responsibility for clients’ success
  • We go the extra mile to make things simple
  • We offer digital implementation with the most K12 publishers

If you are still planning your curriculum for next year and would like to see how digital implementation can be done the easy way, give us a call and we’ll show you how simple we make it.

Founder & CEO

‘Promposals’ – Talking Points for Teachers

What was once a simple question has now evolved into the promposal —elaborate scenarios through which someone may ask a date to the prom.

This can be as simple as a handwritten sign strategically placed in a potential date’s front yard to choreographing a flash mob in front of a workplace at the local mall.

Traditionally prom carries a lot of pressure — to look perfect, arrive in style and have the ideal date on your arm. Now, promposals have added to that pressure, becoming almost as important as prom itself and raising expectations for young men and women, especially when these public displays get posted on social media for all to see. And, if not kept in check, promposals and “prom chatter” can take over an already “end of the school year” campus and turn it upside down.

Teachers have an opportunity to help alleviate some of the stress and pressure of proms and promposals by providing not only structure on campus, but also the appropriate focus and perspective.
Here are some talking points to start the conversation.

  • Spend a few moments of class time to discuss the big day. Airing their feelings and concerns is healthy and helps students put everything in perspective. And it gives you the opportunity to be the advisor, giving tips on how to navigate the stresses that go along with any big event.
  • Set down rules for campus promposals. There’s a time and place, if the promposal will be on campus, always get approval from an administrator or teacher beforehand. Promposals should never be done in a way that will disrupt the classroom or campus. A grand gesture might seem like a good idea, but not if it earns a write-up for disrupting the class.
  • Teach them how to set a realistic budget. To start with, don’t get caught up in outdoing peers with pricey promposals. Explain to them that the dress, car, suit or hairstyle does not define who they are, it’s how they feel about themselves on the inside that matters. Explore less expensive options and talk to students about the importance of saving.
  • Rejection can feel even more traumatic after a carefully orchestrated promposal. Encourage students to take the old-fashioned route of simply asking someone to prom – in person or over the phone. Build their feelings of self-worth by reassuring them that it’s okay if they are rejected by the person they hoped to attend prom with, or if they aren’t asked at all. The focus should be on going – with or without a date – and having a fun experience.
  • Be respectful Not everyone likes big promposals. Some people can get easily embarrassed in crowds, so make sure to keep it simple if that’s the way they want it.
  • Talk to students about what they want to get out of the night – is it to wear the most expensive dress or rent the flashiest car, or is it to dance, mingle and have fun with their friends?
  • Peer pressure is real and can be very intense. Students need to feel secure in making healthy, responsible decisions that you can help empower by talking about the consequences and dangers of underage drinking, and substance abuse.

Read an E-book, Save a Tree 

Who doesn’t love trees? They add beauty to the landscape, are a great source of shade and create homes for wildlife. Trees also help the environment; just consider them the lungs of our planet. Trees not only create the air we breathe, they also filter air pollution.

One of the benefits of reading ebooks as opposed to conventional print books is that it saves TONS of trees, literally.

These days, readers buy more than 500 Million e-books every year, which reduces the number of trees cut down to make print books by 8 Million per year (according to ePublishersweekly).

How many trees does it take to supply a classroom with textbooks? The number required depends on several factors, including the type of paper and the sizes of the tree and textbook. According to reference.com, an average-sized tree provides about 8,333 sheets of copy-type paper. Which really isn’t a lot of paper considering the average textbook is between 600 – 1200 pages.

EdTech at the NCEA Convention and Expo 

EdTech Software recently attended the National Catholic Educational Association Convention and Expo (NCEA 2019) in Chicago. As the largest private education association gathering in the world, this one-of-a-kind event allowed educators to exchange ideas and debut cutting-edge research and technologies related to education.

We were exhibited to showcase our latest products and services for e-book readers and online publications. We were able reach Catholic and other religious educators from across the United States, Canada, and other countries; and inform them of how they can easily and simply digitize their books and make them more accessible to students.


See What One High School Principal Had to Say About Working with EdTech