Author - Ashleigh Lutz

The Value in Taking Electives

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Before students even reach senior year, there’s a lot of pressure to choose a career path or college major and have everything planned out by the time they graduate high school. As most people know from experience, this is oftentimes much easier said than done. Personally, I know more than a handful of 50+ year olds who are still trying to figure out what they want to do when they grow up. And I only figured out in the last couple of years what exactly I wanted to do (and who knows, that could change again in another few years!).

That’s why I’ve always seen a significant amount of value in taking electives. Thanks to the many I was able to explore in school, I had an easier time narrowing down the overwhelming number of potential career pathways that beckoned me upon graduation. At the middle and high school levels especially, electives are crucial to helping students discover their passions, weed out the subjects they’re not that interested in, and get the most out of their time in school.

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Our Year in Review: 2017 EdTech Trends

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It’s been quite the year for American education, and it seems that we’re quickly approaching the point where education technology is the norm, rather than a luxury. Technology in the classroom not only personalizes learning and empowers students to take ownership of their education, but it also facilitates more meaningful connections. Many platforms open up the communication airways between educators, parents, mentors, and students, thus expanding a student’s circle of supporters. So where did the 2017 edtech trends take us, and what can we expect in 2018?

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What’s Up With… RTI/MTSS?

There’s a wide range of instructional models and frameworks that districts can refer to when forming their curriculum, classes, and programs. But the foundation of any instructional choice should always be focused on helping each and every student in the classroom. Two frameworks in particular, RTI (Response to Intervention) and MTSS (Multi-Tiered Systems of Support), are commonly used because they both help educators identify the needs of each student and provide appropriate support systems. Here we’ll explain what exactly these two frameworks consist of and how they can help ensure you’re meeting the needs of all your students. Read More

Engage Students During (and After) National Game and Puzzle Week [Downloads]

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Between traveling (or hosting), cooking (then cleaning), Black Friday shopping, and keeping track of kids who are out of school for two extra days, the week of Thanksgiving tends to be a hectic one for most families. After all is said and done, it’s very tempting to sink into the couch and just let your eyes glaze over, so it’s no surprise that America’s annual “National Game and Puzzle Week” falls on the same week as Thanksgiving every year. As families gather, National Game and Puzzle Week encourages them to sit down together, play some games, and enjoy one another’s company.

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Top Books for Educators: Back to School Reading List

The 2017–2018 school year is underway! We’ve put together a back-to-school reading list to give you some guidance and motivation and help you get back into the swing of things. Check out these books for principals and teachers to help put yourself in the back-to-school spirit this season.


Books about Change and Leadership in the Digital Age:

Blended: Using Disruptive Innovation to Improve Schools

Michael B. Horn, Heather Staker

Blended is the practical field guide for implementing blended learning techniques in K–12 classrooms. A follow-up to the bestseller Disrupting Class by Clayton M. Christensen, Michael Horn, and Curtis Johnson, this hands-on guide expands upon the blended learning ideas presented in that book to provide practical implementation guidance for educators seeking to incorporate online learning with traditional classroom time. Readers will find a step-by-step framework upon which to build a more student-centered system, along with essential advice that provides the expertise necessary to build the next generation of K–12 learning environments. Leaders, teachers, and other stakeholders will gain valuable insight into the process of using online learning to the greatest benefit of students, while avoiding missteps and potential pitfalls.

If online learning has not already rocked your local school, it will soon. Blended learning is one of the hottest trends in education right now, and educators are clamoring for “how-to” guidance. Blended answers the call by providing detailed information about the strategy, design, and implementation of a successful blended learning program.Tailor your coaching practices to meet the needs of each educator

  • Discover a useful framework for implementing blended learning
  • Unlock the benefits and mitigate the risks of online learning
  • Find answers to the most commonly asked questions surrounding blended learning
  • Create a more student-centered system that functions as a positive force across grade levels

Educators who loved the ideas presented in Disrupting Class now have a field guide to making it work in a real-world school, with expert advice for making the transition smoother for students, parents, and teachers alike. For educational leaders seeking more student-centered schools, Blended provides the definitive roadmap.

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