Author - Lizzy Torres

Virtual Learning and School Choice

With school choice on the horizon, many schools are wondering what they can do to keep student enrollments and stay competitive in a changing educational landscape.

Today’s students face far more obligations than just their classes; students work, support their families, and fulfill other responsibilities. Charter schools use virtual learning to offer students more flexibility and control over their learning than the traditional brick-and-mortar setting. But that doesn’t mean traditional public schools can’t offer the same thing. In fact, 84% of Americans overwhelmingly support improving failing public schools over closing them. So how can your school keep student enrollments and better meet the needs of a changing student population?

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Blended Learning Models in Action: East Pennsboro School District

Using blended learning models to personalize learning

The educators at East Pennsboro School District in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, were facing a challenge common to most school districts. They were trying to figure out how to personalize education for a diverse group of students at different learning levels.

After researching many blended learning models, they decided to use online curriculum to create a personalized learning environment that helps students achieve academic success. Hear them share the research they did to develop the program, how they utilized teacher input, and how their students are performing now.

Hear from East Pennsboro’s administrators, teachers, and students:


Why Do Students Drop Out?

Frustrated student ready to drop out of school

Even though high school completion rates have been on the rise, dropout rates are still alarmingly high. Each year over one million students drop out of high school in the United States, and around 2,000 high schools graduate less than 60% of their students. But new studies have provided some insight on the reasons students drop out of high school. Click the slideshow below to see the reasons students gave for dropping out and what might have prevented it.
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Using Brain-Based Learning Strategies in Your Classroom

Brain-based learning strategies in the classroom

If you want to understand the most effective teaching methods, you need to understand how a student’s mind processes information. Basing how and what you teach on brain-based learning principals, rather than established learning conventions and assumptions, can improve and accelerate learning.

Find out more on how to use brain-based learning strategies in your classroom to optimize student success.

Google Teacher Academy vs. Apple Distinguished Educator Program [Infographic]

Red and white speech bubbles with question marks

With so many edtech professional development opportunities available for innovative educators, it can be hard to distinguish which one is right for you, the qualifications necessary, and how to apply. We’ve done some research on two of the most highly competitive and prestigious programs for teachers who are passionate about using technology in the classroom: the Google Teacher Academy and the Apple Distinguished Educator Program.

What is the Google Teacher Academy? “The Google Teacher Academy (GTA) is a free professional development experience designed to help primary and secondary educators from around the globe get the most from innovative technologies. Each GTA is an intensive, two-day event during which participants get hands-on experience with Google tools, learn about innovative instructional strategies, receive resources to share with colleagues, and immerse themselves in a supportive community of educators making impact.” –Google Teacher Academy Website What do you learn? Educators will get experience with Google tools, learn about innovative instructional strategies, receive resources to share with colleagues, and immerse themselves in a supportive community of educators making impact. Once you have completed the training, you become a Google Certified Teacher (GCT) and join an online network of other GCT’s to collaborate and share ideas. How do you apply? Teachers submit applications to be considered to participate in the Google Teaching Academy. The application includes a questionnaire, short answer questions, and a video. Participants are selected based on professional experience, passion for teaching and learning, and their successful use of technology in school settings. Only approximately 50 innovative educators world-wide are selected to attend each academy. Who can apply? Applicants range from curriculum specialists, classroom teachers, technology advocates, professional trainers, to librarians and administrators who use google education tools to advance learning. [Testimonial] “My biggest takeaway wasn't a new tool or trick, though we learned great ones, but it was the reminder of what's possible with shared energy - that creative spark we hope to capture and recreate for our students.” - Gretel Patch, Google Certified Teacher, Nepal 2013, Google Teacher Academy Website. What is the Apple Distinguished Educator Program? “Apple Distinguished Educators (ADEs) are part of a global community of education leaders recognized for doing amazing things with Apple technology in and out of the classroom. They explore new ideas, seek new paths, and embrace new opportunities. That includes working with each other — and with Apple — to bring the freshest, most innovative ideas to students everywhere.” –Apple Distinguished Teacher Website What do you learn? Educators gather yearly at ADE institutes around the world to collaborate on solutions for global education challenges. Educators advise Apple, policy makers, and their fellow ADE’s on how they integrate Apple technology into learning environments. ADE’s get the opportunity to author original content about their work, and advocate the use of Apple products to help engage students in new ways. They become Apple Ambassadors of Innovation, and get to participate and present at education events around the world. How do you apply? Educators from countries who participate in the ADE program can sign up to be notified when the application period begins in their country. Applicants are then asked to complete an online application and submit a two minute video. Currently there are approximately 2,000 ADE’s worldwide and the selection process is highly competitive. Who can apply? Any educator who is passionate about innovative teaching and integrate Apple technology into their learning environment in a meaningful way that engages students, influences other educators, and helps transform teaching and learning. [Testimonial] “In his role as Director of Assistive Technology, Mark works with educators at the Anne Carlsen Center in North Dakota to find appropriate tools that make curriculum accessible to all learners. Mark uses Apple technology to open up a world of opportunities for students with diverse learning needs and is seeing incredible gains with students on the Autism spectrum.” – Mark Coppin, Class of 2009, Apple Distinguished Teacher Website