BACK OFFICE BUSINESS

BACK OFFICE BUSINESS

THE FIRST MAKERBOT K–12 INNOVATION CENTER TEACHES STUDENTS STEAM SKILLS

Mount Olive High School in New Jersey has opened a 3D printing lab with MakerBot technology and support. The 33 MakerBot printers in the new Innovation Center are part of the Marauder Innovation Learning Lab (MILL), built in a former auditorium at the school. The MILL is designed to be a space for educators to teach science, technology, engineering, arts, and math (STEAM) courses. Students can develop engineering ideas and then use the 3D printers to print and test them. “We pride ourselves on the variety of paths our students can pursue here on their journeys of self-discovery,” Principal Kevin Stansberry says. “They have the ability to take courses that will lead them to careers they may have never thought of before, some that might not even exist yet.”

PORTLAND (OR) PUBLIC SCHOOLS RENEWS PARTNERSHIP WITH EDTHENA TO DELIVER VIDEO COACHING TO DUAL LANGUAGE TEACHERS

Video coaching will be used in Portland Public Schools to help teachers continuously improve targeted instructional skills during the 2017–18 school year. Instructional coaches work with bilingual teachers on three main instructional practices—landing the objective, gradual release of responsibility, and student interactions. “With Edthena, coaches and small groups of teachers watch four-to five-minute videos of these instructional practices in action and discuss strategies for improvement,” says Debbie Armendariz, senior director in the department of dual language for the district. With the Edthena platform, teachers can quickly and easily upload videos of their classroom instruction from any video camera and then share those videos with coaches and colleagues who provide time-stamped comments categorized as questions, suggestions, strengths, and notes. Reports and graphs help identify teaching trends, determine if the professional development is improving teaching practices, and provide a basis for ongoing dialogue about instructional best practices.

COUNCIL BLUFFS (IA) COMMUNITY SCHOOL DISTRICT PREPARES FUTUREREADY GRADUATES

Council Bluffs CSD is using Panorama Education for Social-Emotional Learning to provide research-backed measures of social-emotional learning that align with the competencies they want students to master in order to graduate with the knowledge, skills, and character necessary to become responsible citizens and succeed in a changing world. Panorama helps educators use data to improve student outcomes. The social-emotional indicators of a FutureReady Graduate in Council Bluffs are inspired by the five core social-emotional learning competencies defined by CASEL, a leading national organization promoting academic and social-emotional learning. Those competencies are: self-management, self-awareness, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision-making. The academic indicators of a FutureReady Graduate include grade point average (GPA), attendance, credits earned beyond the minimum, community and activity involvement, and planning for school and beyond. The academic data points indicate students’ readiness to graduate and to thrive in college, career, and community life.

MATH PROGRAM BECOMES A FORMULA FOR SUCCESS AT ALTERNATIVE SCHOOL

Two years ago, it became clear that the 6-8 math curricula at Berwick Alternative K–8 School in is Columbus, Ohio, did not align with the CommonCore standards. This prompted school leaders to lookfor a more effective alternative. Their choice was a combination of Glencoe Math with ALEKS, a personalized, adaptive online math program. Teachers began using Glencoe Math and ALEKS together on a regular basis in their 6–8thgrade classrooms, and they continued to see saw impressive gains. Having a curriculum that was completely aligned with Ohio state standards was a big deal, and Glencoe Math’s write-in student textbooks were very popular. But it was the combination of Glencoe Math and ALEKS that truly changed the way math is taught at Berwick Alternative. “We’ve really seen our largest growth in math in the last year,” says Keith Emrick a 6th-Grade math teacher. “It’s become a competition with students to show the topics they’ve mastered.” Emrick and his peers continue to discover new ways to utilize Glencoe Math and ALEKS to track and support student progress. “My advice to anyone using these programs is to play around with how you use them,” says Emrick. “I don’t use everything, but there is always something new to discover online.”

THE UTAH EDUCATION AND TELEHEALTH NETWORK (UETN) TEAMS WITH INSTRUCTURE TO EMPOWER UTAH EDUCATORS WITH CANVAS LEARNING MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS

All Utah K–12 school districts and charter schools now have access to tools that accelerate digital teaching and learning. UETN is collaborating with Instructure to provide statewide access for all public and charter schools to Canvas, a popular and fast-growing learning management system (LMS). UETN will offer the online learning platform to every teacher, administrator, parent, and student in Utah to enhance K–12 instruction. UETN will cover the cost of Canvas subscriptions for the 2017–18 school year. Canvas provides quick access to digital resources, facilitates the delivery of personalized learning, and helps teachers with administrative tasks such as centralizing assignments and resources. Canvas by Instructure assists students and parents by providing simple, intuitive tools such as real-time chats, audio and video messages, collaborative workspaces, and course updates by email, text, or social media.