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Using technology effectively at the early elementary level has the potential to improve achievement across grade levels in a district, by preparing elementary students to use the digital tools they will need later on in school, and in college and career.

Today’s interactive parents are mobile and always connected, and they expect the same of their school districts. They want access to real-time, personalized information about their student, and they want to know that you can reach them when it counts. More and more, school communication plans must incorporate mobile to more effectively and efficiently connect with digitally fluent parents and students. In this web seminar, originally broadcast on March 3, 2015, presenters discussed some key strategies for successfully developing and implementing a mobile app for any district.

Using effective strategies to personalize the math learning experience is key to reaching all levels of learners, especially Spanish-speaking English Language Learners who vary in their English language abilities, math proficiency and personal circumstances. In this web seminar, originally broadcast on February 17, 2015, educators from an innovative school with an 85 percent Latino population in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, discussed the success they’ve had combining face-to-face instruction with online learning to drive math achievement for their ELL students.

A common challenge with district technology initiatives, particularly BYOD or 1-to-1 programs, is equity of access—ensuring that all students can utilize the same technology, regardless of their socioeconomic status.

Audio Enhancement

At the 19,700-student Newton County Public Schools in Georgia, administrators established a goal of improving the quality of teaching in the spring of 2012. According to Gary Shattuck, director of technology and media services, the best way to do that was to take inspiration from the sports world, where athletes watch video recordings of themselves to improve their form.

“Teachers really cannot know how they look and present themselves until they see themselves on video,” says Shattuck.

Districts today are often making do with very lean maintenance staffs.

For the 2007-08 school year, Deborah Cody, world language liaison for Pueblo City Schools in southern Colorado, was presented with a very good problem to solve.

“We set up new 30-station computer labs in our high schools and middle schools, and needed programs students could work on in them,” she says.

Audio plays a crucial role in making collaborative student learning environments effective. Students need to be able to communicate with their teacher when necessary, and teachers should be able to hear what all students are saying during small group instruction. This web seminar, originally presented on April 2, 2014, featured educators from Andover USD 385 in Kansas, who discussed how classroom audio solutions have enhanced small group instruction, improved student communication skills and led to improved student learning.

When the projectors throughout the Phoenix Union High School District were found to be outdated and inefficient in 2013, administrators knew they were due for an upgrade. “During a larger initiative to increase student engagement across the district, I noticed that the projectors we had were so old and were so dim that it was impacting classroom management and student engagement,” says Don Fournier, the district’s division manager of information services.

In middle school, students are being readied for higher level math concepts. Educators must engage learners to achieve deeper understanding, as well as prepare students for high stakes assessments. This web seminar, originally presented on April 16, 2014, featured an education expert and sixth grade teacher who discussed using technology in practical ways to achieve ideal middle school math instruction.

Nigel Nisbet 
Director of Content Creation
MIND Research Institute

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