Spotlight Story

SAVING THOUSANDS—Cheshire Public Schools in Connecticut saves $390,000 in electricity costs thanks in part to automatic lighting. Superintendent Jeffrey Solan is a strong advocate of the internet of things.
2/21/2017

When the central Connecticut town of Cheshire moved to reduce power use, it upgraded six of its eight public schools with the latest internet of things technology. The plan combined energy-efficient LED fixtures with sensors and cloud-based servers that automatically turn the lights off in an empty room or adjust brightness.

The district cut its electricity bill by 84 percent, saving about $390,000 out of an annual $65 million budget.

From DA

K12 educators, lawmakers divided over graduation tests

Jessica Terrell
February, 2017
In the last two years, Multiple states, including California and Arizona, have dropped or suspended exit exams in high schools.

Efforts to implement new high school graduation exams in Ohio and New Jersey are faltering, as some educators grow more concerned about the number of students struggling to meet the strict requirements. 

Schools try to remove stress of class rankings

Matt Zalaznick
February, 2017
NO MORE GPA IN EDUCATION—Graduates at Millard South High School in Omaha, Nebraska will no longer be ranked based on GPA in coming years. Administrators hope this will result in students focusing more on content and skills, rather than grades.

Millard Public Schools near Omaha, Nebraska, will switch to a college-like ranking system that designates graduates as magna cum laude, summa cum laude and cum laude.

How to create impactful makerspaces

DA Custom Publishing
January, 2017
Experts share strategies on room design, curriculum development and identifying funding sources

Makerspaces reinforce STEM skills and enable more authentic learning. While there are a variety of ways to design and build makerspaces, there are some key strategies administrators can employ to ensure their program is successful.

Designing rooms that facilitate access and choice

Making experiential learning with 3D printing

DA Custom Publishing
January, 2017
“This machine is completely plug-and-play. Within 40 minutes, I was printing my first object.”

One day in May 2016, while browsing Twitter, Eric Langhorst stumbled upon a call for participants for the Dremel Idea Builder Ambassador program. Dremel Education, a manufacturer of 3D printers, was looking for 10 educators to use the Idea Builder 3D40 printer in innovative ways in their classrooms.

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Flexible, “invisible” furniture can be a part of creating multipurpose learning spaces

Classroom environments must keep pace with technology, including 1-to-1 devices, digital curriculum and personalized learning tools, as well as students’ varied learning styles.

Anthony Kim,  CEO and founder,  Education Elements

The amount of access to information we have today is at times wonderful, empowering and overwhelming. In these conditions, it’s upon leaders to help teams organize and synthesize information so that they can move together toward the same goals. And it is crucial for teachers to do the same for their students.

Now more than ever, education leaders are being asked to develop assessment systems that support a huge variety of needs—student learning, system accountability, program evaluation and more—while providing the most value in the least amount of time. To meet this challenge, there are several principles that can guide administrators in creating the most effective assessment systems that meet their district’s needs.

In this web seminar, the vice president of education research at the NWEA discussed some of the keys to creating coherent assessment systems.

Learning through problem-solving promotes deep, coherent mathematics understanding. It is a critical tool for creating a highly effective learning environment for students. Through the use of strong routines, students learn how to take an active role in reasoning and sensemaking. Active learning will help students understand new mathematical concepts and relationships as they progress in their school careers.

Many district leaders are challenged with developing whole-school, data-driven, prevention-based frameworks for improving learning outcomes for every student. Under the new provisions of ESSA, district leaders are also mandated to build curriculum capacity using a layered continuum of evidence-based practices and systems, to improve outcomes for students in Tiers 2-3 and special education.