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Articles: Teaching & Learning

RETAIN UNTIL RETIREMENT—Veteran teachers in the Alpine School District receive a stipend as an incentive in their retirement packages. The Utah district also makes contributions to a state plan, to which teachers can add payments.

As schools clamor to recruit and retain high-quality teachers, a generous, dependable retirement savings plan can be an important draw. To provide that, district leaders must understand the challenges posed by current offerings and identify alternatives.

Mike Daugherty is director of technology and information systems at Chagrin Falls Exempted Village Schools in Ohio.

Here are three communication strategies to help educate families and keep them connected when implementing new technology initiatives.

San Diego USD sets guidelines for master scheduling. The district includes these five strategies. 

The master schedule determines what students learn, who they learn from and who they learn with. Scheduling software is key to maximizing students’ and teachers’ learning time. 

From left to right: Kay Benning, Director of Library Services, Elmbrook Schools (Wis.); Edwin Tucker, Account Manager, OverDrive Education.

Digital reading platforms can enable more personalized learning by providing engaging, interactive and customizable digital content to both students and educators in all subject areas, as well as supplemental curriculum materials, professional development resources, ELL and special education titles, and more.

As a longtime elementary school teacher, Jolene Rude has seen her share of students struggle with—and sometimes abandon—difficult math problems. After using Everyday Mathematics 4, however, even struggling students are learning challenging math concepts, along with life skills, says Rude, an elementary CORE math teacher at Johnston Community School District, located in a northern suburb of Des Moines, Iowa.

Eileen Belastock is chief technology officer for Mount Greylock Regional School District in Massachusetts.

Voice-activated tools can create more immersive learning experiences, but school leaders need to consider the potential privacy risks and to safeguard student data.

While testing in the U.S. has become more about ranking schools and even teachers, in most of the developed world, tests make or break a student’s future, sometimes before the age of 12.

Districts are building supports for students in foster care—from raising awareness, providing PD and creating special programs to adding specialized staff and even running permanent group homes.

When Rio Grande City Consolidated ISD introduced a digital reading program two years ago, some teachers balked at student assessments being performed by a computer. Those concerns abated as teachers saw increased proficiency for the 4,100 students using Istation Reading and Istation Español, says Serapio Trillayes, executive director for curriculum and instruction for the district, which is located in South Texas, near the Mexican border.

With 22 of the 26 school districts in Northcentral Technical College’s area of Wisconsin expressing a need for middle school and high school technology teachers, the college has partnered with Marian University to train more educators.

SPACE FACE—Students at the STEM Academy in Peoria Heights School District in Illinois chat live with former NASA astronaut and area resident Scott Altman.

Illinois students built and programmed computers to stream live video feed from the International Space Station, giving them a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to speak to an astronaut on board.

Better Together, a book about personalized and project-based learning, profiles school networks and shares proven teaching models, ideas for more effective collaborations and strategies for optimizing education networks.

Smart TVs and whiteboards allow even more students to collaborate. Depending on the model, students can interact with a touch screen in 10 to 32 different places simultaneously. Many of these displays come with screen mirroring capabilities and apps that are loaded with learning activities.

New York’s first bee team has provided students with multiple learning opportunities—from the basics of beekeeping and the physics of the waggle dance to the math behind hive construction.

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