In a marketplace saturated with options, the search for curriculum and other instructional resources can be a difficult process for educators. All K-12 stakeholders from curriculum directors to classroom teachers should know the methods districts employ to discover and evaluate the resources that make it to students. In “7 Ways to Conquer a Curriculum Search,” Mindy Sinyak, VP of Customer Success, Noodle Markets, reviewed essential tips schools and districts can use to succeed in their search for curriculum and instructional resources.
“edWeb Case Study: Rock Valley Community School District” examines the way the district relies on edWeb.net to support its professional development program for teachers. Their program embodies four of the key features identified by educational researchers as characterizing high quality professional learning experiences, the effective design of online communities for teachers, and best practices for integrating informal online professional learning with formal district professional development. In each case, edWeb.net provides critical support that empowers Rock Valley leaders to implement research-based practices.
Access to online resources including digital content, interactive education apps and websites, videos, experts and peers is no longer a “nice to have” but rather a necessity. Unfortunately, teachers and students are often unable to be sure there will be dependable, robust access outside of school depending on family and community circumstances. In “Closing the Homework Gap: Equity of Access for All Students Outside of School,” SETDA hosted a panel of experts that presented solutions for providing out-of-school access and digital resources to students based off their own experiences.
Traditional public schools must ensure continued success in order to compete for students against charter schools, online learning, and other forms of education. Dissatisfied students, parents, and even staff leave schools needing to work harder than ever to regain the confidence of everyone. In “The Public School in an Age of Choice: How to Compete for the Win,” Kevin Baird, Chairman of the Board at the nonprofit Center for College & Career Readiness, presented the issues traditional public schools currently face in retaining students and staff, and solutions leading to higher retention and student success.
Creative experiences that challenge students to observe, articulate, reimagine, and take risks help build their confidence and leadership capacity. Art can be used to develop new approaches to student leadership, while being fun for students. In “Art-Infused Student Leadership Projects,” panelists discussed how to develop leadership qualities in students through art activities.
Multi-disciplinary sessions appeal to students’ creativity, are relevant to their everyday lives, and help them acquire important skills. These therapies are often used independently to treat individuals on the autism spectrum. In “Art, Music & Recreational Therapy: Incorporating Creative Approaches for Students with Autism,” experts presented on how these types of therapies are used to support individuals with autism by focusing on specific needs of younger and older students and targeting a variety of goals.
As education innovation advances, so does the frustration of all parties involved in K-12 purchasing due to out-of-date processes, poor communication, and difficulties identifying new opportunities. In “The K-12 Purchasing Renaissance,” presented by Nicole Neal, CEO, Noodle Markets, and hosted by Lisa Schmucki, founder and CEO, edWeb.net, Nicole talked about K-12 purchasing, why it matters, and how the purchasing process can be improved.
More than 10 million American students struggle to read, but only 2.3 million are identified and even fewer receive special help; schools must provide support for struggling students by creating a culture of reading. In “45 Ways to Support Struggling Readers: A School-Wide Approach,” hosted by edWeb.net and sponsored by Learning Ally, Terrie Noland, Learning Ally National Director, Educator Engagement; and Kristy Mathieu, Kiker Elementary, Austin, TX, presented tips for how schools can support struggling readers.
School leaders can use online networks and communities for their own personal professional learning, and to support collaboration with staff across schools and districts. In “How Online Learning Communities Help Principals Collaborate and Succeed,” Shannon Holden, Assistant Principal, Republic Middle School, MO, presented on the unique possibilities that online collaboration offers for personal professional learning and within schools, and how school leaders can use edWeb.net for online collaboration with staff.
Communicating can be a challenge for certain individuals with autism. In “Communication Innovations for Individuals with Autism,” Howard C. Shane, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, Associate Professor at Harvard Medical School and Director of the Center for Communication Enhancement and the Autism Language Program at Boston Children’s Hospital, discussed different types of communication displays, explained the Visual Immersion System™ (VIS), and talked about repurposing consumer products to provide Just In Time Communication to individuals with autism.