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7 eLearning Day Considerations for Teachers

Posted by Meighan Scott on October 31, 2019

Many districts have been exploring the practice of eLearning days to allow teaching and learning to continue in their district, even when the weather or alternative circumstances prevents students from physically attending school. Teachers, if your school has started the eLearning day conversation, consider the questions below to help you plan for an engaging, constructive, and successful day for you and your students! (And admins, be sure to check out this post of eLearning questions for administrators to ask!)

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New STEM Workshops from Five Star

Posted by Kelly York on October 15, 2019

The IDOE’s recent release of the third STEM Acceleration Grant has educators in Indiana all abuzz! This particular grant can offer up to $100,000 to qualifying schools that want to improve STEM instruction, integrate STEM curriculum into their classrooms, and train teachers in strong problem/project/inquiry-based pedagogy. The application requirements for this round are rigorous. Meeting the Statement of Grant Assurances, having strong school leadership and community support, demonstrating a sustainable plan, and attending this fall’s STEM and CS Curriculum Showcase on October 21, 2019, are all absolutes to qualify. Once received, the requirements continue. Read more about the grant requirements here.

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8 Questions for Admins Planning eLearning Days

Posted by Cynthia Basham on October 1, 2019

eLearning has been gaining popularity in recent years. As more districts consider this alternative to the traditional make-up day, many administrators have questions about how to ensure a successful eLearning day for students, teachers, and the community. Here are eight common questions district leaders need to consider.

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Top 5 Blog Posts from the Five-Star Team

Posted by Molly Rupert on September 17, 2019

From Google's CS First curriculum and the Pivot Data Warehouse to eLearning days and Algebra 1, the Five-Star team has shared their thoughts, ideas, and expertise on a variety of topics over the past few years. Below are a few of our readers' favorites!

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Bandwidth 101: How Much Is Enough?

Posted by Dustin Harrig on September 4, 2019

What is bandwidth?

Bandwidth is a measure of the data flow over a given time period. It is measured in bits per second. For example, 1 Gigabit per second (Gbs) = 1000 Megabits per second (Mbs), 1 Mbs = 1000 Kilobits per second (Kbs), and 1 Kbs = 1000 bits per second. For the most part, there are three types of medium that data traverses: copper wire, fiber optic cabling, and Radio Frequency (RF). Each medium offers limits to the amount of data that can pass through it. Technologies are being discovered every day that increase the amount of bandwidth that can flow across a given media.  

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New Google CS First Workshops Available!

Posted by Adam Jones on August 20, 2019

Over the last several months, Five-Star Technology Solutions has partnered with Google to lead workshops across the United States focused on empowering educators to take advantage of CS First, a free computer science curriculum. Building on the success of this program, Google recently announced Code with Google, a set of activities and opportunities for students in third grade through college. It’s clearer than ever that Google is committed to helping all students - whether they’re interested in art, game design, science, or storytelling - to learn valuable computer science skills that will benefit them throughout their lives. 

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Allworx Reach: An Office Phone In Your Pocket

Posted by Jason Jones on August 8, 2019

Mobile Communication: From the Stone Age to the New Age

I can remember my first experience with mobile phone technology. I was roughly 10 years old, and my father had purchased what appeared to be a purse with a small phone attached to it. It was a glorious Nokia bag phone. It was some of the newest mobile phone tech that let you make calls easily from anywhere on the road...or at least that was the sales pitch. Unfortunately, it was only famous in our household for poor signal, bad call clarity, and “roaming” everywhere you went on the road. For all of those who don’t know what roaming is, it was your worst nightmare.

Fast forward to the year 2019 and, needless to say, technology has evolved leaps and bounds from those bulky bag phones of the 90’s. We now own high functionality computers, high definition cameras, televisions, and global communication devices...all on our mobile phones, in our pockets. Our cell phones give us access to the totality of human knowledge in the palm of our hands -- which can be easily dropped into the toilet while we are playing Candy Crush.

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5 Things We Learned at ISTE19

Posted by Molly Rupert on July 23, 2019

ISTE19 in Philadelphia has come and gone, but our team is still engaged in invigorating conversations as we process and share the awesome learning that occurred at the conference! Here are some of our learners' top takeaways.

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Topics: digital tools, resources, education

When Student Struggles Are More Than Meets The Eye

Posted by Amy Baumert on July 8, 2019

As an educator, could you ever imagine requesting one of your students who wears prescription glasses to remove them during guided reading instruction? A more absurd scenario might be requiring a student who uses a wheelchair for mobility to attend second-floor classes in a building with no elevator. These are examples of visible disabilities that are easy to recognize, and it is straightforward to address the student's needs. However, there are many hidden disabilities of equal magnitude that hinder student learning and are often undiagnosed. To have an invisible disability means that there is more to the student’s educational struggle than meets the eye. 

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Topics: Pivot

4 Reasons to Use an Item Bank to Construct Formative Assessments

Posted by Adam Jones on June 18, 2019

Have teachers ever been asked to do more? They're simultaneously responsible for providing engaging instruction on academic standards, helping students navigate complex social-emotional challenges, and serving as community leaders inside and outside of school. In this demanding environment, any solution that saves teachers time is worthwhile, even more so if it also improves learning outcomes.

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Topics: data analysis, formative assessment