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Top Cybersecurity Threats for K-12 Districts

Posted by Aaron Kovacich on March 31, 2020

With the availability of easily accessible attack tools, everyone is at risk - including school districts. New vulnerabilities and exploits are discovered on a daily basis. Incidents are on the rise and a substantial percentage of cybersecurity incidents involving schools are due to the actions of school staff and/or students of those schools - sometimes resulting in criminal charges.

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Topics: technology, IT, cybersecurity

3 Things That Can Help Make Digital Learning Successful

Posted by Nathan Davidson on February 21, 2020

Let’s face it. The day is rapidly approaching when every student, in every school, across the country will using a device in school. Or, for that matter, TWO devices! Many districts have already started the process of embracing this reality and shifting towards more digital learning environments.

This road has been bumpy for most, if not all, of us who are at some stage of the transition. How has this process been for you? Has it been smooth sailing? Rocky and tumultuous? A little scary? Most likely, a little of each.

Any district delving into digital learning ultimately wants to do it well. ISTE knows this and developed the Essential Conditions for Effective Technology Integration. There are fourteen essential conditions in all. Below are three key elements derived from those that must be present to establish a foundation for success.

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Topics: 1:1, 1:1 rollout, technology in the classroom

What it Really Means to be an Entrepreneur

Posted by Jim Benson on February 12, 2020

Deciding to be an entrepreneur, your own boss, sounds great in concept but as I mentioned in my last article, the day-to-day life of operating your own company is far from the glamorous images most imagine or perhaps see on television. I have heard countless times how I must have it made being my own boss, no doubt I must be rich, live in a mansion, have at least five cars in the garage, and/or I must really struggle every day to get out of bed to go work on my golf game. If all this were true I am all but certain everyone would be an entrepreneur! The fact of the matter is starting a company, and being your own boss, is the most gut wrenching experience you can pursue professionally.

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Topics: Entrepreneur

Roll Out the Right Way

Posted by Nathan Davidson on December 12, 2019

The wisdom is out there. Simon Sinek advises us to Start With Why before we move forward with an initiative. Leadership expert John Kotter, in his book Leading Change, tells to include important elements such as establishing a sense of urgency, creating a Guiding Coalition, and developing a vision.  

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Ransomware - What YOU need to know

Posted by Keshia Seitz on November 20, 2019

Ransomware can take many forms - from “file-less” to “click-fraud” to software being deployed on a school’s network. Most recently, criminals are attacking schools by simply looking for a vulnerability on their network and deploying “ransomware as a service” from the Dark Web. We have a tendency to think that ransomware attacks are occurring in real-time; however, the truth is that attackers are often present in the network environment for months or even years before they launch their attack - waiting until the time is right (ex. back-to-school time in K-12 schools). Regardless of what form ransomware takes, it is a serious threat to schools.  

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Five Star Expands Cybersecurity Practice with Sophos Partnership

Posted by Erik Mosier on November 5, 2019


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Topics: cybersecurity

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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