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eCoaches: Here's why you need PyxisEdu!

Posted by Molly Rupert on October 19, 2018

Ah, the life of an eCoach. You are the cheerleader, the champion, the confidant, and the caretaker. At the beginning of the day, you're a hero for fixing a Kahoot crisis, but by lunch time, you're sorting through emails of frustration about the district's new LMS. Your day is a wild roller coaster ride of highs and lows, of twists and curves and near misses. Many of you were classroom teachers before stepping into this role, and you experience the same cycles of frustration and pride that you did in your own classrooms.

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Topics: pyxis, professional development, personalized learning, education

Top Cybersecurity Threats for K-12 Districts

Posted by Aaron Kovacich on October 10, 2018

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: IT, technology, cybersecurity

The Importance of Cybersecurity for Your District

Posted by Aaron Kovacich on October 5, 2018

New network vulnerabilities and exploits are discovered on a daily basis.  The protection that was adequate just a few years ago doesn’t even come close to protecting your school district today.  Mid-sized and small K-12 districts used to feel a certain amount of safety in security through obscurity - meaning a feeling that you don’t have anything hackers want - they’ll leave you alone.

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Topics: IT, technology, cybersecurity

Developing 21st Century Citizens During Digital Citizenship Week 2018

Posted by Katie Bradford on September 6, 2018

Beginning in kindergarten, students are taught how to be good citizens.  We teach them the importance of being honest, trustworthy, kind, respectful, responsible, and safe.  Students read books, analyze characters, watch videos, and act out scenarios to discuss and practice each of the skills needed to help make the world a better place.  

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Topics: elearning, teaching, education, technology in the classroom, teaching strategies

Kindness & Passion: Kicking off the 2018-2019 School Year

Posted by Jason Roseberry on August 16, 2018

If you support technology in schools, then you know that the beginning of the year is a chaotic and stressful time of year.  Our experienced crew of onsite technicians, engineers, trainers, and directors take great pride in the work we do to partner with school districts to calm the storm, train on the new tools/devices, and place the focus on what matters most - creating awesome learning experiences for kids.  For this blog entry, we humbly share some of the comments that warmed our hearts at the beginning of this school year.

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Topics: IT, technology in the classroom, support

Real World Learning with Google Apps

Posted by Kara Yates on August 7, 2018

As teachers head back to the classroom for the 2018-19 school year, many are still wondering how they are going to get everything accomplished on their massive to do list. Standards? Technology Integration? Real life application? Engaging learning? How can students get the best of each of these while learning in a meaningful way?

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Topics: Google, growth mindset

Individualized Learning with PyxisEdu!

Posted by Jason Roseberry on June 25, 2018

It has been our absolute joy to share the power of individualized professional development with teachers at conferences all over the country. We had many conversations with teachers who wanted to use PyxisEdu but felt their school district didn't have the funds to purchase the program for all of their teachers. We heard you loud and clear, and we are proud to introduce the PyxisEDU Individual Premium Plan. This plan allows individual teachers to access all of the awesome resources and collections inside Pyxis, earn any/all badges, and automatically track their progress using Pyxis Points. Whether you are looking for new ways to engage your students or seeking fun and practical tips for license renewal, you can now secure an individual PyxisEDU account for $5.99 per month or $60 per year

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Topics: personalized learning, professional development, pyxis, elearning, teaching

Are You Ready for ISTE 2018?

Posted by Cheryl Adams on June 22, 2018

In just three short days, ISTE 2018 will kick off in Chicago, Illinois! Educators from all over the world will gather to learn how to utilize technology in their classrooms and transform learning for their students. We are so incredibly excited to announce that Five-Star will be attending, presenting, and exhibiting at this conference! This is our first time officially attending as a company, but many of our team members have had the chance to experience this conference in the past. Since we are new to the ISTE world, we gathered some tips from our ISTE-veteran friends for maximizing our time at the conference.

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Topics: personalized learning, explore, professional development, lifelong learning

Mindset Shift: Gearing Up for Failure

Posted by Brad Fischer on June 19, 2018

While watching the Indy 500, I began wondering how the amazing drivers got their start. I imagine my two daughters each tucked inside the cockpit of the car revving the engines in anticipation of the start. Over the roar of the engines, I shout my instructions: “OK, girls, here’s what you gotta do. Just step on the gas, hold onto the steering wheel, and stay between the two walls. You got this.” And with a strong slap on the back and push out of the pit, Anna Mae and Lizzie accelerate to 220 MPH, begin zig-zagging around all the other cars - instantly proving they have what it takes to be a IndyCar champion.

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Topics: growth mindset, failure, education

Device Collection: Not for the Faint of Heart

Posted by Jason Roseberry on June 1, 2018

Our techs and schools work tirelessly at the end of the year to ensure that device collection goes smoothly. Though they expect the occasional problem, they don't always anticipate the some of the conversations they have with their students and staff. In honor of the end of the year, we offer you the top ten comments our techs heard during device collection this year.

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Topics: IT, work, technology, support, 1:1