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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

Protect - Monitor - Teach: 3 Ways To Keep Your Students Safe Online!

Posted by Keshia Seitz on June 4, 2019

As I’m sure you are aware, cybersecurity is increasingly becoming a priority for the Indiana Department of Education. In fact, technology directors are now being asked to evaluate their schools in the following areas (on their annual technology plan)...

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Topics: Managed Services, network, cybersecurity, teacher, engineering

7 Tips for Implementing CS First in YOUR Classroom

Posted by Molly Rupert on May 21, 2019

Five-Star Technology Solutions is proud to be a Google for Education partner! Our integration team works with teachers from across the country, helping them implement CS First in their classrooms. We love meeting teachers and learning about how they incorporate computer science in their lessons! In this post, some of our trainers share their top piece of advice for teachers who are curious about trying CS First.

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Topics: Google, computer science

The Benefits of Formative Assessment for Special Education

Posted by Amy Baumert on May 7, 2019

Formative assessment is a teaching tool that supports all learners, but it is especially critical for students who are struggling, as it holds the potential for changing the learning outcome. It is a quick way for teachers to evaluate learning needs and academic progress in their classroom. Here are some examples of how formative assessment can support special education goals.

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Topics: Pivot, Pivot INSPECT, formative assessment

Lead Like The Easter Bunny Part 2: Is Your Organization Running at Optimal Performance?

Posted by Brad Fischer on April 25, 2019

 

Now that you are Leading Like the Easter Bunny, I offer four more tips and sample questions for reflection that will help ensure you are getting the most from your team:

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Topics: leadership

Lead Like the Easter Bunny

Posted by Brad Fischer on April 23, 2019

I don’t mean to boast, but I’m the dapper, long-eared smiling rabbit in the photo. A few years ago on a warm and sunny Saturday afternoon, I became the Easter Bunny for the Danville Kiwanis Easter egg hunt. I gave out hugs, high fives, and photo ops with babies, little kids, big kids, and even adults. I stood in the center of a grassy field surrounded by thousands of eggs and watched kids ages 9 and under scurry to the colorful spots wrapping their tiny fingers around the eggs and plopping them into their decorative baskets. Perched on a bridge, I also had the pleasure of pulling the “release hatch” on a giant basket filled with hundreds of rubber duckies to start the duck race contest down White Lick Creek.

After my debut as the furry friend, I began reflecting on my experiences of the afternoon. Oddly, the lessons learned seemed eerily familiar to some of my experiences as a technology leader. And so, whether you are taking on the role of Easter Bunny or trying to become a better leader, I offer the following suggestions:

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Topics: leadership

Why Choose Pivot Inspect for the 2019-2020 School Year

Posted by Adam Jones on April 11, 2019

With so many formative assessment options available, how do you know which one is best for students, teachers, and administrators? After all, the needs for each of these stakeholders vary considerably. As you and your team make an important decision about which program you will select using funds from Indiana’s formative assessment grant, I hope that you’ll carefully consider our solution, Pivot Inspect.

Computer-Adaptive vs. Fixed-Form Assessments

Many formative (interim) assessment programs, including those provided by NWEA and STAR, are computer-adaptive. While this approach has clear benefits for a set of specific purposes, teachers have no control over the items students will see. In other words, teachers can’t answer a fundamental question using a computer-adaptive tool: Have students learned the specific skills I’ve taught?

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Topics: Pivot INSPECT, formative assessment