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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

A Technology Coach's Biggest Mistake: Part Two

Posted by Adam Cole on November 15, 2017

As we said before, getting teachers to adopt new practices with technology isn’t easy.  In our first installment, our Innovative Learning Strategist, Adam Cole, provided some tips to keep you from making the mistake of ignoring teacher buy-in.  Adam gave some advice for helping teachers understand the “why” and using an emotional appeal to get them onboard with your vision.  In this final installment, Adam offers two more tips to help you avoid this common mistake.

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Topics: coach's guide, technology in the classroom, action planning

A Technology Coach's Biggest Mistake: Part One

Posted by Adam Cole on November 10, 2017

Getting teachers to adopt new practices with technology isn’t easy, and (despite what many people think) it isn’t because of age or how savvy they are with the newest gadgets. It’s about buy-in.  If a majority of the teachers with whom you are working have not decided that your goals are worthwhile, your efforts will fail. It’s that simple.  Ignoring teacher buy-in is a mistake you can’t afford to make.

In the first of a two-part series, Adam Cole, our Innovative Learning Strategist offers some tips for getting your teachers onboard with your efforts.

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Topics: coach's guide, technology in the classroom, action planning

Can the Tech Team Help the Tech Team?

Posted by Vanessa Eldridge on April 5, 2017

"No one can whistle a symphony alone. It takes a whole orchestra to play it." -HE Luccock

This is the third post of a three-part series about ways to strengthen communication between technology staff team members within your school district. Be sure to check out our first and second posts for more great ideas for facilitating communication between teachers and techs.

Effectively communicating with co-workers can sometimes be a challenge. Despite our best efforts, sometimes we say one thing, but others hear something different based on our tone, facial expression, or body language. When you are a technician, face-to-face communication may not always be possible, so it is even more important that you say what you mean, clearly and concisely so there are not any misunderstandings. Reminding ourselves of these things will help keep everyone on the same page and facilitate successful communication among team members.

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Topics: technology, technology in the classroom, IT, computer technicians, communication, teamwork, Managed Services

Can the Tech Team Help Teachers?

Posted by Vanessa Eldridge on March 28, 2017

This is the second post of a three-part series about ways to strengthen communication between technology staff and educators within your school district.

The answer to the question in this post title may seem obvious: the tech team helps teachers by fixing their technology, right? Yes, that's true, but I would like to look at ways we can go beyond basic fixes. How can we make the process of repairing technology more efficient? Less painful? As I mentioned in the first post, the key to making this happen is effective communication. 

Patience, empathy, and word choice are very important when techs are sharing information with teachers.  Computer techs must be skilled at communicating simply and clearly, both on the phone and in person. Here are some ways to create awesome correspondence from techs to teachers.  

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Topics: communication, technology, technology in the classroom, Managed Services, computer technicians, educators, teamwork

Can Teachers Help the Tech Team?

Posted by Vanessa Eldridge on March 8, 2017

Yes! Effective communication is the key that helps you deepen your connections to others and improve teamwork, decision making, and problem solving. It enables you to communicate even negative or difficult messages without creating conflict or destroying trust.

When you hear the word ‘key’ several words may come to mind; lock, unlock, guard, protect. Communication has been important for years. We have gone from telegrams and the Pony Express to USPS (or "snail mail" as it is called today), email and IM. It has gone from taking months or days to instant answers to questions you have. In order to have effective communication you need to understand the keys that unlock those doors.

In this blog series, we will look at ways to strengthen communication between technology staff and educators within your school district!

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Topics: educators, understanding, technology in the classroom, technology, problem solving, Managed Services

3 Things That Can Help Make Digital Learning Successful

Posted by Nathan Davidson on December 27, 2016

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 thirteen 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, technology in the classroom, 1:1 rollout

It’s Not Useful Till It’s Relevant…

Posted by Jenna Poe on May 25, 2016

 

I married into a farming family. We raise a flock of 600 sheep and farm corn, soybeans and hay crops. Today we use technologies such as high tech tractors with auto steering, drones, GPS, and selection control seeders. It wasn’t always this way; there are photos in my living room of Grandpa plowing the fields with mules. Back in Grandpa’s time, farming 50 acres was a full time work load. Today, we have the capacity to plant over 1500 acres in a week. Change in technology came quickly to the farming world, but like schools, many were not quick to embrace it.
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Topics: 1:1, educators, engagement, Integration Services, methodology, professional development, technology, technology in the classroom, Twitter