Future Ready Students Need Challenge & Support

Future Ready Workers: Present Ready Students

Ravi Venkatesan, a Linkedin influencer, recently posted How to Succeed in the New World.

It is a thought-provoking article. However, educators have long understood the importance of the key skills presented by Venkatesan such as:

A Positive Attitude-The Ultimate Differentiator

Learning Agility

Manage Yourself or Someone Else Will

Educators who engage in the work of preparing students to “succeed in the new world” do not simply teach facts and present information. Rather, they engage students in learning how to learn. They respectfully engage students in the demanding C’s needed to succeed. In these classrooms students work collaboratively, they critique, communicate, curate and create; they code, compute, categorize and learn to consume large amounts of data in order to consider multiple points of view and determine the best course of action. Educators able to instill confidence and care in students develop rigorous relationships of challenge and support. Indeed, it is challenge alongside support that makes the difference to a student. Students will not magically develop the ability to persevere without a respectful engagement with a caring adult who challenges while supporting.


Hottest EdTech Tools of 2017- Online Teacher Training

#70 of the 82 Hottest EdTech Tools of 2017 According to Education Experts –

Tutora posted the 82 Hottest EdTech Tools of 2017. I have decided to post re each, and we start with #70 on the list:

70. Simple K12 – Practical Online Teacher Training

As nominated by Shelly Terrell author of the 30 Goals Challenge for Teachers.

Simple K12 help motivate, inspire, and enrich more than 600,000 teachers per year. In turn, these teachers are also there for each other. They are all in the same boat. They stay up late and get up early. They grade papers in the car. Make lesson plans while making dinner. Email parents while folding laundry. Run the school newspaper while watching ballet practice… and SimpleK12 gives them the ideas and support they need to never give up.

Hottest EdTech Tools of 2017-#3

#3 of the 82 Hottest EdTech Tools of 2017 According to Education Experts –

Tutora posted the 82 Hottest EdTech Tools of 2017. I have decided to post re each, and we start with #3 on the list, Buncee :

3. Buncee – Create, Present and Share Engaging Multimedia Lessons

As nominated by Nikolaos Chatzopoulos of Tech Trends for TeachersNicholas Clayton, and Shelly Terrell of 30 Goals Challenge for Teachers.

The 4 C’s are essential, and perhaps teachers can have students create, communicate, collaborate and engage in critical thinking with assistance from Buncee.

As noted by reviewers:

“Buncee is a creation and presentation tool which supports educators as they foster the 4 Cs of learning in students: critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity. Some of Buncee’s many features include over 10k student friendly graphics designed by their team to help make learning fun, the ability to record audio and video directly into a Buncee, integration with YouTube and Pixabay images and much more.

Students are able to engage and immerse themselves in what they are learning, be more engaged with the material, and therefore improve their comprehension. Buncee can be used to develop future-ready skills in students of all abilities. Students from as young as six and seven years old are using Buncee to create multimedia presentations which demonstrate learning acquisition, critical thinking and creativity, while also communicating stories.

Teachers integrate Buncee as a tool for individualized, differentiated instruction, language learning and special education, as well as lessons and projects for any subject. It is used as a classroom presentation tool for reviewing and introducing content aligned with curriculum standards. Additionally, Buncee is integrated into modes of expressed student learning including alternative book reports, research projects, digital storytelling, project-based learning, passion projects, and genius hour. With Buncee’s easy to use creation canvas making learning fun is just a drag and drop away.

Our experts recommended using Buncee for outside-the-box lessons, such as creating digital posters, micro-movies or simple games as a class activity.”

“A powerful, yet easy-to-use creative platform that empowers students” – Nikolaos Chatzopoulos

“Buncee hits all 4 C’s by allowing students the opportunity to take a blank canvas and create something amazing. The company has awesome customer support, a content rich blog, and a gallery of ideas. As one of my student’s said ‘it’s the best app we have used all year!’ ” – Laurie Guyon


Hottest EdTech Tools of 2017-#2

#2 of the 82 Hottest EdTech Tools of 2017 According to Education Experts –

Tutora posted the 82 Hottest EdTech Tools of 2017. I have decided to post re each, and we start with #1 on the list, Kahoot! 

2. Kahoot! – Making Learning Awesome!

As nominated by Michael Cohen of The Tech Rabbi, Bethany Petty of Teaching With Technology, and Neil Jarrett of EdTech for Beginners.

Very solid pick at #2. I have personally observed dozens of classrooms come alive at the use of Kahoot.  Students become move engaged learners, and teachers gain valuable feedback regarding students understanding.

As noted by reviewers:

Kahoot! is a game-based learning platform and one of the world’s fastest-growing learning brands with more than 40 million monthly active users in 180 countries. Kahoot! makes it easy to create, discover, play and share fun learning games in minutes—for any subject, in any language, on any device, for all ages.

Launched in 2013, with the mission to make learning awesome, Kahoot!’s free game-based platform engages the heart, hand and mind, creating a wildly more social, meaningful and powerful pedagogical experience. Kahoot!’s platform and easy-to-use features not only attract educators and students but reach beyond the classroom to corporate powerhouses, sporting and cultural events, and any social and learning context.

Kahoot! allows teachers to quickly create fun learning games for students based around multiple choice questions. After creating the game, students can use any device to sign-in to the game ‘room’ using a unique code to complete lessons and compete against their peers.

Displaying the questions and game on a primary display encourages students to use their personal devices only for choosing their answer. This means group engagement and discussion is promoted throughout the session, creating what the Kahoot! team call ‘campfire moments’.

Kahoot! then promotes students to proactively pursue their learning goals by creating their own Kahoots, attempting to beat previous scores and inciting class discussions around the learning topic.

Whether used as an attention grabber at the start of a lesson or a re-energising tactic part way through an intense revision class, Kahoot! Is surely a great tool for any teacher.

Leadership Development

This past school year I developed and implemented Beaufort County School District’s (BCSD) 1st Leadership Institute, designed to provide aspiring school principals with increased school leadership capacity. By all measures, our inaugural year was a huge success. The participants demonstrated excellent leadership growth throughout the institute. Direct feedback as well as anonymous survey feedback was extremely positive; and last but not least, members of the inaugural Leadership Institute filled each of the principal openings for this coming school year!

As an educational leader, it was a true pleasure to develop and implement the Leadership Institute. When asked what I enjoy about providing leadership development training, three specifics always come to mind. 1. School leadership has been cited as the #2 variable on student achievement, second only to teachers. So, if I can help develop excellent school leaders then I’m having a significant influence on student success. 2. It allows me to “give back” to all my mentors and professors by passing on lessons learned, and assisting in developing our next generation of excellent school principals. 3. It’s all about students: better school leaders lead to better students.

The Institute consisted of group sessions as well as field-based assignments for direct instruction and real-world learning. The Institute is design to incorporate practical application of leadership behaviors for effective school administration.

Session topics included:

Understanding and Developing Your Vision as a Leader

Building a Shared Vision

Curriculum Management

Instructional Leadership

Clinical Supervision

Assessment and Reporting of Student Learning

Program Assessment and Evaluation

Effective Management: Smooth Operations for an Effective Learning Environment

Building a Climate of Team-Based Accountability and Collaborative Support

Ethical Behavior: Trust and Trustworthiness

Relationship Building and Engaging a Diverse Community

Providing for Staff Development and a Collaborative Learning Culture

Understanding Change; Leading a Digital Learning Culture

Effective Communication: Written, Oral, and Other

Personnel Management

Organization, Time Management and Building your Leadership Team

Building a Master Schedule

Financial Management and Fiscal Resources

Reflective Practice: Leading Life-Long Learners