In-Person, Blended, or Virtual Instruction? A Pennsylvania School Is Letting Students Choose

By Henry Kronk August 10, 2018

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garnet valley

The often-politicized idea known as school choice states that parents should be able to send their kids to whatever school is available. That can mean a choice between brick-and-mortar public, private, or charter schools along with virtual options. But a Pennsylvania district is beginning to offer an even greater degree of freedom. This coming fall at Garnet Valley High School, learners will have the option to take 11 different courses in person, online, or a combination of the two.

Kentucky District Will Introduce Digital Backpacks to Track Student Progress and Stave Off State Intervention

By Henry Kronk June 09, 2018

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digital backpacks

Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS) announced this week the “Backpack of Success Skills” initiative. The program, among other things, will help educators and parents stay informed on a student’s progress and make learning a more competence-based process with the use of digital backpacks.

What North Carolina Got Right About Personalized Learning

By Henry Kronk June 07, 2018

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personalized learning

North Carolina has joined many other states by encouraging educators to test personalized and adaptive learning in the classroom. But they’ve also taken a somewhat unique approach.

ISTE Standards–Which Tend to Be Broad, and Not Prescriptive–Benefit the Motivated Tech Teacher

By Henry Kronk June 01, 2018

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Considering the often-vague nature of ISTE’s standards, we questioned the rigor of the standards. In certain districts and classrooms, it might not be the ideal governing document. But for highly motivated, creative, and up to date tech teachers, it’s a different story.

Gamification vs. Game-Based Learning–Which Is More Effective?

By Henry Kronk May 30, 2018

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game-based learning

In recent years, educators who spend any time on the internet have no doubt come across one particular buzzword: gamification. For anyone struggling to boost engagement in snoozy subjects, it seems like the perfect solution. The term is often confused with another popular pedagogy: game-based learning. So—what’s the difference? And more importantly, which works better?

Minecraft Provided Ideal Game-Based Learning for Benjamin Kelly. But to Use It, He Had to Cut Through Some Red Tape.

By Henry Kronk May 29, 2018

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Game-based learning has been shown to be a viable educational tool. But that doesn’t mean it’s necessarily easy to implement. When Benjamin Kelly, a technology teacher at the Caledonia Regional School near Moncton, New Brunswick, tried to get the newest version of Minecraft into his class, he found that out first hand.

With New ISTE Technology K-12 Learning Standards, Washington Walks a Line

By Henry Kronk May 21, 2018

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Last week, the state of Washington officially updated their technology learning standards. K-12 students will now be expected to further incorporate technology into their existing skillset and learn as a ‘Digital Citizen,’ among other things. The standards were initially developed by the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE).

Michigan Has Required Online Classes for K-12 Students for Over a Decade. Is it Working?

By Henry Kronk May 14, 2018

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Michigan state capitol

In 2006, the state of Michigan passed a controversial piece of education legislation known as the Michigan Merit Curriculum. The revamp required students to complete upper level STEM subjects and, among other things, take at least one online class. Known as the online learning requirement, it was intended to onboard students for a future of lifelong learning and a workplace that will exist largely online. But recent data suggest that the program hasn’t had the results lawmakers were hoping for.

Google Releases Tour Creator, An App that Lets Students Design their Own VR Journey

By Henry Kronk May 10, 2018

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google tour creator

It’s teacher appreciation week and the folks at Google took the opportunity to showcase yet another addition to their education services. For many U.S. students in K-12 classrooms, Google Expeditions was their introduction to virtual reality. Built on the Google Daydream platform, and coupled with the very inexpensive Cardboard headsets, students could explore places such as the International Space Station, Machu Pichu, and Antarctica from their desks. On Wednesday, the search engine giant announced yet another addition to their VR offerings. Tour Creator allows students to, well, create their own VR tours.

With the ESSA Set to Roll Out, Few States Have Dealt With Virtual Charter Schools in their New Legislation

By Henry Kronk May 05, 2018

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virtual charter schools

ESSA was passed largely as a response to the culture of ‘teaching to the test’ created by NCLB and seeks to allow states to handle measures of quality on their own. But, according to Micah Wixom, a specialist in school choice for the Education Commission of the States (ECS), there’s one area that state lawmakers are largely ignoring: virtual charter schools.