Every Tuesday SmartBrief on EdTech runs Tech Tips, a column featuring practical advice from school technologists and tech-using educators. This month, we are running a roundup of the top tips from the year. Below are ideas for encouraging teacher growth and success; streamlining IT processes; and driving student engagement.

Helping teachers develop a “growth mindset”

To encourage teachers to innovate using technology, they should be encouraged to develop a “growth mindset,” writes Andrew Hamilton, technology integration specialist at Northeast Metro Intermediate District 916 in Minnesota. In this blog post, he writes that this mindset will not develop overnight and shares several tips to help foster the change.

5 truths for teaching success

The teaching profession is evolving, and educators should be ready to move with the tides of change, systems and leadership coach Michael Niehoff writes in this blog post. He shares five facts he believes educators must embrace to remain successful in the field

How schools can improve the computer-login process

Schools should simplify the login process for students to give them faster access to technology, writes James Roodhouse, technology director for Geneseo CUSD 228 in Geneseo, Ill. (read more…)

badgeSmartBlog on Education’s monthly content award recognizes content written by educators, for educators that inspires readers to engage, innovate and discuss.

Our editors and writers sift through thousands of sources each day, reading a variety of content, including blogs and commentaries written by you and your peers.

In an effort to recognize some of the innovative voices in the field, we’ve asked our team to nominate their favorite content each month from which we’ll choose two winners for the Editor’s Choice Content Award. These award winners are then in the running for our annual Educators’ Choice Award.

Meet this month’s winners:

October winners:

September winners:

Physical security remains a top-of-mind priority for educators, according to the results of this month’s Tech Showcase picks. ACT, a safety device designed to help secure classrooms during lockdowns, was the top product pick among readers of SmartBrief on EdTech. Also featured in November are an online tutoring platform, an e-book for evaluating student online work and a webinar on how to use data to inform instruction.

Here’s the full Tech Showcase lineup for November:

Device aims to boost safety in event of lockdown
A door-barricading device aims to provide schools with an extra layer of safety in the event of lockdown. The Active Crisis Tool, designed to withstand high-velocity impact, is installed at the bottom of a door, inside the classroom, and activated with a foot stomp. Videos of the device in use are available for viewing on the company’s web site.

Online tutoring platform differentiates learning
Learning Bird is a Web-based tutoring program designed to match students with the curriculum best suited to their academic needs and learning style. (read more…)

SmartBrief Education editors and writers sift through thousands of sources each day, reading a variety of content, including blogs and commentaries written by you and your peers.

To recognize some of the innovative education bloggers in the field, our team nominates their favorite content each month from which we choose two winners for the Editor’s Choice Content Award. These award winners are in the running for our annual Educators’ Choice Award.

Now we need your input! Select the one original content piece from our survey that makes an impact on you, challenges you to think outside the box and inspires you. The two with the most votes will be named the Educators’ Choice Content Award winners of 2015. Vote by Dec. 9. Winners will be selected and announced in early January.

Cast your vote. (read more…)

How important is the parent voice when it comes to preparing students for college and career? Are parents participating in these programs, or are they spectators? And what resources are families relying on to get information and make decisions? We posed these questions to SmartBrief on EdTech readers this month to get a sense of how this is working in their schools and districts.

Thirty-eight percent of readers’ schools and districts actively involve parents in these programs, while 18% work exclusively with parents. Forty-four percent have hybrid programs — some that include parents, others that are geared just at students.

Teachers and school resources and events are the top information sources used by parents and families, according to our poll. Fifty-three percent of respondents rely on teachers for direction while 24% rely on school events and resources.

Take a look at the full poll results:

Does your school or district actively involve parents in college- and career-readiness programs? (read more…)