Elementary-school teacher and ASCD emerging leader Jennifer Orr reports on ASCD 2016 for SmartBlog on Education. Read on to learn more about today’s general sessions. 

ASCD’s annual conference for is over. More than 7,000 educators of all types and from every state and many other countries were in Atlanta for several days. Day one and day two of the conference were full of outstanding presentations, thoughtful discussions and fun times. Day three followed the pattern.

To some extent day three was more low-key than the previous days. There were no general sessions, no times when many thousands of educators were in the same room. As a result, this was a day that was more about intimate conversations and difficult decisions about sessions to attend.

Regie Routman, an educator and author, in a session in the morning said, “Our practices are our beliefs in action.” This echoed Shanna Peebles from the second day who exhorted those in the audience to know their “why.” Our actions stem from our beliefs, from our whys. (read more…)

Elementary-school teacher and ASCD emerging leader Jennifer Orr reports on ASCD 2016 for SmartBlog on Education. Read on to learn more about today’s general sessions. 

Day two of ASCD’s annual conference was as fabulous or better than the first day. The day started with a breakfast alongside the staff of Jason Lee Middle School in Tacoma, Wash. Jason Lee Middle School won this year’s Vision in Action: ASCD Whole Child Award. This award recognizes schools that promote the development of the whole child, ensuring that children are healthy, safe, engaged, supported and challenged. One year into participating in Tacoma’s Whole Child Initiative, this school saw a 21% decrease in unexcused absences. Test scores increased by at least 20% in every subject. To make this happen the school invested in the whole child, employing two full-time counselors, a psychologist and a coaching interventionist in the building.

Jason Lee Middle School has a 100% mobility rate. (read more…)

Educators can give students hope for a better future and access to resources they need to be ready for learning. ASCD 2016 kicked off today in Atlanta, Ga., and the general sessions were inspiring and, at times, heart wrenching.

In this blog post, elementary teacher and ASCD emerging leader Jennifer Orr reports on the day’s event for SmartBlog on Education. Read on to learn more about the general sessions. 

The opening general session at ASCD’s annual conference in Atlanta, Ga,m featured Manny Scott, one of the original Freedom Writers. He was funny, inspirational, and heartbreaking — often within the same minute.

He shared his personal story, including the many challenges he faced throughout his childhood. He talked about his father being in jail for the majority of his lifetime, watching his stepfather abuse his mother and her early death and living in 26 places throughout his childhood (not counting sleeping on friend’s couches, in cars, on beaches or in hotels). (read more…)

Yesterday we profiled some of the technologies that were on display at this year’s TCEA conference in Austin, Texas. Today, we bring you part two of our special edition of Tech Showcase, TCEA 2016.

Bloomz is an app that uses social media functions to help teachers and parents better communicate. Teachers can share photos, news about class activities, important alerts, and reminders about upcoming assignments and deadlines. Parents can use the integrated class calendar to coordinate events, field trips and parent-teacher conferences. All communication is private and secure.

Promethean debuted its new ActivWall system, a widescreen, interactive display designed to support collaborative activities. ActivWall comes with whiteboard capability, Web browser and features for polling and notes capture. The system also includes a DLP solid-state projector, built-in speakers, wireless mirroring system and Promethean’s LaserView Technology.

PlanetHS is designed to help schools better manage extracurricular activities. The platform supports live streaming, student portfolios, electronic payments, data integration and analysis, monitored and audible communications, among other features. (read more…)

More than 12,000 teachers, school leaders and ed-tech providers descended on Austin, Texas last week to attend TCEA 2016, held at the Austin Convention Center. Educators, from pre-K through high school and college, attended sessions and crowded the show floor to peruse the latest and greatest technology solutions for learning and instruction.

And SmartBrief was on the ground, covering it all. We bring it to you now in a two-part special edition of Tech Showcase.

Califone demonstrated advanced headsets designed for language learning and game-based learning. The 3068AV headphone is now available as a headset to better support activities for active speaking and listening. The GH507 and the GH131, created for gaming, come with surround sound and microphone-enabled chat features.

Nepris, a cloud-based platform that connects industry professionals to students and teachers, has expanded its focus to include STEAM and created new ways for businesses to partner with schools. (read more…)