textbooksWelcome to SmartBrief Education’s original content series about the unique stories of teacherpreneurs. These are the innovative individuals confronting challenges, creating solutions and bringing them to market. In this blog post, Robert Ahdoot, a high-school math teacher and founder of YayMath.org, offers tips to develop “teacherpreneur flow.”

In March, I shared my interview with lifelong teacherpreneur, Bruce Powell. He spoke of the sacredness that is essential for success in both education and business.

Today, I’m going to dive into a framework for how to effectively bridge the gap between the role of teacher and that of teacherpreneur. These concepts have taken me years to develop, implement, and hone on the fly. Their usage has lead to massively positive results within my contributions as a teacherpreneur. It’s an honor to share them with you, in the hopes that your overall practice and approach are enhanced as well.

Rule #1: People only do business with people they like. (read more…)

Getting teachers to buy in to new technology requires a hook. Too often, though, we emphasize the technology’s bells and whistles over its ability to help make meaningful gains in student learning. How can we avoid this mistake and secure the strongest buy-in possible?

One place to start is with formative assessment. While these tools are less glitz and glamour than other classroom apps, teachers appreciate knowing that their efforts — and professional development time — are geared toward useful, proven practices that will help them to work at their passion more effectively and efficiently.

We found success with Socrative, a formative assessment tool that runs on laptops and mobile devices. Socrative allows teachers to create and distribute assessments to students then immediately collect and synthesize their responses. Our teachers are using it to differentiate instruction and provide meaningful feedback to students.

Aim for a solution that is simple to learn and use. (read more…)

digital literacySmartBlog on Education is shining a light on education technology innovations during May, exploring the latest products and tools and the hottest trends in ed-tech. 

Ironically, nothing feels worse than a day when the Wi-Fi is down or our dedicated laptop cart hasn’t been charged over night. A decade ago, I worked without technology completely and now I can’t live without it.

Technology has become an integral part of learning in our shared spaces and despite early adoption challenges, progress has been exponential like the technology itself.

I’m not a “digital native” as many have suggested my students are, but I’ve fearlessly jumped into the pool of possibility and refuse to get out.

Here are some ways that tech has forever changed the way learning happens in my spaces:

Google Educational Suite: Being a Google school has its perks. Every child has his or her own email address associated with a Google Drive, which provides access to an amazing world of collaboration. (read more…)

digital literacySmartBlog on Education is shining a light on education technology innovations during May, exploring the latest products and tools and the hottest trends in ed-tech. In this blog post, English teacher Mike Saenz discusses the benefits of an online curriculum.

Let’s get this straight first; teachers teach, and the curriculum (whether it’s a textbook, or an online package) is a tool the teacher uses to teach. I make this point first because often when discussing the best form of curriculum, the teacher is left out of the equation. The question is essentially, “Does the student learn better out of a textbook or online?” This confuses education with self-education and imagines a student alone in a room with a notepad and a textbook or alone in a room with a laptop.

Fortunately, education properly achieved involves teachers. Among other things, the teacher critically examines the given curriculum, cuts some of the material, replaces it with others and finds supplemental materials to re-emphasize the material he finds most important. (read more…)

textbooksWelcome to SmartBrief Education’s original content series about the unique stories of teacherpreneurs. These are the innovative individuals confronting challenges, creating solutions and bringing them to market. In this post, Todd Brekhus, president of myON™ shares advice to help educators embrace the entrepreneurial spirit.

After working as a teacher’s aide in high school, I fell in love with education and its power to improve young lives. While I’m no longer in front of the classroom or behind an administrator’s desk, I still think of myself as a teacher as I guide a new cadre of educators in my role as entrepreneur and industry advocate. Being an educator today can take many different forms, and there’s more opportunities than ever for ambitious practitioners to continue to follow their passion in education while embracing innovation, whether they’re in the classroom or in the boardroom.

What I’ve learned along my journey from English teacher to executive is that not everyone is ready or able to make the transition, but anyone can embrace the entrepreneurial spirit to foster educational change. (read more…)