textbooksSmartBlog on Education will highlight summer learning and enrichment for educators during June. In this post, Kenneth Wilson, director of staff development and teacher evaluation for a South Carolina district, shares his district’s model for summer PD.

With a new school year quickly approaching, it’s my job as director of Staff Development and Teacher Evaluation to make sure our staff has the opportunity to continue their professional development throughout the summer months. Our goal is to provide meaningful PD that a large number of staff members find valuable. One of the best ways to ensure that these offerings are effective and successful is to use data and technology to inform your planning strategy. Here are three ways we put data and technology to good use when building our PD programs.

Survey data

Surveys are a great way to get feedback from your staff and learn about the success of your previous PD offerings. (read more…)

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

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.

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:

May winners:

April winners:

Security, simplifying the user experience and improving the IT and end user relationship were among the top themes discussed at IMCCA’s “UCC Summit 2015: State of the Industry Lunch and Learn” panel event at this year’s Infocomm conference in Orlando, Fl. The 10-member panel included executives from Acano, AVI-SPL, Cisco, Dimension Data, Jupiter, Kraymer, Microsoft, PEXIP, Polycom, Revo Labs, Smart Technologies and Videxio. The discussion, moderated by IMCCA Chairperson Emeritus Ann Earon, offered these insights on unified communications (UC) and collaboration in the enterprise.

Unified communications is an outcome, not a technology. Moving organizations toward a smarter, better use of UC and collaboration means changing their perceptions of these approaches, said Scott Cruikshank, director of communications at Dimension Data. “UC is not a technology—it’s an outcome,” explained Cruikshank. “It’s an application. The more we educate customers in the industry to get them to start thinking that way, we’ll have more success.”

When it comes to security, follow the leaders. (read more…)

Summer’s in full swing and ed-tech organizations have been busy releasing a slew of new offerings. Take a look at what SmartBrief on EdTech readers found interesting in this month’s Product Showcase.

IPEVO IW2. The IPEVO IW2 wireless interactive whiteboard system transforms nearly any flat surface into an interactive display. The system retails for $169.00.

Content series: Why gaming matters for education. More than 60% of teachers use games in their instruction, according to survey data from the Joan Ganz Cooney Center. Education expert Mitch Weisberg discusses how games support pedagogy and drive engagement in this new content series for K-12TechDecisions.

Classroom management for early learning. EdWeb.net has partnered with Kaplan to create Classroom Management for Early Learning, a professional learning community for early childhood educators. Membership is free and includes access to a library of resources, webinars and online discussion forums. Members can receive free CE certificates for viewing webinars. (read more…)

Education-badge-blue2Path to Workforce is SmartBrief Education’s vision of college and career readiness, encompassing K-12, adult learners, career changers, non-traditional students and those who forgo a traditional four-year college experience. Stay tuned for ongoing #Path2W coverage, including model programs, expert insights and reader feedback.

In California, our three small districts are maximizing the value of career and technical education courses through an innovative system. As superintendent of the Colton-Redlands-Yucaipa Regional Occupation Program, I have found that a solid college and career readiness program is based in deep community engagement, rigorous core courses and strong student support that can be expanded with the right mix of technology and hands-on experiences. My team at CRY-ROP provides targeted support, curriculum, internships and many other opportunities to the students in each of our three districts. This summer, we look to expand on past success through our Career Express Online.

The value of CTE has become more and more apparent in recent years as a way to better prepare students for life after graduation. (read more…)