By Brad Wilson on May 19th, 2015 | Comment on this post

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.…

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By on May 18th, 2015 | Comment on this post

“Without financial services, nothing else happens.” So says Broadridge President and CEO Rich Daly. SmartBrief caught up with Daly on the sidelines of the 2015 Milken Institute Global Conference to discuss how financial services firms can turn technology challenges and operational burdens into competitive advantages.

What do you think about the potential of financial utilities?

I have heard this idea for a long time. The elephant in the room is that nobody in the history of the world has ever taken a single-entity platform and successfully converted it to a multi-entity platform. I am not saying it is impossible, but no one has ever done it. It is like taking a studio apartment and saying you want to convert it into a sports arena. I guess you could do it, but you are starting with something that is entirely different to begin with.

The answer is trying to take the infrastructure we already have and using technology to re-engineer it so it is truly less costly for everyone.…

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By on May 18th, 2015 | Comment on this post

Your team is made up of some of the best — you have seen them in action and you know they’re great players. Every day, you see them minimize risk, manage issues and deliver quality work. They almost always execute flawlessly and you trust them to get the job done, praising and motivating them to perform well. Do you trust them enough to let them make mistakes?

There’s value to being able to follow a known path and complete the work, but we all know that projects (and lives) rarely follow a script. There are always unknowns and unexpected issues, no matter how well you plan.

Think about these specific questions:

  • Do your employees feel confident that they can tackle the day-to-day challenges with creativity and innovation?
  • Are they free to try something new, welcome to suggest taking a chance that might deliver faster, cheaper or better results?
  • Do they know you’ll be there with them, not there against them, if it doesn’t work out?
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By Starr Sackstein on May 18th, 2015 | Comment on this post

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.…

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By on May 18th, 2015 | Comment on this post

Restaurants of all sizes and types are trying to tap into the millennial mindset in order to appeal to the influential demographic. Connecting with these tech-savvy, food-loving consumers is key to attracting their business and earning their brand loyalty, chain restaurant chefs said during a panel discussion Sunday at the National Restaurant Association Show.

“It’s really about that connectivity and making a connection with our brand and our guests … they want to feel that connection all throughout their choice,” said Heidi Curry, senior manager of global R&D for bakery at Dunkin’ Brands.

Eateries can foster a connection with millennial consumers in a variety of ways, both in the restaurant and before and after a customer comes in to dine.

Being active on social media and having an engaging, dynamic web presence can go a long way toward reaching millennial consumers, who are interested in brands’ backstories and hearing about why brands and products align with their lifestyle.…

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