Top 5 Education Policy Issues in 2015

classroom1. School readiness for all – In order for children to be ready to begin attending school, it is important that they have mastered their motor skills, socialization skills, and other educational skills. State leaders are looking for high quality early learning programs for younger kids.

2. Experiential and work-based learning – In order to attain career-readiness, students must be in environments where they are using their critical thinking and communication skills. Internships, community service learning, and paid work opportunities would all be ways to connect  students to the workforce.

3. Academic success for at-risk populations – Supportive instruction along with continuous assessments are vital for at risk students. Individualized/personalized education based on students’ will enhance learning.

4. Innovative state accountability systems –  The main point here is to have systems in place that focus on preparing graduating students for college and their future careers. This includes focus on closing skill gaps, and having interventions for low performing students. With more focus on systems and standards, graduation rates could also increase.

5. Advance attainment of degrees, certificates, and high-quality credentials – By 2018, about two thirds of jobs will require a post-secondary credential or degree (Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce). Policymakers and education officials will be focusing on providing first-rate post-secondary education for students.

These five education policies are geared toward giving students the best education in order for them to be prepared for their future careers. A few points that these policies hit on were helping students at risk, by offering personalized education based on their needs. ScootPad’s platform is designed to offer completely personalized education to all students based on their specific needs.

The article also mentioned providing a form of intervention for low performing students in order to resolve their educational issues. At ScootPad, we reinforce proactive intervention in order to have at risk students master the concepts they’re struggling in before they fall too far behind.

 

To learn more, visit : http://www.eschoolnews.com/2015/01/20/education-policy-2015-908/2/

E-learning on a Snow Day!

Instead of making up snow days at the end of the school year or by extending school days, how about engaging in E-learning at home instead?? This is exactly what the Frontier School Corporation School District called for.

snow_dayWednesday, January 7th,  classes were canceled in many school districts in Chalmers, Indiana, due to the extreme cold temperatures.  Frontier Junior Senior High School  students experienced their very first day using E-learning, at home. There were two support staffers at the school to answer calls for any technical questions the students had while using their rented Chromebooks.

A senior at the high school, Jacquie Chitty mentioned how the E-learning system assigned more than just busy work, but it implemented the state standards, “It’s faster, and I can get right to the point instead of having to listen to the lecture, but it would also be nice to have the lecture just in case I get lost.”

ScootPad uses 100% Common Core Standards, so students like Jacquie Chitty can learn at their own pace and gain deeper knowledge in the Common Core concepts. However Jacquie mentioned the need of having a resource for when she “gets lost”. ScootPad has a remedy. For the moments when students get confused or don’t entirely know how to answer a homework question, they can click on a “Scootorial” (engaging audio-visual explanation assigned to each homework problem) to receive the appropriate instruction and to wash away any doubts.

Both students and parents alike saw the value in E-learning. (Plus, one less snow day to make up!)

For more information, visit: http://www.wthr.com/story/27785328/schools-use-cold-day-to-try-out-e-learning

Training Resources, Right at Your Fingertips

All professional development resources are now available in one place! Once you log into your account, on the left side of the browser you will see the PD & Training button. Once you click on the drop-down box, you have three options to choose:

1. How-To Videos – all how-to videos from ScootPad.com can be found here 

how_to_videos

 

2. Free Webinars – Click on Register Now to take part in our live webinars 

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3. PD Workshops – Browse through your purchased/upcoming workshops by date and type 

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Hybrid Classes Out-learn Traditional Classes

blended_learning_pictureMore than nine out of ten schools using a hybrid learning program reported higher academic performance on standardized tests compared to traditional classrooms in the same school district or state benchmarks (Hybrid Learning Program Results, Hybrid Learning Institute, Dellicker Strategies, 2013-2014).

What are hybrid classrooms doing so differently anyway? Many base their learning model on the following six characteristics:

  1. Blended classroom
  2. Rotation around different learning stations
  3. Small group instruction
  4. Digital assessments
  5. Differentiated instruction
  6. Personalized learning

Students at hybrid-committed school districts like Hatboro-Horsham School District(PA) and Indiana Area School District(PA), are out-performing their peers in traditional learning classrooms in their PSSA tests and Keystone exams, scoring 10% higher than their traditional learning counterparts. Spring City Elementary(PA) saw a 23-27% increase in it’s students’ Math, Reading, and Science scores from the previous year.

At ScootPad, we believe in utilizing the digital space to enhance deeper learning for students, at their own pace. Having a platform where students can log in at any time and any place to access the practice they individually need is key to successful concept mastery. Here at ScootPad, we say yes to blended learning and higher test scores!

 

Visit The Journal for more information: http://thejournal.com/articles/2014/12/18/hybrid-classes-outlearn-traditional-classes.aspx

ScootPad Support During The Holidays

happy_holidaysWe wish you the best of holidays and a prosperous 2015 filled with joy, abundance, and truly precious moments.

We will be closing our offices this holiday season from December 20, 2014 to January 4, 2015. During this time we will have limited support, so please allow for a longer response time for requests.

The best ways to reach our support team during the holiday break include:

  • Submitting a Help Request from your account or
  • Sending an email to support@scootpad.com
  • Phone support will be unavailable during this time

We will do our very best to respond to your help requests promptly.

We appreciate your understanding and hope you enjoy the holidays with friends and family. We look forward to contributing to your success in 2015!

How-To Videos Now Available!

We have created a number of video resources for teachers, parents, and admins to get familiar with how ScootPad works. Watch a quick (2-5 min) video to get started using your account and then check out some of the how-to videos of each feature!

Quick Getting Started Videos For:

teacherbutton   schooladminbutton   parentbutton

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Launch videos with 1-click

 studentrostervid

All how-to videos are easily accessible from the specific pages within your ScootPad account (dashboard, roster page, assignments page, assessments page, etc.). We hope these videos are a helpful resource for you and your school!

As always, we’re interested in your feedback, so feel free to send us your ideas, suggestions and comments.

Cheers,
ScootPad Team

Happy Holidays from ScootPad!

With the holiday season in full effect, we would like to wish everyone a relaxing break from their every day hustle and bustle. May everyone have a holiday break full of laughter, peace, and love.

holiday picture_blog

We’ve also compiled a short list of games to include in your holiday celebrations. Enjoy!

1. Charades–This one never gets old. Form two teams. Decide how many rounds will be played. One person from either team will act out a movie, book, person, etc.–holiday related– for their team members until the the timer (60 seconds) runs out. Then the next team goes. Whichever team has the most points at the end, wins!

2. Scavenger Hunt–Have the kids draw various holiday themed pictures, and have the host hide these all over the house for friends and family to find. The person who finds the most pictures wins a special prize!

3. Unwrap the gift–The host chooses a gift fit for any guest and wraps it in several layers of wrapping paper (6-10 layers). Ask your  guests to sit in a circle and pass around this gift. Similar to musical chairs, one person will be turning on and off the music as they please, and every time the music stops, the person holding the gift at that  moment will remove a layer. Whoever opens the last layer of wrapping paper, gets to keep that gift!

4. Holiday word-mania–Everyone will need a writing utensil and scratch paper for this one! The host either chooses or asks for a word pertaining to the holiday. He/She says it out loud and everyone has to write as many words as they can using the letters within that word, before the timer (60 seconds) runs out!

5. Draw & write–This hilarious game will keep your holiday events jolly! Each guest will need a writing utensil and scratch paper. Each person will now write a sentence (it could be anything) at the top of the page, and then pass their paper to the person on their left. The new person holding the paper will illustrate that sentence. Then, this same person will fold over the top of the paper–so that only their picture is showing–before passing it to their left again. This new person must write  a sentence describing the picture–fold the page to hide everything but their sentence–, and so on, until the original paper gets back to the first owner. Enjoy reading the hilarious document once it comes back to you!

There you have it! Wishing everyone a joy-filled holiday season!

Cheers,
ScootPad Team

For more games :
http://www.reunionplanner.com/latest-news/general/latest-news/fun-family-holiday-games/

ScootPad Alleviates Test Anxiety at North Country Elementary

Jolinda Smith’s students at North Country Elementary in Antelope, CA were pleasantly surprised after completing field testing for the new Common Core state tests. Students breezed through the test and found that all of their hard work on ScootPad had paid off! Jolinda was shocked to find that, by using ScootPad, her kids had not only become more comfortable with testing on a computer, but had also gained a new sense of confidence with Common Core content.

Jolinda explains what she needed to succeed:

“Our biggest challenge this year was getting students used to being on a computer to complete the new Common Core tests. I knew that my class needed a computer program that was able to not only help them adjust to taking tests on a computer, but truly focus on the change from multiple choice answers to a written answer/critical thinking format. As a teacher I have used Khan Academy, but the format is not as kid user-friendly as ScootPad and does not have the English/Language Arts Common Core focus my students needed.”

Jolinda stresses the impact ScootPad had on test preparation:

“Usually testing is an anxiety time for kids, and I thought this year would be especially difficult, because testing was all done on the computer. Instead, after we had finished our second day of Common Core testing, I was surprised to hear students say ScootPad was much harder than the test they had just completed.  Upon further discussion, all kids admitted that if they had not used ScootPad this year, the test would have been really hard.”

“Initially, my students were very frustrated when we started using ScootPad because the format was so different. The true success was my students’ initial frustration being turned into a sense of success. ScootPad has taught them that when practicing a skill, you learn from your mistakes by critically reasoning out problems.”

 

 

North Country Elementary, and over 30,000 other schools, are using ScootPad. To see your school’s learning impact, click here:

https://www.scootpad.com/metrics

Cheers,
ScootPad Team

Ready or Not, BYOD is Here to Stay

Not too far in the future, students will be bringing in their own devices to school. They will have the option to pull out their own tablets (or other devices) and log on to learning platforms at any place and any time. Sound familiar? That’s the ScootPad mantra! We recognize the need for students to have personalized learning wherever and whenever. Whether students are logging on to ScootPad at school, home, or anywhere else, they are trekking through their own adaptive learning paths and achieving concept mastery.

School districts are still working out the logistics (security and bandwidth) for BYOD. They will need to switch over to digital content and offer online tools available to all student devices. On top of that, troubleshooting all the various devices won’t be a walk in the park for IT operations personnel.

Even with all these future adjustments, this change will bring about many benefits for students. The takeaway of BYOD (aka BYOT–Bring your own technology)? Students will be doing more research on their own, inspiring critical thinking. They will also be able to learn in their own environment and at their own pace.

Visit the Center for Digital Education website for more information:  http://www.centerdigitaled.com/news/Ready-or-Not-BYOD-is-Here-to-Stay.html

5 Ways to Improve US Education

What does the future of US education look like to you? How about a potential plan of action, including costs and benefits of a better, more cost effective system? Forbes organized this very scenario, planning out an investment in US education to see how it would affect the nation’s GDP. With an initial investment of $6.2 trillion over 20 years, the outcome was outstanding–a payoff of $225 trillion (over 80 years).

File:Children in a classroom.jpg

Forbes had several education policy experts choose the top worldwide policies based on math scores and rates of high school graduation:

1. Teacher efficacy– Pay teachers a higher salary, which will pull in top college graduates to the profession. Monitor their performance and keep the best teachers around.

2. Universal pre-K– With only 52% of Pre-K aged kids attending school, children are not developing a solid educational base. Provide Pre-kindergarten for every American child.

3. School leadership– Raise principal salaries (to bring and retain top talent of course), have them attend training academies, and allow them to reform state laws and modify managing budgets–this would allow school principals to drive educational results.

4. Blended learning–We couldn’t agree with this one more! Provide computers for students and have teachers use digital media to enhance learning. Allow for differentiated learning so students can learn at their own pace. Facilitate training for schools and teachers to learn how to combine online learning with traditional learning.

5. Common Core/college readiness– We couldn’t have said it better–“Creating high national standards to ensure college-ready, globally competitive graduates.” Randall Lane, Forbes

At ScootPad, we directly enable two out of the five policies listed above. Based on the research done by Forbes, there is an enormous need for education reform in the US. Taking a few steps away from the traditional teaching style and bringing in digital media and creating a blended learning environment to support teachers, is where the future of US education is headed. With the support of a 100% Common Core aligned online platform like ScootPad, teachers, schools, and parents will see a huge improvement in their childrens’ learning abilities and achievements.

Seems like a good plan to us! What are your thoughts?

 

Visit Forbes for more information:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/randalllane/2014/12/01/heres-a-plan-to-turn-around-u-s-education-and-generate-225-trillion/2/

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