Macmillan Learning | August 23, 2021
Macmillan Learning, a privately-held, family-owned education publishing and services company announced a new professional development series for educators to help support student engagement and success in college. The virtual “Engage Students to Achieve More” series is free for college faculty and administrators and will explore the techniques and technologies used to support active learning and student engagement in and outside the classroom, as well as timely lessons about effective teaching pedagogies gleaned during the pandemic.
Student engagement continues to be an area of concern due to educators’ diminished ability to work one-on-one with students and the decreasing levels of student motivation and morale versus pre-pandemic. It ranked as instructors greatest challenge in 2020, up from their third greatest challenge just two years ago, according to Digital Promise.
“While student engagement plays an important role in helping students in their coursework, its impact reaches far beyond the classroom,” said Charles Linsmeier, General Manager of Macmillan Learning. “In order to close COVID-19-related learning gaps, educators and student advocates are seeking new ways to best reestablish meaningful connections and timely interventions for deeper learning and engagement with their students. This is even more important with the variability and blending of synchronous and asynchronous teaching and learning environments, which is the norm for many institutions for the foreseeable future.”
Throughout the complimentary virtual professional development series, which begins in August and continues throughout the fall, participants will hear about student engagement practices and solutions informed by the experiences of instructors, students, and administrators during the pandemic. The series explores various strategies, methods, and techniques that help increase students’ attention, interest, curiosity, and positive emotional connections to their learning and college communities.
About Macmillan Learning
Macmillan Learning is a privately-held, family-owned company that improves lives through learning. By linking research to learning practice, we develop pioneering products and learning materials for students that are highly effective and drive improved outcomes.
Skyward | September 30, 2021
As district leaders have accelerated their reliance on technology and digital skills, it has become clear that some of the strategies and tools put in place during the last 18 months will remain in the post-COVID-19 education world.
For many school districts, leveraging their use of existing technology allowed them to make digital transformation a much less stressful experience.
One such district, Consolidated High School District 230 (D230) in Illinois, integrated their SIS (Skyward) with their LMS (Canvas) to help them transition to a successful virtual learning environment. While D230 already had plans in place for eLearning to be used for inclement weather days prior to the pandemic, the district had to speed up their plans when the pandemic hit. Luckily, the district's SIS easily integrates with many third-party solutions, so they were able to get their virtual learning environment up and running quickly.
"The integration [of Skyward] with Canvas has made it much easier to manage changes with courses, teachers, student rosters, team teaching, and more," stated John Connolly, chief technology officer at the district. "Our teachers especially love the gradebook passback feature."
Another district in Texas, Grand Prairie Independent School District, used Skyward to offer online enrollment amid the pandemic. With a student count of over 29,000, Grand Prairie ISD needed a way to enroll all students without in-person visits. Enter Skyward's New Student Online Enrollment (NSOE).
According to Bill Young, the district's director of student information systems, implementing the NSOE feature created convenience and peace of mind for both district administrators and district families.
"NSOE has been a great way to receive information from parents, process the information to get students enrolled, and communicate back to the parents, all with no face-to-face contact," said Young.
Finally, Metropolitan School District of Wayne Township in Indiana, used Skyward to move their parent-teacher conferences online. The results surpassed expectations, with one elementary school reporting 100% participation.
"A silver lining to all the negatives of the pandemic is the move of parent-teacher conferences online," said chief operations and technology officer at the district, Pete Just. "Our participation is through the roof and teachers and parents are connecting to help students in ways they never had before. Engaging the adult in the student's life is key to student success. I think online parent teacher conferences are here to stay and that's a great thing!"
For D230, Grand Prairie ISD, MSD Wayne Township, and thousands of other districts around the nation, COVID-19 caused a quick pivot to remote learning with a heavier reliance on their edtech. By using Skyward in creative and innovative ways, these three districts thrived.
The pandemic created a rapid acceleration in districts' move to digital solutions,For districts, leveraging edtech they already own allows them to shift to a digital environment, without having to invest in additional software or learn new tools.
Ray Ackerlund, president of Skyward.
While it is impossible to know what the coming years of education will look like, these examples show how districts are using their edtech to stay future-ready as they anticipate what may happen next.
Skyward's school administrative software solutions are used by more than 2,000 public sector organizations worldwide, from small entities to statewide implementations. Since 1980, Skyward has remained committed to a better experience for every user.
paysend | October 23, 2020
Here at Paysend, we’re always doing our very best to create an interconnected world where people from as many countries as possible can send money abroad to their friends and family. We think that people everywhere should have the power to move their money internationally easily, avoiding high bank charges and slow transfer times. We often add new countries to our platform so that we can bring our fast, low-cost transfers to even more people, and make a real difference in the world! The latest countries that we’ve launched in are Madagascar, Colombia, Congo-Brazzaville and Niger! So if you want to say hello to friends and family in these countries and send the gift of money, you can now do it easily from the Paysend Global Transfers app or via our website.