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Reaching for the Stars


Reaching for the Stars

Not that long ago I spent some time at Impact Academy in our Geometry classroom. Our geometry teacher has been working hard to develop a personalized learning approach as a way to leverage the technology. As part of this venture, we have been designing innovative technology-enhanced projects that will provide our students with multiple opportunities to apply their mathematical skills. We endeavor…

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Choices and Decisions: Top Down or Bottom Up?


Choices and Decisions: Top Down or Bottom Up?

In late January I wrote a post about how to scale or grow pilot programs into something more impactful and possibly more sustainable. Since January, I have been working closely with our Director of Technology, our VP of Teaching and Learning, our Development team, our Principals, and our Math coach to finalize a number of technology related projects. This process has made me reflect on the…

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The Student Perspective at Envision Schools


The Student Perspective at Envision Schools

Today I sat in the Learning Center at Envision Academy and thought about “the student perspective.” I feel like I have written so many blog post already in which students have been interviewed, and even blog posts written by students. So I am at a bit of a loss as to what I can add to this discussion.
Then lunch started and two students came in to eat and chit-chat. The two girls are senior…

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Thinking about scale up and growth. When is the right time?


Thinking about scale up and growth. When is the right time?

The question of when and how to scale a blended learning program is very complex. It seems fitting that this be the current topic, as, it is around this time of year that we begin to start planning for September 2014. It still feels strange to the ex-teacher inside of me to start thinking about next year when this year is only half over. And yet, with the new resolutions comes a renewed focus, a…

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Starbucks Mug Project


Starbucks Mug Project

My last visit to Impact Academy I had the pleasure of seeing some really fantastic project work in a math class. This project was individualized, has a real-life application, and is completely made possible by the technology available to that is available to the students.
The students were presented with the below scenario and asked to answer these questions: is it worth it? How do you…

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Netclick at Envision Schools


Netclick at Envision Schools

Several months ago I wrote a short piece about Imagine K-12 and made specific mention of a tool called Netclick. About a week later I spoke with our science teacher things just took off. She was instantly taken with the features that Netclick provides. She made an account and we tested it together. I put her in touch with the founder of the company and let nature take its course.
Now, two months…

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Personalized Learning as a Strategy for Student Engagement and Intervention


Personalized Learning as a Strategy for Student Engagement and Intervention

In September of 2012, Mark Isero, our amazing literacy coach, began his Kindle Classroom project at Envision Schools. The goal of this project was to improve our students’ literacy skills by engaging them in reading for pleasure. This project was something that he started while still a classroom teacher. Luckily for us he has decided to continue the project by involving the teachers he was…

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Imagine K-12 Educator Day


Imagine K-12 Educator Day

It has become a lovely fall tradition to attend the product kick-off for the most recent round of Imagine K-12 start up companies. I always love this afternoon of events. It is exciting to see the newest in educational innovations, some of which have not even been fully constructed yet. It is also refreshing to see so many educators, from a wide range of backgrounds and settings, rubbing elbows…

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News from Envision Schools – Kick Off Fall 2013


News from Envision Schools – Kick Off Fall 2013

The 2013-14 school year is off like a thoroughbred. It has been such a whirlwind that I cannot believe the first month of school has come and gone. I have been busy planning out my Blended Learning coaching schedule, creating and delivering professional development tools and experiences, visiting classrooms and meeting students. Envision Schools has several projects this year that involve…

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Teaching and Technology Infrastructure Structures


Teaching and Technology Infrastructure Structures

Envision Schools is entering its 2rd year of blended learning and over the years we have learned a lot about infrastructure, hardware, costs and other blended learning related considerations. In our first pilot, the summer school Algebra I course in which students used Khan Academy, we were suddenly confronted with the limitations of our Internet infrastructure. Not so much the overall bandwidth,…

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