Tag Archives: K-12

LearnSprout | Student Information Simplified

There are many ways to manage student data and all of them require some sort of technology. The challenge for many schools is how to manage it all while retaining data integrity. The amount of data generated for just one student can be difficult to share and manage amongst the many systems currently being used. We live in a connected world which means the safeguarding of our students data is more important than ever today.

That is where LearnSprout comes in, they have developed an Application Programming Interface (API) that allows schools to share student information amongst the various systems in use from a secure environment that retains data integrity. LearnSprout can manage multiple data sources and individual system updates from a single API that make the whole process seamless to school administrators and educators.

LearnSprout was formed by three college buddies, Franklin Chien, Anthony Wu and Joe Woo; after college they went to work for three of the largest technology giants, Facebook, Google and Microsoft. They have now come back together to launch LearnSprout and cultivate the edtech ecosystem through their innovative approach to managing the data in our Student Information Systems (SIS). I recently sat down with Franklin Chien to talk about their services and to learn more about the company. You can watch the interview video below.

LearnSprout can pull data from PowerSchool, Infinite Campus, Illuminate, Aeries, Skyward and STI; integration with other systems is currently being worked on. Their service is FREE for schools and districts, but EdTech software vendors pay a small fee to connect to their API. The API addresses both privacy and security concerns by being fully compliant with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) regulations. You can get the full details from their Security Policy document.

If you are ready to take data management to the next level at your school I would definitely give them a call. They are primarily working in the K-12 sector of education, but I see the potential for their API to be used in Higher Education as well. If you want to learn more about LearnSprout products and services visit their website http://www.learnsprout.com/.

Franklyn Chien: Passion

via: rocketlist on Vimeo.

Differentiated Learning for Better Teachers

TeachBoost is a new and exciting teacher development platform to help coach and develop educators through the use of performance and feedback tools. They specialize in removing the many distractions involved in the professional development process of our teachers. They have created a system where both teachers and administrators benefit through collaboration. TeachBoost address the need for a better way to conduct observations, assessments, and teacher evaluations.

This performance management tool has the capability to add student assessment data and the integration of data systems for schools, districts or even statewide. Teachers can use the service individually to create their professional development portfolios taking a proactive approach to their development process. Administrators benefit from this collaborative approach because it builds cohesive teams that enable educators to learn from each other. Their service is web based and works on all mobile device with Internet access.

I recently had the opportunity to sit down with Jason DeRoner, Co-Founder, TeachBoost for a Google+ Hangout. During our conversation, we talked about the company’s vision and how TeachBoost is becoming a key player in the professional development of our educators. Jason also told me how the idea for TeachBoost came about. He also emphasized how important feedback from both administrators and teachers has been to the development of their service. Please watch the video below; if you like what you see, give it a like and subscribe to my YouTube channel; to find out more about TeachBoost please visit their website at http://teachboost.com/ or contact them via e-mail at support@teachboost.com

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Managing The Cloud with Hapara

The vast amount of information managed by our schools today is incredible. What if there is a way for us to manage all that information in one place. Google has done a pretty good job in developing and launching a unique suite of applications that work very well in enterprise environments. The problem is that, in an education environment, it requires a dedicated IT team to run. The other issue is that the system configuration is not a user friendly experience.

That is where Hapara, a New Zealand based company comes in. They have over twenty years of experience in the deployment and implementation of cloud based solutions at all levels in education. They have developed a very cool and innovative way to merge the best aspects of Google Apps for the enterprise into an easy to use platform for education. I recently had the opportunity to sit down with the company’s founder Jan Zawadzki to talk about the company and their visionary ideas.

Their flagship product is the Teacher Dashboard, a Google Apps for Education add-on that brings the various Google Apps under one system. Their product then goes a step further and tightly integrates Blogger, Google Docs, Gmail, Picasa and many of others. Jan demonstrated to me their product capabilities and showed me real world examples of how it is being used in an educational setting. The biggest advantage here being there is no hardware installation involved, and the whole system is cloud based. To learn more about Hapara and what they have to offer please visit their website at http://hapara.com/.

Jan Zawadzki, Founder, CEO – Hapara 

Hapara Teacher Dashboard

Mastering Math through Foundational Skills

DigitWhiz is an online webapp for kid’s ages 8+ that teach math foundational skills using Multiplication, Division, Integer Operations, Like Terms and Solving Equations. The brainchild of Kasey Brown a math teacher who as a child struggled to learn her multiplication tables. Kasey’s early experiences would lead her to become a programmer analyst for Hewlett Packard. After leaving corporate America, she became a math teacher to pursue her passion in helping children struggling with math foundational skills.

In early 2009, she met Elliot Feinberg a Web Developer with degrees in both Math and Physics. Together they formed DigitWhiz and in this new enterprise they both share the same passion and commitment to help young kids master the skills necessary to be successful in High School and beyond.

DigitWhiz is currently an open BETA, being used in 22 states and three countries abroad. The service is Flash based, but I recently had a chance to sit down with Kasey during a Google+ Hangout and learned they are modifying their code to launch their first mobile app coded for iOS devices. DigitWhiz is free right now, and Kasey told me when the platform matures they will monetize it through subscriptions plans and premium features at very reasonable prices. To learn more about DigitWhiz, please visit their website at http://digitwhiz.com/ and don’t forget to watch my interview with her, plus the DigitWhiz demo below.
Kasey Brown, DigitWhiz, Co-Founder

DigitWhiz: Where Everyone Masters Math!

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Managing student behavior in the Classroom

ClassDojo is a classroom tool that helps teachers improve student behavior in their classrooms. It helps the busy educator optimize their daily routine and provide feedback for students and parents. This stunning webapp captures and generates behavioral data that can be shared with parents and administrators. One of the great advantages of using this tool is that you can literally access it from anywhere; whether you are on your desktop, smart phone or tablet device. It is free to use, and with just one touch on your device it allows teachers to instantly award points and badges based on a student’s behavior or participation. This tool can also be used to provide positive reinforcement without making the students feel as if they were being punished.

Students and parents have access to a profile page that is updated in real-time to see how they are doing in class, and what badges/points they have earned. As a teacher, you can use Class Dojo’s reward system to provide instant visual notifications for students to see (e.g. ‘Well done Daniel! +1 for helping others!’). 
I recently had the opportunity to sit down for a talk with ClassDojo’s Co-Founder, Sam Chaudhary to talk about their vision and the future of ClassDojo. So, please be sure to watch the interview video and visit the ClassDojo YouTube channel for some pretty cool videos about this great product, its many features and how it is helping teachers around the world manage behavior in the classroom while increasing student engagement.
Sam Chaudhary –  ClassDojo Co-Founder Interview

ClassDojo Introduction 


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