White Papers

Insights from our sponsors.

How to start a STEAM program in your school

Sponsor: littleBits
Posted: April 15, 2016

How do educators prepare students for jobs that don't exist yet? STEAM – adding Arts to STEM – provides a full 360-degree approach to 21st-century learning. Download the guide to starting a STEAM program and get practical tips & case studies to help kick-start your STEAM program.

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(Requires Adobe Acrobat Reader)

Building Without Walls: Modern Practices for Professional Development

Sponsor: D2L
Posted: April 15, 2016

In Building Without Walls, we discuss a variety of methods and best practices for creating a meaningful and effective professional development experience. You will learn:

  • Why a web-based approach offers flexibility, scalability, and individuality
  • How evolving technology is making an impact on the learning experience
  • What the benefits are of digitally collecting and storing resources
  • Why Communities of Practice are a fundamental part of succes

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(Requires Adobe Acrobat Reader)

The Forgotten Reading Proficiency: Stamina in Silent Reading

Sponsor: Pearson
Posted: April 1, 2016

Dr. E.H. Hiebert's paper focuses on teaching stamina and silent reading in the digital-global age, and with the new Common Core State Standards-related assessments. For life beyond high-school, we most often conduct reading tasks silently on our own for a period of time, but it is highly unlikely that many students will be prepared for the challenge of the silent reading tasks posed by the new assessments.

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(Requires Adobe Acrobat Reader)

Respond to (Evidence of) Student Learning

Sponsor: Mentoring Minds
Posted: April 1, 2016

Set learning targets, evaluate progress in real time, and provide constructive feedback—these are hallmarks of the formative assessment process. And whether you’re a veteran practitioner or new to the concept, reviewing the whys and wherefores of formative assessment can help boost your instructional effectiveness. Not only can these strategies help you better differentiate learning, but they can also encourage students to take active ownership in their own education.

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(Requires Adobe Acrobat Reader)

Going Digital: A Curriculum Management Playbook

Sponsor: itslearning
Posted: April 1, 2016

Today's education leaders know that going digital is a reality. According to the Consortium for School Networking's 2015 IT Leadership Survey, 84% of school technology officials expect that at least half of their instructional materials will be digitally based within three years. These changes bring some challenges, but also huge advantages for curriculum directors, teachers, students and parents. In order to fully succeed with a digital curriculum, you have to be prepared. This playbook will help you take advantage of a modern, personalized and dynamic digital curriculum.

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(Requires Adobe Acrobat Reader)

Mapping a Path to Success for English Language Learners with Pearson TELL (Test of English Language Learning)

Sponsor: Pearson
Posted: April 1, 2016

Districts and schools are faced with the challenge of ensuring that all students – including ELLs – meet today's new rigorous learning goals and are prepared for success in college and careers.

However, a performance gap is evident in annual statewide summative assessments, and the need to continue to support ELLs' English proficiency development is apparent. This paper presents theory- and research-based considerations behind the design and development of Pearson's TELL (Test of English Language Learning) and its performance-based tasks.

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(Requires Adobe Acrobat Reader)

From Formative Assessment to Informative Assessing in the Math Classroom

Sponsor: DreamBox
Posted: April 1, 2016

Preventing the failure to learn with "in the moment" formative assessment—or informative assessing—is one of the routes to deeper student math learning. Learn more about how this type of advanced formative assessment, which relies on ongoing feedback and a supportive culture, can keep teachers and students on the path to success.

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(Requires Adobe Acrobat Reader)

Effective Teaching Strategies for Improving Reading Comprehension in K-3 Students

Sponsor: McGraw Hill Education
Posted: April 1, 2016

Students today are faced with ever increasing demands to read and read well. There is high importance of teaching reading as a process and that strategy instruction has been found to impact students' appreciation of reading as a process, the goal of which is to understand what is being read. But the ultimate objective of comprehension instruction should be student ownership of the strategies and skills, knowing when comprehension breaks down and how to address the problem and repair the breakdown.

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(Requires Adobe Acrobat Reader)

Solving the Vocabulary Puzzle: Connecting standards for deeper word knowledge

Sponsor: Curriculum Associates
Posted: April 1, 2016

References to vocabulary development are interwoven throughout the new standards in what might at first seem like puzzle pieces. However, when we learn how to put the pieces together, they reveal a coherent picture. In her new whitepaper, Dr. Brenda Overturf reveals how to integrate vocabulary throughout the ELA curriculum and build classroom cultures that support vocabulary development for all students.

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(Requires Adobe Acrobat Reader)

11 Quick Tips: Turn Your Students Into Close Readers

Sponsor: Great Books Foundation
Posted: March 1, 2016

Getting students to slow down, engage with the text in different ways, and reflect as they read are challenges for every teacher, and are the goals of close reading. There's no magic way to turn your class into top-notch readers overnight, but there are specific close reading skills you can teach that will help your students now and down the line. Read this article for 11 quick tips that will help turn your students into close readers.

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(Requires Adobe Acrobat Reader)

Building a Successful Communications Strategy

Sponsor: BlackBoard
Posted: March 1, 2016

Blackboard works with one in three K-12 districts—and over 70% of the nation's largest 100 districts. Using this unique perspective, Blackboard teamed up with the nation's leaders in school-to-home communications to author Message Received: A Guide for Building a Successful Communications Strategy, an e-book that leverages data from an independent report on parent communication preferences to guide you through the process of designing an effective communications program.

Download your copy today for best practices on how to engage parents, empower students, and foster community relationships—plus tips and tricks straight from superintendents and district leaders on designing a strategic communications plan for your district.

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(Requires Adobe Acrobat Reader)

Implementing Blended Learning: Four Keys to Success

Sponsor: Lexia Learning
Posted: February 15, 2016

Blended learning is a rapidly developing instructional approach, however, many educators are unfamiliar with how the various implementation models of blended learning differ and what is needed to make this instructional approach successful. This white paper focuses on four important factors that will help minimize the level of frustration for students and teachers as well as accelerate the benefits of a blended learning implementation.

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(Requires Adobe Acrobat Reader)

Think Thoughtfully

Sponsor: Mentoring Minds
Posted: February 1, 2016

Model critical thinking, creativity, and collaboration in your classroom with the Six Thinking Hats concept, a strategy that should be in every teacher’s back pocket. By encouraging students to “try on” different ways of thinking, teachers can help students to discover new ways of communicating their ideas and fostering collaboration with their classmates, both crucial 21st-century skills to teach.

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(Requires Adobe Acrobat Reader)

Beyond a Single Estimate of Effectiveness

Sponsor: SAS
Posted: February 1, 2016

Many high-stakes decisions in education depend on student growth, value-added metrics and the resulting reports. But if educators and policymakers don’t understand how to interpret these reports, student growth and value-added metrics can’t deliver on their full potential to improve education systems. This paper explores the evolution of value-added reporting to a more comprehensive, accessible and intuitive tool for users – a reporting approach that gives context to growth measures and delivers helpful new insights for educators.

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(Requires Adobe Acrobat Reader)

Benefits of Digital Ink in the Classroom

Sponsor: Microsoft
Posted: February 1, 2016

In this IDC report, sponsored by Microsoft, IDC conducted a research study with teachers who are using computers in the classroom to understand their classroom technology usage, and specifically how they are using Digital Inking devices. You’ll hear directly from educators on benefits they’ve realized using digital ink, including being able to clearly and quickly communicate feedback to students at the “teachable moment.” They have discovered how using a notebook or tablet with an active stylus provides the immediacy of instant messaging to open and maintain a personal connection with students at the precise moment they would be receptive to feedback. With an ever increasing range of classroom device options, it is imperative to consider those that will most directly support authentic, and efficient student-teacher engagement and reduce the time teachers spend on nonteaching related activities.

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(Requires Adobe Acrobat Reader)

Find Your Purpose: The Path to a Rewarding Doctoral Journey

Sponsor: Grand Canyon University
Posted: February 1, 2016

A strong start in a doctoral program requires not only building a good foundation in specific skills and abilities, but also the proper mindset and motivation to engage in authentic, critical research and analysis. This eBook excerpt, "Find Your Purpose: The Path to a Rewarding Doctoral Journey," offers an inside look at what it's like to be a doctoral learner, including time commitment, the dissertation process, schedule development, research assistance and more, from Grand Canyon University's College of Doctoral Studies. More information is available at www.gcu.edu.

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(Requires Adobe Acrobat Reader)

Wi-Fi Woes: How Mediocre Wi-Fi Interferes with Instruction in American Schools

Sponsor: Ruckus Wireless
Posted: January 21, 2016

Technical barriers are preventing school Wi-Fi from living up to its educational potential, a new Education Week Research Center study suggests. This white paper about the survey introduces the Ruckus Wireless Confidence Index. Index results indicate that most teachers lack confidence that their school wireless can meet key goals related to student achievement and assessment.

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(Requires Adobe Acrobat Reader)

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