Vicki Smith Bigham — Friday, June 28, 2013
Hey, friends! The Snoop is back from a fabulous ISTE in San Antonio. It was such fun to connect with so many friends and frustrating to know how many of you I missed. Kudos to the ISTE team on a terrific conference! I have some news to share from San Antonio and beyond so read on now….
News from San Antonio….
I loved special time spent catching up with so many friends and colleagues (you know who you are!) but want to shout out about some of the new people I met in San Antonio.
Those of you who know me know that my primary love and area of interest in my work is professional development and implementation. How fun to meet Michael Moody, EdD, Founder and CEO, and Jill Nyhus, Consultant, from Insight Education Group. I was not aware of this interesting company doing very interesting and valuable work, especially as relates to connecting teacher effectiveness and Common Core State Standards. They are partnering with districts and schools across the country to develop and implement instructional initiatives, such as developing cutting-edge teacher and leader evaluation systems and large-scale, meaningful professional development programs, and instructional coaching, in order to help improve student academic achievement. They have about 30 full-time trainers who really do partner with educational institutions—I love their whole coaching model. To learn more, you can connect with Michael at firstname.lastname@example.org
Amplify is a big and successful company, of course, but I most often hear about their tablet initiatives. I really enjoyed hearing about the work being done in one of their divisions, Amplify Insight, which offers assessment products and services, and meeting Leslie Kerner, General Manager of Professional Services. This conversation also fed my own interests and passion, as Leslie described the professional development and coaching services they offer, built on the effective use of data. And as they work with schools and districts, they partner with districts to create customized plans addressing their needs. They are seeing wonderful results and doing meaningful work. You can learn more about this division of Amplify by reading out to Leslie at email@example.com.
I had earlier been introduced to Julie Fitzgerald, Vice President of Marketing at GuideK12, but this was my first opportunity to sit down and visit with her and take a look at the company’s geovisual analytics program for education. This is one unique and amazing product; iit uses technology to sort through massive amounts of data and then present it visually to help school administrators quickly find patterns and trends—and insights. GuideK12 is the pioneer in the field of geovisual analytics for education. As a former administrator, I can see how one might also get addicted to using such a powerful tool to investigate, analyze, and predict patterns to impact student learning and much more. I know Julie would be happy to tell you more at Julie@guidek12.com.
And my interest in use of data in a variety of powerful ways grew again as I met Don Fraynd, PhD, Chief Executive Officer for TeacherMatch, a company that offers a hiring tool that predicts the impact of teacher candidates on student achievement. The tool is backed by an amazing body of research and predictive analytics. In 2008, under the guidance of TeacherMatch co-founder Ron Huberman, who may of you know was then CEO/Superintendent of CPS, Don led a visionary effort for the Chicago Public School district called the Office of School Improvement. Working with others now members of the TeacherMatch Executive Team, Don and Ron created and implemented a comprehensive hiring and professional development system involving thousands of teachers. The CPS model was intended to recharge and reshape the district’s most struggling schools. It became such a success that the U.S. Department of Education used the model for its multi-billion-dollar school improvement grant. The company is working with several respected partners, including major partner Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA). The possibilities here are very exciting for hiring and supporting effective teachers. To learn more, contact Don at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For the full ISTE Scoop, visit EdNet Insight online here.