Monthly Archives: June 2014

Educational Technology Trends That Improve Student Engagement

Over the last few years, many trends have emerged in educational technology. For better or worse, one thing is for sure: schools are scurrying to find which tools work best in achieving student engagement and success. Has your school made educational technology changes recently? Did these changes improve a process or increase student engagement? Here are a few educational technology trends emerging in the field of education:

1. Social media used as a teaching tool

Social media has gained increasing popularity as educational technology over the past two years. These days, students know how to use a computer and the internet with ease, and most of them are using social media networks to share their thoughts and ideas. From student-created YouTube videos to professors creating classroom-focused blogs and Facebook pages, both teachers and students benefit from using social media inside the classroom.

2. Game-based learning gaining popularity

Who doesn’t love a good game? Game-based learning (GBL) exists as a learning tool by helping students visualize processes they otherwise could not see, such as the building of a molecule or the construction of a city. GBL is becoming increasingly popular inside the classroom as it can promote higher-order thinking skills, such as collaboration, communication, problem solving, and teamwork.

3. Flipping a classroom and BYOD

With more districts interested in saving money and more teachers interested in saving time, the concepts of flipping the classroom and BYOD (bring your own device) seem to be a good match. Because a key requirement to flipping a classroom is access to technology outside of the school, the joining of the two maximizes the potential of both concepts.

4. Increase in homeschooling

Like charter schools, home schools have enrolled more than 2 million students. The decision by so many parents to remove their children from local schools and teach them at home raises many issues. Scholars say parents are more likely to switch to homeschooling if they see the academic quality of local schools decline or the number of low-income students in those schools increase. Through homeschooling, parents are able to have more control over what their children learn. Although there is little data on homeschooling, it seems to be growing at the same surprising speed and volume as charter schools.

5. Integration of educational technology software companies

More and more, teachers and administrators are trying to streamline processes. From educational technology software companies that offer solutions to Common Core preparation and online courses to online registration, SIS systems, managing student data, and reporting, schools and districts are undergoing widespread adoption of these types of solutions.

School Funding – Ways to Maximize for CA Schools

A new poll shows that most Californians approve dramatic changes set to take hold in public education, including the new formula for deciding how much school funding each district gets, called the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF).



Under this new funding system, schools will receive a base grant for students in grades K-12. In addition to the base grant, a supplemental grant of 20% of the base grant will be offered for disadvantaged students: those who are classified as English Learners (EL), Low Incidence (LI) disability, Foster Youth (FY), or eligible to receive a Free or Reduced-Price Meal (FRPM).  Additionally, districts with more than 55% of their students identified as disadvantaged will be granted funds at a rate of 50% the base grant.


Each school funding dollar granted to a school will help improve programs and services in the areas where they are needed most. However, many schools have difficulty capturing the data required to ensure that they receive the greatest amount of funding for each student.  Whether it’s due to parent insecurities, student embarrassment, or lack of proper reporting, districts are “losing out??? on thousands of available state LCFF dollars due to students being misclassified.


So how can schools make certain that they capture accurate data for school funding? Well, using an online system like K-12 Online helps:


  1. Optimize data while at the same time safeguards privacy.
  2. Parents can identify residency information, language, or disabilities in a way that maintains their dignity, is safe and non-threatening.
  3. Parents feel a sense of anonymity because all registration and enrollment information is completed online, and hard copies are not circulated through volunteers, etc.
  4. Only administrators who are required to know classification information have access to it, adhering to Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) laws.
  5. Using an online system increases reporting accuracy and allows for data to be easily sorted, saved, and sent to the district.


Online registration helps maintain the parents and students’ dignity and privacy while ensuring each district receives maximum school funding.

Free E-Book: Guide to Help Catholic Schools Find Their Footing in a World of Charters and Financial Burdens

The Catholic Church worldwide is in the midst of a Catholic education boom, experiencing a 20% - 28% growth in enrollment amongst primary and secondary schools. But while there is significant growth worldwide, most are aware of the many challenges eclipsing the vitality of Catholic schools in the U.S.

catholic schools guide

This e-book presents some new perspectives to assist Catholic education stakeholders in identifying and implementing strategies to help overcome major challenges and recover the sustainability of Catholic schools.

Although Catholic schools fall under a larger umbrella, they tend to operate as smaller entities, leaving much room for self-governing. Dioceses can begin to swing the shift of disconnect by implementing programs that provide centralized autonomy to schools.

When these smaller entities are offered centralized services, they become more accountable, efficient, and effective.

Click here to get the free e-book "Guide to Help Catholic Schools Find Their Footing in a World of Charters and Financial Burdens."

Summer Break is not for Principals

Students and teachers alike look forward to the end of the school year. Time off, trips to the beach, vacations, and the pure simplicity of just doing nothing. But for a school principal, the end of a school year means turning another page and starting all over again. keep-calm-it-s-almost-summer-break A principal’s job doesn’t stop at the end of the school year. Good principals spend their summers searching for new ideas and making improvements for the upcoming school year. We talked to several of our principals to find out how they spend their summer break preparing for the new school year. Here are a few of their responses:

  • — Meet with teachers and conduct evaluations.
  • — Implement new systems.
  • — Review the good, bad and ugly of what transpired throughout the year.
  • — Review the school handbook and determine what policies/procedures need to be updated.
  • — Meet with District Superintendent to ensure we are aware of any district changes for the upcoming school year.
  • — Classroom management is often conducted during the summer with principals having to determine student size, classroom size, number of classrooms for each grade, etc.
  • — Hiring new teachers or interviewing for staffing positions.
  • — Designing curriculum changes, especially with the new common core requirements.
  • — Communicating with faculty and staff. It’s helpful to communicate your expectations for the upcoming school year so that your staff can share your vision and everyone is on the same page.

Contrary to popular belief, principals do not get a summer break. As a principal, no matter how your previous school year went, there is always room for improvement and an opportunity to make a fresh new start. Before you know it, it will be the first day of school….AGAIN!

School Budget – Free E-Book on Managing Tight Budgets

Are you struggling to manage school budget cuts?  Simply fill out this form, put free e-book in the comments section and we will email you the free e-book “How K-12 Schools Can Improve Efficiency on a Tight Budget.??? 

Schools spend a lot of money on registration, yet this cost is “under the radar??? of administrators. Most schools and districts have a difficult time answering such fundamental questions as: How much paper do we use for registration packets? What is our total cost per student for each packet? How much time does staff spend on registration procedures and data entry?
Despite this lack of clarity, traditional registration processes happen annually while schools are consistently going through cutbacks and looking for ways to save money.
Find out the secrets to Unlocking the Power of Online Registration, how to make a system work for you, what to look for in a system, and tips on improving efficiency while decreasing costs.

Visit our website to receive a free e-book: How K-12 Schools can Improve Efficiency on a Tight School Budget.

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