Mimio Educator

Technology Tools to Help with School Safety

Posted by Kelly Bielefeld on Tue, Mar 3, 2020

Technology tools abound to help schools increase safety and security.  As districts try to evaluate which of these tools are the best and which areas are the highest priority, it can become confusing. 

In my opinion, it helps to look at each of the four phases of school security to breakdown which areas might need the most attention the soonest. It also typically helps to invest in prevention and mitigation more so than response and recovery. The dollars spent in being proactive go a lot further than the dollars spent in the recovery phase. 

Even though that might be the case, it is important to take a wide view when considering different technology options for school safety. Some of the ideas are very narrow and will only support certain situations, but other options (like surveillance cameras) can assist schools in a wide variety of areas.

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Topics: Administrator Resources

The Four Phases of School Safety

Posted by Kelly Bielefeld on Wed, Feb 19, 2020

Keeping schools safe is the number one concern of everyone involved in education.  Without safe classrooms and schools, students cannot learn.  And if the worst were to happen, students can be lives can be threatened. 

Schools have taken this very seriously as the number of violent incidents in schools has increased.  Layers and layers of specific safety measures are now part of the day to day operation of schools. 

The impact this has on students and teachers is probably a good topic for another time. For our discussion, it is important to note that state and national agencies have taken a much broader view of keeping our schools safer than some of the visible measures that impact the daily lives of teachers.  This support has given school districts a framework for how to think about crisis planning.

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Topics: Administrator Resources, tips for teachers

School Customer Service

Posted by Kelly Bielefeld on Thu, Feb 6, 2020

There are some people in our country who claim that public schools have a monopoly on the educational market. I personally believe that nothing could be further from the truth.

Public schools are the primary means of educating students in the U.S. Despite this fact, the past decade has seen a significant increase in students attending private and charter schools or being homeschooled. According to the National Center for Educational Statistics (a division of the U.S. Department of Education), the number of students enrolled in public school has dropped from 74% to 69% since 1999. Enrollment for charter schools and homeschooling has increased during this time, while private school enrollment has remained relatively flat.

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Topics: Administrator Resources, tips for teachers

The Professional Breakup

Posted by Kelly Bielefeld on Wed, Dec 4, 2019

Unfortunately, I have seen a number of teachers come and go throughout my 20 years in education. And for every teacher who leaves my school, there's a different reason for why they left. However, I would say that I've seen some patterns in the departures of teachers in terms of both why they left and in the manner in which they departed the school. 

And reflecting on this—all of which is based on my observation, not on any research—I believe it might be helpful for school leaders and for the teachers who remain to process the departure of their colleagues. Maybe some of these ideas can help the “professional breakup” to go more smoothly than it sometimes does.

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Topics: Administrator Resources, tips for teachers

What Concerns Do Parents Have About Technology?

Posted by Kelly Bielefeld on Thu, Oct 3, 2019

The breadth of parent opinions on technology is very wide. Philosophies differ from parents who give their 4-year-old a phone and Instagram account to those who wait until high school for a student to have an email address and everything in between. Speaking as a current parent of children between the ages of 1 and 15, navigating this world of technology is hard.

There are no real guidelines or rules for how we should handle it all. With the experiences and exposure of kids being so varied, it can feel like a constant uphill battle—all of which schools should consider. As institutions, we hope to work with parents as partners to help their students become successful. I believe all parents know that the ability to use technology is an important future-ready skill. But the age that we begin and the depth that we go to—that is up for debate.

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Topics: Administrator Resources, tips for teachers

Penny-Pinching Tips for Teachers

Posted by Kelly Bielefeld on Thu, Sep 26, 2019
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Topics: Administrator Resources, tips for teachers

Linking the ISTE Standards to Learning (Part Two)

Posted by Kelly Bielefeld on Wed, Sep 11, 2019

In part one of this series, we did a quick rundown of the ISTE standards. Looking closer at these standards, you’ll learn how they can help students to engage, and even more importantly, to think. Don’t be deceived—just because ISTE is a technology organization, the standards are about good teaching and not just about how we use technology in the classroom.

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Topics: Administrator Resources, tips for teachers

Linking the ISTE Standards to Learning (Part One)

Posted by Kelly Bielefeld on Tue, Aug 27, 2019

Teachers in our neck of the woods tend to use the state standards to guide their lesson planning—and for good reason. The state tests that we take align to these standards, much like they do in other states that have adopted the Common Core standards. There are so many of these standards, we tend to stop there and not look any further when it comes to breaking them down.

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Topics: Administrator Resources, tips for teachers

Student Feedback Part Three: Moving Students Through Learning

Posted by Kelly Bielefeld on Wed, Aug 14, 2019

So far in our feedback series, we’ve discussed general types of student feedback as well as best practices for feedback in the classroom. In thinking about how feedback shapes a classroom, I have changed my understanding of what quality feedback really means. It is much more than responses to students, and it is even more than comments back to them when correcting their work. It is a response to learning moments that move students deeper into their learning.

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Topics: Administrator Resources, tips for teachers

Becoming Trauma Informed

Posted by Kristy Nerstheimer on Wed, Jul 24, 2019

In the world of education, the terms trauma informed, trauma sensitive, and trauma invested have come to the forefront. While all these terms are very similar in nature, the importance of learning and understanding trauma is key to the success of our students. Google defines trauma as a deeply distressing or disturbing experience.” When this type of experience happens to a child, it can affect brain development, which can impede learning as well as mental and physical health.

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Topics: Administrator Resources, tips for teachers

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