Blended Professional Development for Teachers

by Allacyn - Jul 28, 2011


The summer break is a great time for educators to get away and take a break from all of the stresses that come with being a teacher, but some educators use this time for professional development. Fortunately for you, keeping up on professional development does not have to mean a ruined summer.

Professional development has taken on new meaning for teachers across the world. Advancements in technology are made every day, and many are adapting these new tools to improve the learning environment for everyone. These technological upgrades make it essential for educators to stay abreast on new tools for education, and now more than ever before, it is important for teachers to keep current through professional development that is both effective and convenient.

Some states have started to integrate new methods of professional development, blending face to face classes with online courses, follow up training, and video training. These blended methods can be helpful because they can fit into the busy schedules educators have, and they appeal to multiple learning styles.

What method of professional development works best for you? Do you think blended methods are the best option? Does your school currently use a variety of methods for your professional development?


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Are Students Lacking in Tech Skills?

by Allacyn - Jul 15, 2011


It sounds funny because most high school students these days could teach us all a lesson or two on how to Tweet, text, or use our iPads, but a recent survey says students are lacking tech skills to get them college and career ready. The survey found that 94% of students think technology skills will improve opportunities in their education and career, but only 39% think their high school is meeting technology expectations.  The study also found that the majority, 86% of students, use technology more outside of school. A large percentage of students said that they used technology to complete assignments, although less than half of teachers said they regularly assign homework that requires technology.

This study shows that students see the need for technology education, and they use technology on their own. So what do you see as the biggest hurdle schools face with classroom technology? Is it the lack of budget? Schools lack technology to serve students? Schools lack technical support? Technology is only used as a teaching tool and is not for students to use? Check out the survey to find out what others said and then let us know what you think.


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ISTE 2011

by Allacyn - Jul 08, 2011


Last week LearnKey was exhibiting at ISTE 2011 in Philadelphia, PA. ISTE is an annual tradeshow for educators, and this year there were 18,000 attendees expected. The show was a lot of fun, and it was fun as the planner of these shows to finally be able to be a part of one. We had a steady stream of educators visit our booth over the course of three days. We met a lot of great teachers and administrators from all over the country and the world; I think the farthest visitor came from Taiwan.

The convention center was huge, although you would never have guessed that there were that many people there. There were so many different meeting rooms, and the exhibit hall was so large anyone could get lost in there. There were rows upon rows of vendors with all kinds of different ways to get attendees to stop and chat with them.

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Thank You Teachers!

by Allacyn - May 03, 2011


Today is the day to celebrate and appreciate the educators in our country that work so hard to make sure that each student receives a quality education. Teachers play a key role in our development and growth, impacting us in ways that often times they will never know. The lessons they teach impact us personally and professionally, and we carry them throughout our lives.

We want to say Thank you, for working hard and striving to improve our country, one individual at a time.  We all have teachers that influenced us in ways we will never forget, and stand out in our minds as not only incredible teachers, but incredible people.  For some of us, you are the biggest influence in our lives, and your actions will model positive behaviors that we will emulate.

To the teachers that go above and beyond, and make it clear that they have a passion and dedication to their jobs that far exceeds what is required and expected of them, you are priceless.  Every lawyer, doctor, athlete, astronaut, business person, cop, firefighter, pilot, writer, artist – everyone has an educator or educators that encouraged and challenged them to strive to do better and be better, and in large part because of you and your hard work, they did just that.

So today we tip our hats to you, and congratulate you for the difference you are making in so many lives.


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CTE Programs Give Students a Reason to Stay in School

by Allacyn - Apr 01, 2011


Studies show that in California there was a dropout rate of about 30% in the 2004-2005 school year. In 2007 one study showed that 6.2 million students in the United States between the ages of 16 and 24 dropped out of high school; that is almost 17,000 a day.

It is no surprise that the rate is so high, this has been an ongoing issue and the big question is how do we stop this from happening? This is a problem we should all be taking notice of, because over time this will cost the United States a lot of money in lost revenue.

One thing to consider – the same studies and research in California showed that 84% of Career and Technical Education students enrolled in a sequence of courses graduated; that cuts the dropout rate almost in half!

Why do CTE programs work for high school students? One theory is that these programs are engaging and relevant to students lives. Other ideas are that it gives students with other interests a reason to make it to school. Another added benefit is that these programs help students with job readiness and achieving industry certifications. These programs are also key to producing individuals that are meeting the needs of businesses in technology.

Educators – has your school seen similar results? Does your school have an above-average CTE program, or do you know of a school that does?


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Graduates’ Career Interests Miss The Mark For Job Projections

by Allacyn - Mar 17, 2011


National and State specific data was released in a report from ACT showing that students are not pursuing careers in fields with the highest projected growth. The report showed that there is a gap between what students are interested in and job projections, and also that students are not prepared for coursework required in these fields.

Five highest-growth career fields:
– Education: such as secondary school teachers, secondary school administrators
– Computer/Information Specialties: such as computer programmers, database administrators
– Management: such as hotel/restaurant managers, convention planners
– Community Services: such as social workers, school counselors
– Marketing/Sales: such as insurance agents, buyers

Computer/ Information specialties account for the biggest gap with a 9% difference between job availability and the interest of students.

The question to ask now is, what is causing the gap? Are today’s students getting bored with these subjects? Are they not offered enough options to prepare for these job roles, and merely take a “safer” route?


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Individualized Learning

by Allacyn - Mar 15, 2011


In traditional classrooms there is one teacher teaching 30 or more students at one time. This creates an issue because not all of these students are the same in fact they are all very different in their learning styles and achievement levels. So how do you teach all of them what they need to learn when there is only one teacher?

There are new test programs that are starting at school districts that address this issue by answering the need for individualized learning. This is being done by first assesing students on a regular basis to gauge the level they are on. Then each students has their own schedule to adhere to and follow to meet their own needs.

Our training can be a great option to solve this problem by assessing each individuals strengths and needs. Each training has a pre-assesment to gauge where each student is and allows them to drill down skill gaps and focus on those areas. Our solution also allows students to learn at their own pace, and provides them with materials that meet the needs of any and all learning styles. Self-paced training gives students the opportunity to learn at their own pace, giving teachers the opportunity to help the students who need more one-on-one time. We provide expert-led, video-based training for students who are auditory or visual learners,  workbooks are available for those who learn better by completing activities.

For more information about using Learnkey as a solution in your classroom please visit www.learnkey.com/education.


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Changing Views of Education

by Allacyn - Mar 12, 2011


I’ve seen a few animations in the past from the folks at the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts (RSA), and they were all quite interesting. They take key speeches from their events and create an intricate marker board illustration, animated to follow along with the speech. Reading some of their YouTube comments, you’ll see people saying things like “I wish my teachers did this in school, it would have helped me learn a lot easier!”

We recently came across this video, where Sir Ken Robinson talks about traditional public education, and ways to reform it to do a better job of accommodating all students.

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TCEA 2011 – After the Show

by Colin - Feb 18, 2011


We had a blast this year at TCEA and loved meeting everyone who stopped by our booth. We still have blisters on our hands from turning and testing so many keys. We look forward to next year and hope to see Ya’ll then.

There are so many of our friends in Texas that are making a difference in their student’s lives. We could not touch so many lives for the better without all of you!!

We gave away various prizes at the show, including iPods, USB flash drives, gift cards, LearnKey swag, and a Kindle – check out the image gallery below of our winners!


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Visit Art Around the World – on Your Computer!

by Allacyn - Feb 16, 2011


Have you ever wanted to walk the halls of the Palace of Versailles or get a close up view of the real The Starry Night? If you answered yes to either of these questions, you now have the opportunity to do so because of a unique partnership between Google and 17 museums around the world. If you are a teacher this is a great chance to show your students some amazing art from around the world, that they may otherwise never have the chance to see. This would be a great tool to integrate into your history lessons with all of the information provided right there for you.

The Art Project provides viewers with information about the art, artists, museums, viewing notes, and a lot more. You can also walk through and explore the museums that house some of these great art pieces. In addition, you can zoom in on the art piece, giving you an up close view and the ability to examine the brush strokes in high resolution. It also allows you to create your own artwork collection that you can share with friends and family. The best part about it, is that it is free! So if you have some extra time and want to check out some of the best art in the world while lounging in your PJ’s you now have the option to do just that!


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