Extraordinary Edcite Teachers

We are full of gratitude for our extraordinary teacher community and wish all teachers a Happy Teacher Appreciation Week! Below we have highlighted just a few of the teachers who have inspired us this year.

Positive Teachers 

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Rocky River City Schools teachers

Jana Mitchell has just begun to dive into Edcite and her excitement is overwhelming. Not only did she create her final for her kids, she is now working on getting all of her chapter tests into Edcite for next year. She asks many questions, and I am so grateful that I can help her use this tool the way she wants. So excited to have another person share my love of Edcite!!!!! – Joslin Lee, Biology Teacher, Benjamin Logan High School and Edcite Evangelist

I want to thank all of the teachers in Rocky River City Schools. I helped our team member Julia Sweeney lead a district-wide PD, and the teachers there are incredibly professional, collaborative, and willing to learn new technology skills. – Nicole Bixler, Content and Outreach, Edcite

Brianne Huber is an Edcite Schools teacher from Dover Intermediate School in Westlake, Ohio, who is becoming an expert in creating content on Edcite so that she can better prepare her students for the Ohio State Test. – Josie Mittleman, PD and Curriculum Strategist, Edcite

I was able to meet our Teacher of the Month Maria Sohns at Sunman-Dearborn Middle School in Indiana. Her students use digital programs, including Edcite, every day and are completely engaged in learning language arts! Her students are curious, knowledgeable, and very respectful. She’s done a stellar job as a teacher! – Nicole Bixler, Content and Outreach, Edcite

Carita Carryl introduced Edcite to her 9th grade students at West Boca High School in Boca Raton, Florida. This technology-enhanced practice helped students prepare for the type of questions they were required to answers on the FSA. – Josie Mittleman, PD and Curriculum Strategist, Edcite

Super Content Creators

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Teacher Rachel Brown

Jessica Beckford, a teacher at McArthur High School in Broward County, Florida has created exceptional high school math content and gives her students authentic practice for the FSA. – Josie Mittleman, PD and Curriculum Strategist, Edcite

Pam Sever, a science teacher at John Adams Middle School in Santa Monica, California has truly impressed me this year! She has been creating really engaging science assignments on Edcite and has shared her expertise with her entire science team. – Nicole Bixler, Content and Outreach, Edcite

Melissa Runyon has given lots of great feedback on improving writing in Edcite for students and teachers. She also creates lots of wonderful middle school English content for Bryant Public Schools! – Brian McIntosh, Edcite Product Manager and Computer Science Teacher

Rachel Brown is a 6th grade language arts teacher at Dekalb Middle School in Indiana who has created very strong content for her entire team. She is an Edcite pro! – Nicole Bixler, Content and Outreach, Edcite

Joseph Winters from Four Corners High School, part of the Charter Schools USA network, has created an entire writing curriculum in Edcite Schools, helping prepare his students for the FSA writing exam. – Josie Mittleman, PD and Curriculum Strategist, Edcite

Carissa Stevens is a math teacher at Logan-Hocking Middle School in Ohio who has created a lot of strong 5th grade math content and has shared it with the Edcite community. I encourage teachers to check out her assignment collections and follow her on Edcite Social! – Nicole Bixler, Content and Outreach, Edcite

Teachers Leading the Way

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Christine Salcido and Edcite team member Brian McIntosh

Christine Salcido, Math Department Chair at Pacheco High School, helped set up Edcite Schools in Los Banos Unified School District and has created a MASSIVE amount of great content on the site. She is also great at finding and trying out new features on Edcite! – Brian McIntosh, Edcite Product Manager and Computer Science Teacher

Opal Ferron, a coach at Plantation High School in Broward County, Florida has not only learned how to create content and assign assignments to students on Edcite, but she has encouraged every teacher in her school to use the platform so that all students have engaged practice with technology enhanced questions. – Josie Mittleman, PD and Curriculum Strategist, Edcite

Shelby Swartout and Kelly Cooper have helped lead Edcite professional development sessions, worked with Edcite creators to make Edcite Schools better, and created amazing assignments to help their students master the ELA and Social Studies Standards. Edcite is an amazing product but having great teachers like Shelby Swartout and Kelly Cooper to create and administer assignments on Edcite makes measuring learning a success! – Courtney Stewart, Technology Coordinator for Mary Blount Elementary School in Tennessee and Edcite Evangelist

Nikolaos Chatzopoulos from Plato Academy, located on the West Coast of Florida, has engaged his entire network of schools in EdTech by creating a symposium where educators can discuss technology that works in the classroom and has introduced Edcite Schools to Plato Academy. – Josie Mittleman, PD and Curriculum Strategist, Edcite

Andress Scott, a Literacy Specialist in Bryant Public Schools in Arkansas, has done a great job advocating for teachers she supports, helping Bryant create lots of great common assessments, and she is using Edcite’s rubric report to improve writing all over her district. Last but not least, she introduced me to a wonderful bakery in Bryant! – Brian McIntosh, Edcite Product Manager and Computer Science Teacher

Lucy Zarut-Bellon from North Hialeah Elementary School in Miami-Dade County, Florida, is an Edcite Schools leader extraordinaire and has created incredible Edcite assignments for her elementary-aged students. – Josie Mittleman, PD and Curriculum Strategist, Edcite

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Thank you from the Edcite Team!

Learning from Our First Million Users

 

Last week we exceeded one million teachers and students on Edcite and it is such an important milestone for our team! Getting here has been a great experience, and we’ve learned a lot from our users. While the product has evolved tremendously over the feedback from a million people, I have been more struck by how my understanding of teaching has transformed during this time. My appreciation and respect for our teacher community has only grown, and in honor of Teacher Appreciation Week, I would like to mark this occasion with a reflection on all that teachers do.

Teachers are everything people.

As an engineer, I have always considered myself a math person, but a teacher has to be an everything person. There is no room for stereotypes among educators because they have to be ready for literally anything at any moment. As a student and then a parent, I thought I had a good understanding of what a teacher did throughout the day, but after working alongside so many educators as a digital complement, I have seen the number of hats teachers wear. Teachers are computer scientists; I have seen teachers identify a tech issue when they arrive at school and have it resolved before students arrive. Teachers are designers; we’ve gotten so much great feedback about how to present the page, and we implement it. Teachers are product developers; have you seen the word game and array question type on our page? Yep, teachers helped design them.

At Edcite, we will make sure we welcome the feedback from every hat teachers wear and build a platform flexible to meet the everything needs!

Teachers carry an increasing load, and while they are in fact doing it, they shouldn’t have to.

In the section above I described the many hats that teachers wear, but an accompanying realization I have had during our growth at Edcite is the increasing burden being placed on teachers. Are teachers capable of spinning a thousand plates at once? Probably. Should they have to? No. We’ve heard loud and clear from teachers that there is more expected and, often, with less support. This section may seem like I’m just stating the obvious here, but this is more than an observation–this is a commitment. Teachers are doing more and more with less and less, and we at Edcite will do our part to fight that trend. Feedback is so valuable for students, but it needn’t come at the expense of teachers’ livelihood. Time is a factor, and making sure teachers get time to build a sustainable balance is something that isn’t getting enough priority from many stakeholders. The lessons I have learned about educators aren’t all positive, but they are important. It’s not enjoyable to think about the increasingly unreasonable demands being placed on teachers, but it has to happen and we all can play a part in addressing it.

At Edcite, we will make sure that sustainable teaching and student feedback are not mutually exclusive. 

Teachers give meaning to an increasingly data-driven world.

We all hear how much assessment data drives school and district goals, but it is the teachers who bring meaning to the numbers. While I’ve come to understand how controversial state assessments are, feedback from our Edcite teachers has shown me that there is little disagreement on the value of formative assessments. Teachers want tools that will give them the autonomy to create formative assessments precisely aligned to their students’ needs. They also want tools that will help them quickly assess data about what their students have learned. Plus, when given these tools, teachers are more than willing to share and collaborate within a community. The outcome from this is that teachers help students succeed.

At Edcite, we will continue to provide ways for teachers to quickly assess student learning and to share their expertise within the Edcite community.

Teachers are irreplaceable.

Although Edcite is an educational technology company, our platform thrives because of great teaching in the classroom. With the early hype around online education, some saw a future where we would no longer need as many teachers. Computers would provide the bulk of instruction to students, and teachers would become secondary figures. This cannot work, though. From what I’ve learned while working with teachers, direct human connection from the teacher to the student has the biggest impact on student learning. Even with all the resources in the world, without that teacher, most students will not be motivated or understand the reason for learning, especially in the formative years of development. Thus, unlike some other professions, teachers will always be needed and are in no danger of being replaced by computers.

At Edcite, we will continue to find ways to appreciate our teachers and improve our platform based on their feedback.

On behalf of Edcite, I want to thank all of the teachers who have been part of our first million users. You all have taught me, and the rest of the Edcite Team, so much.

Time To Give Thanks

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As we celebrated our two year anniversary last month, we couldn’t think of a better way to acknowledge the help we’ve received from teachers than by giving back to our teacher community. This is why we committed to releasing weekly ‘product presents’, implementing at least one change each week that our users would find valuable. Read on for more information about our new and exciting updates. Enjoy!

Google Sign-Up

Teachers and students can create accounts and sign into Edcite using Google emails. If you already have an Edcite account, with a non gmail address–don’t worry. We have created a process to link your existing Edcite account with your gmail account. Go ahead and follow the instructions on this one pager.

We hope this will make the sign-up and sign-in processes way faster for you and your students!

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Improved Rubrics: For Teachers AND Students!

A. Grading With A Rubric:

Teachers can now grade rubrics more easily because of 2 enhancements. First, teachers can now use more complex rubrics that grade along 2-dimensions. Also, teachers can now see the entire rubric at once and merely click on the score of their choice, rather than needing to chose from a drop-down.

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How does this look for kids? On their summary reports, students can see when rubrics are available for a question. They can also open the rubric and see which rubric scores were selected by their teacher.

B. ACT Rubrics

We added the ACT Rubrics for our site for teachers in states using ACT Aspire. You can also find useful Common Core rubrics in our ‘Rubric Library’.

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3. New Assignment Settings

We’ve had lots of teacher requests about different assignment features, and we were able to add a lot of them this month! We now have settings that can help teachers administer summative assessments more easily on Edcite, such as: setting a time window for each assignment, restricting access to assignments, and disabling features like question by question feedback.

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4. New Report Features:

A. Summary Report Is Clickable:

When you click on a name in a summary report, you will pull up that student’s individual summary report. And, this leads to Part B below…

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B. Individual Student Reports Can Now Be Printed:

We also have a printable version of each student’s summary report, so now you can print the report and send it home with students!

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We hope you enjoy these product presents. At Edcite, we are committed to enhancing the value of our platform for teachers and students over the long-term. So stay tuned for more in our 3rd year!

Please reach out to us anytime (hello@edcite.com) with any suggestions you have! Even when it’s not our birthday month, we’re committed to accommodating our beloved community and hear your suggestions.

 

15 Ways Teachers Define Summer

With New York and New Jersey schools ending this week, summer has officially reached classrooms across the country! To spearhead festivities across the country, we wanted to celebrate summer and acknowledge what it means — truly means — for teachers. Thank you to all the educators who shared their thoughts and funnies with us and helped us make this blog post happen!

#SummerIs…

1. Pure bliss

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2. Relaxation

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3. Recharging

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4. Celebrating

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5. Time for camp!

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Some camps, like Camp Phoenix in Oakland, California, focus on creating the joyful camp atmosphere while also working to prevent Summer Learning Loss (SLL). Learn more at thecampphoenix.org!

6. Time to reboot

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7. Time to sharpen the saw

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The ‘Sharpen the Saw’ concept comes from Covey’s book, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. For more info, click here!

8. Catching up on reading!

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9. The reason I teach…

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10. Planning and getting ahead!

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11. A time to explore! (PBL? Edcite?)

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12. An opportunity to reflect, revitalize and reinvent

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13. The beginning of next year

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14. A chance to gather momentum for the journey ahead

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15. Having fun!

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~ We hope you enjoy your summer break! You deserve it. ~

15 Reasons Teachers Are Superheroes

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1. They inspire.

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2. They care. And they care deeply.

Veterans Memorial Elementary teacher Lisa Heben receives goodbye hugs from students in her K1 class Thursday as Collier County closed out it's school year and sending students off on summer break until August 23. Heben and her co-teacher Kathy Morrow donned flight suits as part of their classroom program "awesome aviators" which introduces kindergarten students to the school system as co-pilots and sends them off to return as first grade student "pilots."   Michel Fortier/Staff
Big hugs and teary goodbyes — par for the course for a teacher! Photo of elementary school teacher, Lisa Heben, from naplesnews.com.

4. They are ever-patient.

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5. They can do 15 things at once, and still appear calm.

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6. They can say everything, without saying anything at all.

Professor McGonagall has a formidable “teacher stare”. Source: fanpop.com

7. They open up young minds.

shutterstock_2060322258. They are the best role models.

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9. They always believe in their students and can see the best in their students, even when the student can’t see it him/herself.

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10. They never stop thinking about how they can help their students. They work hard, day in and day out, to meet the needs of each student.

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11. They spark a lifelong love of learning.

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12. They shape the people that will one day be political leaders, doctors, or teachers.

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13. Even though we don’t appreciate them nearly as often or as well as we should, they keep swimming.

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14. They believe in the power of their students and help their students dream big.

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14. They are changing the world.

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So thank you, teachers for all you do. You make the world a better place each and every day, and for that we are indebted to you. And huge thank you to everyone for shared their thoughts and contributed to this post! 

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