Can you have both educational standards and personalized education?

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I want to respond to comments I have heard on the topic of personalized education that say standards are the antithesis of local control, flexibility, creativity and personalization. Obviously, if we standardized everything about education and applied that standard to all students, we would have a system much less local, creative and personal than we  … Read more

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Essential Elements and 3 Core Enablers of Personalized Learning

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Every now and then there is a new buzzword in the education industry but the one topic that refuses to fizzle out is “Personalized learning/education” and how we can achieve this. It is one of the most popular terms in education. As per Wikipedia, ”Personalized learning is the tailoring of pedagogy, curriculum and learning environments by  … Read more

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2015 VSBA Conference this week

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I am excited to have another opportunity to meet with the Virginia educators next week at the VSBA Conference. We are excited about the level of interest Virginia educators have shown in the unique capabilities of eScholar myTrack®, particularly our focus on student goals, interventions and alerts. Having been chosen as one of only two  … Read more

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Security & Privacy – Protecting Student Data

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One of the first things that struck me when we became involved in education data nearly 20 years ago was how educators prioritize safeguarding student data. It makes sense when you consider the focus educators place on protecting students. Since that moment, we have embraced this same set of priorities:   Protect students and their data. Use  … Read more

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eScholar and the Student Privacy Pledge

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Recently, eScholar signed the Student Privacy Pledge, an initiative to increase educational technology transparency and detail ongoing education data industry practices. We’re pleased to be a signatory of this Pledge but we understand that we have to go beyond the Pledge to meet the unique needs of each of our customers. Shawn Bay founded eScholar  … Read more

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NYSCATE 2014: I’m Keynote Speaker Shawn Bay and I’d Like Your Input.

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NYSCATE’s annual conference has always been about interaction and collaboration. Sure we’re a bunch of technology geeks, but technology is only useful insofar as it helps people. I’m honored and excited to be one of NYSCATE 2014’s keynote speakers. I’ll be speaking on Monday, November 24th at 2:30 p.m. in the Rochester Convention Center’s Exhibit  … Read more

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Personalized Education Can Improve Attendance

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In 1852, Massachusetts became the first U.S. state to make school attendance mandatory. Every child between the ages of eight and fourteen was required to go to class for at least three months out of the year. The government fined families $20 for truancy, which is approximately $622 in today’s dollars. Those Massachusetts legislators were  … Read more

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How High Can You Jump?

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As many of you know, I’m the proud parent of two great kids. My daughter is a sophomore in high school, and my son is now a senior and working on his college applications. A while ago, he and I were working our way through his SAT prep book when the remarkable happened. He relaxed  … Read more

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Let’s Be Problem Solvers at SXSWedu 2015

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SXSWedu is one of education’s largest gatherings with the stated purpose of “fostering innovation by hosting a diverse and energetic community.” They do a pretty good job at this, but after attending the conference these past two years, I’ve always felt like there was something missing. The majority of sessions at SXSWedu follow a standard  … Read more

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eScholar’s Perspective on The Protecting Student Privacy Act of 2014

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Parents and students should have more control over how data about them and their education are used. We believe they should have this control regardless of who is managing their data on their behalf. In our experience, most school districts, state education agencies and higher education institutions take advantage of a mix of in-house and “outside parties” to run their operations, including managing data. If this is done well, it should appear seamless to the parent and student. No matter who is managing the data, all parties must be held to the same standards to provide transparency while still protecting student privacy.

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Goals Matter Contest Winner: Anna, Age 11

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This spring, eScholar held a Goal Matters Essay and Video Contest for students ages 8-17. As we read and watched hundreds of creative entries to choose winners and finalists, we were inspired by how driven, articulate, and optimistic these young students are. It’s clear that they are serious about their future aspirations. Many are motivated  … Read more

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Goals Matter Contest Winner: Zakiyyah, Age 15

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When we launched the inaugural eScholar student contest last year around the theme of why education matters, it became clear from the entries we received that most students understood their education is relevant because they all had clear goals they wanted to achieve. Focused on personalized education with a mission to help individual student succeed  … Read more

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Announcing the Winners of Goals Matter!

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When I was a teacher, I loved learning about my students’ goals and seeing how they worked to achieve them over the course of the school year. This year, the eScholar contest provided us with that insight, except instead of learning about student goals over the course of a year, we learned about the goals  … Read more

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Addressing Security and Privacy

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Data privacy and security are issues that I, along with the rest of the eScholar team, take very seriously. Recently, Stephanie Simon, education editor at Politico.com, published an article called “Data Mining Your Children”. In the article, Ms. Simon included a statement about eScholar. The statement reads: “The data storage and analytics firm eScholar, which sells software to  … Read more

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Announcing eScholar’s Annual Student Contest: Goals Matter

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It’s finally spring, and that means school’s almost out for the summer.  As students and teachers prepare to wrap up this school year, it’s the perfect time to take a quick break to celebrate all the great things students have learned and accomplished. Last spring, we launched our inaugural annual student contest with Make My  … Read more

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CoSN 2014: Smart Data vs. Big Data

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If we want the education data and personalized education movements to succeed, we must focus on quality, not quantity. Smart Data, not Big Data, can help personalize education.

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Teacher Prep: Five Essentials for 2014 +

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A lot has changed in technology since the days that I was a classroom teacher over a decade ago.  That is putting it mildly.  My students had access to three computers in the back of the room that took about half a class period to power up and had internet connections as speedy as rush  … Read more

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Introducing New eScholar Bloggers

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I’ve been blogging here at eScholar for over two years. It’s been a great place for me to engage with our readers. I’m not about to stop posting anytime soon, but I figured: Why should I be the only eScholar team member having fun writing? So, it’s time for a blog renovation. You already probably  … Read more

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Our Commitment to Student Privacy

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In our last post, you heard from one of my colleagues, Elissa Seto. This month, I’ve invited Wolf Boehme, President of eScholar, to share his thoughts on the topic of student privacy. Our Commitment to Student Privacy Recently, Margo Day, the Vice President of US Education for Microsoft, wrote a post on TechNet about the need  … Read more

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Education Datapalooza 2014

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Last week eScholar had the privilege of attending the 2014 Education Datapalooza, hosted by the White House and the US Education Department (USED). Unfortunately I came down with the flu at the last minute, but eScholar Product Marketing Manager Elissa Seto was able to attend. Below is her reflection on the event. Personalizing the Route  … Read more

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The Freedom to Listen

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Lately there has been a lot of discussion aimed at interpreting the underlying motives behind various initiatives in the education industry.  It seems as though certain high-profile initiatives in education are suspected of being driven by ulterior motives.  Many times, citizens suspect political motives when the initiatives are supported by politicians, regardless of their political  … Read more

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What’s the Common Thread of Success?

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Over the past 16 years of working in education, I have learned a lot from both teachers and students. As someone who has focused more than half of his career on helping educators use data, I’ve spent a great deal of time looking into data to find the common thread of success. This may be surprising,  … Read more

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EngageNY Road Show

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Over the past couple of weeks, I have had the opportunity to travel around New York State as a part of the EngageNY Portal rollout.  It has been a great time to reflect on the past 16 years. Since I founded the eScholar company in 1997 working with one school district in Western New York,  … Read more

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Make My Education Matter – The Winning Essays

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June was a busy month for us. With over 100 high-quality submissions for our Make My Education Matter contest, we definitely had our hands full. Last month, we were able to narrow down our submissions to just a few finalists, and then a winner for each of the categories. As I mentioned in my previous  … Read more

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Education and Goals

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Well, over the past 24 hours we have seen a large number of new submissions for our contest, Make My Education Matter. Either people were taking advantage of all the time available to think it through, or maybe procrastinating?  Based on the quality of the responses, I believe most of you were really thinking it through! After  … Read more

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Keep Those Contest Entries Coming

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We are very excited about the quality of the submissions we have received so far on the Make My Education Matter contest.  We have received submissions from across the country that cover quite a range of ways in which your education matters to you and to society as a whole.  Some students focused on the  … Read more

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