professional development

Finding and Copying from the Alludo Catalog Just Got Easier

If you find yourself busily building games in Alludo as you get ready for the new school year, we have two updates that should help you go faster.

Enhanced Catalog Searching

When you search the catalog you can filter by district and by the date activities were updated. This allows you to focus on the results from particular districts and the most relevant or up to date activities.

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Enhanced Catalog Copying

Once you find the activities you want to copy, you can now copy multiple activities at the same time rather than having to copy one at a time.

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Both of these enhancements will help you build games faster and give you more time to complete all the other prep work you have to get done.

How to Keep Up with Professional Development Over the Summer

Educators spend all school year working on professional development. It makes sense then that these efforts would continue during the off-season — even if it’s by the pool instead of in the classroom.

Keeping up with professional development over the summer is critical for effective teaching. There’s nothing easy about fostering an optimal learning environment for students, and starting two steps behind on day one of the school year isn’t a good way to kick off.

Most districts don’t offer concerted professional development courses over the summer. That means that it’s up to teachers to embrace their own personal and professional growth and put a plan into place that will set them up for success next year. How to do it? Here are four ideas for staying on track with professional development this summer.

#1 Focus On What You Enjoy

Summer is the perfect time to really dive in to the areas of professional development that you’re passionate about. Tailoring your PD efforts to the things that truly spark your interest is a great way to ensure that you stay motivated. It’s also an opportunity to dig a little bit deeper into a subject that you might not have as much time to devote to during the school year.

#2 Level Up Your Tech Skills

Every year brings new technologies — and new ways to interact with existing tech — into the classroom. Use your off time to get better acquainted with various tools you might use in your blended classroom. Take an online course and become a Google Certified Educator (the certification exam is only $10!), or study up on specific tools you can use with your students, such as video platforms and kid-friendly search engines. The more you learn about what tech is out there, the better you can incorporate it into your classroom.

#3 Attend a Conference

If you’ve got the time and the budget, consider attending one of the many educational conferences that take place over the summer. They’re an excellent way to network with your peers and find out what strategies are working for them. They’re also a chance to learn about advancements in professional development — particularly ed tech tools like ours — that could be of use to you later. Worst case scenario? You gain a bit of insight into how to expand on your professional development and eat a few free lunches in the process.

#4 Hear From the Experts

A simple Google search for professional development webinars brings up a wealth of free resources for teachers who are looking to grow their knowledge base over the summer months. Set yourself a goal, such as watching two a week, and discover how easy it is to achieve professional growth in between cook outs and beach days. Circle back to tip #1 and focus on the topics that you’re most intrigued by, but make a point of branching out into other topics too — you never know when you might learn something invaluable.

You don’t have to be all work and no play this summer (and you shouldn’t be!), but avoid the summer slide on professional development by brushing up when you can and in the way that makes the most sense for your schedule and your goals. Come August, you’ll be feeling energized and refreshed, with all the fuel you need to go full speed into the year ahead.

3 Budget Planning Challenges Alludo Can Help You Solve

There’s nothing easy about educational budget planning. But when you’re tasked with helping ensure that your teachers get the professional development they need, figuring out how to work around common budget planning challenges isn’t just another obstacle—it’s your job.

Educational spending is on the rise. Per-student expenditures at public elementary and secondary schools were 15% higher in 2014-2015 than they were in 2000-2001, according to the most recent data from the National Center for Educational Statistics. Those expenditures include everything from salaries and employee benefits to classroom services and supplies. These days, it’s hard enough to find room in the budget for coffee in the teachers’ lounge, let alone sustained professional development.

Of course, professional development isn’t just something you can push aside until you get more funding. And that’s where Alludo comes in. Here are three budget planning challenges our platform can help you work around to achieve better training and better teaching practices.

Challenge 1: A disconnect between your budget and your long-term goals

A lot of districts struggle to find a balance between their short-term expenditures and their long-term objectives. But progress is important, and if your budget only focuses on immediate needs you’re not going to achieve the necessary gains your students—and your district—require.

How we can help: Instead of allotting funding to a one-time workshop or training course, Alludo lets you invest in a solution that trickles out improvements at a consistent pace. Teachers manage their professional development on their own time, meaning you get closer to your long-term goals even while you’re focused on your short-term necessities.

Challenge 2: Difficulties with accountability

District boards want to know not just what you’re using your funding for, but why. Showing clear value behind your spending decisions isn’t always easy though, especially when it comes to professional development. Accountability requires that you provide markers of progress, not just proof that the training happened.

How we can help: We’re all about helping you demonstrate the value of your professional development expenditures. With our digital badges, teachers get instant rewards for their progress, and you get a visual representation of who is achieving what and when. It’s an easy way to track professional development spending on an individual level, and to see the big picture outcomes of your investment.

Challenge 3: Ensuring solutions are scalable

When there isn’t money to waste, it’s crucial that your professional development budget gets activated as efficiently as possible. Whether you’re overseeing the roll-out of teacher training for one school and a dozen staff, or an entire district and hundreds of teachers all with different training needs, your professional development platform better be able to flex with your needs and budget.

How we can help: Since Alludo allows administrators to easily manage professional development curriculum on a centralized system, the amount of effort required for serving training is the same no matter the number of participants. Plus, since Alludo’s training is self-directed and remotely accessible, resources aren’t required for assembling teachers at costly and inefficient group seminars; instead, teachers advance at their own pace, and access the specific and personalized training that’s most relevant to them.

Meet your 2019/2020 budgeting obstacles head-on. Sign up for a free Alludo demo and learn how you can reduce costs (and spend on what matters) all with one fun and easy platform.

Effective Educator Collaboration with Padlet

Effective Educator Collaboration with Padlet

Collaboration has become a serious buzzword in education over the past few years. Teachers are encouraged to collaborate with one another, and foster collaboration among their students. Project-based learning, collaborative classroom environments, and collaborative tech tools are becoming increasingly popular. Is this intense focus on collaboration just edu-jargon? The research says no.