Tag Archives: BrainPOP

Paying it forward: Leveraging Today’s Female Voices in Ed Tech #SXSWedu

SXSWedu Logo
Tuesday, March 10
3:00PM – 4:00PM
Austin Convention Center Room 12AB
500 East Cesar Chavez Street 

Are you at SXSWedu? Attend Julie Evans’s panel with Dr. Kari Stubbs, Dr. Mila Thomas Fuller, and Dr. Kecia Ray.

This panel brings together female change agents intentionally gathered from across the ed tech space with the hope of examining the unique role women can play at this interesting nexus of education and technology.  The discussion will be anchored around data on the presence, role, and level of influence of female voices in education and will include personal histories and testimonies on the growth in this field.

Join the conversation to hear from and interact with Nashville district leadership, the CEO of Project Tomorrow, a Vice President from BrainPOP, and the Director of the National Council of Teachers of English, all of whom have been national leaders in their field and have lent their expertise and vision to the work of the board of ISTE, the International Society of Technology in Education.  Research has demonstrated that the today’s young girls and women need role models in technology fields to develop self-efficacy in these fields.  While women have dominated the teaching profession for over the past century, the role of women as technology leaders within education is still emerging.

This interactive discussion explores multiple paths to ed tech leadership, including through university doctoral work, leadership with state and federal grants,  school district leadership, lending thought influence to visionary agencies such as Horizon K12 and Digital Promise, research  expertise, corporate America or a membership association, and contributing to the industry conversation through publications and at conferences such as SXSWedu.  The experiences of this diverse panel of education technology leaders will provide invaluable input into new best practices for supporting young girls and women in this field.  Whether you are examining how to further your own personal voice in the space, grow your PLN and exploring new professional career paths, or you are interested in how to leverage the experiences of women who are currently in this field to mentor and coach the next great generation of female ed tech leaders, this is a conversation you won’t want to miss.

Memo #1 from Mobile Learning Week 2015

Paris, France
February 23, 2015
According to Dr. Patience Stephens, Director/Special Advisor on Education for UN-Women, it is no longer appropriate or tolerable to do a minimalist job of providing girls and women with the tools they need to improve their lives – most notably with a second-class education. What a true statement – so obvious, but still not reality, especially not in many places around the globe.  With that inspiration and a call to more fully examine how mobile devices in particular can enable and empower change for girls and women, this year’s Mobile Learning Week 2015 was off to a great start.  Today was the workshop day of the weeklong event and I was honored to be chosen from a field of 70 proposals to lead one of the 12 workshops today.  Additionally, our good friend, Dr. Kari Stubbs, Vice President of Innovation and Learning at BrainPOP asked me to participate in her workshop to provide Speak Up research support.  It was a fun and exciting day examining the intersections of STEM, digital learning, games, coding, mobile devices – and girls!  I am excited to share with you 2 big takeaways based upon the workshops today that I hope may lead to deeper discussions on these important issues in your schools, districts, organizations and communities. If they do, I would love to hear back from you!
Take-away #1:  The morning workshop was led by the BrainPOP team and focused on girls’ interest in playing learning games, creating their own games, and learning how to code using mobile devices. Speak Up data provided the contextual background for many of the learning experiences within this workshop.  What I especially liked was the high level of audience participation and interactivity within the workshop.  Participants had multiple opportunities to play different kinds of games and even try their hand at coding.  While playing learning games is always fun, the play/learn experiences was grounded in examining the content through the lens of gender-sensitivity.  While it may seem easy to identify Game X as a “boy-oriented” game and Game Y as “girl-focused,” the audience quickly realized that those superficial stereotypes were inconclusive.  Using a guide developed by Project Tomorrow for this workshop, the participants had a chance to do a deeper dive as game and content evaluators and in the process, learned a lot of about their own biases and potential blindness to gender issues in digital content, games and other instructional materials.  The guide is available with other workshop materials at http://www.tomorrow.org/UNESCOworkshop.html.   We already know that the inclusion of mobile devices increases student engagement in learning. But what if we could prove that using mobile devices helps create more gender-responsive, transformative learning environments for all students?    We have much more work to do in this arena but I was excited to see the level of interest in this topic amongst the Mobile Learning Week attendees.
Take-away #2:  In the afternoon workshop, the focus was on how to design, implement and evaluate a gender-sensitive mobile learning project.  I led this workshop with support this time from Dr. Stubbs. Based upon Project Tomorrow research in this area, we shared a new way of thinking about the evolution of a mobile planning project from a gender-sensitivity perspective, starting from the identification of your project purpose through the synthesis of research data to share with stakeholders.  But first we had to review what we meant by gender-sensitivity.  A simplified version is basically becoming more aware of gender norms, roles and relationships and how those inherent or un-intended biases or opinions influences students’ learning. The real goal here is to develop new mobile learning projects that recognize gender issues and then, strategically and deliberately create ways to minimize the impact of any gender-blind or unequal priorities or values. As you might imagine these workshop topics instigated new questions and ideas about understanding and identifying gender-sensitivity.  Several points that the audience made on this topic intrigued me; I need to do more thinking on several of the points raised. However, several questions came up as to whether the goal of gender-sensitivity was to right the wrongs of the past in terms of unequal learning opportunities for girls, or to aim for how gender issues can be mitigated to the point of truly equal education for all genders. Both approaches are important to consider especially because in some communities, there is an emerging “boy crisis” where male students are feeling like second class citizens in their schools and that perception is affecting their school performance.  Sound familiar?  So, how do we really design, implement and evaluate new mobile learning projects that enable girls to reach for the stars in educational opportunities while not dashing the dreams and aspirations of their brothers?   I have a few suggestions.  Check out the PowerPoint from today’s workshop.  Spoiler alert – the powerpoint includes brand new data findings from Speak Up 2014. Review, enjoy and pass it on: http://www.tomorrow.org/UNESCOworkshop.html.
Tuesday is the first day of the two day Mobile Learning Symposium.  The Symposium includes inspiring keynotes and plenary sessions – and a myriad of small, TedTalk like sessions on all kinds of topics related to girls, women and mobile learning.  It is going to be a full day.  Be part of the experience by following me on Twitter (@JulieEvans_PT).  I can’t wait to share with you tomorrow my new learnings from this event in our Memo #2 from Mobile Learning Week 2015!

Don’t miss Julie’s second Twitter chat – tomorrow at 8pm ET!

Julie Evans will be hosting her second Twitter chat TOMORROW (Tuesday, October 28th)! Join her at 8pm ET to discuss digital content and games. Check out some information below:

Digital Content and Games in the Classroom

Time: Tuesday, October 28th at 8PM ET/7PM CT/5PM PT

Join Julie as she discusses the role of digital content and games in the classroom. Discussion will include findings from our September 2014 report with BrainPOP, “Digital Teachers, Digital Principals: Transforming the Ways We Engage Students.”
Additionally, the following questions will be discussed during the chat:

  1. Thinking beyond engagement, what are the most important benefits of using digital content and games within instruction?
  2. How does the use of digital content in the classroom help students develop college and career ready skills?
  3. What barriers or obstacles prevent teachers and administrators from expanding their use of digital content or games in the classroom?
  4. What is the best determinant of quality in evaluating digital content and games for classroom use?
If participating, be sure to use the hashtag #SUchat in your Tweets! We hope to see you on Twitter tomorrow night at 8pm ET! Click here to sign up and receive a reminder for tomorrow’s chat.

Julie Evans is now on Twitter!

Project Tomorrow CEO, Julie Evans, is now on Twitter! She will be hosting THREE Twitter chats over the next few weeks regarding mobile learning, digital content and games in the classroom, and the benefits of blended learning. All chats will take place at 8pm Eastern Time. You can follow Julie at @JulieEvans_PT.
Below you will find all the information you need to join us on Twitter:
Evaluating Mobile Learning Join us on Tuesday, October 21st at 8pm ET to discuss mobile learning
Digital Content and Games in the Classroom Do you use digital content and games in the classroom? Join us on Tuesday, October 28th to discuss!
Blended Learning Benefits What are the benefits of blended learning in schools? Let us know on Thursday, November 6th!
As always, don’t forget to follow us on our Facebook, Twitter, and our Blog.

-The Project Tomorrow team


Evaluating Mobile Learning

Time: Tuesday, October 21st at 8PM ET/7PM CT/5PM PT

While attending the 2014 mEducation Alliance International Symposium, Julie will take content from the event and our report with Kajeet, “Making Learning Mobile: Leveraging Mobile Devices to Transform Teaching and Learning” onto Twitter during the “Evaluating Mobile Learning” Twitter chat. Join her to discuss how schools can use and evaluate mobile learning!
If participating, be sure to use the hashtag #SUchat in your Tweets!

Digital Content and Games in the Classroom

Time: Tuesday, October 28th at 8PM ET/7PM CT/5PM PT

Join Julie as she discusses the role of digital content and games in the classroom. Discussion will include findings from our September 2014 report with BrainPOP, “Digital Teachers, Digital Principals: Transforming the Ways We Engage Students.”
If participating, be sure to use the hashtag #SUchat in your Tweets!

Blended Learning Benefits

Time: Thursday, November 6th at 8PM ET/7PM CT/5PM PT

Julie will be hosting a discussion on the benefits of blended learning while she is at the 2014 iNACOL Blended Learning Symposium. During this Twitter chat, she will include topics mentioned at the symposium, as well as data from past Project Tomorrow reports, such as our report, “2013 Trends In Online Learning Virtual, Blended And Flipped Classrooms” with Blackboard K-12.
If participating, be sure to use the hashtag #SUchat in your Tweets!


Thank you for your interest and continued support of Project Tomorrow! Be sure to stay updated on all things Project Tomorrow by following us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and our Blog. Again, don’t forget to follow Julie Evans at @JulieEvans_PT!

Free webinar: Engaging Students, Empowering Learning – New Roles for Digital Content and Games in the Classroom

What: Engaging Students, Empowering Learning – New Roles for Digital Content and Games in the Classroom
Who: Julie Evans, Robert Miller, and BrainPOP
When: Wednesday, September 17 at 3:30PM EST
Research tells us that engaging students in learning has the potential to improve achievement; teachers know that instinctively.  But how to increase student engagement is still often an elusive concept in many classrooms.  Promising new developments in the use of digital content, and specifically digital and online educational games, in elementary and middle school classrooms aim to make that connection between student engagement and empowered learning more explicit.  In this webinar, Julie Evans, CEO of Project Tomorrow, will introduce a new white paper that highlights Speak Up research findings around teacher and student use of digital content and games for learning, and how administrators are increasingly supporting those efforts.  And Robert Miller, 5th grade teacher from Daytona Beach, Florida, will share examples of how digital content and games are transforming his classroom today.  With a combination of research findings and classroom practices, this webinar will provide you with new strategies and ideas to use in your classrooms this year!

About BrainPOP: Founded in 1999, BrainPOP creates animated, curricular content that engages students, supports educators, and bolsters achievement. Their award-winning online educational resources include BrainPOP Jr. (K-3), BrainPOPBrainPOP Español, and, for English language learners, BrainPOP ESL. BrainPOP is also home to GameUp, an educational games portal for the classroom.