Officials of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands Public School System credited McREL’s research on leadership for helping their first Virtual Leadership Institute succeed, according to an item in the Marianas Variety.
Tech & Learning Magazine’s 2019 Award of Excellence announcement included a McREL ed-tech partner: Discovery Education. The magazine gave the company a top nod for its product Discovery Education Experience, the latest iteration of their popular Streaming Plus service, in the Best Re-Invention of a Classic Legacy Technology category.
In Discovery Education’s press release about the award, they mention that the instructional strategies they offer within the product are “aligned to McREL International’s 6-Phase Model of Learning.” This model uses research and science on the brain and memory to explain how students learn, retain, recall, and apply information in the classroom, and provides a sequence of instruction that teachers can use to maximize learning.
Discovery Education is “laser-focused on creating innovative, educator-centric, digital experiences that support educators’ efforts to improve student achievement,” said Pete Weir, Discovery Education’s chief product officer.
Discovery Education Experience’s standards-aligned content is assignable and can be bookmarked and saved for later use and remixed to meet the varying needs of diverse student populations in a safe and secure environment. The service’s ever-growing digital content collections, as well as a library of immersive virtual field trips, are drawn from trusted partners.
Discovery Education recently announced the creation of the STEM Careers Coalition and has contracted McREL to perform a multi-year evaluation of the initiative’s impact. In this news item published by Yahoo Finance, Lori McFarling, Discovery Education’s president of corporate partnerships, explains that the project aims to provide free digital content to 10 million students by 2025 to prepare them for the science, technology, engineer, and mathematics work that will be ever more significant in the future. The coalition, which includes some of the biggest names in American business and industry, is reaching out to families in public, private, charter, and tribal schools to build support for STEM education and careers.
Cheryl Abla, a McREL expert on professional learning and effective instruction, participated in the Classroom Q&A With Larry Ferlazzo blog, hosted by Education Week, on the question of, “What does ‘student engagement’ mean, and what can we do to promote it in our classrooms?” To Cheryl, “student engagement means connectedness . . . it’s where attitudes and skill sets collide.” She provided seven research-inspired tactics that teachers can put into play ASAP. Several other national experts contributed great ideas, too.
The education technology publication THE Journal continued its coverage of a national school safety grant program offered by Global Grid for Learning (GG4L) that involves McREL as an program evaluation partner. Through GG4L, schools can get free access to 45 “curated” products that support seven areas of student safety: emergency preparedness, emotional and behavioral health, digital and online safety, physical campus security, physical health and wellness, engaged community, and healthy culture. As schools use the products, McREL will conduct evaluation studies of the products’ efficacy and outcomes. The journal quoted GGFL’s CEO, Robert Iskander, as saying, “Data-driven, evidence-informed decision making is essential for those charged with school safety and student wellness.”
A South Carolina superintendent up for his annual board review told the local NBC affiliate that whatever score he gets, it’ll be fair because it comes from McREL’s Central Office and Superintendent Evaluation System.
“I’ve used this instrument in other places, and it’s a nationally known model that’s highly reliable and valid,” Dr. Eddie Ingram of the Berkeley County School District told WCBD-TV.
Ingram predicted he’ll get a “proficient” rating, same as the previous year, which he thought was fair because he’s “still developing in some areas,” such as how to increase personalized learning.
McREL’s Central Office and Superintendent Evaluation System is based on research and analysis of leadership practices that are strongly connected with higher levels of student achievement and organizational improvement.
McREL CEO Bryan Goodwin presented at a large international conference in Doha, Qatar, in April, and the Gulf Times took note. The paper noted that Goodwin, under the sponsorship of the U.S. State Department, traveled to the Fourth Annual International Education Conference of the Qatar Ministry of Education and Higher Education to share McREL’s findings on applying the science of learning to instructional design, as well as what school leaders can do to support effective schools. The conference, themed “Education That Makes a Difference,” drew 1,000 educators from the Persian Gulf states and beyond, the paper said.
McREL International CEO Bryan Goodwin and his counterpart at Community Training and Assistance Center, William J. Slotnik, dug into the research related to a commonly held belief that teachers’ professional skills reach a plateau early in their careers and then barely budge. Their reexamination of the research found this conventional wisdom to be a fallacy, as they outline in the April 2019 issue of Phi Delta Kappan. The authors then present key ways that districts can set aside these past beliefs and encourage a lifetime of learning with a smarter approach to talent development.
The education technology publication THE Journal reported on a grant project of McREL International and the Global Grid for Learning to disburse $25 million worth of safety solutions to as many as 500 schools, and then study the effectiveness of the technologies deployed. The 16 participating vendors focus on a wide variety of safety-related issues, from emotional well-being to managing sports injuries to keeping in touch with parents. McREL’s role will be to build “a better evidence base that helps educators and parents make informed decisions about which approaches will work best for their students and schools,” CEO Bryan Goodwin said.
Education Week blogger Larry Ferlazzo turned to McREL CEO Bryan Goodwin and other leading education commentators for his Thanksgiving question of the week: What are effective strategies for having students teach their classmates and other peers? McREL has embraced reciprocal teaching and peer feedback (among teachers as well as students) for years and, as Goodwin shared in the blog, they are important components of several of our books, quick guides, and whitepapers, including Classroom Instruction That Works and The 12 Touchstones of Good Teaching. Goodwin acknowledges that students can feel awkward at first about giving and receiving peer feedback, and gives a few protocols teachers can use to help students ease into their new role as peer educators. “Reciprocal teaching is a good strategy to help students capture, organize, and reflect on important facts, concepts, ideas, and processes they will need to access later,” he said.