Why We Recognize Bilingual Educators

A recent tweet from @DavidGeurin about the five habits of effective teachers speaks to why we do what we do at @GeniusPlaza – because we have the privilege of working with teachers that bring these five habits to life each and every day:

 

Habits_that_lead to_learning

That is why we want to celebrate the educators, administrators, and others who live by these habits and epitomize our mission of igniting the genius in every child. Today, we are launching a new series to celebrate the “best of the best” in education, and our inaugural list will celebrate bilingual educators.
Earlier this year, we opened  a call for nominations for our first list, recognizing the best bilingual educators. Today, we want to share our list of finalists, and we want your help in selecting the top five based on this list!  Voting ends at 5:00 pm ET Thursday.!We will announce the top five based on this list – we invite you to vote here:

 


Celebrating Mother Language Day

Today the world observes Mother Language Day 

This year’s celebration is devoted to education. At Genius Plaza we celebrate diversity in languages, background and experiences and join today’s celebration for Mother Language Day. We will continue to focus on our mission of igniting the genius in every child with culturally relevant, personalized learning. Watch our video to commemorate the day:

Favorite #MotherLanguageDay Teacher Tweets:

  

Favorite #MotherLanguageDay Global Tweets:


Favorite #MotherLanguageDay Education Tweets:


Black History Month: Celebrating Today’s Leaders

Black History Month: Celebrating Today’s Leaders

“I always want to be a leader,” 

Kenyana Caesar, Senior Manufacturing Engineering, Johnson & Johnson

This month, we join the Nation in paying tribute to the men and women who helped, and are helping, shape our country. Our African American Learning Champions are contributing everyday to our efforts to ignite the genius in every child.

We focus on profiling diverse professionals in STEAM careers throughout the year as part of our efforts to provide access to information on these professions.  We call these leaders our “Learning Champions,” and we hope they inspire students to become doctors like Lynn, engineers like Sherman, or scientists like Norris.

Bryan and our other Learning Champions share key insights like this one, and talk about their journey, their families, about overcoming failures, and about enjoying their successes.

“I have been to China, Indonesia, Australia, the Philippines, and every time I travel I take a deep breath and I look around, and I am like, ‘I am here…I’ve done this.” 

– Dr. Bryan Baugh, Global Medical Affairs Leader Infectious Disease and Vaccines, Johnson & Johnson

In addition to video interviews, educators and parents have access to eBooks at six reading levels in both English and Spanish, vocabulary sets, exercises, and even an animated video to begin exposing students to potential careers at a young age. These non-fiction stories have a great impact on all students as they see leaders who share similar experiences, who look like them, and to whom they can relate.

 

Our goal with STEAM careers content is to close the achievement gap by exposing students to fields and professions they may not have heard of, or don’t believe are for them. Learning more allows them to dream big, while providing teachers and parents with the tools and resources to ignite the genius in every child.

 

When you hear our Champions speak, you can’t help but be inspired, and ultimately, we hope to create the next generation inspirational leaders to follow in the footstep of Learning Champions like Lana, Bryan, and Noris.


TCEA17: The Rising Wave of EdTech

This year we sponsored the Texas Computer Education Association (TCEA) Conference in Austin Texas, and we could not be prouder. This five-day conference included professional development, presentations, workshops, and an Expo, where we at Genius Plaza demonstrated our culturally relevant, personalized learning teaching platform. We received a very warm welcome and met 300+ educators who were diligently seeking better ways to implement digital based learning in their classrooms. Most importantly, they inspired us! The enthusiasm for technology-based education was well represented with a range of educator specialties in attendance. Attendees learned how school technology leaders are innovating their classrooms from the more than 900 presentations. We spoke with:  
  • Technology Coordinators
  • District Administrators
  • Librarians
  • Media Specialist
  • Instructional and Curriculum Leaders
At our booth, no educator left without a tech tool or free resource trial! We believe that to democratize education, we must lead the way and provide the tools and resources for every classroom to succeed. Watch the clip below with highlights from this year’s conference: Technology has the power to innovate, and disrupt, every industry. We at Genius Plaza are firm believers that the next generation will take tech tools into a brand-new workforce. Schools are evolving  to reflect the 21st Century jobs our students will join and TCEA was a great event in which we met many who share our vision. Technology in the classroom is shifting from prior notions these tools are "distractions" or "extras." Genius Plaza is devoted to building educational resources that work for our community of educators, while elevating the teaching and learning experience. We invite you to join our community on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram,LinkedIn or fill out the form below to receive our free newsletter. #mc_embed_signup{background:#fff; clear:left; font:14px Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif; }
/* Add your own MailChimp form style overrides in your site stylesheet or in this style block.
We recommend moving this block and the preceding CSS link to the HEAD of your HTML file. */

Subscribe to the Genius Plaza Newsletter:

* indicates required
View previous campaigns.
(function($) {window.fnames = new Array(); window.ftypes = new Array();fnames[0]='EMAIL';ftypes[0]='email';fnames[1]='FNAME';ftypes[1]='text';fnames[2]='LNAME';ftypes[2]='text';}(jQuery));var $mcj = jQuery.noConflict(true); Tell us how you plan to innovate your classroom this year!  

Why Beyoncé is right

Why Beyoncé is right:                

You may be wondering why an education Company is talking about the Grammys or Beyoncé. Why? Because we do not want Beyoncé’s message to get lost:

It is important to me to show images to my children that reflect their beauty, so they can grow up in a world where they look in the mirror, first through their own families – as well as the news, the Super Bowl, the Olympics, the White House and the Grammys – and see themselves, and have no doubt that they’re beautiful, intelligent and capable.  This is something I want for every child of every race. –Beyoncé.

Today only a small percentage of characters and stories in education reflect the diversity of our country. Think about it – less than 2% of the content in education reflects diverse characters and yet it is estimated that more than 51% percent of students are diverse.


Research has proven the importance of role models that look like our children, which means we are currently doing a disservice to a majority of students:


That is why at Genius Plaza we are working to make sure our youth sees themselves reflected in our content  – not just during key holidays.  We do it year round by making sure that more than 90% of our content reflects this diversity  – because like Beyoncé we want all children to live in a world where they know they are “beautiful, intelligent and capable.”


Culturally Relevant, Personalized Learning Matters

Culturally Relevant, Personalized Learning Matters:                         

  If you have been following us, you know that we are a group of social entrepreneurs who believe that education is the only sustainable equalizer. Three years ago we began a journey to ignite the genius of every learner by creating an education platform dedicated to democratizing education.  

Genius Plaza, formerly called PreK12 Plaza, provides teachers, parents, and students with engaging, practical, and research-based curricula. Our results-driven team is committed to providing access to quality education for all students as a gateway to opportunity, especially for the most underserved. Our platform brings parents back in the picture by empowering families to help their children learn.

Genius Plaza’s didactic method puts the student as the central figure of their learning:

  • Learn: students learn in class or at home using the Genius Plaza personalized learning approach and resources.
  • Reflect: every learning experience has an opportunity for reflection and review.
  • Re-teach: students become the protagonists of their learning journey when they are able to re-teach what they have learned using our co-creation tools.
  • Peer review: each student takes ownership
  • of the lesson by reviewing, improving, and enhancing each other’s work.

I am extremely proud that Genius Plaza is the first multicultural education platform created to serve all communities and built by a diverse group of educators, programmers, designers, and leaders with a shared mission.

 

We invite you to join us and give the gift of learning. Please share your feedback and create content as we continue to build a learning, global community by igniting the genius in every child.

Ana Roca Castro

 


The Classic Chalkboard Game with an Edtech Twist

The Classic Chalkboard Game with an Edtech Twist:                

Hangman by Genius Plaza brings the classic game to a digital format! The app is a fun game that offers the option to play existing games created by Genius Plaza educators, OR having teachers, students, and parents create their own Hangman games. Hangman offers the option to personalize the learning for students of all ages and abilities.

When you open the app, it has all the grade options to search for games that they have already been created for those specific grade levels. There are parent and teacher buttons for you access as well. You can assign your students a game to play or create a game based on a topic that you are learning about in your classroom. When you create a game, you can make the game as easy or as difficult as you want based on your students and their academic performance. It’s incredibly easy to use! You can format and pose each question however you would like. I created a ten question Hangman game that was asking about soccer terminology (since most of the students I work with are OBSESSED with soccer). I geared the questions toward 3rd-5th grades. I asked three types of questions. I did the typical 5W questions, as well as fill in the blank questions. In addition, I asked questions like “This player tries to score for their team.”

As opposed to the classic chalkboard version, the Hangman app caters to different learning styles. On top of personalizing the game to a specific topic, there is also the option of adding images to each question to offer a clue to students that might be visual learners. For the image options, you can either access images from Genius Plaza’s bank, pull images from a search engine, or take your own photos! For auditory learners, there is the option where you can record audio of you reading the question. This option helps students who are not strong readers but still want to participate in the game. There is a button where students can turn off the audio as well. Recording is very simple and you can do it on any mobile device. You hit record, read the question, hit “save and add another question”, and you’re done. If you are having the students create their own game, you can use this to assess their reading capabilities without them realizing it! When I was a student, I HATED reading out loud. This gives students the chance to read out loud without feeling self-conscious. This game appeals to our kinesthetic learners as well because they can touch buttons and see the result right in front them.

Hangman is a game that anyone can play and use to create games. It empowers students to take charge of their learning and offers teachers an easy alternative to assessing spelling and vocabulary review besides writing exams. The app is an educational tool that personalizes fun learning for any age.