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Bright Ideas for Student-Centered Learning

3 Unconventional Updates to Your District’s Writing Curriculum

By Tatum Travers October 17, 2017

“Writing instruction 30 years ago was a relatively simple affair: The typical assignment consisted of a few sentences ...

7 Mistakes to Avoid As You Champion Creative and Critical Thinking

By Tatum Travers August 21, 2017

Creativity and critical thinking are rapidly becoming two of the most important skills a student can acquire in the digital age.

Solving California’s Writing Problem

By Tatum Travers August 18, 2017

According to the NAEP, only 25% of California 8th graders are proficient writers. Fortunately, pedagogical shifts and classroom technology are making it easier than ...

Survey Suggests Administrator Priorities Are Changing

By Tatum Travers July 24, 2017

When learning and student development are at stake, it’s tempting to take the time-tested pedagogical path.

That being said, purposeful technology ...

Google for Education Selects Frontier for “Media Literacy Apps on Chromebooks” Program

By eSpark Learning June 26, 2017

eSpark Learning is proud to announce that Frontier has been selected for Google for Education’s "Media Literacy Apps ...

ISTE 2017 Preview: What to Expect from This Year’s Conference

By Tatum Travers June 22, 2017

ISTE is just a few days away, and the team at eSpark Learning is about to head to San Antonio to learn from the nation’s most innovative and dedicated educators. As ...

How to Teach Writing like a Bestselling Author

By Sarah Guckert May 12, 2017

Jodi Picoult, Laraine Herring, and Jen Bryant offer advice on how educators can inspire students to write and open minds to the world outside the classroom


Solving 5 Common Challenges of Writing Instruction

By Tatum Travers May 5, 2017

By the time they reach 8th grade, only 24% of US students are proficient writers. In this infographic, find 5 solutions for building stronger writers.


The School District Roadmap to Strategic Planning Success

By Tatum Travers March 24, 2017

A strategic plan helps districts navigate ambitious instructional goals. When building your strategic plan, avoid these common detours.

Taking Risks in the Classroom with Jennie Magiera

By eSpark Learning March 16, 2017

Jennie Magiera began her career as a teacher at Chicago Public Schools and then served as the Digital Learning Coordinator for the Academy For Urban School ...

3 Digital Resources for Black History Month

By Tatum Travers February 10, 2017

In honor of Black History Month, we're highlighting a few of our favorite apps, activities, and videos that celebrate African American history and achievement.


Prioritizing Student Joy

By Tatum Travers December 15, 2016

A 2015 survey of over 900,000 public school students found that ...

How School Districts Are Shaping the Edtech They Use

By David Vinca and Tatum Travers November 2, 2016

At eSpark Learning, we want to reimagine classrooms so that they’re student-centered, allowing students to succeed in school and in life. I’m really proud of our ...

Nurturing the 4Cs with Creative Research Projects

By Tatum Travers October 20, 2016

In order to prepare students for the jobs of the future, teachers are eager for resources that contextualize math and ELA standards ...

Finding Innovation in Google Apps for Education

By Tatum Travers August 26, 2016

By 2020, Google Apps for Education is predicted to have over 110 million ...

Tapping into Creativity with Student Choice

By Tatum Travers August 1, 2016

In a recent TED Talk, Dr. Michael Nagler advocated for student-centered ...

The Case for Curated Curriculum

By Alyssa Kasanoff and Mary Gurley July 15, 2016

As educators have come to realize that differentiation is an essential component of effective instruction, it’s become increasingly ...

ISTE 2016: Educational Equity, Lifelong Learning, and a Simpler Approach to Edtech

By Tatum Travers July 11, 2016

At the end of June, eSpark joined the thousands of district and edtech leaders headed to Denver, CO to meet innovative educators and ...

Reinforcing Learning with Synthesis Videos

By eSpark Learning June 15, 2016

Student privacy is of the utmost importance to eSpark, and we comply to the Children's Online ...

The Importance of Technology in Education, Pt. 2

By eSpark Learning June 8, 2016

Ashley and Chris used to teach kindergarten in the Midwest. Now, they both work at eSpark. In the following interview, find out what inspired them to work ...

The Importance of Technology in Education

By eSpark Learning May 31, 2016

A few years ago, Shannon and Anthony were teaching in the Bronx. After seeing first-hand the importance of technology in education, they joined the team at ...

Misinterpreting Grit

By Tatum Travers May 18, 2016

In Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance, Angela Duckworth explores the accessibility of achievement, arguing that anyone can be a high performer with ...

Six Steps to Project Based Learning

By Tatum Travers May 2, 2016

In 2015, the bipartisan Every Student Succeeds Act signaled the end of one-size-fits-all ...

The Importance of Family and Parent Involvement in Schools

By Candace Mittel April 25, 2016

Traditionally, students’ families meet with teachers just once or twice a year at parent-teacher conferences. Many parents believe that any additional communication ...

Finding Inspiration within the League of Innovative Schools

By Tatum Travers April 18, 2016

For the past five years, Digital Promise’s League of Innovative ...

Growth Mindset Starts with District Leaders

By Candace Mittel April 11, 2016

There has been a lot of buzz about “growth mindset” in the education community. Just ask any current teacher, and chances are she’ll ...

How Districts Can Inspire Lifelong Learning

By Tatum Travers April 6, 2016

When you were a kid, what did you geek out on? You might have wanted to be an astronaut and read every book about space that you ...

Helping Students Discover the Joy of Learning

By Athena Lo March 21, 2016

This school year, eSpark students have gotten to know “Rocky,” a new companion who helps with the transition from quest to quest in ...

The Benefits of iPads in Early Education

By Candace Mittel March 14, 2016

Kindergarten teacher Cathy Solmson says her students love sitting and listening to a story on an iPad more than anything else in her classroom’s literacy center. ...

Understanding Student Engagement

By Chris McCormick and Tatum Travers March 7, 2016

This blog post was updated on October 16, 2017.

Engaged students - those who participate in lively class discussions, invest time and energy into ...

A Transformative Solution to Streamline Device Management

By Tatum Travers March 3, 2016

eSpark is thrilled to partner with JAMF Software, a leader in Apple device management, making it easier ...

Edtech in Rural Education

By Candace Mittel February 16, 2016

Integrating new technology into a classroom can be intimidating. Many teachers worry that they will need to spend hours learning how to use new technology before ...

Why Classroom Technology is a Necessity for 21st Century Learning

By Tatum Travers February 9, 2016

A recent study shows that the ...

Around the World with eSpark

By Noel Fletcher February 2, 2016

I'm Noel Fletcher. I'm from New York and I'm 11 years old. I'm in fifth grade, though eSpark has put my reading level at sixth grade. I would normally be at Bennett ...

3 Reasons Why Some Teachers STILL Aren’t Embracing the Use of Technology in the Classroom

By Ellen Kim January 29, 2016

While reflecting on my time spent in the classroom, I’m sometimes embarrassed to admit that I rarely used technology to differentiate learning for my students. ...

How We Teach Preschool: Respecting the Student and the Teacher

By Mary Ellen Mazza January 18, 2016

As a former teacher and current member of the eSpark team, I’m intrigued by all things education. Preschool teaching is especially fascinating as it’s full of ...

Digital and Educational Equity

By Candace Mittel January 11, 2016

In the blended learning community, educational equity is a growing concern ...

Understanding ESSA: How the Every Student Succeeds Act Will Change U.S. Educational Policy

By Tatum Travers January 5, 2016

On December 10, 2015, President Obama signed the Every Student Succeeds Act, a bipartisan bill designed to address the shortcomings of No Child Left Behind. “The ...

Hour of Code 2015: Learning Computer Science at an Early Age

By Candace Mittel December 18, 2015

During Computer Science Education Week (CSEW), celebrated from Dec 7-13, students of all ages were encouraged to ...

10 Tips for Piloting Technology in Schools

By Tatum Travers December 17, 2015

Successful tech pilots enhance learning, build excitement around new initiatives, and subject classroom technology to rigorous, data-based testing. ...

3 Professional Development Resources You Probably Haven’t Thought Of

By Tatum Travers December 7, 2015

The transition to student-centered learning can be a difficult time for educators.  Teachers’ roles are changing, ...

Educators Weigh in on Webb's Depth of Knowledge

By Tatum Travers November 17, 2015

Webb’s Depth of Knowledge is a difficult concept to grasp. A “frame of reference” rather than a strategy ...

Making Moves: How The Maker Movement is Transforming Education

By Candace Mittel November 9, 2015

In an effort to provide students with access to new design technologies (3-D printers, laser cutters, vinyl cutters and desktop ...

Fun Classroom Activities that Prepare Students for College and Career Success

By Tatum Travers October 28, 2015

In 2015, only 30–40% of Louisiana students demonstrated mastery of math and English skills, the majority ...

Understanding Standardized Assessments that Test Depth of Knowledge

By Tatum Travers October 9, 2015

This year, many districts are replacing state standardized tests with PARCC or Smarter Balanced, two Common Core-aligned assessments designed to measure college ...

Trends in Education: What's Next for Blended Learning?

By Candace Mittel October 5, 2015

When schools initially began adopting computers, smartboards, and iPads, technology use was mostly supplemental. “The iPad is just a tool,” says Michigan ...

So, What Do eSpark Engineers Actually Do...?

By Candace Mittel September 24, 2015

Our engineer team is known for bringing our dogs to the office and wearing Vibrams to work. But you're probably wondering what we actually do each and every ...

How to Improve Reading Comprehension with Apps

By Tatum Travers September 21, 2015

September is national literacy month.  For the past ten years, U.S. illiteracy rates have remained troublingly high. According to a study conducted by the U.S. ...

A Culture of Growth: Learning From Our Clients in Real Time

By Candace Mittel September 17, 2015

All startups face their own set of challenges. But according to lead engineer Gursimran Singh, education is an especially hard industry with particularly thorny ...

Ramping up Fast: How eSpark Engineers Start Their First Day of Work

By Candace Mittel September 10, 2015

There’s a universal piece of wisdom that says that people don’t grow when things are easy. Rather, we grow when we are challenged.

Coding for Good

By Candace Mittel September 3, 2015

Day in and day out, eSpark engineers are able to make a real impact on students’ lives.

Best iPad Apps for Special Education

By Tatum Travers August 26, 2015

Educational apps can lead to significant academic and social growth in special needs students.

Built in features on the iPad, like the ...

9 Best Kindergarten Apps (Great for Preschool, Too!)

By Sarah Guckert June 23, 2015

Envisioning iPads in the hands of your district’s youngest learners? Not sure how to make an early childhood initiative possible—or more importantly, ...

What Schools Can Expect in iOS 9

By Alex Koch June 10, 2015

Apple’s WWDC conference is this week and Apple has released details on the new management & MDM capabilities that will be coming with iOS 9 this fall, including many features ...

End of Year iPad Collection: Infographic

By Michael Coleman May 20, 2015

Over the course of the school year, eSpark's Implementation Team has helped technology teams across the country deploy iPads with personalized apps for every ...

4 Questions for 4 Ed Tech Thought Leaders

By Monika Lee April 29, 2015

As technology is quickly evolving, educators and administrators alike are trying to keep up with the new products and trends in blended learning. ...

Digital Learning Content: Finding Gems in the Haystack

By Monika Lee April 13, 2015

In case you haven't noticed, there are hundreds of thousands of apps and instructional videos available on the App Store, Google Play, and YouTube. ...

Flourishing a Blended Learning Culture in Classrooms

By Monika Lee April 2, 2015

The introduction of technology and the transformation to blended learning in classrooms is rapidly growing. However, simply bringing technology into ...

What the SAMR Model and Flow Model Teach Us About Personalization

By Monika Lee March 18, 2015

With an average class size of about 30 students, educators know how difficult it is to personalize learning in the classroom. Some students are performing at a ...

4 Ways to Improve Metacognitive Awareness

By Carrie Conover March 12, 2015

Dear Carrie,

My students just started using iPads and due to their experiences at home, they only associate iPads with fun games, not learning. Any ideas ...

eSpark Signs Student Privacy Pledge

By Sarah Guckert February 20, 2015

At eSpark, we take the security and confidentiality of students’ personal information very seriously. We are excited to announce that today we ...

5 Steps to Using iPads in the Classroom

By Sarah Guckert February 19, 2015

The best administrators and educators know that the key to any new district initiative is comprehensive preparation, goal-setting, and training for ...

eSpark in “How Apple wants to remake the classroom”

By Sarah Guckert February 3, 2015

TechRepublic recently published an article by Nick Heath on how Apple’s VP of education, ...

9 Ways to Amplify the Benefits of Technology in Education

By Sarah Guckert January 27, 2015

Whether you’re in your second semester or second year of iPad learning, now is the perfect time to take a step back to evaluate the effectiveness of your ...

Gamification in Education: Increasing Student Engagement with Teams, Contests, Interactive Apps

By David Reeves January 22, 2015

Increasing engagement in the classroom is always at the forefront of teachers’ minds. When students are engaged, it’s much easier for them to learn and grow. ...

7 Parent-Teacher Conference Tips Every Teacher Should Know

By Carrie Conover October 23, 2014

Dear Carrie,

I’ve been teaching for a few years and I still get nervous for parent-teacher conferences. Do you have any advice on how I can calm my nerves ...

Deploying iPads in the Classroom

By Kaitlyn Lannan October 8, 2014

Administrators and instructors are enticed by the idea of using iPads in the classroom, but many have concerns about the practicality of bringing ...

Ed Tech Vocab: Keeping Up with Trends in Education

By Shayna Fertig September 18, 2014

Ed Tech is being used in classrooms more than ever before. This means that there are more concepts, terms, and trends in education that teachers ...

1:1 Initiative vs. BYOD: What's Best for iPads in Schools?

By Shayna Fertig September 3, 2014

Many schools are choosing—or have already chosen— to implement an iPad program in their ...

Educational Apps: In the Making

By Sarah Guckert August 28, 2014

We were thrilled to sit down with David Ng of Vertical Learning Labs, the developer of iPad app Chocolate Chip Cookie Factory: Place Value (an eSpark ...

Top K-6 Common Core Apps

By Jonathan Cohen August 20, 2014

21st Century Learning Skills

By Jonathan Cohen August 13, 2014

As we progress further into the 21st century, technology continues to be an ever more integral part of our lives. Technology is increasingly integrating into most, ...

iPad Grants for Schools: Look Beyond Public School Funding

By Sarah Guckert August 8, 2014

As many schools are seeing results from the use of educational technology in the classroom, others are tirelessly hunting for iPad grants and funding opportunities ...

Supplementing Your School Budget With State and Local Grants

By Sarah Guckert August 8, 2014

Looking for more wiggle room to invest in new educational technology initiatives? To track the flow of dollars from the Federal government to your state, visit your ...

Top 6 Special Education Apps for Elementary Students

By Ross Hochwert July 29, 2014

The best special education iPad apps consider not just instruction, but classroom management and behavioral strategies as well.

The modern ...

Personalized Learning Technology: Using Data to Differentiate

By Kaitlyn Lannan July 18, 2014

Using data in the classroom to personalize students’ learning has been proven to improve instructional practices. Analyzing academic data from students in order to ...

eSpark Wins Large Research Grant from the Department of Education

By Shayna Fertig July 14, 2014

eSpark won a large research grant from the Department of Education! The DOE awarded fifteen grants through the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program, ...

Top 4 Educational Apps for Elementary Math Students

By Ross Hochwert July 7, 2014

While the presence of iPads in the classroom may seem like a major victory for teachers looking to integrate technology into their curriculum, ...

Using iPads to Increase Productivity in Elementary Education

By Jonathan Cohen June 27, 2014

Since the iPad’s initial release in April 2010, it has progressively become more prevalent within society and has become a valued educational asset. The ...

iPads in the Classroom: 4 Steps to Prepare Teachers for Success

By Sarah Guckert April 29, 2014

The best administrators know that the key to any new program or initiative is comprehensive preparation and training for their staff. If ...

The Best Kindergarten Apps for Teaching Math and Reading Skills

By Sarah Pliske February 21, 2014

Before ever stepping foot into a classroom, students are increasingly demonstrating digital literacy at a young age. When placed into the hands of kindergarteners, ...

Behavior Management Strategies with Special Education Apps

By Sarah Pliske February 12, 2014

Teachers face many challenges in the classroom every day. For special education teachers, these challenges can be ...

Twitter in the Classroom: Exit Ticket Template

By Heather Alexis January 27, 2014

If you can't beat 'em, join 'em

In today’s society, teachers have to compete with popular culture, social media, and gaming technology for their students’ ...

How to Bend Your School Budget for Blended Learning Technologies

By Sarah Pliske January 17, 2014

When low test scores arrive back to districts, administrators worry about the success of their students and look for possible solutions to increase student ...

Blended Learning Models Reduce Class Sizes

By Sarah Pliske January 12, 2014

A Digital Promise case study examines the blended learning implementation at Utica Community Schools, a ...

Personalized Learning Pathways with Zulama

By Sarah Pliske December 18, 2013

Each month, Zulama’s Nikki Navta co-hosts a live Google+ Hangout On Air with educational innovators. eSpark was ...

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Awards eSpark Research Grant

By Sarah Pliske December 17, 2013

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has selected eSpark Learning as a winner of the RFP for New ...

Get Creative: Classroom Tools for Tracking Student Progress

By Sarah Pliske November 1, 2013

Every day, thousands of students across the nation are progressing through lesson plans to develop skills across Common Core State Standards. Although teachers ...

Aligning Third-Party Assessments to the Common Core

By Sarah Guckert October 16, 2013

A growing number of states have adopted Common Core State Standards (CCSS) in an effort to add clarity and consistency to the content students across the country ...

QR Codes in the Classroom: An Easy Guide for Beginners

By Sarah Guckert September 25, 2013

Author: Hilary Speshock eSpark Certified Educator Kindergarten teacher at Beacon Tree Elementary in Utica Community Schools

Unpacking the Common Core: Best Middle School Apps

By Sarah Pliske September 25, 2013

As promised, we’ve come back this month with a new list of the 9 best middle school apps educators teaching the Common Core can’t live without!


iPad Management At Scale: Preparing for iPads in the Classroom

By Sarah Guckert September 9, 2013

We all believe that the iPad has the potential to transform student learning. However, as an IT administrator, it can be daunting to turn a stack of newly minted ...

Unpacking the Common Core with iPad Apps

By Sarah Guckert August 27, 2013

As states begin to implement Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and the number of educational iPad apps continues to grow, have you ever wondered how you can find ...

Kicking Off the eSpark Certified Educator Program

By Sarah Guckert August 16, 2013

On August 1st and 2nd, the eSpark office in Chicago opened our doors to host five all-star teachers who were accepted into the inaugural class of eSpark Certified ...

Top 4 Takeaways: Obama’s ConnectED Initiative

By Sarah Guckert July 24, 2013

In an effort to connect America’s classrooms with the latest digital technologies that are revolutionizing education, the Obama education

5 Things You Didn’t Know About Apps: Understanding Student Engagement in iPad Education

By Sarah Guckert July 17, 2013

With the thousands of iPad educational apps on the market, the device itself seems like a goldmine for improving academic standards in the classroom. But ...

Gamification of Education

By Sarah Guckert July 8, 2013

It’s undeniable: kids are more tech-savvy than ever. From the Nintendo DSi, to the iPod Touch, to the heap of digital tablets currently on the market, kids are ...

Setting Up a Computer for Syncing

By Alex Koch November 30, 2012

Whether you are syncing with iTunes, Apple Configurator, wirelessly, of using an MDM you will need to set at least one computer up with all the apps. This post will ...

Syncing iPads Wirelessly

By Alex Koch November 30, 2012

Downloading Apps to an iPad via Wifi

If a classroom finds a handful of apps missing from their iPads, you can simply download those apps ...

Syncing iPads Using iTunes

By Alex Koch November 28, 2012

This post is an instructional how-to for large scale syncing of iPad apps using iTunes. This process is not fun, is time consuming, and has a lot of steps - but ...

eSpark won an EDDIE Award for best Multi-Subject iPad App

By Sarah Guckert September 24, 2012

Tablets in the Classroom Computing has taken on a new face, due to the popularity of mobile devices which Steve Jobs referred to as post-PC-era ...

“Race to the Top” District Competition: eSpark can help!

By Alex Koch August 15, 2012

This week’s release of the “Race to the Top” (RttT) District Competition guidelines have given teachers and administrators a lot to chew on. RttT, a program ...

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