June 30, 2011 at 11:18 am | News | No comment
Novachi allows access to a new way of learning for a new generation of American students.
A new developing trend in education today is the rise of the charter school. When speaking of charter schools, its difficult to make generalizations about them or to compare them to other schools public or private because each charter school approaches education in a unique fashion. And, even within the realm of charter schools there are sub categories, one such sub-category is Hybrid Charter Schools.
Many supporters of the charter school system claim that true education reform is tested first in charter schools. Such charter schools, like the San Francisco Flex Academy, are trying something radically different from the status-quot. While many industry pundits say technology integration in the classroom is a worthwhile endeavor and sure to produce positive results in student achievement, Hybrid Charter schools take this one step further by truly making technology central to the way their students learn.
The idea is to provide students with the traditional support of having a classroom or meeting area and access to knowledgeable teachers of various subjects whilst handling curriculum, assignments, and other activities online. The “classroom” becomes more of a drop-in forum for students who need help on a subject, or need to collaborate with other students on a project.
Novachi, a Santa Clara based Student Information and Learning Management System provider, already provides solutions for schools and charters who wish to add a virtual environment to their classroom. Utilizing the Hybrid Charter model, administrators can both manage all their student information data like course records, rosters, waivers, etc. for free using Novachi’s innovative system.
One of the main benefits of using a system like Novachi, regardless of whether or not one applies it to the Hybrid Charter model, is that it allows children to develop a set of skills that is becoming increasingly necessary in our modern world. The benefit for the instructors and administrators is it makes data easier to manage, search-able, and measurable. For students, they learn to interact in an environment not unlike that of many corporate offices throughout the country, giving them a head start against their peers.
June 29, 2011 at 2:20 pm | News | No comment
Adopting low-cost technology as opposed to cutting teacher jobs and reducing class sizes may help our schools spur education reform despite shrinking budgets.
Most critics agree that education reform is integral to the development of our schools and the betterment of our children. However, where the disagreement starts is when education officials have differing views on how reform should be directed, with many theories being directly at odds with each other. This problem is further compacted when the state, federal, and local budgets that schools rely on to fund education reform are rapidly shrinking.
One of the larger areas for argument in education reform is the subject of classroom size. One side claims that the smaller the classroom size, the greater capacity for learning, and as such making classrooms smaller should be one of the corner-stones of any school budget. On the other side, which includes education philanthropist like Bill Gates, the argument stands that increasing class sizes is the easiest and most efficient way to save schools money.
In recent news, Idaho public schools chief, Tom Luna, announced a new plan that would increase class sizes to help compensate for the high cost of EdTech resources he wants to see implemented in the coming years. It’s Luna’s belief that the improvements technology can bring outweigh the cost of higher class sizes. However, regardless of how one feels on the subject of classroom sizes, the fact remains that the issue isn’t really about which is more effective, but which saves more money. Studies consistently show that small class sizes lead to higher achievement rates, especially in younger students. So why is Tom Luna increasing his class sizes?
By increasing Idaho classes from an average of 18.2 to an average 19.8 per class over the next 5 years the state of Idaho stands to save about $100 million dollars. Some of that $100 million is planned to be spent on education technology. Mr. Luna believes that the improvements brought on by the adoption of education technology would outweigh the cons of larger class sizes.
While Mr Luna may be correct in assuming EdTech creates better students, it is also possible to enhance classroom learning through EdTech without the large price tag. For example, a Santa Clara company by the name of Novachi provides complete SIS (Student Information System) and LMS (Learning Management System) software for free to all schools in the United States.
Some believe companies like Novachi are the way to the future for American schools. When schools can make drastic improvements to the way they handle data and facilitate online learning, without the penalty of high costs, questions of class size may become a thing of the past. By instituting technology like the kind Novachi provides, districts can save millions of dollars, sparing teacher jobs and preserving smaller class sizes. As some industry pundits say, “Spend wiser, not more.”
June 28, 2011 at 2:12 pm | News | No comment
Novachi provides it’s SIS/LMS service for free to schools large, small, public, or private.
One of the toughest challenges in public education is managing a small school district. Many budget cuts instituted on a statewide level affect both large and small districts alike. However, while some larger districts feel the hurt from a 10% cut in their budget, just imagine how much that 10% can affect a small school district that was already operating on a paltry budget to begin with. Many of the education reforms and policy changes that have been identified as catalyst for growth and change within education sometimes require a large operating budget. This, when applied to a large district with more resources, can be difficult, but when you try to install such programs in a small school district the costs can dwarf their means.
From Indiana to Colorado, Idaho to Wisconsin, small school districts are feeling the crunch with shrinking budgets. Attempts are being made at propositioning levies, raising taxes, and finding alternatives to what districts are used to receiving from state budgets. Wherever we look across the country small school districts are struggling to keep up. So how are schools supposed to focus on education reform and classroom improvements with an ever-shrinking budget? How can small school districts do their part to help their states win grant money from programs like Obama’s Race to the Top initiative (which encourages states to compete with each other to qualify for $75-700 million dollars) without the means to implement the reforms required in the qualifying criteria?
Companies like Novachi, a free and completely dynamic cloud-based application designed for schools large and small, public and private, provide solutions for those districts and schools who otherwise couldn’t afford it. Novachi was developed in a time of economic unrest to combat the problems of shrinking school budgets. Their product, which manages student information data and facilitates online learning management, is offered completely free to any school or district in the United States.
In an age where everything is moving into the digital spectrum, how can schools afford to fall behind? Our nation’s children have adopted the internet and all its applications as part of their world. Savvy students know their future requires them to have an intimate understanding of a world that is becoming increasingly interconnected. Our schools can’t afford to be left behind for the sake of our children, but they also can’t afford to pay to implement the necessary improvements.
Small school districts no longer need to worry about where they are going to get the funds for their Student Information System (SIS), or Learning Management System (LMS). The tools for success are available free of charge to all educators at www.novachi.com