Study Finds Scarce Use of Technology for Learning in U.S. Classrooms

A new study released by AdvancEd found that, despite the rapid proliferation of technology tools and digital content, examples of technology being used to enhance student learning are barely evident in American classrooms.

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Marathon Oil to Fund SmartLab at Texas City High School

This fall, Texas City High School will have a brand new SmartLab thanks to the generosity of Marathon Petroleum Co. and their support of local education. The Marathon SmartLab complements the Blocker Middle School SmartLab funded by Valero Energy Corporation in 2013. Together, they provide Texas City ISD students with an opportunity to explore hands-on, project-based STEM education throughout their secondary school career. Read More

Muskegon Heights SmartLabs in the News!

Muskegon Heights Public Schools (MI) recently unveiled its new elementary SmartLabs with a ribbon cutting ceremony at Dr. Martin Luther King Elementary Academy. The event was covered on local television and Michigan Live News.

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SmartLab Changing Lives in Hernando Missisippi

With all the impressive achievements by SmartLab learners, it's easy to mistake it as a program intended only for gifted and talented students. In fact, the personalized learning in the SmartLab empowers and motivates all students; learners choose an appropriate level of challenge, adapt projects to their interests and learning styles, and take their learning as far as they are able.

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North Shore School District SmartLab Video

Last month, I had the privilege of presenting National Reference Site Awards to STEM and communication media arts SmartLabs in North Shore School District 112 in Highland Park, IL. The District produced the video below to document the event. You can read their full newsletter article here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1H5I0iiEr1QN1nnukM8QzKMNbD0skzZBY_I3V5be3030/edit 

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North Dakota Center for Distance Education Chooses SmartLabs for Blended Learning Initiative

Creative Learning Systems is partnering with the North Dakota Center for Distance Education to develop a SmartLab program to support blended learning for the state's rural communities. Dr. Alan Peterson, Director of ND CDE, is the visionary behind this this innovative initiative. Dr. Peterson recently shared his thinking behind integrating SmartLabs in the North Dakota educational mission on his blog.

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Capstone Presentations at Cresthill Middle School

Doug Haller, our Facilitator Support Specialist, recently had the pleasure of attending capstone presentations at Cresthill Middle School in Highlands Ranch, CO. Facilitator Trina Chambers invited parents and Creative Learning Systems staff to observe and provide constructive criticism to students on their final projects. Students shared the results of a two-week intensive study and enthusiastically answered questions that demonstrated their knowledge and experience in the SmartLab.

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Tilton Elementary SmartLab Video

Check out this great video produced by Chicago Public School's Tilton Elementary! A wonderful glimpse into what Tilton students are exploring in the SmartLab!!

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A Step in the Right Direction

For most of my first decade at Creative Learning Systems, it often felt like we were a lone voice in the No Child Left Behind wilderness. Schools were under enormous pressure to meet federally-mandated testing guidelines. Despite the best of intentions, educators often had little bandwidth for programs like the SmartLab. We all knew better, but the unfortunate reality was that authentic learning had, by necessity, become subordinate to standardized test performance.

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Sphero Goes to School

When the company behind Sphero, a programmable robotic ball, wanted to learn more about how their product could be used in schools, they looked to Creative Learning Systems and our SmartLab school partners. 

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