Josh Cohen: Kyte Learning & Sunburst Digital
Michael F. Shaughnessy –
1) Josh, first of all, can you tell us a bit about yourself and what exactly do you do there at Kyte Learning and Sunburst?
In my role as Director of Sales at Sunburst Digital my responsibilities fall into 2 buckets: I lead our efforts to help educators find and implement programs that will positively impact student achievement and provide ongoing feedback on those programs implementation success and effectiveness to each of our partners.
2) Now, when you say Ed-Tech Training, what exactly do you mean and what exactly do you offer?
Technology has the potential to positively transform educational outcomes for all learners. That potential has a much greater chance of translating into realized results when schools and vendors partner on effective approaches toward teacher preparedness and capacity building in relation to advancing technology skills. Similar to our students own individualized paths for learning progress, teachers need and value opportunities for increasing their specific technology use skills and knowledge. The Kyte Learning platform offers hundreds of courses on a wide variety of technology related subjects. Each course has been created and delivered “by-teachers-for-teachers” helping to ensure relevance for our audience.
3) With things changing so rapidly, how do you and your team keep up with all these changes?
At Sunburst, we have two core customers: the innovative edtech entrepreneurs and the passionate educators serving students across the country. In order to provide value to both it is imperative that each of us here, my entire staff, stay current on best practices in teaching and learning and the applied use of technology in the classroom. Staying on top of that is a full time job and humbling, for sure. One of the great things about working with educators is that they are very willing to share what is working and what needs improvement – our customers are one of our greatest sources of information. Everyone here has to have the capacity to listen to that feedback and properly channel it to our partners so that technology is not artificially forcing learning – but naturally facilitating learning.
4) Apparently Sunburst offers, “affordable” training- what are we talking here and when are your staff available?
In addition to the Kyte Learning platform, Sunburst Digital is committed to helping our customers successfully implement every program that we offer to schools. We provide both in-person and online professional development that can be tailored to the specific needs of each customer as each district or school can have different priorities and/or availabilities for advancing their teacher learning communities. Additionally we regularly conduct free webinars and publish a lot of other digital resources our customers can access.
5) How is ISTE involved in this entire process?
ISTE represents a body of professional best practices resulting from a wide audience of thought leaders who understand how school communities desire to advance instruction through the use of technology. Kyte Learning has recently received ISTE’s Readiness Seal of Alignment, which is reserved for resources that focus on learning to use technology and that help build the foundational technology skills needed to support the ISTE Standards. All of the content on the Kyte Learning platform has been reviewed and certified.
6) Would this be considered an adjunct to say, professional development ?
Learning to effectively integrate available technology into a teacher’s curriculum can raise the impact that both a teacher and the technology can have on student learning and is an important piece of any professional development plan. The depth and breadth of the Kyte catalog prepares teachers for certification and micro-badging on the most popular tools used in K12 education today.
7) What do principals and other educational leaders need to know?
The ISTE Readiness Seal ensures relevance and rigor. Each course contains a summative assessment and the built-in certifications and micro-badges allow teachers to demonstrate mastery of a topic. Courses can be assigned, required, and monitored for completion while the on-demand nature of the platform allows for the ultimate in flexibility.
8) Where can the average teacher get more information, and ( gasp – here comes the question ) will they be able to talk to a real live human being?
Inquiries can be directed to Sunburst online at http://kyte.sunburst.com/ or to our toll free phone number (800) 321-7511. Our team of Curriculum Advisors are available to help and our Customer Support team will assist with any questions that come our way.
9) What have I neglected to ask ?
“Will the Cubs win the World Series, again?” – One word: yes. Thanks for letting me share some of the fun stuff going on both at Sunburst and Kyte.