Education Resources Blog

VariQuest Blog

The VariQuest Visual and Kinesthetic Learning Tools Blog contains resources on classroom ideas, lesson plans, industry news, events, and offers throughout education.

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Featured Topics: Differentiated Instruction | Featured Topics: Lessons and Activities | VariQuest Tools: Perfecta 3600

The Neuroscience of Color

By: Melissa Hughes, Ph.D.
July 6th, 2017

Color is believed to be the most important visual experience to human beings. More specifically, significant research has been conducted in recent years exploring the function of color as a powerful channel to cognition and memory. Marketers have known for years how effective color can be with brand recognition and attitudes consumers form about products and companies. For example, a 2004 marketing study found that color increases brand recognition and influences purchasing decisions by up to 80%.

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Featured Topics: Differentiated Instruction | VariQuest Tools: Poster Maker 3600 | Featured Topics: Student Engagement | VariQuest Tools: Perfecta 3600

Introducing the VariQuest Perfecta 3600STP - 36" Full Color Poster Design System

By: VariQuest Visual & Kinesthetic Learning Tools
March 1st, 2017

Wish you could scan your completed graphic organizer and easily email it to the class? Want to enlarge your students’ pencil artwork to display in the hallway? Looking to connect with parents as they walk in the entrance with a colorful welcome banner? Do all that and then some with a cool brand new tool made just for schools—VariQuest® Perfecta™ 3600STP! WHAT IS PERFECTA 3600STP? VariQuest has extended the Perfecta product line with an industrious printer (without the industrious size). We’re introducing the only scan-to-print full color printing system that exists to support and improve school-wide communication. Whether you’re differentiating instruction via colorful infographics, promoting district-wide initiatives through engaging posters, or boosting school pride with spirited banners, you can send the right message to the right audience with ease. Perfecta 3600STP has a fully-integrated scanner, allowing users the ability to both shrink and enlarge scanned pieces ranging from 6" to 36" wide. Maximize your value by adding the optional VariQuest Design Center, a touch-enabled workstation storing thousands of education-based templates and graphics, making poster-designing a cinch.

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How to Write a Grant eBook

How to Write a Grant eBook

This helpful guide includes an explanation of the grant process, including a checklist (with samples!), and useful links and resources to find funding!

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Academic Subject: STEM | Featured Topics: Industry News and Trends | Featured Topics: Differentiated Instruction | Academic Subject: Career & Technical Education

Maker Movement Gains Traction in the Midwest with NSF Funding

By: Margo Ensz
September 28th, 2015

Earlier this month, two Indiana University researchers received a $1.2 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to study the successes of the Maker Movement in China and cultivate the movement in the United States Midwest. This grant and new study focuses not only on the academic importance of the movement, but the economic importance as well. So, why the Midwest? 

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Featured Topics: Differentiated Instruction | Featured Topics: Professional Development

#TBT: The One-Room Schoolhouse

By: Margo Ensz
July 16th, 2015

"The one-room schoolhouse was a place where a single educator faced the daily challenge of teaching to meet the needs of all students. Learner characteristics like age, cultural background, cognitive ability, and physical challenges did not separate students into different spaces and different places. The teacher negotiated all of these variables within a single room." (source)

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Grade Level: Primary (PK-2) | Grade Level: Intermediate (3-6) | Featured Topics: Industry News and Trends | Featured Topics: Differentiated Instruction | Featured Topics: Education Policy | Featured Topics: Professional Development

NAESP 2015 Focus Track: Student Achievement Gaps

By: Margo Ensz
June 16th, 2015

The National Association for Elementary School Principals (NAESP)'s annual conference kicks off in two weeks in Long Beach, CA (June 30-July 2). Each year the conference, designed for educators on the "front lines," challenges leaders to think, what's next? Attendees can choose their conference focus from several tracks:

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Academic Subject: STEM | Featured Topics: Industry News and Trends | Featured Topics: Differentiated Instruction | Featured Topics: Student Engagement

Makerspaces: High and Low Tech

By: Geena Maharaj
April 9th, 2015

If you've been keeping up on education trends lately, chances are you’re familiar with the recent emphasis on doing, creating, crafting, constructing, designing, building…essentially, making! From using laser cutters to building a house of LEGO® bricks, the goal is to make. The importance of this multidisciplinary hands-on learning has been sweeping the nation, one makerspace at a time.

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Featured Topics: Industry News and Trends | Featured Topics: Differentiated Instruction | Academic Subject: Special Education

Response: Where Ed Tech is Failing Special Education

By: Margo Ensz
March 12th, 2015

EdSurge recently published an opinion article titled: "Where Edtech is Failing Special Education." Kara Brooks-Odom, a teacher of 16 years, outlines her experiences with the education technology industry in how it meets, or, in this case, doesn't meet, the needs of her students and her classroom.

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Featured Topics: Differentiated Instruction | Featured Topics: Student Engagement

Differentiated, Personalized, Individualized: What's the Difference?

By: Margo Ensz
March 4th, 2015

The education community has an increasingly diverse and vocal channel for discussing best practices, teaching and learning styles, and other hot topics and buzz words. These concepts can quickly become muddled and confusing if not properly defined and discussed. For example, differentiated, individualized, and personalized learning sound like they could be synonymous and interchangeable. However, there are clear distinctions between them. Let's start with differentiated instruction and personalized learning:

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Featured Topics: Differentiated Instruction | Featured Topics: Professional Development

Helping ELL Students Retain Content with Classroom Visuals

By: Margo Ensz
February 19th, 2015

One of the cornerstones of teaching ELL students is vocabulary. Vocabulary is not only vital to reading,writing, speaking, and listening, but also to understanding broader concepts and making connections between subjects. The introduction of these new words and phrases are usually well received by students, but difficulties can arise in terms of retention. We recently attended the national Title I conference in Salt Lake City, and noticed that a number of sessios focused on engaging students, and specifically sessions on engaging ELL students to help them retain content. Joanne Billingsly, in her presentation "Making Content Sticky," outlined ways to build academic vocabulary and increase retention among ELL students: "The availability of color illustrations and teaching diagrams that support student understanding and retention of new words."

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Featured Topics: Differentiated Instruction | Featured Topics: Student Engagement | Featured Topics: Professional Development

3 Visual Tools for the Dyslexic Student

By: Margo Ensz
January 12th, 2015

Students with dyslexia are highly visual learners who benefit from multi-sensory learning environments. Because dyslexic students have a dominant right brain, it takes strategic effort and care to engage the left side of the brain. Engaging multiple sensory experiences into instruction will then engage multiple areas of the brain. This helps dyslexic students make connections, strenghthen their left brain, and better retain information. (source) Students with dyslexia tend to be more visual in learning, therefore, visual tools are vital to their sucess in grasping concepts and problem solving. Here are three visual tools that can help students with dyslexia make connections, retain information, and deepen learning: 

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