Tuesday, July 6, 2021

Happy 15th Anniversary, izzit.org!

By Dean Graziano

15 years is considered the crystal anniversary. Fitting, since izzit.org has always had a crystal-clear path of providing top-shelf, high-quality, no-cost video-based learning and a lot of extras to educators!

Our 15th anniversary has officially begun (July 1, 2006 – July 1, 2021). After a decade and a half of assisting educators, we are looking forward to the next 15 years as only getting better at izzit.org. As we celebrate our 15-year milestone, we extend a deep and sincere thank you to over 419,000 registered users (and growing daily) who have made it possible. We are also grateful to our team at izzit.org, who perform above and beyond and keep our products of utmost quality, accurate, and accessible to ANY educator at no cost!

What’s new for this milestone year? izzit.org has authored governor proclamations in several states (TX, NH, MA, RI, FL, GA, and awaiting others), declaring the month of October 2021 as Civics Awareness Month. We have several weekly activities planned as well as a myriad of lesson planning ideas and supplemental materials for a very impactful Civics Awareness Month! Stay tuned for more information about these impactful activities!

Also, we launched a pilot at Westwood High School, our Virtual International Field Trip (see photos), as part of our summer campaign, Summer Vacation Should NOT be a Vacation from Learning!

For many years, the research pointed out that most students do not engage in educational activities during the summer. Prior to COVID, the average summer loss/lag was two and a half months and is now expected to be over six months loss in math and reading achievement. In an effort to curb that loss, make learning fun, and provide an inter-disciplinary approach to learning, izzit.org created this summer program, which:

• Offers a unique way to supplement learning (in or out of the classroom!) with 15 specific izzit.org videos.

 • Promotes school-wide/community-wide involvement, which underscores an investment in student learning.

 • Provides greater flexibility over the summer and contributes to student learning. No vacation from learning!

 • Enables improved interdisciplinary skills, critical thinking, and positive student advantages.

• Offers more experience and competency with critical thinking skills.

Once a student completes the thought-provoking questions that go along with our materials, they receive a “stamp” from a "Customs Agent" (a sponsoring teacher/media specialist or parent) to indicate they have successfully visited the given country. T-shirts will be awarded to students who successfully complete 100% of the program. These students will also be entered into drawings for prizes too. Who says learning can't be fun?

We are very proud to announce that we will be unveiling our new website by the end of summer: Civics Fundamentals. While we are still izzit.org and maintain that website, this project is so big that we have created its own dedicated site where you can expect more informative content and civics-only programs and videos with ways to become civic competent. There is so much more in the planning phase and much more ready to be introduced for the 2021-2022 school year.

15 years has made us strong and resolute in our vision: To see each generation of students free to flourish through critical thinking, responsible actions, and self-reliance for the benefit of themselves, their families, and communities.

For details about the Virtual International Field Trip, contact Dean Graziano, J.D. V.P. of Education.