[email protected]

//Zach Vander Veen

About Zach Vander Veen

Educator. Adoptive Father. Husband. Co-Founder of Abre.

Automating Professional Development in Education


Automating Professional Development in Education Efficiently Create | Deliver | Track | Renew Tracking Growth Should Be Simple Learn the professional development process used by Hamilton City School District. Save time. Save money. And create excellent pathways for professional growth. Our guest co-host, Tricia Smith, demonstrates the seamless framework for tracking professional growth over time. This includes: Creating Individual Professional Development Plans Tracking professional development and continuing education credits used for licensure renewal Developing and delivering high-quality professional development Workflows for local professional development committees EdTech Terms LPDC Local Professional Development Committee. [...]

Automating Professional Development in Education2019-05-15T14:05:43-04:00

Focus: Helping Students with Classroom Distractions


Brief Session Description Abre's Focus App provides a secure browser experience for delivering guided lessons. Teachers create lessons that feature approved websites. Using the App, students access a focus lesson where navigating away from approved sites is prevented. Attendees will learn how to create, launch, and use Focus. Focus is free, simple to use, open-source, and part of a vibrant ecosystem of apps in the Abre platform. Launched in spring of 2016, Focus continues to grow in popularity with districts that embrace blended learning and 1:1 device programs. An Example During Guided Practice, my students complete a close reading [...]

Focus: Helping Students with Classroom Distractions2019-05-13T14:11:43-04:00

Material Design: The Framework We Love in Education


Abre loves the design framework of Material Design. It helps our users understand our platform and simplifies the development process.

Material Design: The Framework We Love in Education2019-03-12T09:56:49-04:00

The Distraction Free Daughter


She is 14, my daughter, talkative and with a mind that leaps from idea, to memory, to whatifs in the span of a microsecond. This is the age where kids - especially girls - enter and embrace the nebulous social rules of friendships, gossip, and hyperbole. She is bright and resourceful. And like many a teenager, she finds loopholes all the time.

The Distraction Free Daughter2018-12-06T19:34:13-04:00

Creating an “IEP at a Glance” with Abre


While Abre features a Plans App that allows districts to create customizable education plans for students, we sometimes find schools that would rather continue to use their current education plans software. See how Abre can help bring education plans into its platform for teachers, parents, and staff to use. We'll use "IEP at a Glance" as an example.

Creating an “IEP at a Glance” with Abre2018-11-28T18:57:05-04:00

Coming Soon! Update to the Abre Student App


An enhanced Abre Student App is coming soon. The enhancements are based on user feedback to allow for even easier access to the information you need. This enhanced Student App will be available on Friday, November 9th.

Coming Soon! Update to the Abre Student App2018-11-02T08:01:24-04:00

Learning: Abre Everywhere


A fun question to consider is if you are the entry point to school, what can you do? One idea: Share learning experiences teachers have outside of their classroom. Abre Everywhere is a program to support educators who are doing extraordinary things outside of the classroom. Basically we wanted to help capture the wide variety of experiences educators have during their non-day job.

Learning: Abre Everywhere2018-10-04T16:09:16-04:00

Let Parents Pick


At Abre, we decided to let the parents pick how they want to login to see where school happens.

Let Parents Pick2019-05-20T07:45:37-04:00

They’re Right to Suspect


eSchool News recently featured an article titled "Educators report low confidence in ed-tech research." A key quote: Only 24 percent of surveyed educators say they believe ed-tech vendors are well-equipped to conduct reliable ed-tech research–and just 10 percent believe the same for media organizations. I do not find this surprising and, indeed, find it a little reassuring. When I was a teacher and an administrator, I tended to lump ed-tech into two categories: Productivity / efficiency. In other words, the technology helped me do my job better, faster, and with less work. Academic improvement. The technology improved student academic performance [...]

They’re Right to Suspect2018-08-18T07:58:50-04:00