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//Zach Vander Veen

About Zach Vander Veen

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

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

Managing Apps in a 1:1 Environment: Introducing Abre


BackgroundHamilton City School District faced a large growth in devices used by students and staff. They were a 1 to 1 district using Chromebooks. The complexity of managing apps in a 1:1 environment increased. Many school applications were dated or completely lacking in function. Data frequently was siloed and difficult to access and understand. Also, software was expensive. To address the mess, we created Abre.What is Abre?Abre is an all-in-one platform that gives you the power to choose the apps you need. No more bloated software that is hard to deploy and even harder to use. Abre makes managing and [...]

Managing Apps in a 1:1 Environment: Introducing Abre2019-03-04T15:22:09-04:00

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 Pick2018-09-20T08:43:22-04:00

Tips to Guided Learning


Abre's Guided Learning App helps with distractions in the classroom. As teachers (and as students), we know there are times when you need to buckle down, turn the phone off, close the tabs, and get things done. In short, guide the learning.

Tips to Guided Learning2018-09-20T07:10:21-04:00

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