Posts by Kristina James


Kristina James has nearly 20 years of marketing experience.  She is currently the marketing leader for MDR.  Kristina has been driving education marketing strategy since 2008 when she joined Pearson. As a marketing leader, Kristina believes in the influence of marketing to build a loyal audience and drive revenue. Her marketing experience includes brand amplification, web strategy, including ecommerce direct marketing, content development and partner marketing both in B2B and B2C environments.  Prior to her education marketing experience, Kristina has led marketing initiatives and teams for other verticals including nonprofit, healthcare and real estate.  Kristina earned her Master’s Degree from DePaul University and is a previous board member for a local chapter of the National Association for Professional Women. Kristina James lives in a suburb of Chicago with her husband and daughter.  Connect with Kristina on LinkedIn.

5 Things to Be Thankful for This School Year

By Kristina James | 11/17/2020 | 0 Comments

The first few months of the 2020–2021 school year have been more than a bit “unusual.” However, in the run-up to Thanksgiving and the winter holidays, it is quite clear that we have much to be thankful for — even in the midst of what can sometimes feel like chaos. At MDR, we are pausing […]

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School Supply Lists 2020-2021: Take Advantage of an Extended Buying Season

By Kristina James | 09/28/2020 | 0 Comments

School supply lists are a lifeline for teachers and districts. Outfitting students and classrooms has become a collaborative effort with teachers, parents, fundraising appeals and districts all pitching in. This year, with so much uncertainty about how and where instruction will happen and heightened focus on health and hygiene, lists look a little different. With […]

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Is this EdTech’s big moment? Hear from teachers

By Kristina James | 07/09/2020 | 0 Comments

A Gallup report from fall 2019, Education Technology Use in Schools, found that slightly over half of teachers (53%) said they would like to use digital learning tools more often in teaching. Teachers are getting that opportunity now with EdTech (i.e., educational technology) adoption on fast forward, and MDR wanted to know how they were […]

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5 Tips for Communicating With Educators During COVID-19

By Kristina James | 06/29/2020 | 0 Comments

In this new normal, we are participating in online meetings while we work from home. Our kids are connecting with one another through online school and activities. Many of us celebrated the spring holidays with our families virtually, and some of us may have even lifted a glass of wine during an online happy hour. […]

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An Expanded Education Community

By Kristina James | 06/19/2020 | 0 Comments

It may be an understatement to say that 2020 has been a difficult year so far. Yet teachers are meeting the year’s challenges. They tell us that they are adapting and the school community at large continues to find ways to change. In the midst of these changes, things are beginning to open up again, […]

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What do educators need right now? Survey says…

By Kristina James | 05/21/2020 | 0 Comments
Educator Sentiment Survey

While education is certainly facing unprecedented challenges in responding to stay-at-home orders, educators are rising to the challenge. A history of constant evolution in U.S. education – from Common Core to asynchronous learning – may have helped educators hone their skills as problem solvers. That’s one conclusion from a recent survey MDR conducted with educators […]

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Social Distancing Is Driving Social Media

By Kristina James | 04/06/2020 | 0 Comments

With nearly 300 million people in at least 38 states being urged to stay home, sales and marketing professionals alike have absorbed a new vocabulary term, “social distancing.” Because of social distancing millions of us are working from home, top Education conferences like NCTM, ALA and ISTE have been canceled, and we are all wrapping […]

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Education in the Time of Coronavirus

By Kristina James | 04/06/2020 | 0 Comments

Like many of you, I find most of my daily activities have significantly changed because of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) quarantine/”shelter in place” rules. I’m making the best of it, spending time with my family, connecting more frequently via text, FaceTime and social media, and shopping — lots of shopping for food and supplies, of course, […]

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School Supply Lists for Fall? They’re Being Compiled Now.

By Kristina James | 03/12/2020 | 0 Comments

Teachers are known for their advance planning, so it’s no surprise they get out ahead of the fall classroom resupply game by making their shopping lists months in advance. And our research reveals most lists are compiled in the spring. To make the list, it’s important to focus your persuasive attention on teachers because over […]

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Top Minds in the Education Industry Convene at MDR’s Inaugural EdNET Executive Council

By Kristina James | 03/11/2020 | 0 Comments
NYC Skyline

What do you get when C-suite leaders from top education companies convene for a day to examine current trends and plot a path for the industry’s future? Spirited discussion, thoughtful consideration of the evolving education environment, and synergy and connections that have the potential to transform both their companies and the future of learning. That’s […]

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2019 Top Content for Teachers

By Kristina James | 02/20/2020 | 0 Comments

With more than 60 million page views in 2019 and 600,000 new followers across Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram channels, WeAreTeachers  is the online destination for teachers and school leaders. Educators come to WeAreTeachers every day looking for practical classroom ideas, freebies and giveaways, and teacher-to-teacher advice and humor. Our team of strategists have become […]

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10 Ways to Crush Your Education Marketing Conferences this Year

By Kristina James | 01/17/2020 | 0 Comments

It’s our favorite time of year (well, one of them), when you can go to one location and meet all your prospects and customers, show them what’s new, and collaborate on what’s next. The 2020 conference season kicked off this week with the Future of Education Technology Conference (FETC) in sunny Miami, FL. The thing […]

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The Advantages of Email Marketing are Only as Good as the Marketing Itself

By Kristina James | 11/06/2019 | 0 Comments

Is there a problem with email? Many would say yes, but I’d challenge that. Having spoken recently with a few executive level marketers, I learned that, like me, they still rely heavily on email in their marketing mix. However, also like me, they are hearing a lot of buzz about email not being reliable as […]

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Beyond Back-to-School Spending: Teachers Are Brand Loyal

By Kristina James | 10/25/2019 | 0 Comments

School spending is big business. Teachers spend an estimated $1.75 billion per year on school supplies from classroom budgets and out-of-pocket expenditures. And marketers know teachers—and parents—spend a lot of their own money on school-related products and services. In a previous post, I talked about the trend of teacher out-of-pocket spending on school supplies for […]

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Beyond Back-to-School Spending: Teachers Spend All Year Long

By Kristina James | 10/18/2019 | 1 Comment

There’s a reason the hashtag #clearthelist—which asks people to buy items on teachers’ Amazon wish lists—took off this back-to-school season. Teachers are spending more and more of their own money on school supplies and materials for their classrooms. And many schools continue to push the AmazonSmile program which gives back to schools when friends and […]

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Don’t Be Hating on Email Marketing

By Kristina James | 10/11/2019 | 0 Comments
MDR dont hate email

I went shopping before work again…because I feel compelled to look at my email when I first wake up. There was a sale, there were these boots… and the next thing I know I’m $100 poorer (but infinitely more stylish) before 8 a.m. That’s the thing with email. It finds you…wherever you are, it is […]

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Connecting With Educators in a Time of Unprecedented “Churn and Change”

By Kristina James | 07/12/2019 | 0 Comments

“Nothing ever changes in education.” It’s not surprising that this is a common perception, after all, there is a good possibility that the schools in your town are more than 40 years old. However, while the structures may look the same or have kept the same name, it is a different story when you look […]

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How to Support Teachers with SEL Initiatives in the Classroom

By Kristina James | 03/19/2019 | 0 Comments

Ok, so we’ve all heard about SEL. But, do you know how it is “officially” defined? Social and emotional learning (SEL) is the process through which children and adults acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary to understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, […]

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5 Takeaways from MDR’s New Study on Social and Emotional Learning in Schools

By Kristina James | 03/06/2019 | 0 Comments

If you are talking or thinking about the topic of Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) and how it relates to students, read this preview of our latest educator research study. SEL is a growing movement in K-12 education, even though some organizations, like Committee for Children, have been thinking about it for 40 or more […]

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Educators Are the Key to the Future STEM Workforce (Here’s How Businesses Can Help)

By Kristina James | 02/26/2019 | 4 Comments

We’ve been hearing buzz about STEM and STEAM education for some time now, but it’s not yet old news. In fact, some school districts are still trying to figure out how to implement these programs. Most educators support the concept, but project-based and experiential learning are at the core of STEAM education, and many educators […]

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7 Education Trends to Watch in 2019

By Kristina James | 02/13/2019 | 5 Comments

Which education trends are capturing the collective imagination this year? Spoiler alert: It’s not just technology changing the classroom environment. Here are seven trends you’re likely to see more of in the year ahead. 1. Artificial Intelligence (AI) Experts estimate that the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) will grow by 50% in the next few […]

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Mark International Data Privacy Day 2019 by Taking Time to Reflect on Data Protection

By Kristina James | 01/31/2019 | 0 Comments

Your personal data is your identity––as unique to you as your fingerprints. However, many of us may not be aware of how our data is being used online. International Data Privacy Day, which took place this week on January 28, is an excellent time to put in place practices, both personally and professionally, to protect […]

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4 Ways to Help Tomorrow’s Leaders Develop the Right STEM Skills

By Kristina James | 01/22/2019 | 0 Comments

Thank you to for publishing my guest article on the importance of developing the right STEM skills. Students today are twice as likely as their parents to enter a science, technology, engineering, or mathematics industry, which is good news to the organizations creating more jobs in these fields each year. The problem, though, is […]

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2018 Top Social Content for Teachers

By Kristina James | 01/09/2019 | 0 Comments

No brainer…social needs to be incorporated into marketing efforts.  You should be posting frequently and following brands and influencers as well as taking advantage of boosting and social advertising. One reason is that 75% of teachers reported visiting a social network within the last month, according to MDR’s Teachers as Consumer Study findings, with Facebook […]

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2018 Top Content for Teachers

By Kristina James | 12/28/2018 | 0 Comments
2018 best teacher content

I know I’ve said it before, but will remind you again: teachers spend more time online than the general population does, which means that finding material online, whether it’s news, job support, or classroom materials is something they do multiple times a day, every single day. While “Content is King” may be a cliché, it’s […]

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