Fun facts from Britannica: Why do tennis players wear white at Wimbledon?

For 250 years, Encyclopaedia Britannica has provided the world with researched, verified information. A global leader in education whose flagship products serve the needs of students and consumers on multiple platforms and devices, Britannica has been a pioneer in digital learning since the 1980s.

eSchool News has partnered with Britannica to bring you a fun fact each month, along with advice on how to teach today’s students how to cut through the misinformation on the internet.

Why do tennis players wear white at Wimbledon?

The Wimbledon Championships are the oldest and most prestigious of the four tennis Grand Slam tournaments. As such, Wimbledon is awash in long-lasting traditions, the most famous perhaps being the all-white (or predominantly white) dress code for all participants. How did this come about?

How to differentiate fact from fake

In 2018 Britannica established a partnership with YouTube as just one of our initiatives to help users cut through the Internet clutter and find reliable information.Today visitors to YouTube will have a new and easier way to get more information about certain topics. Encyclopaedia Britannica will provide custom, fact-checked information on certain historical and scientific topics that have been subject to misinformation, and YouTube will link to this information from Britannica in searches and below videos about these topics.

An example of the coverage Britannica will provide includes a feature on the 2014 disappearance of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17. YouTube is starting with a small number of topics, which will be displayed for users in the United States, and slowly rolling out this feature more broadly in the coming months. In addition to Britannica’s in-depth coverage of the subject, YouTube users visiting http://www.britannica.com/ will get additional information developed specially for them. Try it out to see how you can more easily access verified, trusted information.

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Resilience: A critical protective factor in life

Life today takes a toll on our emotional, psychological, and physical well-being. People do not have the mental framework to adequately meet the overwhelming demands of modern life. This inadequacy leaves most people with growing levels of anxiety and depression; a disconnection to their experiences of joy, love, happiness, and inner peace; and as a lack of a sense of purpose in life with related personal and professional meaning.

How can we help children prepare for this daily negative bombardment? Social and emotional learning (SEL) frameworks and best practices hold the key to teaching self-awareness and producing the resilience factor in youth.

Related content: 10 signs you’re doing SEL right

From children being bullied in schools because of ethnic or social status, to increased heroin abuse because of post-traumatic stress syndrome, to increased levels of adolescent depression and suicide due to increased stressors, to increased incidences of sexual assault and cutting on college campuses, to record levels of being overweight and obesity, just to name a few, we can agree that we need to do more to prevent mental illness in youth and to help them develop resilience.

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Why is girls’ interest in STEM careers shockingly low?

A new survey shows that the number of girls interested in pursuing STEM careers is alarmingly small–and it continues to decline.

The survey from Junior Achievement, conducted by the research group Engine, shows that only 9 percent of girls ages 13-17 express an interest in STEM careers, down from 11 percent in a similar 2018 survey.

Related: Girls and STEM: A female engineer shares her path

Teen boys’ interest in STEM careers increased slightly to 27 percent, up from 24 percent in 2018. The survey of 1,004 teens was conducted from April 16 to 21, 2019. Eighty-five percent of teens say they know what kind of job they want after graduation, down slightly from 88 percent in 2018

While girls’ interest in STEM careers like engineering, robotics, and computer science declined, their interest in careers in the medical and dental fields increased to 25 percent, up from 19 percent in 2018.

What can motivate girls to pursue STEM careers?

The call for equal representation is becoming louder, and society is striving to solve glaring gender gaps in STEM graduates and STEM fields across the country. The numbers tell an alarming story about female representation in STEM education and fields.

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5 ways we’ve integrated STEAM education into storytelling

When you think of a museum, the image that comes to mind is keeping your hands at your sides and looking at artifacts. That isn’t what the Knock Knock Children’s Museum is about. With a target audience of birth through third grade, we encourage kids to learn through play about a variety of topics using modern technology in combination with beloved stories—both old and new.

Fourteen years of research went into developing exhibits that involve learning through play before the museum opened in August of 2017. STEAM education (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) has blossomed even more since we opened almost two years ago, but we didn’t want to sacrifice creativity and literacy.

Related content: 6 STEAM education resources for any classroom

STEAM education is integrated in every single learning zone throughout the museum, just as it is everywhere in life. For example, in the Art Garden children may be creating squishy circuits with Play-Doh to make things light up or buzz. In the Knock Knock Maker Shop they may be building Scribbling Machines using motors and batteries and are challenged to create a contraption that moves across the page and leave a mark in its path. And in Go Go Garage, they may be designing cars with LEGOs, testing them on inclined race tracks, and then making adjustments so they can go faster.

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3 things to consider when introducing a K-12 coding or robotics program

K-12 teachers and administrators have been listening to policy makers and industry leaders warn of the need for computer science instruction in U.S. schools for years. And the evidence they cite is compelling. For instance…

  • Global management consulting firm McKinsey & Co. estimates there will be 50 million new technology jobs created by 2030 as automation transforms the workforce. While artificial intelligence and robotics will change or eliminate many jobs, McKinsey says, these advancements will also create many new high-paying opportunities for computer scientists, engineers, and IT administrators.
  • According to Code.org, there are nearly 500,000 open computing jobs in the United States right now, and yet the nation is not producing enough computer science graduates to fill them. Last year, fewer than 50,000 computer science majors graduated into the workforce.
  • Although 58 percent of all new jobs in STEM-related fields are in computing, only 8 percent of the STEM degrees earned in the United States are in computer science, Code.org says.

Related content: 11 educators share how they bring coding into the classroom

Learning about coding and robotics can give students of all ages an effective on-ramp to computer science exploration. As educators Lynne Schrum and Sandi Sumerfield wrote for ISTE last year: “Robotics and coding provide hands-on and creative opportunities for learners to invent, solve problems, and create — perhaps the most appropriate implementation of STEM.” When taught well, these subjects can be fun and engaging for students.

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Closing the college and career readiness gap

Year after year, research suggests that high school students are unprepared for the rigors of college. The lack of proficiency in their secondary school education and the resulting underperformance in college are having a profound and long-term impact on students, schools, and society in general.

Learn how K-12 leaders are leveraging resources to empower students to succeed in ways that supersede traditional spaces or pathways. As educational equity continues to be a top priority for many districts, close partnerships between local high schools and community colleges can be underestimated in their value to support and align to students’ college readiness and success. Read the full report now.

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What Is Good Leadership in Schools?

A recent study found that not one school (of 180 surveyed) was able to improve student achievement records without effective school leadership. This research  shows a clear connection between skilled school leadership and positive student learning outcomes. It’s proof that good leadership in schools makes a direct impact on students’ experience and performance.

Good leadership in schools is the practice of encouraging and enabling school-wide teaching expertise in order to achieve a strong rate of progress for all learners. This leadership can be driven by principals and executive staff in traditional leadership roles, as well as by school leaders and teachers without defined leadership roles.

For teaching staff and future leaders in the education sector, it’s important to understand what the benchmark is for good leadership in schools, and how it can be used to drive lasting change.

 

What does good school leadership look like in practice?

Effective school leaders apply their educational expertise and management skills in order to focus their efforts, and those of their teaching staff, on improving the quality of student learning outcomes. Part of this involves keeping up-to-date on the latest teaching technologies and trends. It also requires excellent interpersonal skills – as leaders work with students, staff, parents and external communities to gain constant feedback and find opportunities to innovate. School leaders need to have a solid grasp of operational best practices and an aptitude for enabling continuous development.

Good leadership in schools helps to foster both a positive and motivating culture for staff and a high-quality experience for learners. Leaders at all levels in schools can contribute to this by developing the top skills needed by school leaders.

 

5 top skills of good school leaders

  1. Leading through teaching and learning

For a school leader to be successful in their role, they need to lead the way in driving teaching and learning outcomes, first and foremost. This involves setting expectations about the school’s learning practices and ensuring the organisation’s values and behaviours underpin a focus on improving student success.

Good leadership should always seek to innovate in the field of education, keeping up-to-date with the latest developments while also seeking feedback from school staff and students. Importantly, school leaders should encourage the continuous learning and development of teaching staff, so that educational methods are informed by current industry practices. Beyond their own school, leaders should encourage collaboration and partnerships with other education providers, resulting in broader impacts on the education system.

  1. Developing self, and others

Good school leadership should have a strong focus on continued professional development. This starts with leaders growing their own skills and knowledge through a commitment to professional development and personal health and wellbeing. It should also promote the development of other teaching staff.

Leaders within schools should work with staff to understand their personal development needs and skills, as well as knowledge gaps. This can help to create a culture of empowered, self-directed learning and responsibility, leading by example to demonstrate how schooling staff can improve their teaching capacity. 

  1. Promoting positive change in school environments

With the education space evolving rapidly, it’s essential for leaders in schools to be open to innovation and change and to drive new initiatives in the school environment. The change should remain consistent with the school’s values and goals, while genuinely working towards the improvement of student outcomes. Leaders in schools should ensure that a culture of research, innovation and creativity is at the heart of the organisation, and should seek regular feedback and data on student performance relating to changes.

  1. Driving school management

Leaders in schools use a range of data management methods and technologies to manage school staff and resources efficiently. They work with team members to ensure efficient operations, while also liaising with school boards, governing bodies and parent cohorts.

Driving school management involves the responsibility of connecting the school’s vision and values with everyday operations to ensure the best learning outcomes for students. Leaders need to create strategic plans based on consultation with staff, students, parents and outside influences.

  1. Engaging and working with the community

A key focus that school leaders need to have is engaging with their wider community. Schools are often comprised of a mixture of students from different cultural, linguistic, and spiritual backgrounds. Effective leaders must interact with and celebrate the diversity of the community, ensuring everyone is made to feel included.

From students, parents and carers, to other schools within the education system, leaders need to foster good relationships and build strong partnerships to ensure positive outcomes are achieved across the sector.

 

Take your teaching career to the next level

Further study in education could help you become a future leader in schools. There is a range of resources available to educators to help you make an impact as a leader, and studying a Master’s degree can help you take your own professional development to the next level. Educators can experience a variety of benefits from obtaining a Master’s qualification in education, including higher salaries and exciting professional development opportunities.

A Master of Education degree can provide a deeper understanding off the theoretical and practical backgrounds that drive the teaching profession. Consider developing your leadership capabilities and start your journey towards driving change in the education sector.

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Student achievement: From anxiety to helping students feel like they belong, learn tips to improve your student achievement

Here are the most popular articles on student achievement over the past month!

1. 5 things to avoid saying to students suffering from anxiety
Young adults suffering from anxiety are everywhere; how can we better support them?

2. Helping ALL students feel like they belong
Sometimes, a change in approach is all that’s needed to make everyone feel valued.

3. Can audiobooks be the great equalizer for students with learning differences?
It’s time to find new approaches to personalize learning for students who learn differently

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How we turned around our ability to support wi-fi innovation

Demographics:

Nazareth Area School District is an eastern Pennsylvania school district with more than 4,800 students across six schools.

Biggest challenge:

Facing increasing demands to provide exceptional experiences for both students and teachers, our legacy network was simply not able to keep pace. We needed new network technology capable of supporting the digital curriculum within the classroom while also providing reliable wireless coverage outdoors to support the district’s new security strategy and emergency preparedness app. We realized that meeting these needs would require us to modernize the network from the edge to the core and that the solution would have to be both utility grade and simple to deploy.

Solution:

We chose to deploy new wired and wireless solutions to ensure high performance. After a thorough evaluation of our options, we decided to go with Aruba and are now running two 8320 switches as the foundation of our network. With the ArubaOS-CX operating system, these switches give us a fully redundant network that makes failovers, whether planned or unplanned, completely undetectable by our users.

Related: 5 network steps to support edtech

Additionally, with Aruba we were able to deploy outdoor wi-fi for the first time. As a critical component of our new security initiative, we cover the entire perimeter of each school with wi-fi to ensure that faculty and staff are able to use our response tool, NaviGate Prepared, anywhere on campus in order to quickly determine who is accounted for and who isn’t during an emergency.

Reliable wi-fi has also improved the use of innovation within our classrooms. Now that teachers are confident in the wireless network, they are evolving their curricula to include technology such as coding, robotics, Google Expeditions VR Classroom kits and a wide range of other digital learning tools.

Lessons learned:

  • When you implement the right network, you’ll know it – when we first deployed Aruba wi-fi, all the connectivity problems we’d experienced in classrooms vanished.
  • Everything ultimately connects back to the core of the network, so choosing a redundant and reliable core switch is key to implementing other technologies.
  • When choosing a wireless provider, it’s important to consider how they will support applications for the classroom, especially in a 1:1 initiative.
  • If you’re considering ways to enhance student security, consider your connectivity outside as well as inside in order to have reliable communication during an emergency.

Next steps:

  • Our facilities management staff is looking at new ways to add building automation and access systems to our network.
  • In order to ensure the advanced data security required for IoT devices, we are adopting ClearPass Policy Manager.
  • We are planning to enhance our student success with more cloud-based solutions for teaching, learning and administration.
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Iowa’s Buena Vista University launches new track within online Master’s Degree program powered by Discovery Education

Iowa’s Buena Vista University (BVU) is launching a new track within their online Master’s Degree program designed from the ground up for the full-time K-12 educator powered by Discovery Education, the leader in standards-aligned digital curriculum resources, engaging content, and professional learning for K-12 classrooms. Through the program’s new Technology Integrationist Track now available as part of BVU’s Teacher Leadership, Curriculum, and Instruction Master’s Degree Program, participating educators will learn the skills and classroom strategies they need to create dynamic K-12 digital learning environments for all students.

BVU’s 30-credit hour Master’s program in Teacher Leadership, Curriculum, and Instruction provides working K-12 teachers the academic background they need to enhance their teaching practice and advance their careers fully online. Participants enrolled in its new Technology Integrationist Track will learn from BVU and Discovery Education instructors how to successfully combine educational technologies with research-based, pedagogically proven instructional strategies to create student-centered classrooms.

The courses offered through the Technology Integrationist Track of BVU’s Teacher Leadership, Curriculum, and Instruction Master’s Degree Program are designed and taught by leaders in the fields of educational technology and pedagogy. With courses focused on topics such as school leadership in the digital age, leveraging cutting-edge technology to differentiate instruction, and assessing and evaluating classroom learning, participants learn concepts online that can be readily applied in the classroom the next day. For more information about the Technology Integrationist Track of BVU’s Teacher Leadership, Curriculum, and Instruction Master’s Degree Program and to register for the Fall Semester, visit this website.

“Buena Vista University is excited to launch this exciting new relationship with Discovery Education,” said Dr. Lucas DeWitt, Program Director of the University’s Master of Education in Teacher Leadership, Curriculum, and Instruction Program. “Discovery Education’s deep expertise in creating engaging classroom experiences perfectly supports Buena Vista University’s powerful, online education programs and will benefit not only participating teachers, but the students they serve as well.”

To support K-12 instruction nationwide, Discovery Education has partnered with graduate-level educators over the past 10 years to design courses delivered through advanced degree programs that help practicing educators drive improved student achievement, implement high-yield instructional strategies, and propel their careers forward. This new collaboration is an expansion of this effort and part of a global network of Universities offering educators affordable, online programs that drive innovative K-12 teaching and instructional leadership.

According to OnlineU, BVU’s Teacher Leadership, Curriculum, and Instruction Program is tied for the number one most affordable online education Masters’ degree program in the nation, which means that in two years and for less than $8,000, students can earn their Master of Education degree.

“Discovery Education is proud to partner with Dr. DeWitt and the forward-thinking team at Buena Vista University on this innovative degree program,” said Kelli Campbell, Discovery Education’s Chief Innovation Officer. “Our more than 10-year history of supporting educators’ continued professional development—from in-classroom coaching to online self-paced modules to courses that enhance K-12 instruction—provides the perfect foundation for this new partnership and continues our work to propel student success around the world.”

For more information about Discovery Education’s digital curricular resources and professional learning services, visit www.discoveryeducation.com, and stay connected with Discovery Education on social media through Facebook, follow us on Twitter at @DiscoveryEd, or find us on Instagram and Pinterest.

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