4. No Links. Creating a strong link between curriculum, standards and assessment in a digital framework as well as connecting the learning to students’ personal interests and goals is balancing act. Without effective teacher professional development and systems and processes for measuring what works, curriculum is missing the mark and falling short.
5. Retention. Retention. Finding teachers is difficult, and keeping them is nearly impossible. Nearly 15% leave the profession in less than 12 months, 50% close their ‘books’ in the first five years. Why? Many cite lack of resources as one of the biggest contributing factors.
6. Teacher (In)Effectiveness. So much time is spent on administrative tasks (lesson planning, grading, copying and distributing papers) that too little time left to actually focus on what they want to do—teach.
7. Open Up. When the lines of communications remain a true dialogue between parents and schools—not surprisingly student achievement increases, students behave better and graduation rates increase. The challenge? Remain open for business.
8. Access This. Without access to student information such as upcoming assignments, progress reports, school events and class activities, parents become disconnected from their child’s school and learning life before you can say, “student achievement suffers.”
9. #Blendedflippedpersonalized. Without a clear understanding of learning outcomes and the shift to technology-driven pedagogy, parents will question the value of digital curriculum, digital content and the various assigned activities that involve project-based learning, peer-to-peer learning and other student-driven and student-centered teaching techniques.
10. Not Meeting Up. By high school, only four in 10 students qualify as engaged, most commonly citing a disconnect between the way their teacher teach and how they actually learn in today’s wired society. Schools must strive to engage the disengaged.
11. No Joke: Read No. 10 Again. High school dropouts are 72 percent more likely to be unemployed than high school graduates, and about three times as likely as those who have finished high school to slip into poverty from one year to the next.
12. One Size Does Not Fit All. This is not your father’s classroom. Students today come to school with a range of previous knowledge and experience. With the pressures of standardized testing, and minimal time for teachers to personalize learning experiences, students are left with choice or voice, and can quickly become disengaged. (See No. 10 again!)
Stephen Noonoo is a former editor of eSchool News. He has served as a consultant for CUE, California’s ISTE affiliate, and as managing editor of its quarterly publication, OnCUE. He has worked as a freelance writer, an education editor for SmartBrief newsletters, and as a staff editor for a well-known publication focusing on education technology.
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