North Carolina Educators Praise Alef Education for Closing Math Learning Gaps With Its Innovative Digital Platform

Teachers in three North Carolina counties report their students, who are trying to close math learning gaps caused by COVID-related school disruptions, are making progress thanks to an innovative digital learning platform. This summer, six schools in Ashe, Gates and Polk counties are using Alef Education’s mathematics technology tool that helps teachers as they try to help students with their individual learning losses. 

Alef Education, a leading global education technology provider that empowers 21st century learning, partnered with NexGen Education to offer all North Carolina districts access without any cost. The participating counties in the summer trial have reached 825 math students in 6th–8th grades.

Jamie Graber, a 6th and 7th grade math teacher at Polk County Middle School, says, “I think Alef Math paired with targeted lessons is helping by ensuring students are truly able to apply the content they learn. Alef Math allows students to review the content just taught and then practice without fear of failure. Alef also provides students with an opportunity for deeper application after the basic concept is understood.”…Read More

Stanford course prepares educators for the new school year

The ability to communicate effectively is increasingly recognized as an important skill for students entering the workforce. Two new initiatives that guide educators – the College and Career Readiness Standards and the Framework for 21st Century Learning – identify communication and collaboration as key elements of student learning. The standards particularly describe the importance of students understanding the reasoning of others and engaging in meaningful conversations using critical thinking.

Stanford University’s Graduate School of Education has launched a short online course designed specifically to help educators create rich and meaningful opportunities for communication within the classroom. The course, Effective Conversation in the Classroom, launches this August with three online sessions. K-12 classroom instructors, instructional coaches, and educational administrators are invited to enroll.

Each session includes expert video screencasts, classroom video clips, readings and resources, and assignments that will help participants create a strong foundation of communication within the classroom. The course has been developed by Understanding Language/SCALE, a Stanford research and practice center focused on K-12 language and performance assessment. The teaching team consists of Stanford Professor Emeritus Kenji Hakuta, Senior Researcher Dr. Jeff Zwiers and Lecturer Dr. Sara Rutherford-Quach.…Read More

Districts share progress toward 21st-century learning

Student access to technology is top priority as educators implement 21st-century learning.

Incorporating technology to enhance student learning and creating teams of stakeholders to drive innovation in all school endeavors are two of a handful of best practices that educators from across the nation shared during a recent webinar on how to develop engaging learning environments.

Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is a principle that has factored largely into Indiana’s Bartholomew Consolidated School Corporation’s instructional strategy. UDL is “a set of principles for curriculum development that give all individuals equal opportunities to learn,” according to the National Center on Universal Design for Learning.…Read More

House passes major science, technology bill

Schools and universities urged the bill's passing for STEM funding.
Schools and universities could see millions more for STEM education.

The U.S. House of Representatives gave its assent on May 28 to $84 billion in federal funding to help keep the country competitive in the fields of scientific and technological innovation, just days before a new list suggested China is challenging America’s dominance in supercomputing.

Among other measures, the bill supports science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education through a coordination of activities at all levels.…Read More

Ten winners snag $1.7M total in digital competition

Ten digital learning projects will be funded through a $1.7M grant program.
Ten digital learning projects will receive a total of $1.7M from the MacArthur Foundation.

A project to show youth-produced videos on 2,200 Los Angeles city buses, the next generation of a graphical programming language that allows young people to create their own interactive features, and an online game that teaches kids the environmental impact of their personal choices are among 10 winning projects that will share $1.7 million in funding to create new “learning labs of the 21st century” through the MacArthur Digital Media and Learning Competition.

The competition winners will use games, mobile phone applications, virtual worlds, and social networks to advance learning in the 21st century, the foundation said.…Read More

Tapscott: Digital natives need tech-rich education

TechLearners
Educators should be open to how students use technology, author Don Tapscott argues.

Educators should change the way they view technology’s role in everyday life in order to understand students’ educational needs, said Don Tapscott, chairman of nGenera Insight, during a Jan. 19 Consortium for School Networking webinar on the digital generation.

The nation is at a turning point, Tapscott said, and many institutions that have served us well for decades or even centuries—including education—have come to the end of their life cycle and must be “rebooted” or reinvented for a new age.…Read More