Here’s why STEM Career Days are a great idea

Key points:

A new study at the University of Missouri–in partnership with Harvard-Smithsonian researchers–shows that when colleges host ‘STEM Career Days,’ the students who attend are far more likely to pursue a career in a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) related field.

The findings not only highlight the benefits of college recruiters introducing high school students to STEM-related opportunities, but they can also help increase and diversify the STEM workforce in the United States.…Read More

How meta creativity prepares students for the future

Key points:

  • AI is changing education–and these changes can be beneficial if handled correctly
  • Meta creativity–routines that help us engage fully with the hardest parts of creativity–can help with AI integration
  • See related article: 5 positive ways students can use AI
  • For more news on AI and creativity, visit eSN’s Digital Learning page

Nearly 40 percent of teachers expect to use AI in their classrooms by the end of the 2023-2024 academic year. This use of AI at school will impact how students learn and use their creativity as innovation, which will be increasingly necessary in the future as even higher-order thinking skills become standard. There will be long-term effects if the methods of teaching creativity are not adjusted, but if educators embrace AI mindfully, there will be long-term benefits.

In my experience observing educators and students, I started to see a need for more moments of reflection. The education space and other industries are quickly evolving because of AI, but humans, especially young students, aren’t yet hard-wired to adapt at the same pace. In response, educators need to take more time and enlist the help of tools to begin planting the seeds of mindful creativity in relation to AI, which will be a critical skill as young children grow into tomorrow’s workforce.…Read More

Purposeful play helps kids learn–here’s how to integrate it

Key points:

  • Teachers agree that learning through play is a more effective way for students to learn compared to more traditional approaches
  • Students say their favorite times in the classroom are when they get to do hands-on activities and believe that play helps them learn
  • See related article: How to integrate a computer science curriculum into K-5 classrooms
  • For more news on teaching trends and curriculum, visit eSN’s Innovative Teaching page

A new survey of K-8 teachers and students from LEGO Education found that nearly all (98 percent) of students say purposeful play helps them learn and the majority (96 percent) of teachers believe it’s more effective than traditional methods like lectures or textbooks. On top of that, almost 80 percent of students want more playful learning experiences in the classroom.

Despite these benefits, 40 percent of teachers are incorporating play only once a week or less, and nearly half (47 percent) think they spend too much time on it.…Read More

3 best practices to create a STEM-focused school

Key points:

The benefits of STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education are numerous, and one would be hard-pressed to find a school district that doesn’t have a project, initiative, class, or lesson with the acronym in its title.  According to the U.S. Department of Labor, in 2021, there were nearly 10 million workers in STEM occupations–a total projected to grow by almost 11 percent by 2031. This figure represents a growth rate twice as fast as non-STEM occupations.

The department also noted that STEM jobs often pay substantially more than jobs in other fields. Even if a student doesn’t select a career in STEM, the soft skills they will learn at a STEM-focused school (critical thinking, teamwork, problem-solving and more) will serve them well in whatever they choose to do in life.…Read More

Empowering educators through holistic teacher PD

Key points:

I vividly remember 20 years ago when I first entered the education field as an elementary school teacher. My lifelong career dream became a reality as I proudly entered my classroom, ready to nurture and positively impact young minds. 

Also memorable was that it didn’t take long to recognize I was missing key training and resources that could help make me a more effective educator. I approached this realization with optimism, eager to learn and grow, reaching out for the support of my supervisors and peers. I didn’t know it at the time, but these early experiences in the classroom and exposure to professional development would profoundly help shape my career path. I became passionate about helping other teachers feel prepared and finding ways to help them enhance their skills, knowledge and confidence.    …Read More

4 big benefits of professional development for adolescent reading instruction

Key points:

The mission of our English Language Arts Department is for staff, families, and community members to work in partnership to ensure that all students have adequate and equitable access to high-quality literacy instructional experiences that will prepare them to graduate ready to transform their communities and beyond.  As part of our theory of action, we believe that if we support teachers in developing and delivering aligned, rigorous, and engaging literacy instruction (including targeted professional development for reading instruction), and if we use varied, intentional, and common literacy assessment data coupled with individualized student learning, then we will achieve equitable outcomes in which every student thrives, and every school is high performing. 

Our district was already engaged in a professional development program for literacy in grades K-3 when we learned about a new offering that had been created specifically for adolescent reading instruction. We were instantly interested, knowing that we had interrupted and unfinished teaching and learning, especially in grades 4 through 8 as a result of the global pandemic.  …Read More

55 back-to-school tips and insights for a great year

It’s back-to-school season across the country, and while this is met with mixed emotions, like it or not, classroom doors are open and welcoming students.

Here are some back-to-school tips, advice, and valuable insights from educators, stakeholders, and industry experts.

We need to prioritize discussions on how to effectively support multilingual students. Our country is home to a wide range of diverse and vibrant cultures, and it’s important that we acknowledge and value the languages these students already bring with them when they enter U.S. schools. Unfortunately, our education system often struggles to provide adequate support for these students if they don’t know English. However, I am hopeful that this year we will witness a renewed commitment towards providing resources, policies, and initiatives that cater to English Language Learners and promote multilingualism in schools. School and district leaders will be actively seeking innovative approaches, leveraging data, and collaborating with advocacy organizations and policymakers to bring about meaningful changes in how we educate English Language Learners.
–Dr. Maria Armstrong, Executive Director, Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents (ALAS)…Read More

Books, ebooks, and audiobooks, oh my!

Key points:

My 2023 #BritReads book tally experienced a massive slowdown in April when my husband and I welcomed Holden Lane to the world. After about a week of silent late-night feedings, I found myself dozing off while reading a print book. It had nothing to do with the nature of the content and everything to do with the fact that I was simply tired. Because I’m a compulsive multi-tasker, I decided the overnight feedings called for earbuds and audiobooks. I’d be lying if I said I haven’t dozed off or zoned out for a section here or there, but overall, audiobooks have allowed me to get my #BritReads book fix in, even with a newborn. 

Despite my affinity for audiobooks, looking at the book industry sales figures, it is clear print is still king. I agree, there’s nothing like turning the page of a print book. But audiobook critics say the format doesn’t count as reading…I disagree.…Read More