4 tips to bring the real world into your classroom

Too often, the focus of education is not the actual use of knowledge and material but rather a memorize and repeat model.

It is an archaic formula that stems from a time when students were required to simply sit and listen–and it is poor preparation for the modern world. Today’s students need to be exposed to working environments that foster collaboration, communication, and community. Higher education and the workforce do this well. However, schools and teachers need to foster that same collaboration in K-12 education to better prepare students for their futures.

One way to do this is for educators to incorporate real-world examples into their teaching. Real-world examples bring something more tangible, impactful, and real to the curriculum, and students become more interested and engaged when they see how their lessons apply to their daily lives. They also promote a more critical and holistic way of thinking. After all, life is often more complex than what is presented in the classroom.…Read More

110% humidity, 100% human collaboration

This summer, thousands of educators and vendors who serve education descended on New Orleans and braved 110% humidity for the first “back to normal” conference for the International Society of Technology in Education, or ISTE. After two virtual conferences, folks were excited to be back in person, and despite continued COVID protocols, hugs abounded as friends and colleagues reunited on the tradeshow floor and during sessions throughout the New Orleans convention center. 

My conference experience began at the Future Ready Library Summit on Collaboration where 150 librarians from across the country—and even overseas—gathered to brainstorm ways in which they could better collaborate with teachers, principals, district leadership, and each other. I had the opportunity to welcome the group and felt compelled to share a story about one of my previous visits to New Orleans in 2005, about a week after Hurricane Katrina made landfall. 

Back then, I worked as a television journalist in Oklahoma City. I traveled with the Army to New Orleans to cover the search, rescue, and recovery missions.  While there, we slept in the Walmart parking lot in the Ninth Ward. I had to wear a mask (many years before masks were the norm) and put Vicks VapoRub under my nose to combat the smell of the flood water and waste. My videographer smoked cigarettes at the time, and I found myself standing next to him because the cigarettes smelled better than the air (and I’ve never had a cigarette in my life)!…Read More

Hawaii’s Kihei Elementary School Selects Discovery Education’s Mystery Science to Support Deeper Student Engagement in the 2022-2023 School Year

SILVER SPRING, MD (Wednesday, July 20, 2022)—Hawaii’s Kihei Elementary School today announced that it has expanded its partnership with Discovery Education, which has supported the school’s educators in creating engaging digital learning environments since 2015. Through this new phase of collaboration, educators at Kihei Elementary School will add Mystery Science, an award-winning digital resource for K-5 teachers and students, to their suite of Discovery Education resources used across the school during the 2022-2023 school year. Discovery Education is the worldwide edtech leader whose state-of-the-art digital platform supports instruction wherever it takes place. 

Located on the Hawaiian island of Maui, Kihei Elementary School’s mission is to develop the whole child through teamwork and collaboration among students, teachers, parents, and the community. While the school’s educators currently use both Discovery Education’s K-12 platform and the company’s Science Techbook to support teaching and learning in all disciplines, Kihei Elementary School’s educators sought additional resources that would easily support the implementation of the Next Generation Science Standards and promote hands-on learning. Following a careful review of possible resources, the Kihei Elementary School team selected Mystery Science for classroom use.  

Mystery Science, which joined the family of Discovery Education services in 2020 and recently won SIIA’s Best Science Instructional Solution CODiE award for Grades PK – 8, provides K-5 educators simple to use, open-and-go, hands-on lessons that inspire students to love science. Each lesson begins by posing a question commonly asked by young students, followed by a series of brief videos and prompts to guide class discussion. The lesson concludes with a hands-on activity designed to bring learning to life. …Read More

Tennessee’s Maury County Schools Deepens Collaboration with Discovery Education to Support Summer Learning Initiatives

SILVER SPRING, MD (July, 2022)—Tennessee’s Maury County Public Schools (MCPS) announced it has deepened its multiyear collaboration with Discovery Education, the worldwide edtech leader whose state-of-the-art digital platform supports learning wherever it takes place. In latest phase of this long-term partnership, eight K-8 schools hosting the district’s summer learning initiative are integrating a suite of award-winning, flexible, digital resources into instruction to create enriching, real-world learning experiences that connect students to the world around them while preparing them for future success. 

MCPS is a pre-K-12 school district in Southern Middle Tennessee operating 21 schools, one virtual academy, one non-traditional high school, and one alternative school. MCPS employs more than 900 teachers and 500 staff members who serve nearly 13,000 students. Each summer, the district hosts a special summer learning session offering participating K-8 students unique support and opportunities. MCPS teachers and educational assistants work with small groups of students to provide targeted, focused instruction every day, providing an engaging opportunity to boost participants’ learning. 

This year’s summer learning program was designed to support reading and math enrichment. provide opportunities for organized play, and offer fun, hands-on science, technology, reading, art, and mathematics activities. To support these goals, MCPS sought a flexible multi-disciplinary platform that met the state’s STREAM (Science, Technology, Reading, Arts, Math) requirement for summer school programs across the state and whose utility would last beyond this initiative. Following a careful review of available resources, the district selected the following resources from Discovery Education: …Read More

Getting real-world experience: High schoolers design a ‘life skills’ lab for students with disabilities

This story was originally published by Chalkbeat. Sign up for their newsletters at ckbe.at/newsletters.

A collaboration between two schools co-located in a midtown Manhattan campus has bridged both of their missions in the most fruitful way possible: a hands-on project giving their respective students real-world life skills.

Students at Urban Assembly School of Design and Construction have donned the role of architects, designing a one-bedroom apartment for their “clients” at P.S. 138M, a District 75 school serving children with moderate to severe disabilities.…Read More

The path to success is paved with durable skills

Workforce needs are ever-changing, and in order to keep pace, today’s students should develop–as early as possible–the durable skills necessary for technological and interpersonal success.

Durable skills include skills like critical thinking, creativity, collaboration, along with leadership, mindfulness, the ability to fail, and a growth mindset. And it doesn’t matter which career path a student takes–durable skills will be necessary for success on that path.

In a report, America Succeeds partnered with Lightcast to look at 82 million job postings from 2019 and 2020 and identify how large the demand is for job applicants with these skills.…Read More

How this teacher uses story coding to spark creativity and collaboration

When coding merges with storytelling, you have story coding, in which students use computational skills and design thinking as they demonstrate creativity across core curricular areas.

During an ISTELive 22 virtual session, computer science, robotics, and design thinking educator Paige Besthoff demonstrated how story coding–combining storytelling and coding–helps students develop critical skills.

Story coding involves using computer programming to retell stories–students might summarize a story, write original stories, or use programming to create alternative endings to well-known stories. Teachers can use story coding to bring history, science, world languages, ELA, and even math into their lessons.…Read More

Kajeet to Bring Next-Gen Private 5G to Schools & Students Across America in Partnership with Google Cloud

MCLEAN, Va.–( BUSINESS WIRE)– Kajeet, a world-class provider of private wireless and managed IoT connectivity, today announced a collaboration with Google to deploy its Private 5G Platform on Google Distributed Cloud Edge. The goal of the partnership is to help transform the future of education by:

  • Connecting the unconnected students and communities with high-quality wireless Internet and Close the Digital Divide once and for all.
  • Empowering Learning Anywhere by combining Kajeet’s public & private wireless networks with Google’s Chromebook and Classroom EDU solutions.
  • Creating Smart Schools, powered by the Kajeet Private 5G Platform & Google Cloud, to enhance classroom activities and enable a next-gen immersive learning experience for students and teachers.

Many school districts aspire to provide adequate off-campus broadband access to their staff and students. According to the White House, more than 30 million Americans live in areas where broadband infrastructure is unable to provide minimally acceptable speeds. Kajeet, in step with Google, strives to end the connectivity gap with Smart, Simple, and Secure Private 5G networks for schools, neighboring communities, library systems, community colleges, and universities to easily connect all of their people, places, and things.

Kajeet is a trusted wireless partner to educational institutions, with over two decades of experience providing managed IoT and public internet connectivity to over 3,000 school districts. There is a great need to provide safe, secure, and reliable private wireless service for students and communities in underserved markets. Kajeet is in the process of planning and designing several Private 5G networks using Google Distributed Cloud Edge for school districts across the country that will launch later this year.…Read More

Certell Named a Finalist for Two 2022 Civvys Awards

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — (June 14, 2022) — Certell, Inc., whose mission is to foster a generation of independent thinkers, was named a finalist for two awards in the fifth annual American Civic Collaboration Awards, also known as the “Civvys.”

The Civvys is the only national awards program dedicated to celebrating projects that emphasize working together across divides to strengthen communities and empower citizens. By leveraging collaboration as a core strength, these initiatives put community and nation before party, ideology, and narrow interests, embodying a civic spirit that inspires other Americans to take action.

Certell’s SensibleSchool was named a finalist in the National Category for its Bending Bars program that brings Civics and other classes to prison inmates. Certell’s Poptential™ was named a finalist in the Youth Category for its free family of social studies course packages that include engaging digital storytelling to bring social studies to life.…Read More

New Jersey’s Middle Township Public Schools Initiates New Partnership with Discovery Education to Enhance Middle School Science Instruction

SILVER SPRING, MD (June 12, 2022)—New Jersey’s Middle Township Public Schools (MTPS) announced it has initiated a new partnership with Discovery Education that will enhance science instruction for middle school students districtwide. Through this collaboration, educators in grades 6-8 will be empowered to enhance their science lessons with an engaging new suite of dynamic digital services, hands-on resources, and professional learning opportunities supporting these resources’ integration into instruction. Discovery Education is the worldwide edtech leader whose state-of-the-art digital platform supports instruction wherever it takes place. 

Located in Southern New Jersey, MTPS provides excellence in education while celebrating the strength of its diversity. The curriculum and opportunities offered to district students are designed to help them see beyond the boundaries of traditional education, and faculty, staff, and students are encouraged to engage in meaningful discussions and activities that enable them to translate academic lessons into real world solutions. 

To help facilitate these types of learning experiences in the district’s middle school science classrooms, MTPS administrators sought a suite of engaging digital and print resources that promote connections between classroom learning and the outside world and are aligned to applicable science education standards. Following a rigorous review of several possible resources by a collaborative team of MTPS science teachers led by middle school Principal Jeff Ortman, the district selected the following services from Discovery Education: …Read More