3 ways gamification engages students

In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, hundreds of thousands of K-12 and college students have transitioned to online learning. However, not all teachers have received the adequate resources and training needed to teach remotely.

One of the major issues teachers are struggling with is effectively engaging students. In a study of 554 teachers in the San Antonio area, 60 percent said that students turned in assignments less frequently during distance learning, and 65 percent believed that there were significantly fewer lessons that grabbed the attention of students. Because online learning cannot easily foster the social and emotional connections that in-person learning does, students have a more difficult time staying motivated in classes.

Gamification, defined as using game-like elements in non-game contexts, can help motivate online learners and solve this issue. In the context of education, gamification elements typically include digital badges, leaderboards, progress bars, and more. Integrating these elements within an online learning environment can provide students with an intriguing, immersive experience.…Read More

High Prevalence of Mental Health Risk Amid COVID Pandemic Taking a Serious Toll on U.S. Students’ Cognition

Neuroscientific research conducted by Total Brain and the Center for Adolescent Research and Education shows students’  focus, planning, memory and resilience scores fall well below standard average

The COVID pandemic is having a dramatic impact on U.S. students’ mental health which, in turn, is affecting precious cognitive capacities like memory, focus and planning.  According to a neuroscientific study conducted by Total Brain and the Center for Adolescent Research and Education (CARE):

  • 48% of high school and college students are at risk of general anxiety
  • 45% are at risk of social anxiety
  • 39% are at risk of PTSD
  • Risk of common mental health conditions is 19% to 41% higher for females than males

Deteriorating mental health is usually linked with a decline in cognitive capacities. Expressed in percentile ranking, the standard average for any capacity is the 50th percentile ranking. However, the average percentile rank for students in this study fell well below the standard average:…Read More

Vernier Software & Technology Uses Food Experiments to Engage Students in Chemistry Exploration

Vernier Software & Technology recently launched a new lab book that uses food as a means to help high school and college students explore important chemistry concepts. Food Chemistry Experiments, which is available in both electronic and print versions,includes 14 ready-to-use experiments utilizing Vernier technology such as the Go Direct® SpectroVis® Plus Spectrophotometer, Go Direct Temperature Probe, and Go Direct CO2 Gas Sensor to help students investigate complex questions involving food.

“Students are more likely to engage with science when they can connect what they are learning to the real world,” said John Wheeler, CEO of Vernier Software & Technology. “Exploring chemistry concepts using common foods and drinks is a perfect example of this real-world application. From learning about food energy to measuring pH levels, the new lab book provides easy-to-implement investigations to help engage students in chemistry exploration.”

The new lab book features a range of investigations—including “Cooking Under Pressure,” “My Flat Soda Pop,” “True Colors: Separating Food Dyes,” and “Quantifying Iron in Cereal”—that all use easily accessible materials found in most homes and use affordable wireless sensors that can be used with any mobile device, Chromebook, or computer.…Read More

Personalized, Peer-To-Peer Tutoring and Flexible Jobs for Students

Few groups were hit as hard by the pandemic as our nation’s youth. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, COVID-19 disrupted an estimated 56.4 million K-12 students’ studies, and another 19.7 million U.S. college students felt its negative impact. Countless young adults lost or were unable to secure critical part-time jobs. Now, Knoyo Tutoring has launched, with an innovative concept that offers personalized tutoring from college honor students to students of all ages in a supportive, stress-free community. The company was created by a diverse team of 18 college students in collaboration with The National Society of High School Scholars (NSHSS), a student-centric honors and scholarship organization. Knoyo’s mission is to provide students with a pressure-free environment where they can learn, share experiences and knowledge, and navigate their world with confidence.

“Overnight, COVID-19 turned students’ lives upside down. The abrupt switch to online learning created massive academic setbacks and students needed help,” said Knoyo President James Lewis. “We moved quickly to convene a team of outstanding college students who worked with us to create a relevant, contemporary tutoring service centered on a relationship-driven student experience. It also meets an economic need by offering a flexible source of income for college students who tutor through the program.”

Knoyo is a 24/7 virtual tutoring platform and community that’s different from other tutoring services in a number of important ways. First, it lets students chose the tutor that best fits their needs based on subject matter expertise, college, and common interests. Knoyo goes beyond offering test prep to providing help with homework, raising students’ GPAs, and supporting them in the college application process. Tutors come from a wide range of universities, from junior colleges to the Ivy League, ensuring there’s a match for every student. Tutors can set their own schedules and rates, and sessions are coordinated on the Knoyo platform.…Read More

How IT leaders can thrive in the post-COVID era

This school year is unlike any other. More than 90 percent of households with school-age children are engaged in some form of distance learning from home, while college students are navigating a variety of hybrid remote learning environments. These new learning environments present challenges for educators and school IT leaders alike.

Related content: How COVID put a spotlight on equity

As educational institutions of all sizes are weighing how to keep students engaged while also ensuring their safety, IT departments are faced with a difficult task – how to keep operations running regardless of the learning environment.…Read More

Vernier Software & Technology Takes Science to the Next Level

To further support collaborative STEM learning, Vernier Software & Technology recently launched LabQuest 3. This standalone data-collection platform takes the award-winning LabQuest interface and enhances it with a robust set of new features and functionality for middle school, high school, and college students to use during classroom, laboratory, or field investigations.

“LabQuest 3 makes it easier than ever for students to collect, analyze, and interact with data as they engage in hands-on scientific discovery,” said John Wheeler, CEO of Vernier Software & Technology. “The platform’s full set of new features—from its capacitive touch screen to its compatibility with our complete family of Go Direct® wireless sensors—really take the data-collection experience to the next level for students.”

LabQuest 3 is a full-featured platform highlighted by a large, high-resolution color screen, and intuitive software navigation using gestures, which can be a faster, more ergonomic way to interact with the screen. LabQuest 3 also offers robust wireless capabilities that provide students the ability to collect data anywhere when using the device. Students can connect LabQuest 3 to any of the Go Direct sensors using Bluetooth® wireless technology or, if needed, easily connect to wired Vernier sensors. With Wi-Fi wireless connectivity, students can collect and share data with multiple devices—including computers, Chromebooks, or mobile devices running Vernier Graphical Analysis—for a hands-on, collaborative learning experience.…Read More

Discovery Education Names SMASH CEO Eli Kennedy to Board of Directors

Discovery Education, the Charlotte, NC, based leader in standards-aligned digital curriculum resources, engaging content, and professional learning for K-12 classrooms worldwide, today announced the appointment of Eli Kennedy, the CEO of SMASH, to the company’s Board of Directors.  In his new role, Kennedy’s expertise will support Discovery Education’s mission to prepare all learners for tomorrow by creating innovative classrooms connected to today’s world.

Kennedy has served as SMASH CEO since 2016, and leads that company’s efforts to build a strong, diverse and socially conscious tech workforce by leveling the playing field through academic learning and experiential engagement for high school and college students.  Before joining SMASH, Kennedy was the Senior Vice President of Redbird Advanced Learning, a research based EdTech company.

Kennedy has also served as a Director at the Broad Foundation, and was on the leadership team at Platform Learning, a tutoring company focused on supporting low-income students. Prior to focusing on education, Kennedy worked in a strategic management capacity for a technology startup and as a strategy consultant for Andersen Consulting and USWEB/CKS.…Read More

Codecademy Expands Online Coding Education

Codecademy, the online education platform empowering millions of people to learn code, announced two new initiatives for students and teachers, including its first-ever student membership and a new partnership with Clever, the most widely used single sign-on (SSO) portal in K-12 schools nationwide

With many schools going fully or partially remote this fall, Codecademy is making its learning platform more accessible for students and teachers. For college students, Codecademy is launching a new Pro Student membership, which includes complete access to Codecademy’s catalog for a more affordable price.

Codecademy is also providing free access to its online coding courses for high school teachers and their classes via a new partnership with Clever. Codecademy Pro courses will be available in Clever Library, a catalog of high-quality digital resources that teachers can deploy to their classroom within seconds. High school teachers can access Codecademy’s interactive curriculums for free, empowering their students to learn how to code in a fun and engaging way online.…Read More

McGraw Hill Offers Learners Two-Month Free Trial of ALEKS MathReady to Help Combat ‘COVID Slide’

In an effort to help ensure that students are prepared for fall classes, McGraw Hill is offering new customers a free two-month trial of its ALEKS MathReady program, allowing current and rising college-age students and others to refresh their math skills efficiently and effectively. First launched in June, ALEKS MathReady is a new, direct-to-consumer version of McGraw Hill’s personalized ALEKS program, which helps support millions of K-12 and college students each year. The special free-access offer for ALEKS MathReady is available now through October 18, 2020 and subscriptions will automatically renew on a monthly basis at a rate of $19.95/month.*

“Now more than ever, students need access to the tools and resources that can help them succeed in their college courses – and for many current and rising college students, ALEKS MathReady is precisely the tool that they need,” said Kathleen McMahon, VP of Portfolio Management for Science, Engineering & Mathematics at McGraw Hill. “Faculty and school administrators face significant instructional challenges this fall, as the learning disruptions due to COVID-19 leave students at varied levels of preparation when they start the fall term. Because MathReady can target each individual’s knowledge and put them on a personalized path to success, we can help level the playing field in math for all students – and not just those that can afford it – through this free offer.”

For more information about ALEKS MathReady or to sign up for free trial access and $19.95/month after, visit: https://bit.ly/ALEKSMathReady…Read More

Online STEM Summer Camps for High School and College Students

Numerade—an online education platform founded with a mission to provide equitable access to high-quality STEM instruction—today announced the launch of free, virtual STEM summer camps open to students at the middle, high school, and college levels. Course offerings include SAT Test Prep, Calculus, Chemistry, and Physics, all taught by top-ranked STEM PhDs, college professors, and high school teachers. Students can enroll now for this free program and begin taking their courses as soon as June 1 with ongoing enrollment available thereafter.

Students can participate in Numerade’s free summer STEM camps to get a head start on the courses they’ll be taking in the fall or as an enrichment opportunity in which they can take courses not offered at their school. Students may also use these courses to catch up on any material missed due to school closures caused by Covid-19. Each course follows the common core curriculum and covers an entire semester’s worth of material.

“We’re excited to launch Numerade’s STEM summer camps at a time when it’s more important than ever for students to have access to world-class content to maintain and enhance their learning despite ongoing school closures,” said Nhon Ma, CEO and Co-Founder of Numerade. “By taking our engaging STEM courses this summer, students will not only acquire foundational knowledge but also be positioned to excel next school year. The summer camps are completely free and available asynchronously on any device, making them a great option for any student interested in getting ahead in their learning.”…Read More