4 lessons learned about AI in 2023

Key points:

As a forward-thinker in the realm of education, I’m constantly exploring how emerging tools and strategies shape learning. Each year I share my predictions about these trends. (Here’s a look at my 2023 predictions.) While these predictions are rooted in reality, just as in the show Black Mirror, technology can have some unintended consequences.

It’s no surprise to find that artificial intelligence (AI) made the top of my prediction list last year. In January 2023, about one month after the release of ChatGPT, there were already stories about colleges switching to “pen-and-paper” tests to battle the AI bots.…Read More

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

Standardized tests are pests—here’s why

Key points:

  • Standardized tests aren’t inclusive and often lead to unnecessary stress
  • Educators should shift focus from standardized tests to ensuring students become independent learners
  • See related article: What’s the state of K-12 assessment?
  • For more news on assessments, see eSN’s Innovative Teaching page

Standardized testing has long been a contentious topic in the field of education. While the primary goal of standardized testing is to measure student achievement and set benchmarks for educational standards, it carries unintended consequences. This article delves into the multifaceted impact of state tests on various aspects of education.

Standardized reading tests…Read More

National Math and Science Initiative Receives $100,000 Grant from TC Energy to Train Virginia Teachers

DALLAS AND NORFOLK, VA. — The National Math and Science Initiative (NMSI) is pleased to announce the generous support of  TC Energy through a $100,000 grant to bolster the training of Virginia teachers. This funding will be dedicated to implementing the renowned  Laying the Foundation training program for 6th- to 12th-grade teachers in the Newport News and Hampton Roads areas while playing a crucial role in STEM teacher recruitment efforts. The initiative aligns with NMSI’s ongoing work with Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and districts statewide, amplifying the collective impact in advancing science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education.

NMSI’s Laying the Foundation program is widely recognized for its comprehensive and effective approach to equipping teachers with the necessary skills and knowledge to foster student success in math and science. By expanding the program’s reach, the TC Energy grant will directly benefit approximately 250 teachers across Virginia. Newport News and Hampton Roads areas were specifically identified due to their strategic importance in cultivating a new generation of STEM educators as part of TC Energy Foundation’s Build Strong program. Build Strong creates long-lasting relationships in TC Energy’s communities to help us all build a stronger future. The three-day event takes place at Norfolk State University (NSU).

“We are incredibly grateful to TC Energy for their generous grant, which will significantly enhance the quality of STEM education in Virginia,” said Michelle Stie, Vice President of Teaching and Learning at NMSI. “This partnership will allow us to extend our proven Laying the Foundation training program across the Commonwealth, thereby increasing our capacity to prepare Virginia’s educators for the critical task of equipping students with the skills necessary for success in STEM fields.”…Read More

PowerSchool Partners with Scribbles Software to add More than 2,000 Colleges to the Naviance eDocs Network

Charlotte, North Carolina – Scribbles Software today announced a partnership with PowerSchool (NYSE: PWSC), the leading provider of cloud-based software for K-12 education in North America, and PowerSchool Naviance. This partnership will nearly double the number of institutions in the Naviance eDocs network, greatly expanding college access for high school students.

Scribbles Software has served over 12 million students with transcript requests since 2012 and provides over 400 districts and charter schools with a best-in-class network to ensure easy and equitable access for students pursuing higher education. In the last year alone, Scribbles completed nearly one million electronic transcript requests from districts across the United States, including 25 of the 30 largest districts in the country.

“Scribbles is thrilled to partner with Naviance to expand access to a broader higher education network. Through this partnership, districts and schools will be able to empower more students to have more access to life-changing opportunities,” said Marshall Simmonds, Vice President of Sales for Scribbles Software.…Read More

Are you leveling up with esports?

Imagine a new school program that is gender-neutral, inclusive to students with physical disabilities, bolsters school pride through competitive meets and is eligible for full and partial scholarships from over 175 colleges and universities.  You don’t have to be a gamer to see the value that esports (competitive videogaming) could bring to your school.

Collegiate varsity esports began in 2014 when Robert Morris University created scholarships for a League of Legends e-sports team.  Nearly a decade later, over 175 colleges and universities have followed suit, resulting in a $1.38 billion industry in 2022. The videogaming industry is forecasted to grow 7 percent annually and likely to top $200 billion in revenue in 2023. 

The industry offers many opportunities for a wide variety of skillsets–and not just at the higher-ed level, but at the K-12 level, too.  For example, creatives will find opportunities to develop fictional worlds, math and science interests can lead to careers in programming and engineering, and marketing and project management paths blend the other two.  Broadcasting esports has also been a viable path to careers in journalism and entertainment.…Read More

Building pathways to successful STEM careers for ALL learners

The journeys that children take through education are not as straightforward as most people think.  

In recent years, close to 70 percent of students went straight from high school to college, with those going to four-year universities typically outnumbering those enrolling in two-year colleges by roughly two to one. But a growing number of young people are forging new paths that involve a detour around college altogether.

College-going rates have been trending down since before the COVID-19 pandemic. And a national survey conducted in 2021 by ECMC Group found that less than half of high school students said they planned to attend a four-year college or university–a decrease of more than 20 percentage points from 2019. …Read More

State of Georgia Approves Continued Use of YouScience Discovery Statewide for K12 and Technical College System of Georgia Students

AMERICAN FORK, Utah /PRNewswire/ —  YouScience, the leading college and career readiness company, today announced the State of Georgia has approved the continued use of the company’s aptitude assessment,  YouScience Discovery, for more than 1 million K12 students, and students within the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG), which includes 22 technical colleges across 88 campuses. Last year alone, roughly 240,000 7th and 10th grade students in Georgia took YouScience Discovery to identify their natural abilities and align them with potential careers.

In 2010, the General Assembly of Georgia enacted the Bridge Bill, which was passed to ensure that Georgia’s 6th – 12th grade students were made aware of available college and career options. YouScience seamlessly fits into the state’s initiative and Georgia’s curriculum to fulfill the bill’s requirements.

“This renewal is a testament to the success that students have achieved with using Discovery over the past eight years,” said Edson Barton, CEO at YouScience. “It’s critical we ensure that today’s graduates are aligned with what the workforce is looking for and have a sense of what careers they can thrive in. It’s also vital that career exploration starts at a young age so that we can get students on the right pathway – whether that be college or directly into a career – as early as possible. We’re thrilled to continue our work with the state of Georgia and aid its students’ in college and career exploration and ultimately success.”…Read More

What if we gave every teacher a work from home day?

School and district-based staff are understandably wary about the new school year. Teachers, the majority of whom are women, are struggling under the immense pressure of pandemic schooling. Many have worked long hours to try to support their own families while keeping up with the demands of online teaching and changing COVID-19 protocols.

Teacher retention rates were already declining pre-pandemic, and the shortage of educators across roles may be widening. Preparation programs are facing fewer numbers of new educators entering the workforce; thirteen percent of graduate programs surveyed by the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education reported seeing “significant declines” in the numbers of new students. Of those graduating, many may be turning to remote options right out of the gate. Member programs in the national Virtual Learning Leadership Alliance reported increased hiring of online teachers since 2020.

Educators want the same flexibility that’s traditionally more available to those in corporate settings. In a 2021 survey, fifteen percent of teachers said flexibility to work from home would “make a major difference in reducing the likelihood they leave the profession.”…Read More

AtomicMind Launches College Admissions Technology Platform for a Personalized and Comprehensive College Application Experience

NEW YORKAtomicMind, an education technology company that offers families a boutique coaching experience in the increasingly competitive college admissions landscape, today announced the launch of a unique technology platform. The new offering provides a comprehensive and personalized college application experience by combining hands-on expert guidance from dedicated advisors with robust virtual task management, communication and feedback tools.

The platform was designed by MIT and Harvard graduates using best practices identified over the course of their 40+ years of combined experience helping students get into top colleges. It gives college applicants the benefits of enhanced feedback and collaboration with a team of experts including strategists, writing coaches and former admissions staff members from elite colleges such as Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Columbia, Brown, MIT and Stanford. The AtomicMind platform addresses every aspect of the admissions process, from crafting compelling essays to mastering interviews to refining activity and college lists. The technology includes tools for keeping track of important deadlines and documents, while offering applicants key insights into what each college admissions committee is looking for. With the platform, a greater number of students will have access to the best resources regardless of where they live.

“The new AtomicMind platform offers families access to the tools and experts needed to navigate the increasingly high standards of the elite college admissions process,” said Leelila Strogov, the founder and CEO of AtomicMind. “The platform aims to maximize college acceptance rates by helping students more effectively build college lists, create tailored applications and stay organized. It also provides parents with an opportunity to monitor the progress of their student’s college applications. This spares busy applicants the extra stress of having to provide updates to their parents or the feeling that they are being interrogated.”…Read More

New Collegiate Partnerships with Central High School Advances Student Learning Opportunites

Phenix City, Ala.— In the upcoming school year, high school students will have a selection of dual enrollment courses offered by new collegiate partnerships. Phenix City Schools partners with five colleges for the 2022 to 2023 school year: Chattahoochee Valley Community College, Auburn University, University of Alabama, Troy University, and Alabama State University.

These partnerships create additional learning opportunities for students interested in getting a headstart on earning college credits and seeking more challenging academic experiences. Some of these options are also open to Central Freshman Academy. Along with the new dual enrollment courses, students can enroll in new Advanced Placement (AP) courses. Central High School now offers 12 AP courses, such as AP World History, AP Environmental Science, and AP Macroeconomics. Teachers new to teaching AP courses will be AP-trained and receive three Continuing Education Units (CEU) or 30 hours of professional learning credits.

These new courses and learning avenues to Central High School’s curriculum joins a long list of classes and extracurricular activities. Central High School currently offers 14 Career and Technical Education classes in its CTE Academy and over 40 clubs and organizations. …Read More

High-Achieving Black Students from Colorado Receive More than $2 Million in Sachs Foundation Scholarships Over the Past Year

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., May 19, 2022 — The Sachs Foundation, an organization that has provided college scholarships to Black Coloradans since 1931, announced today that it has awarded more than $2 million in scholarships to talented Black students in the Centennial State over the past year. Sachs Foundation scholars are pursuing undergraduate and graduate degrees from universities and colleges in Colorado as well as top institutions from coast to coast, including Yale, Stanford, MIT, Harvard and Cornell and prestigious historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) like Howard University.

The foundation awarded 52 scholarships over the past year to exceptional Black students from all around Colorado, including Aurora, Castle Rock, Colorado Springs, Commerce City, Denver, Fountain, Gypsum, Lafayette, Lakewood, Lamar and Woodland Park. The students who received Sachs Foundation support this year are not only accomplished in academics but have already made a positive impact in their communities through their achievements in the arts, athletics and volunteer activities. More than half of the students are the first generation in their family to attend college.

To celebrate the students’ excellence this year, the foundation sponsored a brunch for the 2022 Sachs Foundation Scholarship Program students and guests at the Penrose House in Colorado Springs. The guest speaker was Clint Smith, a journalist, educator, New York Times best-selling author, popular YouTube host, award-winning poet and staff writer at The Atlantic.   …Read More