Moving from “the” school to “their” school

Connected students and families don’t attend and partner with “the” school–they do so with “their” school. They aren’t guests who meet, exceed, or fall short of someone else’s expectations, but rather, architects of environments that reflect what is important to them.

When our students and their families consider the connections they have with their school, what do they see? If the answer doesn’t include an abundance of their voice, input, and influence, then we are missing an essential opportunity.

Relationships that are one-way are not productive for students, families, or ultimately, any school or organization. We don’t stay engaged in relationships that don’t allow us to contribute to them in meaningful ways. So how can administrators, teachers, school staff, students, and families get to that place?…Read More

3 approaches to help students become responsible cyber citizens

Children are getting more screen time than ever—a side effect of the pandemic’s impact on our usual routines.

It’s not just the pandemic, however. Kids’ media preferences are changing as new apps and sleeker technology make it easier to stay connected (and be entertained) wherever they go. Just in the past four years, we’ve seen dramatic shifts in online video viewing, smartphone ownership, and more.

Technology and the internet are omnipresent—and today’s youth must be equipped with skills to safely consume, evaluate, and share information online—including how they interact with their peers.…Read More

Inaugural Catalyze Challenge Winners To Transform Journey From Classroom To Career

SAN FRANCISCO, NOVEMBER 4, 2021 – In an effort to level the playing field for all students and catapult young people into meaningful careers, the Catalyze Challenge, co-sponsored by American Student Assistance, Arnold Ventures, Charter School Growth Fund and the Walton Family Foundation has awarded over $4M to accelerate bold career-connected learning solutions aimed at helping students better access economic opportunity after leaving school.  

Fifteen winners — community organizations, entrepreneurs, and cross-sector partnerships from across the country — will pilot, launch and scale solutions designed for the leaders of tomorrow’s workforce. 

“Being a thriving, productive and joyful member of society means having the agency to meaningfully shape one’s own future and the future of our communities. There’s never been a more opportune moment to equip young people with the skills and mindsets to drive change for themselves and our country,” said Romy Drucker, Education Program Interim Director at the Walton Family Foundation.…Read More

Kajeet Education Solutions Now Available to UScellular Customers

MCLEAN, Va. October 1, 2021–Kajeet®, a leading provider of wireless connectivity, software and hardware solutions that deliver safe and controlled internet access, today announced it has expanded its relationship with UScellular, making it the first carrier enabled to sell Kajeet’s solutions directly. Together, the two organizations are making it easier for K-12 education customers to monitor, secure and control internet connectivity and connected devices using UScellular’s fast, reliable network.

“Teaming with Kajeet builds on our commitment to deliver connectivity services to our education customers and offer additional capabilities that empower them to take greater control of their data” Tweet this

Through this new agreement, K-12 administrators can now purchase Kajeet Sentinel® and Kajeet SmartSpot® directly from UScellular, with all data and service fees consolidated into a single statement.…Read More

Building your emergency back-to-school kit with reliable connectivity

A simmering demand for reliable connectivity in education turned to a boil during the pandemic when the digital divide–something that many under-connected communities were already facing–exploded. This was felt drastically as the pivot to remote learning exposed a widening gap between students who have access to high-speed internet compared to those who do not.

While there are hopeful signs that the pandemic is waning, schools will continue to rely on solutions that support flexible learning moving forward. From extreme weather knocking districts offline to students trying to stay in the loop when they are stuck at home sick, consistent connectivity is a staple for today’s modernized “pencil box.” It ensures students have access to the resources they need–no matter the circumstances.

With a new school year approaching, and the education sector forever changed in the shadow of the pandemic, there is a growing expectation among students, parents, and government institutions to be better prepared for the future. But preparing for the unexpected is easier said than done. So just how can school districts ready themselves to ensure consistent and reliable connectivity no matter what?

The key to making it happen is to understand the value of emerging technologies and approaches that support enhanced connectivity, such as Private Cellular Networks (PCNs), and leverage the right relief programs that can support investments in these types of solutions to close the digital divide. Only then can schools begin to lay the foundation of reliable connections that students need to combat this growing divide in the face of any unforeseen challenge.…Read More

This virtual science course uses real-life conservation examples to inspire students

According to a survey conducted by Amnesty International in 2019, Generation Z ranks climate change as the most vital issue facing the world today. With a generation that is so empowered, connected, empathetic, and with a drive to make a difference in the world, having real-life examples and tools to teach them about conservation and sustainability is crucial.

When our Florida Virtual School (FLVS) curriculum team and teachers began to develop our brand-new environmental science course, we knew we wanted to partner with the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation, which conducts scientific research and hosts educational programs aimed at conserving the marine environment, as well as funds affiliated working researchers and educators to better understand our ocean ecosystem and help foster the next generation of marine conservationists. 

By partnering with the foundation, we can teach students about sustainability and conservation through real-life examples and activities so that they can build a connection with the environment around them. This is important for student success because we want them to engage with the lessons and master the content, while also feeling excited and passionate about the work they are doing.…Read More

Cleveland Metropolitan School District Deploys the Stay Connected K-12 Solution from Spectrum Enterprise to Enhance the Learning Experience for Students Needing Robust Home Internet

CLEVELAND, Ohio – With many school districts continuing to look for ways to help students who don’t have robust internet service at home maximize their learning potential, Charter Communications, Inc., which operates the Spectrum brand, today announced that Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD) is deploying the Spectrum Enterprise Stay Connected K-12 solution as a multi-year solution. More than 5,300 families are anticipated to participate initially.

Stay Connected K-12 provides schools the ability to offer high-speed, cable broadband internet access directly to their students in their own homes so learning and teaching are uninterrupted. Students’ families are not billed for the service.

Stay Connected K-12 combines the robust speeds and rich features of Spectrum Internet with simplified program management and billing for local districts through Spectrum Enterprise. Users can enjoy:…Read More

What the pandemic has taught me about education

I’m not a formal educator, but I am a parent to a student who spent a good chunk of the last year learning from home. I also work in an industry that supports educators and administrators.

As I reflect on the past 18 months and my discussions with colleagues and partners across the U.S. and in Europe, I have identified a few truths and trends about education.

Educators are infinitely creative and adaptable. When the COVID-19 pandemic forced schools to close, teachers connected with students online, over the phone, and even dropped by students’ homes to deliver books and worksheets.…Read More

How the 4 Cs prepare students for the real world

As our world continues to become more connected through technology, today’s students have boundless access to a wealth of information. But, to effectively leverage these resources, students need to be able to make meaning of them.

According to educator Thomas Hoerr, the very notion of intelligence has changed. We no longer rely on the limits of our single mind to access the information resources we need to solve problems. Problem solving has always involved teamwork and cooperation. Today, however, open source programs, wikis, blogs, and other Web 2.0 technologies enable total strangers divided by space and time to collaborate.

Successful problem solving in the 21st century requires us to work effectively and creatively with computers, with vast amounts of information, with ambiguous situations, and with other people from a variety of backgrounds.…Read More

6 necessary steps to move K-12 education forward in 2021

Six key K-12 education trends, including teachers and parents becoming more open to new ways to teach and learn, and finding value in technology to stay connected, will be necessary to move education forward in the coming months.

According to new data on how the pandemic impacted K-12 education, student engagement became the leading metric of student success, with 92 percent of educators calling it the most important factor. The data from Instructure, the makers of Canvas, also underscores challenges in areas like equity, with low income households more than twice as likely to report difficulty in helping their children remain engaged.

“Our school communities persevered through incredibly challenging dynamics this past year, but overall we came through it more adaptive, open to new approaches and deeply focused on student engagement,” said Trenton Goble, VP of K-12 Strategy at Instructure. “At the same time, there is a lot of hard work ahead. About half of educators and parents feel students have significantly fallen behind due to COVID-19. We know technology will remain pivotal, as the pandemic shifted its role from a nice-to-have to an essential service that connects teachers, parents and students with the entire learning journey.”…Read More