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

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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

4 ways to enrich CTE programs

Right now, there’s a labor shortage. The U.S. has more jobs available than there are people to work them. This means individuals who are just starting their careers can more easily snag positions in trade occupations, such as construction, cosmetology, HVAC, and more. But in order to take advantage of these opportunities, students first need to know that they are available.

StrataTech Education Group’s survey found that while 70 percent of students attend high schools that offer career and technical education programs, only 32 percent promote the trades as a potential post-graduation path. Despite this, 51 percent of students consider pursuing trade school. What holds them back? A lack of support, confidence, or knowledge–challenges that high schools can solve with enriched CTE programs.

If more schools enhanced their CTE programs, more students would feel comfortable pursuing the trades. The good news is that boosting program participation is not a huge investment. In fact, bringing in passionate professionals could be enough to get students excited about their career options. Here are four ways to get started:…Read More

How peer feedback can improve student writing skills

The art of writing, invented roughly 5,000 years ago, represents a blip in human history. It’s younger than agriculture, music, and construction. And as recently as the Revolutionary War, a majority of Americans couldn’t put pen to paper. In short: Writing remains a new feat of technology. We’re still figuring it out. 

Despite its relative youth, writing has evolved into a vital skill. Today, we broadly recognize that citizenship requires the ability to read and write. As Orwell put it: “If people cannot write well, they cannot think well, and if they cannot think well, others will do their thinking for them.”

Perhaps as importantly, writing is a key skill for professional success. Hiring managers, for example, are more likely to cite writing skills as “very important” for new hires, compared to technological and quantitative reasoning skills. If students leave campus without refined writing skills, we’ve done them a great disservice. …Read More

International Code Council releases recommended practices for remote virtual inspections

– The International Code Council recently published “Recommended Practices for Remote Virtual Inspections,” a guideline document that governmental jurisdictions should consider for an effective and consistent remote virtual inspections program. The publication is based on study, research and discussions from the Code Council’s membership (including responses to an earlier Code Council survey of U.S. code officials on COVID-19 response), partners and industry experts.

 

Remote virtual inspections use visual or electronic aids that allow inspectors to observe specific construction projects, products or materials from a distance. These remote inspections are beneficial when the materials or buildings are inaccessible, in dangerous environments, or in other circumstances, prevent an in-person inspection. Given the challenges and limited financial resources available for building departments as cited in the Code Council’s ongoing survey of U.S. code officials response to the pandemic, the implementation of remote virtual inspections can also save jurisdictions time and money as there is no longer a need for inspectors to travel to and from sites.…Read More

3 keys to cultivating the maker mindset

When we dreamed of starting construction on a space where teachers and students alike could cultivate a maker mindset, our goals went beyond creating a dedicated makerspace. We wanted to empower our community, assure students that they were valued as individuals, and offer them opportunities to develop empathy and agency as problem-finders and creative problem-solvers.

We knew we could accomplish this with a designated space that celebrated creativity, emphasized process over product, and highlighted the importance of reflection. We set out to design a space where students could not only develop a design thinking philosophy, but integrate this maker mindset into their core studies.

Related content: 9 ways schools can create better makerspaces…Read More

How we created a comprehensive drone curriculum

As educators, we are all continuously looking for interdisciplinary learning opportunities that will provide students with the most authentic learning experiences possible. With students’ hyper-exposure to the growing applications for technology, STEAM programs are one area in which real-world applications are readily apparent to students.

Here in Salamanca, New York, as we seek to ensure our students have the necessary marketable skills for the modern economy, we’ve chosen to incorporate a drone curriculum into our STEAM programs. With the core drone skills, our students open themselves to employment opportunities in diverse sectors such as cinematography, industrial inspections, public safety, agriculture, construction, specialized sciences, and much more.

Drone education starts early on

To deliver on this goal for our students, we have developed a comprehensive drone curriculum that will introduce students to drones as early as kindergarten and allow them to become more hands-on throughout their academic career. For juniors and seniors, that experience culminates with an immersive curriculum through which they become FAA-certified drone pilots, while also imparting the core skills in data collection analysis necessary to pursue careers in this rapidly evolving workforce.…Read More

Wisconsin launches online CTE school

Online CTE model will provide hands on training and dual credit opportunities for middle and high school students

Online learning provider K12 Inc. announced the opening of Destinations Career Academy of Wisconsin, an online career and technical education (CTE) high school in Wisconsin using the curriculum and academic programs by K12 Inc. It also offers a construction apprenticeship program in partnership with industry leaders.

“Studies have shown that by 2020 two out of three jobs will require some postsecondary education or training and that job-related skills can dramatically increase employment options for new graduates,” said Stuart J. Udell, CEO of K12. “We have a unique expertise in delivering online course content to young students and the addition of career and technical courses like the ones we are offering through our Destinations model will allow them to explore potential careers and get a jump on the certification process.”

K12’s career readiness offering uses an end-to-end approach, designed to prepare students to enter the workforce or pursue other post-secondary options. Students can access multiple versions of core online high school courses and opt to take CTE courses in one of four Career Clusters: Architecture and Construction; Business, Management, and Administration; Health Science; or Information Technology. These Clusters are designed to give students a head start on their career goals by earning technical and specialty trade credentials, college credits, and workplace experiences.…Read More

7 innovative 3D printers for the classroom

A snapshot of classroom-ready 3D printers available for educators

3d-educationThese days, 3D printing is becoming a staple of the modern classroom, from K-12 to college and university campuses as well.

Even as prices dip for some models, educational institutions and districts are also gaining financial support from outside sources for ventures into 3D printing. In fact, government business intelligence company Onvia reports that from 2011 to 2015, more than $1.8 million in 3D printer and supply contracts was awarded to 44 primary, secondary and higher education institutions and school districts across the United States.

David D. Thornburg, co-author of “The Invent to Learn Guide to 3D Printing in the Classroom,” said he would not recommend one specific 3D printer for classroom use because the constant advancement in the 3D printing industry can make choosing the best models a “moving target.”…Read More