Research points to a widening academic divide

Math and reading scores demonstrate more variability post-COVID, primarily due to a larger gap between low and high academic achievers, according to NWEA, a nonprofit research and educational services organization serving K-12 students.

NWEA has released new research findings that examine to what degree students’ reading and math test scores have become more variable during the pandemic, and how achievement gains across the pandemic compare to pre-pandemic trends for students who were low- or high-achieving before the pandemic started.

The research used test scores from more than 8 million US students in grades 3 – 8 across 24,000 public schools who took MAP® Growth™ assessments in reading and math comparing results from students who tested during COVID-interrupted school years (2019-20 through 2021-22) and students who tested prior to the onset of the pandemic (between 2016-17 and 2018-19).…Read More

Free internet could erase the digital divide

Local leaders must play a critical role in closing the digital divide for 18 million American households that have access to the internet but can’t afford to connect, according to a new report.

The urgent prompt comes from EducationSuperHighway, a national nonprofit with a mission to close the broadband affordability gap. The organization released its second No Home Left Offline report on the action needed to accelerate Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) adoption.

The ACP is a $14.2 billion federal broadband benefit funded by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) that provides eligible households with a monthly discount of up to $30 per month (up to $75 per month for households on qualifying Tribal lands) and a one-time $100 discount toward a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet. 51.6 million households, including 17.7 million unconnected households, are eligible for the ACP, yet only 13 million (25% of those eligible) have enrolled.…Read More

High-speed internet is a basic necessity–not a luxury–when it comes to learning

Americans overwhelmingly believe that high-speed internet access is a basic necessity, according to a new survey from Kajeet. Additionally, this need for connectivity is not new, as nearly 75 percent of respondents believed high-speed internet was important even before the pandemic began more than two years ago. The survey also finds that 64 percent of U.S. adults are worried about their ability to pay for a high-speed internet connection at home, drawing attention to the opportunity gap and homework gap many students face.

The digital divide–the gap between people who have access to modern information and communications technology and those who do not – is a major issue. Access to the internet has become a necessity in almost all aspects of life today, including education, healthcare, remote work, etc. According to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), however, an estimated 14.5 million Americans lack home broadband access. For these 14.5 million people, not having access to the internet is a disadvantage.

High-Speed Internet is a Necessity, Not a Luxury…Read More

YouScience Releases National Student Ability Report, Indicates Widening Gap Between Students Aptitudes and Workforce Needs

AMERICAN FORK, Utah, July 26, 2022 /PRNewswire/ —  YouScience, the leading student engagement platform that leverages data science to improve student success and bridge the divide between education and careers, today announced the release of a new national report, ” State of The Future U.S. Workforce: Student Ability Report.” The findings reveal that students have the aptitudes, or talent, to excel in today’s in-demand jobs, but often lack interest in these fields, in some cases due to lack of knowledge about available careers. There is a critical need to address this career exposure gap. In doing so it can help engage students towards an educational pathway that results in career success.

The Report findings are an analysis of anonymized data from the YouScience Discovery aptitude assessment taken by 239,843 male and female U.S. high school students during the 2021 school year. The students represent all 50 states. YouScience Discovery uses psychometrically valid brain game-like exercises combined with an inventory of interests to uncover students’ aptitudes. Unlike interest-only surveys, aptitude assessments measure abilities, such as numerical reasoning, comprehension, spatial visualization, inductive reasoning, and sequential reasoning, to show how a person performs in given areas. Moreover, unlike interests, aptitudes don’t change and stabilize around age 14,  according to research

“This latest data paints a critical picture for industry and education: the skills gap is widening. Plus, it is widening at an increasingly rapid rate which impacts every aspect of our economy. Students must be better aligned to and prepared for the future needs of our workforce. We know students have the talent, but they are not being adequately exposed to the career pathways wherein they possess natural skills and where they have the most potential to thrive,” said Edson Barton, Founder and CEO of YouScience. “The good news is there is still time to close the gap and help all students become more engaged in their educational journeys and futures through early aptitude assessment and proper career guidance and exploration.”…Read More

How I use technology to keep PE relevant in the 21st century

The days of rolling the ball out and playing sports in PE are changing. With the advancement of technology and shift towards collaborative work in the classroom, physical education teachers are finding more and more ways to keep PE relevant in the collaborative and technology-filled 21st century.

Project-based learning

Project-based learning is a type of instruction that emphasizes collaborative work, real world connections and a deeper understanding of content. Students are placed in groups and given a goal or project to complete. In their teams they assign roles, and divide work. Students are expected to research their project, plan out their learning, deal with any issues that arise, and present their findings. …Read More

AI education is critical for an equitable tomorrow

Underserved communities are universally disadvantaged in their access to resources and high-quality technical education compared to  their urban counterparts. Data suggests that between 2000 and 2019, the number of college graduates (ages 25-34) in urban America increased from 26 percent to 39 percent, while in rural America, this number increased only by 6 percent(15 percent to 21 percent). This divide can be attributed to the convergence of resources, talent, and opportunities in urban clusters.

A game-changing tool for intervention – one primed to reshape these metrics for rural America, revitalize their economies, and uplift their people – is AI education. Today, the demand for AI adoption is increasing across the world. In fact, AI’s contribution to the global GDP is expected to soar to $15.7 trillion by 2030.

The technology’s applications span a range of business functions and industries, holding the promise of new efficiencies and automation. Therefore, partaking in opportunities that enable skills in the technology is imperative.…Read More

Kajeet Awards $550,000 To 22 Organizations for Purchasing Connectivity Solutions That Drive Digital Inclusion in Education

MCLEAN, VA. (PRWEB) JUNE 23, 2022 — Kajeet®, a leading provider of wireless connectivity, software and hardware solutions that deliver secure, reliable and managed IoT solutions to over 3,000 businesses, schools and districts, and state and local governments, today announced the 22 recipients of its 2022 Homework Gap Grant. To further the mission of closing the Digital Divide for students across the United States, each grant recipient will receive up to $25,000, which they may use for any combination of Kajeet Education Broadband solutions, including WiFi hotspots, school bus WiFi, LTE-embedded Chromebooks and routers.

“With many students returning to in-person learning after a two-year hiatus, we cannot lose momentum in working to close the Homework Gap, which still plagues millions of American students,” said Daniel J.W. Neal, chairman, CEO and founder of Kajeet. “The Homework Gap existed long before the pandemic and continues to perpetuate inequities and cause enormous, missed opportunities. As a community, we must make every effort possible to connect students outside the classroom to the plethora of educational resources and opportunities that are only available to them via the Internet. The Kajeet Homework Gap Grant program is but one example among many of what we can do together to create complete digital equity – and maximize opportunities for success – for all of our students.”

The 22 grant winners are:…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

Iowa Department of Education Selects YouScience as a Pre-Approved Career Information System Provider

AMERICAN FORK, UTAH (PRWEB) MAY 26, 2022 — YouScience, the leading student engagement platform that leverages data science to improve student success and bridge the divide between education and careers, has announced that the Iowa Department of Education has selected its  YouScience Discovery and  Precision Exams as pre-approved  Career Information Systems (CISs) for use immediately by all Iowa school districts through the 2024-2025 school year.

The solutions from YouScience were approved by the Iowa Department of Education as part of a statewide  Individual Career and Academic Plan (ICAP) initiative for each student in grades 8-12. Redesigned in 2016, the state’s career and academic planning process for students place a greater emphasis on Career and Technical Education (CTE) rather than traditional career planning assessment methods and inventories. The process now includes high-quality, high-value, career-related experiences designed to increase student engagement and align student interests with local, regional, and state labor market needs.

“Iowa districts, schools, educators, and counselors are doing amazing work, and we are excited to continue to support student engagement and further interest in career and academic planning,” said Edson Barton, Founder and CEO, YouScience. “Our goal at YouScience is to provide opportunities for all students to understand their aptitudes and how they relate to their career pathways. By using YouScience Discovery and Precision Exams, students can identify their natural talents and earn industry-recognized certifications even before graduating high school.”…Read More

3 ways schools can support youth mental health

The collective damage caused by the pandemic has yet to be fully understood, but the toll it has taken on youth mental health and emotional well-being is becoming exceedingly apparent. Widespread social isolation and loneliness, uncertainty, parental loss of a job, the widening digital divide, feelings of anxiety over becoming ill, and loss of a loved one have all contributed to the current mental health crisis.

In October 2021, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, and the Children’s Hospital Association declared a national emergency in children’s mental health, and the U.S. Surgeon General released a public health advisory stating that young people’s rates of experiencing symptoms of depression more than doubled during the pandemic.

While student mental health is the top safety concern of K-12 employees for the 2022-2023 school year, a recent survey on teen mental health and well-being reported that teens are particularly concerned that their schools aren’t doing enough to support them and their emotional needs–only a few surveyed have the highest confidence in their schools’ efforts to create an atmosphere of physical (17.2 percent) and emotional (12.5 percent) safety.…Read More