Schools must embrace these 4 innovative focus areas to avoid failure

Following years of challenges brought on by COVID-19 and the inequities in education highlighted by the pandemic, decades- and centuries-old educational systems are finally being challenged. The school systems and dynamic leaders that embrace change will succeed and create an educational environment that is more equitable and prepares students for their futures.

new report from The Partnership for Leaders in Education at the University of Virginia (UVA-PLE), “Exploring New Frontiers for K-12 Systems Transformation,” determined that these challenges have sparked a transformation of education systems in the United States.

“Our New Frontiers report spotlights the most successful education leaders who are courageously rising to the moment and making once-in-a-generation investments and changes to their educational systems for the benefit of their students, their staff and their communities,” said William Robinson, executive director of UVA-PLE and co-author of the New Frontiers report. “Districts that innovate and embrace change will thrive, and the districts that choose to ignore or, worse, resist transformation put themselves and their students at risk.”…Read More

How mixed reality glasses can help struggling readers

Imagine you are a struggling reader. You dread reading…in any class. You feel like a failure, and you are starting to hate school. One day, your science teacher brings in a Microsoft HoloLens headset. You put on the mixed reality glasses and pick up the science article that the teacher wants you to read. You begrudgingly begin reading.

After only a few sentences you are lost because you don’t know what “light energy” means. Because your eyes stopped on that phrase, an animation jumps off the page through the glasses demonstrating an example of the concept with a voiceover explanation. Several moments later you read the word “photosynthesis” and another animation appears with an audio explanation. Suddenly, reading in science class takes on a whole new emotion…you are feeling success and are even interested in reading more about science.

Characteristics of struggling readers…Read More

Edtech tactics for both success and failure

In this episode of Getting There: Innovation in Education, with Kevin Hogan:

  • How a more equitable school-home communication system helped one district
  • 3 ways to better engage remote students
  • Exclusive interview with Carl Hooker on his new book Ready, Set, Fail!

…Read More

Let’s Talk About Your Job Search

A record 6.6 million Americans filed for unemployment last week. It’s the biggest jump in new jobless claims in US history. There are nearly 67 million Americans working in jobs right now that are considered high risk for layoffs, and some experts predict the Covid 19 pandemic could ultimately eliminate 47 million jobs. Additionally, 3.3 million high school students and 4 million post-secondary students will be graduating into a world that isn’t hiring in the way it was two months ago.

There’s no other way to put it: it’s a scary time, especially if you’ve unexpectedly lost a job, or were poised to go into an industry that’s experiencing massive layoffs. Our first advice? Breathe and take this one day at a time. Also, realize this is not a failure or misstep on your part. This is a situation you had no control over.

Unfortunately, we aren’t here to offer you a blanket solution. None of us know how the long-term economic impact of the pandemic will play out. However, as career exploration experts, we can give you the following advice:…Read More

10 reasons edtech works sometimes, but not all the time

There are a number of factors—10, to be specific—that are likely to have a sizable impact on the success (or failure) of and edtech implementation.

The EdTech Genome Project, a collaborative effort of more than 100 education research and advocacy organizations, reached unanimous consensus on an initial list of those 10 factors hypothesized to have the greatest influence on whether an edtech implementation succeeds or fails.

Related content: How better edtech management empowered our district…Read More

3 ways to combine trauma-informed teaching with SEL

When trauma goes unacknowledged by caring adults, students can feel suffocated by the burden of their experience. Research shows that traumatic experiences can drastically hinder students’ academic development, and that “children who have three or more Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) are three times more likely to experience academic failure, five times more likely to have attendance problems, and six times more likely to have behavioral problems than those with no ACEs.“

These findings, coupled with the fact that almost half of the students in the U.S. have experienced at least one or more traumatic experiences presents a significant barrier to academic success for a large population of students.

Related content: 3 ways our school is fighting back against trauma…Read More

3 ways lesson planning is like following a recipe

Recently, when a friend shared a recipe on Facebook for a pumpkin cheesecake (yum!), it reminded me of the time I tried to make my own cheesecake. I purchased all the ingredients and some new equipment, including that special pan that snaps around the cake. Unfortunately, I missed a step. I did not soften the cream cheese properly. All these years later, I’m recalling myself with four different spoons in the bowl, trying to maneuver my creation and figuring it to be an utter failure. Because I did not want to waste my ingredients, let alone my fancy new bakeware, I pressed on. In the end, the cheesecake was delicious, but the preparation was a bit of a horror story.

Not too long after my attempt to make the cheesecake, I became a teacher (trust me, I’m going somewhere with this). And recently, it occurred to me that lesson planning is like following a recipe.

Like following a recipe, lesson planning ……Read More

How one district improved its personalized learning by failing forward

In the MSD of Wayne Township, there are several blended and online opportunities available for students. Perhaps the same is true in your district, but how many of those same opportunities are available to teachers as well?

Recently, the teachers in one particular program in the district inspired a personalized approach to professional development. The Ben Davis Extended Day (BDED) blended learning program is an extension of one of the district’s high schools, Ben Davis High School. The program operates in the evenings and serves students who, for one reason or another, are not able to attend during the day.  The students move through their courses online and at their own pace, while physically attending school in the evenings in a lab setting. There are four teachers that work in the evening that teach the courses for English, math, science, and social studies.

As part of the professional development for BDED, the teachers went through a design thinking process to develop strategies to overcome one of the teachers’ main perceived issues and provide more personalized learning for students. While moving through the process to find a way to improve student engagement and consistency in effort, the group explored various strategies that could be implemented to solve the identified problem.…Read More