6 tips to begin an elementary esports program in your school

The benefits of esports are well documented. A significant body of research has found that students who participate in scholastic esports programs benefit from increased emotional regulation, academic achievement, and graduation rates.

These benefits only scratch the surface of the positive consequences for students participating in scholastic esports. Thus far, conversations around esports have centered on collegiate and secondary levels, however, a recent change in the winds has shifted the conversation to elementary esports. 

My question: Why haven’t we started this conversation sooner?…Read More

National Study Finds High Schoolers Keenly Aware of Current In-Demand Jobs, Impacting Education Choices After Graduation

MINNEAPOLIS (May 20, 2022)—Today’s high schoolers are keenly aware of the impact the pandemic had on the job market and are evaluating their options as they forge their path to a career, according to the latest Question The Quo Education Pulse survey. The most recent national study of 14-18-year-olds in the United States, fielded in January, found three-quarters have heard about worker shortages, and more than one-third are more likely to pursue an education or career in an in-demand field.

“The most stunning finding for me has been how insightful, intuitive and engaged this demographic is when it comes to understanding the career landscape, the impact of student debt and the options available to them in the current environment,” said Jeremy Wheaton, president and CEO of ECMC Group. “Today’s students have experienced the pandemic’s impact, and they want to forge their own path—a path that is shorter in duration, more affordable and connects directly to a career—especially a career in a field that needs workers.”

According to this survey, two years into the COVID-19 pandemic, half of high schoolers are no longer considering four-year college and less than half believe a four-year degree will make them successful. More than half are open to a path other than four-year college, and because of the pandemic, one-third say they’re more comfortable with following a shorter pathway. Despite that, 85% feel pressure to pursue a four-year degree.…Read More

New Education Policy Roadmap Aims to Ensure High School Graduates in Every State are ‘Future-Ready’

CHICAGO – Parents and educators agree that a key goal of K-12 education is to ensure that students are “future-ready”—with the knowledge, skills, and drive to navigate their careers and lives. Americans look to the education system to equip young people to succeed in this environment, but traditional approaches have often fallen short with the rapidly changing future of work. Employers and the evidence point to a need for social and emotional skills within career and workforce education. So, how can policymakers, educators, business leaders, and community leaders come together to nourish students’ real-world competencies and help them succeed after graduation on their own terms?

To address this need, Civic, the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) and the Coalition for Career Development (CCD) Center have released a new report featuring a state policy roadmap for K-12 education that prepares students to succeed in a rapidly changing world. This groundbreaking report reframes what it means for students to be “future-ready” by integrating essential social and emotional learning (SEL) with career and workforce development (CWD). 

Access the full report: Educating Future-Ready Students: Bridging Social and Emotional Learning and Career and Workforce Development …Read More

4 tips to start meaningful conversations with students

“What do you want to do when you grow up?” It’s a question we ask students as young as kindergarten. I personally had the pleasure of watching my own kids answer this question at their kindergarten graduation (“dog breeder” and “ninja” – so proud!).

Of course, this shouldn’t just be a question we ask in kindergarten and again in senior year. All students—regardless of their backgrounds and future aspirations—benefit when they have the opportunity to explore and reflect on their future plans throughout their entire K-12 journey.

So how do we make this happen?…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

VHS Learning Elects Dr. Yolanda D. Johnson to its Board of Directors

Boston – Dec. 6, 2021 – VHS Learning, an accredited non-profit organization empowering schools with the industry’s best online learning programs, has appointed Dr. Yolanda D. Johnson to its board of directors.

Dr. Johnson currently serves as the Executive Officer for Student Services at Springfield Public Schools, where she oversees school counseling and social work services, dropout prevention and graduation improvement strategies, and college access and success initiatives. In her position, Dr. Johnson implements a variety of programs that enhance excellence, scholarship, achievement, and equity for all students.

A passionate educator, Dr. Johnson supports educational leadership development, scholarship, service, and helping students envision and attain their postsecondary goals. She is a champion for educational equity and works to create greater college and career opportunities for under-represented students.…Read More

vFairs Offers Immersive Virtual Graduations to Schools and Colleges

Graduation season is rapidly approaching, and continued restrictions against social gatherings to combat the coronavirus are still in effect in much of the country. vFairs, the leading platform for hybrid and virtual events, is offering immersive, customizable virtual graduation ceremonies to schools, colleges and universities, including features such as creating a virtual campus setting and 3D modeling to make the experience truly memorable.

According to a March 2020 poll by Educause Review, 49% of colleges and universities elected to postpone their 2020 commencement ceremonies, 14% opted to cancel commencement altogether and 14% planned a virtual ceremony. Rather than hosting a live webinar or virtual conference call, vFairs makes it possible for schools to create a virtual graduation ceremony in a virtual world.

vFairs can create customized three-dimensional models of a campus, stadium or auditorium modeled after the school. For example, the vFairs platform can create virtual environments replicating your community college campus to hosting a ceremony on the National Mall in Washington D.C. The platform also can create virtual avatars of graduating students dressed in caps and gowns. The result is an immersive virtual experience that students, parents and faculty will remember.…Read More

TEL Education Makes Learning Visible with Student Learning Dashboard

Students often struggle to make connections between what they learn in their college courses and the skills they need to be successful after graduation. TEL Education is launching the Student Learning Dashboard to help students clearly see and verbalize the 21st-century skills and competencies they learn across their general education courses and encourage students to take a more active role in their educational journey.

Students Lack Context and Ownership

According to TEL Education’s Executive Director, Dr. Rob Reynolds, “One of the biggest challenges in today’s education environments is that, for many students, learning has become a ‘black box’ of sorts. The purposes and processes of learning, the “why” and “what for,” are largely invisible and inaccessible to students.”

As a result, Reynolds says, students in secondary and postsecondary programs often lack a sense of context or connectedness in their learning. They are unable to answer critical, formative questions such as: What’s the big picture? Where am I on my learning journey? Why do I need to know this? How does what I’m learning today align with my interests and goals? How is what I’m learning in this course connected to what I am learning in other courses?…Read More

Groups urge IES to release months-late report on student internet access

A federal report on students’ home access to digital learning resources is months late, and ed-tech groups say the delay is impeding efforts to close the homework gap.

In a letter to the Institute of Education Sciences, a number of ed-tech and advocacy organizations point out that many students lack home access to the internet connectivity they need to complete homework and use online learning resources.

The groups also point out that the study, which the Every Student Succeeds Act mandated be sent to Congress by June 2017, “will help policy makers identify the best ways to ensure all students can connect with broadband services and be on a path for success after graduation.”…Read More