Seven keys to effective teacher development

(Editor’s note: This article is the third in a three-part series about how school systems can build on the progress and leverage the investments they’ve made in technology during the pandemic to achieve true digital transformation. Part 1 looks at how K-12 leaders can develop an effective blueprint for redesigning education in a way that’s more equitable, meaningful, and learner-centered, and Part 2 explores how leaders can obtain stakeholder buy-in and support for their vision.)

Building on the changes that school systems have made during the pandemic to achieve true digital transformation requires an adaptive approach to K-12 leadership, as well as a focus on successful change management. These are adjustments that have to take place at the administrative level. But real transformation won’t occur unless it reaches the classroom as well, with teachers embracing change and trying out new approaches to instruction.

For this to happen, teachers not only have to buy in to what their school systems are looking to accomplish; they also need effective professional learning.…Read More

Redesigning education for post-pandemic success

(Editor’s note: This article is the first in a three-part series about how school systems can build on the progress and leverage the investments they’ve made in technology during the pandemic to achieve true digital transformation. Part 1 looks at how K-12 leaders can build an effective blueprint for redesigning education in a way that’s more equitable, meaningful, and learner-centered. Part 2 will explore how leaders can obtain stakeholder buy-in and support for their vision, and Part 3 will examine what professional development should look like to turn this vision into action.)

COVID-19 arguably produced the biggest shift in education since the invention of the printing press. Nearly overnight, teaching and learning moved from classrooms to online environments. School systems invested thousands of dollars in Chromebooks, Wi-Fi hotspots, and other technologies. Educators spent countless hours working to ensure that students could learn from home uninterrupted.

Yet, aside from where the learning occurred, what else actually changed?…Read More

6 tips to give students a skills refresh

Have you heard the adage, “If you don’t use it, you lose it?” If you stop playing the piano, you become a little rusty on the keys. If you stop running, you lose the muscles and lung capacity you had developed. And if you don’t use all that calculus you labored over in high school, the next time your child asks you for help on their calculus homework, you might be a little out of your league.

We’re starting to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. Many students have been learning remotely–or may have been learning in-person, but the structure of the day was far from normal. Without a doubt, many students have lost some of their social and motor skills. If you don’t use it, you lose it, right?

What do we do to help our students regain these “educational muscles?” Here are six sure-fire ideas to re-ignite learning:…Read More

3 keys to protecting student data and privacy

When the sixth-largest school district in the United States announced in early April that hackers were holding its data ransom for $40 million, administrators everywhere paid attention.

The Fort Lauderdale-area district has 232 schools and a budget of $2.6 billion for the 2020-21 school year—seemingly, the district has plenty of resources to protect against cyberattacks. It also has thousands of students and staff who use hundreds of applications and technologies each day.

How do educators ensure that they keep students’ data, records, and personal information private and secure? And, on the flip side, how do they ensure that the integration with other systems remains seamless, so student data is always up to date, accurate, and accessible to teachers, students, parents, and district officials?…Read More

7 keys to effective online learning

Online learning’s reputation has taken a hit in recent years amid reports of poor academic performance and concerns over lax regulation. While there is certainly some cause for concern, many of the problems center on for-profit providers who manage full-time virtual schools. The truth is that not all online learning experiences are of suspect quality.

When done well, online learning can be highly successful—opening the door to numerous learning opportunities that students otherwise wouldn’t be exposed to, while providing very rich and rigorous instruction. In fact, students who take online Advanced Placement courses from VHS Learning consistently outperform national passing rate averages on AP exams.

Related content: 10 things to help students during the COVID-19 outbreak…Read More

4 common barriers to accessible content for all students

This summer, many faculty will work on developing or revising curricular content for their courses. One of the keys in developing new digital materials is verifying that those materials offer accessible content for all students.

Today, most learning management systems (LMS) and software programs offer some level of accessibility compliance checking. However, they are not always thorough or error-free.

Related Content: 5 steps to ensure accessibility…Read More

Redefining what it means to be ‘college-ready’

Societal pressures on high school seniors seemingly grow by the year. These days, a student’s level of college and workforce readiness is said to be dependent on their college admission test scores, completing the most rigorous high school classes possible, and obtaining AP credit. But research shows that these are not the sole indicators.

ACT recently released a report that claims only 26 percent of 2018 high school graduates were ready for the workforce, but I believe readiness is dictated by so much more than a standardized test score.

Related content: 4 keys to supporting college and career readiness…Read More