5 ways technology can help you combat teacher burnout

Teachers are balancing a lot every day, and that pressure has increased since the start of the pandemic. According to the National Education Association, 55 percent of the teachers in a recent poll said they “will leave teaching sooner than they had originally planned” and 90 percent of members who responded said “feeling burned out is a serious problem.”  

Finding ways to ease the stress experienced by teachers and prevent teacher burnout is critical to teacher morale and ultimately, student outcomes. While no one area alone can prevent teacher burnout, tools that are designed with teachers’ needs in mind can play a big role in supporting teachers and making their jobs less stressful.

This is where technology – and specifically the right technology – can make a huge difference in lessening workload, promoting more productive communication, and boosting morale. Choosing the right technology tools can help give teachers more time and support for doing what they love – teaching and impacting students.…Read More

Digital Health Platform Parallel Learning Announces $20M in Series A Funding to Further Expand and Serve Students with Learning and Thinking Differences

NEW YORK, NY (MAY 26, 2022 ) – Parallel Learning (Parallel)—the digital health platform that provides a new way to test, diagnose, and empower students with learning and thinking differences—today announced $20M in Series A funding and an expansion to its suite of teletherapy services. This round was led by Tiger Global with additional participation from Obvious Ventures, Barry Sternlich’s JAWS and existing investor, Vine Ventures. This news comes only five months after Parallel’s official launch alongside $2.8M in previous financing, bringing the company’s total capital raised to $22.8M. The new funds will be used to accelerate Parallel’s national expansion to deliver an end-to-end suite of psychoeducational services for students. Parallel’s services go beyond initial psychological evaluations to offer ongoing support to students including skill-based tutoring, executive function coaching, and as of today, behavioral therapy as well as speech and language therapy. Services are available directly to families as well as to school districts as part of the company’s enterprise offering.

With Parallel, services begin within days, instead of the typical wait of months, and cost a fraction of the price of traditional services. Parallel offers specialized care at a quicker, more convenient and affordable rate compared to traditional care options. The company employs licensed psychologists, learning specialists, behavioral health therapists and speech therapists in each state and matches students with providers based on their referral concern and desired services. Following the initial consultation, a student will be matched with a care team specifically assigned to ensure the student receives all recommended services.

“Our mission is to work hand-in-hand with school districts and families to deliver the highest quality developmental services to students across the nation,” said Diana Heldfond, Founder and CEO of Parallel Learning. “With 20 percent of children challenged by learning and thinking differences, we’re committed to offering lasting, effective and affordable solutions to help those students succeed in and out of the classroom.”…Read More

The digital dilemma in student well-being

The second week in May was the 21st annual Mental Health Awareness Week, which this year focused on the impact of loneliness and the practical steps we can take to address it.  

For young people in particular, mental health has become one of the greatest challenges they are faced with today. In the UK, government figures indicate that one in six young people aged 6 to 16 had a probable mental health condition in late 2021, a sharp increase from one in nine in 2017.  

Meanwhile, 50 percent of all lifetime mental illnesses develop by the age of 14, with 75 percent developing by the age of 24, according to NAMI, The National Alliance for Mental Illness in the US. This shows just what a crucial and vulnerable stage adolescence is and why it is so important to support young people in this stage of life.…Read More

Whole child learning paves a path to success, teachers say

An overwhelming majority of educators polled in a new survey say they believe students achieve success when schools make whole child learning a priority.

Ninety-one percent of teachers participating in education nonprofit Gradient Learning’s national survey, say they believe students perform better when schools prioritize whole child learning.

Conducted in partnership with Project Tomorrow, the Gradient Learning Poll surveyed 1,418 teachers, of grades 4-12, across the country to better understand their views on the state of education. …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 Report Shows the National Math and Science Initiative’s Long-Term Impact on Ensuring Equitable Access to STEM

DALLAS (PRWEB) MAY 20, 2022 — New data from the  National Math and Science Initiative demonstrate the long-term impact of NMSI’s  College Readiness Program in expanding learning outcomes and opportunities for all students. In a report released today, data suggest that compared to the national average, students enrolled in NMSI-supported Advanced Placement® courses are more likely to further their education and earn STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math) degrees. The College Readiness Program expands access and achievement in high-quality, public STEM education, particularly among students underrepresented in STEM careers. View the full impact report  here.

STEM education is widely recognized as a critical component in preparing students for success in postsecondary education and their future careers. A  recent report shows that the U.S. will need to fill 3.5 million STEM jobs by 2025, with more than two million going unfilled due to a lack of highly skilled candidates. In addition, STEM inequities disproportionately affect young people of color, rural kids, kids in poverty, and girls. NMSI’s College Readiness Program is working to close the STEM gap for all students.

“Technology drives economies worldwide, and to keep up with the global economy, all students must be steeped in STEM education,” said Dr. Bernard Harris, former astronaut and CEO of the National Math and Science Initiative. “Right now, we have communities that don’t have access to STEM education. When that happens, not only do those communities lose, but we all lose. This report exemplifies the mission-critical work the College Readiness Program is doing to help level the playing field for all students.”…Read More

5 tips to retain your educators during school staff shortages

The past two years of pandemic-related stresses and uncertainty have left educators exhausted, even as school districts are returning to a sense of normalcy. A recent National Education Association (NEA) survey found that teachers are burned out, with 67 percent of members reporting it as a very serious issue and 90 percent a very serious or somewhat serious issue.

A majority of schools are completely open for in-person learning, but pandemic-related educator and school staff absences, coupled with continued teacher turnover, are resulting in school staff shortages. In fact, 74 percent of the NEA study respondents reported that they have had to fill in for colleagues or take on other duties at their school or in their district due to school staff shortages.

This is the first time in my career that I have faced the daily struggle to fill school staff shortages caused by teacher turnover or by employees who are sick or quarantining. As school leaders, it is crucial that we work together to lessen the educator turnover issue to help mitigate staff shortages.…Read More

IRIS Debuts Powerful New Application Where Students Use Seismic Waves Data to Learn about the Layers of the Earth

WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 3, 2022) — The Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology (IRIS) has created an online version of its popular activity “Determining and Measuring Earth’s Layered Interior” to challenge students to use evidence in the form of earthquake data to understand the Earth’s interior layers. This free web-based tool for Earth Science classrooms was funded in part by the National Science Foundation. 

The activities contained within the tool emphasize the use of models and the importance of using empirical evidence to make discoveries in Earth Science. When using the tool, students act as scientists as they discover and analyze real-world data. This exploration encourages independent thinking, data analysis, and engineering and design, as it builds an understanding of this dynamic planet and its internal engine.

“Students today have unprecedented access to seismic data and web tools that allow them to explore fundamentally big ideas such as the predictive power of models to help explain the Earth’s system and to measure the Earth’s core,” said Michael Hubenthal, Senior Science Education Specialist at IRIS. “The “Determining and Measuring Earth’s Layered Interior” tool allows students to explore and analyze the data that scientists use to understand the layers of the Earth.”…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

3 strategies to address new school nutrition standards

The summer of 2022 brings changes to school meal requirements for the National School Lunch Program and the School Breakfast Program, as school nutrition programs transition from pandemic-era flexibilities—such as loosened restrictions around food preparation and packaging—back to pre-pandemic requirements. Millions of pre-K–12 students across the nation depend on school meals every day, and the changes are significant.

Below, I’ve highlighted what these requirements mean for school districts and key strategies for school leaders to consider if hurdles arise.

Learn from the pandemic’s impact on school nutrition programs…Read More