How online tutoring helps us close learning gaps and support teachers

A report published by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) confirms that the pandemic greatly impacted students’ academic progress across all grade levels and instructional models.

Oklahoma City Public Schools (OKCPS) has leveraged pandemic relief funds to invest in additional resources for our district community. In addition to enhancing our summer school program, we are helping teachers support their students—and close learning gaps—by providing access to online, high-impact tutoring services. 

While we originally implemented online tutoring for our virtual school only, we were so impressed by the results that we decided to scale the service across our district. Now, every student has unlimited access to high-quality tutors—regardless of their grade level or academic standing.…Read More

Loudoun County Public Schools Partners with Tutor.com to Provide 24/7 Unlimited Tutoring for K-12 Students

NEW YORK/PRNewswire/ —  Tutor.com, one of the world’s largest online tutoring services, announced today that it has been selected by Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS), the third-largest school division in Virginia, to provide 24/7 online tutoring for every K–12 student in the division.

Through the partnership, which launches today, more than 82,000 students across 98 LCPS facilities will benefit from access to 1-to-1 expert tutoring, test prep, concept review, and homework help in more than 200 subjects, including many in Spanish.

“We believe that all students should be able to access additional support when they need it, and therefore, we are pleased to be able to offer this service to our students at no cost,” said Dr. Ashley Ellis, deputy superintendent of instruction. “We are offering this service because students should have access to the tools they need to be successful in school. By partnering with Tutor.com, we are further able to fulfill the mission of our strategic plan and empower our students to achieve their best.”…Read More

How to prepare new teachers for virtual learning

While the pandemic accelerated the demand for virtual learning, it’s clear that online pedagogy is now an integral part of an educator’s toolbox. As part of this shift to hybrid or virtual learning models, today’s educators face a new set of demands – it’s not just about teaching the curriculum; it’s about understanding and leveraging the tools that make learning possible and beneficial. 

As many of our interactions move online or become increasingly integrated with the digital world, teachers and the universities that prepare them need to shift as well.

Expanding Possibilities with In-Person and Virtual Learning…Read More

How I make online teaching work as a high school educator

I have been teaching at traditional and charter schools for the past 18 years, and I remain encouraged by the determination of the students I serve, even when faced with the challenges we’ve seen over the past several years due to the pandemic.

It’s a humbling experience to be a part of their academic journey, knowing that in some way I played a role in their success. To provide positive and meaningful experiences for students makes me feel honored to be an educator.

Like many of my peers, however, the onset of COVID-19 showed me it was time to make changes in my career and put my needs first after nearly 20 years in the profession. I’ve always had a passion for traveling, exploring other cultures, and learning new things—part of the reason why I became a teacher.…Read More

eSN K-12 Hero Awards Program nominee: Spotlight on Green Bay Area Public School District

Many new and innovative practices emerged as the COVID-19 pandemic spread across the globe, shuttering physical classrooms and pushing students and teachers online. It’s critical to document these stories, which range from efforts to close the homework gap and expand virtual learning to increased opportunities for DEIA. These stories are exactly what the eSchool News K-12 Hero Awards Program recognizes.

Sponsored by JAR Systems and SAP Concur, The eSchool News K-12 Hero Awards Program lets vendors nominate as many individuals or organizations as they’d like. The program recognizes the dedicated efforts of education professionals across K-12 departments, including IT, curriculum, instruction and administration. Nominations are open through Sept. 15.

eSN Editor-at-Large Kevin Hogan sat down with Amy Sterckx of K-12 Hero Awards Program nominee Green Bay Area Public School District, along with Axel Zimmermann with sponsor JAR Systems, to chat about post-pandemic education and innovation.…Read More

What if we gave every teacher a work from home day?

School and district-based staff are understandably wary about the new school year. Teachers, the majority of whom are women, are struggling under the immense pressure of pandemic schooling. Many have worked long hours to try to support their own families while keeping up with the demands of online teaching and changing COVID-19 protocols.

Teacher retention rates were already declining pre-pandemic, and the shortage of educators across roles may be widening. Preparation programs are facing fewer numbers of new educators entering the workforce; thirteen percent of graduate programs surveyed by the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education reported seeing “significant declines” in the numbers of new students. Of those graduating, many may be turning to remote options right out of the gate. Member programs in the national Virtual Learning Leadership Alliance reported increased hiring of online teachers since 2020.

Educators want the same flexibility that’s traditionally more available to those in corporate settings. In a 2021 survey, fifteen percent of teachers said flexibility to work from home would “make a major difference in reducing the likelihood they leave the profession.”…Read More

Toilet Paper Hands: Empowering Students With Skills-Based Economic Education to Accelerate Financial Literacy

RANCHO SANTA MARGARITA, Calif. (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Creators of Toilet Paper Hands Online Educational Program are responding to exploding demand for online education with innovative edutech: changing the game in economic education so students can keep up with the acceleration of web3 in a post-pandemic economy, redefining what it is to be financially independent.

CULTIVATING 21st-CENTURY SKILLS

TPH is the only pre-packaged economics curriculum currently available for students and educators that includes content on decentralized finance. Through human-centered storytelling and gamified learning, TPH creators deliver lessons in financial literacy, blockchain technology and investing concepts to bridge the gap between current economic education and the opportunities of web3.…Read More

Presence Introduces New Therapy Platform to Enrich the Clinician Experience

NEW YORK – Presence, the leading provider of online therapy solutions for children with diverse needs, launches Kanga, a modern therapy platform for clinicians who serve children. Special education caseloads in schools have continued to rise, increasing backlogs, and driving clinician burnout. Presence is expanding the tools available to clinicians in schools, agencies, and independent practices. The technology company has developed a robust, clinician-designed online therapy platform for their own network of teletherapy providers, and made a version of it available to schools during the pandemic.

“Kanga was designed to respond to the challenges and opportunities our clinicians have experienced in their own practice,” said Kate Eberle Walker, CEO of Presence. “The resulting platform is a combination of their expertise and 13 years of our own data on how special education providers and students engage in therapy and evaluations.”

Presence is offering a free version of the platform for clinicians interested in exploring how they can incorporate technology into their therapy planning, documentation, and delivery. The free version gives access to a rich library of resources and caseload management features, including tools for documenting and tracking session notes and student profiles. It also allows them to conduct up to eight 30-minute teletherapy sessions a month. Individual clinicians can sign up for the free version of Kanga through Presence’s website.…Read More

3 critical considerations for the future of school cybersecurity training

A universal truth over the last two years within the education sector has been this: Students need to continue learning, whether in school, at home, or somewhere in between. For many school systems and institutions, this meant sending students home with whatever device they could get their hands on–even ones that had been earmarked for disposal. Technology had to be put into the hands of students, one way or another. For many, this came at the cost of proper security precautions. Schools and institutions were at higher risk of security attacks, with more sensitive online data than ever before.

In the two years since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, most schools have returned to a fully in-person learning environment. However, for many, the damaging effects linger–in 2021 alone, 67 separate ransomware attacks impacted 954 schools and colleges, putting at risk the personal data of more than 950,000 students, according to a study by security firm Comparitech.

As we head into a new school year, it is time to ask ourselves: How can we better prepare and protect our students to be a line of defense against malicious attacks? And furthermore, who is tasked with properly training them?…Read More