How to educate in the 4th Industrial Revolution

Just for a moment, think about your physical environment. Perhaps you’re taking your lunch break in your car that has satellite radio and reading this article on a mobile device. Maybe you’re at home on your computer where you’ve got another browser tab open, creating a meeting agenda in Google Drive to share with your colleagues. 

Evidence that we’re in the middle of the 4th Industrial Revolution (4IR) is all around us. From the mobile device that can connect you via FaceTime or Slack with co-workers worldwide to cloud computing, we operate in a time and space marked by its reliance on artificial intelligence, blockchain, big data, the Internet of Things, and automation.

As individuals interested in empowering the next generation of young people to succeed, it is time to ensure that the field of education is appropriately responding to the 4IR, which has impacted nearly every industry in recent years. The question, then, is how can we ensure that we educate students to succeed in a world dominated by the 4IR?…Read More

Schools Across the U.S. and Around the World Partner with VHS Learning to Open a World of Opportunities to Students

Boston — Schools across the U.S. and in eight countries have started or renewed partnerships with VHS Learning this year to provide teacher-led, high school online courses in a variety of disciplines. Some have been partnering with the nonprofit organization for over 20 years.

“Online learning is a valuable tool that can help schools provide students with greater course variety and options for learning,” said Carol DeFuria, President & CEO of VHS Learning. “Schools around the world value our 26 years of experience educating students online, and many partner with us year after year. They trust our program to support their schools’ instructional needs and provide their students with comprehensive, interactive, and engaging online courses led by certified teachers.”

New international school participants this year include BIS in the Republic of Korea, Kingham Hill School in the United Kingdom, and Shanghai SMIC Private School in China. Returning schools include American Community School Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates; Asia American International Academy in Taiwan, Province of China; Escola Americana de Belo Horizonte in Brazil; Qatar Academy Sidra in Qatar; and International School of Kigali in Rwanda.

In addition, many U.S. schools have continued their long-time partnerships with VHS Learning. Schools that have utilized VHS Learning for 20 years or more include three Massachusetts districts: Abington High School in Abington, Nipmuc Regional High School in Upton, and Northbridge High School in Whitinsville. Schools that partnered with VHS Learning over 15 years ago include Hampden Academy and Falmouth High School in Maine, and Bromfield School and Hopkins Academy in Massachusetts, Newmarket Junior-Senior High School in New Hampshire, and Hackettstown High School in New Jersey.…Read More

Open English Acquires India’s English-Learning Platform enguru

MIAMI, (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Open English, the leading English-learning platform in Latin America and the U.S. Hispanic market, today announced the acquisition of India’s leading mobile language-learning platform, enguru. After establishing a strong foothold in the Americas with 24/7 live classes taught by native-speaking teachers and over 1.5 million students served, Open English successfully expanded into Spain and Turkey, and now hopes to replicate this success in one of the world’s largest English-learning markets. 

Due to India’s multitude of spoken dialects, English has become one of the most commonly used languages in the workplace and a prerequisite to work in India’s fast-growing services sector. Additionally, the number of Internet users in India is expected to reach 900 million by 2025, providing a unique opportunity for the EdTech market, which is projected to reach USD $10.4 billion by 20251. This blend of growing internet penetration and a strong demand for English-learning, has created an optimal environment for Open English’s acquisition of enguru, a platform that’s reached over 16 million downloads across India.

“We’re convinced that enguru’s mobile-first learning platform offers the best solution for Indian consumers through its combination of live interactive classes, self-paced lessons and gamified learning activities,” said Andrés Moreno, founder, chairman and CEO of Open English. “Their emphasis on live classes as the center of the student experience syncs perfectly with Open English’s mission and belief that live instruction is the best and most effective way for students to learn English.”…Read More

5 insights about post-pandemic education

This school year marked the first “almost normal” school year since the 2018-19 school year. Most began the school year with mask mandates, and many quarantined entire classes or grades due to COVID-19 outbreaks, but schools remained open and students filled classrooms.

The fact remains that learning is forever changed. The pandemic highlighted vast inequities in communities across the nation, teacher burnout increased tenfold, and the issue of students’ learning preferences–in school, hybrid, or online–attracted more debate.

A series of factsheets from the Clayton Christensen Institute explores five insights about post-pandemic education, backed by data, which could have major implications for schools and districts as they prepare for the 2022-23 school year.…Read More

How to block school security threats now–and in the future

The typical K-12 school system has the same basic security needs as any modern university campus: centralized management and control of security systems and procedures, and a strategy for staying ahead of threats while protecting earlier investments. In both cases, the latest open-architecture Physical Access Control System (PACS) solutions offer an infrastructure that is flexible, scalable, and can easily be upgraded to strengthen security and add capabilities without changing the hardware.

Building a Future-Safe Foundation

A future-safe PACS infrastructure operates with any access control software and add-on solutions ranging from parking gates to additional IT security. This requires a highly flexible and non-proprietary open-architecture framework with modern security protocols, technology interoperability, and open Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) that enable hardware to be integrated into any access control system software or security application.…Read More

3 key steps when using VR in education

As new VR technologies emerge, educators at all levels are finding new applications to augment the classroom experience – and for good reason. VR allows educators to move past pages in a textbook to create totally immersive experiences that stimulate and inspire students.

Imagine a social studies teacher leading a discussion about the Taj Mahal, for example. While educators and students used to be bound to traditional experiences like books, handouts, or PowerPoint presentations–now they can use the power of VR to take virtual tours of the monument, walking from space to space and seeing every detail of the carved stone.

The applications for VR in education are truly endless and open up an entirely new way of learning–with lesson formats that can literally bring students back in time for history class or transport them to different galaxies for science.…Read More

New Collegiate Partnerships with Central High School Advances Student Learning Opportunites

Phenix City, Ala.— In the upcoming school year, high school students will have a selection of dual enrollment courses offered by new collegiate partnerships. Phenix City Schools partners with five colleges for the 2022 to 2023 school year: Chattahoochee Valley Community College, Auburn University, University of Alabama, Troy University, and Alabama State University.

These partnerships create additional learning opportunities for students interested in getting a headstart on earning college credits and seeking more challenging academic experiences. Some of these options are also open to Central Freshman Academy. Along with the new dual enrollment courses, students can enroll in new Advanced Placement (AP) courses. Central High School now offers 12 AP courses, such as AP World History, AP Environmental Science, and AP Macroeconomics. Teachers new to teaching AP courses will be AP-trained and receive three Continuing Education Units (CEU) or 30 hours of professional learning credits.

These new courses and learning avenues to Central High School’s curriculum joins a long list of classes and extracurricular activities. Central High School currently offers 14 Career and Technical Education classes in its CTE Academy and over 40 clubs and organizations. …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

VHS Learning Adds Spanish 1 to its Credit Recovery Course Offerings

Boston – March 23, 2022 – High school students now have the option of online credit recovery through VHS Learning’s newly-created Spanish 1 course. The course helps motivated learners to recover the credit they need to graduate or progress to the next grade level. Spanish 1 Credit Recovery is part of VHS Learning’s established online credit recovery program. The nonprofit’s credit recovery courses are open for enrollment; students progress through the coursework at their own pace and have up to 15 weeks to complete their coursework.

Spanish 1 Credit Recovery introduces students to the Spanish language and the cultures of Spanish-speaking countries. The curriculum is guided by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Language World Readiness Standards, with emphasis on reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills. Students will record and upload videos of themselves speaking in Spanish to demonstrate their proficiency in the speaking domain. VHS Learning will also introduce Spanish 1 as an 8-week paced summer course beginning in June 2022.

VHS Learning’s 73% credit recovery average pass rate helps high schools bring struggling students back on track. “One of the keys to our success with credit recovery is the design of our online asynchronous courses,” said Carol DeFuria, President & CEO of VHS Learning. “The other key is our highly-qualified teachers.”…Read More

Search for America’s Top Young Scientist of 2022 Begins

St. Paul, Minn. and Silver Spring, Md. (Wednesday, February 3, 2022)3M (@3M) and Discovery Education (@DiscoveryEd) are excited to announce that the 2022 3M Young Scientist Challenge ( #YoungScientist) is now open to entries. As the nation’s premier middle school science competition, the annual 3M Young Scientist Challenge invites students in grades 5-8 to compete for an exclusive mentorship with a 3M scientist, a $25,000 grand prize, and the chance to earn the title of “America’s Top Young Scientist.” Competition entries are accepted at YoungScientistLab.com until the April 26, 2022 deadline. 

Each year, the 3M Young Scientist Challenge recognizes the grand prize winner, 10 finalists, the Improving Lives Award winner, and up to 50 state merit winners, as well as Washington D.C., nationwide who have demonstrated a passion for solving everyday problems to improve the world around them.  

To enter, students in grades 5-8 will share an original idea that helps solve an everyday problem in their community. They are invited to submit their solution in the form of a one-to-two-minute video explaining the science behind it. A diverse group of judges will evaluate entries based on creativity, scientific knowledge, and effective communication skills. Videos will not be judged on production skills and may be recorded on cell phones or basic digital cameras. …Read More