The critical link between scholastic esports and career pathways education

When I first approached my administration back in August 2021 about implementing a scholastic esports program at school, I had imagined facing significant opposition to the idea, and, in preparation, had rehearsed my talking points and done my research in order to be persuasive.  I was prepared to talk about the connections to STEM learning, the opportunity to engage otherwise disengaged students, the inclusive nature of gaming, the research behind gamification and game-based learning, and more. 

None of that was necessary, however, as my school principal was extremely supportive in my effort to implement scholastic esports at the school and, more importantly, to use the program to teach students transferable skills while simultaneously encouraging them to explore related career pathways.

I began my esports program with a focus on social-emotional well-being using resources from NASEF to structure initial lessons.  Before jumping into the competitive aspects of esports and gaming, we spent three weeks discussing the importance of positive mental health and the negative effects associated with some online gaming cultures.  This included discussions of toxicity and online “trash talk” of opponents, as well as the impact on one’s emotional well-being and overall confidence as a result of being repeatedly subjected to such toxicity. …Read More

Mississippi Partners with AIM Institute for Customized Literacy Training

CONSHOHOCKEN, PA [JULY 28]  The AIM Institute for Learning & Research is excited to announce a new partnership with the Mississippi Department of Education and the North Mississippi Education Consortium to provide 1,600 Mississippi teachers and education leaders with customized literacy training to help schools support a culture of literacy and provide teachers with tools, resources and support to implement new techniques into classroom practice.

“The opportunity for AIM Institute for Learning and Research to collaborate with Mississippi teachers and leaders as they continue on their path to reading excellence is thrilling,” said Dr. Cynthia Hadicke, Director of Client Success and Implementation at AIM. “AIM Pathways courses have extensive opportunities for teachers to apply their knowledge of the science of reading with their students. Knowing the science of reading is important, but its application is critical.” 

AIM will offer AIM Institute for Learning and Research’s Pathways Professional Development courses to assist teachers and leaders in furthering their ability to apply the Science of Reading in the classroom, while supporting Mississippi’s mission to prepare students to compete in a global community.…Read More

Are you tackling the durable skills challenge?

 A new effort to evaluate the “durable” skills that lead to success and achievement in the 21st century workforce was launched this spring by nonprofit organizations America Succeeds and CompTIA.

America Succeeds and CompTIA are collaborating on ways to integrate durable skills into education pathways – in the classroom for future workers and in employee training for individuals already in the workforce – to prepare them for success in their careers and communities.

“Durable skills are the skills that last a lifetime, the skills that you use to demonstrate what you know and the skills that employers are looking for,” said Tim Taylor, co-founder and president of America Succeeds, a national nonprofit that is committed to engaging business leaders in accelerating equity, access, and opportunity in education.…Read More

It’s time to focus on learning experience design

If the pandemic taught us anything, it’s that understanding the whole student matters. Since March of 2020, billions of dollars and hundreds of thousands of person hours have been spent enabling remote learning access, rolling out strategic student supports—particularly around mental health—and providing emergency aid for students struggling with basic needs.

All the while, the committed educators focused on meeting this moment embraced a clear truth: Maslow trumps Bloom on learning journeys. Whether its early learning, K-12, higher education, or job training, we have been forcefully reminded by COVID to focus on the whole student experience if we want our learners to begin, continue, and succeed on their pathways to and through education.

Even pre-pandemic, a holistic student supports approach was becoming an essential feature of student success initiatives, particularly as the focus on student completion took hold over the last decade. However, much of this work has been anchored in strategic outreach and advising reform. With what we’ve learned and lived through over the last two years in rethinking instruction and student support with learner experiences at the center, we are now challenged to embrace this perspective in a more fulsome and integrative way in the learning process itself. Put simply: now is the time for learning experience designers.…Read More

Computer science claims slight victory in high schools

For the first time, a slim majority of all U.S. high schools–51 percent–offer foundational computer science, up from 35 percent in 2018.

The new statistics come from the 2021 State of Computer Science Education: Accelerating Action Through Advocacy, released by Code.org, the Computer Science Teachers Association, and the Expanding Computing Education Pathways Alliance.

The latest data reveals that disparities exist regarding who has access to and who participates in computer science education. Students who attend rural schools, urban schools, or schools with higher percentages of economically disadvantaged students are less likely to have access to computer science.…Read More

How scholastic esports opens up college pathways

Esports programs continue to grow at a rapid pace at both the collegiate level and at the high school level in the United States. With that growth, there are often salient questions that parents have when their children dive into the new world of scholastic esports and content creation: Are scholastic esports legitimate? What will they teach my child? Are you actually serious about a bunch of kids playing video games?

The answer to all of those questions is, without hesitation, yes. We are no stranger to those questions at NASEF and often talk with parents, educators, and students about the benefits of scholastic esports and the inclusion of video games into school curriculums.

Scholastic esports allows educators to open new pathways for their students in the burgeoning digital age of entertainment and education. The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated that in many ways, forcing classrooms to use online tools. Scholastic fellows are educators in a community of practice who develop and refine in- and  out-of-school curriculum that leverages student interest in esports. One of the most common refrains among the NASEF fellows was how the digital tools of gaming and esports helped keep their students connected to each other in a world-state that demanded we stay apart. In our interconnected world, games are often a dominant force in bringing millennials and Gen Z together.…Read More

Robotify Partners with Steve Wozniak’s Woz ED to Virtualize the STEM Learning Experience

Global virtual robotics education company Robotify has partnered with Steve Wozniak’s Woz ED to provide over 3,500 schools, coding clubs and school districts across the globe with cost-effective access to the world’s most premium robotics technology.

In a cutting-edge deal, Irish-based Robotify is providing their proprietary software to Woz ED which allows the company to virtualize its physical STEM pathways, providing students with a virtual robotics experience in addition to existing physical experiences. The deal will see both companies collaborate to reach tens of thousands of students around the world to give them equitable access to coding and robotics educational content.

“I’m impressed with the way Robotify makes coding engaging and accessible. By virtualizing the technology, more young people will have the opportunity to learn and explore,” said Steve Wozniak, Apple Co-Founder & Founder of Woz ED. “Both Woz ED and Robotify focus on ensuring young learners are job-ready for the most in-demand tech sector openings. We provide learners with the opportunity to engage in authentic projects to help them understand what work they love and excel at.”…Read More

EdisonLearning and Pointful Education Partner To Expand Access To Online Career and Technical Courses

Pointful Education’s suite of CTE and elective offerings are now available to all secondary students enrolled in eCourses through EdisonLearning

EdisonLearning a premier provider of digital learning solutions for grades 6-12, and Pointful Education, a leading publisher of career and elective courses, today announced a partnership that expands EdisonLearning’s Career and Technical Education (CTE) and elective offerings with the integration of Pointful Education’s online courses.

The partnership will offer secondary students of all current and future EdisonLearning partners a wide variety of learning opportunities spanning several career pathways with courses ranging from eSports to Entrepreneurship. The courses feature project-based learning, engaging video content, a variety of assessments, and interactive activities. These CTE and elective courses add to the 150+ courses already available in the EdisonLearning library and expand schools’ access to well-rounded content to support students’ college, career, civic and life readiness.…Read More

Udemy’s Upskilling and Educational Content is Now Available on LenovoEDU Community

Udemy, the world’s largest destination for learning and teaching online, today announced that the recently launched LenovoEDU community by Lenovo™ will offer Udemy content and pathways to course recommendations for specific careers. Designed to inspire people to take education into their own hands, LenovoEDU is an online community that offers support and resources for college and career students, parents and guardians of K-12 students, and educators around the globe to optimize learning opportunities with a “self-serve” and “build your own curriculum” mindset.

“2020 brought record challenges to how students and teachers across the world access, consume and share e-learning resources,” says Ajit Sivadasan, Vice President and General Manager of Lenovo.com at Lenovo. “At a time when education has undergone such historic shifts, it is now more important than ever that students can readily access the most in-demand skills to forge a long-lasting and successful career. That’s why we’re collaborating with Udemy to offer smarter online education for all through the LenovoEDU community.”

In a global economy that’s becoming increasingly difficult to navigate, the LenovoEDU community offers learners and educators a one-stop-shop to connect with peers. Members get access to curated educational video and expert blog content offering advice on teaching, learning and professional development to help teachers educate and students prepare for whatever comes next. To streamline access to the necessary skills to thrive in today’s competitive economy, the LenovoEDU community offers its members Udemy’s extensive library of over 155,000 courses taught by more than 70,000 real-world experts by topic and career path.

“Learning is more important than ever, and we want to make it as simple as possible for students and teachers to access, consume, and share educational resources around the globe,” said Llibert Argerich, SVP of Marketing at Udemy. “At the core of our business, we help people do whatever comes next in their professional journeys and improve lives through learning. As such, we’re thrilled to be a part of LenovoEDU to help more people more easily access necessary skills when they need it.”

To learn more about and discover Udemy resources on the new LenovoEDU community, visit: https://education.lenovo.com/

About Udemy
With a mission to improve lives through learning, Udemy is the world’s largest online learning destination that helps students, businesses, and governments gain the skills they need to compete in today’s economy. Thirty-five million students are mastering new skills from 70,000 expert instructors teaching over 155,000 online courses in topics from programming and data science to leadership and team building. For companies, Udemy for Business offers an employee training and development platform with subscription access to 8,000+ courses, learning analytics, as well as the ability to host and distribute their own content. Udemy for Government is designed to upskill workers and prepare them for the jobs of tomorrow. Eighty percent of Fortune 100 companies trust Udemy for employee upskilling. Udemy is privately held and headquartered in San Francisco with offices in Denver, Brazil, India, Ireland, and Turkey. Udemy investors include Insight Partners, Prosus (Naspers Ventures), Norwest Venture Partners, Stripes, and Benesse Holdings.

LENOVO is a trademark of Lenovo.

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mindSpark Learning Announces mSL futureS, Next-Generation Fellowship for Educators

mindSpark Learning (mSL), a Denver-based national nonprofit dedicated to empowering educators with industry-oriented professional learning experiences, today announced the launch of mSL futureS, a dynamic, 10-month next generation educator fellowship program. With so many unknowns, especially in the era of COVID-19, educators are expected to pivot quickly to adjust to fast-changing societal needs. mSL futureS prepares educators to accept and embrace ambiguities through this free resilience and futures thinking training. The first trimester begins July 15.

Participants must register in teams of three to five classroom educators to create their fellow group. Over the course of three trimesters, these fellow groups will work with a cohort of 20 peers to develop mental pathways to prepare for the 2020-2021 school year and beyond. They will fine-tune their problem-solving abilities and futures thinking to tackle issues like burnout antibodies, an agile mindset, social emotional resilience and community needs.

Futures thinking fosters ongoing observation, pattern recognition and conversation while considering macro forces, like environmental, social and economic factors. This mindset prepares Educator Futurists to create actionable strategies for specific issues within their organizations and communities using multiple perspectives.…Read More