5 learning strategies that are here to stay

Each year, we share our 10 most-read stories. Not surprisingly, many of this year’s Top 10 focused on student engagement and online or hybrid learning strategies related to pandemic teaching. This year’s 4th most-read story focuses on some learning strategies that have staying power.

In 2020, students, teachers, and parents made an extraordinary pivot to distance learning with no preparation at all. From the district perspective, investments have been made in technology and infrastructure that may not have been made otherwise. We all gained phenomenal skills and insights as a result of having to make this abrupt turn, and then having to sustain that as the global pandemic persisted.

Now, we’re at a point where students, parents, and teachers all deserve to sustain those investments and the skills that they’ve built over time in order to reach one another and continue the learning. There will be some undeniable academic, social, and emotional gaps, of course, because kids have been away from their friends, teachers have been away from their classrooms, and school leaders have been away from their buildings.…Read More

5 learning strategies that are here to stay

In 2020, students, teachers, and parents made an extraordinary pivot to distance learning with no preparation at all. From the district perspective, investments have been made in technology and infrastructure that may not have been made otherwise. We all gained phenomenal skills and insights as a result of having to make this abrupt turn, and then having to sustain that as the global pandemic persisted.

Now, we’re at a point where students, parents, and teachers all deserve to sustain those investments and the skills that they’ve built over time in order to reach one another and continue the learning. There will be some undeniable academic, social, and emotional gaps, of course, because kids have been away from their friends, teachers have been away from their classrooms, and school leaders have been away from their buildings.

All that to say, the recovery period will be significant, but if teachers and students have shown us anything over the past 15 months, it’s that they will stop at nothing to get to each other and to the learning. Now, we’re working with a solid ground of new learning, new technology, and new ways of being together.…Read More

FLVC offering College 101 video series

Tallahassee, FL – April 28, 2021 – The Florida Virtual Campus (FLVC) is offering a series of videos to help students get all the information they need to prepare, apply, and pay for college.
 
FLVC recently hosted “College 101: What to Do, When to Do it, and How,” a four-night virtual series that covered important steps of the college preparation process.
 
That series was followed up with another virtual College 101 event – Finishing the FAFSA.
 
Videos for each of these events can be viewed at https://www.floridashines.org/go-to-college/get-ready-for-college/college-101-event and https://www.floridashines.org/go-to-college/get-ready-for-college/college-101-finishing-the-fafsa.
 
In these videos, experts, and partners from around Florida help students explore their college options, including career and technical programs, understand and excel in the application process, learn about the three main ways to pay for college, and finish their senior year strong so they can start the fall semester on the right track. Students also learn step-by-step how to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which is the best way to make college affordable.
 
Nearly 2,780 people registered to attend the live College 101 event.
 
Partners for these events included: AVID; Broward County Public Schools; Florida Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators; Florida College Access Network; Florida Department of Education; Florida PTA; Florida School Counselor Association; FLORIDA TRIO; FloridaShines; The School District of Osceola County; Office of Student Financial Assistance; Polk County Schools and Take Stock in Children.

About Florida Virtual Campus: The Florida Virtual Campus (FLVC) is made up of several units that provide statewide innovative educational services for Florida’s K-adult students. Working collaboratively with Florida’s 12 public universities, 28 public colleges, K-12 school districts, and other partners, FLVC provides free services to help students go to college, succeed in school, prepare for career success, and in life after graduation.

Nebraska public school districts begin unified effort to prioritize principal leadership, launch Tri-City ASCEND Academy

A collective commitment to principal leadership is underway in Central Nebraska, with a trio of school districts — Grand Island Public Schools (GIPS), Hastings Public Schools (HPS) and Kearney Public Schools (KPS) — announcing the launch of the Tri-City ASCEND Academy. This organic principal initiative was grown out of the districts’ need to focus on systematic improvements to the preparation, hiring, support and management of school leaders.

“We’ve long known that strong principal leadership is a key lever to improved student achievement,” said Nebraska Education Commissioner Dr. Matthew L. Blomstedt.  “The efforts of the Tri-City Alliance demonstrate partnerships to build a lasting legacy of strong leadership and are the type of models we need to build and sustain educational improvement across the state.”

Also referred to as ASCEND, the Tri-City Alliance is a principal pipeline that offers a range of talent management activities for which the districts themselves are responsible. These include: …Read More

VHS Learning Partners with Continental Han Feng Network Technology to Develop Chinese Language Program

Nonprofit VHS Learning is partnering with Continental Han Feng Network Technology (CHF) to develop a full Chinese language high school program. Chinese 1 through AP® Chinese Language and Culture courses will be added to the more than 250 online courses currently offered by VHS Learning. CHF and VHS Learning are working collaboratively to develop Chinese 1 and Chinese 2 courses during the first year of this multi-year partnership and VHS Learning is training qualified teachers in preparation for releasing both courses in September 2021.

“We are thrilled to be able to offer a full Chinese language program to VHS Learning students,” said Carol DeFuria, President & CEO of VHS Learning. “We know there is a huge demand for Chinese language instruction, but not all high schools have the staff or resources to offer these courses. I anticipate a significant demand for these courses and am thankful for the support and partnership of CHF as we bring these courses to life for high school students everywhere.”

To develop the program, VHS Learning is working with a stellar team of subject matter experts. The team will take state of the art content and create engaging learning experiences, fully aligned to ACTFL World Language standards, and delivered through VHS Learning’s unique, asynchronous model.…Read More

Interactive Field Trips Offered to Educators for Black History Month, President’s Day, Women’s History Month and Earth Day

In preparation for several upcoming significant historical, cultural and societal events, the Center for Interactive Learning and Collaboration (CILC) has curated a list of live, interactive virtual field trips that educators can access to enrich discussions surrounding Black History Month, President’s Day, Women’s History Month and Earth Day. The diverse list of interactive learning experiences ranges from an immersive underground railroad experience to an exploration of women war reporters who have made indelible marks in the world of journalism. Several of the offerings are free to the public, while others have a fee associated.

Virtual expeditions have gained in popularity in recent years and even more so since the start of the COVID-19 global pandemic. What sets CILC and its content collaborators’ programs apart from traditional web-based experiences (prerecorded) is the live interactive aspect. Museum curators, historians, authors, researchers, and other expert instructors engage directly with students during the virtual field trip to create a richer learning environment. The selections below offer an engaging resource to educators who want to expand their curriculum in a unique and authentic manner.

BLACK HISTORY MONTH, FEBRUARY 2021…Read More

Technology Firm ‘Crocus’ Launches to Grow Social Impact in Education

Crocus, a technology firm guiding social impact in education, today announced its formation as a result of UPD Consulting spinning off its Tech Group. Crocus works with state departments of education, K-12 school districts, colleges, universities, and educator preparation programs, as well as nonprofit organizations, to build resilience and capacity for change in how they use data to improve equitable outcomes.

As a Latina-owned technology firm, they prioritize making employment and subcontracting opportunities available to women and minorities. They remain committed to equity and social justice as leaders in the Ed-Fi, IMS Global and CEDS data standards communities and across the education interoperability movement.

“We’re the same group of professionals continuing work with our existing clients. We are centered on data use for social impact in education. We leverage our deep expertise in data, data use and technical solutions that build resilience into our clients’ ability to adapt to the rapidly changing conditions for teaching and learning,” said Ana Quintana, President & CEO of Crocus. “Crocus is a flower that embodies resilience—it blossoms in every season and it’s the first to emerge, regardless of circumstances. In this way, Crocus prepares our clients to persist and to flourish in whatever season lies ahead.”…Read More

High School Students Dive into Media Production

For the last few decades, U.S. school curriculum has centered on college preparation, but in recent years, parents, teachers and administrators have begun advocating for the inclusion of more professional skills-based training. Their vision is quickly becoming reality as more high schools invest in the technology and instructional staff to support more career-minded education, ranging from 3D animation to masonry, robotics and more. According to Texas-based AV Systems Integrator Digital Resources, one such field that’s drawn interest from the education community is news production and live event AV.

Year on year, the company continues to see new clients requesting sophisticated on-campus studio builds that incorporate real-world media production equipment from companies like AJA Video Systems. Schools then harness the facility and equipment to train students on how to deliver daily news casts from start to finish, with students serving as the production crew, news anchor team, director/technical director and floor director. In addition to learning the tools and roles of the trade, they’re taught how to write story scripts; achieve the right voice quality, diction and timing; performance and pacing techniques; and more.

Prosper Rock Hill High School in Frisco, TX is one of the many high schools embracing this methodology, and with help from Digital Resources, recently built a cutting-edge TV studio that its students use to produce and broadcast a live daily news show campus-wide. Similarly, Northwest Independent School District (ISD) in Fort Worth, TX, is using its Creative Media Production Academy, built by Digital Resources, to train students in 3D animation, live event production, broadcast, and more. Some students from the program have gained such valuable experience that they’ve gone on to land positions assisting proAV management for collegiate athletics and professional sports productions post-graduation. With educational outfits like Prosper Rock and Northwest ISD continuing to demonstrate the value that early media production training can provide, Digital Resources expects more districts and campuses to follow in their footsteps.…Read More

Professional Learning Summer Webinar Series

Flinn Scientific is hosting a safe return to school series of webinars, designed to provide facts and information to enhance student learning and facilitate instruction in a safe format, regardless of the learning modality.

Webinars cover safety measures, processes, and protocols required to keep students and staff safe. They have curated the top recommendations from recognized leaders in education, safety, and protection worldwide to help you sort through the overwhelming avalanche of content and readily get to the facts, links, and information that you need.

For School District Personnel
Guidance to Safe School Re-Entry: We all recognize that there is not a ‘one-size fits all’ solution to safely returning to school. In this session, they discuss safety preparation and concerns within schools and maintaining a physically and mentally healthy school environment.…Read More

Helping educators digitize their curriculum

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of thousands of educators have turned to Screencastify to digitize their curriculum and communication in preparation for (or in response to) school closures. In response, we have created a number of free e-learning resources to help both new and experienced Screencastify users get more comfortable using video for this purpose.

To make the transition to distance learning a little easier, we are granting all impacted educators free access to our suite of products through at least April 30. This includes:

  • Recorder. Unlimited access, no restrictions.
  • Video Editor. Full access. Edit, merge, and polish all videos, not just Screencastify recordings.
  • Submit (phased release). We have accelerated the development and launch of Submit, a new product specifically designed for distance learning. With Submit, teachers can easily collect recordings from their students, no extension required.

We will be monitoring the situation closely, and will extend access beyond April 30 if necessary.…Read More