Getting real-world experience: High schoolers design a ‘life skills’ lab for students with disabilities

This story was originally published by Chalkbeat. Sign up for their newsletters at ckbe.at/newsletters.

A collaboration between two schools co-located in a midtown Manhattan campus has bridged both of their missions in the most fruitful way possible: a hands-on project giving their respective students real-world life skills.

Students at Urban Assembly School of Design and Construction have donned the role of architects, designing a one-bedroom apartment for their “clients” at P.S. 138M, a District 75 school serving children with moderate to severe disabilities.…Read More

How to ignite the fire of student engagement

Recently, a co-worker of mine shared a story from when he was in high school. During one chemistry class his teacher happened to light a small fire within a dish and began stirring in different compounds. First the fire turned green, then purple, and then finally blue. The students, who normally struggled to engage with the coursework, were completely enthralled. They began asking questions, forming hypotheses, and started investigating the subject themselves. A fire had been lit in that classroom – both literally and metaphorically.

Stories like these remind educators about the power of student engagement. Teaching, in many ways, is like building a fire. You simply gather the kindling (tools and strategies), create a spark (curiosity), and then add some logs to the fire (content). Still, many of us can have trouble striking that match. All too often, our students’ attitudes can feel dampened by apathy or outside distractions.

Building the blaze …Read More

One way to address student mental health? Bring the clinic to school

This story was originally published by Chalkbeat. Sign up for their newsletters at ckbe.at/newsletters.

Many Michigan school administrators say they’ve often served as stand-in public health officials during the pandemic. So it’s no surprise that districts across the state are eager to get some backup from a program that opens clinics in school buildings.

School-based health centers make it convenient for students to leave class and walk down the hall for therapy, a medical checkup, or a dental appointment. While the first centers in Michigan opened decades ago, policymakers have renewed interest in them in the wake of COVID and the ongoing student mental health crisis.…Read More

Playing to win: The vital role of research in the future of esports

You stand, triumphant in front of a crowd cheering your name. After years of dedicated training and countless hours of practice, you’ve made it to the pinnacle of your game, the moment of enjoying the spoils of being a world-class athlete. Just a few months later, the pressure, stress, and injuries due to maintaining that top position have had a severe impact on your mental, emotional, and physical health and you’re forced to retire at 23.

While this may sound like a tragic story of a basketball or football athlete struck down as they were beginning their career, it happens for esports athletes too.

Esports–commonly accepted as “a multiplayer video game played competitively in front of spectators, by both professional and amateur gamers”–is quickly becoming a household term along with esports game titles such as Rogue Company, Call of Duty, and Rocket League. Over the last several years, schools and universities have realized that esports allows students who felt excluded from other extracurricular activities to finally find their “place” doing something they are passionate about within their scholastic environment. Research shows that students involved in an extracurricular activity are more engaged in the classroom and in their studies.…Read More

What did 2021 bring to K-12 edtech?

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 2nd most-read story focuses on the K-12 edtech predictions educators and experts had for 2021–were they right?

When we posted our 2020 predictions on January 1 last year, we–along with the majority of the world–definitely didn’t anticipate the curveball that was (and continues to be) the global COVID-19 pandemic.

2020 has been called a dumpster fire, the worst year in recent memory, and more. Abrupt shifts to virtual and hybrid learning laid bare the vast inequities that exist in the U.S. education system. The move to online learning also made people wonder: Are there practices we can continue when the pandemic abates? What can we take from this when we return to our classrooms? And will we return to our classrooms to teach in the same manner as we did before COVID?…Read More

7 fun digital learning tools to try in the classroom

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 5th most-read story focuses on under-the-radar digital learning tools.

During pandemic learning, educators have seen a plethora of digital learning tools and resources, and they’re figuring out what does and doesn’t work for their instructional methods.

There are some well-known and much-loved digital learning tools that are part of every educator’s must-try list, but why not throw some new resources into the mix?…Read More

7 tips for a strong remote learning strategy

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 9th most-read story focuses on strategies for impactful remote learning.

It’s halfway through the academic year, and schools across the United States are still wrestling with how to keep students enthusiastic about learning through a computer screen. According to a recent survey of high school students, more than half (54 percent) reported being less engaged during remote learning than during in-person classes.

In a virtual environment, educators are continually competing with diversions that aren’t present in the classroom, such as social media, television, and video games. Family distractions are also at play, particularly for older students who may care for younger siblings while parents are at work. Amid these disruptions, it can be challenging to get students to consistently log on, stay on, and participate in learning.…Read More

21 great tools for AR and VR in the classroom

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 10th most-read story focuses on engaging AR and VR tools to use in the classroom.

Nearly everyone has experienced augmented reality and virtual reality to some degree, and while they’re fun, AR and VR can also be incredibly powerful when integrated into classroom learning.

During an engaging ISTELive 21 session, Jennifer Hall, NBCT, an educational technology specialist with Atlanta Public Schools, outlined an abundance of AR and VR apps for students and educators.…Read More

Whatever it takes: How one underserved district continues to make it through the pandemic

Listening to Alena Zachery-Ross, Superintendent of Ypsilanti Community Schools in Michigan, managing her district through this pandemic almost sounds like a positive story.

In this conversation with eSchool News, Alena recalls her strategies for success. From a new appreciation for student voice to closer interactions with the wider community, her ideas will help any district not only survive, but thrive, in these times.

The following has been edited for clarity.…Read More

7 under-the-radar digital learning tools to try this fall

During pandemic learning, educators have seen a plethora of digital learning tools and resources, and they’re figuring out what does and doesn’t work for their instructional methods.

There are some well-known and much-loved digital learning tools that are part of every educator’s must-try list, but why not throw some new resources into the mix?

Here’s a small collection of digital learning tools and resources you may not know about. Give them a look during a much-deserved summer break and see if one, two, or more of them fit into your teaching strategy and academic goals for your students.…Read More