Teachers are burning out. Can AI help?

The teaching profession is in crisis. K-12 teachers report the highest burnout rate among all industries nationally, according to a June 2022 Gallup poll. Job satisfaction is at the lowest it’s been in 40 years. There is an estimated teacher shortage of over 300,000.

Many blame COVID-19, but if you look at the facts: the pandemic only revealed the cracks, long buckling under pressure.

But what if every single teacher could have an AI assistant? Would that change the game?…Read More

How we built a whole-child, wraparound approach to special education

At the Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning at Ulster Board of Cooperative Education Services (BOCES), we have developed the architecture to accomplish and codify a leadership approach to help schools consider how to reach our most marginalized and vulnerable students.

Four years ago, my team and I designed, planned, and implemented a research-based, whole-child wraparound approach to special education. To get our initial pilot off the ground, we brought in stakeholders from across our organization: teachers, teaching assistants (TAs), aides, counselors, occupational therapists, physical therapists, speech language pathologists, positive intervention team members, administrators, and the wider community, along with content area experts through our instructional services.

The pilot grew from five classrooms into a full-school implementation in the second year due to the county’s demand and the success of the program. We recently had the honor of presenting our model to stakeholders from across the country at AESA’s most recent conference.…Read More

7 Black History Month resources to use the whole year

Each year, we share our 10 most-read stories. Not surprisingly, many of this year’s Top 10 focused on innovative ways to engage students, digital resources, and online and hybrid learning strategies related to post-pandemic teaching. This year’s 8th most-read story focuses on Black History Month resources educators can use throughout the school year.

During Black History Month, educators have the opportunity to delve into the difficult–and often uncomfortable–experiences of Black people in the U.S. and around the world.

Perhaps one of the most important “do’s” is this: Don’t limit your teaching of Black history to the month of February.…Read More

Teaching ‘stranger danger’ should extend to the virtual world

In recent days, Ukrainian officials have expressed urgent concern that “Russia is planning to launch massive cyberattacks on critical infrastructure.” Unfortunately, this is just the latest in a dizzying series of cybersecurity threats and incidences that have plagued the global community for what seems like forever. Every day our country is fighting a seemingly invisible war against cybercriminals, and our students—the most vulnerable among us—are suffering the most.

According to the FBI’s 2021 Internet Crime Report, more than 14,000 victims of cybercrime that year were under the age of 20, with losses totaling $100 million. Of these victims, about six children per day faced online exploitation or abuse. And these are only the crimes that have been reported to the FBI—about 80% of cybercrime goes unreported every year.

That’s why it’s becoming increasingly more urgent for us to protect our students from the constant threats they face online. Teaching them how to navigate these threats must include four vital strategies:…Read More

Teachers using technology report stronger connections, community with students

Educators who use technology as part of their teaching practice report that they are more aware of their students’ individual needs (61 percent) and more likely to be leveraging technology purposely to tailor learning for their students (61 percent), according to results from a national survey from education nonprofit Gradient Learning.

What’s more, teachers using technology are more than twice as likely to report that they spend more one-on-one time with their students.

Teachers using digital learning tools are more likely than teachers on average nationwide to see a stronger connection between the effective use of technology and positive changes in their instructional practice. …Read More

How to make project-based learning a reality

One of the many reasons I love working for Van Andel Institute for Education is that I get to be a teacher Fairy Godmother. Teaching is an important but difficult job, and sometimes educators can get stuck on a specific need for their classroom. Maybe it’s finding the perfect resource for a lesson or connecting certain content to a project idea.

Whatever the situation calls for, my colleagues and I love to swoop in and help make their dreams a reality. But every Fairy Godmother needs a magic wand to work her wonders, and for my part, there’s no better resource to meet teacher needs than project-based learning.

What is project-based learning, anyway?    …Read More