5 ways virtual tutoring reinforces our after-school program

We’ve been working to reinforce and reinvigorate our after-school program with the goal of reaching more students who need it. Staffing shortages and not enough hours in the day have made it difficult for us to achieve this goal, but when we started using the FEV Tutor live, 1:1 virtual tutoring platform we realized that we had discovered the missing piece of our puzzle.

At the time, we were really ramping up our summer program and trying to create as much programming as possible for it beforehand. One of the sites integrated the virtual tutoring into its program for four weeks and we received good feedback from the staff, teachers, and students.

We took those results and ran with them, rolling the online tutoring platform out across all 21 of our school sites with a goal of reaching about 2,500 students in grades 3-8. We offer the tutoring in 45-minute, dedicated blocks of time and alternate between math and reading.…Read More

Risk assessments are awful, but necessary

Between 2021 and 2022, 56 percent of K-12 education organizations were hit by ransomware, a nearly 25 percent increase from the previous year. That’s a staggering number, and a clear indication that threats against schools are only getting worse.

While risk assessments are one of the best things a K-12 school can do to understand their cybersecurity vulnerabilities in order to be strategic about how to protect against them, this critical tool is often avoided. After all, they can be absolutely awful to perform, taking up valuable time, involving confusing jargon and often not even seeming to solve any problems.

If this sounds familiar, there’s some good news. Yes, risk assessments are far from sunshine and roses. But you can get through them with less friction and pain, and ultimately improve your security posture, if you adhere to the following guidelines.…Read More

Learning needs joy and civility

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 number 1 most-read story focuses on what’s missing from learning.

This special edition of Innovations in Education, hosted by Kevin Hogan, comes live from one of the nation’s largest edtech conferences. At least 15,000 educators and edtech enthusiasts are gathered in New Orleans for ISTELive 22.

ISTE CEO Richard Culatta notes that we’ve “beaten the joy out of learning” in recent years. Now is the time to inspire educators and learners. Along with inspiration comes the idea of injecting civility, kindness, and understanding into education.…Read More

Treering Yearbooks Launches New Donation Feature

SAN MATEO, CA — Treering Yearbooks – a company modernizing traditional yearbooks – enables schools across America to make yearbooks accessible to all students by integrating a new online donation option.

As the season of giving commences, it’s the perfect time for schools to rally together their communities and provide the gift of lifelong memories to students. When the donation feature is enabled, books can be purchased and donated directly to the school through Treering’s website. Yearbooks are a portal to the past; a book that captures the best moments from childhood and tells the story of the formative chapters of life.

Janet Yieh, Family Partnerships Coordinator at Presidio Middle School in San Francisco, CA, utilizes fundraisers as well as Treering’s early purchase incentive to ensure that every 8th grader graduates with a yearbook. With Treering’s new donation option, Yieh can encourage parents, teachers and community members to join the initiative and donate yearbooks directly from their smartphones or computers.…Read More

3 ways to make inflation interesting for students

Inflation hit a four-decade high in the United States during September, with the consumer price index up 8.2 percent from a year earlier. While most adults are painfully aware of higher prices for everything from food to fuel, teens may be blissfully ignorant.

There are a few reasons inflation may not feel relevant to teens. If teens aren’t yet working and earning their own money, they’re buying things with their parent’s funds. The cure for inflation is simply to ask mom or dad for more money. Working teens will definitely be feeling the burn of increased prices, but their time horizon tends to be focused on today versus how inflation will impact them decades down the road.

Storytelling can be an effective way for teachers to make topics like inflation relevant to students. Storytelling makes abstract concepts come to life and can help students envision themselves in the story.…Read More

Hey teachers–what is your ‘why?’

More than half of the teachers in the US are seriously considering leaving the profession earlier than planned. A number of factors have led to this, including Covid-19 learning interruptions, lack of resources and support for teachers, and more.

Right now, teachers are also experiencing burnout at an all-time high. This has shown to impact our students’ learning and future success. In fact, both teacher burnout and constant turnover have serious negative consequences for students. Teachers who are highly dissatisfied with their job and have intentions of leaving can impact their effectiveness and disrupt students’ academic progress.

While the burden to improve teacher conditions lies with school districts, communities, and legislators, both teachers and students benefit when teachers intentionally reflect on and connect with the current that moves them to be a teacher. Every teacher has a reason that drives them to teach–whether it is connecting with learners, sharing content you feel passionate about, believing that every learner deserves a high-quality education, or something else. Every teacher has a “why,” and school districts, departments, and teachers can intentionally build in opportunities for teachers to reflect on their why and connect with colleagues who may share that “why.”…Read More

Problem-based learning helped boost my underserved students’ engagement

As educators, our charge is to impart knowledge onto our students, open new doors for them, and encourage them to stretch beyond their comfort zones. We try to show them every day that they are capable of doing anything that they set their minds to, but how often do we follow our own advice and push our own boundaries to try or learn something new?

As a physical education teacher in an underserved community, finding ways to connect with my classes during the pandemic and a time of remote learning was challenging. With sports being canceled, I was searching for new avenues to engage my students when I came across the Samsung Solve for Tomorrow contest, a program encouraging problem-based learning.

The contest tasks middle and high school students with identifying a solution to a real-world problem using STEM, and I was hesitant to apply as I do not teach a traditional STEM discipline. However, I knew that my students have a passion for making their community a better place for themselves and their families, and I decided to step outside the box and go for it.…Read More