From DSC:
The items below made me reflect on the need to practice some serious design thinking to rethink/redesign the cradle-to-grave learning ecosystems out there.


Real World Learning in Action — from gettingsmart.com by Shawnee Caruthers

Key Points

  • The Real World Learning initiative was created to address a simple, but equally complex challenge: How do you prepare students for life after high school?
  • The traditional, go to classes, earn some credits, participate in some activities and earn a diploma wasn’t working, at least not equitably.

Creating a new high school experience starts with innovative thinking and advocates willing to say yes. As a result of collaborations, visiting best practice sites and numerous convenings, the Kansas City region is now a hub for pathways, wall-to-wall academies, microschools, innovation academies, student-run businesses, strong client-connected project examples and more. Educational stakeholders can now go across state lines to see future-forward thinking for students.

Also relevant/see:

Framing and Designing the HOW — from gettingsmart.com by Rebecca Midles

Key Points (emphasis DSC):

  • The referenced circle graphic is intended to guide how we talk about our work as a system, internal and externally.
  • It also is about understanding our why on a personal level.
  • Learning systems are specifically designed to get the results they have, and to change results, we have to redesign the system.

Also relevant/see:

Fewer People Are Getting Teacher Degrees. Prep Programs Sound the Alarm — from edweek.org by Madeline Wil

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

As teacher dissatisfaction rates rise and concerns about teacher shortages intensify, colleges of education are sounding the alarm: Enrollment has been steadily declining for the past decade, and the pandemic has likely made things worse.

Smaller and Restructured: How the Pandemic Is Changing the Higher Education IT Workforce — from educause.edu by Jenay Robert

Excerpt:

Several prominent themes emerged from the analysis of these responses and are supported by other recent EDUCAUSE research:

  • Though most respondents reported a reduction in force, some were able to justify adding new positions to their units in 2021, primarily to meet new institutional needs.
  • Budget cuts were the main cause of reductions in force.
  • Work factors such as flexible, remote work options and competitive salaries are playing a central role in attrition and recruitment.
  • Increased workloads and personal stressors related to the pandemic have resulted in widespread burnout among staff.
  • IT units have plans to reorganize in 2022 to become more agile and efficient and to respond to the evolving needs of their organizations.

Allan: With $175G Grants, Accelerate ED Looks to Better Link K-12, College & Work — from the74million.org by Sara Allan

Excerpt:

Today, most states require high school students to complete a set of defined courses, assessments and experiences in order to graduate on a career-ready pathway. However, the number of schools that fully embrace coherent programs of study that connect K-12, higher education and employment remains frustratingly small.

.


What if every high school student had the chance to take an additional year of courses related to their interests and earn enough credits to complete their associate degree one year after high school while gaining valuable experience and career preparation—at little to no cost?

— from Seamless Pathways to Degrees and Careers

From DSC:
The above quote is the type of “What if…” question/thinking that we need to redesign our cradle-to-grave/lifelong learning ecosystems.


 

27 Fun Ways to Celebrate the End of the School Year — from commonsense.org by Erin Wilkey O.

Excerpt:

This year, things are closer to “normal,” but we can still be creative in recognizing and celebrating students’ accomplishments. Use this list of ideas to help you plan some fun end-of-year activities — we’ve included a special section at the end for celebrating the class of 2022. Many of the ideas here play out in the digital world, but we’ve mixed in some offline options as well.

We hope these activities bring you and your students some much-deserved joy as we close out the 2021–2022 school year.

 

The Science of Learning: Research Meets Practice — from the-learning-agency-lab.com by Alisa Cook and Ulrich Boser; with thanks to Learning Now TV for this resource
Six Research-Based Teaching Practices Are Put Into Practice

Excerpt:

For the nation’s education system, though, the bigger question is: How do we best educate our children so that they learn better, and learn how to learn, in addition to learning what to learn? Additionally, and arguably just as challenging, is: How do we translate this body of research into classroom practice effectively?

Enter the “Science of Learning: Research Meets Practice.” The goal of the project is to get the science of learning into the hands of teaching professionals as well as to parents, school leaders, and students.

 

Digital Classroom Newsletters: Tips for Engaging Students and Their Grownups — from blog.edmentum.com by Troy Minton

Excerpt:

Newsletters can be a very effective tool for getting quick and engaging information to students and their families, whether you teach online or in the physical classroom. Class newsletters can also be a quick and visually pleasing way for parents and guardians to stay informed on class activities and keep student supporters in the loop about grade level expectations, all the while building the essential communication lines. It allows supporters to ask specific questions about events happening in their child’s classroom more so than a simple question like “how was class?” would.

There are several free tools or versions that are available to educators that provide me a quick and effective method of getting information to students in an engaging and visually pleasing format. Let’s take a look at why a digital newsletter can be handy, and a few ways you can make sure to get the most out of yours.

 

From DSC:
For the last few years, I’ve been thinking that we need to make learning science-related information more accessible to students, teachers, professors, trainers, and employees — no matter what level they are at.

One idea on how to do this — besides putting posters up in the hallways, libraries, classrooms, conference rooms, cafeterias, etc. — is that we could put a How best to study/learn link in all of the global navigation bars and/or course navigation bars out there in organizations’ course management systems and learning management systems. Learners of all ages could have 24 x 7 x 365, easy, instant access as to how to be more productive as they study and learn about new things.

For example, they could select that link in their CMS/LMS to access information on:

  • Retrieval practice
  • Spacing
  • Interleaving
  • Metacognition
  • Elaboration
  • The Growth Mindset
  • Accessibility-related tools / assistive technologies
  • Links to further resources re: learning science and learning theories

What do you think? If we started this in K12, kept it up in higher ed and vocational programs, and took the idea into the corporate world, valuable information could be relayed and absorbed. This is the kind of information that is highly beneficial these days — as all of us need to be lifelong learners now.

 

Education Needs a Reset. We Can Start by Listening to Our Teachers. — from edsurge.com by Elissa Vanaver

Excerpts:

What too few politicians and parents are talking about, though, is the dire state of the career pipeline for teachers, the ones we’ll be depending on to lead the post-pandemic learning recovery in our classrooms over the next few years—not to mention for the next generation.

Valuing teachers is the systemic path to centering students. In order to move the needle, we must go beyond what teachers need to do to address root causes that require cultural and systemic change. Here are a few things it will take:

  1. Understanding that teaching and learning are inherently relational and the power relationships have on student and teacher success.
  2. Centering the joy of learning and making classrooms a place students and teachers want to be.
  3. Creating an empowered teaching culture to advocate for children and encouraging creativity that optimizes engagement.
  4. Fostering culturally responsive methods through continuous mentoring by exceptional, experienced educators.
  5. Developing partnerships with quality teacher preparation programs for coherent and supportive career pathways.

From DSC:
When I used to work in customer service and also in technical support at Baxter Healthcare, I always thought that management should be listening closely to those employees who were on the front lines — i.e., those of us who were in regular contact with Baxter’s customers. Similarly, the teachers are on the front lines within education. We need to give them a huge say in what happens in the future of the preK-12 learning ecosystems. We also need the students’ voices to be heard big time.

Also popular last month from edsure.com, see:

 

K-12 education in America is like quickly moving trains that stop for no one.

K-12 education in America is like quickly moving trains that stop for no one.

From DSC:
A family member struggles with spelling — big time. This causes her major amounts of anxiety in school.

Another family member had some learning disabilities and reflects back on school with some bad memories.

Another family member struggles with social graces and learns at a much different pace than her peers — the move to her education being (predominantly) done via homeschooling has helped significantly.

A friend of mine has Dyslexia. He recently said that school was hell for him.

Another person I know doesn’t understand his daughter’s learning disabilities — at all. He’s asking a fish to climb the tree and yells at his daughter when she doesn’t produce like the other kids do. Her school is for college-bound learners, and there’s always pressure to maintain the school’s “blue-ribbon” status (i.e., sorry if you don’t fit in…but please board the train anyway, as it’s about to depart).

These people and stories about their educations got me to reflect on all the people who went through the school systems in the United States (over the last few decades) that didn’t work well for them. In fact, not only did the systems not work well for them, they were the sources of a great deal of pain, anxiety, depression, anger, frustration, and embarrassment.  Instead of being a place of wonder or joy, school was a painful, constant struggle to get through.

For those who can keep up or even excel at the pace that the trains travel at, school isn’t that much of a problem. There are likely different levels of engagement involved here, but school is manageable and it doesn’t cause nearly the stress for someone who struggles with it.

For those with learning disabilities, I’d like to apologize to you on behalf of all the people who legislated or created rigid, one-size-fits-all school systems that didn’t understand and/or meet your needs. (Why we allow legislators — who aren’t the ones on the front lines — to control so much of what happens in our school systems is beyond me.) I’d like to apologize on behalf of all of the teachers, administrators, and staff who just accept the systems as they are.

Please help us reinvent our school systems. Help us develop the future of education. Help us develop a more personalized, customized approach. For those who are working to provide that, thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

To everyone working within Pre-K through 12th grade, help us offer: More voice. More choice. More control. The status quo has to go. School should not be a constant source of pain and anxiety.

Learners need: More voice. More choice. More control. -- this image was created by Daniel Christian

 

 

Race on Campus: What Colleges Are Doing About the Shortage of Black Teachers — from chronicle.com by Oyin Adedoyin

Excerpts:

Welcome to Race on Campus. Research has shown that Black students who have one Black teacher by third grade are more likely to graduate high school and enroll in college. But Black teachers — especially Black men — are in short supply. Our Oyin Adedoyin explains what colleges are doing in response.

Initiatives like the one at Alabama A&M have popped up at other colleges across the county, attempting to attract more minority male teachers by alleviating some of the challenges. This month, the New Jersey education department announced a similar program in partnership with Rowan University’s College of Education with “a specific focus on men from disadvantaged or minority backgrounds,” the university’s website said. In July 2021, California’s Gov. Gavin Newsom and lawmakers allocated $350 million in the budget for one-time grants for the 2021-22 academic school year to expand existing teacher residency programs, EdSource reported. And Maryland also recently implemented its Teaching Fellows for Maryland Scholarship aimed at reducing the financial barriers that stand between Black students and a teaching degree.

 

45 Next Generation Learning Tools That Kids Will Love — from ireviews.com with thanks to Alex Ward for this resource

Excerpts:

There’s a wide range of tools designed to support curriculum and help teachers and students achieve their goals. These are our top picks for school students of every age, due to their impressive functionality and simple integration into the classroom.

 


From DSC:
Below is a sample screenshot from the Elementary school resources section. They also have resources for middle schoolers and high schoolers.


45 Next Generation Learning Tools That Kids Will Love

 

Nurturing Non-STEM Gifted Kids and Meeting Their Needs — from raisinglifelonglearners.com by Colleen Kessler

Excerpt:

But what about that kid who doesn’t want a new chemistry set or microscope for Christmas? What about the gifted kid who doesn’t really get your science puns? What about the brilliant child who isn’t into STEM at all?

They’re rare, but they’re out there. Artists, chefs, readers, writers, dancers, musicians, linguists, all of the above. Kids who like space just fine, but like nature even more. Gifted kids who can crush their math work but would rather crush pigments. Gifted kids who can learn to code, but whose heart swells when guitar strings strum. Brilliant babes who appreciate the arts, the stories, or are just filled with curiosity that isn’t subject-specific. You see, intelligence isn’t a stereotype. An IQ score isn’t like a horoscope. Scoring a few standard deviations above the norm doesn’t dictate your personality, your likes, dislikes, talents, passions, or hobbies. It means your brain processes information differently than the majority of the population. That’s really it. Intelligence and brilliance are as likely to be found on a stage as they are in a lab. For every Einstein there is a Beethoven, for every Musk there’s a Spielberg.

What Can You Recommend For Students Who Finish Their Work Early? — from teachthought.com

Excerpt:

How to respond when students finish their work early is a classic teacher challenge.

Most of it boils down to lesson design–creating learning opportunities where students are naturally funneled toward extending, improving, and sharing their work so that ‘stopping points’ are more of a matter of scheduling than learning itself.

Motivating your child with ADHD: 7 tips for your homeschool — from raisinglifelonglearners.com by Colleen Kessler

Excerpt:

This series is all about homeschooling a child with ADHD. Today, we are discussing 7 of our best tips for motivating a child with ADHD.

Preparing Kids With Real-World Skills via Ed-Tech — from emergingedtech.com by Kelly Walsh

Excerpt:

Educational technologies enable children to learn things on a whole new level, broadening their minds and their capabilities. The practical applications alone make ed-tech a highly valuable tool in the classroom setting, but these technologies also can enhance kids’ skills as well as their emotional and cultural awareness and intelligence, which can better prepare them for real-world situations and scenarios.

Edumilestones Has Launched Career Lab™ For Progressive Schools — from edtechreview.in

Excerpt:

Edumilestones, a pioneer in career guidance platform has now launched a next-generation Career Lab™ for schools. Based on 11 years of experience in career counselling industry, this technology is set to help students to identify and execute their career goals with clarity and confidence.

 

How I use Minecraft to help kids with autism — from ted.com by Stuart Duncan; with thanks to Dr. Kate Christian for this resource

Description:

The internet can be an ugly place, but you won’t find bullies or trolls on Stuart Duncan’s Minecraft server, AutCraft. Designed for children with autism and their families, AutCraft creates a safe online environment for play and self-expression for kids who sometimes behave a bit differently than their peers (and who might be singled out elsewhere). Learn more about one of the best places on the internet with this heartwarming talk.

 

Below are two excerpted snapshots from Stuart’s presentation:

Stuart Duncan speaking at TEDX York U

These are the words autistic students used to describe their experience with Stuart's Minecraft server

 

5 Tips for Online Tutoring Based on New Research — from techlearning.com by Erik Ofgang
Matthew Kraft, a professor at Brown University, shares some best practices for implementing online tutoring programs based on his recent research.

Excerpt:

While in-person high-dosage tutoring has been shown to improve student learning in multiple studies, the extent that this translates to online tutoring is not as well researched. However, a recent pilot study of online tutoring in which college students volunteered as tutors and were paired with middle school students in Illinois found consistently positive effects of online tutoring on student achievement, though these effects were smaller than had been seen for in-person tutoring.

 

What It Takes to Recruit Future Teachers During the Pandemic — from edsurge.com by Rebecca Koenig

Excerpts:

“Efforts that seem to be working have had a common ingredient: close ties between colleges and local K-12 school districts.”

“Taking out loans to earn a college degree, then entering a profession where they can’t pay those loans off—that’s a challenge,” she explains.

So for the first time, this academic year education students are eligible to receive a stipend during their student-teaching internships. Based on a recommendation made in 2019 by a “teacher shortage task force” commissioned by the Oklahoma department of education, the state allocated some of its COVID-relief money to pay student-teachers a total of $3,250—half up front, and half after they’re hired into a teaching job by a school district.

#highereducation #K12 #education #studentteaching
#learningecosystems #teachingandlearning

 

How Schools and Families Can Work Together to Strengthen Students’ Social-Emotional Health — from blog.edmentum.com by Nicole Plegge

Excerpts:

While it took a worldwide health crisis for the general public to embrace the importance of devoting resources to nurturing the mental health of our youth, educators were already integrating social-emotional learning (SEL) into their classrooms to support whole child development. By continuing to proactively promote positive mental health—even in the best of times—schools help students better comprehend their emotions, build necessary skills to cope with adversity, and form positive relationships with others.

To strengthen students’ resiliency and confidence, schools, teachers, and parents must work together as an unwavering support system. Here are six ways that districts can get all stakeholders on board to provide a solid foundation moving forward.

 

 

How to manage slow-working students in your classroom — from blog.neolms.com by Diana Z

Excerpt:

If you have slow-working students in your classroom and want to help them catch up and reach milestones, you should first make sure to rule out any possible psychological barriers that could affect their processing speed or other cognitive issues.

Next, you should devise an intervention scheme that is structured on the three A’s principle:

  • Accepting means that the students need to feel accepted in the learning environment and teachers can provide them a safe place for growth;
  • Accommodating refers to the due diligence a teacher has to exercise to provide a suitable learning environment for all students;
  • Advocating implies the support teachers offer slow-working students throughout their learning journey. It also involves other stakeholders, such as parents and the community, who can also support students.

From DSC:
This is an important topic, because not everyone can work with the (often) fast pace of the current train. One of our daughters has experienced this first hand, and I continue to learn from/through her experience.

K-12 education in America is a like a quickly moving train that stops for no one.

 
© 2022 | Daniel Christian