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5 ways to create a community of learners# Relationships are the foundation of learning. When students feel connected to their teacher and their peers, they’re more likely to thrive. How can teachers forge these connections within a remote learning environment?
For education consultant Lainie Rowell, that’s the central question facing educators as they’ve moved instruction entirely online amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Cultivating a community of learners is critical,” says Rowell, an author and international speaker who facilitates professional learning for the Orange County, Calif., Department of Education’s Institute for Leadership Development.
Building community has always been important for educators. In an online learning environment, where teachers and students aren’t face to face every day, it’s even more critical for success. If students don’t feel like a valued and important member of a community of learners, then they aren’t as likely to engage in lessons remotely.
Rowell hosts a podcast called “Lemonade Learning” with fellow educator Brianna Hodges, director of digital learning for Stephenville ISD in Texas. Based on ideas they discussed in their podcast and that Rowell shared in an interview, here are five effective strategies for building a community of learners online.
Engage students in norm-setting.
Just like they would in a face-to-face setting, teachers have to establish ground rules for acceptable behavior in learning online. Involving students in this process helps build a sense of community.
“When students help us develop those norms, they’re going to feel so much ownership [of the rules] that they’re going to be more likely not only to follow those norms but actually help you enforce them,” Rowell says.
Use get-to-know activities.
“I actually believe there’s a potential to get to know your learners better through a blended and online model than through a traditional face-to-face model of instruction,” Rowell says. “Just being in the room with someone doesn’t necessarily mean you’re getting to know them.”
The key to building community in an online setting is to be “super-intentional about it,” she observes. For instance, teachers can use an app like Flipgrid to have students create short videos introducing themselves to the class. Doing this in an asynchronous format gives students the space to be creative, without putting them on the spot.
Provide frequent opportunities for discussion, sharing, and collaboration.
Use discussion boards, chats, breakout rooms, and other online forums to facilitate class discussions online. Teachers might find that students who are hesitant to contribute to a class discussion in a traditional classroom are more inclined to participate online. Have students use Google Docs, blogs, or video to share their work with the class, and ask them to comment on each others’ work. Have them use digital collaboration tools (Google Apps, Microsoft Teams, or any number of applications) to work together on projects.
“Whenever kids get to work together to create new things, that’s really where the magic happens,” Hodges says.
Be generous with your teacher presence.
Students need to feel supported, Rowell says. They need to feel like a teacher is present with them throughout their learning journey. “We don’t want them in this asynchronous abyss, where they feel the teacher’s presence on Zoom and then the rest of the time they feel completely alone,” she explains.
Aside from sending frequent emails and calling students who might need intervention, teachers can establish this presence asynchronously by creating short, daily videos to welcome students or introduce a topic. “Videos can be endearing, allowing kids to feel like you’re there with them,” Rowell says. “They can watch the videos over and over again; maybe they’re having a rough day and they need to feel like you’re there.”
This “open” innovation may indicate the future of learning# My hometown of Gastonia is a quiet place. Scant traffic. Nice neighbors. Folks still offer you a sweet tea when you visit. By most accounts it’s a sleepy southern town, with roots in textiles and major manufacturers producing Wix air filters and Freightliner trucks. Just what you’d expect from a small town in the South. It’s my idea of heaven, but according to Wikipedia, its biggest claim to fame is that it is the second largest satellite city in the Charlotte metropolitan area.
Why keeping parents and kids connected in the early years is critical# In more than 60 percent of all two-parent households, both parents work, and in nearly all of these households, at least one parent is employed. This means that the vast majority of parents in our country experience regular and prolonged periods of time away from their children. Since parental involvement is one of the most influential factors in students’ academic success, the question then becomes how to help working parents stay abreast of what their child does when they are apart.
How to measure edtech impact in the ESSA era# The Education Technology Industry Network (ETIN) and Empirical Education Inc. recently released the Guidelines for Conducting and Reporting EdTech Impact research in U.S. K-12 Schools. These guidelines help clarify how research is conducted and how information is presented to users of edtech products based on the changes brought by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). In “Measuring Edtech Impact in the ESSA Era,” experts delved into the details of the guidelines.
4 ways to improve STEM professional development# In Charlotte County Public Schools (CCPS), all 10 of our elementary schools have a STEM lab. As early as kindergarten, students begin engaging in hands-on learning and exploring STEM careers. Yet, even with regular visits to the STEM lab throughout elementary school, our fifth graders struggled on the Florida Statewide Science Assessment. Another challenge was that our teachers didn’t have a defined STEM curriculum that was uniformly applied to all elementary STEM labs.
How to reach high achievement through listening skills# I worked on the skill of being an effective group member and continue to do so. Many of my consulting colleagues, within their work on coaching, collaborating and teaching focus on listening as a key skill to know inside and outside the classroom.
3 ways to reimagine learning spaces# As schools depart from traditional instructional methods and environments, some education leaders are discovering how a combination of blended learning and reimagined physical learning spaces can lead to better student engagement and achievement.
Are these preschools changing the future?# Since 2008, Utah has given its families an alternative to preschool called Upstart. Developed and administered through a state contract with the Waterford Institute, the Upstart program provides four-year-olds with in-home online curriculum.
7 tools for global learning you can use right now# Today's society is mobile and global. Laptops, tablets and smartphones connect users with information in less than a second, and because mobility has increased our connectivity, we've increased our connections with all parts of the world.
Why combining assessments and LMS technology is essential# The testing effect, also known as retrieval practice, practice testing, or test-enhanced learning, needs a place in today’s modern learning. It can be implemented in modern learning management system (LMS) technologies to help improve student learning, from their first day in kindergarten to their last day of earning a university degree.
Teachers: How to use your voice for a positive school culture# Moving from the classroom into the role of a teacher leader and a coach was a transition, to say the least. I recognized I was credentialed in teaching students English language arts, but didn’t have a credential in communicating effectively with adults. I took workshops and courses on facilitation and coaching, but the idea of being a professional in a learning community who was an effective group member as well as a leader continues to be something I am growing into everyday.
Learn how these model districts implemented personalized learning# Personalized learning, competency-based learning and dynamic organizational design have shown promising results in school districts across the nation, according to a new report from Education Elements.
The third annual Impact Report, Building Capacity for Personalized Learning and More," shares data from specific school districts and highlights the progress each district has made in several areas, with a special emphasis on those districts that have been implementing personalized learning for several years.
"As personalized learning grows in popularity, additional voices have emerged that point to the risks associated with it," said Anthony Kim, Founder and CEO of Education Elements. "We are pleased to report that districts who are thoughtful about their implementations and focus on the needs of their communities see a positive impact year-after-year on not only student test scores, but also student engagement, teacher satisfaction, and overall district effectiveness."
This year's analysis reveals the cumulative benefits of shifting to student-centered learning environments. According to the report, on the NWEA MAP assessment, given 2-3 times per year, 36,000 students from five districts showed an average growth of 130 percent in reading and 122 percent in math, compared to nationally normed MAP growth targets. In one district, the number of students on target to be college and career ready as measured by the ACT Aspire exam more than doubled.
The report shares data from specific districts, highlighting the significant gains each has made, with a special focus on districts that have been implementing personalized learning for several years.
In Middletown City School District, N.Y., 65 percent of all Middletown K-8 students hit their reading growth targets--an increase of 21 percent since 2013-2014; 67 percent hit their math growth targets--an increase of 23 percent.
In Horry County Schools, S.C. 57 percent of 6-8 students hit reading growth targets, an increase of 7 percent since 2013-2014; 64 percent hit math growth targets, an increase of 17 percent.
In Piedmont City School District, Ala., 72 percent of students in grades 3-8 tested on target in reading on the ACT compared to 28 percent in 2014-2015, and 55 percent tested on target in math compared to 35 percent in 2014-2015.
6 ways video technologies are fundamentally shaping education# Video's impact in K-12 and higher-ed classrooms continues to grow, as educators and students report increases in achievement, engagement and active content creation, according to a new survey from Kaltura.
Ninety-nine percent of institutions report they have teachers regularly incorporating video in their curriculum. More than half are using video for student assignments, with 21 percent reporting that more than half of their students actively create video (up from 10 percent in 2016). Seventy-three percent of higher education institutions use video for remote teaching and learning.
The survey gathered responses from more than 1,000 educators, administrators, students, IT and media staff, and instructional designers.
Ninety-three percent of respondents said they believe video increases students' satisfaction with their learning experience, and 85 percent said it increases student achievement. Seventy percent said they think video increases the sense of affiliation of alumni with the institution and 78 percent said it makes the on-boarding of new employees smoother.
Institutions use video for:
Classroom showings (70 percent)
Supplementary course material (63 percent)
Lecture capture (59 percent)
Student assignments (59 percent)
Recording students practicing in class (54 percent)
Flipped classrooms (53 percent)
Twenty-six percent of educators who responded to the survey said more than half of the educators in their institutions use video in their classes.
Active use of video by students (that is, creating or repurposing video as part of their coursework as opposed to merely watching it passively) is still at an earlier stage. Twenty-one percent of respondents (13 percent of educators) report more than 50 percent of their students are actively
Poll: How has technology impacted the future of work?# A majority of Americans would like to see technology companies take a more active role in improving U.S. education by creating apprenticeship programs and providing more technology resources, according to new data.
The new poll from OZY and SurveyMonkey tracks how technology is impacting post-secondary education and the workforce in the U.S. It also gauges how survey participants feel about free public higher education, online learning, classroom teachers, and more.
Here are some of the results:
What role, if any, would you like to see technology companies play in improving U.S. high schools?
Creating apprenticeship programs (57 percent)
Providing technology resources in the classroom (50 percent)
Supporting teachers' technology use in the classroom (42 percent)
Sponsoring charter schools in low-income areas (30 percent)
Next page: How many would strongly support free post-secondary education and tax increases to cover the cost?
Forty-two percent of those surveyed said they would strongly support the federal government providing free post-secondary education to everyone in the U.S., and 27 percent said they would somewhat support it. Seventeen percent would strongly oppose such a move, and 11 percent would somewhat oppose it.
Among those who would support free post-secondary education, 57 percent would be willing to pay increased taxes to cover the cost, and 42 percent would not.
It seems support for classroom teachers is strong, because 92 percent of survey participants said they agreed more with the idea that "teachers cannot be replaced by robots because students need human interaction to learning," versus the idea that "robots would be a good replacement for humans as teachers because they are cheaper, unbiased and efficient." Just 6 percent of survey participants agreed with the latter idea.
Survey participants were split on the purpose of higher education. Forty-nine percent said higher education's purpose is to teach people how to think, and 49 percent said its purpose is to prepare people for a specific job.
Support for online learning is growing, though it trails traditional campus programs--75 percent of those surveyed said there are benefits to traditional, on-campus learning beyond a degree, while 23 percent said online learning is just as good, if not better than, a traditional campus-based program.
Fifty-six percent of participants said in the future, most people will need a college degree to be successful in science and technology, while 42 percent said a person's success in science and technology in the future will not be determined by having a college degree.
Nearly half of those surveyed (48 percent) said they believe computer science and engineering majors best prepare students for the workforce of the future, followed by social sciences (15 percent) and hard sciences such as biology or chemistry (14 percent).
6 grants to support edtech and educational innovation# When it comes to schools’ and districts’ ability to implement new technology tools and programs, cost and shrinking budgets are consistently identified as top barriers to implementation.
And while budget woes won’t improve overnight, schools and districts can boost their available funds with grants that are targeted to different areas of need.
Want to shrink the digital gap for low-income students? Do you need more funding to support youth-led community service programs? Or maybe you want to recognize excellence in education innovation.
Look no further. We’ve got 6 grant opportunities to meet various levels of funding needs.
1. The 2018 Harold W. McGraw, Jr. Prize in Education recognizes outstanding individuals who have made a difference in education innovation. Each winner receives a gift of $50,000 and a bronze sculpture designed by students from Arizona State University. The Prize will recognize individuals and their efforts to elevate human potential in education in three categories: Pre-K-12, Higher Education, and – new for this year – a Learning Science Research category. Deadline: November 17, 2017
2. The Fuel Up to Play 60 program invites educators to apply for a chance to receive up to $4,000 to support healthy eating and physical activity improvements in their schools. Fuel Up to Play 60 is a for-youth, with-youth program empowering students to create healthy changes nationwide. The largest in-school wellness program was created by the National Dairy Council and National Football League in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Deadline: November 1, 2017
3. The MLK Day of Service Impact Grant supports K-12 schools around the world that are creating a culture of service school-wide or district-wide where students develop and use 21st Century skills to apply their learning to address the worlds challenges. Deadline: November 10, 2017
4. The Library Awareness Program, from the Penguin Random House Foundation, recognizes public libraries creating innovative community-based programs, which encourage citizens to participate and support reading initiatives that connect libraries with their community. School libraries serving the capacity of public libraries are also welcome to submit an application. Deadline: April 15, 2018
1. Union Minister of Education presents AICTE Lilavati Awards 2020 on women empowerment Union Minister of Education Shri Ramesh Pokhriyal 'Nishank' presented the AICTE Lilavati Awards 2020 on women empowerment to the winners in New Delhi today.
Speaking on the occasion Shri Pokhriyal congratulated all the 456 teams who participated in the contest. The Minister said that India is a country where 'Nari Tu Narayani' has bee
2. Medical education of Indian System of Medicine and Homoeopathy to get revolutionary revamp With the passage of two important bills of the Ministry of AYUSH by the Parliament, the country is all set to bring revolutionary reforms in the medical education of Indian System of Medicine and Homoeopathy.
The National Commission for Indian System of Medicine Bill, 2020 and the National Commission for Homoeopathy Bill 2020 were passed in Lok Sabha on 14th September 2020. These twin bills seek to replace the existing Indian Medicine Central Council Act, 1970 and the Homoeopathy Central Counci
3. PM delivers inaugural addresses at the Higher Education Conclave Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi delivered the inaugural address at the Higher Education Conclave.
PM mentioned that the National Education Policy was approved after extensive deliberations over 3-4 years and brainstorming over lakhs of suggestions. He noted that
4. Educational Leadership Educational Leadership
By Prof. Atasi Mohanty | IIT Kharagpur
In the context of Global, Multicultural & Virtual work environments domain knowledge alone is not a sufficient guarantee for professional success. Since long we have been talking about organizational leadership or corporate leadership. In fact leadership is an adjective mostly attached to the growth of industry. Rarely do we realize the importance of leadership in educational institutions. This course is
5. Ministry of Education celebrates 54th International Literacy Day Celebration-2020 today The National level function to celebrate 54th International Literacy Day was organized by Ministry of Education here today through online mode. Shri Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’, Union Minister of Education was the Chief Guest on this occasion. Minister of State for Education, Shri Sanjay Dhotre was Guest of Honour the occasion. The Message of Director General, UNESCO was read by UNESCO Representative on the occasion. Secretary, Department of School Education and Literacy Smt Anita Karwal
6. Historic reform in Medical Education: National Medical Commission (NMC) constituted Historic reform in the field of medical education has been effectedby the Union Government with the constitution of the National Medical Commission (NMC), along with four Autonomous Boards. With this, the decades old institution of the Medical Council of India (MCI) stands abolished. Along with NMC, the four Autonomous Boards ofUG and PG Medical Education Boards, Medical Assessment and Rating Board, and Ethics and Medical Registration Board have also been constituted to help the NMC in day to day functio
8. Government is Implementing a Number of Schemes / Programmes to Increase Literacy Rates and Education Level of STs Ministry of Tribal Affairs has been implementing a separate Central Sector Scheme ‘Eklavya Model Residential Schools’ (EMRSs) from 2019-20. The objective of EMRS is to provide quality upper primary, secondary and senior secondary level education to Scheduled Tribe (ST) students to enable them to access the best opportunities in education and to bring them at par with the general population. 285 EMRSs are currently functional across the country.
As per Census 2011, literacy rate of S
9. Promoting research under New Education Policy The National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 emphasizes to catalyse quality academic research in all fields.
Most of the research area in various schemes are decided by panel of expert academicians and researchers, and all researchers at various institutes carry out research in their own area of interests. Though the Government wants research to benefit the nation as a whole by promoting research in local problems as well as emergin