Whether schools are 1:1 or still relying on computer carts, the move to online assessments creates new needs from devices to professional development to data privacy policies. During the edWebinar, “Online Assessment: An Effective, Coordinated, District Leadership Team Approach,” administrators from the Hampton Township School District in Pennsylvania offered lessons they learned from implementing a comprehensive online assessment program.
edWeb.net has just released its 2020 Teacher Professional Learning Survey. For three years, edWeb has conducted an annual survey on professional learning and how edWeb meets educators’ needs. Each year the survey shows consistency in why teachers engage in professional learning, the features that are most important in a professional learning program, and the impact edWeb has on teaching and student learning. When teachers participate in professional learning, they frequently share their learning with colleagues and the school-wide community, multiplying the impact.
Digital learning not only plays a crucial role in preparing today’s students for the jobs of tomorrow, it also has an important role in providing equity and access to education, especially in smaller and remote school districts. And, that makes access to adequate and reliable broadband even more important as the development of new technologies continues. The State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA) is now preparing to accommodate next-generation technologies such as 5G, virtual reality, robotics, and e-sports, and during a recent SETDA and ENA edWebinar, Christine Fox, the group’s Deputy Executive Director, provided an overview of the opportunities and challenges that schools and districts now face. Marc Johnson, Executive Director of East Central Minnesota Educational Cable Cooperative (ECMECC), then provided perspective from a regional and local level on the expanding use of broadband.
It may lack sweat equity, but it’s up there with even the most physically demanding of sports. Esports, the competitive side of video gaming, is exploding. And K-12 schools are buying in because it’s not only fun but also a viable educational tool! A recent edWebinar sponsored by Common Sense Education, “Ready Player One: Esports in K-12,” highlights why esports has taken hold in schools. Research-based evidence affirms its highly positive impact on students’ academic achievement, soft skills, and socio-emotional well-being.
Everyone has been to school and has their own image of what a classroom should look like. And depending on their background and experience, not everyone is supportive of tech-infused learning. Yet, 1:1 classrooms, BYOD, and tech-supported education are today’s reality. During the edWebinar, “Leading Digital Learning: Successful Strategies for 1:1 Implementations,” the presenters focused on how to get buy-in from within the school and across the community to improve chances for success and sustainability.
Interacting with technology is second nature to children these days. But, even though they are tech savvy, they might not have the keyboarding and digital citizenship skills to make them stronger and more adept learners. In a recent edWebinar, “Keys to Success for Digital Natives,” experts explained that digital natives still need to strengthen their technological know-how in this context, and offered strategies teachers can use to build these much-needed skills.
Creativity and play are children’s work. They build confidence, encourage risk taking, and ultimately shape the soft skills young people need to negotiate school and careers. But, as children get older, their playfulness and creative spirit wane. They aren’t so keen on trying new things and are often afraid of failing when they do. In a recent edWebinar, “Building STEAM Confidence and Creativity in Middle School,” educational technology experts described how enriching STEAM-based learning experiences can enhance the socio-emotional skills students need to succeed now into the future.
Students exposed to coding and programming at an early age are well equipped to take on higher-level computer science courses in high school and have essential skills for future opportunities in the technology world. When Rob van Nood was hired as the educational technology specialist for Catlin Gabel School in Oregon, coding and computer science courses were only offered in grades 9-12 and not to students in the younger grades. The lack of coding curricula at the younger levels has left a significant teaching gap in 21st century skills such as problem solving, designing, and computation thinking.
Although many in K-12 are cautious of comparing education to corporations, schools are in the business of educating students and preparing them for life. And one of the most important parts of any business is customer service. During the edWebinar ”Building Trust: 4 Sure-Fire Ways to Improve the K-12 Customer Experience,” the presenters explained why school leaders need to include customer service as part of their strategic plan and offered four steps to start improving school-community relations right now.
edWeb.net was announced as one of the Elite 200 companies who will compete in the GSV Cup and will now present at the 2020 ASU GSV Summit. The ASU GSV Summit gathers leaders in government, education, and work advancing social and economic mobility by bending the arc of human potential through innovation. Three companies will be chosen as finalists during the Summit, receiving a prize package of $250,000 in cash and $100,000 in Google Cloud credits.