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In today’s technologically advanced world, workers who are computational thinkers with a firm grasp of science, engineering, math, and technology (STEM) are in high demand. However, preparing today’s students for the work of the future is challenging. Many educators, especially early childhood and elementary teachers, do not have a STEM background so the task of integrating those subjects into daily classroom lessons can feel overwhelming.
From local to federal governments, insurance companies to funding organizations, schools and districts are subject to any number of cybersecurity regulations. But for all these, the most important aspect is being prepared. During the edLeader Panel, “Adopting a Proactive Versus Reactive Approach to Cybersecurity in K-12 Districts,” the presenters offered their insights on how to create a proactive climate by knowing everything you can about your data.
During the “Speak Up 2022 Congressional Briefing: Release of the National Research Findings,” Dr. Julie Evans, CEO of Project Tomorrow, presented the findings of the 2021-2022 Speak Up survey and moderated a discussion with student experts who shared their experiences and insights about new models of learning, preferred uses of technology, and ideas on how to improve student engagement. Dr. Evans was joined by Scott Persky, Senior Vice President of Finalsite, and Kristina Ishmael, Deputy Director of the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Education Technology.
During the edLeader Panel, “Measuring Tutors’ Success: High Impact or Bust,” the presenters discussed the benefits of tutoring and how to take a data-informed approach to deploying, evaluating, and refining a learning recovery strategy.
Coaching teachers through video is not a novel concept. The pandemic heightened its use with teachers. More schools are embracing it as a more desirable form of professional development by embedding it into instructional practice.
Why should professional learning be a part of every technology initiative? Because of equity, said the three leading superintendents on the edLeader Panel, “Creating and Leading a Professional Team of Lifelong Learners.”
Over the last 10 years, the number of students with autism diagnoses has grown. Couple that with learners (many not yet diagnosed) who are entering schools for the first time since the pandemic with multiple challenges—like school-readiness deficits, language acquisition delays, mental health issues, and socio-emotional difficulties—that make it hard for them to regulate their emotions. Plus, it’s tougher for teachers to navigate students’ diverse needs, especially those with autism and on the spectrum.
Transitioning to an effective and equitable literacy program requires more than just adopting a new curriculum. As early literacy consultant and coach Rebecca Miles explained during the edLeader Panel, “The Simple View of Educational Success: Lessons from the Field,” her own “transformative story” as an educator illustrates the range of changes that schools and districts need to make in order to meet the needs of their full range of learners.
Each new school year brings a promise of growth in students and teachers, as well as in professional learning. Teachers and administrators across the country prepare for the new school year by designing professional learning that is meaningful and engaging for their staff. Although educators could not have predicted it, post-pandemic professional learning in school districts across the country has changed dramatically.