Even before the COVID-19 pandemic led to changes in the traditional education model, there was widespread recognition that schools alone could not do everything needed to provide an equitable education for diverse students because so many factors that determine students’ success were being affected or determined outside of school.
With so many issues for school and district leaders to deal with during this difficult time, staying focused on students’ learning experiences may not always seem like the top priority. But district officials from Alabama and Minnesota, who are determined to provide an equitable education for all their students, recently explained how listening to students and taking action based on student input is a key factor in achieving successful outcomes.
In a recent edWebinar sponsored by FastBridge Assessment System by Illuminate Education, Dr. John Bielinski, Senior Director of Research and Development, Dr. Rachel Brown, NCSP, Senior Academic Officer, and Dr. Kyle Wagner, NCSP, Research Associate, explained that unprecedented events like COVID-19 create a vacuum of knowledge. According to the presenters, district leaders and teachers need reliable data to guide them to determine how learning has been affected, and remediations to recover critical student knowledge.
Disruption in learning caused by COVID-19 is the reality that school districts face this school year. K-12 education is evolving from a brick-and-mortar learning environment to learning both in person and online. While this shift is challenging to say the least, it is an opportunity for school districts to use technology to engage, personalize, and challenge students. In an edWeb edLeader Panel sponsored by EveryDay Labs, Michael Romero, Local District South Superintendent, Los Angeles Unified School District CA, and Todd Rogers, Professor of Public Policy, Harvard University and Chief Scientist, EveryDay Labs, talk about actionable strategies to help create the conditions for learning this fall, including using attendance data, effective communication strategies, and building strong family-school partnerships.
Writing is often difficult for educators to teach, challenging for students to do, and hard for administrators to monitor and evaluate. Yet writing well has become an increasingly important 21st century skill due to online college and job applications, as well as the reliance on email and collaborative documents in many 21st century careers.
Today’s students are inundated with information from myriad media sources—social media, blogs, podcasts, text messages, television, internet searches, radio, email, and other communication apps. The list seems almost endless, and it most certainly is overwhelming.
Being an informed contributor to America’s democratic practices and principles requires strong media literacy skills. Without them, even the most civic-minded will find it hard to assess and interpret the mass of information out in the world. Jeff Knutson, Common Sense Education Content Strategist and Senior Producer, recognizes how challenging it is for students to negotiate media. In an edWebinar sponsored by Common Sense Education, Knutson outlined ways teachers can support students as they strengthen their media literacy to knowledgeably participate in civic engagement.
These and other important lessons from Oregon’s Gresham-Barlow School District were discussed during a recent edWebinar, hosted by AASA, The Superintendents Association and AASA’s Leadership Network, with the district’s Superintendent, Dr. Katrise Perera, and Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment, Lisa Riggs. Gresham-Barlow’s school leaders explained how they have been able to increase and sustain engagement in district activities, and how this has led to improved outcomes for the students.
Disruption is the operative word these days when talking about school. COVID-19 has changed education’s landscape…and stressed out students. They are negotiating lots of uncertainty while navigating a different way of learning, all of which affect their overall well-being. In a recent edWebinar, sponsored by the FastBridge Assessment System by Illuminate Education, Gregory Fabiano, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology at Florida International University, shared instructional and learning strategies that strengthen students’ social-emotional learning (SEL) and behavioral skills so they can feel secure and cope during tumultuous times.