A School Helping Homeless Students, Using Tech to Decrease Dropout Rates and other Ed/EdTech News You Missed This Week (June 23nd, 2017)
With widespread internet access already a critical issue in providing quality education to all students, it's no wonder that kids these days are entering the classroom equipped with varying skill levels when it comes to technology. Discussed in this article are some of the hardships students face when educators assume their age automatically makes them more savvy at utilizing programs, navigating online tests, or formatting documents—an assumption with repercussions going beyond the K-12 years. It’s essential for educators to address these learning gaps early on to better prepare students for higher education.
When we think about how students can excel in the classroom, looking beyond a diverse and engaging curriculum is vital, especially for students facing homelessness and an increased difficulty concentrating on learning. This school for homeless children in Oklahoma is doing wonders of good for its small population of students, looking at the issues families face as a whole and providing critical resources to take some of the stress out of the education equation. This story is an inspiring read for educators because it illustrates how teachers can provide a safe environment for students dealing with instability to grow, learn, and flourish.
Also demonstrating how educators can encourage low-income students to thrive is a new study by researchers in Michigan on project-based learning. While none of the teachers involved in the study possessed previous experience with any project-based learning model, the results show significant improvement and are worth examining, particularly in social studies and reading. Although the author makes a disclaimer that all versions of this learning method can be quite varied in approach, the model used here relies on research-supported techniques and closely adheres to state standards to support the marked improvement from traditional teaching techniques.
Educators are already well aware that technology can offer beneficial learning experiences for students of all ages, but do those positive experiences have a lasting impact when the high school drop-out rate is still so inflated? Dropouts face increased chances of experiencing poverty and being incarcerated, and everything comes down to the question of whether this can be prevented by early intervention. Here the author provides a few useful technological tools for teachers and parents trying to address problem behaviors and reward students who are on the right track; there’s even an app students can use to help manage the demanding life-school balance.
Making the most out of your learning space presents a complex challenge when your resources are limited to a portable classroom; there might not be enough room for multiple work stations, activity boards, or a quiet nook for reading. Teachers in this type of classroom must adapt to these constraints by maximizing what area they do have and utilizing helpful technology, such as portable audio systems, to eliminate noise and outside distractions. Here two educators share their advice for working around these potential problems in creating an effective classroom setup.