Ed/EdTech News You Missed This Week (June 2nd, 2017)
Summer has finally arrived, and the end of the school year is an opportune time to begin brainstorming new ways to connect work assigned over break to relevant topics in students’ lives. This article looks at how teachers can strengthen reading assignments by utilizing cyber resources, such as the Smithsonian Learning Lab used as an example here, to link students to related learning materials they might not have access to otherwise. The result is a more effective method of teaching cultural literacy and encouraging learners to explore their interest in original artifacts.
New York is home to the country’s biggest school district, yet the entire district has pulled together to make a concerted effort in developing a personalized learning approach for teachers. A hot topic for educators, more and more schools are realizing that in order for teachers to individualize the learning experience for students, teachers need to be allowed a similar system for their own professional growth. New York’s tactic of offering an online personal learning space is worth examining for the substantial aid it provides to educators and their communities.
The District of Columbia Public Schools have taken a big leap in relieving principals of numerous daunting daily tasks by adding directors of operations and logistics. These directors oversee lunches, deal with supply shortages, maintain attendance of students, and more—allowing principals to focus on high priority issues like teaching evaluations and school assessments. Discussed here are the multiple benefits one school in particular, the Columbia Heights Education Campus, has gained by adding this new role to their administration.
Considering the impact a student’s health can have on their education is vital in maintaining academic excellence, as demonstrated here by the positive outcomes a holistic health clinic on campus is generating for this school in Chicago. The SMART clinic, developed in partnership with CVS, works closely with administrators to develop specific, individualized health goals for each student with a definite emphasis on academic performance. The results are significant; when students feel that their needs are being met as a whole, the advantages can be seen in the classroom in the form of improved attendance, higher graduation rates, and more.
Kindergarteners face a difficult curveball: They are at an age where they want to move, do, and explore—which might mean occasionally acting out against their teacher’s wishes. This leads to a surprisingly high number of kindergarten suspensions, a somewhat controversial practice in schools for the detriment it can have on young students’ academic futures. Educators in Connecticut are now attempting to alter this disciplinary strategy by taking into account serious issues at home, looking deeper into problem protocol, and training teachers to handle classroom incidents differently. Thoroughly investigating the impact of exclusionary discipline, the research presented here makes a strong case for banning suspensions.