Can ditching letter grades improve student learning and engagement?

educationdive | February 15, 2019

Eliminating letter grades is appealing idea to many educators and gaining momentum among those who advocate for standards-based grading, competency-based grading or other alternative models. Ditching traditional letter grades reduces stress levels and competition among students, levels the playing field for less advantaged students, and encourages them to explore knowledge and take ownership of their own learning, Education Week reports. However, many critics — including a large percentage of parents — fear that eliminating letter grades lessens accountability and personal responsibility for students and does not adequately prepare them for the reality of college or future careers. A switch to non-traditional grading methods also requires strategic planning, careful implementation and great deal of support from all stakeholders involved. Another approach to grading — the “no-zero” policy — advocates for making a 50% the lowest score a student can receive on an assignment. But among educators, the practice is the most controversial when a student turns in no work at all. At a time when many states issue letter or number grades to schools, some educators are advocating the abolishment of such practices when it comes to students. Letter grades, they say, cause undue stress in students who become too competitive and miss the joy of education altogether. In fact, some school districts have redefined or abolished the practice of naming a valedictorian and salutatorian for this very reason.

Spotlight

The purpose of this eBook is to explore the intersection between science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields, particularly computer science, and girls. Historically, women and other minority students have been largely absent from STEM fields and classes, and across 39 states only 45% of high schools teach computer science (Girl Scout Research Institute, 2012; Anderson, 2018). This eBook covers statistics for girls and minority students in STEM, the growing technology-dependent labor market, current initiatives and organizations encouraging STEM, literature on how to support these promising students, and resources.

Spotlight

The purpose of this eBook is to explore the intersection between science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields, particularly computer science, and girls. Historically, women and other minority students have been largely absent from STEM fields and classes, and across 39 states only 45% of high schools teach computer science (Girl Scout Research Institute, 2012; Anderson, 2018). This eBook covers statistics for girls and minority students in STEM, the growing technology-dependent labor market, current initiatives and organizations encouraging STEM, literature on how to support these promising students, and resources.

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EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY

Joy Cho to Team Up with Skillshare to Deliver Her First-Ever Online Course

Skillshare | January 11, 2023

Skillshare, one of the biggest online learning communities for creatives, recently announced that Joy Cho, graphic designer, blogger, author, and entrepreneur, is launching an online course for the first time known as “Pitch Please: Attract Brands & Boost Your Creative Business," on their platform. The course will cover how Joy built her dream career through a creative and go-getter mentality and provide a framework for creating remarkable pitches that will drive business and develop collaborations. Joy's course is now available only on Skillshare, which also offers many other courses spanning various creative disciplines. The Creative Director and Founder of Oh Joy!, a lifestyle brand, Joy Cho has authored seven books and consulted for hundreds of businesses worldwide. In addition, she has launched a line of licensed products that span home décor, travel, baby, pet, and furniture collections. Having the most followed Pinterest account with 15 million followers, Joy Cho was among Time's 30 Most Influential People on the Internet for two consecutive years. Joy Cho states, "When I first launched my career as a creative, I was filled with doubt. But I focused on crafting meaningful pitches and created a list of brands I dreamed of working with so that people would begin to know who I was. Over time it's been remarkable to see how this simple process helped open so many doors throughout my career." She added, "I'm so excited to tap into Skillshare's community of creatives to help them pursue their dreams. From starting a side hustle to launching products or landing your dream collaboration, this course will help creatives at every level learn how to effectively communicate their craft to potential partners." (Source: PR Newswire) Joy Cho's course aims to offer a hands-on course to creatives of all levels, helping them craft impactful pitches for brands and potential partners. In addition to this course, Skillshare offers over 40,000 courses on various topics, including design, illustration, photography, and more, taught by working professionals and industry leaders. About Skillshare Founded in 2010, Skillshare is an e-learning provider specializing in curating coursees for creative individuals, with topics ranging from video, illustration, design, photography, freelancing, and more. On their platform, millions of users across the globe can find inspiration and move ahead in their creative journey. The company also offers team-based plans for organizations and the option to join as a teacher.

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EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY

Goodwill and Coursera Introduce Goodwill® Career Coach and Navigator Professional Certificate

Coursera | January 18, 2023

On January 17, 2023, Goodwill Industries International and Coursera announced a collaboration to create the Goodwill Career Coach and Navigator Professional Certificate. The very first certificate of its kind will provide educational content developed from 120 years of Goodwill's history of industry expertise to those who are pursuing a career in workforce development and career navigation. This self-paced course enables development and learning for Goodwill coaches and career navigators by leveraging the power of Coursera's cost-effective online platform. Workforce development resources and tools are also provided to the Goodwill navigators and coaches to enable them to better assist job seekers across the U.S. and Canada. The online training, based on the expertise and experience of local Goodwill career services teams, prepares professionals for employment in the emerging career coaching and navigation profession. Career counselors and navigators help over one million people find jobs, education, and necessary support service, playing an essential role in Goodwill's mission. Accessible, career-focused learning courses that lead to professional certificates help job seekers find good jobs, earn a living wage, and boost local economies. Aspiring professionals who are looking to upscale their skills and enhance workforce development, including Goodwill's nonprofit and community partners, can benefit from the Goodwill Career Coach and Navigator Professional Certificate. Chief Mission Officer of Goodwill Industries International, Martin Scaglione, said, "Goodwill provides career services to help individuals facing barriers reach their potential through the power of work. Employers in local communities find Goodwill to be a trusted source for talent," He further mentioned, "The Goodwill Career Coach and Navigator Professional Certificate not only benefits career services professionals and employers, but most importantly it is a game changer for the individual they both serve, by opening access to opportunity. (Source – GlobeNewswire) About Coursera Launched in 2012 by Stanford Computer Science professors Daphne Koller and Andrew Ng, Coursera's mission is to offer universal access to top-notch learning. With 102 million registered learners as of March 31, 2022, it is one of the world's largest online learning platforms. Coursera collaborates with over 250 leading industry partners and universities to provide a diverse collection of professional certificates, courses, guided projects, specializations, and bachelor's and master's degrees. Coursera is employed by organizations worldwide to reskill and upskill their employees, students, and citizens in areas such as technology, data science, and business.

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EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY

Oklahoma State Board of Education Adopts Carnegie Learning World Languages Curriculum

Carnegie Learning | December 09, 2022

Carnegie Learning, a leading provider of world language solutions for grades K-12, announced today that the Oklahoma State Board of Education approved three of its world language resources in the 2022 World Language Instructional Materials Adoption. Adopted classroom resources include the blended core curriculum solutions ¡Qué chévere! (Spanish), T'es branché? (French), and Deutsch So Aktuell (German) that give students diverse opportunities to find their passion for language learning in a safe space through meaningful interactions. “We are excited to partner with the Oklahoma State Board of Education to achieve improved student outcomes together,Our World Languages team is a dedicated group of language experts who are shaping the future of learning by delivering groundbreaking solutions to education’s toughest challenges and creating meaningful experiences for students. We appreciate the rigorous and thorough review process that has recognized the quality and standards alignment of our world languages curriculum.” Carnegie Learning CEO Barry Malkin. Paula Hidalgo, Chief Languages Officer, states, “At Carnegie Learning, we know world language educators want students to discover the thrill of learning and speaking another language and of connecting with other cultures. That’s why our blended solutions help students build their confidence in speaking and in making connections to other cultures’ literature, art, music, and ways of living to help nurture the next generation of global citizens.” ABOUT CARNEGIE LEARNING, INC. Carnegie Learning is a leading provider of K-12 education technology, curriculum, and professional learning solutions. With the highest-quality offerings for K-12 math, literacy, world languages, professional learning, high-dosage tutoring, and more, Carnegie Learning is changing the way we think about learning and creating powerful results for teachers and students alike. Born from more than 30 years of learning science research at Carnegie Mellon University, the company has become a nationally recognized leader for its ability to harness the power of data to improve student performance. The company’s 700+ employees across the US and Canada— the majority of whom are former teachers—are passionate about partnering with educators in the implementation of effective, student-centered instructional strategies and supporting them in the classroom.

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