Seattle school embraces experiential education over traditional classroom lessons

educationdive | March 25, 2019

Seattle school embraces experiential education over traditional classroom lessons
The Downtown School, located in Seattle and currently in its first year, offers an experiential approach to learning — instead of just sitting in a classroom, the school aims to help students learn by doing, The 74 reports.The school enrolls 45 freshmen and sophomores who, in addition to listening to guest speakers tie their classroom lessons to the real world, get to explore the community for themselves by visiting businesses, museums and community art exhibits. Juniors and seniors, meanwhile, have local, partial-day internships.Teachers' roles are also somewhat untraditional, with the staff comprised of the head of school and five teachers — who are also administrators, The 74 notes. And teachers' classroom instruction and lessons plans, in some part, depend on student feedback. The Downtown School is just one example of less conventional approaches schools are taking when it comes to learning, as well as a newer take on private schools in particular. The Seattle school sits in a highly walkable, arguably safe neighborhood surrounded by biotech startups and research centers — both of which can provide lots of experiential learning opportunities. However, while most schools don’t sit in the middle of an experiential education opportunity zone, there are plenty of ways districts can still create similar opportunities for their own students. The most important takeaway isn't where the experience may be, but that students are ultimately learning in ways other than listening to a lecture.

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Education institutions, like all service organizations in the digital information era, must seek every means to enhance quality of service delivery and drive efficiency and cost-savings. In other words, the journey for the digital transformation in education should lead to a broader vision that enables constant innovation and enhancement of teaching and learning; it must also improve the operational efficiencies of administrative and management services for students, educators, and the community.Our observations of forward-thinking education institutions show that the right integration of pedagogy and technology with the strategic vision of the school or university is essential for the return on investment and continued success of digital initiatives.

Spotlight

Education institutions, like all service organizations in the digital information era, must seek every means to enhance quality of service delivery and drive efficiency and cost-savings. In other words, the journey for the digital transformation in education should lead to a broader vision that enables constant innovation and enhancement of teaching and learning; it must also improve the operational efficiencies of administrative and management services for students, educators, and the community.Our observations of forward-thinking education institutions show that the right integration of pedagogy and technology with the strategic vision of the school or university is essential for the return on investment and continued success of digital initiatives.

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The shift to online learning shows both promising trends and troubling signs

ICT | May 25, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has triggered an abrupt transition to distance education, training and e-learning. The crisis has resulted in massive shifts to online platforms and tools for the continued delivery of learning and skills development, which have shown both promising trends. In the future, skills that can easily be acquired and strengthened via distance learning during this pandemic could change the landscape of work for the coming generation. The COVID-19 pandemic has triggered an abrupt transition to distance education, training and e-learning. The crisis has resulted in massive shifts to online platforms and tools for the continued delivery of learning and skills development, which have shown both promising trends and troubling signs. Among those signs, the evidence that, while much is being made of digital learning making access more equitable, access to online platforms doesn’t always result in equal quality learning. Women, for example, are being disproportionately cut off from distance learning due to lack of childcare or home help during the pandemic. These were among some of the main conclusions emerging from a recent E-Discussion on “Continuing online learning and skills development in times of the COVID-19 crisis”, organized by the ILO’s Skills and Employability Branch through its Global Skills for Employment Knowledge Sharing Platform. For more than two weeks, the virtual discussion drew scores of practitioners, representatives of training institutions and policy-makers from around the world who shared their experiences regarding the impact of the pandemic, highlighted challenges that have emerged for education and training and offered solutions for tackling them. Learn more: COVID-19 SUMMER TO KEEP THE OPPORTUNITY DOORS OPEN FOR EDUCATION COMPANIES . “Representatives of training institutions and policy-makers from around the world who shared their experiences regarding the impact of the pandemic, highlighted challenges that have emerged for education and training and offered solutions for tackling them.” ~ Policy-Makers say Challenges included: instructors not properly trained and prepared to deliver online courses. Difficulties in adapting TVET (Technical and Vocational Education and Training) curricula and training to online formats. Lack of access to the internet or ICT (Information and communications technology) equipment to carry out learning or training. Apprentices ready for assessment but who couldn’t be assessed due to COVID-19 issues. Students unable to access the resources necessary to continue their training because they were not familiar with online platforms. Yet, despite these challenges, students, apprentices, providers of TVET, and policy-makers are making the important changes needed when it comes to learning and acquiring skills in times of crisis. “Continuing online learning and skills development in times of the COVID-19 crisis”, organized by the ILO’s Skills and Employability Branch through its Global Skills for Employment Knowledge Sharing Platform. ” For example, in Uruguay, INEFOP (Instituto Nacional de Empleo y Formación Profesional) developed a contingency plan calling for proposals from institutions that wanted to work in distance and semi-presence courses. Based on this, a table was created to study the methodology of moving from face-to-face courses to online formats. In Bangladesh, the Skill 21 project, a joint initiative of the government and the ILO, is developing an e-campus which would be the first online learning management platform for the TVET sector in the country. In England, the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) is taking steps to ensure that, wherever possible, apprentices can continue and complete their apprenticeship, despite any break they need to take as a result of COVID-19. New forms of partnerships are also emerging. In Syria, for example, a partnership established with IECD, a development assistance organization, is being repackaged to include e-learning, and to develop videos on recent training programmes in construction, agriculture and manufacturing. In the future, skills that can easily be acquired and strengthened via distance learning during this pandemic could change the landscape of work for the coming generation. In the near-term, we need to think about the “new” skills required by industry and employers post-COVID-19 to get people back into employment quickly. These might encompass short courses and/or skill sets that are targeted. In the long-term, hiring remote workers could become more commonplace. One thing seems clear: Giving informal education a more privileged spot in the lifelong learning concept to ensure better validation of skills will be critically important when we emerge from this crisis. With the COVID-19 pandemic, the ongoing mega-experiment in distant learning demonstrates that no country has been properly prepared for such a challenge. Schools and universities in both developing and developed countries struggle with the complexity of providing equitable access to education. To address the educational crisis, the most inspiring actions have been taken by individual teachers in both rich and poor countries. Learn more: HOW THE REMOTE LEARNING PIVOT COULD SHAPE HIGHER ED IT .

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Asia’s Integrated Higher Edtech major upGrad to acquire Australia based Study Abroad market leader Global Study Partners (GSP)

upGrad | November 30, 2021

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Macmillan Learning Launches Virtual Professional Development Series on Improving Student Engagement for Better Outcomes

Macmillan Learning | August 23, 2021

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