Should teachers and students connect through social media?

educationdive | September 09, 2019

Should teachers and students connect through social media?
Studies show that 50% of students have social media accounts by age 12 and 83% of students have their own cell phone by the time they reach middle school. But allowing teachers and students to connect with one another through social media opens the door to inappropriate relationships and potential abuse, eSchool News reports.The problem is especially concerning as 70% of teens, according to research, tend to hide their online activity from parents through various apps designed for the purpose, a factor that child sexual abusers tend to use to their advantage, the article said.
To prevent potential abuse or questionable relationships between students and teachers, experts recommend that school districts only allow contact between teachers and students through district electronic platforms and only on district-provided devices that restrict access to social media apps. They also recommend that school districts prohibit teachers and students from communicating through calls, texts, personal email accounts, or social media, and that teachers avoid posting inappropriate images or personal information on public social media accounts.

Spotlight

As your learners continue to go mobile, it’s time for you to start thinking about redesigning your legacy courses and retrofit them for your mobile audiences. Don’t let your Flash courses go unused; if your legacy courses are not instructionally sound, it’s time to update them too.Well, what are the situations you can convert your legacy courses? Before you start converting, check this infographic, which presents a checklist for converting legacy courses to responsive e-learning.

Spotlight

As your learners continue to go mobile, it’s time for you to start thinking about redesigning your legacy courses and retrofit them for your mobile audiences. Don’t let your Flash courses go unused; if your legacy courses are not instructionally sound, it’s time to update them too.Well, what are the situations you can convert your legacy courses? Before you start converting, check this infographic, which presents a checklist for converting legacy courses to responsive e-learning.

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ONLINE EDUCATION

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

Macmillan Learning | August 23, 2021

Macmillan Learning, a privately-held, family-owned education publishing and services company announced a new professional development series for educators to help support student engagement and success in college. The virtual “Engage Students to Achieve More” series is free for college faculty and administrators and will explore the techniques and technologies used to support active learning and student engagement in and outside the classroom, as well as timely lessons about effective teaching pedagogies gleaned during the pandemic. Student engagement continues to be an area of concern due to educators’ diminished ability to work one-on-one with students and the decreasing levels of student motivation and morale versus pre-pandemic. It ranked as instructors greatest challenge in 2020, up from their third greatest challenge just two years ago, according to Digital Promise. “While student engagement plays an important role in helping students in their coursework, its impact reaches far beyond the classroom,” said Charles Linsmeier, General Manager of Macmillan Learning. “In order to close COVID-19-related learning gaps, educators and student advocates are seeking new ways to best reestablish meaningful connections and timely interventions for deeper learning and engagement with their students. This is even more important with the variability and blending of synchronous and asynchronous teaching and learning environments, which is the norm for many institutions for the foreseeable future.” Throughout the complimentary virtual professional development series, which begins in August and continues throughout the fall, participants will hear about student engagement practices and solutions informed by the experiences of instructors, students, and administrators during the pandemic. The series explores various strategies, methods, and techniques that help increase students’ attention, interest, curiosity, and positive emotional connections to their learning and college communities. About Macmillan Learning Macmillan Learning is a privately-held, family-owned company that improves lives through learning. By linking research to learning practice, we develop pioneering products and learning materials for students that are highly effective and drive improved outcomes.

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EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY

Skyward Helps Districts Leverage Edtech as Digital Transformation Accelerates

Skyward | September 30, 2021

As district leaders have accelerated their reliance on technology and digital skills, it has become clear that some of the strategies and tools put in place during the last 18 months will remain in the post-COVID-19 education world. For many school districts, leveraging their use of existing technology allowed them to make digital transformation a much less stressful experience. One such district, Consolidated High School District 230 (D230) in Illinois, integrated their SIS (Skyward) with their LMS (Canvas) to help them transition to a successful virtual learning environment. While D230 already had plans in place for eLearning to be used for inclement weather days prior to the pandemic, the district had to speed up their plans when the pandemic hit. Luckily, the district's SIS easily integrates with many third-party solutions, so they were able to get their virtual learning environment up and running quickly. "The integration [of Skyward] with Canvas has made it much easier to manage changes with courses, teachers, student rosters, team teaching, and more," stated John Connolly, chief technology officer at the district. "Our teachers especially love the gradebook passback feature." Another district in Texas, Grand Prairie Independent School District, used Skyward to offer online enrollment amid the pandemic. With a student count of over 29,000, Grand Prairie ISD needed a way to enroll all students without in-person visits. Enter Skyward's New Student Online Enrollment (NSOE). According to Bill Young, the district's director of student information systems, implementing the NSOE feature created convenience and peace of mind for both district administrators and district families. "NSOE has been a great way to receive information from parents, process the information to get students enrolled, and communicate back to the parents, all with no face-to-face contact," said Young. Finally, Metropolitan School District of Wayne Township in Indiana, used Skyward to move their parent-teacher conferences online. The results surpassed expectations, with one elementary school reporting 100% participation. "A silver lining to all the negatives of the pandemic is the move of parent-teacher conferences online," said chief operations and technology officer at the district, Pete Just. "Our participation is through the roof and teachers and parents are connecting to help students in ways they never had before. Engaging the adult in the student's life is key to student success. I think online parent teacher conferences are here to stay and that's a great thing!" For D230, Grand Prairie ISD, MSD Wayne Township, and thousands of other districts around the nation, COVID-19 caused a quick pivot to remote learning with a heavier reliance on their edtech. By using Skyward in creative and innovative ways, these three districts thrived. The pandemic created a rapid acceleration in districts' move to digital solutions,For districts, leveraging edtech they already own allows them to shift to a digital environment, without having to invest in additional software or learn new tools. Ray Ackerlund, president of Skyward. While it is impossible to know what the coming years of education will look like, these examples show how districts are using their edtech to stay future-ready as they anticipate what may happen next. About Skyward Skyward's school administrative software solutions are used by more than 2,000 public sector organizations worldwide, from small entities to statewide implementations. Since 1980, Skyward has remained committed to a better experience for every user.

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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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