Innovative Solutions to the Autism Crisis in Education

The dramatic increase in the incidence of autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) among children and the current economic climate presents an increasing challenge to both families and schools.  Budget cuts mean schools are faced with larger class sizes, decreased access to training and resources, and fewer staff at a time when they are seeing more children with autism in their classrooms. With states scrambling to save more money in coming months and years, the situation in education is set to worsen. Essentially, schools are finding themselves increasingly “on their own” when it comes to accessing the training and tools they need to provide an effective education to children with autism in their classrooms. Read More »

Relevant Tags: autism spectrum disorder, ASD, training, classroom, education, schools, teachers, applied behavior analysis, ABA, nonprofit, Autism Care and Treatment Today, The center for Autism and related disorders, CARD, skills 4 america, elearning, online toolk

Assess2Know®

DataDirector, combined with Assess2Know®, our high-quality item bank and assessments, helps you with district benchmark assessments  Read More »

Relevant Tags: SEEN 2014

Vanderbilt Peabody’s Dean Camilla Benbow: Shaping future educators

Camilla Benbow, Dean of Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College of Education and Human Development, talks about the role of the Education School in shaping the future of education.

SEEN Magazine: Peabody College has been ranked #1 for graduate education for the third consecutive year. What do you think makes Peabody stand out among your peers? What makes the school unique?

Dean Benbow: Relative to many of our peers, our small size means that our graduate and professional students benefit from strong mentoring relationships with faculty. And our faculty is among the best in the nation, with a history of national excellence in areas of special education, K-12 and higher education leadership, and teaching and learning—as well as psychology, human development, and community studies.

 

Read More »

Relevant Tags: SEEN Interview, education, schools, teachers, benbow, students, dean benbow, education schools, charter schools, role education, camilla benbow, teacher preparation, shaping future

Why Great Teachers Quit & How to stop the Teacher Exodus

How much time have you spent on interview committees? Time when you could have been grading papers, contacting parents, or preparing for your next class? If you have been teaching for more than a few years, you’ve undoubtedly sat in on countless interview committees. That’s because too many of your most talented colleagues have quit teaching — some suddenly — many for preventable reasons. It’s likely that many of them were outstanding teachers, and our schools spend tens of thousands of dollars hiring new ones, only to repeat this cycle in a few short years. It’s a waste of money, time, and resources (all which we know are increasingly scarce). Read More »

Relevant Tags: Education Career Path, teachers, school, teaching, teachers quit, might stop, great teachers, stop exodus

Teacher Leaders: Using case studies to share best practices

Every day, moment by moment and decision by decision, thousands of teacher leaders nationwide are working to improve the quality of education. As they fill an ever-expanding array of roles — mentors and coaches, curriculum reformers, advocates, staff developers — their leadership development journeys are most often a process of trial and error. Teacher leadership is defined in many ways. It does not come with a user’s manual, and few teacher leaders receive specialized training and support for their new roles. Instead, they must learn how to guide changes in learning environments while negotiating a complex obstacle course of district politics, interpersonal conflicts, and reform initiatives. While the journey of each teacher leader is different, all must find strategies to cope with unfamiliar situations with few tools and resources. Read More »

Relevant Tags: Education Career Path, teacher, leaders, education, skills, teacher leaders, teacher leadership, leadership roles, professional development, knowledge skills, national board

Going hybrid to advance the TEACHING PROFESSION

To dramatically improve America’s public schools, we must ensure that every student learns from an effective, well-prepared teacher in every classroom, every day. Read More »

Relevant Tags: Education Career Path, education, profession, schools, teaching profession, accomplished teachers, career path, public schools, going hybrid, hybrid advance

Combating teacher drop-out syndrome

In my seven years in the classroom, I have watched more than a third of my colleagues leave within their first three years of teaching. I have also seen highly qualified and motivated teachers move out of the classroom, due to a lack of professional growth opportunities. In today’s teaching profession, if you don’t leave the classroom for administration, your first day on the job may look pretty much the same as the day you retire. Our Bay Area New Millennium Initiative team members work in a range of traditional public and charter schools, and we’ve all seen this teacher “drop-out” syndrome. Read More »

Relevant Tags: Education Career Path, classroom, teacher, profession, new millennium, highly qualified, millennium initiative, drop out

Educational staffing perspective

SEEN Magazine interviewed Debbie Baldwin Pearson, Director of Sales for Kelly Educational Staffing (KES), Kelly Services.

The Kelly Educational Staffing® program was rolled out in 1997 in Gulfport, Miss. From 1997 to 1999, they piloted their program in the Gulfport school district and then, in 1999, rolled it out nationally to all of their staffing services’ markets.

SEEN Magazine: You’ve been working on educational staffing for almost 15 years — what are some of the major shifts in education that you’ve seen over that time?

Pearson: There have been several. From an educational standpoint, we are seeing a major shift in teacher performance evaluations. Evaluations used to be based on student test scores, but now schools are looking to incorporate observation and peer reviews into the process.

 

Read More »

Relevant Tags: Education Career Path, education, teachers, kelly, staffing, schools, substitute, educational staffing, kelly educational, substitute teachers, professional development, school districts, private sector, substitute teacher, full time

A team building revival: How to produce real change in students

Imagine you are precariously balanced on the edge of a high platform, and behind you, with arms laced together, stand a group of people that have been instructed to catch you. Your heart beats faster as you shut your eyes, cross your arms over your chest, take a deep breath and tip backwards, hoping that group of people who say they will catch you really know what they are doing. If you have ever been in a Team Building experience you might be familiar with this activity. It is called the Trust Fall, and it has the potential to be either one of the most influential developmental experiences or, unfortunately, one that has faint impact and is easily forgotten. Anyone, from the student to the corporate professional, can fall victim to a Team Building program that does little more than fill time and produce no real results. In today’s society, however, results are a must-have, especially for a student who is ripe for change. Read More »

Relevant Tags: Educational Resources, team, students, experience, learning, experiential, education, team building, experiential learning, group people, learning cycle, building revival, monnie leigh

Time Out - the importance of school sports The case for quality sports experiences

For decades schools have provided numerous extracurricular activities for students. However, with an ever decreasing budget for education, school officials are questioning the benefit of offering these programs, including sports. In this brief ‘time out,’ I’d like to explore the benefits of sport participation before we take out the hatchet.

Benefits of sport participation

The benefits of sport participation were originally anecdotal accounts of personal experiences. However, with the influx of sport participants and the implementation of Title IX, researchers began a more systematic examination of the sport experience. Within the last 30 years, researchers have created a large, unquestionable body of literature that supports sport participation.

 

Read More »

Relevant Tags: School Sports and Physical Education, sport, school, participation, education, athletes, sport participation, quality sports, high school, extracurricular activities, school sports, quality sport, time out

Beyond Diplomas

Building strong, self-reliant, self educating young Americans is as relevant today as it was when we started the #1 Program at Conway High School in South Carolina — the home of Jostens Renaissance. Seth Godin, in his blog — www.sethgodin.blogspot.com — says, “The lottery is great, because it is easy. Not certain, but easy. If you win, the belief goes, you’re done. Medical School is great because it is certain. Not easy, but certain. If you graduate, the belief goes, you’re done. Most people are searching for a path to success that is both easy and certain. Most paths are neither.” Today’s 10 Essential Elements of Renaissance (review SEEN Fall Issue, 2010 for these evolutionary building blocks) are simple principles that can be applied at any level of education: kindergarten, elementary, middle, high school and even post secondary schools. Viewing your respective institution through these concepts enables your entire community to focus on teaching and learning for every student. Our quest is to create more niches for more students and to build their futures on their respective passions. Read More »

Relevant Tags: Celebrating Improvement With Larry Biddle, school, score, education, recognition, students, renaissance, schools, jostens renaissance, larry biddle, south carolina, beyond diplomas

The impact of athletics on academics

The obesity epidemic has generated notable interest, as reflected in the First Lady’s Let’s Move initiative (http://letsmove.gov/) which focuses on providing information so “...families, schools and communities [can] help kids be more active, eat better and grow up healthy.

The Let’s Move in School project (http://aahperd.org/letsmoveinschool/) developed by the national physical education professional organization, National Association for Sport and Physical Education/American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (NASPE/AAHPERD) is similar, yet limited in scope to school-based activities. Read More »

Relevant Tags: School Sports and Physical Education, physical, education, academic, activities, sports, participation, extracurricular, physical education, physical activity, academic performance, extracurricular activities, impact athletics, high school, athletics

How to make learning a moving experience How physical activity enhances learning

How do we motivate the unmotivated learner? Can we increase academic performance?  Can we give every child every advantage to learn?

The answers to these questions may lie in the neuroscience that supports the link of movement to learning.  As educators, learning is our business. We must understand the basic functions of the brain as it applies to learning. How does the brain work?  How does the brain remember and why do we forget? How does the brain develop? Where in the brain do we pay attention?  When educators understand these concepts we can better teach our children. Read More »

Relevant Tags: Physical Education, brain, learning, education, students, exercise, physical, punctuation mark, physical activity, physical education, academic performance, high school, advantage learn

Starting a school wellness committee

There’s a food revolution under way, and in many schools it is students who are leading the charge. Today’s young people are concerned about the environment, as well as their own health. They seek to eliminate bottled water and promote recycling throughout the campus. They want the food they eat to be wholesome and sustainably sourced. That’s not to say they don’t enjoy their junk food; they do – just not a steady diet of it. Read More »

Relevant Tags: Fitness and Nutrition, school, council, wellness, education, nutrition, wellness council, school wellness, dining services, mission statement, nutrition education, food service, school lunch, wellness committee

Teacher Leader Sample Case: How Hard Do I Push?

What a relief! Another strong finish to the school year! Again our kids’ test scores climbed. Yes, lesson study work IS continuing to make a positive difference in student achievement. The administration once again will be pleased. We have cross-grade-level professional discussions happening. People are getting along better than ever. Read More »

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Team up to tackle childhood obesity

Nearly one out of every three children in today’s classrooms is overweight or obese. Despite advances in agriculture and medicine, our children may be the first generation with a shorter life span than their parents — and many of their teachers. These statistics are sobering, but future projections can change if school administrators and teachers team up with parents and health organizations to tackle childhood obesity together. Small steps can make big changes in our children’s health and future, and these steps begin with nutrient-rich foods and daily play time.

The first step to score against childhood obesity is to make every calorie count. Nutrient-rich foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats and fat-free or low-fat dairy foods offer more than just calories for growing bodies. These foods are power packed with vitamins and minerals with relatively few calories. According to the US Department of Agriculture, only two percent of school aged children consume the recommended daily number of servings from all major food groups. Read More »

Relevant Tags: Fitness and Nutrition, children, milk, percent, education, nutrient, product, childhood obesity, flavored milk, physical activity, nutrient rich, team tackle, fruits vegetables

Food allergy solutions in school

Peanut butter is as American as baseball and mom’s apple pie – it’s engrained in American culture. But the seriousness of potentially deadly nut allergies means there are children who have never been able to smell or taste peanut butter. With the growing number of children who have allergies, peanut butter is becoming less likely to show up on a school’s daily food menu.

According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), the number of students with food allergies is increasing, as is the number of schools that have food allergy policies in place. Each year in the U.S., it is estimated that anaphylaxis to food results in 30,000 emergency room visits, 2,000 hospitalizations, and 150 deaths. Read More »

Relevant Tags: Fitness and Nutrition, food, students, allergies, peanut butter, food allergy, nut allergies, school district, food allergies, sunflower seed, peanut free

From the Editor - Summer 2011

It is a privilege to take the helm of SEEN Magazine with this, our fall issue. It’s been a pleasure to work with the dedicated staff at SEEN who bring such passion about education and our readers to every issue.

We have some great articles prepared for you for our “Back to School” issue. The special focus this time around is “The Education Career Path” — a broad topic that has been much in the news lately. So it was wonderful to have the opportunity to speak with Camilla Benbow, Dean of Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College of Education and Human Development. Read More »

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Independent schools, Independent choices

Considering educational options for your son or daughter can be an overwhelming experience, and the stakes are high. This is a decision you cannot afford to get wrong during the most formative years of your child’s life. Independent schools encompass diverse communities where learning happens through cutting edge curricula, including everything from state-of-the-art multimedia labs to small, hands-on classroom learning. Independent schools are dynamic, forward thinking, exciting places to learn and live.  Read More »

Relevant Tags: Independent Education, school, independent, students, independent schools, single sex, independent school, day boarding, school fit, culture school

America's Next Education Crisis Helping Students Graduate

America faces a severe school dropout problem, and students who leave school do not cause it. Far more teachers, by percentage, drop out of school than students. According to a variety of sources, 46 percent of teachers leave the field—drop out—within five years. A conservative national estimate of the cost of replacing public school teachers who have dropped out of the profession is $2.2 billion a year.

Let’s look at some data: If the cost of replacing public school teachers who transfer schools is added in, the total cost reaches $9 billion every year (Alliance for Excellent Education, August 2005). For individual states, cost estimates range from $8.5 million in North Dakota to half a billion dollars in Texas. In the next decade, according to the U.S. Department of Education, the American Federation of Teachers, and the National Education Association, U.S. schools will need approximately 2 million new teachers. Read More »

Relevant Tags: Helping Students Graduate With Frank Schargel, teachers, education, school, teaching, students, new teachers, department education, education crisis

Awareness of Autism Spectrum Disorders puts educators at the halfway mark

Today, a great many educators in the United States are familiar with the characteristic symptoms of the Pervasive Developmental Disorders, also commonly referred to as Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) — most notably Autism and Asperger’s Syndrome.

For most, there is an understanding that goes beyond the purely theoretical in regards to these diagnoses. Direct experience, for which there is no replacement, has equipped teachers with skills sufficient to recognize the telltale signs of an ASD when confronted with it in real-world classroom settings. When a student presents with: impaired social skills; deficits in communication; stereotyped interests and/or behaviors; oft rigid thinking; an inordinate desire for sameness; and hypersensitivities to light, sound, and/ or touch, many a teacher working in today’s schools will say to him or herself, “I know what this is.” Read More »

Relevant Tags: Special Needs and Autism, asds, autism, students, teachers, classroom, education, autism spectrum, spoken language, language skills

Why good teachers go away What you can do right now

Teachers, you may be working in the single most difficult time period ever for K-12 educators. You may feel as discouraged and low as you have ever felt during all your years in education. You continue to be asked to do more with less, meaning that your job has been getting tougher and tougher. As someone who trains teachers all over North America, I’ve been hearing over and over again that classroom management is getting harder and harder as classes get bigger and bigger, and students seem to be more and more difficult. Many of you have told me that you’re so discouraged that you’re thinking about finding a different job. This column has immediate help. It can help you end the classroom management nightmare that drives many good teachers to abandon the profession entirely. Read More »

Relevant Tags: Problem Solved With Dr. Ruth Herman Wells, M.S., students, teachers, education, skills, classroom, product, classroom management, good teachers, ruth herman, teach students

Functional communication and special education Giving a voice to those who can’t speak

Many people take for granted their ability to communicate. From the moment we get up to the time we put our heads back on the pillow we are constantly communicating to those around us. Some of this dialogue takes place with verbal exchanges, some with gestures (to the cab driver that passed you by), facial expressions (a friendly smile to the coworker you want to greet but can’t stop and talk to), notes passed back and forth (while sitting next to a colleague during the extra long staff meeting), and the list goes on.  Read More »

Relevant Tags: Special Needs and Autism, communication, child, education, functional communication, communication system, special education, verbal speech, people environments, special needs

Temple Grandin: Inspiring greatness in autistic children

Inspiring greatness is what Eustacia Cutler achieved through her determination to encourage her daughter, Temple Grandin, to be everything she could be despite a diagnosis of autism at the age of four.  She refused to let autism steal the hope she had for Temple’s life or set limitations on what she could potentially achieve.  As I listened to Ms. Cutler speak at one of our recent conferences, I saw an incredible spirit of determination, perseverance and fortitude. 

Eustacia emphasized “different, but not less” throughout her presentation as she referred to Temple.  I realized just how important it is for a person diagnosed with autism to have parents, teachers and professionals in their lives who don’t let them accept anything less than that perspective. Read More »

Relevant Tags: Special Needs and Autism, temple, autism, education, grandin, autistic, temple grandin, inspiring greatness, parents teachers, eustacia cutler, special needs

15 tips for traveling with a special needs child

The King’s Daughters’ School is a non-profit residential school, located in Columbia, TN, which serves individuals from age seven to late adulthood with developmental disabilities. Read More »

Relevant Tags: Special Needs, education, special, trip, child, special needs, traveling tips

Multi-modal learning strategies for all students

It is no news to anyone—not all learners are the same. Each student in a classroom has a unique and complex system of thinking and learning. So why would we think that we should teach them all alike? Effective teachers want to know better ways to reach their students because they have come to realize that cookie-cutter education usually spells disaster for many learners. Is there a more effective plan of action so that students want to learn?  Read More »

Relevant Tags: Learning Strategies, learning, students, memory, cooperative, education, model, cooperative learning, memory model, learning strategies, learning memory, direct instruction, new knowledge, teaching models, multi modal

In biology lab, do computer simulations really cut it?

The current state of computer technology allows developers to simulate almost any experience from the horror of wars to idyllic getaways. This technology is being harnessed for the creation of experiential learning tools. Some might question the value of electronic vs. real-life experiences. Nowhere does the debate rage more hotly than in high school biology labs, where simulations are now a viable alternative to wet lab dissections. Many students are reluctant to cut up animals in the pursuit of learning – and many educators insist that cutting up preserved specimens is the only way to effectively learn anatomy and physiology. Read More »

Relevant Tags: Science, computer, dissection, learning, education, lab, computer simulations, anatomy physiology, wet labs, preserved specimens, cutting preserved, field trips, biology lab

School bus routing efficiencies need not sacrifice student safety

The yellow school bus remains the safest vehicle for transporting students to and from school every day. Data from all parts of the country validate this, and states routinely reimburse school districts for school bus service to ensure student safety. However, can districts continue yellow bus service as budget shortfalls at the state level begin to impact reimbursement? The answer is yes, because transportation efficiencies that lead to cost savings are possible without sacrificing student safety or services. Read More »

Relevant Tags: School Transportation, bus, transportation, districts, students, routing, efficiency, planners, school bus, school districts, student safety, routing system, computerized routing, transportation planners

Education products you can use in your classrooms

Book Jam

Now you can teach the Common Core State Standards using popular, engaging, and classic Young Adult books like Twilight, To Kill a Mockingbird, and Diary of a Wimpy Kid. BookJam’s standards-based lessons and innovative, accessible tech activities will help raise test scores and confidence in your classroom. This program was created by an award-winning teacher with real classrooms in mind.

www.rbeducation.com

Read More »

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Why transformation is the only path for K-12 education

The following is a condensed version of Chapter Five of the new book “Shift Ed: A Call to Action for Transforming K-12 Education” written by David Houle and Jeff Cobb. Published in April by Corwin Press this book is already causing much discussion among teachers, principals and school superintendents across America who are searching for a 21st century vision of K-12. The companion web site to the book is www.shiftedtransformation.com. Read More »

Relevant Tags: Future of Education, education, jeff cobb, educational system, our educational, david houle, transformation only, transformed school

Interview tips for teachers: 10 tough questions to be able to answer

As a former public school administrator, I was frequently required to participate in recruiting and interviewing prospective teachers. More often than not, I was impressed with applicants’ enthusiasm, academic preparation, prior experiences, both in and out of the classroom, as well as positive personal qualities such as desire and commitment to educating children. What often struck me as unfortunate, however, was when an otherwise highly desirable candidate appeared to be unprepared for the interview. Read More »

Relevant Tags: Education Career Path, education, classroom, teacher, parents, teachers, question what, classroom management, question how

Teach Overseas: Broaden your horizons and your opportunities

The world is getting smaller. The proliferation of global companies, social media, Skype, and inexpensive, readily available air travel have all conspired to make the world far more accessible. At the same time, education has become a means to a better life the world over. As a result, demand for quality teachers is exploding, offering adventurous teachers a remarkable opportunity: to travel, live and teach in an exotic locale. More educators than ever before are needed to teach overseas. Those wise to this changing world live a lifestyle few imagined possible. Read More »

Relevant Tags: Education Career Path, schools, world, international, teachers, education, international schools, around world, schools colleges, association schools, teachers administrators

Help students find academic success and plan for the future

When I graduated from college over 20 years ago with a double major in Latin and Psychology, I had no idea what career path to take. Realizing I wanted to make a difference, I took a job as a parole officer. From my picture, it is probably hard to imagine me carrying a badge and gun and walking through the projects of metropolitan Atlanta. My mother certainly had a hard time swallowing the idea, but I did just that in hopes of helping those on my case load change their lives.

A picture of Martin Luther King, Jr. was in my office because it represented a world without limits to me, and those who walked in my door were faced with many limits. They were stigmatized by society, and many times by their families and even themselves. Read More »

Relevant Tags: Preparing Students for College, future, program, education, high school, school counselor, school counselors, comprehensive program, plan future, career center

5 things colleges wish their incoming students understood about college

This fall, thousands of students will begin their college careers at institutions across the country. The educators and school personnel who played a key role in these students’ journeys to college have already turned their focus to a new class of students and will have little time to consider the fate of the college freshmen who were students in their school just a year ago. 

Read More »

Relevant Tags: Preparing Students for College, students, college, education, school, high school, about college, students understood, incoming students

Challenging the Standardized Testing status quo: getting to know PARCC

During the 2014-15 school year, schools across the nation will be giving a new set of K-12 tests in a new era of standardized testing. These “next-generation” assessments — developed collaboratively by the state-led Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) — will move beyond the tests that currently drive our education system and provide K-12 educators, postsecondary faculty, students and parents with the information and tools they need to improve teaching and learning across the U.S., and ensure all students graduate ready for college and careers.

Read More »

Relevant Tags: Student Testing, parcc, assessments, assessment, education, states, system, testing, assessment system, parcc assessments, standardized testing, common core, college career, status quo, parcc states, high school

Preparing the next generation of engineers and technologists

While experts debate about everyone needing some college education – the workplace is linking middle-class employability to postsecondary education and training. Are parents, teachers and students on the right track?

Every time we turn on the television, media outlets seem to be commenting on the failing education system in this country. At least the word “education” is making the nightly news. We think unparalleled attention being paid to the topic of education and the importance of STEM is long overdue. It’s time for all of us to consider more collaboration for more immediate solutions. Read More »

Relevant Tags: Technology/STEM, education, students, programs, technology, stem, autodesk, engineering, product, education foundation, sme education, engineers technologists, generation engineers, next generation, stem education, higher education

Hands-on technology,hands-on education

It’s no secret that educators, administrators and IT staff have a tough job. They are balancing resources and responding to state and national mandates, all while trying to focus on helping students learn and become successful outside of the classroom. Accomplishing these goals requires prioritization – and that job is not an enviable one.

During the last year, school districts have made important strides in adopting technologies to help engage students in the classroom and convey important lessons. The second annual CDW-G 21st-Century Classroom Report (www.cdwg.com/21stCenturyClassroomReport) asked 1,000 high school students, faculty and IT professionals their opinions on how technology is integrated into their high schools. Read More »

Relevant Tags: Technology, technology, students, districts, classroom, education, technologies, faculty, classroom technology, digital content, technology hands, new technologies, faculty professionals

Preparing students to pursue technology careers

It is no secret that technology-based careers are on the rise. A job candidate who has a strong background in electronics is a valuable commodity in today’s workplace and will be in even more demand as technology becomes absolutely essential to everything we do in our lives. Finding a technology program that feeds into a defined career can prove to be difficult. Do you know where to direct those students who want to pursue technology as a profession?

A survey of seasoned Electronic Systems Technicians (ESTs), conducted by Electronic Systems Professional Alliance (ESPA), asked participants about their career and training experience and found several important factors including the need for schools to do a better job of priming the EST workforce.

Forty-nine percent said high school left them feeling not at all prepared for a career as an EST. 76 percent rated a vocational course tailored to an EST career as somewhat or very important in preparing an individual technician. 69 percent would like to see more EST programs in colleges or career training centers/schools; 65 percent wanted more apprenticeship opportunities.

Read More »

Relevant Tags: Technology, espa, technology, career, systems, students, training, education, program, electronic, industry, electronic systems, espa curriculum, technology careers, entry level, students pursue, espa certification, systems industry, pursue technolog

Blending teachers and e-Learning The effectiveness of online learning to develop 21st century skills

According to the NCREL Synthesis of New Research on K-12 Online Learning, online learning is rapidly growing, expands educational options and provides equal opportunities for all learners. But just as important, the study proves that online learning is effective and that online learning can actually improve teaching. (“On average, students seem to perform equally well or better academically in online learning.”) Read More »

Relevant Tags: Online Learning, learning, online, children, teacher, education, example, courses, online learning, subject areas, teachers learning, learning courses

Peer observations and professional learning communities Purpose and potential of peer observations

(Adapted from “The Practice of Authentic PLCs: A Guide to Effective Teacher Teams,” Corwin Press, 2011)

In the early 1980s, as a third-year teacher, I was asked to teach math in a rigorous summer program at one of the nation’s leading private schools in Connecticut. There, I was struck by many things, not the least of which was the prevalence of visits by colleagues to my classroom. Nary a day went by in which someone wasn’t observing my teaching.

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Relevant Tags: Professional Development, teachers, plc, plcs, peer observations, authentic plcs, professional development, observe classes, school year, effective teacher

Teacher professional development at the Smithsonian Institution

Teachers will be the first to tell you how valuable professional development opportunities are to them. Many educators take advantage of the training workshops offered exclusively to teachers, in the hope of gaining new content knowledge and resources they can take back to their students. School budget cuts have substantially decreased the opportunity for teachers to attend professional development workshops. Some believe that online teacher training is a solution and a good alternative for teachers who cannot get classroom release time.  Read More »

Relevant Tags: Professional Development,teachers, smithsonian, science, development, national, professional, museum, education, professional development, smithsonian institution, national museum, science resources, resources center, national science

Student travel safety checklist Advance preparation is key to having a safe student trip

Today, many new educators and even some experienced ones are having second thoughts taking students on trips due to the potential safety and security risks associated with group travel. As the leader of a student group, safety and security is an overwhelming consideration throughout the planning stages, as well as on the trip. Advance preparation can help prevent any unpleasant experiences and ensure a smooth and productive trip for everyone involved.

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Relevant Tags: Education Travel, travel, safety, student, education, educators, travel planner, group travel, student group, safety security, travel safety, risks associated

Virginia is ‘hallowed ground’ for Civil War History

When it comes to Civil War history Virginia is unquestioned “hallowed ground.” More Civil War battles were fought in Virginia, by far, than in any other state. It follows that Virginia has a bounty of preserved and interpreted battlefields, museums, historic sites and history trails which are enjoyed by millions of visitors each year.

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Relevant Tags: Educational Travel, civil, virginia, park, national, history, education, visitors, battlefield, civil history, historical park, 15th anniversary, anniversary civil, historic sites, national battlefield, pamplin historical

Students get hooked on science at the Virginia Living Museum

“Wow! That ancient shark must have been as big as school bus!” exclaimed an excited sixth grader as he held up a seven inch long, five million year old fossil shark tooth with serrated edges as sharp as a steak knife. On the table in front of him were the full upper and lower jaws of a modern bull shark whose teeth looked like miniatures by comparison.

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Relevant Tags: Museum Destination, science, students, museum, education, virginia, programs, school, virginia living, living museum, museum programs, science virginia, science education

Busch Gardens: 2012 education and youth programs Explore six European countries in one fun trip

Learning takes on a whole new meaning at Busch Gardens. Here, kids can discover the importance of animal preservation and conservation when they come face-to-face with a bald eagle. They can learn more about architecture and 17th century Europe as they wander through park villages, or explore foreign culture through shows like Celtic Fyre. Kids and teachers looking for a way to bring the concepts of physics to life can take a jaw-dropping ride on one of the park’s incredible roller coasters.

At Busch Gardens Williamsburg and Water Country USA, there is something for every youth group and school group. Read More »

Relevant Tags: Field Trip Destination, busch, gardens, education, physics, learn, animals, busch gardens, water country, country usa, 212 education, gardens 212, physics show

Norfolk Nautical adventures await

Located conveniently along the Mid-Atlantic coast between Williamsburg and Virginia Beach, Norfolk, VA is the ideal destination for action-packed and affordable, educational tours. With an abundance of outdoor activities, historical and cultural attractions, this riverside city offers exciting choices for new learning.

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Henricus celebrates 400th anniversary

It was 400 years ago, in September of 1611, when 350 men and boys moved west up Virginia’s James River to settle on an area of land near today’s city of Richmond. Having come from James-town, the first successful English settlement in North America, these people, under the leadership of Sir Thomas Dale, began to erect palisades near a bend in the river. This first settlement, named “Henryco” — later known as “Henricus” — was chartered by King James of England and named for his eldest son, Prince Henry. This site was originally intended to become the new capital or “principal seat of the County.”

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Civil War history lives on in Fredericksburg

Boasting significant Colonial and Civil War history, Fredericksburg, along with Spotsylvania and Stafford Counties, is home to a variety of museums, monuments, national cemeteries, battlefields and more than 120,000 soldiers with a story to tell. Here, it’s easy to relish in the moments of the nation’s past. Read More »

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Georgia Aquarium touches the heart to teach the mind Students ride a wave of education in Atlanta’s own ocean

As the world’s largest aquarium, Georgia Aquarium is dedicated to its educational and conservation-based mission to provide guests with a better understanding of the ecology of the oceans we share. During the initial development of Georgia Aquarium, benefactor Bernie Marcus and Aquarium staff worked to ensure education was heavily embedded in the experience of guests and students through a variety of initiatives created to help them discover the aquatic realm in an immersed learning environment.

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‘Hit the books’ at Turner Field Atlanta Braves Museum and Hall of Fame

The Atlanta Braves are Major League Baseball’s oldest continuously operating franchise. They began in Boston, Mass., in 1871, moved to Milwaukee, Wis., in 1953, and finally to Atlanta, Ga., in 1966. They have been around longer than the Coca-Cola Company (1886), Georgia Tech (1885), and the Georgia Capitol Building (1889). They have also won a World Series in each of the three cities they have played (1914-Boston, 1957-Milwaukee, 1995-Atlanta). Read More »

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Jackson, Mississippi: Rich in history

Mississippi has a long standing and proud tradition of hospitality, proven by her most valuable natural resource — her people. As the capital city, Jackson is no different. Good old-fashioned Southern hospitality combined with a rich history make the capital of Mississippi a great choice for a weekend jaunt.

A major player in the civil rights struggle of the 1960s, Jackson is home to a number of fine museums that focus on the conflict and the profound change that followed. Museums such as the Smith Robertson, housed in the first school for black children from the area, examine the struggles and achievements of African- Americans in art and literature. Through art, artifacts, and photography, the work, lifestyle, and artistic contributions of African Americans are celebrated, evoking a greater understanding of the African-American experience in the Deep South. The museum is housed in the former Smith Robertson School, the first public school built for African Americans in Jackson. The school opened in 1894 and served the African-American community until 1971.

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Come see what waits beneath the surface in Tennessee

Discover Cumberland Caverns, Tennessee’s largest show cave and a U.S. National Natural Landmark.

The cave displays some of the largest underground rooms and most spectacular formations in America.

Since its original discovery in 1810, many visitors have rediscovered the Cumberland Caverns for themselves. It’s a great vacation stop or day-trip destination. Come discover the history, beauty, and “Wow!” of Cumberland Caverns.

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Corinth commemorates its Civil War Sesquicentennial

Located in the rolling hills of Northeast Mississippi is a small area with a significant past...Corinth, Mississippi.  This little-known region played an important role in the American Civil War. 

Although as early as 1861, Corinth served as a mobilization center for Confederates being sent to the Eastern Theatre, it was not until 1862 that the area became the scene of many battles and skirmishes.  In the Spring of 1862, Corinth became the focal point of the Civil War’s Western Theatre.  Read More »

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South Carolina’s marsh is teeming with life that changes with the seasons

People look out over the abundant coastal salt marshes of the east coast and tend to think of it as an unchanging landscape of marsh cordgrass and not much else. Look a little closer.

The marsh is a world of its own, teeming with life that changes and shifts throughout the year. Take the most visible plant, the marsh cordgrass (known as spartina), a wispy yet strong grass, that envelopes the majority of our coastline and bears responsibility for most of the marsh’s productivity. Cordgrass is attractive to all creatures – predators move in and out, small animals grow up, and birds pass through for a rest and meal. All of these creatures move with the rhythms of the constantly changing tide that laps the marsh.

Fall is an active season of harvest on land and the same is true in the creeks and grassy meadows of the marsh. Though few animals eat the actual plant, many animals and plants do live on it or on the marsh surface protected by its roots and stalks. Perfect for high heat and salt water, spartina has special glands to secret excess salt on a daily basis. Its stalks are thick, very tough, and well anchored by a root system. The seeds of the yellow gold-colored spartina grass drop into the mud to seed next year’s crop of grass, helping to renew the marsh and provide food for many seed eaters.

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Our Goal: to reinvigorate the spirit of American education.  The Southeast Education Network, through SEEN Magazine and www.SEENmagazine.us, presents resources, ideas and techniques to help educators become more effective while growing personally and professionally. SEEN Magazine is dedicated to educators, school administrators, and the education community.