Embracing mistakes as an educator

Educators understand that failing is a huge part of the learning process. This is especially true for my fellow STEAM and robotics educators, whose students are often asked to try something, fail, try again and eventually succeed. We call this “meaningful failure,” and it is one of the best ways for students to build resilience and confidence. Once they succeed, they feel confident in their ability as a learner.  READ MORE

What does classroom design look like in the age of social distancing?

Where we learn matters. This truth has exploded as we have waded through the realities of emergency remote learning. As a profession, we have honorably pivoted to meet the needs of students, but all of us have experienced the soft spots of our strategy. We have seen students lack access to technology and Wi-Fi. We have watched as students with additional challenges, including those with physical or learning disabilities, fade from technology-rich learning, and we have even seen our most driven students burn out from the daily grind of hours on video conferences and completing assignments online.  READ MORE

Student challenges after contracting COVID-19

A student with a disability who is recovering from contracting the novel coronavirus may have lingering issues that may interfere with his learning. The student and his family may also have concerns about his mental health and interactions with other students. Start thinking now about how you will address returning a student to learning after recovering from COVID-19, experts advise.  READ MORE

Preparing to apply the lessons learned in spring and summer to next year

Even for live sessions, it’s important to record the class so students can benefit from asynchronous learning. When school begins in the fall, many states are preparing in-class teaching, online learning, and hybrid approaches featuring some combination of the two on alternating schedules. The sudden transition to distance learning in the spring revealed some best practices, and a mix of professional development and trial-and-error have left teachers better prepared to adapt to disruption than in spring.  READ MORE

Can you really teach in a mask?

There’s a lot of uncertainty about how schools will eventually return to in-person instruction. But in many places, teachers will likely be encouraged — or required — to wear masks. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended that all school employees wear cloth face coverings, and many school and district leaders are incorporating that guidance into their reopening plans. Some states, including California and Texas, are providing millions of masks for teachers in an attempt to slow the spread of COVID-19 when school buildings reopen.  READ MORE

Student-Teacher relationships matter: Preventing a lost school year.

The coronavirus pandemic and online learning have shown that all schools should become 1-to-1 — not just with computers, but also for cementing student-teacher relationships, one advocate says. “Those staff-student connections should become the norm,” says Jonah Edelman, founder & CEO of Stand for Children, a nonprofit focused on equity in education. “It absolutely needs to become the norm during the pandemic to prevent a huge number of students from dropping off the map.”  READ MORE

A shorter IQ test for children

For decades, neuropsychologists have used the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children test as the gold-standard intelligence quotient test to determine the intellectual abilities of children with special needs. However, this comprehensive test can take up to 2 hours to complete, and many children with special needs have a difficult time participating in such long tests.  READ MORE