Present Danger: Solving the Deepening Student Absenteeism Crisis

With coronavirus vaccinations rising, Covid cases falling, and schools reopening, education leaders are turning their attention to expanding learning opportunities post-pandemic.  But strikingly high rates of student absenteeism threaten that work. A new FutureEd report on attendance trends in five school districts serving nearly 450,000 students suggests that student absenteeism has been far greater during Read more about Present Danger: Solving the Deepening Student Absenteeism Crisis[…]

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Accelerate, Don’t Remediate: New Evidence from Elementary Math Classrooms

Research suggests students have experienced more unfinished learning over the last year than ever before. With the COVID-19 pandemic waning, school systems are facing a critical choice about how to respond. Should they use the traditional approach of reviewing all the content students missed, known as remediation? Or should they start with the current grade’s Read more about Accelerate, Don’t Remediate: New Evidence from Elementary Math Classrooms[…]

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Digital Learning Playbook

Digital learning leverages digital tools and resources to establish powerful, flexible learning environments. Digital learning means each student has access to a device and reliable internet access, both at school and at home. While digital learning is critical during emergency situations when remote teaching is necessary (e.g., e-learning days due to weather cancellations, hybrid learning, Read more about Digital Learning Playbook[…]

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Emergency Broadband Benefit Program

The Emergency Broadband Benefit is an FCC program to help households struggling to pay for internet service during the pandemic. This new benefit will connect eligible households to jobs, critical healthcare services, and virtual classrooms. The program is expected to begin in May. The Emergency Broadband Benefit will provide a discount of up to $50 Read more about Emergency Broadband Benefit Program[…]

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Learner Agency: Students Driving their Own Learning

In the past year, more students have engaged in self-directed, independent learning than ever. One organization, Griptape, has been perfecting their approach to cultivating Learner Agency through their work with over 12,000 students during Learning Challenges since 2015.  After completing an application describing their passion project, selected students (teens ages 14-19, most of whom are Read more about Learner Agency: Students Driving their Own Learning[…]

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I-Flex: A New Teaching Modality for Post-Pandemic Recovery

If there is one thing the pandemic has taught us, it is that in-person learning is not the only way to “do” school. During the past year, most districts have experimented with fully Virtual Learning modalities, as well as Hybrid Learning, and some college campuses have also perfected the Hyflex model. Moving into post-COVID recovery, Read more about I-Flex: A New Teaching Modality for Post-Pandemic Recovery[…]

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Overcoming Challenges of Concurrent Learning

Many schools are using a simultaneous learning approach, where teachers work with all students, both in person and online, at the same time. However, writes The 74 contributor Beth Rabbitt, despite hard work and good intentions, full-time, simultaneous learning is not a best practice.  Online models are least effective when teachers try to engage learners Read more about Overcoming Challenges of Concurrent Learning[…]

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Mere Engagement: Reflections about the Connections Between Online Learning, Student Agency, and Student Engagement

School leaders mustn’t lose sight of the need for student agency and student engagement as they contend with the myriad challenges posed by COVID-19. In fact, they must reimagine what agency and engagement can look like in cases when students are learning virtually and also when they are unable to connect. Mere Engagement: Reflections about Read more about Mere Engagement: Reflections about the Connections Between Online Learning, Student Agency, and Student Engagement[…]

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A Teacher’s View: Remote Teaching Doesn’t Feel Like Teaching. Six Steps Toward Putting the Nuance Back Into Classroom Interactions

Recently in The 74, Nat Damon, a 25-year educator and author of Time to Teach: Time to Reach reflected on how to put the nuance into virtual teaching. Excerpts of the piece appear below: Remote teaching does not feel like teaching. This is not the same as saying remote teaching is not teaching. It absolutely Read more about A Teacher’s View: Remote Teaching Doesn’t Feel Like Teaching. Six Steps Toward Putting the Nuance Back Into Classroom Interactions[…]

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REL West Resources on Independent Learning

During the current COVID-19 global health crisis and shift to distance learning, students are being asked to do more independent work—reading, writing, and problem solving—outside of their time in class. School and district leaders in the West have expressed a need for teachers to have access to user-friendly, research-based guidance on effective ways to design Read more about REL West Resources on Independent Learning[…]

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Issue Brief: Pandemic Trends that may Stick Around

The COVID-19 pandemic has upended the education field in multiple ways. Policymakers, superintendents, school leaders, and teachers have had to adopt new models, processes, policies, protocols, and strategies in order to conduct the business of teaching and learning over the last year. As the nation (eventually) emerges from this pandemic, which changes are likely to Read more about Issue Brief: Pandemic Trends that may Stick Around[…]

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Policy Solutions that Foster Competency-Based Learning

For many state education leaders looking to recoup learning losses caused by interruptions during the COVID-19 pandemic, a competency-based approach is attractive. It provides the flexibility and autonomy for students to earn credits and satisfy diploma requirements by demonstrating mastery of competencies, rather than fulfilling seat time requirements. However, a competency-based approach requires fundamental changes Read more about Policy Solutions that Foster Competency-Based Learning[…]

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Scaling Tutoring Nationwide – 3 Proposals

Below are three proposals for scaling tutoring nationwide to combat the learning loss experience during COVID-19: 1. A new EdWorking Paper by Matthew Kraft and Grace Falken, “A Blueprint for Scaling Tutoring Across Public Schools” explores how tutoring could be scaled nationally to address COVID-19 learning loss and become a permanent feature of the U.S. Read more about Scaling Tutoring Nationwide – 3 Proposals[…]

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Remote Learning is Here to Stay

School districts in the United States have approached reopening public schools during the COVID-19 pandemic in notably different ways. The authors of a new report, titled “Remote Learning Is Here to Stay: Results from the First American School District Panel Survey” by RAND developed a national picture of school districts’ needs and approaches to school Read more about Remote Learning is Here to Stay[…]

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The “Silent Epidemic” Finds Its Voice: Demystifying How Students View Engagement in Their Learning

McREL researchers Samantha Holquist and Marisa Crowder collaborated with members of student voice organizations in Oregon and Kentucky to provide us with a deeper level of understanding about what may be shaping students’ engagement in the school community. Their research report is comprehensive, offering many insights from the students’ perspective and proposing a framework for Read more about The “Silent Epidemic” Finds Its Voice: Demystifying How Students View Engagement in Their Learning[…]

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The 10 Most Significant Education Studies of 2020

Edutopia reviewed hundreds of educational studies in 2020 and has highlighted 10 that they believe are the most significant—covering topics from virtual learning to the reading wars and the decline of standardized tests. Selected studies include the following: To teach vocabulary, let kids be thespians. Neuroscientists defend the value of teaching handwriting – again. The Read more about The 10 Most Significant Education Studies of 2020[…]

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