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ConnectEd Blog


Getting the Most From Your Site VisitPosted on February 8, 2017 at 8:11pm by Brad Stam

Site visits are a wonderful opportunity to meet students, teachers, and administrators and ask questions about what makes the Linked Learning approach different from other educational approaches.  While you may have a lot of experience visiting schools, here are some tips for getting the most from your visit to a Linked Learning pathway. 

The most important thing is to ask questions! Don’t stand back. We find that students love interacting with adults. They want to describe what they’re learning, as well as share their thoughts about the Linked Learning approach. ConnectEd schedules site visits throughout the year. For information on upcoming site visits, please see our calendar.

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Connecting school to life: what we can learn from California’s career pathwaysPosted on February 1, 2017 at 6:08pm by Alex Harris

Hawaii faces turbulent times in public education. Our Governor has called for a “reboot” of the system that is forward focused and helps students to innovate for jobs that do not yet exist. Meanwhile the State Board of Education has decided not to renew Superintendent Matayoshi’s contract and Deputy Superintendent Schatz has announced his departure. All of which leaves the Department rudderless for now.

For teachers and school leaders, it feels like the terrain shifts beneath them on a daily basis. Most hunker down just hoping for the storm to pass. This is a really hard time to grow anything new.

And yet, our students cannot wait. For Hawaii’s economic landscape is increasingly defined by “educational haves and have nots”. At no time in our state’s history has it been more important for youngsters to obtain a postsecondary degree or credential and demonstrate employability skills like teamwork and communication.

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Linked Learning Convention 2017 PresentationsPosted on January 17, 2017 at 8:41pm by Ted Aquino

We are pleased to be a part of the 2017 Linked Learning Convention. It is a great way to connect with emerging and veteran Linked Learning practitioners. Below are a list of sessions that our team will be leading or co-presenting with other experienced colleagues.

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The Need to Struggle and DreamPosted on December 21, 2016 at 8:48pm by Gary Hoachlander

Last week, a close colleague suggested that I go back and read Vincent Harding’s Is America Possible? A Letter to My Young Companions on the Journey of Hope. It is an eloquent testament for the need to both struggle and dream if we are to realize America’s promise to be a democracy that values, respects, and serves all people. Once again, his essay...

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Federal Site Visit to Los Angeles Unified School DistrictPosted on October 31, 2016 at 9:44pm by Gary Hoachlander

Gary Hoachlander, President of ConnectEdLast week, together with federal and state policymakers, I had a chance to meet young people at two Linked Learning pathways — Los Angeles High School of the Arts (LAHSA) and STEM Academy. How inspiring to hear them describe both the challenges and accomplishments of their educational journeys.

We heard from Geovanny Aguilar, a LAHSA graduate who is now working construction on a 2 million dollar home in Malibu. He said that when he came to LAHSA, he was a special ed kid reading at a first-grade level. Now, in just four years, he’s reading at an eighth-grade level, and has gained skills in teamwork and communication that he uses daily on the job.

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A Grand JourneyPosted on September 26, 2016 at 5:52pm by Gary Hoachlander

Year after year, I join family and friends on the Grand Canyon Rim-to-Rim hike—I’ve just returned from this year’s trek. The path is the same, but the journey is always different. The canyon is alive and growing, the weather is unpredictable, and the members of our group change. It’s a challenging hike—22 miles from rim to rim; 5,000 feet down to the Colorado River; 6,000 feet up to the North Rim. We finish the day exhausted but proud. A journey well traveled!

Many of you have once again taken the first steps on a similarly challenging journey—the new school year.

It’s an honor to be on that journey with you. Together, we are helping to create access to high-quality college and career pathways that prepare students, regardless of background, for lasting success in college, career, community, and life.

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Win a Grant To Develop CurriculaPosted on September 26, 2016 at 5:27pm by Ted Aquino

If you’re a teacher, you have a unique opportunity to receive up to $5,000 to develop materials for UCCI (University of California Curriculum Integration) courses through UCCI’s first ever Course Resource Development Grant. These can be UCCI courses that you already teach or are planning to teach.

“Our UCCI course frameworks are just that—frameworks with unit descriptions and descriptions of every major assignment,“ says Sarah Fidelibus, Programs Director at UCCI. "We're excited because the grant gives teachers the resources to develop the day-to-day lesson plans and other instructional materials to bring frameworks to life, not for just themselves, but for others too."

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Student Behaviors to Identify, Nurture, and SupportPosted on September 26, 2016 at 5:10pm by Ted Aquino

Most educators know that the Common Core, Next Generation Science, and other new standards require them to teach more complex content while supporting students to gain deeper skills as they access content. But knowing is one thing; seeing is another.

Achieving these goals requires that teachers recognize the impact Linked Learning is making in their classrooms as they observe students engaged in learning. When teachers can identify nurture, and support their students to develop and sustain these deeper learning behaviors, they are more able to create learning environments that dramatically improve student motivation, empowerment, understanding, and achievement.

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Overcoming Obstacles to Work-Based Learning Posted on August 17, 2016 at 10:31pm by Ted Aquino

More school districts see the value of Work-Based Learning (WBL), but establishing a WBL system comes with unique challenges.

In response to a request from an educator, our colleague, Rob Atterbury, provided suggestions on how to overcome logistical, legal and coordinating challenges. He offered four steps: 1) get community buy-in, 2) forge alliances, 3) navigate your local laws, and start a business/community advisory board. ConnectEd has used these steps to help build work-based learning systems in multiple school districts.

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Preparing for Linked LearningPosted on June 24, 2016 at 5:10pm by Gary Hoachlander

Gary Hoachlander, President of ConnectEd

A few weeks ago, I visited Bing Wong Elementary School in San Bernardino City Unified School District. What an impressive school!

To prepare students to enter nearby Indian Springs High School, which has Linked Learning pathways in Advanced Manufacturing and Health, Bing Wong engages them in a growing array of challenging project-based learning experiences.

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