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ConnectEd Blog

What’s the Future of Digital Badges for Educators?Posted on August 10, 2017 at 7:50pm by Dave Yanofsky

Many of you may have heard the term ‘digital badge’ or ‘micro-credential’ these days, mostly in regards to students earning badges as a way to capture and recognize their skill development (similarly to how the Boy or Girl Scouts award badges for demonstrating specific skills). While student badges continue to be popular across the educational spectrum, we are increasingly seeing badges show up as a way to quantify and celebrate adult learning as...

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Seeing is Believing!Posted on May 19, 2017 at 4:58pm by Rob Atterbury

If a picture is worth 1000 words, seeing it first hand must be worth a billion!  Experiential Site visits are designed for teams of teachers, site administrators, district administrators and business partners in a district to come and see Linked Learning in action and all that it entails.  Hosted ConnectEd and partner districts, these school site visits allow participants to hear about the successes and challenges directly from students, teachers, and district leaders and witness the teacher and student interaction and sense of family first had.  No words can describe the engagement of students when they are deeply involved in a project or the excitement of teachers have when they have students go way beyond their expectations.  You have to see it to believe it! 

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Where the Wild Things ArePosted on April 17, 2017 at 7:37pm by Gary Hoachlander

Bang to the sound of the
drums as we dance with the
trees in the wind. Party with
the wild side of your heart.

So bang baboom as we live life
wild, away from the laws and rules
of the in-crowd, the cool kids find me
where the wild things are.

Boom, the thunder of us, the
wild rebels running from the
dark bland hands of the
in-crowd to find ourselves
where the wild things are.

Not hiding anymore we
show our faces shining
like the shrine at the top
of the sun setting hill, find yourself
where the wild things are.

-Phillip Whittington

That is one of twenty-eight poems, short stories, and essays in an anthology, A Wider Space, produced by students last year at Ben Carson High School of Medicine and Science in Detroit, a Linked Learning Pathway and a NAF Academy. Each of these works individually and poignantly says what it means to be free, or not.

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

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

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

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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