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ConnectEd Blog

Is your school climate right for learning?Posted on April 6, 2016 at 10:23pm

Jennifer Lutzenberger PhillipsJennifer Lutzenberger Phillips, Director of Learning, Teaching, and Pathway Development at ConnectEd, and a former classroom teacher, is always searching for resources to make change easier for teachers and site leaders. In a recent interview, when we explored the question, “Is your climate right for learning?” we learned about a tool that can help administrators and teachers figure that out.


What do administrators and teachers need to know about their climate for learning?

They need to know if the culture, leadership and team dynamic are conducive to learning. Teacher teams and site leaders must grapple with these questions, “Is this place the kind of place that is set up well to get all teachers learning together and to move outcomes for kids? Or is this a place that is not set up well and if it is not set up well, why? What’s the missing piece?” It boils down to figuring out whether or not people are ready – as a team – to learn what they need to learn in order to successfully implement a new approach, curriculum, student outcome, district policy, accountability system or site program. Often when leaders realize there’s something wrong with climate, they try to identify promising programs, strategies or practices that teachers could put in place to improve the situation.  New programs and strategies require time and structures, as well as certain conditions—like psychological safety and trust—for the learning to result in new practices.

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New Partnership Launches the Great Lakes College and Careers Pathways InitiativePosted on April 4, 2016 at 4:23pm by Gary Hoachlander

Gary Hoachlander, President of ConnectEd For the past two days, I’ve had the delight and honor of spending time with K-16 educators and workforce experts who came together to launch the Great Lakes College and Career Pathways Initiative. Funded by The Joyce Foundation, the Initiative builds on pathway development efforts that have been going on in four communities in the Midwest: 1) Rockford, Illinois, 2) the Northwest Suburbs of Illinois, 3) Central Ohio, and 4) Madison, Wisconsin.

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Linked Learning Convention: A Perspective from a First-Time AttendeePosted on March 29, 2016 at 8:30pm

“We’ve come a long way,” said a person to my left. Hearing those words and seeing the breadth and variety of sessions at the 2016 Linked Learning Convention made me feel proud of the progress the Linked Learning movement has made. Our movement has hit the tipping point, I thought. But this great feeling didn’t last.

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Joyce Foundation grant seeks expansion of college and career pathways to better prepare high school students for education, careers and lifePosted on March 29, 2016 at 4:23pm by Joyce Foundation

March 29, 2016 

Contact: Bill Strong or Lilly Athamanah, The Joyce Foundation;; 312-782-2464

$3 million grant to four Great Lakes community areas: Chicago’s northwest suburbs; Central Ohio; Madison, Wisconsin; and Rockford, Illinois

CHICAGO – The Joyce Foundation has chosen four diverse Great Lakes communities for a new regional partnership aimed at expanding high-quality college and career pathways -- a structured approach linking high school to postsecondary education and training to ensure that students are prepared for lasting success in education, career and life.

A $3 million Joyce grant announced today will provide each community with $400,000 over two years and hands-on technical support from national leaders in the field. A college and career pathway is a highly structured approach for all students, regardless of background, extending from secondary through postsecondary education and training, and that combines rigorous academics with career-based learning and real world experience.

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Women and Girls, Engineering New Futures For AllPosted on March 16, 2016 at 6:41pm by ConnectEd Studios Team

March is Women’s History Month. The ConnectEd Studios Team asked ourselves, who don’t we usually see during this celebration?

The complex answer includes many girls and women who face unequal access to opportunities and education: women of color, women outside of the US, queer women, differently-abled women, incarcerated and formerly incarcerated women, women not assigned female at birth, as well as women working in the home.

With that in mind, this month we focused on everyday women who are blazing paths forward for the good of all. The Studios Team happily contributes to expanding who we see by highlighting Women in STEM, our new YouTube Playlist.

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Where's the Relevance?Posted on March 3, 2016 at 5:55pm by Gary Hoachlander

Earlier this month, the College Board unveiled the new SAT, one of the nation’s primary tools for assessing if America’s high school graduates are prepared academically for future success, especially in college but also in career. With this new emphasis on career readiness, the College Board has sought to make test questions more relevant, with greater attention to “context” that makes better sense to students taking the test.

How’s this going? The New York Times published a few questions from a practice test. Let’s take a look at this one:

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In Case You Missed One Of Our Linked Learning Convention SessionsPosted on February 25, 2016 at 12:09am

Thank you for attending the Linked Learning Convention. Hopefully, you were able to catch a session with one of our ConnectEd team members. If you'd like the powerpoint presentation, missed the session or weren't able to make it to the convention, feel free to download and review the powerpoint slides below. Most of the session PowerPoints are available now. All will be available here by Friday, March, 4, 2016.

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Quality, Excellence and Equity MatterPosted on February 8, 2016 at 7:05pm by Gary Hoachlander

I’m deeply pleased to join the Linked Learning field in acknowledging and celebrating the nine pathways that engaged in and successfully completed the Linked Learning Pathway Quality Review Continuous Improvement and Certification Process.

Quality, excellence, and equity matter. The recent Year Six Linked Learning Evaluation, prepared by SRI International, reported that when compared with similar peers in...

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ConnectEd Studios: To charge or not to chargePosted on January 28, 2016 at 6:46pm by Dave Yanofsky

“Are you going to charge for access to ConnectEd Studios?” As the saying goes, if I had a nickel for every time I was asked that question I’d be a very rich man. Trust me when I say that the ConnectEd team has wrestled with this question over the last few years.

As a nonprofit with a mission to build up and support the Linked Learning field, we have not wanted to charge for ConnectEd Studios, because we wanted to make it as easy as possible for those in the field to access and use our tools and resources to develop high-quality pathways. We know that this approach is working; in each of the last three years, ConnectEd Studios users have doubled.

Yet, we now find ourselves needing to diversify our funding and pursue earned revenue whenever possible. To remain a healthy and viable organization, it makes sense for us to use the expertise and valuable tools we’ve developed to both generate revenue and fulfill our mission and vision to serve students and educational leaders.

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ConnectEd Sessions at the 2016 Linked Learning conventionPosted on January 5, 2016 at 9:23pm

A value we hold close at ConnectEd is continuous improvement. As we’ve helped design, plan and build capacity for Linked Learning pathways, we’ve come across new information and techniques. We are excited to share what we’ve learned with you in the upcoming Linked Learning Convention on February 3-5, 2016. Below is a list of sessions that will we will be participating in or leading.

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