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ConnectEd Blog

People and Lessons We’re Thankful ForPosted on November 23, 2015 at 11:21pm

In this blog post, ConnectEd staff share stories of teachers and learning experiences that still resonate for them. Read about a phenomenally eccentric role model, blind spots, and steadfast caring teachers.

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Top 5 Reasons to Watch and Share Day in the Life: IchthyologistPosted on November 12, 2015 at 12:22am by ConnectEd Studios Video Production Team

1.     Find out what an Ichthyologist is. Seriously. Do you know what an Ichthyologist is? No one we asked knew what an Ichthyologist does. “A bird doctor?” “A skin rash diagnosis?” “A new iPhone app?” Nope, none of those. Watch our latest Day in the Life to find out the answer.

2.     Hear from Moises Bernal, an “all-star scientist and inspiring science communicator” about his passion, development, research and contributions to the science world in a language other than the one he grew up speaking.

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Celebrating Clairemont High School's TransformationPosted on October 28, 2015 at 11:45pm by Gary Hoachlander

Clairemont Group Photo

Early in her career as an educator, while teaching in the award winning Academy of Business (a Lighthouse California Partnership Academy) at Clairemont High School in San Diego, Elizabeth Rush heard one of her students ask: “Ms. Rush, why don’t all students at Clairemont have the opportunity to participate in an academy?” It was a good question, one to which she did not have a good answer.

Today, in her new role as Academy Coordinator for Clairemont High School, she does: “Now, everyone has a pathway!” Last Thursday, I had the opportunity to join district leaders, employer representatives, parents, teachers, students, postsecondary partners, and community advocates who came together to celebrate two outstanding accomplishments. First, they cut the ribbon on the official opening the new building housing the Academy of Business on the Clairemont campus. It’s a brand new, 10,500 square foot, state-of-the-art facility fully equipped with modern business advances including a mock stock trading floor, media technology classroom, media lab and broadcast sound studio, all offering real-world learning experiences that bring the world of business to life.

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UCCI Highlights Dr. Tameka L. McGlawnPosted on October 20, 2015 at 5:55pm

University of California Curriculum Integration (UCCI) is an initiative of Student Affairs, Admissions (High School Articulation) at the UC Office of the President. Every month they feature extraordinary educators that they've worked with. This month, they've chosen to highlight our colleague Dr. Tameka L. McGlawn.

What do you currently do and why?

Currently, I serve as the Director of Equity and Impact at ConnectEd: The California Center for College and Career. My areas of leadership include research, data and impact analysis and quality accountability engagements that aim to systemically ensure college and career readiness for California’s students through the effective implementation of the Linked Learning approach in schools and in districts. Linked Learning was initially designed as a strategy for high school transformation; however, the focus has shifted and now also includes system change at every level in public education, to include higher education and access to a full range of postsecondary opportunities. Also, my team is responsible for supporting the collaborative development of the fourth component of Linked Learning, Integrated Student Supports. We are also focused on the effective use of time (Expanded Learning Time) in alignment with implementing high quality and rigorous learning experiences beyond the classroom. Lastly, every aspect of my work is anchored in achieving institutional equity in the Linked Learning context that results in significant life-changing outcomes for students.

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Linked Learning's Aha MomentPosted on September 30, 2015 at 10:26pm by Gary Hoachlander

There’s nothing like an experiential site visit to give leaders and educators an aha moment when it comes to understanding the power of Linked Learning pathways.

We sponsored our first experiential site visit in February 2007 at Arthur A. Benjamin Health Professions High School in Sacramento. A group of about 100 policymakers, educators, and researchers “went to school,” experiencing first hand how high quality Linked Learning prepares young people for lasting success in both college and career. The day was so powerful that since then, in partnership with nine districts that made up the initial California Linked Learning District Initiative, we’ve helped sponsor dozens of additional visits.

I’m pleased to say that over the next six months, we have three site visits coming up.

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The Value of the Linked Learning CertificatePosted on September 30, 2015 at 5:02pm

“I saw the graduate certificate as a capstone, a tangible way to show my Linked Learning expertise,” says Tiffany Holliday, a recent graduate of San Diego State University’s (SDSU) Linked Learning Graduate Certificate program.

Dr. Nancy Farnan, the certificate program coordinator and creator, describes the program as "specifically designed to be in support of the Linked Learning field and the professionals within it." Dr. Farnan, Linked Learning champion and Interim Associate Dean of the College of Education, envisioned a program that served two needs -- the desire for Linked Learning practitioners to develop and expand their Linked Learning knowledge and the demand for individuals with high-level pathway expertise to work in the Linked Learning field.

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What did you learn this summer?Posted on August 28, 2015 at 5:04pm by Gary Hoachlander

What did you do this summer? When I was growing up, that was the standard question upon returning to school. Not anymore. If you are committed to Linked Learning, the relevant question is: What did you learn this summer?

This summer, I started to learn more from the young people on our staff at ConnectEd. So far, through “walk and talks,” informal two-mile strolls through the nearby Berkeley campus, I’ve listened to three young people on our staff  recount their “pathways” from high school through college to career.

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Beyond Gold Stars – Digital badges have potential inside and outside the classroomPosted on August 7, 2015 at 12:33am

In fifth grade, my teacher gave us gold stars for certain behaviors and actions. I loved to see gold stars accumulate next to my name. We would receive gold stars for perfect attendance and completing homework assignments. At the end of the month, students who finished in the top five received a reward. And the reward was always delicious. In today’s classroom there is a growing movement to bring back the best of “gold stars.” However, the concept has been reimagined by innovators as digital badges, which indicate a student’s accomplishments, completion of tasks, skills and interests in various learning environments.

We are bringing digital badges to ConnectEd Studios, our digital platform for students, teachers and district administrators because we see badging as a way to both incentivize a student’s performance and inform a teacher’s instruction. Ben Crosby, ConnectEd’s Senior Program Associate, is on the team that is designing digital badges. He explains, “For badges to be meaningful, they need to be tied to demonstrated competencies.” This means that I wouldn’t receive a badge for the action of completing my homework assignment. Rather I would earn one for showing that I understood and learned the material the assignment covered. Badging systems are meant to reward and celebrate when a student reaches learning outcomes or demonstrates a skill.

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Sneak Peek Into 100 LivesPosted on July 29, 2015 at 7:52pm by Gary Hoachlander

Gary Hoachlander

Think back to high school. How would you have answered, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Now ask yourself, how many opportunities did you have to go to workplaces and see what adults actually do?

For almost every middle and high school student, imagining possible career opportunities can be daunting. And think about the young people who are traditionally underserved, misunderstood and systematically denied the resources and opportunities that the more privileged among us experience. It’s even harder for them to know what possible career fields exist, and to see ways that those careers could align with their passions.

That’s why ConnectEd produces Day in the Life videos. In less than five minutes, these videos provide a window into the world of work, which for far too many young people seems foreign and inaccessible.

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How can new funds encourage CTE and academic collaboration?Posted on June 25, 2015 at 7:55pm by Gary Hoachlander

I am delighted that the Governor and the Legislature reached agreement on the 2015-16 budget, which will provide an additional $900 million for career and technical education (CTE). For the Linked Learning field, this is good news. CTE is a critical component of Linked Learning pathways preparing young people for both college and career.

But it’s not enough to have three or four great CTE courses. We have to make sure that the other twenty plus courses students take during high school are more engaging, and more strongly grounded in real-world application. And CTE courses need to interact with these academic classes in ways that are mutually reinforcing and that help students make strong connections between academic and technical expertise.

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