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ConnectEd Blog

Team ConnectEd presents the following sessions at the 2015 Linked Learning ConventionPosted on December 20, 2014 at 12:38am

We are pleased to be a co-host of the upcoming Linked Learning Convention, held from January 12 – 14 in Los Angeles and organized by the Linked Learning Alliance. ConnectEd team members will be presenting a total of 15 sessions, listed below.  We will also serve as a host during the UnConference Café on both Monday and Tuesday afternoons.  To register, click

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Enhancing STEM with Linked LearningPosted on December 20, 2014 at 12:36am by Gary Hoachlander

Gary HoachlanderHow does Linked Learning enhance the teaching of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math? I recently addressed that question in an article for the December issue of Educational Leadership. Too often, STEM is isolated from the rest of the curriculum, which is a loss for students. So it’s heartening to see how schools are using Linked Learning to connect STEM to English, social studies, and even world languages.

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Day in the Life: Wedding Dress DesignerPosted on November 18, 2014 at 11:04pm

When you were a kid thinking about your future, what did you dream of doing? Did that dream come true? Are you still pursuing that dream?  

Trish Lee is a San Francisco-based wedding dress designer who pursued her childhood dream. Discovering her love for design at a young age, she took after her mother, and began designing and sewing her own dresses to wear. Over the years, Trish has had work featured on HBO's Looking, California Style, Style Me Pretty, Seven by Seven magazine, and in the San Francisco Chronicle.

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Oakland Passes Funding Measure for Linked LearningPosted on November 7, 2014 at 11:29pm by Anne Stanton, The James Irvine Foundation

In the midst of all the noise and spin about this week’s election results, I want to make sure you are aware of a very major victory for the Linked Learning field — the passage, by a two-thirds majority, of Measure N in Oakland! Measure N will generate $13 million a year for Oakland public schools, which will be used to expand Linked Learning to every high school in the district, and to open up postsecondary pathways for students.

Measure N, also known as the Oakland College and Career Readiness for All Act, was placed on the ballot by the Oakland Unified School District’s Board of Education and allows the District to collect a parcel tax of $120 on each individual parcel within the District's boundaries.

To read more on how the funds will be used, visit the James Irvine Foundation blog post.

(photo provided by the Linked Learning Alliance)

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Taking a Look at Switzerland’s Work-Based Learning ProgramsPosted on October 31, 2014 at 5:01pm by Gary Hoachlander

In October, I had the opportunity to travel to Switzerland, a country that is widely praised for its high quality technical teaching, as well as its apprenticeship programs, and observe how they prepare young people for college and career. I wanted to see, hear, and touch their programs, people and products.  Why? Because as you know, when you’re engaged in transformational change, it’s critical to experience first hand the kinds of improvements you’re trying to make happen. While it’s true that ideal wholesale reform won’t exist in its entirety in any one place, there will be elements that can be reflected upon, learned from, and where appropriate, adapted.

I’m still reflecting on what I saw in Switzerland that we could incorporate in Linked Learning in the United States, but I’d like to share one element that impressed me greatly: Switzerland’s long standing system of youth apprenticeship, an approach that makes high skill and high wage employment accessible to very large percentages of the country’s young people.

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Integrating Linked Learning within a School DayPosted on October 31, 2014 at 5:00pm

It can be challenging for school districts to figure out how to integrate all four components of Linked Learning within the traditional six-period school day. Being able to provide academic rigor, technical training, work-based learning experiences and student support services requires adjustments. One solution that administrators and partners have come up with is to change the way they think of time available for learning. They have realized that to best serve students’ needs, learning and teaching structures have to extend beyond the time spent within the four walls of a classroom.

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Working to Revitalize Civic Education in CaliforniaPosted on October 16, 2014 at 7:07pm by Jennifer Wolfe and Penni Hudis

Earlier this fall, the California K-12 Civic Learning Taskforce released a report Revitalizing K-12 Civic Learning in Californiademonstrating the urgent need to revitalize civic learning in California. California Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye and State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson established the Taskforce to explore and elevate the status of civic learning and engagement in California.

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Linked Learning in Porterville Gains National AttentionPosted on October 10, 2014 at 9:30pm by Gary Hoachlander

Dear colleagues,

What a thrill to visit Porterville Unified School District (PUSD) last week. I was joined by US Department of Education Assistant Secretary Deborah Delisle, Former W. Virginia Governor Bob Wise and his colleagues from the Alliance for Excellent Education, as well as other representatives from the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Congress. We visited two high schools in Porterville to get a firsthand look at Linked Learning, a powerful approach to redesigning high schools so that students are college and career ready.

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Welcome Aboard!Posted on September 29, 2014 at 8:54pm

The Linked Learning field is growing. Thanks to the grants awarded through the California Pathways Trust Initiative, more school districts will be exploring and implementing Linked Learning. To support the school districts that already have Linked Learning as well as the ones that will be implementing Linked Learning, we’ve added new faces to our team. Read why they are excited to be at ConnectEd.

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2Changing Teacher Preparation for California’s Changing Secondary SchoolsPosted on September 9, 2014 at 6:26pm by Nancy Farnan, Penni Hudis, and Arlene LaPlante

We are thrilled that the California State University (CSU) Chancellor's Office, in partnership with CSU Long Beach and with support from the James Irvine Foundation, continues to embrace the key role of Linked Learning in raising the academic achievement of California high school students. For Linked Learning to truly take root and flourish in our state, teachers must receive high-quality training in the unique aspects of Linked Learning instruction that are central to student success. For example, Linked Learning teachers partner with industry professionals to create outcomes-focused, work-based learning experiences; and they design career-themed lessons and performance assessments through which students demonstrate readiness for college and career success in authentic situations. These are learning and teaching skills that are not part of typical teacher preparation programs.

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