April 2020 Newsletter
This Month’s Top Standards News and Trends
We know Standards
With the onset of COVID-19 EdGate has seen a surge in online courses being created as publishers focus on helping teachers reach students remotely for the next 6-12 months or beyond. During this rush we’ve worked to be flexible and agile, offering services that complement and logically fit our role as experts in the field of educational standards. A case in point: EdGate is busily writing lessons for those publishers who need additional content to meet the influx of remote learners, teachers and parents looking for content. Contact us to learn how can we help your company reach students.
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The Comprehensive Learner Record (CLR) is a digital record of a student’s knowledge and accomplishments. The CLR does not replace the traditional academic transcript, but is more useful for students and employers because it documents more than just credits earned. A CLR can include learning experiences and achievements including courses, competencies, skills, co-curricular achievements, prior learning, internships and experiential learning. The digital record will show a complete picture of what the learner has already accomplished and what they are capable of. CLRs are helping drive an important shift in recordkeeping at colleges and universities.
The IMS Global Comprehensive Learner Record effort is a specification designed to create, transmit, and render an individual's set of achievements, as issued by multiple learning providers, in a machine-readable format that can be curated into verifiable digital records of achievement. Per IMS Global, the CLR data design supports formal and informal learning from K-20 and into employment, in a web-ready linked-data document. The CLR data model supports many types of learning experiences. Its support for JSON-LD means that Comprehensive Learner Records are compatible with the structured data ecosystem of digital credentials.
CLRs help provide students metacognitive knowledge about themselves in order to focus on important gaps in their educational and career goals. Transparency and standardization of the CLR gives employers a better understanding of the skills that learners present when they apply for employment. As explained by EDUCAUSE, by helping higher education focus on skills, competencies, and learning outcomes versus classes taken and grades, "the CLR will enhance integration between what colleges teach, what learners learn and what capacities they master, and what abilities employers can expect when they hire learners with particular experience and credentials."
By: Alex Alo
With schools closed due to Covid-19, students have had to go online to continue their education, but the majority of institutions in America are simply unprepared to handle this new way of learning. According to Emily Feistritzer, in her article, “Online learning: crisis and opportunity,” she says that online instruction can be frustrating for students and parents alike. However, she says most teachers have never had training on online instruction. She goes on to say that our schools have not made the effort to move into the information age. She believes, “There is no excuse for failing to connect in-classroom learning to the limitless possibilities of the Internet.” She gives an excellent example showing the difference between traditional and online learning. In a biology class, Feistritzer says, a student would be required to dissect a real frog in order to study its innards. But, she says, “they can Google “what’s inside of a frog?” and get 23.7 million results — complete with photos, labels and YouTube videos.” She concludes, “It shouldn’t take a worldwide pandemic to teach our instructors to integrate rich educational content into remote instruction.”
Ryan Craig, in his article, “What Students Are Doing Is Remote Learning, Not Online Learning. There’s a Difference,” says that the World Economic Forum sees the Covid-19 as a “’catalyst’ that could finally change ‘centuries-old, lecture-based approaches to teaching, entrenched institutional biases, and outmoded classrooms.’” The author clearly believes online learning can be effective, but he mentions some of the problems that have to be addressed: distractions from family members and pets, “Zoombombing” content and studies that indicate that online courses generally have low completion rates. He believes that remote learning needs to be improved by incorporating the principles of instructional design that are used in well-designed online courses. These principles include using current world topics, having well organized easily navigated material, encouraging research and original thinking instead of memorization and finally, answering the question, “what’s in it for me.” These principles have been set down by Nathan Ecelbarger, founder and CEO of FLG (Freedom Learning Group). Although Craig, as managing Director at University Ventures and author of “College Disrupted,” focuses on higher education, much of what he discusses is highly appropriate to students of all ages.
As the realities of this pandemic set in, we expect to see a considerable uptick in online courses and learning opportunities being created for students of all ages.
By: Nancy Rubesch
Over the course of the past 30 days, at least here in the state of Washington, educators and parents alike have been tirelessly working through the growing pains of converting to a virtual classroom environment. Ensuring students and teachers have both the technology and resources to accommodate online learning have been the top priorities for schools and districts all over the country.
Most classrooms provided some form of online instruction prior to COVID-19 however, the nationwide school closures have created gaps in the migration to remote learning. EdGate's Curriculum Matrix was created over two decades ago as a much needed resource for educators to easily access standards-aligned educational resources. It has since grown to a repository of over 500,000 grade-specific, standards-aligned OER and free resources. The Curriculum Matrix Resources:
- are aligned to state standards;
- cover the core subject areas as well as Arts, Technology, Health & PE, and World Languages;
- are vetted for quality;
- include activities, articles, assessments questions, courses, interactive exercises, labs, lesson plans, teacher's guides, tutorials, worksheets, and more!
These resources can be used to quickly fill the gaps for both educators and parents whose students are now being homeschooled for the unforeseeable future. If you would like to learn more about leveraging these resources please reach out to our Account Executives for more information.
By: Heather Hawthorne
Curriculum Grants and Funding
In this section of the EdGate Observer we point our clients to news about districts, states, etc. that may have available funding for curriculum.
This month we highlight two grants and awards:
- Worcester State University awarded $484,130 in grants to enhance digital learning
- US Department of Education awards $65 Million to Create and Expand Public Charter Schools
Updates to The EdGate Standards Repository include:
- Florida B.E.S.T. Mathematics (2020/2022) Mathematics (AD 2020) Grades K-12,K,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9-12
- Montana Arts Education (AD 2016) Grades K,1,2,3,4,5,6-8,9-12
- Utah Arts Education (AD 2016) Grades K,1,2,3,4,5,6,7-8,9-12
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