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CK-12 Aids in Competency-Based Virtual School

Michele Eaton CK-12

Guest blogger, Michele Eaton is the Virtual Education Specialist for the MSD of Wayne Township in Indianapolis, Indiana.  She focuses on staff and curriculum development for the district's virtual school and blended initiatives.  Michele is on the board of the Indiana Computer Educators organization, on the leadership team for the ISTE SIGOL group, and a CK-12 Champion.  Follow her on Twitter @lyonmi and on her blog.

Achieve Virtual Education Academy is a public virtual high school in Indianapolis, Indiana.  Achieve Virtual is a full time high school for several students and is the source of supplementary coursework for students around the state that need to recover credits or need access to classes not offered in their district such as AP or dual credit courses.  Virtual schools provide an alternate pathway to success for many students.  

Why Should Students Show Up to Class?


Will Lester graduated from Arizona State University with a degree in Secondary Education. He enjoys writing about current trends and innovations in education, leadership and traveling. He is currently an Outdoor Education teacher in Europe and has spent that past two years traveling around the world teaching multiple different subjects. He is currently looking at going back to school and acquiring his masters in Educational Leadership.

Where do you get your information on content or ideas that you present in the classroom?  Some of you educators may say the classroom text book, most of you may be experts on the topic, and few of you will say outside resources that aren’t technology based.  Most of you may be putting together PowerPoint presentations or implementing some sort of slideshow or classroom discussion into your lesson planning.  The online classroom is full of presentations, videos and discussions with the help of companies like Khan Academy and 2U that actually allow you to have virtual face to face exchanges.  So, why should students continue to show up to class when they can learn and gain human interaction online?


Online Tutoring: The Learn-by-Helping Model

STEM learning by helping - JJ

Today's guest blog post is written by JJ Echaniz. JJ is currently a sophomore at Yale University where he is majoring in both Economics and Political Science. JJ is a co-founder of Forward Tutoring, an organization that provides free, one-on-one tutoring to students online through an interactive tutoring platform. JJ hopes to continue using his perspective as a student in an effort to leverage technology in education.

Teaching is the ultimate manifestation of learning. As a sophomore in college, I know I’m truly prepared for an exam (and finally ready to sleep) when I can teach the material to my roommate. As I explain an economics concept to David, my suitemate, I not only help him but I also deepen my own understanding. A true win-win.

In Support of Student Owned Technology in the Classroom

Jeannie Galindo
Today's guest blog post comes to us from Jeannie Galindo. Jeannie has served public education in the state of Florida for twenty-three years as a classroom teacher and administrator. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in History from Converse College in Spartanburg, SC and a Master’s Degree in the Administration of Educational Programs from Nova Southeastern University in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. Certifications from the State of Florida include Secondary Social Studies and School Principal. National Board Certification was achieved in Adolescence and Young Adulthood Social Studies - History.

Should students be able to use their own technology in the classroom?


The Rise of Digital Textbooks and OER

Donald Watkins OER

Today's guest post is written by Donald Watkins. Donald is a recently retired technology director at a PK-12 public school in Western New York. He is an open source advocate, PC/Mac user, iPad user, blogger, small business owner, forming a non-profit entity to help at risk students

Digital textbooks have become ubiquitous in all but K-12 schools in recent memory. Daily we read of more and more traditional media outlets either going out of business or discontinuing their print editions.

The proliferation of iPads and other handheld computing devices like the Google Nexus, Chromebook and others have schools and business officials scurrying to find textbooks th at fit on this rapidly emerging platform.

A quick scan of the educational technology landscape reveals a variety of formats and scale of costs some of which are not conducive to equipping students with digital textbooks. In New York State, public schools receive $58.25 per pupil for textbook aid. Given the price of most textbooks that figure is extremely low. Nonetheless a school with 700 students can expect to receive 700 x $58.25 or $40,775 per year at current rates for textbook aid.

Research and the pace of change mean that textbooks in some disciplines are become rapidly outdated. How can a school with moderate or declining aid from national, state and local sources keep their students up to date and adequately prepared while still leveraging mobile educational technology?

How I Use CK-12 in my Algebra 1 Classroom

Lea Ann Smith STEM

Today's guest blog post comes to us from CK-12 user, Lea Ann Smith. Lea has been teaching math for 14 years at Essex High School in Essex Junction, VT.  This year, she is teaching Algebra 1 and  is the leader of their new STEM Academy. Prior to becoming a teacher, she was a process engineer in the semiconductor industry.

I'm using CK-12 resources extensively in my high school algebra 1 class.  I think students should be able to access to educational materials online in the same way that they access so many other things that are important to them.  I am combining  24/7 online access with a Standards Based Grading system that gives students control of their own learning in a way that I hope will be powerful.  CK-12 is an important piece of this puzzle, I am using several of their products in my class this year.  

Top 10 STEM Resources

engineering resources

Today's guest blog post comes from CK-12 userSandra Miller. Sandra is freelance short story author and graduate of Literature from NYU, where she wrote for the students journal and tutored students in writing. She recommends authors use professional editing services Help.Plagtracker. Now she is writing her first YA novel.

In this article, I will present you the top ten STEM resources for preK-12.

Curriculum Resources


Kristan takes CK-12 FlexBooks to Africa

Kristen Bakker CK-12

Today's post comes to us from Kristan Bakker. Kristan is presently a consultant in sustainable international development specializing in education, empowerment of girls, and prevention of violence of against women and girls. Kristan has worked on access to educational resources and technology in schools in South Africa, Uganda, and Tanzania. She lives in Deerfield, Massachusetts.

This post is a collection of serveral journal entries from Kristan's trip to Africa.

Kristan's Project

I am committed to providing access to quality education to marginalized children in the developing world because access to such education can have far reaching effects enabling students to be innovators, job creators, managers, and leaders in their country.  Education for girls especially has been shown to delay early marriage, teenage pregnancy, and increase women’s participation in the formal workforce.  Once employed, women have fewer children and invest their income in the family which means better nutrition, housing, and education for their children. In essence, I see education as key to ending poverty.


The Debate over the Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards

Adam Ck-12

Today's guest blog post comes from Adam Mansour. Adam is a student at the University of California, Berkeley and is also currently a summer intern at CK-12 working on standards correlation. He is working to align the content CK-12 publishes to states' education standards.

In reading about the Common Core State Standards for Math and English Language Arts and the Next Generation Science Standards it is clear that there are no two defined groups of support and opposition to the implementation of the new policies. Initially, it is important to clarify that the intention of these two initiatives are to prepare all American students for college and future careers and that the standards have not been proposed or endorsed by the federal government. They are not curricula, but rather they are sets of expectations of students’ performance following each year of K-8 instruction and four years of high school. As a result, a new approach to the implementation of education standards across state lines has led to debate over the true effects the policies will have on education systems throughout the United States. Currently, 45 states, the District of Columbia, the Department of Defense Education Activity, and some Pacific territories have adopted and are implementing the Common Core, which was finalized in June 2010; meanwhile, 26 states have adopted the NGSS, which was finalized this spring.

How to Choose a Camp for Learning this Summer

STEM education

Today's post comes from Jimmy Sorensen, an aficionado of summer camps who regularly writes about the benefits of summer camps for kids and teens. If you are planning to send your kid to a summer camps but have queries in mind, follow Jimmy on Twitter @jimmy_sorensen

There is something magical about the warm summer weather, flowering blooms and elongated days that makes most of the stay-at-home as well as working moms think about the summer camps. Instead of having the kids sitting at home, watching TV, playing video games and eating junk food all day long, parents usually prefer to see them active and learning in a fun, friendly and safe interactive learning environment.

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