DOOM AND GLOOM!!!

You may feel all is lost when you turn on the nightly news. Shootings, race relations, terror attacks, climate change, and mud-slinging in politics are typically what you see within the first 5 minutes of turning on the television or reading feeds in your social media accounts. How can you tie these current event issues to the content covered in the High School Equivelancy exams? After all, the first question a student may ask is, “Do I really need to know this for the test?”   Well, I’m glad you asked that question, my friend. Let’s just take a look at the items I mentioned above and get ready for News Engagement Day on October 4th and discuss why the news matters when preparing students for their future.

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Pokémon GO as GED(r) Prep?

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By Guest Blogger: Brandon John

If you haven’t heard yet, you probably will very soon about a game called Pokémon Go. Maybe Pokémon is familiar to you from the animated series that started in the 1990’s. Maybe because you watched it yourself, or had to endure it with your children. Well, it has made a comeback in the form of an augmented reality game for iOS and Android devices. Although you may not have realized it you have probably seen people playing this game. It usually takes the form of someone walking along with their face planted in their smart phone – (I know you are thinking this is nothing new) but the smart phone app was just released in the U.S. on Thursday July 7, 2016 and has more users than Snap Chat, Tinder, and Instagram. Viral videos can be a positive force in connecting real world issues in the classrom, and now this game is a viral powerhouse. So how can GED students benefit from playing Pokémon Go?

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Why Should You Listen to Podcasts?

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Podcasts are a ticket to hundreds of hours of quality education. They connect us to current events, pop culture, science, history, and so much more. Podcast are convenient because they are automatically delivered to you…. FREE! With thousands of podcasts to sift through, we identified fourteen of the best and relevant podcasts in pop culture, history, and science.

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Is Grit the Golden Ticket?

Screen Shot 2016-01-08 at 2.02.20 PM.pngDeveloping grit in students appears to be the golden ticket to higher retention and increased student goal attainment.

As we welcome the new semester of 2016, adult education programs enter the new semester with classes full of excited students only to find participation dwindling by mid-February. Grit and the idea of helping students build resiliency sounds like the ideal answer.

Role models and road maps are incredibly important. Helping students become aware of the ‘soft-skills’ needed to be successful in school or the workplace certainly has value in the teaching / learning environment. This is why grit is so widely accepted as the solution. The Grit Scales created by Angela Duckworth turns non-cognitive skills into measurable and teachable outcomes. However, while grit and an open mindset can be a starting point for student / teacher conversations, these ideas do not convey the students’ entire story. Grit fails to take into consideration social, economic, and racial injustice often experineced by students marganized in society.

Grit and an open mindset are not the solution to student retention. Teaching strategies related to perseverance can lead to some positive outcomes. The reality of student motivation, perseverance, and goal achievement is a complex combination of grit, emotion, environment, and social justice.

There is no single solution to student retention. Understanding the role of grit and the deliberate development of an open mindest only work when combined with relevant instructionand and advocacy for social justice and an absense of ‘victim blaming’ for students’ who lack the qualities identified as valuable in the grit scale and open mindset.

What does College and Career Readiness instruction really look like?

Screen Shot 2015-08-14 at 11.47.11 AMAdult education is undergoing major changes as programs begin to implement the Workforce Innovation and Opportunities Act, commonly referred to as WIOA. While attainment of a High School Equivalency Certificate, HSE, is considered an achievement, the goal is to equip students with a solid academic foundation and the soft skills necessary for college and career success. Because these are very broad ideas, many teachers wonder what this preparation look like in the classroom?

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