Maximizing Time, Not Wasting It: Effective Professional Development and Certifications

So many educators work tirelessly to maintain a direct, working knowledge of their content area and all its related current methodologies and practices through Professional Development and Certifications.  And, yet, so often, in order to do that very thing, an educator has to weed through so much that can feel like a waste of resources. Interestingly, in many ways the financial cost of Professional Development and Certifications is not the biggest issue or concern.  Rather, it is the cost with regard to time.

 

No one, generally, in any field, tends to feel that they have such an overabundance of time that they can waste it on things that will not be of direct benefit, but for educators, this issue is perhaps more pronounced then in others, because for Educators, Professional Development and Certifications are not just about them, they are very much about the future.

 

Certainly, all good Professional Development and Certifications, in all fields, can lead to more effective results, increasing a company’s bottom line, as it were, but in Education, there is something else too:  long term impact on the future, in a potentially massive way. In a way that could change the entire planet.

 

Sure, that sounds a bit overstated, but is it?  Think for a moment about what educators really do.  Regardless of content area, educators are training the future leaders of their communities.  Of the world. Literally.

 

Those methods that an educator learns to implement via Professional Development and Certifications, can be the catalyst for a major student breakthrough.  A change in the student’s perspective or process that leads them down a path that enables them to eventually take on and solve the problems of the world. Really.  How many times do world leaders, and leaders of every industry talk about a teacher they had at one point that made the difference for them? That inspired them? That helped them move forward on the path they would eventually dominate?  The answer is pretty much every one.

 

So, yes, Professional Development and Certifications can require some additional commitment, but they are more than worth it.  Not just to the educator, or the students, but, potentially to the entire world.

Richard Maxwell

The Need to be a 21st Century Learner

We live in a complex age. When looking at the calendar, it says we’re eighteen years past the millennium and yet so many 20th century attributes and practices are being desperately clung to. The world is changing so quickly around us and it seems each leaf on each branch of our world has to be connected to the online world. While nearly every part of our society is connected to the online world, it’s time to start letting our society transform to the online world. We live in a digital age with public schools that have one foot in the analog world. In a lot of ways public schools are simply reaching over the threshold, but have yet to set foot in the new dwelling of the online world. American brick and mortar schools have scratched the surface of what is possible in the digital world. Teachers have website and social media to related apps to keep students engaged but it’s simply scratching the surface. There are so many elements of brick and mortar schooling that cling to an old age where xeroxed copies are needed and the coffee mug of pencils always needs sharpening. It’s time to push these tools into the precipice and jump across that threshold into the new online world.

 

Imagine a world where the school bell never rang for the next class. Imagine a world where your educational limits were not confined by a shrinking education budget. Imagine if your educational spirit could flourished and was defined by what you wanted to accomplish not your surroundings. The age of online learning has just begun. At eighteen years into the new millenium, it’s time to take the step into the next dwelling. Physical worksheets, handouts and school supplies have no place here. Online school is where you want it to be. You could be confined to your home, in another country or traveling the world and still find a way to connect to an online school. Online school is on whatever device is easiest for you to use. Be it a laptop, smartphone or desktop computer, you can find a way to connect yourself to your success. Online school is the wherever you find focus and time for you to push yourself to the next level. You can choose the best environment and surrounding for your to succeed. It could be a quiet study room, a library, a coffee shop or enroute to your next destination. Online school is what you want it to be.

 

The benefits of online school are abundant and liberating when given the chance. Find your own pace and find your own way to succeed. Online 21st century learning is not about where you are, or where you come from; it’s about what you can accomplish at the tap of a keyboard and your own focus. Push yourself to finish your high school diploma faster than you would at a brick and mortar school. Fit in class time at your own structure and pace. Find accomplishment and success on your terms in your schedule. Online school may be that way to not just connect to the online world but transform the way we live into the online world.

Eric Luse

What will the world look like in 50 years?

What will the world look like in 50 years?

What problems are going to be on everyone’s mind in 50 years?  Will it be a pandemic? Will drought be the most pressing issue?  Climate Change? The point is, we do not know. There is no way to know what will happen in the future.  It may be all, or none, of these senarios, but the question to ask is, “What is my school doing to prepare me to deal with these eventualities?”  Is your school preparing you for the 21st century problems? Is it student centered? Is it creative? Does it allow you to be the best you can be, or does it have you asking “Why am I doing this,” on a daily basis?

When looking at schools, ask what they are doing to incorporate 21st century learning methods.  Is it an innovative place that allows you to think and create? Is it collaborative and requires you to communicate with others?  In short, is it a 21st century education?

If the answer is no, consider looking for a new place.  The changing world will be defined by students who can think, not by those who can quietly fill out a worksheet.  Preparing yourself for the changing world requires a 21st century education. Ask your school what their plan is to provide it, or venture out and find your own way.  The future belongs to the brave thinkers that challenge everyday concepts. Reach for greatness through a 21st century education.

Shawn Huffman

Director of Curriculum and Innovation.

Technology role in 21st Century Learning

Students used to ask the question of how the material was relevant to their lives.  The more and more I heard this question, the more it made me ask myself the same. What I discovered was that education had not changed in the last 200 years, but the world was changing rapidly.  How were my students being served by the traditional classroom for their future in the 21st century. My conclusion was that they were not being well prepared. 21st century education is about preparing students for a world which does not exist, yet.  We cannot do that by focusing on the details of what they do not know. We must, rather, focus on the how to gain that information and the ability to think through the information. Technology allows students to access any piece of information at any time.  This means that we no longer need to focus on the stuff, but rather on the ability to learn information when it is relevant to them. 21st century education is really about teaching our students to think for themselves.

Ron Oliver of Edith Cowan University in Perth, Australia examines the role of technology in his article “The role of ICT in higher education for the 21st century: ICT as a change agent for education.”  With the available technology, 21st century skills can reach any student, anywhere in the world.  This means that students are no longer limited by the area of their birth, they can receive a high quality, 21st century education anywhere in the world and at any time!

The problems of our world require us to leverage all of human genius.  Famine, drought, disease, poverty are all problems that we need to solve in the 21st century, but we cannot do that if most of our students are not taught in the 21st century education model and if we continue to marginalize most of the world’s population.  21st century education is about all students, regardless of where they reside, learning to think, communicate, and collaborate our way to a better world. Stay tuned!

Shawn Huffman

iAM Global Education, Director of Curriculum and Innovation

Pathway to Citizenship/Immigration

 

iAM Global Education®: Making the world a better place through education.

Let us assist you through the complex U.S. Citizenship process with our Pathways to Citizenship course guide, a comprehensive, online, regularly updated study guide to help you prepare for the United States citizenship process, all from the comfort of your computer, or mobile device, anywhere in the world. Understanding the process is your first step towards success for U.S. Citizenship.

Merit-based immigration system is a hot topic when referring to the U.S. Citizenship process. Let’s be clear, if any changes within the immigration process do occur, it won’t happen within the next 5 years. Of course, this time span could be even longer depending on if, and when, the new Merit-based immigration system is passed into law. By that time, you may have already have obtained your U.S. Citizenship if your start the process now. iAM Global Education® can help you get started.

 A “green card” or visa is the initial step of the process to pursuing U.S. Citizenship.  A “green card,” or permanent residence card, can be obtained through the USCIS office.  The green card will be the first step, even if a new, merit based law goes into effect.  The U.S. Merit-based visa system is currently U.S. Senate bill that will assess an applicant’s skills, age, education, work history, ties to the U.S., knowledge of the English language, business and community service activities, nationality, etc. (https://qz.com/1049331/merit-based-immigration-where-could-you-move/) U.S. Merit-based immigration system is not currently a law. If it becomes a law, it will take at least 5 years to go into effect.

Start your U.S. Citizenship process now with iAM Global Education®: Click on our website www.iamglobaleducation.comto enroll in your online guide and begin your U.S. Citizenship journey without delay today!  iAM Global Education wants to make your world a better place through education.

Jeannine Woolsey, iAM Global Education, Director of Strategic Initiatives

21st Century Classrooms

21st Century Blog for 7/19/18

As educators, we are preparing students for careers that don’t even exist today. So, what steps should you take to become a 21st Century educator and gain the skills you will need to make a difference for your students?  Teacher Thought organization tells us there are 4 essential rules of 21st Century learning classrooms (https://www.teachthought.com/learning/4-essential-rules-of-21st-century-learning/), but truly creating 21st Century learning environments takes strategic planning and professional development. Get started today and transform your learning environments into 21st Century learning classrooms. iAM Global Education® can provide you and your entire school with comprehensive training via online classes, webinars, and/or face-to-face workshops anywhere around the world. Meet our 21st Century learning expert team and champions that will guide you to transform your traditional learning environments into 21st Century classrooms. Be a 21st Century Educator starting today!  iAM Global Education will guide you every step of the way. Check out www.iamglobaleducation.com and learn more how to begin your 21st Century classroom transformation.  iAM Global Education: Making the World a Better Place through Education.   

– Jeannine Woolsey

Accessing Education: Why An Online School May Be Right For You

There are so many reasons why an online school makes sense for so many students and families, and some are more obvious than others, but all have at least one thing in common: an online school provides better access to educational resources.

Certainly, the benefits of technology use, in an online school, for students, as they prepare to enter into an ever changing professional landscape, cannot be overstated. Training students to work effectively, collaboratively, and safely, with the tools they will be using after graduation is vital to their education, and an online school can provide that training in a most effective and efficient way(see: http://www.gettingsmart.com/2015/11/the-shift-to-digital-learning-10-benefits/); but there are some other key benefits to an online school that sometimes don’t make their way into the conversation.

Amongst all of these is how an online school can provide access.  Many times we take access for granted in education. A student shows up to a school and gains access to that institution’s resources of teachers and equipment and other elements, simply by being “in the room.”  All well and good, but what about students who live in areas where that kind of access is simply not possible, due to the realities of finances, community infrastructure, or even the student’s physical limitations?

One commonality, between brick-and-mortar and online schools, is that specialized programs, critical in today’s education landscape, require specialized tools. And specialized teachers, for that matter. But these specialized resources are not always easily accessed for any number of reasons.  Certainly in the more traditional brick-and-mortar setting.

Should a gifted student, who lives hundreds, if not thousands of miles away from a particular education opportunity, not have the ability to take advantage of that opportunity, simply because of their location?  Something likely well beyond the student’s control. An online school can make distance essentially irrelevant.

Or what about the student who has an incredible intelligence, but is confined to a bed, making it impossible for them to attend a brick-and-mortar school?  Again, an online school can make this potentially severe limitation irrelevant.

There are, of course, any number of other examples, surely enough to fill pages here, but the bigger point is that an online school can be the key to ensuring that any student, anywhere, regardless of their circumstance, does not need to be limited in terms of educational opportunities.

-Richard Maxwell