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Another Look at the Mooresville Story – Connecting the Millennials

On July 19th, the Mooresville Graded School District in North Carolina will be hosting a 3-day symposium called “Summer Connections 2011”.  The training program will detail how Mooresville took a technology initiative four years ago and transformed itself into one of the largest success stories in USA K12 public education today. The symposium will bring together superintendents, administrators, technicians, teachers – and millennial students – all interested in learning the Mooresville recipe, and how to bring that back to their home districts.

What is the story? It’s simple, really. Two points – 1. Test score changes over the four-year period have been profound – proving the technology initiative was wildly successful, and 2. It’s a district-wide success  story – all 8 schools have seen a significant rise in test scores. Not just a high school here or intermediate school there.  Since 2007, Mooresville district-wide dropout rates are down 20%; at the Mooresville High School graduation rates are up from 64% to 86%; District North Carolina composite scores are up from 73% to 86% in 2010, with the District arcing toward 90% in 2011. It’s now the 4th highest achieving school district in North Carolina, even though it ranks 99th out of the 115 state districts in school funding.

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The Massive Workforce Shift: Bridging the Gap Between Millennials and Boomers

As 80 million Baby Boomers shift into retirement, 80 million Millennials (born 1980-95) take center stage as our next-generation workforce.  This massive shift is changing the way work gets done as this new cohort brings a different mindset with expectations for a different work environment than the one know and loved by Traditionalists, Baby Boomers, and Gen Xers.

While the recession is shaping the Millennial attitude, a recent study commissioned by the Career Advisory Board1 indicated that “both Millennials and their managers agree on the strengths (e.g. digital comfort) and weaknesses (e.g. impatience with established processes) of the younger generation…Millennials will manage their careers by pursuing advanced education, changing professions and work situations, and overcoming unique challenges associated with the 21st century workplace.”

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Humanizing Education Through Video

What if Isaac Newton had owned a video camera? Suspend your disbelief a little more … what if he used that camera to record himself teaching calculus lessons and then posted those lessons on YouTube?

Well, if Newton had done these things, then Salman Khan “wouldn’t have to,” as Khan said in a March TED Talk. Since Newton pre-dated the digital era, Khan took it upon himself to fill the gap with his brainchild, Khan Academy, the world’s first video-based virtual school.

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Filling the Void: School Districts Embrace Telepresence to Save Money and Share Resources

With budgets tighter than ever, school administrators are finding new ways to collaborate with other schools and districts hundreds of miles away.  Instead of spending money on flights and hotels to travel across the state and share best practices with others in their field, teachers, principals and superintendents in several California schools are now using telepresence to get that same face-to-face interaction without leaving town.

Fontana Unified School District (FUSD) in Southern California, for example, is a huge district – 41,000 students at 40 schools across 25 miles. FUSD is the latest school district to incorporate telepresence in order to offer their students the best programs possible — and not only prepare them for college, but also prepare them for the real world.  In such a large district, telepresence is a vehicle that allows the district to offer the same opportunities to every student at every school, and save time and money because administrators don’t have to travel across town for meetings.

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Telepresence Launches Australian Students into Space

You heard it here first: a new space race has begun. Alright, maybe it’s more accurate to say it very well could begin, thanks to Australia’s new Pathways to Space program.

Hosted by the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney, the initiative aims to enhance Australia’s engineering and science education. Pathways to Space gives secondary school students the chance to develop space robotics and search for life on Mars. And, with telepresence, even students living deep in the outback can participate.

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