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Online PD features innovative programming & practices

ACTE offer several online professional development opportunities:

  • ACTE’s webinars happen twice monthly. They cover best practices in CTE and are free to everyone. Topics include Equity Through Remote Learning and Making Work-based Learning Meaningful.
  • The CTE Learn online network includes 150+ credit courses. Stay up-to-date with your professional development.
  • Xello and ACTE produce a student career development series. Publication briefs, online lessons and webinars explore topics within ACTE’s High-quality CTE Program of Study: Student Career Development.

Learn more

CALL FOR PROPOSALS EXTENDED: Best Practices & Innovations

The call for presentation proposals is now open! The Best Practices and Innovations in Career and Technical Education Conference, hosted by the ACTE Administration Division and the National Council of Local Administrators, will occur Sept. 29–Oct. 1 in Austin, Texas. Professional development at Best Practices benefits secondary and postsecondary CTE administrators alike.

Submit proposals by April 5. Learn more

Capture student skills with e-portfolios

Welcome to our new series, COVID-19 Innovations. Here, we chronicle the innovative ways that career and technical educators continue to engage students as lifelong learners and prepare them for rewarding careers, even as the COVID-19 pandemic has upended the 2020–21 school year.

During COVID-19, Rachel Conover of Indian Valley Vocational Center in Sandwich, Illinois, has provided her students with choices. Conover’s culinary arts students demonstrated learning in various ways, including videos, photos and written reflections, using CTEfolio.

Brockton and Somerville school districts in Massachusetts are also piloting CTEfolio. This image shows one of many customizable challenges for Somerville students.

Documenting skills digitally

CTEfolio presents a digital portfolio of student knowledge, skills and experiences. Developed by CAST, a nonprofit education research and development organization, CTEfolio aligns with the principles of Universal Design for Learning (UDL). UDL is a framework for designing accessible and rigorous learning environments for all.

Through CTEfolio, students curate evidence that demonstrates their learning in one central location. Conover offers feedback directly on student work, and students make improvements based on her input. Learners have access to CTEfolio for five years after graduation, and employers can gain access to see evidence of student competencies.

Supporting students with disabilities

Tools like CTEfolio are particularly useful for learners with individualized education plans, Conover said. Students with disabilities can struggle to effectively navigate multiple digital platforms. She described how digital portfolios help students that struggle with verbal communication, memory, anxiety and organizational skills. In CTEfolio, students learn how to assemble and display learning and skills to instructors and potential employers. Built-in accessibility features — text-to-speech, speech-to-text, dictionary and translation — help achieve this goal.

Do you have a COVID-19 innovation to share?

ACTE wants to hear about the innovative ways you are coping with the impact of the pandemic on CTE and career development. Please fill out this short form, and you could be featured in this series. For additional ideas on remote, blended and socially distanced in-person learning for CTE, check out ACTE’s comprehensive guide High-quality CTE: Planning for a COVID-19-impacted School Year and CTE distance learning lesson plan resources.

CTE students promote mask wearing

Welcome to our new series, COVID-19 Innovations. Here, we chronicle the innovative ways that career and technical educators continue to engage students as lifelong learners and prepare them for rewarding careers, even as the COVID-19 pandemic has upended the 2020–21 school year.

Instructors at Nassau Technical Career Center (NTCC) — a shared-time center that offers career and technical education (CTE) programming for learners in grades 9-12 on the campus of Florida State College of Jacksonville in Yulee, Florida — faced many challenges in fall 2020. Among them was getting students to wear face masks properly. Teachers shared that instructional time was being used to enforce mask-wearing policies.

Design and development

NTCC’s entrepreneurship and marketing teacher partnered with digital media teachers in Nassau County to promote proper mask wearing.

Entrepreneurship and marketing students researched successful business slogans and developed key phrases to promote proper face mask usage. Digital media learners studied graphic design principles and used Adobe software to design posters and flyers. Upon receiving finished artwork, the entrepreneurship and marketing students assisted with the printing and distribution of campaign materials.

A sense of ownership

Now more students across the district are aware of the importance of proper mask wearing. In addition, the learners that actively participated in the campaign have a sense of ownership and pride. Now, they advocate for proper masking.

Do you have a COVID-19 innovation to share?

ACTE wants to hear about the innovative ways you are coping with the impact of the pandemic on CTE and career development. Please fill out this short form, and you could be featured in this series. For additional ideas on remote, blended and socially distanced in-person learning for CTE, check out ACTE’s comprehensive guide High-quality CTE: Planning for a COVID-19-impacted School Year and CTE distance learning lesson plan resources.

Students practice hands-on skills outside

Welcome to our new series, COVID-19 Innovations. Here, we chronicle the innovative ways that career and technical educators continue to engage students as lifelong learners and prepare them for rewarding careers, even as the COVID-19 pandemic has upended the 2020–21 school year.

Career and technical educators have shown creativity and flexibility in the face of campus closures and social distancing requirements. In fall 2020, the career and technical education (CTE) department at Rockbridge County High School (RCHS), in Virginia, collaborated to provide students, as much as possible, with a genuine CTE experience. RCHS faculty supplemented virtual instruction with an outdoor CTE classroom along with prepackaged materials for hands-on practice.

Open-air learning

While RCHS delivered most instruction remotely, students in certain CTE programs could sign up to work one-on-one with their instructor: automotive technology and auto body, building trades and construction technology, manufacturing and electronics. In addition, aerospace technology students flew drones. Family and consumer sciences learners carved pumpkins.

The outdoor, socially distanced setup enabled students to complete performance assessments and check off competencies. Those learners who chose not to participate in the open-air classroom participated in virtual learning and assessment.

To comply with safety regulations, learners completed health screenings and had their temperatures taken at check-in. All students and instructors wore masks at all times. Workstations were sanitized after each use, and some learners also wore gloves.

Going mobile

Throughout the fall, educators worked to ensure that all learners who chose to participate in the outdoor classroom had transportation. RCHS hoped to take the classroom mobile, traveling to locations around the community with equipment loaded on trailers. However, rising case rates and colder weather resulted in the closure of the outdoor classroom in mid-November.

Do you have a COVID-19 innovation to share?

ACTE wants to hear about the innovative ways you are coping with the impact of the pandemic on CTE and career development. Please fill out this short form, and you could be featured in this series. For additional ideas on remote, blended and socially distanced in-person learning for CTE, check out ACTE’s comprehensive guide High-quality CTE: Planning for a COVID-19-impacted School Year and CTE distance learning lesson plan resources.

ACTE’s and Iowa’s WBL Conference planned for hybrid event

Discover best practices in work-based learning from across the country at ACTE’s National & Iowa’s Annual Hybrid Work-based Learning Conference. Attendees may experience on-site and online programming. The even occurs this April 29–30 at the FFA Enrichment Center, Des Moines Area Community College in Ankeny, Iowa.

Learn more

NEWS: Woodworking industry rallies to support CTE

Woodworking teachers faced a challenge that might sound familiar to many career and technical education (CTE) teachers: how to make it work while distance learning. The answer: with strong support from industry. The Society of Wood Manufacturing (SWM) and its members donated materials, supplies and funding to benefit CTE students in California. SWM reallocated budget and resources to help as many teachers and students as possible. They identified three specific areas for support:

  1. Procuring wood materials for students
  2. Securing tools and supplies for students
  3. Assisting teachers to prepare materials and toolkits

Woodworking industry answered the call to support CTE in California.

SWM, a chapter of the Association of Woodworking & Furnishing Suppliers (AWFS), requested donations of materials and supplies from AWFS member companies. Industry responded quickly and generously. In total, SWM collected and distributed about $60,000 in donated wood materials and supplies from the woodworking industry. In addition, SWM awarded 19 $500 grants to California woodworking teachers to use towards distance learning supplies.

AWFS member company Royal Plywood of Cerritos, California, contributed more than $50,000 in materials. Donations arrived on two flatbed trucks; they included laminated panels and multiple species of hardwood. They also shipped materials from Roseburg Forest Products in Oregon. “We are thrilled that we could help out the local high school students by donating some of the materials we have in stock,” said Dave Golling, vice president of business development at Royal Plywood. We think this is a great program and will make a real difference for the woodworking teachers and students.”

SWM offered hands-on support for career and technical educators.

Saúl Martín, president of SWM and vice president of manufacturing at Architectural Woodworking Company (AWC), volunteered to cut and distribute wood materials for the teachers. He worked with several different instructors to help develop and send home woodworking kits for students. He then cut more than 20,000 pieces of poplar for students to use. Martín opened AWC to the teachers on three separate Saturdays to let them load as much free wood as they could take.

“SWM wanted to do something that would impact as many woodworking students as possible,” said Martín. “The teachers really needed some help from industry to boost their woodworking programs.”

About AWFS

The Association of Woodworking & Furnishings Suppliers (AWFS), founded in 1911, is a nonprofit organization that wholly owns and produces the biennial AWFS Fair. The largest trade association serving the entire home and commercial furnishings industry, AWFS has more than 400 members, including manufacturers and distributors of machinery, hardware, software, tooling, lumber, components, wood products and supplies for the woodworking industry including cabinet, furniture, millwork and custom woodworking products.

 

Virtual VISION offers ongoing professional development with post-event access

ACTE’s CareerTech Virtual VISION 2020 featured live keynote presentations and hundreds of sessions, covering CTE innovations, timely topics and specific CTE subject-matter areas.

Gain full post-event access to Virtual VISION.

Conference materials and sessions are now available for 24/7 on-demand viewing at your convenience at regular attendee rates. Enjoy premier professional development via full access to all Virtual VISION sessions! Register for full access.

Achieve 100 Award recognizes institutional commitment to CTE

Showcase your institution’s dedication and commitment to career and technical education!

Achieve 100 Award deadline approaches

Schools and institutions that have achieved 100% ACTE membership across their CTE staff and faculty will receive this distinguished award. All faculty members must be active ACTE members as of Dec. 30.

Fill out the online application by Feb. 1 to participate and recognize your educators!

NEWS: Oklahoma CTE students selected as finalists in NASA’s App Development Challenge

Moore Norman Technology Center‘s programming & software development program was selected to attend a two-day virtual event experience, culminating NASA’s App Development Challenge (ADC).Teams will present their apps to NASA leadership during the event. And participants will have the chance to meet with industry leaders.

MNTC team members include seniors from Norman High School (NHS), Norman North High School (NNHS) and Moore High School (MHS):

  • Katrina Ashpaugh, NHS
  • Travis Bode, NNHS
  • Dylan Decoster, MHS
  • Julian Lautzenheiser, NNHS
  • Lauren Smith, MHS
  • Christian Zacher, NNHS

Oklahoma software development students selected by NASA for unique approach to wayfinding.

The NASA review team said MNTC’s app has a unique approach to the wayfinding visualization and in the illumination feature. They also appreciated the extra effort for accessibility for those with color blindness when using color data sets within the app. Additionally, NASA applauded Moore Norman’s work with online coding communities for beta testing and community outreach for app improvements.

Culminating event teams selected include:

  • Academies of Loudoun, Leesburg, Virginia
  • Bell Creek Academy High School, Riverview, Florida
  • Bishop O’Connell High School, Arlington, Virginia
  • Falcon Cove Middle School, Weston, Florida
  • McNeil High School, Austin, Texas
  • Middlesex County Academy, Edison, New Jersey
  • Moon Millers: Millburn High School, Millburn, New Jersey
  • Moore Norman Technology Center, Norman, Oklahoma
  • Team Equinox: Gilman School, Baltimore, Maryland
  • Whitney High School, Cerritos, California

What is the App Development Challenge?

NASA presents technical problems to middle and high school students, seeking contributions for future exploration missions. According to NASA STEM, “Students take part in the Artemis Generation endeavors to land American astronauts, including the first woman and the next man, on the Moon by 2024.

NASA Technical Advisor Dr. Bryan Welch said, “The capabilities and the apps varied across the teams. Every team brought a unique aspect to their app that we found to be creative, intuitive and useful. Myself, and several of my reviewers found it inspiring.

ADC engages students in CTE through real-world application.

For this particular ADC, students worked to develop an app that visualizes the South Pole region of the moon. It was developed in collaboration with NASA’s Space Communications and Navigation (NASA SCAM) team.

NASA Education Specialist Jamie Semple said, “The SCAM team needed an app that will visualize the moon’s surface for future mission planning and training activities and must also contain a path for exploration and identify communication checkpoint links.”

Students from across the U.S. began work on their apps on Sept. 30 and submitted solution videos online by Nov. 18. And NASA may use one of their apps in the future.

MNTC Programming & Software Development Instructor Rachel Hurt said, “I am always in awe of what my students achieve when they pull together and work to succeed. As our group finished their interview with NASA’s leadership team, I knew that our work helping them sharpen their programming and soft skills was paying off.

“These high school seniors took the knowledge of programming they’ve learned and used it in a real-life scenario. I am extremely proud of these students, and I am extremely proud to be part of an organization that does so much to promote student success.”

“Our team felt honored and proud to be selected as one of the finalists for the NASA ADC,” said Lauren Smith, app team spokesperson. “The obstacles we faced being virtual this year granted us some unique opportunities to hone our skills in self-discipline, team communication and working in a virtual environment.”

Learn more about the NASA App Development Challenge.

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