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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

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.

Business partners, students interact through remote Interview Week

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.

The past year has presented significant challenges as well as inspiring examples of CTE programs and partners collaborating to provide students with meaningful interactions with their peers and industry leaders.

Virtual Enterprises International (VEI) partners with secondary schools to deliver a school-based global business simulation that enables students to develop business, professional, technology and financial literacy skills for future success through hands-on entrepreneurial experience. This allows students to learn business by doing business and to test drive potential careers.

Expand access.

In spring 2020, VEI shifted its in-person learning experiences to online platforms. Students expanded their networks, engaging more actively with other student-run businesses across their state and in mentorship with business professionals in other states. In addition, more students are participating in virtual events because certain barriers to entry are eliminated. This particularly benefits VEI students attending schools in under-resourced communities.

This technological shift also helped expand the hiring process for leadership of student-run businesses. Normally, the teacher is solely responsible for hiring decisions. In 2020–21, VEI facilitated a virtual Interview Week, during which business professionals participated in 15-minute interviews with prospective candidates. The interviewers shared their feedback with the instructor to help them make a final decision.

Develop transferable skills.

The interview presented a real-world learning experience for students and a venue for demonstrating their leadership skills. Students received immediate feedback from business professionals about their strengths and growth areas in interviewing. Some of the business partners who facilitated interviews were former VEI students, providing students with role models to emulate.

Participants, both students and industry professionals, offered comments about their experience, which is being used to refine next year’s program. Overall, learners and business partners have shared how meaningful it was for them to engage in conversation with one another.

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.

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.

ACTE's CareerTech VISION 2018 will be a celebration in San Antonio

A Celebration in San Antonio: ACTE’s CareerTech VISION 2018

San Antonio, Texas, is a city with something to celebrate. It also happens to be the host city for ACTE’s CareerTech VISION 2018, held Nov. 28–Dec. 1 at the Henry B. González Convention Center. VISION is the preeminent annual event for career and technical educators, where educators, industry representatives and business leaders connect, learn and grow — all, together, in an effort to promote career and technical education (CTE) fields as a viable and valuable career pathway.

The city of San Antonio honors its 300th birthday in the year 2018 and in what better fashion than by celebrating the diverse, multifaceted nature of CTE. ACTE’s CareerTech VISION 2018 will provide for attendees four packed days of high-quality professional development, prime networking opportunities and direct access to thousands of individuals invested in CTE. Make your travel plans and register today (The advance registration discount is on now, through Oct. 26!) to attend VISION because you won’t want to miss the:

  • Renowned keynote speakers, exploring new directions in CTE
  • 300+ concurrent sessions, covering the complete spectrum of secondary and postsecondary CTE
  • CareerTech Expo and interactive exhibitor workshops
  • Career Pavilion, providing essential resources on several CTE career pathways
  • Wednesday workshops and tours, offering insights into focused topics and CTE programming
  • Awards Banquet, a heartwarming gathering of dedicated CTE professionals and supporters
  • Opportunities to connect, collaborate and build lasting friendships with CTE professionals from around the globe
  • STEM is CTE Symposium, addressing diversity, equity and access issues to STEM fields via CTE programs

Education

Where the teacher becomes a student, and the student becomes a better teacher. With more than 300 concurrent sessions that span the spectrum of career and technical education, the educational program at ACTE’s CareerTech VISION offers something for everyone.

Wednesday, Nov. 28 kicks off the premier event for CTE professionals with hands-on workshops and tours that highlight model programs and industry partners in and around San Antonio, Texas. On Thursday morning grab a bite to eat at the First-time Attendee Orientation and Breakfast, generously sponsored by the U.S. Army, before gathering in the main hall for what promises to be an inspirational opening general session from Jenna Hager.

Jenna Hager, a former teacher in Baltimore, is effusive in her passion for literacy and education. As founding chair of UNICEF’s Next Generation, Hager has committed her life’s work to transforming lives through compassion, community support and educational opportunities.

VISION Program Highlights

With more than 300 sessions, the comprehensive VISION program covers key trends and innovations in nearly every aspect of CTE.

  • High-quality CTE Framework
  • Sequencing and Articulation
  • Student Assessment
  • Prepared and Effective Program Staff
  • Engaging Instruction
  • Access and Equity
  • Facilities and Equipment
  • Business & Community Partnerships
  • Career and Technical Student Organizations
  • Work-based Learning
  • Data and Program Improvement
  • Funding and Perkins
  • Integration of Academics and CTE
  • Administrator Trends and Issues
  • Agricultural Education
  • Business Education
  • Family and Consumer Sciences Education
  • Guidance and Career Development
  • Marketing Education
  • Health Science Education
  • Engineering and Technology Education
  • Trade and Industrial Education
  • Postsecondary, Adult and Career Education

The full article, “A Celebration in San Antonio: ACTE’s CareerTech VISION 2018,” will appear in the September issue of TECHNIQUES. Watch your mailboxes for this and other great content from career and technical educators, for career and technical educators.