March 26, 2020

Thinking About Remote Learning for Career Technical Education (CTE)

By Carolyn Eastman, Director of Innovation, NH Learning Initiative

I recently received an email from a CTE teacher asking: “I teach Auto and Small engine classes which are hands on classes, any ideas?” 

My first thought was how important it is to stay connected with your students. I have been conducting the Comprehensive Needs Assessment (CNA) for about a half dozen CTE Centers in NH and conducted many student focus groups and hands down they said one of the things that they loved the most about their CTE courses is that they have great relationships with their program teachers.  Your students need to see you and the other students in your class. To make “seeing” your students and staying connected with all of them, I would recommend ZOOM. 

Zoom is FREE.  Here is a is a recorded webinar that I made to help you get started if you are currently not using Zoom:  

you can create a virtual classroom for discussions, review assignments and even create recordings of a lecture that you can send out to students.  

YOU TUBE – Dissecting an Engine is one of many examples of content you can find on YouTube. If you’re up for sharing content that is already curated by others on YouTube. You can also create your own video and upload it to  YouTube! Students can watch the video with questions (either in the video or provided on a separate Google Doc, to answer and then join their teacher on a Zoom Call to discuss the video or, play the video with your students on Zoomby sharing your screen and watching it together! 

Another resource that I believe is useful is a site called  NEPRIS. Student focus groups shared that connecting with industry experts and having a path toward a career is a strength of CTE. While getting out of the building is often difficult when school is in session, remote learning will give -students an opportunity to connect virtually with industry experts. 

Nepris connects educators and learners with a network of industry professionals, virtually, bringing real-world relevance and career exposure to all students. 

Nepris also provides a skills-based volunteering platform for organizations to extend education outreach, and build their brand among the future workforce. 

Students may additionally  find it interesting to try out a career platform that starts out by asking them what they enjoy doing most when they are not at school.  AWATO (a-WAY-to) is a great way to engage. This site offers a  tool that has questions that adapt based on how the student responds to previous questions. The results are potential career options to explore based on what the student entered.   Here is a link to access the demo: Click here for Demo

In facilitating recent student focus groups, the greatest take away is that students who have multiple ways to achieve their career goals after high school are far more hopeful about their future. Maybe during this time of remote learning, it can be a time of exploration for students as they learn how to become Way-Finders.

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