Find out how future readiness solutions can enhance classroom lessons, build social-emotional learning skills, and provide consistency during another hybrid school year.

The 2021/22 school year is on the horizon and, despite the recent CDC guidelines in the US, some districts across North America may still be preparing for a hybrid remote/in-person learning model. It’s yet another indication that life is slowly returning to normal in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Although there were many challenges associated with online learning in the last couple of years (inequitable access to digital tools and heightened levels of youth depression and anxiety due to isolation chief among them), technology enabled unprecedented innovation in education. Even administrators, educators, and counselors who had limited experience with platforms like Zoom, Google Classroom, and BrightSpace found themselves building, sharing, and conducting lessons in ground-breaking ways.

This new proficiency with technology means educators are more prepared than ever to revisit digital solutions that can help them bridge the gap between in-classroom and at-home learning.

While college and career readiness (CCR) software has been around for years, there’s a growing awareness of how it can complement and enhance classroom learning and help districts achieve state mandates. Even during pandemic times, many districts effectively rolled out and came to depend on solutions like Xello to connect with their students, track their future readiness progress, and provide a space for kids to dream about a future beyond an uncertain present.

As you build your curriculum for a hybrid school year, here are some ways CCR software can help you engage, inspire, and prepare students to not only tackle their grade-level work but become future-ready.

How College and Career Readiness Software Can Help Enhance a Hybrid School Year

Every educator has their favorite digital tools. For some, it’s the math game that supplements each lesson. Others appreciate the software that helps them create online presentations, quizzes, and interactive elements. And what teacher doesn’t love a platform that helps them connect with and keep track of student progress?

Many CCR solutions are designed for the educator and the student. While the primary goal may be to provide future readiness, software like Xello also includes curriculum-connected activities and lessons, self-directed interactive features, and administrative functions that are educator- and counselor-approved.

Here are some of the ways CCR software can enhance your classroom this year:

Many Are Designed to Help students Fulfill CCR State Mandates

Look for grade-by-grade lessons that meet state future readiness requirements and gradually prepare students for a post-secondary future.

Online Solutions Are Available Anywhere, Anytime

Whether at home on a laptop or at school on a tablet, all of their work is saved so students have a consistent and undisturbed learning experience.

They Provide an Opportunity for Self-Directed Learning

Xello’s interactive features, such as learning style and personality quizzes, help students understand their strengths and interests and organize them into related career clusters. These investigative activities encourage rating, reflection, and critical thinking. And students’ personalized profiles can be revisited and built upon as they gather more life experiences.

They Help Students Know Themselves Better – Increasing Engagement and Combating Absenteeism

An engaged student is a more successful student. CCR programs show academically resistant kids how what they’re learning today connects to their future goals. They see the purpose in what they’re learning and become intrinsically motivated to succeed. (And less likely to skip out of school.)

They Help Educators Forge a Connection with Students

Many educators report seeing their students in a new light after they complete their profile on a CCR solution. When they learn what their quietest or least engaged students are passionate about, they can consider how to reach them in more meaningful ways.

They Connect with Curriculum and Augment Lessons

For instance, Xello’s many ready-made lessons are ideal companions to an array of subjects from K-12. For example, the Career & Lifestyle Costs lesson plan guides students through understanding take-home pay and how their career choice influences their lifestyle. It pairs well with high school-level math or social studies class.

They’re a Perfect Warm-Up or Free-Time Activity

Some teachers use CCR software to ease into the week on Monday mornings, bring it in on a Friday afternoon, or have a lesson ready to go for when everybody needs a break from academics. Kids generally view it as a game, so it can be deployed as one.

They Help Teach Digital Citizenship

Many CCR solutions are set up like a social media platform, complete with avatar. They are an ideal way to put digital citizenship learnings into practice.

They Help Teach Social-Emotional Learning Skills

Imparting skills like diplomacy, problem-solving, regulating emotions, collaboration, goal setting, and communication isn’t easy. Solutions like Xello include these important skills in lessons like self-advocacy and time management. They’re also embedded in each career profile so students can see how they’ll use “soft” skills on the job. For example, students learn that a doctor is not just applying her medical training, she’s solving problems for patients and figuring out how to communicate diagnoses and treatments clearly.

They’re a great activity for a substitute teacher

Once kids know how to log in, they can independently navigate the program. A Xello lesson is an ideal activity for students to supplement their learning when you can’t be in the classroom, and it eliminates the need to do advance lesson planning.

They’re an ideal tool to help set up students for academic success

Are you anticipating a tough unit for your students? Reset between lessons with a CCR lesson that will help them succeed. Xello’s time management and study skills and habits are popular among many educators who seek to help their students be better learners.

For educators concerned about maintaining consistency during a hybrid year and seeking opportunities to help students learn, grow, and succeed, CCR software is a proven tool in the toolbox.

As we emerge from “unprecedented times,” proven technology will help guide the way to a new and better future for all students.

ABOUT HEATHER

Heather Hudson is a Toronto-based freelance writer and journalist. She specializes in content marketing, corporate storytelling and good old-fashioned journalism. You can read some of her work in The Toronto Star and learn more about her at heatherhudson.ca.