The Countdown is On: 6 Tips for Back to School

It’s that time of year again! How are you preparing for the new school year? Here are some tips that will enhance your chances of success this year and in your future years. 1. Know your schedule and courses Start the year with an organized approach! Learn your schedule and where your classes are held … Continue reading The Countdown is On: 6 Tips for Back to School

13 Tools to Enhance Your Learning Experience

Hundreds of available (and free) online resources and tools can help you enhance your learning experience. We’ve listed some of the best tools to help you be even more successful in your present courses and in your overall educational journey. These tools will prove useful as you create citations, calculate results, brainstorm topics, plan your … Continue reading 13 Tools to Enhance Your Learning Experience

71 Years since Hiroshima: History, Politics, and Envisioning a Post-Nuclear World

In the 4.543 billion years that planet earth has existed, the atomic bomb has only been used in wartime once: 71 years ago. It was August, 1945. The Second World War had ended in Europe in May, but Japan and the United States continued to battle in the Pacific. American President, Harry Truman, warned that … Continue reading 71 Years since Hiroshima: History, Politics, and Envisioning a Post-Nuclear World

22 Keyboard Shortcuts for Daily Tasks

As you have already guessed, we are avid computer-users here at Hekademia! We are continuously looking for ways to make our daily tasks more efficient, and keyboard shortcuts are one way we can do so. Tony Stecca, who works in IT at Hekademia and our sister company, Virtual High School, is known as the “Shortcut … Continue reading 22 Keyboard Shortcuts for Daily Tasks

Happy Teacher Appreciation Day! #ThankATeacher

Today is Teacher Appreciation Day, and the entire week is dedicated to thanking teachers for their dedication, patience, and extra efforts beyond the classroom. We’ve all had those “game-changing” teachers who interjected at crucial times and helped us forge our paths. I had a history teacher in high school (yes you, Mr. Sutton!) who was such a … Continue reading Happy Teacher Appreciation Day! #ThankATeacher

Announcing Our New Competency-Based Geometry Course!

The Hekademia math department has been working hard! Our team of math teachers and instructional designers recently launched a new online, competency-based Geometry course that will be be available for schools to pilot in the summer and fall of 2016!  Like our other math and English courses, Geometry is aligned to individual state standards, as well as … Continue reading Announcing Our New Competency-Based Geometry Course!

Gisele Huff, and Why We Need to Know This Inspiring Woman

On November 11, 2015, I sat in awe with 3,100 others in the education community as Gisele Huff accepted the first Huff Lifetime Achievement Award for her work in education at iNACOL’s annual conference. Her story had many of us reaching for tissues (and not for the first time at the conference). Huff grew up in Nazi-occupied France … Continue reading Gisele Huff, and Why We Need to Know This Inspiring Woman

Using Digital Tools to Preserve and Share Historic Spaces and Traditions

Yesterday, three members of the Hekademia and Virtual High School teams had the privilege of visiting Cranbrook, a private K-12 school in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. This school is set in a 320-acre National Historic Landmark campus and has been described as “the most enchanted and enchanting setting in America.” The grand campus is full of … Continue reading Using Digital Tools to Preserve and Share Historic Spaces and Traditions

Book List: 3 Must-Read Game Changers

Every year when September rolls around I get a burst of energy and motivation to set new goals and get things done.  I haven’t been a student in a while now, but the feelings associated with “going back to school” each September haven’t passed.  Whether you or your kids are going back to school or not, … Continue reading Book List: 3 Must-Read Game Changers

The 10-month School Calendar: A Vestige of the Past?

It’s that time again! Students are back at school, or heading back soon, after ten to twelve weeks off.  Summer provides a welcome break for most students and teachers, but how does the traditional ten-month school calendar affect student performance? What does the research say? The deficits that occur from “summer fade” most often affect … Continue reading The 10-month School Calendar: A Vestige of the Past?

Top 5 Blogs on Competency-Based Education

It’s been a full year since Hekademia began producing weekly blog posts on issues relating to education policy, competency-based learning, and ideas for the virtual classroom.  Thank you for reading and commenting along the way!  We’re excited to be a part of the growing community for competency-based education. To mark the occasion, we’ve pulled the top … Continue reading Top 5 Blogs on Competency-Based Education

Algorithms Are Only As Intelligent As the Humans Behind Them.

Automated learning pathways are currently a hot topic in discussions on education because those pathways have the potential to personalize learning and provide timely intervention for students.  With automated pathways, also known as adaptive learning, the instruction changes based on the students’ current levels of understanding. In some cases, adaptive learning is teacher-directed. In this … Continue reading Algorithms Are Only As Intelligent As the Humans Behind Them.

Collaborative Teaching for Integrated Learning: Lessons from Finland

We encourage students to collaborate all the time, but as teachers, we often work alone. This is unfortunate because some of the best work I see at conferences occurs when groups of teachers come together to share their ideas and compare approaches.  Not only do such interactions lead to new ideas, but they also help teachers from different disciplines … Continue reading Collaborative Teaching for Integrated Learning: Lessons from Finland

This One’s For the Kids: 5 Ways Sports Make Us Better Learners

You’ve probably heard this before: “if you put half the time into practicing [insert a subject you don’t like] that you do in playing [insert a sport or extracurricular you like], you’d be in good shape.  It’s true– if you approached your studies in the same way you do your training, you’d improve. Think about … Continue reading This One’s For the Kids: 5 Ways Sports Make Us Better Learners

Redesigning Learning for Learners

Teachers have long understood Socratic instruction to mean that the teacher asks questions and the student answers, learning through further questions and mentorship. However, as John Smallwood reminds us, those who use the term “Socratic” can forget that such teaching takes place in the form of dialogues, often in a one-on-one situation. Today’s online teaching … Continue reading Redesigning Learning for Learners

One Size Fits All? Hardly.

If “one size fits all” doesn’t work for clothes, why do we expect it to work for teaching?  If students learn by building knowledge from previously acquired concepts and experiences, we can expect that we will need to be prepared to teach by introducing multiple analogies and ways of explaining new concepts.  As teachers, we … Continue reading One Size Fits All? Hardly.

Tech Tools to Liven Up Your Classroom: 5 Trends from FETC

Hekademia attended FETC in Orlando a few weeks ago and left inspired to try some new tools in our online courses. As teachers in blended classrooms emphasized at the conference, even if you don’t have computers or tablets available in your classroom, most high school students have smartphones. It’s easier than ever to incorporate technology … Continue reading Tech Tools to Liven Up Your Classroom: 5 Trends from FETC

What is School for?

In Seth Godin’s 2012 TED talk, Stop Stealing Dreams, he asks the question, “what is school for?” and suggests that we can’t make real improvements in education until we have thought about, answered, and agreed upon this question.[1] He points out that the current brick-and-mortar classrooms are relics from the industrial revolution in which students … Continue reading What is School for?

Adaptive Competency eLearning: Self-Paced Learning at its Best

What is Adaptive Competency eLearning? Adaptive: the learning environment (or technology) responds to the student’s level of understanding and directs them to the content that will help them make connections. Competency: students must demonstrate that they are competent in each standard in order to move to the next module of study (an understanding of 75% … Continue reading Adaptive Competency eLearning: Self-Paced Learning at its Best

Make Time for Your Most Important Work

Regardless of what we do in life, our time is valuable– we only get so much.  I often hear people say that there aren’t enough hours in the day to get their work done, or to pursue their passion project that keeps getting pushed to the back burner. I’d like to share a tool that … Continue reading Make Time for Your Most Important Work

Be a Catalyst! Reflections on Project-Based Learning

I remember standing in a glass corridor as one of my university professors mapped out the various pathways of the human brain on the window. We’d just bumped into each other in the hall and I had expressed frustration with the project he had assigned for that term; it was 2006, and for our Digital … Continue reading Be a Catalyst! Reflections on Project-Based Learning