by Kevin J. Gray, President and Chief Content Officer
Westchester Education Services sponsored the EdWeek Market Brief Summit last week, which featured sessions about topics that are top of mind for education content providers. We also participated in two sessions, one a conversation with publisher Maurice Bakley about trends we are tracking in the industry, the other a session with Nilofer Ali, Resources Manager, and Samantha Tucker, Cultural Responsive Education Team Lead, who discussed the need for educational content to be culturally responsive.
I’d like to share a few of the topics that energized attendees last week:
Social-Emotional Learning support – Social-emotional learning is crucial for students, especially so for students pivoting in approach due to Covid-19. There are increasing calls for SEL to be embedded within academic areas. In addition, teachers need to be supported with effective professional development so they can capably deliver the concepts to students.
How will assessments change? – Learning loss is a significant concern, but how to measure it and help students regain academic ground is something that needs thoughtful consideration with students in a variety of learning environments.
School funding – Whether there is additional federal stimulus funding coming, states are facing significant budget challenges due to the pandemic. Reduced state income and sales tax revenues due to industries that haven’t fared well during the last eight months may hinder the ability to provide education funding at 2019/2020 levels.
Culturally Responsive Learning – Along with SEL, it was widely acknowledged that education content needs to be more diverse and inclusive in order to reach and engage students. It was encouraging to see many facets of the industry wrestling with not only how to make materials more culturally responsive, but also, how to reflect that change within the industry itself.
Include caregivers – A consistent theme throughout many of the sessions was the acknowledgment that parents and other adults providing care for children are a vital support for learners. Ensuring that communication about accessing and navigating learning platforms and subject assignments is written in easy to understand terms, and in a variety of home languages, can help reduce frustration for adults and children alike.
Contact us to learn how the team at Westchester can help you create. adapt or update education materials to be responsive to the current needs of students and those who support their academic journey.