In my experience, students rarely have a voice in which tools are selected and used in their classrooms. Gathering input from all relevant district stakeholders is a complicated feat, so it’s no surprise that students often don’t make the cut when staff are deciding who to include on steering committees. One of the primary challenges to collecting student input is that the people who buy and implement products rarely have direct access to students. Therefore, technology buyers and implementers have to work through school contacts and other mediums to rally enough buy-in before they can talk with students.

My district…


I recently had a conversation with a colleague who shared that though they loved a particular technology product, “the students weren’t bought in…they don’t see the value.” This got me thinking about how infrequently we engage students in the process of change when it comes to new technology.

Implementing a technology product in any organization is complicated. There are multiple stakeholders, processes don’t always convert neatly and people usually resist change.

To overcome these challenges, organizations go through varying levels of change management work. This work is focused on preparing people for change by documenting procedures, building coalitions within the…


In the article published by EdSurge and Slate, the author discusses the shift from the current standardized test-based enrollment to an algorithmic-based admissions future. The piece explores the pitfalls of standardized testing and how algorithms, though flawed, may be the future of higher education enrollment.

The interesting thing about pieces like this and the many others that focus on college enrollment is that they don’t illustrate the full picture. The truth is most colleges accept most students (see Pew research for exact data). …


In the last few months, we’ve seen a growing list of companies providing their learning resources to the broader public at reduced or no cost at all. Google is the latest to join the group and their description is a good insight into what may be a coming disruption:

“College degrees are out of reach for many Americans, and you shouldn’t need a college diploma to have economic security. We need new, accessible job-training solutions — from enhanced vocational programs to online education — to help America recover and rebuild.”

The intersections of historically high unemployment rates, pending enrollment crisis…


How Grading During the Pandemic is Adversely Impacting Some Students

During one of my regular check-ins with my mentee who is a sophomore at Mt. Rainer High School in Des Moines, WA, I asked her how classes were going. Her response was a mix of the usual “classes are hard” with a new layer of complexity, “it’s hard to teach myself.” As the discussion continued, she shared that her internet was glitchy. Additionally, though her parents are at essential jobs, there is constant noise in the house since her other family members were all laid off.

Much has been written…


Think briefly about your current job. What are the top 5 skills you utilize in this position? Are there skills that you transferred from a previous role or educational program? If so, how did you know the skills were transferable and how did you express that to the hiring committee. The odds are you were moving between related roles, so the need for explaining your skillset wasn’t top of mind.

As someone who has had various jobs that appear unrelated, I’ve had my experience in connecting dots for employers. The ability to connect the dots between experiences is arguably a…


As someone who frequents the airport, there are many things that I think could be improved about the flying experience. One thing I dislike is when a TSA agent asks to check my boarding pass prior to entering the security line. The additional ticket screening irks me because it seems redundant and at times patronizing. However, during a recent trip with my mother who is both less familiar with flying and who speaks English as her second language, I realized the importance of this ticket screening process.

As my mother and I approached the security checkpoint, she moved towards the…


This list is for those who want to make an impact in the education sector but for different reasons can’t work in the classroom. The ten clusters are not exclusive and the lines between them are at times extremely fine.

K12 & Higher Ed Support Staff

Type of Work: These staff members work to enhance a student’s in the classroom experience through additional support (i.e. social, emotional, etc.) and extra curricular engagement. Support staff can play a significant role in shaping institutional culture.

Best Suited for: The counselor type who enjoys building relationships with students

Organizations: Schools and Post-secondary Institutions

Alemayehu Bahta

Education Nerd | Tech for Social Impact | Future of Work | Coffee Enthusiast

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