By on February 25th, 2015 | Comment on this post

Career and technical education was swept to the side of K-12 education for a number of years. Now, though, renewed interest in training students to have practical skills has thrust it back into limelight. But are schools following suit? We asked SmartBrief on EdTech readers to tell us what’s going on with their schools’ CTE programs.

About a third (33%) of readers’ schools have placed high priority on CTE and offer courses in a number of fields. Another third have called it a priority but say they need better funding and resources in order for their programs to be effective. The final third has left CTE on the back burner and is focused on assessment and transitioning to Common Core.

Readers told us that money and resources were the two biggest obstacles their schools face in implementing CTE programs. Thirty-four percent of readers cited lack of funding while 24% blamed outdated technology, equipment and materials.…

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By Paul Axtell on February 25th, 2015 | Comment on this post

meetings matter coverThis post is an excerpt from “MEETINGS MATTER: 8 Powerful Strategies for Remarkable Conversations,” (Jackson Creek Press, January 2015) by Paul Axtell.

There is a difference in life between acting out of obligation or out of inspiration. Inspiration is shaped by having some possibility in mind — seeing the connection between how you are spending your time and a desirable future that doesn’t exist right now.

There is a story about golf pro Byron Nelson, who experienced a lull in his career after being the very best in the game. Then his enthusiasm returned, and once again he was on the circuit playing tournaments.

When asked about his comeback, Nelson replied that he’d always had a dream to build a wonderful ranch. And one evening, he realized that golf was his path to that possibility — each tournament he won allowed him to buy more cattle or build more fencing.…

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By Walter Taylor on February 25th, 2015 | Comment on this post

P2WAs the national economy and workforce continues to evolve, we’ve seen a major resurgence in career and technical education. CTE has captured the attention of major education advocates, media organizations and our nation’s legislators by showing a growing understanding that our workforce is hungry for the next generation of highly-trained workers.

In addressing this trend and interest in career training, it’s the responsibility of our school districts and local governments to provide the best possible resources to help our students receive the training they need to succeed in their chosen program of study. It’s becoming a necessity for schools to modernize their curricula, classroom materials, technology and facilities to meet the demands of our workforce and train students.

Revamp the classroom

As CTE curricula evolve, administrators must implement modern technology and materials into the classroom if they want to see students and educators succeed. Plymouth School District, where I teach, once used VHS tapes to demonstrate real-world scenarios to students.…

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By Young Entrepreneur Council on February 25th, 2015 | Comment on this post

The Young Entrepreneur Council is an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. YEC recently launched StartupCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses. Read previous SmartBlogs posts by YEC.

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What is the most valuable insight you’ve ever gotten from an employee about how YOU could perform better?

YEC_Tracy Wiedmeyer1. Work less

I was told to work less because it was a bit intimidating to get emails at all hours of the night — not to mention that it generally meant I wasn’t paying attention to a lot of things that really matter, such as employee satisfaction and balance in their lives. I’ve learned to bring a bit more balance to my life and hold off on sending those emails until the morning.…

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By on February 25th, 2015 | Comment on this post

Supermarkets have always had their share of bargain hunters, coupon clippers and shoppers in search of serious discounts, but digital technology is making it ever-easier for penny pinchers to leave the paper coupons and Sunday circulars behind while still finding the best deals. And, as the technology makes it easier for consumers to seek out the lowest prices, it also provides retailers with new opportunities to curry customer loyalty with price-matching programs that do the work and ensure that shoppers spend their savings in the stores.

U.S. food prices rose 3.4% from December 2013 to December 2014, according to the Consumer Price Index, and prices for food consumed at home jumped 3.7%. Prices are forecast to increase another 2% to 3% this year, and certain crops may see even bigger increases as a result of the ongoing drought in California. In Britain, food inflation has been falling and it’s on track to tumble further this year as oil prices fall and supermarket chains continue to slug it out for market share.…

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