[ISTE 2016] Targeting Student Interests & Expanding Learning Opportunities with CTE

Friday, June 17, 2016 -- Casey Stone

As national discussions about how to best connect learning in school with career relevance abound, innovative educators are working hard to develop creative strategies to ensure that their students enter into postsecondary programs and careers with the skills they need to be successful. In doing so, the importance of career and technical education (CTE) is becoming increasingly apparent and dynamic.

During my time as an educator in Texas, I enjoyed focusing my efforts on flexible, forward-thinking initiatives like CTE. I started my career as a CTE classroom instructor, teaching courses on audio/video production, graphic design, and multimedia. During those years in the classroom, I saw firsthand how CTE curriculum and instruction gave students an opportunity to immediately apply their learning—and that made them excited about learning! My students were able to get outside of the classroom and have career-exploration experiences that otherwise wouldn’t have been available to them.

Eventually, I transitioned into administrator roles, including work as a secondary curriculum director, an edtech director, and as a director of CTE, innovation, and virtual learning. I loved the opportunity these roles gave me to advocate for CTE learning, program growth, and continuous improvement work to determine best practices in CTE program design and delivery. A significant part of this work focused on integrating technology in the classroom to provide students with personalized experiences and the development of critical digital literacy, communication, and problem-solving skills necessary for all 21st century career paths.   

At this year’s ISTE Conference & Expo, I’m excited to share my passion for CTE with a brief presentation at Edmentum’s booth #2316 on Tuesday, June 28, at 3:30 PM. I’ll be taking a close look at how CTE can be used to target student interests and expand learning opportunities. I’ll discuss best practices for incorporating blended learning strategies into the CTE classroom and talk about how digital learning helps students make valuable connections to life beyond the classroom. We’ll also dig into how project-based learning can help instructors get to know their students on a deeper level and offer a means to “hide the vegetables” of core-subject content within relevant career contexts.

No matter if you’re a fellow CTE-enthusiast or you’re just exploring the idea of a CTE program, I hope you’ll join me in Denver for a great chance to share ideas surrounding CTE, technology, and student engagement. Want to find out more? Check out Edmentum’s entire in-booth presentation schedule, and learn more about other fun activities and giveaways in store for you throughout the conference!