SEL in the Classroom: Strategies

Previously written and posted on EverFi

While we cannot predict with certainty the types of jobs that will exist in the future, we know that today’s students will need a variety of SEL skills, whether referred to as “21st-century skills” or “future-ready” skills, they need to be flexible to adapt with change. 

The Importance of SEL in the Classroom

As we have seen and experienced, there has been an increased focus on the mental health and wellness of our students and ourselves. Dealing with the changes in our schools and in the world, we’ve all had to make adjustments and develop or enhance our social-emotional skills to work through the challenges that we faced in our personal and professional lives. The way that we handled these challenges and worked through stress was important as we are modeling for our students. What are the best ways to provide all students with ​authentic, ​​​unique,​​ and innovative learning experiences that will foster the development of these essential skills? How can we prepare students for jobs which may not exist yet in our ever-changing world?

To best prepare students for the future, we need to help them develop the essential SEL strategies that will enable them to adapt as they work through potential challenges they may encounter in the future. With learning and preparing for the future comes additional challenges and stress related to the work we do. To prepare students, we need to design experiences that will best support them on their journey and this means helping them to become future-ready by developing essential social-emotional learning (SEL) skills.

What are social-emotional skills and why do they matter?

Social-emotional learning or SEL has five competencies: self-awareness, social awareness, self-management, responsible decision-making, and relationship skills. SEL matters because there is a direct correlation between social-emotional learning and the skills that students will need for future employment. Being “future-ready” means possessing the essentials like collaboration, communication, decision-making, problem-solving, and teamwork, which are a few of the future-ready skills listed by the World Economic Forum. 

Research shows that by regularly addressing the five competencies of SEL in our curriculum, we will positively impact and see an increase in student academic performance. To learn more about SEL, I recommend that educators check out the resources available from CASEL, the Collaborative for Academic, and Social and Emotional Learning.

Teaching Social-Emotional Skills through the 5 Competencies

In our work, we need to promote the future readiness of our students, and the five SEL competencies directly correlate to the social-emotional skills students need. The five competencies are:

  1. Self-awareness: Being self-aware helps students to understand where they are during the learning process and identify their skills and interests as they continue to learn and evolve as learners.
  2. Self-management: Students develop the skills to deal with any emotions or stress experienced during the learning process. In building self-management skills, students focus on setting goals and dealing with any stress they experience. Through learning activities that are scaffolded or promote independent learning, students will see learning as a process, rather than a final product as they develop their own personalized work plan. Developing skills of self-management is essential for the future.
  3. Social awareness: Students develop an understanding of others’ perspectives and different cultures. The development of compassion and empathy are important for students as they learn to interact with others and build interpersonal skills.
  4. Relationship skills: As employers seek skills such as teamwork and leadership qualities, providing opportunities for students to build supportive relationships will help them to feel confident in asking for help and working as part of a team. Developing relationship skills will best prepare students for future workplace success.
  5. Decision making: Students develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills, learn to process information, and find solutions. By providing students with learning activities that promote higher-order thinking and collaboration, for example, we will empower students to make decisions about their own personal growth and develop social-emotional skills that will transfer to whatever they decide to do when they leave our classrooms.

How to Implement SEL in the Classroom

Finding ways to bring SEL strategies in the classroom is not meant to be something extra or time-consuming. There are many ways to weave SEL activities into what you are already doing. Social-emotional learning programs can promote student engagement and help them to develop the essential SEL skills to best prepare them for the future.

  1. Digital tools. There are digital tools that can help educators to create spaces for students to build self-awareness and self-management. Using tools that promote reflection or check-ins are good options for helping students to gauge their understanding and check their progress in learning.
  2. Digital portfolios. Creating evidence of learning is important for students. Using a digital portfolio is an option that can help students develop self-awareness and self-management as they reflect on their growth and set new goals for their learning journey.
  3. Collaborative spaces. Using online collaborative spaces is beneficial for fostering a sense of community, in particular, useful for when students are learning from home rather than in the classroom and good preparation for future work.
  4. STEM activities. With the variety of options available, STEM can promote the development of SEL and empower students with new ways to create, innovate, iterate and reflect, all of which help to develop SEL skills. EVERFI has a variety of programs and resources that can provide students with access to learning about STEM careers, business planning, and career readiness.
  5. Inquiry methods. Methods such as project-based learning (PBL) promote the development of SEL and self-efficacy through a student-directed, independent learning experience. We want to promote student agency and PBL helps students to work through challenges, decide how to balance their work and come up with their own workflow. PBL promotes critical thinking, creativity, and problem-solving, and enhances the learning potential of each student as they design their own learning path. Students need more real-world experiences, where they can assess needs in their community and brainstorm ways to effect changes that will positively impact others beyond their classroom walls.

Benefits of SEL for the Future

With more social-emotional awareness, students will be better able to evaluate their skills and set goals for the steps they need to take in order to continue to grow as learners. As for long-term benefits, teaching SEL in the classroom positively impacts the future success of students whether in college or in the workplace. 

If we provide ways for students to learn and explore the world, they will build skills in communication, collaboration, problem-solving, resilience, and others that employers seek. Students will have the right skills, real-world awareness, and flexibility that will best prepare them for a constantly evolving world and changing work environments.

Rachelle Dené is a Spanish and STEAM: What’s nExT in Emerging Technology Teacher at Riverview High School in Oakmont, PA. Rachelle is also an attorney with a Juris Doctor degree from Duquesne University School of Law and a Master’s in Instructional Technology. Rachelle is an ISTE Certified Educator and serves as the past president of the ISTE Teacher Education Network. She was named one of 30 K-12 IT Influencers to follow in 2021.

She is the author of six books including ‘In Other Words: Quotes That Push Our Thinking,” “Unconventional Ways to Thrive in EDU”, “The Future is Now: Looking Back to Move Ahead,” “Chart A New Course: A Guide to Teaching Essential Skills for Tomorrow’s World, “True Story: Lessons That One Kid Taught Us” and her newest book “Your World Language Classroom: Strategies for In-person and Digital Instruction” is now available.

**Interested in writing a guest blog for my site? Would love to share your ideas! Submit your post here. Looking for a new book to read? Find these available at

************ Also check out my THRIVEinEDU Podcast Here!

Join my weekly show on Fridays at 6pm ET THRIVEinEDU on Facebook. Join the group here

Close Your Eyes

Guest post by Brian Kulak @bkulak11

It’s a short list, but the older I get, the longer it becomes. 

Jeff Buckley’s “Last Goodbye.”

Pearl Jam’s “Release.”

James’s “Out To Get You.”

Regardless of where I am (except in the car; I’m not a lunatic) or what’s happening in my life, there are certain songs that make me close my eyes. A reaction both genuinely involuntary and intimately purposeful. A strange, dichotomous shutting off of one sense in favor of another, telling our eyes to sit this one out while our ears do the heavy lifting. 

And then there’s the goosebumps. The sensation, dubbed frisson, is triggered by a dopamine flood measuring 4-5 seconds associated with seeing, hearing, or experiencing something that triggers an emotional response. Interestingly, the brain elicits the same reaction to fear. 

I like to think about it as moment recognition. My conscious decision to dim everything else in an effort to brighten the experience of a deeply personal, infinitely resonant moment in my life. But in order for it to take hold, to really matter, I have to remember that moment, often at a random, unrelated or loosely connected time. 

So I do. 

And it works. 

Now, while I don’t walk around my school, eyes shut, meditating on moment recognition, the practice itself has made its way into my leadership. Instead of song lyrics, however, it’s small moments with kids, staff, and community. 

When a kindergartener found out he would be repeating this year, he said, “it’s okay. I love kindergarten, and Mr. Kulak is my best friend.” 

When I responded to a Twitter question about leadership catchphrases, a teacher chimed in that I often say, “I trust you” and don’t even realize it. Now, I do. 

During the promotion, a Tatem OG, whose final child was leaving, approached me sheepishly and asked for a hug. I told her to bring it in, and she cried while we hugged. 

Education, unlike any other profession, is a mosaic of these experiences. Without the predictability or isolation of other fields, we have daily opportunities to create and store these brief moments of zen. And the best part? They will always include other people.

So do it. Find small moments for which you close your eyes, literally or figuratively, and store them up. There will come a time, and it might be soon, when you want to close your eyes because of frustration or fatigue, and when you do, behind your eyelids and just within reach will be these moments of frisson. 

Close your eyes. 

**Interested in writing a guest blog for my site? Would love to share your ideas! Submit your post here. Looking for a new book to read? Find these available at

************ Also check out my THRIVEinEDU Podcast Here!

Join our weekly show on Fridays at 6pm ET THRIVEinEDU on Facebook. Join the group here

Creating a Learner-Centered Classroom

Guest blog by Kellie Bahri @Kbahri5

As a teacher in elementary school, I’m passionate about making the classroom a fun and engaging place where students can take charge of their own learning. The Learner-Centered approach puts students in the driver’s seat and encourages them to be more involved in their own education. This type of classroom is designed to fit each student’s needs, interests, and abilities.

Student-centered learning empowers students to take control of their own education by allowing them to explore topics, generate questions, and find answers on their own. This type of learning helps students develop critical thinking skills and encourages them to take an active role in their education. When students are given the freedom to direct their own learning, they are more likely to be engaged, motivated, and develop a deeper understanding of the material.

It has been demonstrated through research that a Learner-Centered Classroom can significantly enhance the motivation, engagement, and success of students. By adopting a student-focused approach, educators are able to facilitate the development of important skills such as critical thinking, problem-solving, and self-reflection in their students. With this student-centered approach, students will become more confident and empowered learners.

The implementation of seven key strategies can help the transformation of a conventional classroom into a student-driven learning environment, in which students are equipped with the skills necessary to take a lead role in their education.

Student-led discussions

I encourage my students to lead discussions in class by sharing their ideas and perspectives. I use strategies such as Think-Pair-Share or Socratic Seminar discussions to facilitate student-led conversations. During these types of discussions, students are given the opportunity to share their thoughts and engage in active listening with their peers. This type of student-led discussion promotes critical thinking and helps students develop strong communication skills.

Collaborative learning

 I encourage my students to work together in small groups or pairs on projects, assignments, or activities. Collaborative learning helps students develop important skills such as communication, teamwork, and problem-solving. I use techniques such as Jigsaw or Group Concept Mapping to encourage my students to collaborate and share ideas and I use online collaboration tools such as Google Classroom or Schoology to allow my students to work together on projects from anywhere. This type of learning not only promotes social and emotional growth but also helps students understand and retain information better through shared exploration and discussion.

Choice-based learning

 I believe in offering my students a range of learning options, allowing them to choose activities that interest them and align with their learning styles and passions. Choice-based learning is a student-centered approach that empowers students to take the lead in their learning. I use centers, stations, or choice boards to provide my students with a variety of options and let them choose what they want to work on. This type of learning creates a more engaging and personalized learning experience for each student and enhances student’s’ organizational skills. 

Inquiry-based learning

 Inquiry-based learning is a student-driven approach where students are encouraged to ask questions and engage in their own investigation to increase their critical thinking and problem-solving skills. I use prompts such as “I wonder…” or “How can we find out…” to support inquiry-based learning, and provide opportunities for students to engage in hands-on activities, simulations, and experiments to support their investigations. And to make the process even more meaningful, I encourage students to keep a student inquiry journal where they can jot down all their curious questions about the world around them. This journal not only helps them keep track of their progress, but it also gives them a sense of ownership over their own learning journey.

Project-based learning

Project-based learning, a hands-on method of education where students engage in real-world projects that showcase their knowledge and skills, can lead to a deeper understanding of the material and increased engagement in the learning process. By working on challenging projects that require critical thinking, problem-solving, and application of knowledge, students can see the relevance of their education and make connections to the world around them. This approach aligns with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as it promotes active, meaningful learning and the development of skills that are essential for success in the 21st century. Examples of project-based learning activities may include creating a podcast, designing a website, or constructing a model of a historical landmark.


I encourage my students to reflect on their own learning process and to think about how they can improve. This type of self-reflection helps students to understand their strengths and weaknesses and to set goals for themselves. By regularly reflecting on their own learning, students can better understand how they learn and how they can become more effective learners.I use online journaling tools such as Flip, SeeSaw, or Kidblog for students to document and reflect on their learning experiences.

In-class projects

I assign in-class projects that allow my students to apply the concepts and skills they have learned in class in a hands-on and engaging way. These projects can involve independent or group work and can be used to reinforce the material covered in class. For example, a student might create a poster or model to demonstrate their understanding of a particular subject. In-class projects give students the opportunity to be creative and to showcase their learning in a tangible way. This type of project also helps students to develop important skills such as research, collaboration, and presentation skills.

Imagine being in a classroom where the focus is on you and your learning journey. It’s all about empowering students to make the most of their education, and helping them understand the importance of what they’re learning. That’s what makes a Learner-Centered Classroom so special. A learning space for students to actively participate and be engaged is key to inspiring students and sparking a lifelong love for learning.

Kellie Bahri is an experienced instructional specialist, teacher, and children’s book author. With over a decade of experience in education, she has successfully implemented innovative instructional strategies resulting in improved student performance and engagement. As Elementary Teacher of the Year for 2020-2022, her dedication to education and creative teaching methods are highly regarded. Kellie also uses her writing talent to inspire a love of learning in young readers through her children’s book. Her goal is to make a positive impact on children’s lives and help them reach their full potential.

About the Author

Kellie Bahri is an experienced instructional specialist, teacher, and children’s book author. With over a decade of experience in education, she has successfully implemented innovative instructional strategies resulting in improved student performance and engagement. As Elementary Teacher of the Year for 2020-2022, her dedication to education and creative teaching methods are highly regarded. Kellie also uses her writing talent to inspire a love of learning in young readers through her children’s book. Her goal is to make a positive impact on children’s lives and help them reach their full potential.

**Interested in writing a guest blog for my site? Would love to share your ideas! Submit your post here. Looking for a new book to read? Find these available at

************ Also check out my THRIVEinEDU Podcast Here!

Join my weekly show on Fridays at 6pm ET THRIVEinEDU on Facebook. Join the group here

ChatGPT for Spanish Classrooms 


¿Amigo o Enemigo?

Guest post By Nicole Biscotti, M. Ed. @BiscottiNicole

The short answer: Don’t fight progress – embrace it, learn how to better prepare kids for their future with AI, AND use it to save yourself time with a few important caveats

ChatGPT is free, works in English and Spanish, and generates text on any topic in seconds.  You can use it to generate readings, sample readings, explanations of grammatical concepts, lesson plans, songs, poems, narratives, and the list goes on. ChatGPT frees me up to focus more on the aspects of teaching that make a difference for my kids – building relationships, differentiation, formative assessment, instruction design, being present and less stressed out…you get the idea. 

Integrating ChatGPT also benefits students in the long term because it prepares students for success in the job market that they will enter. ChatGPT will likely become increasingly relevant because its user base, accuracy, and capabilities are increasing exponentially and rapidly. Students’ competitiveness in their careers will depend partially on their ability to be productive with this tool. Unlike most AI, ChatGPT is expected to shake up the landscape for white-collar workers in industries as varied as healthcare and computer science (Lowrey, 2023).

Personalized Learning

Back to the classroom. ChatGPT is just what the busy Spanish teacher necesita – no wasted time searching for the perfect “lectura” (text). Effective language instruction is coupled with learning about culture and now I’m able to generate texts in seconds AND I can even center them around a Latin American country, cultural point of interest, holiday, grammatical structure, etc.  Differentiation and personalized learning, those lofty teaching ideals that can feel a bit heavy when you mean well but have 35 kids in your room, have become that much easier to attain with ChatGPT.  It’s possible to generate texts about diverse aspects of culture in seconds and make adjustments for interests, length, rigor, etc. (Kuo & Lai, 2006) (Salaberry, 1999; Rost, 2002).

Flexible Texts for Creating Lessons That Address ACTFL Standards

ChatGPT effortlessly generated texts about the pre-Columbian cultures of Peru, Mexico, and Puerto Rico respectively that used the subjunctive mood for my classes.  Additionally, ChatGPT was kind enough to make comprehension questions for each reading as well.  ¡Muy buen amigo indeed! All I had to do was type in “preguntas de comprensión sobre culturas pre colombinas de Perú” and I had seven great questions for each reading. Students learned about the products and practices of indigenous cultures of Latin America directly through these readings which could be used as an integral part of an endless list of interpretive, interpersonal, or presentational activities.

The possibilities for quickly generating texts about any aspect of culture using any grammatical structure with ChatGPT to address World-Readiness Standards for Learning Languages from the American Council of Foreign Language Teacher’s (ACTFL) are seemingly endless.  As an example, students could use the texts below to form comparisons between pre-Columbian cultures and identify intercultural influences in an interpretive activity.  In small groups they could engage in an interpersonal activity to support a subsequent presentational activity comparing and contrasting the indigenous cultures. Mi amigo ChatGPT kindly provided me with a list of prompts for students to use in guiding them with comparing and contrasting as well (ACTFL, 2022).

Engaging Grammar Instruction

With mi amigo ChatGPT I have access to texts and comprehension questions about almost any topic that highlights any grammatical structure in Spanish so my students have more frequent opportunities to use text to identify and explore the uses of grammar in context. Research shows that students are highly motivated to learn grammar through the tasks of reading, writing, speaking, and listening. While reading and learning about culture, students are exposed to the subtleties of the use of grammar and gain a better understanding of the nuances of the language (ACTFL, 2022). 

ChatGPT’s Limitations

Interestingly, I was not able to ask ChatGPT to create an essay comparing and contrasting pre-Columbian cultures using the subjunctive tense because each time it wanted to compare and contrast the use of the subjunctive tense in the respective cultures.  This is actually not even a valid discussion given that pre-Columbian cultures didn’t speak Spanish.  The description of why the subjunctive would be used was accurate however the premise of the ChatGPT’s essay was that the Aztecs and the Mayan spoke Spanish.

“El subjuntivo es un tiempo verbal que se utiliza para expresar acciones inciertas o deseos. En las culturas precolombinas, el subjuntivo se utilizaba a menudo en los rituales religiosos para expresar deseos o peticiones a los dioses. Por ejemplo, en la cultura azteca, se utilizaba el subjuntivo en las oraciones de ofrenda a los dioses para pedirles prosperidad y buenas cosechas.”

“Otra cultura precolombina que utilizaba ampliamente el subjuntivo era la maya. En esta cultura, el subjuntivo se utilizaba en los textos jeroglíficos para describir eventos futuros o inciertos.”

This could be user error because I may not have known how to ask mi amigo ChatGPT the right way to elicit the correct response. However I think it’s safe to say that at a minimum it’s not easy to figure out how to create a cultural comparison with the subjunctive mood in Spanish – at least for now.  

Cheating or Opportunity to Analyze Texts?

Only one kid so far tried to pass a paragraph written by ChatGPT by me and honestly I could tell even though I was not using any software to monitor his computer.  I didn’t need Edward Tian’s GPTZero app either.  I’ve been a teacher and a mom long enough to recognize vocabulary, verb conjugations, and style that is unusual for teenagers to use. Also he seemed to know a lot about the topic for someone who wrote the paragraph in about five minutes.  

In the sample texts that ChatGPT generated for me about pre-Columbian cultures you’ll notice similarities in style and depth.  First of all, the wording is very similar, as is the paragraph length, sentence structure, etc.  Another noticeable attribute is how general the information is.  

Since the likelihood of the student not using ChatGPT on another assignment again in any other class is pretty low, I decided to illustrate a point to him about the tool. I told him that the information lacked depth and sources.  We looked over it and agreed on specific places where more information would be important to the reader and which insights it would provide in the overall cultural context of his topic.

When he finished finding sources and editing his work, he presented a much more robust discussion.  We discussed the differences in the two writing pieces and he admitted to using ChatGPT for the first one.  We then talked about the differences in his experience as a learner from writing the first to the second piece and also about how ChatGPT might change writing academically and professionally given its capabilities and limitations.  As ChatGPT improves undoubtedly it will become harder to spot so easily but like everything about technology we’ll learn how to work with that as it comes.


Although there are benefits to the classroom, this tool can only be used in compliance with the law and its terms of use by teachers.  There are legal issues with minors using ChatGPT so for at least the short term it’s best used by adults for the classroom.  ChatGPT collects information such as users’ IP addresses, interactions, country, etc. that is prohibited under the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998 for children under the age of 13.  Although ChatGPT doesn’t allow minors to open accounts according to their terms of use; however it doesn’t verify the age of its users (Claybourn, 2023). 

Spontaneous Classroom Connection & Fun

When one of my students wondered aloud what rap in Spanish sounded like I casually offered to write a rap about the subjunctive. That definitely got their attention and quickly became a challenge that I confidently accepted knowing that I had an amigo who could help.  The rap was actually a really great explanation of the subjunctive and was pretty catchy. A comment from a student quickly turned into kids making beats and rapping about the subjunctive in Spanish. It was a great learning moment and maybe most poignantly, technology-facilitated spontaneous fun and connection in my classroom.

I’d love to hear how it’s going in your classroom with ChatGPT. Please comment below. 

American Council of Teachers of Foreign Languages. (2022). Teach Grammar as a Concept in Context. ACTFL Language Connects. Retrieved January 20, 2023, from 

American Council of Teachers of Foreign Languages. (2022). World-readiness standards for learning languages – ACTFL. World Readiness Standards For Learning Languages. Retrieved January 20, 2023, from 

Claybourn, C. (2023, January 18). CHATGPT in classrooms: What to know | high schools | U.S. news. ChatGPT in Classrooms: What to Know. Retrieved January 21, 2023, from 

Kuo, M.-M., & Lai, C.-C. (2006). Linguistics across Cultures: The Impact of Culture on Second Language Learning. Journal of Foreign Language Instruction, 1(1). 

Lowrey, A. (2023). The Atlantic. How ChatGPT Will Destabilize White-Collar Work. Retrieved January 20, 2023, from 

Rost, M. (2002). New Technologies in Language Education: Opportunities for Professional Growth. Retrieved October 12, 2006 from ae/multimedia/pdf/MikeRost_PDF.pdf

Salaberry, R. (1999). CALL in the year 2000: still developing the research agenda’. Language learning and technology 3/1: 104-107

**Interested in writing a guest blog for my site? Would love to share your ideas! Submit your post here. Looking for a new book to read? Find these available at

************ Also check out my THRIVEinEDU Podcast Here!

Join my weekly show on Fridays at 6pm ET THRIVEinEDU on Facebook. Join the group here

Preparing Today’s Students for the Future Workforce


Description automatically generated with medium confidence

Sponsored by @x2VOL

Today’s high school students are the future of our workforce. Before long they will be in college or starting full-time jobs of their own. But how are today’s students preparing for their futures? What will the workforce look like when these students move on to the next stage of their lives?

Schools, districts, and even state education departments provide various programs for students to gain relevant work experience and gain necessary skills outside of the classroom.

What Are These Programs? There are a number of school-based programs that support student growth through work such as:

  • Work-based learning programs 
  • Internship programs 
  • Cooperative Education programs 
  • Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs
  • Job Shadowing 
  • Apprenticeships 


Why are These Programs Important? These programs allow students to have more than just a part-time job after school. These programs are focused. They are designed to assist the student in gaining the most out of their experiences. Students aren’t just working and then signing off that they did the work… they are working, meeting certain criteria, and reporting back on what they learned in their job at their apprenticeship or from their internship. They are being observed and critiqued on if they are showing up to work on time. Are they following instructions? Are they taking advantage of leadership opportunities? Are they communicating well?

These programs are focused and designed to engage each student in their area of focus or their job to ensure they are reflecting on their experiences and learning from them.

What are students learning?

Through these programs, students are learning valuable life and work skills – skills they might not learn in the classroom. They are being assessed, their progress toward certain goals is being monitored, and they are self-reflecting on the things they are learning. Many WBL and CTE programs track the development of skills such as:

  • Basic work skills
    • Showing up on time 
    • Completing assigned tasks 
    • Collaboration
    • Time management
  • Specific industry skills
    • Abilities needed for a certain job
    • Tasks required for certain areas of work
    • Certifications needed for certain roles
  • Soft skills
    • Leadership roles
    • Communication
    • Personal accountability
    • Responsibility
    • Critical thinking skills

How does this impact their future?

These programs prepare students by giving them opportunities to learn skills they will inevitably need as they enter the workforce. Academics provide them with knowledge and work and service programs provide them with the skills they need. 

Student Outcomes After high school, some students move on to community college or a four-year university. Other students move straight into the workforce. Other students move on to trade school and then into the workforce in a trade of their choice.

The skills they learn through these high school programs, however, set them up for success. They aren’t learning these skills while they are in college or in their first job. They learn them early on in programs designed to help them identify areas of growth and then succeed in those areas.

For example, work-based learning programs allow students to work a part-time job after school. Students will record their hours and experience and often report back to their coordinators on what they learned or what skills they utilized during their shifts.

CTE programs provide opportunities for high school students to focus on a trade and spend time learning specific skills necessary for that trade. Students can then move on to trade school after high school already prepared with the basic skills they will need. Introducing trade schools as an option for students at an early stage provides students with more options after high school.

Related article: Is Gen Z Interested in Trade Work?

Job shadowing programs are excellent ways for young students to get a glimpse into potential careers. There’s value in discovering what they like and don’t like and what they have natural talents for or things that might not be their cup of tea. Job shadowing provides a look into the real workforce for students by seeing what someone in that profession experiences on a daily basis. These real-world experiences provide such valuable insight for students by taking concepts of what a job might be and seeing the reality of the work.  

Resources to support student work programs

These programs are excellent opportunities for students to gain knowledge and skills, but administrators need support in sustaining these programs day to day. That’s where x2VOL comes in. Click below to download our e-guide and learn more about how x2VOL supports the facilitation of hours and development tracking for student work programs.

Graphical user interface, text, application, chat or text message

Description automatically generated

**Interested in writing a guest blog for my site? Would love to share your ideas! Submit your post here. Looking for a new book to read? Find these available at

************ Also check out my THRIVEinEDU Podcast Here!

Join my weekly show on Fridays at 6pm ET THRIVEinEDU on Facebook. Join the group here

The MTSS Series: Part 3

Guest post by Bonnie Nieves, in collaboration with Class Composer

Now that you have become more familiar with MTSS in my prior blogs, hopefully, you have a better understanding of the tiered supports and are ready for some next steps. Let’s take a look at some instructional methods that can be used in the classroom to foster the development of essential SEL skills and help educators to best provide for each student’s needs.

When we have a variety of methods that we can share with colleagues, it helps us to better provide for students and also to build our library of resources to become more comfortable with MTSS.

This is the time to revisit the inventory taken at the beginning of the adoption process and consider building a resource library. You may find that current instructional methods require only slight modifications to be considered Tier 1 and Tier 2 practices. We have many options and sometimes by taking the time to share ideas, whether through grade-level planning or PLC time, we can build our resources together in less time.

Below are some instructional methods suggested by the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning It is likely that many teachers already use similar strategies; making these a comfortable entry point where people can gain traction and buy into your MTSS roll-out.

  • Co-construct classroom community agreements for behavior, and how to treat one another.
  • Design learning activities that empower students to explore issues that are important to them and co-create solutions to improve the classroom, school, or community.
  • Make connections between SEL and academic instruction; initiate reflection and discussion.
  • Guide students through the process of setting goals, encourage and commend academic risk-taking, and incremental progress. Frame productive struggle as part of the learning process; coach students on how to correct mistakes and recover from setbacks.
  • Balance class time with periods of direct instruction, student cooperative work, and time to work/reflect alone.
  • Elicit student thinking by asking open-ended questions and encouraging students to elaborate on their responses.
  • Provide opportunities for students to reflect on cooperative group work and what made that work successful and/or challenging and plan for improvement.
  • Affirm students’ diverse identities and cultures through activities and interactions.
  • Provide space for students to share and learn about each other’s lives and backgrounds.

Tracking student progress and implementing strategies

These strategies can be easily included in meaningful ways with minimal disruption to existing classroom routines or additional prep time. Consider asking faculty to share examples of what these look like in their classrooms. our MTSS resource library now contains relevant, peer-reviewed practices! Leverage the tools available to share ideas and monitor the progress of your students with Class Composer.

Integrating activities that focus on academic content AND behavioral/social-emotional instruction at the same time elevates the importance of non-academic performance. Viewing traditional academic instruction through behavioral and social-emotional lenses helps to incorporate them into current routines. Check-in / check-out, think-pair-share, reflection prompts, and goal-setting are examples of tier-1 instructional methods for academics. To add a behavioral/SEL component, consider prompts that elicit student dispositions such as resilience, independence, creativity, and self-motivation.

Sharing information through Class Composer

Class Composer enables all teachers to access the information they need about each individual student when they need it. It makes it easy to track and record student growth toward individualized goals. With Class Composer, it facilitates how you manage all the assessment data collected in a streamlined way! Depending on the strategies that you use, there are many ways to gather data on student growth and help students to build skills in a variety of ways.

Some successful examples from my classroom are visible thinking and retrieval practice activities listed here.

What Works Clearinghouse has a wide variety of evidence-based programs and strategies to explore. The resources can be sorted by grade level and content area.

According to, the most effective behavioral and SEL instruction is SAFE (sequenced, active, focused, and explicit). Their guide will help when you are ready to select an SEL program that will work for your school community. Aside from adopting a full SEL program, purposefully choosing activities from research-based organizations such as,,, and can be a way to build behavioral and SEL routines that provide common, informal assessment data.

Next, align instructional tools with CASEL competencies and use proficiency scales to document student progress and to monitor the need for movement between tiers. Balance formal and informal assessments with observed behaviors to identify patterns. Faulty and staff who interact with students on a daily basis are indispensable in the monitoring of behavior trends and changes.

Hidden curriculum, how educators model and respond to behavior, accounts for as much as 90% of students’ learning experience according to Frontiers In Education April 2022. The way that adults interact with one another and with students makes impressions and has a long-lasting impact on relationships and learning outcomes.

(I wrote about a similar idea in this blog).

Lesson examples

Curriculum for Teaching Emotional Self-Regulation

Additional Resources

Click to access Classroom_Activities_Handout.pdf

Click to access COOR-79l-2016-03-CWT-lesson-plans.pdf

When it comes to the tools we use, having a streamlined and unified space where we can access the information we need to best provide for students is essential. Take some time to explore Class Composer today using their sandbox. You will experience a simpler, more streamlined experience when in the easily accessible, data-driven platform that promotes student academic achievement and the development of essential SEL skills.

Head to Class Composer to learn more!

Bonnie Nieves is the author of “Be Awesome on Purpose” and has over a decade of experience as a high school science teacher. She has a Master’s Degree in Curriculum, Instruction, and Educational Leadership. Her passion for creating immersive and authentic experiences that fuel curiosity and creating student-centered, culturally responsive learning spaces that promote equity and inclusion has led her to establish Educate On Purpose Coaching.

In addition to being an award-winning educator, Bonnie works to ensure equitable and engaging education for all through her work as a copy editor at EdReports and Classroom Materials and Media reviewer for The American Biology Teacher journal. She serves on the MassCUE board of directors and enjoys connecting with educators through social media, professional organizations, conferences, Twitter chats, and edcamps. Bonnie is a member of the National Association of Biology Teachers, the Teacher Institute for Evolutionary Science, and the National Science Teaching Association. She encourages you to connect with her on Twitter @biologygoddess, Instagram @beawesomeonpurpose, Clubhouse @biologygoddess, and LinkedIn.

Please visit for information about her current projects.

**Interested in writing a guest blog for my site? Would love to share your ideas! Submit your post here. Looking for a new book to read? Find these available at

************ Also check out my THRIVEinEDU Podcast Here!

Join my weekly show on Fridays at 6pm ET THRIVEinEDU on Facebook. Join the group here

What is the Value of the Teacher in the AI Classroom? – I asked ChatGPT over coffee.

Guest post By Tiffany Wycoff


At first glance, the release of OpenAI’s ChatGPT in the midst of the 2022 holiday season could hardly be counted among the items likely to be on a teacher’s wish list. It’s hard to imagine joy at such a release during my years of teaching middle and high school English, which consisted almost entirely of having students write, then grading student writing. If someone had suggested I introduce a tool that could answer an AP Lit open response question in a matter of seconds to my students, I would have contemplated quitting.

And yet, today I find myself both in awe at the dawn of this reality and curious about what it really means to be a teacher within it. As I pondered the questions – How will ChatGPT affect learning? How can teachers use it as a tool in their classrooms? How can teachers learn to both recognize and teach students the unique role and value of the human in an AI classroom and world? – I had the thought, maybe I should just ask the machine. 

So, on an ordinary day at work for me “in the cloud,” I grabbed a cup of coffee and settled into a chat with my computer. I found myself immensely curious. Would ChatGPT have some decent answers? Where would I find its limitations? Could this conversation help teachers start to understand the power of this technology as both an empowering tool and a frustrating reality? After a thrilling chat that lasted less than 5 minutes, I have to say…I think it could. Below is our coffee talk, with ChatGPT’s unedited contributions in purple.

Me: How will ChatGPT affect learning?

ChatGPT: I’m sorry, but I am not familiar with a chatbot or language model called ChatGPT. Could you provide more context or clarify your question?

(Ha! Clearly we’re not off to a good start. I refrain from asking GPT, “Are you being ironic?”)

Me (Trying again): How will generative AI affect teaching and learning in classrooms?

ChatGPT: Generative artificial intelligence (AI) systems, such as language models like GPT-3, have the potential to revolutionize education by providing new ways for students to learn and interact with educational content.

One potential application of generative AI in education is the creation of personalized learning experiences. For example, a language model could be used to generate customized learning materials or activities based on a student’s individual needs and interests. This could help students learn at their own pace and in a way that is most engaging and effective for them.

Generative AI could also be used to create simulations or virtual environments for students to interact with, providing hands-on learning experiences that would be difficult or impossible to replicate in a physical classroom.

Another potential use of generative AI in education is the creation of interactive tutoring systems that can respond to a student’s questions and provide real-time feedback and guidance.

Overall, the use of generative AI in education has the potential to make learning more personalized, interactive, and efficient. However, it is important to carefully consider the ethical implications of using AI in education and to ensure that it is used in a way that supports and enhances, rather than replaces, traditional teaching methods.

(Really? You think we should consider the ethical implications on AI in education when all this AI is out there in the “open” for free? That’s very intelligent of you! Thank you.)

Me: What other ways can teachers use AI in lesson planning?

ChatGPT: There are many potential ways that teachers can use artificial intelligence (AI) in lesson planning and teaching. Here are a few examples:

  1. Personalized learning: AI can be used to create customized learning materials and activities for individual students based on their needs, interests, and learning style. This can help students learn at their own pace and in a way that is most engaging and effective for them.
  2. Grading and feedback: AI can be used to grade assignments and provide feedback to students in real-time. This can save teachers time and allow them to focus on more high-impact tasks, such as providing one-on-one feedback and support to students who need it.
  3. Content creation: AI can be used to create educational content, such as videos, simulations, or interactive exercises. This can help teachers create engaging and interactive learning experiences for their students.
  4. Data analysis: AI can be used to analyze data on student performance and engagement, providing insights and recommendations for teachers to use in their lesson planning.
  5. Collaboration and communication: AI can be used to facilitate collaboration and communication between students, teachers, and parents. For example, AI-powered chatbots or virtual assistants can be used to answer common questions and provide support to students and parents.

It’s important to keep in mind that AI should be used as a tool to support and enhance traditional teaching methods, rather than replacing them. 

(This is actually a solid list of ideas for teachers! We may be onto something.) 

Me: What is the best use of a teacher’s time with students in a classroom with AI technology?

ChatGPT: There are many potential ways that teachers can use their time effectively with students in a classroom with artificial intelligence (AI) technology. Some potential approaches include:

  1. Personalized instruction: Teachers can use AI technology to create personalized learning experiences for students based on their individual needs, interests, and learning styles. This can involve using AI to generate customized materials or activities, or to provide real-time feedback and support to students as they work.
  2. Collaborative learning: Teachers can use AI technology to facilitate collaboration and communication between students, allowing them to work together on projects, share ideas, and learn from one another.
  3. Problem-based learning: Teachers can use AI technology to create interactive, real-world problem-solving exercises for students. This can involve using simulations, virtual environments, or other interactive tools to help students apply their knowledge and skills in meaningful ways.
  4. Project-based learning: Teachers can use AI technology to create engaging and interactive projects for students to work on, allowing them to explore their interests and learn through hands-on experiences.
  5. One-on-one support: Teachers can use their time with students to provide individualized feedback and support to those who need it most. This can involve working with students one-on-one or in small groups to provide targeted help and guidance.

Overall, the best use of a teacher’s time with students in a classroom with AI technology will depend on the specific needs and goals of the students, as well as the teacher’s teaching style and expertise. It’s important to consider how AI can be used as a tool to support and enhance traditional teaching methods, rather than replacing them.

(Ding ding ding! We’re getting so close in number 5, time for one-on-one support.)

Me: What can humans do that AI cannot?

ChatGPT: There are many things that humans can do that artificial intelligence (AI) cannot. Some examples include:

  1. Creativity: Humans have the ability to generate new and original ideas, whereas AI is limited to the knowledge and capabilities that have been programmed into it.
  2. Empathy: Humans have the ability to understand and share the feelings of others, whereas AI lacks the capacity to feel emotions.
  3. Moral reasoning: Humans have the ability to make moral and ethical judgments, whereas AI can only follow the rules and instructions it has been given.
  4. Social interactions: Humans have the ability to form complex social relationships and engage in social interactions in a nuanced and subtle way, whereas AI is limited in its ability to understand and navigate social situations.
  5. Physical tasks: Humans have the ability to perform a wide range of physical tasks, such as lifting, carrying, and manipulating objects, whereas AI is limited in its physical capabilities.

Overall, there are many things that humans can do that AI cannot, and it is likely that this will continue to be the case for the foreseeable future. While AI can perform some tasks more efficiently or accurately than humans, it is still limited in its ability to think, feel, and behave like a human.

(And this, my friends, is at the heart of what we’ve been talking about. We as humans need to be clear about what our unique value is within this reality. Machines work on algorithms…we need to level up our human-only skills. We need to be what we at LINC call “generative humans.”)

Me: GPT, what is a generative human?

ChatGPT: It’s not clear what you mean by a “generative human.” In the context of artificial intelligence (AI), the term “generative” typically refers to the ability of a system to generate new and original output, such as text, images, or music. For example, a generative AI system might be trained on a large dataset of text and then be able to generate new, coherent sentences or paragraphs based on that training.

If you are asking about the concept of a “generative human” in a broader sense, it’s possible that you might be referring to the idea of humans as creative or productive beings. In this context, a generative human might be someone who is able to generate new ideas, solutions, or products through their creativity and ingenuity.

I hope this helps to clarify things. If you have a specific question or context in mind, please let me know and I’ll do my best to assist you.

(Precisely! Yes, you have “clarified things,” meaning you have drawn the same connection I have been pondering. Thank you for seeing things my way GPT!)

Me: Applying that same logic, what is a generative teacher?

ChatGPT: The server experienced an error while processing your request. Sorry about that! You can retry your request, or contact us through our help center at if the error persists.

(Well, that’s embarrassing. Let’s resubmit…maybe you got lost in the logic.)

A generative teacher might be someone who is able to generate new and innovative ways of teaching and learning in the classroom. This might involve creating personalized learning experiences for students based on their needs, interests, and learning styles; using technology and other tools to facilitate collaboration and communication among students; or developing interactive, problem-based learning exercises that allow students to apply their knowledge and skills in meaningful ways.

In general, a generative teacher might be someone who is able to think creatively and adaptively, and who is always looking for ways to improve and innovate their teaching methods. They might be open to new ideas and technologies, and be willing to try out different approaches in order to find what works best for their students.

(And just like that, you’ve made my point. The value of the teacher in the reality of AI is human connection and creativity. It is generativity in living, breathing motion.)

About the Author

Tiffany Wycoff is the Chief Innovation Officer and Co-Founder of LINC. Connect with Tiffany on Twitter @teachontheedge.

**Interested in writing a guest blog for my site? Would love to share your ideas! Submit your post here. Looking for a new book to read? Find these available at

************ Also check out my THRIVEinEDU Podcast Here!

Join my weekly show on Fridays at 6pm ET THRIVEinEDU on Facebook. Join the group here

Chicago by Hedreich Nichols

Guest post

Listen to Smallbites via Hedreich Nichols, @Hedreich

This week is part two of the SmallBites Black History series. It could aptly called “Beyond the Struggle”. When I think of June and Pride celebrations, there is so much joy. Yes, there is talk of Stonewall and the fight for human rights, but there is a joy that we are missing in February. I believe that comes from the focus on our civil struggle and a lack of knowledge about the many achievements of people from the African diaspora in America.

Let Your Students Do the Sleuthing

I invite everyone to take time, this month especially, to celebrate all that Black Americans have accomplished in the face of insurmountable odds. Did you know that most enslaved people were freed with no education, no restitution and no path to transition from enslavement to freedman in a hostile environment? And yet, there have been notable achievements in every sector, achievements that are not widely known. Since this month is dedicated to Black History, allow your students to research Black business owners, scientists, writers, inventors, choreographers, educators, politicians, generals, etc. Discuss who they find and allow your students to take the lead. I’m hoping that will be acceptable even in today’s climate.  There is so much to celebrate and Black achievement in the US is so much deeper than Civil Rights and Soul food.

Who Wants to Join Me??

If you do find someone especially interesting to celebrate, I’d love to interview one or two Black History super sleuths this month for SmallBites. Message me at

You can read more about Bronzeville in one of 3 of my social justice titles for Cherry Lake Publishing, From Black Wall Street to Allensworth

You can read more about the humanitarian crisis of emancipation from Professor Downs’ book, Sick From Freedom.Post navigation

Check out the podcast here.

**Interested in writing a guest blog for my site? Would love to share your ideas! Submit your post here. Looking for a new book to read? Find these available at

************ Also check out my THRIVEinEDU Podcast Here!

Join my weekly show on Fridays at 6pm ET THRIVEinEDU on Facebook. Join the group here

Learning about the metaverse

When it comes to education, there are always new ideas, methods, and technologies. As we have seen, especially over the past two years, the number of tools available and the advances in technology are increasing tremendously. In our schools, we have to prepare our students so that they understand what these technologies are, how they are being used now, and what the impact might be on them in the future. 

For most people, topics like augmented and virtual reality and artificial intelligence may be new. Understanding the differences between AR and VR for example and how these technologies are being used in the world and in education is important, especially with the use of AR and VR in different areas of work. Now enter the term “metaverse” which may be a new concept to many, however, it has actually been around for almost three decades. Neal Stephenson, an American science fiction author introduced the concept of the metaverse in his novel, Snow Crash back in 1992.

For some people, the term metaverse may have been first heard when Mark Zuckerberg announced that he was changing the name of Facebook to Meta back in October of 2021. To help people understand what his ideas were for the metaverse, he released a short video about how the metaverse would work. I recommend sharing this video with students to spark a conversation first.

With these emerging technologies and also with things like blockchain, NFTs, and web3 for a few others, how can educators keep up so that we can prepare our students? With so many responsibilities in our daily work, how do we find time to learn more about the metaverse? What are the best resources and how can we provide opportunities for students to drive their own learning about these emerging technologies?

Understanding what the metaverse is

First, it is important to have a working definition of the metaverse. The metaverse is “a simulated digital environment that uses augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and blockchain, along with concepts from social media, to create spaces for rich user interaction mimicking the real world.” A few years ago, I read the book Ready Player One, which has been used to provide a glimpse into what the metaverse might look like. For getting started with learning about the metaverse, having a good based understanding of what the metaverse is would be the first step.

Years ago, people were using Second Life, which was a way for meeting with others in a virtual world. When I first used it in 2015, I was not sure what to think. For anyone who has not experienced it, you would create your own avatar, and communicate and interact with others in a virtual space. It was being used in place of traditional meeting tools like Google Hangouts or Zoom for example. Using this as a comparison,  the metaverse would be quite similar, except used for more than just meetings. It would be for all aspects of personal and professional life. Can you imagine spending 24 hours in the metaverse? Think about everything that you do in a typical day and what that might look like in the metaverse? What are the benefits and drawbacks? A good question to ask students and see what their responses are. Check out a video of a young woman who spent 24 hours in a VR headset and what the impact it was on her as a result. 

You can check out some of the videos available that provide a simulated metaverse experience. videos 

You may be familiar with Fortnite and Roblox, which are platforms that demonstrate the concept of the metaverse. Roblox is even providing lesson plans and activities that are aligned with the ISTE Standards. Engaging in the metaverse experience also does not require the use of headsets as the environments can be accessed through a computer and using a variety of web VR such as Engage VR for Mozilla Hubs for example. 

What else do we need to know?

More than just knowing what the metaverse is, we need to understand how it works, what devices and technology are needed, and what other concepts we need to be knowledgeable about. With life spent in the metaverse, everyday tasks like making purchases, working, going to school, socializing, and entertainment will look different. We will need to understand how to buy things and keep track of information, so we also need to understand blockchain, cryptocurrency, and NFTs.  Think about the age of the students that you teach or work with. Fast forward ten years, will students be going to school and working in the metaverse?  If so, then we have to do what we can to prepare them and ourselves.  What are the skills that students will need to interact in the metaverse?

But will the metaverse disappear?

There has been a lot of growth in the use of the metaverse since October 2021. In education, some colleges are not only thinking about holding classes in the metaverse, some have already done so.  Research is being done to explore what the benefits of learning in the metaverse might be. Stanford unveiled a metaverse learning experience for students in June of 2021. Using the platform Engage VR, more than 250 students wearing headsets participated in class in virtual reality. In total, students completed two courses and spent 3,500 hours together in the metaverse rather than the traditional classroom or virtual meeting space like Zoom or Teams.

In the spring, it was announced by Victory XR that ten “metaversities” would be launching in the fall. While there are concerns about the metaverse, there are also some anticipated benefits to these options. Considering the increasing and sometimes prohibitive cost of traditional universities, a metaversity might lead to more opportunities for students. 

Thinking about benefits, providing education via the metaverse could resolve common issues such as class sizes or lack of adequate learning materials due to tight budgets. Students would be able to immerse more in learning experiences and in some cases, may feel more connected to and included in learning. A survey found that 80% of respondents felt more included in the metaverse. With permission settings, teachers would have more control over student interactions in the metaverse. In higher education, there can be a digital twin, which is a professor who is in the physical classroom space but through an avatar, is able to engage with students in the virtual space too.  

With these emerging technologies, it is important that we all explore new ideas and ways to best prepare our students and ourselves for what these technologies will bring. 

A recent article in Forbes shared some of the potential benefits of the metaverse. In the metaverse, people can make purchases, hold meetings, own land, buy and sell real estate, and even buy clothing for their avatars. It would have its own virtual economy for these transactions, which brings up another issue, financial literacy, and understanding how the concept of money and finances would work in the metaverse. When it comes to the impact the metaverse might have on the economy, it is estimated that it could become an $800 billion market by 2024.

**Interested in writing a guest blog for my site? Would love to share your ideas! Submit your post here. Looking for a new book to read? Find these available at

************ Also check out my THRIVEinEDU Podcast Here!

Join my weekly show on Fridays at 6pm ET THRIVEinEDU on Facebook. Join the group here

Ed3 DAO – amazing learning experience!


Over the last couple of years, there has been a lot of discussion about emerging technologies including artificial intelligence, augmented and virtual reality, blockchain, cryptocurrency, the metaverse, ​NFTS, and web 3. There are so many things happening in the world of technology impacting the workplace, and we are now starting to see these technologies making their way into the education space. Teachers that work with elementary students, or teach a content area such as math or a specific course like calculus or physics, may wonder how these topics might connect with the content they’re teaching. As a Spanish and STEAM teacher, for years I did not bring emerging technologies like AI or ​AR/VR into my Spanish classroom because I thought “I’m just a Spanish teacher.” However, we all need to help our students understand these technologies and their potential impact on our personal lives and education today and in the future. There is something that each of us can do in our classrooms regardless of the grade level or content area that we teach. It might look different for each of us, but we can still find ways to help students better understand the technologies that will be part of the future of learning and work.  

How can educators prepare?

Teachers often feel like they have to be the expert, but I can attest to the fact that you don’t. Thinking that I had to be the expert kept me from taking risks throughout my teaching career. I know that I don’t have to be the expert, I only need to know enough to get students started. Then they can take the lead and we can learn with them as everyone knows, we learn directly from them too. So when it comes to these topics, finding time to learn about them can be challenging. How can we possibly know enough?

In October, Getting Smart held a Town Hall focused on “Where has education been and where will it go next?” Nate McClennen, VP of Innovation and Education kicked off the event with an overview of the different web versions. Vriti Saraf, Co-Founder of Ed3 DAO spoke about the versions of the web and how “Web3 will advance things at a technological level, this technology will also have impacts on reshaping the “ethos of the web.” Mike Peck also shared some of the themes of web3 and the impact on the learning systems in place and the roles of educators and students in this space.

To get started, educators can explore blogs available through G​etting ​S​mart, participate in the Ed3 DAO Twitter spaces and check out resources from their 3-day ​E​d3 conference held November 11-13, 2022. The conference’s mission was to help educators understand what these technologies mean for the future of education and how to best prepare students.

[image from Ed3 DAO website]

What is Ed3 DAO?

Ed3 DAO (Digital Autonomous Organization), co-founded by Vriti Saraf and Mike ​P​eck is a group created “by educators and for educators” to learn about web3. They are “committed to onboarding one million educators into the world of web3.” Educators can join the group and interact through a Discord Channel or connect via Twitter. Ed3 DAO recently held its first virtual conference in the Edverse. It had a variety of session types including Ed talks, hackathons, gaming, networking opportunities, learning labs, and more. The focus was on the future of “learning, earning, teaching and community.”

The conference provided opportunities to explore and interact in the metaverse space. The event included a variety of learning opportunities including Edtalks, 20 learning labs, networking and idea labs in the Edverse where you could pitch ideas and get feedback from other attendees. There were also 12 Mastermind sessions focused on topics such as AI and the future of writing, what students need to learn about web3, amplifying SDGs with web3, and legal topics in the metaverse.

Attendees were able to receive a “proof of attendance protocol” (POAP, an NFT) certificate on blockchain as evidence of their participation in the event after each day. The proof can then be used for professional development hours, shared on social media, added to a crypto wallet, or used for teacher professional development hours.

[The event kickoff was held on YouTube and in the Ed3verse]

Some of the main speakers included ​Vriti Saraf, Mike ​P​eck, Dagan Berstein, leaders in this space and I recommend that anyone wanting to learn more and be involved, should follow their work. During this event, participants were able to learn about what web3 means and how the look and feel of school might change. It was a great opportunity to connect with educators who are teaching students about these topics and gather ideas for use in the classroom. Also to be able to experience the metaverse by joining in the virtual space, selecting an avatar, and learning how to communicate in these new spaces for learning. 

The event

The kickoff of the event focused on “What is Web3 and Why Does It Matter in Education?” What is Ed3 DAO and how to make the most of the conference with Vriti Saraf and Mike Peck. They spoke about what web3 is, how it has evolved and the impact that it will have on education and the world. Vriti explained how when the world wide web was created in 1990, at first it was decentralized and open source, which meant anyone could create. Web 1.0 was “read” and there were not a lot of opportunities to do more than consume content. In 2005, the web evolved to become web2.0, where social media apps and other websites could be created by people without the need to know how to code. It made global collaboration and sharing of content possible. This was the “Write” version because we could now contribute. Web 2,0 changed from “building to business, collaboration to monopoly, and innovation to profit generation.” Tim said, “this is not the web we wanted to create.” This is where web3 comes in and the focus of the conference. Web 3.0 is “own” because people can own and create their own info because of blockchain. It has shifted from closed to open, business to building, and monopolies to collaboration. No longer tied to owning everything but instead, sharing. 

Vriti said, “As educators, the small-scale building mentality is leading to creating micro-schools and unbundled learning. Collaboration and community-driven equals personalization. Innovation is leading to new ways of learning, hybrid, immersive and regenerative.” 

Mike Peck spoke about the shifts from web versions and their impact.  Now we have the gig economy and people can engage in different types of work. In web3, more changes are coming. As the web evolves, we may see the “creator economy.” How will decentralized platforms enable people to create and explore in ways unlike what we can do now? 

How will it impact our daily lives? Instagram, Starbucks, and Pearson are a few corporations that are discussing how web3 will impact strategy and are looking at the use of NFTs. As the web evolves, educators need to help students develop essential skills such as digital citizenship, financial literacy, and the 4 Cs.  In web3, “there is an importance of community and how we can work together to achieve great things.” According to Mike, “Our students are already experiencing the metaverse, like with Fortnite and some are even investing in web3. A 12-year-old created a collection called “Weird Whales” and made around $160,000 in one day.  He created the code base through to the NFT collection. 

Learning Labs on Saturday- move your avatar to join in a session.

Saturday Master Mind Legal Issues in metaverse Counseling The Future: Legal Topics in the Metaverse 

The unconference experience

It was unlike any other experience I have had. The gatherings around the learning labs during the unconference and being able to interact, engage in live conversations whether the camera was on or off, and moving in all of those spaces was awesome. It offered flexibility by being able to move your avatar into any of the different learning spaces and quickly enter another space to connect with attendees. While it is similar to being at an in-person event or a virtual conference and changing sessions, the time to move and enter the spaces is in your control and instant when in the Edverse, rather than waiting for someone to let you into the room or traveling a distance. 

On Sunday, Nate McClennen, VP of Education and Innovation of Getting Smart kicked off Day 3 events with an Edtalk about “How can web3 drive open ecosystem of learning, workplace degrees, and thriving democracies and livelihood?  He spoke of the evolution of the web and how web 3 allows for “permissionless, self-sovereign and decentralized systems, which increases access and agency which empowers people to be more active.” With centralized systems, there are groups of data that are being used to make money for others, compared with decentralized. When it comes to learning, the learners control credentials and digital wallet/employment records. Store information there, the diplomas are there and are easily verifiable without other distractions or time consumption.

Joining the Edtalks held in the learning labs or available on YouTube was a unique experience. There were many great sessions available that deciding was difficult!. Some of the topics for learning labs that I joined were Design, Modeling, and Building NFTs to Build Future Student Entrepreneurs, and Making Web3 Work for Workforce Education with Dr. Micah Shipee and Kaylee Brown.

[A great session with Pablo and with Vriti Saraf closing out his Learning Lab session.]

The conference ended with a dance party in the virtual space celebrating the conference and thanking Vriti Saraf for an amazing event. Several members of the planning team spoke and shared some of the key takeaways from the event. Vriti said, “Web3 is all around us and it is here and education is always the last to catch up.”

[The final gathering to close out the Ed3 DAO event]

To learn more, check out the Twitter feed for the #Ed3con22 event to see more images, and the conversation topics and connect with other educators. I recommend that anyone interested in learning more about web 3, become a member and check out the events that the Ed3 DAO holds each month. There are also courses available for educators to work through that are focused on the blockchain, metaverse, NFTs, web3, and more.

An unconference was held in the Edverse Ed3 DAO city where attendees could organize their own discussions. 

The look of a conference in Ed3verse, photo credit Maria Galanis

Speakers at the Ed3 DAO conference, photo credit Maria Galanis

**Interested in writing a guest blog for my site? Would love to share your ideas! Submit your post here. Looking for a new book to read? Find these available at

************ Also check out my THRIVEinEDU Podcast Here!

Join my weekly show on Fridays at 6pm ET THRIVEinEDU on Facebook. Join the group here