Options in Education

Gap Year Information, College Affordability Information, Standardized Testing Updates, College Admission Represenatives ... all in one place

Since the role of an Independent Educational Consultant is still unclear to many people, I thought I'd share some of the sessions that I attended at the IECA Fall Conference last week.  The conference included break-out educational sessions, two keynote addresses, hosted receptions, round table discussions, committee meetings, a vendor hall, a college fair and numerous other networking events.

I attended the following Break-out Educational Sessions:

  • Gap Years:  What’s Out There, How to Structure One, and Simple Vetting Options
  • Testing College Readiness:   What are the Redesigned SAT and ACT Measuring and How Do We Best Prepare Our Students
  • Anatomy of a Financial Aid Award
  • The Fading of Facebook: the Evolution of Teenage Online Social Interactions

I heard Keynote Addresses from:

  • Justin Bachman - 17 year-old high school senior with Tourette’s Syndrome, severe ADHD and dysgraphia
  • Ashely Merryman - Best-selling author and award-winning journalist (NurtureShock:  New Thinking About Children Top Dog: The Science of Winning and Losing)

I attended Hosted Receptions/ Presentations from:

  • University of New Haven
  • Oak Meadow Independent Learning
  • Warren Wilson College

I Visited the Following Booths at the Vendor Hall:

  • Colleges That Change Lives
  • American Gap Association
  • Summit Educational Group
  • YouScience
  • IECA Foundation
  • American Institute of Certified Educational Planners
  • College Affordability
  • College Cost Navigator
  • Guided Path
  • Wintergreen Orchard House
  • Human eSources, Ltd.

I Met Representatives/Admissions Representatives from the following Colleges and Universities:

  • American University
  • Bucknell University
  • Eckerd College
  • Rollins College
  • University of Miami
  • University of Richmond
  • University of South Carolina
  • New York University
  • Quinnipiac University
  • Ursinus College
  • Susquehanna University
  • University of New Haven
  • Warren Wilson College

It was an action-packed educational week.  I met great people and learned a lot.  In future posts, I will share, more specifically,  some of the key information I learned.

Sandy Aprahamian, EDNavigators

The New Redesigned SAT

David Coleman reported on The Redesigned SAT today.  Below are some highlights. DeliveringOpportunity.org will provide all specifics of the new SAT.  The New SAT will be:

  • Focused and Clear
  • Useful and Open (applicable to work in college and career settings)
  • Based upon what is currently taught in class

The Content of the Redesigned SAT will include Three Sections

1.  Evidence Based Reading and Writing:

  • The exam will showcase students command of evidence rather than picking right answers.
  • Students will be asked to locate the evidence that supports the answers.
  • Students will read and analyze a wide range of texts (Science, Social Studies etc) - This sounds very similar to the current ACT
  • Students will work with narratives  and graphs - students must be data analysts
  • Students will analyze texts.
  • There will be no more sentence completion
  • Vocabulary will be "powerful words" like synthesis and its various meanings

2.  The Essay

  • Assignment will be to analyze the core argument of a text.
  • Directions will be:  As you read the passage in front of you, consider how the author uses evidence, reasoning, and stylistic or persuasive elements to add power to the ideas expressed.
  • Essay will be optional on the SAT (like the current ACT)

3. Math

  • Will focus on three areas:
  1. problem solving and data analysis (ratios, proportions..)
  2. the heart of algebra (linear equations and systems)
  3. passport to advanced math (the math that opens doors of opportunity - calculus will be included)
  • Students will be presented with a scenario to which they will apply the math they have learned.
  • There will be calculator and non calculator sections of the SAT.

Other Facts:

  • America's Founding Documents and Global Conversation will be included on the Redesigned SAT.
  • The new exam will be given spring 2016 It will be offered both through computer and pencil and paper.
  • The new test length will be 3 hours with an optional 50 minute essay
  • The New SAT will return to the 1600 score
  • The essay will be scored separately.
  • The penalty for wrong answers will be removed.
  • April 16 the full blue print for the exams and sample questions of the New SAT will be revealed.
  • Khan Academy will provide FREE test prep.  It will be adaptive.  It will provide customized learning.  Khan Academy has always been a cornerstone of learning at EdNavigators.  As EdNavigators students know, Khan Academy has provided answers to the questions in the College Board Blue Book for a while.  We are thrilled about this new partnership.  We are looking forward to the Khan Academy SAT Prep. Khan Academy SAT prep will be found at:  khanacademy.org/sat

Sandy Aprahamian, Principal, Educational Consultant  - EdNavigators

Who is Logan LaPlante? What is hackschooling? It’s worth twelve minutes of your time to find out.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h11u3vtcpaY I came across this video when reading the most recent Edutopia blog.  I encourage you to set-aside twelve minutes to watch it.  In this video, Logan proves that there is more than one way to get an excellent education.  Options in education are available and attainable.

Logan LaPlante is a teen full of life, inspiration and passion.  He is a self-described hackschooler who is sculpting his personal and unique path to happiness.  Logan clearly has family, friends, educators and supporters who are open-minded about education and understand that education is not a one-size-fits-all experience.  These role-models have enabled Logan to navigate his customized educational path.  Kudos to Logan and to those supporting him on his journey.

Hackschooling is a term that was coined by Logan LaPlante in his Tedx speech.  Logan describes hackschooling as "hacking school" - breaking it down into small pieces so that it may be improved.  The best innovators are those who think outside the box and find better ways to accomplish a goal.  By “hacking school” Logan is building his own, improved and customized model of education.

In 2013, I started EdNavigators with the hacking mindset.  My goal as an educator has always been to customize education and help each student I work with find and implement the educational/life-path that matches his or her unique self. My mission is to help students, like Logan, navigate their own educational paths.  I offer my teaching skills, knowledge of the educational process and personal experience to guide each student on his or her journey. I enjoy the variety of working with students from different backgrounds and all school environments including homeschoolers, hackschoolers and unschoolers.

I wish the happiest of holidays to all of the students and families with whom I have worked this year.  I wish you the very best on your education and life path and feel fortunate have the opportunity to guide you in discovering your dreams and making them a reality.

Without my own supportive family, friends, educators, and supporters, EdNavigators would not exist. Thank you for everything.  I wish you all true happiness and a life of purpose.  Make your dreams a reality in the year ahead.

Sandy Aprahamian, Owner, Independent Educational Consultant, EdNavigators