— The Online Educator —

Covering the Rise of Online and Blended Learning at Christian Schools

A Guide to the Premier Events for Christian Schools this Fall

Posted by John Rotheray on Sep 22, 2017 9:00:00 AM

Each season brings fresh learning opportunities for students and staff to grow.

If you are seeking events to help maximize your time and level-up your Christian school this fall, you can find some to attend here! Each event in this list has a proven record of delivering high-quality learning experiences and professional development.

Sevenstar isn't just recommending these events; we have plans to attend each one for school staff too.

Read on to discover the premier conferences for Christian school communities this fall!

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Tags: christian schools, Events

What Lessons can a Christian School Learn from J.C. Penney?

Posted by Mark Beadle on Jun 15, 2017 10:00:00 AM

The unusual comparison of a retailer and an educational institution may seem to be a bit strange.

However, they have a lot in common and there are some clear corollaries which can be instructive considering the challenges and changes facing both sectors.

Mission, Culture, and Leadership will be discussed in this article.

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Tags: Christian School, leadership, Christian School Finances, Mission, Culture

Overcoming the #1 Challenge for Online Students

Posted by Mark Beadle on Mar 1, 2017 1:53:09 PM

Most students still learn using a method that has existed in our schools for over 100 years. In a typical classroom setting, students sit at desks in rows and the teacher “teaches” from the front of the room. The typical student has been trained since childhood for someone to give them information and take notes or listen.

While the traditional classroom is adept at preparing students for industrial and knowledge-based jobs, it has not kept pace with preparing students for today’s economy that employs a greater share of workers in service and innovation-based economies.

Today, new learning methods are available to give students an expanded skillset needed for their future. Many schools today are utilizing Project Based Learning (PBL) and computer-based instruction in the form of online and blended learning to fill the gaps left by traditional instruction. These initiatives are expected to grow as research studies indicate that families want more technology-based instruction and less use of teacher-driven instruction.

However, given that students have been conditioned to learn in only the traditional sense, schools and students typically struggle when online courses are made available. Suddenly students must now control the pace of learning, show initiative, and make choices about where to invest their time and energy.

In order for students to successfully make the transition, schools and online learning providers must purposefully engage students in activities that train them for a new learning paradigm. Schools can greatly increase their chance of successfully onboarding new students with the following best practices:

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Tags: Online Course, leadership

Using Mission-Focused Fundraising Events to Raise Big Dollars for Christian Schools

Posted by Don Carmichael on Jan 12, 2017 2:00:00 PM

Can your Christian school engage your students in a mission-focused outreach event that not only helps serve other people in need – but also raises significant money for your school? The answer is a BIG YES.

Meet Westminster Christian Academy (WCA) in Opelousas, Louisiana. WCA is located in a small town, but it has a BIG HEART to serve others. One of the priorities of WCA is involving its students in experiences to help others who are less fortunate in the name of Christ so they can experience the blessings of serving and develop personal worldviews focused on ministry and mission.

Westminster also had significant fundraising needs. Could they combine an experience where its students served others in an authentic ministry outreach event and, at the same time, raise money?

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Tags: Christian School, Fundraising, Mission, Events

The Best Christmas Gifts are the Ones that Last

Posted by John Rotheray on Dec 14, 2016 8:00:00 AM

As a child my anticipation for Christmas was always more about receiving gifts on Christmas morning than going to the candlelight service on Christmas Eve. Perhaps that should have been a warning that I was skating on thin icebecause all it took one year for me to plunge into a blubbering fit was not getting the gift I wanted.

My family still won’t let me forget about that Christmas. The only thing I deserved was a lump of coal and I knew it. But if there was one benefit to losing faith in getting joy from the presents, it was that I had been set free to experience the other gifts of Christmas.

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Tags: Christmas

How to Attract Millennial Families to Christian Schools

Posted by John Rotheray on Oct 25, 2016 4:19:28 PM

Millennial parents will soon become the majority of Christian school customers. According to an independent research study of U.S. adults by ORC International, 43 percent of children age 0-17 had millennial parents in 2014.

As millennials come of age, many Christian schools are working to understand their expectations, their giving potential and, more importantly, how to tap into it for growth.

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Tags: Christian School, Fundraising, Millennials

How to Prepare Your Students for the Innovation Era

Posted by John Rotheray on Aug 27, 2016 9:30:00 AM

The perception that a high school or college degree will lead to a good career is fading.

Over the past decade, graduates at all levels have faced high rates of under and unemployment. The once robust demand for knowledge workers produced by schools is facing headwinds from global labor markets and destructive innovations.

Our global economy is transitioning into a new phase that is driven more by worker innovation than worker knowledge. For schools to stay relevant they must produce more innovators.

Innovators are thriving today by making better products and automating tedious tasks. Can you believe that soon you will be able to safely switch on an autopilot feature for many driving situations? Even retail stores are improving customer experiences by installing time-saving, self-checkout machines for small purchases. I'm looking forward to the day when check-out technology can instantly identify everything in my cart so that I don't have to scan everything one-by-one and repack things!

Educators need to provide children with a useful foundation for whatever field they are called into as adults—and not just in STEM fields. The next generation of graduates will need a new skillset to innovatively solve complex problems in business, government, society, and ministry.

Read on to discover the ways that educators can successfully prepare students for our innovation economy.

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Tags: Online Learning, technology, Innovation

A Fresh Way to Overcome Teaching and Curriculum Gaps at International Schools

Posted by John Pohlman on Jun 28, 2016 10:00:00 AM

According to TES Global, the number of teachers in English-speaking international schools is set to double over the next decade.

One of the biggest challenges for international school leaders is hiring all the English-speaking teachers they need each school year. Since teachers must often move across the globe to start a new teaching job at international schools, it limits the pool of qualified candidates who are willing and able to apply.

If your traditional recruiting methods are not fully meeting your teaching needs, we have good news. Sevenstar has a proven way to solve your HR challenges!

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Tags: Teaching Gaps, Curriculum Gaps, International Christian Schools

3 Benefits of Hosting a Hybrid Summer School Program

Posted by Mark Beadle on Feb 23, 2016 11:00:00 AM

Why would you even want to entertain the idea of starting or expanding your summer school program? After all, summer is a time to slow down and recover from the school year! True. However, you may be missing a great opportunity to:

  1. Raise the academic bar at your school
  2. Build loyalty with current families/students
  3. Connect with new families/students to grow enrollment.

We understand there is a legitimate shortage of energy and resources during the summer. That is why we propose structuring a hybrid summer school where you offer a mixture of on-campus mini-events and a combination of online and/or traditional classroom academics. In other words, gain the benefits listed in the first paragraph above without taxing your staff and facilities.

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Tags: Christian School, summer school, Online Summer School, Hybrid

Completing a Life Calling Course Should be a Graduation Requirement

Posted by John Pohlman on Dec 15, 2015 10:52:11 AM

Through your school’s relationship with Sevenstar, students have access to a flexible, online, dual credit Life Calling course through Indiana Wesleyan University.  Students have the opportunity to earn college credit through the completion of this course in addition to many other benefits.

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Tags: College Preparedness, Career Insights, College Major, Life Calling

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