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The 5 Most Popular Articles of 2017

This year, Advancing K12 readers were all in on school PR, data stewardship, and the ever-expanding role schools play in our children's lives. Here are the five most-read posts of 2017.


Erin Werra

2017 Recap Reporter



Peering into the past year’s analytics, we tallied the top five most-read Advancing K12 posts. Let's look behind the curtain to get an idea of why these articles resonated the most.
 

#5: 5 Themes for STEAM  

Appropriately ranking at #5, Lauren Gilchrist explores how interdisciplinary learning supports a science, technology, engineering, art, and math (STEAM) curriculum. 

It’s no wonder this topic resonated. With more schools exploring alternative grading methods than ever before, learning has shifted away from routine, siloed lessons from a textbook toward project-based learning spanning multiple subjects to build critical thinking skills. Regardless of career aspirations, students benefit from projects designed to develop design thinking, which prepares them to tackle challenges in school and beyond.

STEAM crosses competencies and encourages students to think broadly about the world around them. Get inspired with themes like the American Civil War, Olympic games, and more.
 
 

 #4: The Top 10 Literacies in Education Today

We can all agree learning today is much more than reading, writing, and ‘rithmetic. Accompanied by an informative infographic, in this post, we explored the top 10 literacies students need in order to thrive in college and career. 

Like STEAM’s challenge to traditional core subjects, the topic of diverse literacies compels curriculum directors and teachers to reevaluate the typical approach to instructional planning. Future-ready schools are aiming to prepare students for the next generation of tech-focused careers—but future-ready knowledge doesn’t stop at programming languages and computer science.

While most students won’t need to achieve fluency in all 10 literacies outlined, they’ll need a good, working knowledge of each. Which ones could you brush up on?
 

#3: 8 Social Media Accounts to Learn From

In April, we explored district social media accounts—because news isn’t delivered once a day to your doorstep anymore. Social media keeps leaders, teachers, staff, families, and students closely connected to district announcements, but the viral nature of mishaps can understandably cause anxiety. 

Despite concerns, it’s impossible to ignore the impact social media has on communication. For example, when one district discovered 76% of students had a smart device, their communication team introduced social media accounts to ensure faster, more efficient communication.

One of the best ways to make social media work is to borrow strategies from districts who seem to have nailed it already, so it’s no surprise this topic was a popular one on the blog. Distilled from nearly 2,000 districts, take a look at the top 8 examples of YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter feeds.
 
 

#2: 10 District Websites to Learn From

Carrying on with the numeric trend, next we featured 10 stellar
district websites. This post shared examples from across the country, representing richly diverse populations who all had one thing in common: placing high priority on their district’s web presence. 

With few exceptions, schools don’t typically employ user experience designers or programmers to polish their digital spaces. Readers were intrigued by the concept of a beautiful, well-functioning district website.

Take a look at all 10 examples, then explore the EdTech Playbook featured in the post to learn how to improve your own district’s site.
 

#1: The New Role of the School Counselor

Drumroll please… the most-visited post of 2017 starred the school counselor. These utility players cover all kinds of student needs and find their role transitioning in most schools. Rapidly outgrowing the title “guidance counselor,” these professionals are embracing data to increase the influence counseling has on students throughout the entire school system. 

Perhaps the topic of investing in school counselors is underrepresented—after all, the post describes a 2016 Phi Delta Kappan poll in which only 6% of respondents indicated they’d dedicate additional tax dollars to school counselors. Nevertheless, we can't ignore the fact that student success is measurably improved when school leaders become champions for their counselors.

There you have it—your top five most-read posts of 2017. What will 2018 bring? Stay tuned to find out.



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