Career Technical Education (CTE Education) is a designed to help students (of any age) develop academic and technical skills, training, and knowledge that will help them succeed in future careers and retain the “skill of learning.” More and more schools are utilizing CTE courses and education as part of their curriculum and academic structure. A CTE teacher uses blended learning to create optimal learning environments for their CTE students.
In CTE education, blended learning is a teaching strategy that a CTE teacher uses to help keep students engaged and interested in what’s being taught in the classroom and through CTE courses. This strategy is effective because it combines different types of instructional techniques, including group activities, readings, textbooks, class discussions, and more to keep a variety throughout lessons and activities. Most students need a little variety throughout their week in order to stay engaged with the content being taught.
CTE classrooms can vary how CTE education is provided in the following ways:
- Mixing traditional teaching methods (e.g., lecturing) and newer techniques. For example, “flipping the classroom” is where students do classwork at home and use classroom time for hands-on skill development, projects, and more.
- Using digital media to better illustrate what is being taught.
- Incorporating digital games and apps that are applicable to the lesson being taught.
- Differentiating instruction to give personalized lessons for different segments of the classroom (i.e., for students that learn better different ways).
Another method that a CTE teacher helps keep students engaged in the content is by utilizing a mixture of technologies in the classroom. The newer the generation of students, the more familiar they are with modern technology at an earlier age. Whether students are actively engaging with technology themselves or the CTE teacher is using different technology and media in the classroom, students will further develop their understanding of and ability to apply technology. For CTE education and CTE courses, this skill and application is important for relating to post-education career skills.
With the technology available today, teachers and students in a CTE course can experiment with the following to find what method works best for students:
- Utilizing online chat platforms to safely communicate with peers (student to student, or teacher to student) after meeting in the classroom
- Using digital curriculum for a more comprehensive and adaptable learning experience
Assessments are another simple but effective way to keep students engaged during CTE courses as they develop skills through CTE education during school. Essays, quizzes, tests, presentations, and more create multiple ways for students to get graded. Not every student tests and goes through assessments equally. Different students perform better on some kinds of assessments compared to others. Having well-rounded methods of assessment that periodically cycle gives students a fair chance at grading accurately.
A few ways that CTE education mixes up assessments:
- Digital quizzes throughout the CTE course
- Presentations for unit wrap-ups
- Assignments and essays for the end of the course
- Self- and peer-assessed assignments
- A mix of traditional (paper) assessments and digital quizzes
- And more
San Diego Virtual Schools (SDVS) specializes in helping students gain an upper edge on their education and as they prepare to enter the workforce and dive into engaging careers. With CTE education and specialized CTE courses, taught by experienced CTE teachers, students will get an expansive and diverse education that helps them well beyond their schooling. Education that can be applied to their life after their education is important. The skills they develop as a result of CTE courses is just as important as the education they receive in other classes.
Through specially designed CTE courses and blended learning techniques, students will gradually develop skillsets that will equip them for demanding careers. Regularly mixing things up in the classroom (from types of materials to assessment methods) not only keeps students engaged, but prepares them for the future – not just a test at the end of the chapter.
Whether you’re a parent ready to enroll a student or a teacher looking to enhance your CTE education and CTE courses, call or contact us today to get started. Bring us any questions that you have about CTE education and we’ll be happy to help.