Happy New Year, from Switch Energy Alliance! We hope that you were able to take some time over the winter holidays to rest and recharge. 2021 was a year full of challenges, especially for teachers and students. Some went back to school in-person for the first time in a year, some continued to teach or attend school virtually, and some tried to balance doing both. At SEA, part of our mission is to provide an easy-to-use online learning platform with a curriculum that makes learning about energy accessible and engaging, regardless of where it is being used.
In pursuit of that goal, last year we made several improvements to the Switch Classroom platform, including the ability for teachers and students to create accounts using an existing Apple, Google, or Microsoft email address, eliminating the need to remember another username and password. We also made the platform more flexible, allowing teachers to assign only the parts of a lesson they want. Teachers can also now download grades for a single student or an entire class as a spreadsheet, allowing for an easier transfer of grades from our platform to a gradebook. Finally, teachers can send submitted work back to a student with comments, allowing for more dynamic teacher-student communication within the platform itself. These improvements to Switch Classroom and more are detailed in our updated Teacher Guide.
This year, we’ve already made several exciting additions to the Switch Classroom curriculum. We took our celebrated global energy documentary, Switch On, and divided it into a seven-part series, with each episode lasting about a half hour. Now, the Switch On episodes are available on Switch Classroom, along with quizzes to test student understanding of the concepts covered. These episodes and accompanying assessments can be found in the Energy Decisions Unit under Global Challenges: Switch On Episodes.
Additionally, in response to teacher requests for more quantitative exercises, we’ve added math activities to several lessons throughout our curriculum.
We hope you find these improvements and new resources useful as we move into 2022. As always, if you have concerns or feedback, you can reach the Switch Classroom team at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we will respond as soon as possible. We have more exciting updates coming, so be sure to check the blog often for future announcements!
Mary Tibbets, MSc
Manager of Educational Programs
Switch Energy Alliance, Austin, TX
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