Lumen Touch Is Building a Digital Community

At Lumen™ Touch, we are always looking forward. We know that technology is shifting fast, so we will never stop endeavoring to improve our platforms and growing to meet the needs of our school districts. We believe our customers always deserve the best and latest technology. However, today’s student information systems are replete with challenges.

  • Cybersecurity threats: Ransomware and phishing attempts against schools have risen dramatically in the last few years, leaving schools vulnerable to data breaches and the risk of file encryption.
  • Add-ons: Many student information systems on the market are cobbled together and lack a cohesive design.
  • Outdated systems: Legacy systems prevent schools from truly benefiting from available technology that can make managing the entire education process easier and more efficient.

The Future of Education Requires a Smart, Connected School District

With the right technology, a school district can manage everything from teaching and learning to reporting and communication to engagement and security. A smart, connected school district requires:

  • A comprehensive school management tool that includes:
    • Online registration
    • Attendance
    • Discipline
    • Nutrition services
    • Health and wellness
    • Truancy
    • Transportation
    • Fees, fines, and point of sale
  • A secure database with backup and recovery built in
  • A comprehensive teaching and learning system that includes:
    • Curriculum and assessment
    • Scheduling
    • Grade reports and transcripts
    • Learning management system
    • After school programs
    • Diploma tracking
  • Real-time reporting
    • Any data, anywhere
    • State reporting
    • Customized reports
    • Real-time goal tracking
  • Communication tools
    • Customized user portals
    • Instant messaging
    • Email
    • Personalized content
  • Comprehensive support, including train the trainer

The Future of Education is Bright (SUITE)

When you go grocery shopping, it’s a lot easier when you can get everything you need at one store. It saves time. It’s more efficient. And it’s more cost-effective. When it comes to shopping for edtech for your school, there can be even more cost savings and efficiencies to be had by choosing an all-in-one system.

Bright SUITE is a one-stop-shop for schools, incorporating everything a district needs, from a learning management system to student information systems to health-and-safety monitoring and reporting. With special modules for special education, a full library, and modules for teacher professional development, Bright SUITE is an all-in-one enterprise management solution that not only allows districts to save money, but it also creates a secure and connected school district. Real-time data lets educators make the best decisions for all students.

Why do schools choose Bright SUITE by Lumen Touch?

Bright SUITE is Secure

Lumen Touch prides itself in being on the cutting edge of security, providing better-than-industry-standard cybersecurity, managed IT, and 24/7 monitoring.

Bright SUITE is Efficient

Our applications are designed to be user friendly. We make updates and improvements using feedback from the actual system users: you.

Bright SUITE is Personalized

All in one does not mean one size fits all. Our system is flexible and can be customized, so that it can work for a school district with 20 students as well as it works for one with 250,000.

If you’re interested in learning more about Bright SUITE by Lumen Touch, download the case study here, and get in touch.

Lumen Touch Empowers the Future of Learning

Connecting every student to opportunity: Those are powerful words, and they are the commitment we’ve made that drives the development of our solutions. But to truly connect every student to opportunity, we need to make it easier for teachers, IT leaders, and administrators to focus on meeting students’ needs and avoid being cluttered with things like managing roster data, monitoring cybersecurity, tracking health, and administering exams. Lumen Touch clears the path so that schools can focus on creating the future of learning.

Managing Roster Data and Ensuring Student Data Privacy with Bright PASSPORT™

The time and labor costs of data entry are something schools don’t calculate until they realize how much time they’re saving by utilizing a single sign-on system that includes a library of fully vetted edtech solutions designed to meet all the needs of every classroom.

Because of the enormous risk involved in sharing roster and other personal student data with multiple edtech vendors, schools must consider how to remain in compliance with student privacy laws and also ensure that the vendors with whom they share data are also using strenuous measures to protect that information. Bright PASSPORT – a centralized, secure method of sharing student data, governs how schools share personally identifiable information (PII), such as student roster data. Rather than allow teachers or school districts to implement apps for their classrooms, Bright PASSPORT provides for districts a library of approved apps that meet the required security standards.

Monitor Cybersecurity with Bright LITE™

Lumen Touch has always provided 24/7 monitoring and managed services support to our schools, but in order to strengthen your cybersecurity, you need to know where your security gaps are.  That’s why Lumen Touch is offering a service for schools called Bright LITE.  Our customized service offering provides individuals and organizations with the necessary information and education to efficiently evaluate both the risks and opportunities they face.

Manage Health and Safety with Bright CARE™

The laborious task of managing health and safety has been thrust into the spotlight in schools, as districts have been forced to manage mask and vaccination requirements, enforce social distancing, and establish isolation protocols. While schools have always needed a health and safety solution for regularly mandated vaccines, allergy management, and trouble-free Medicaid billing for services provided through the schools, the pandemic certainly has made this a much larger priority.

Lumen Touch partnered with Tesseract to offer even more tools through Bright CARE. Bright CARE is a comprehensive student health and medical record management system developed by Lumen Touch. For schools that would benefit, this system can be implemented as a standalone application.

Supporting Educator Professional Development

Bright PATH™ connects educators to dynamic learning opportunities with highly effective learning programs that help streamline professional development. By offering customizable courses and units of study to fit the learning needs of leaders, teachers, and support staff, professional development has never been so easy. As educator professional training and advancement through micro-credentialing gains momentum, Bright PATH provides the sophisticated solution that school administrators need to improve retention rates. Bright PATH provides:

  • Just-in-time learning – anywhere, anytime
  • Proven best practices for instructors
  • One-stop shopping for all members of the education community
  • Easy progress monitoring of content learning
  • Streamlining of all professional development
  • Résumé builder, through Master Teacher
  • Free, innovative global content

Make Teachers’ Jobs Easier with Bright SUITE™

Lumen Touch Bright SUITE™ is the total Lumen Touch offering, bringing many advantages including tremendous cost- and time-saving efficiencies. It includes a truly personalized and flexible management system that can meet the unique needs of your individual district while still encompassing characteristic school needs, from special education to student information to library and resources management to student individual plans of study to complete health and wellness management.  Bright SUITE allows students and teachers to embrace technology, to accelerate the trajectory of learning and enhance the well-being of each student. With Bright SUITE, your district will be connecting all students to opportunities!

To learn more about how Lumen Touch empowers the future of learning, get in touch. Email us at mailto:sales@lumentouch.com, call us at 816.880.0066, or visit www.lumentouch.com.

Is Education Focused on the Wrong Skills?

Most students don’t like school. And it’s not the fault of teachers but rather of the insistence that we teach the same old tired things to students who already have access to vast and immediate information on a variety of subjects. What students do need to learn are critical thinking skills that will prepare them for opportunities that lie ahead.

The 2021 NACE survey on the most-needed attributes employers are looking for include the following:

  • Ability to work in a team
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Analytical and quantitative skills
  • Communication skills (verbal and written)
  • Initiative
  • Leadership
  • Technical skills
  • Flexibility and adaptability
  • Strong work ethic

Not one of the employers surveyed listed the date or contents of the Gettysburg address, or the year in which Hawaii became a state, as critical knowledge.

We Need to Move Education from the Industrial Revolution to the Technological Revolution

Garrett Smiley, co-founder and CEO of Sora Schools, a network of future-focused schools, wrote in a recent Forbes article,

There is cognitive dissonance of obsessing over the knowledge of facts during a child’s school years while simultaneously dismissing their importance shortly thereafter. As a result, students are left to believe they’re not made for school when, in reality, schools were not made for them. An educational system built for the Industrial Revolution no longer fits our modern-day needs.

Smiley offers some basic, common-sense ways we can improve education, suggesting we focus on the needs of the students, encourage them to “chase [their] wild dreams,” and scrap our grading system and our obsessive focus on teaching to tests and measuring worth (of teachers and students) through standardized test results.

We couldn’t agree more.

Connecting All Students to Opportunity through Technology and Leadership

Our mission, connecting all students to opportunity through technology and leadership, is more than just words. In fact, everything we do and every decision we make, from the solutions we develop to the strategic partnerships we form to the community support we provide, is in line with our mission. We firmly believe that connecting students to opportunity is a fundamentally important goal. We believe that these pillars of technology and leadership are what will help guide us through the education revolution that is so desperately needed.

We need more voices like Garrett Smiley’s who recognize the undue burden placed on teachers, often put there by legislators who have never spent a day in a classroom outside their own time as students back in the days of chalkboards.

The Future of Education Is Now

The students now in school will grow up in a world unlike that which any of us have ever known. What we do now to prepare them is essential. It’s time to upend education and focus on what students need to know to survive and thrive in a fast-paced, tech-driven world.

Redefining Education in the K-12 Setting

The ongoing pandemic has forced a reckoning in education on three fronts: equity, teacher retention, and technology. We must address all three of these areas as we redefine education – and we must redefine education if we want to continue meeting student, teacher, and community needs. We’ve discussed equity and retention in previous blogs, so we’ll focus mostly on using technology to redefine K-12 education here.

Why Equity Is Necessary for Redefining Education

In order for education to serve our communities, the issue of equity must be addressed. Not only should broadband be accessible to every home, and devices be made available to every student, but we must also address digital competency. Improving digital competency may seem like an odd thing to worry about within this digital native generation, but when more than 10 million US students are still without adequate internet at home, their ability to achieve digitally competency is compromised. This often extends to their parents as well, which gives local schools a perfect opportunity to provide adult education programs.

Teacher Retention Is Crucial to Student Academic Success

Teachers are more stressed than ever. But they’re not quitting in droves – yet. The Great Resignation that has impacted most other industries has yet to materialize in education, likely because the very people who choose to become educators tend to lean in and try to do more, until they burn out completely.  But you can still retain top educators and prevent them from not just leaving your school, but from leaving the profession as well.

To prevent the Great Resignation from affecting schools, districts need to recognize that teachers want what everyone else is looking for: professional support and development, a voice in the direction of their careers, and flexibility. These expectations will likely vary from one school district to another, but things like job sharing and matching the right teachers to in-class and online teaching opportunities will be critical. And using technology to empower teachers will be essential.

Technology Is the Future of Education

Technology will be a part of the future of education in ways we can’t even predict yet. While edtech and other technologies might have been temporary stopgap measures in the beginning of the pandemic, they are now the new norm for many schools, whether education is being delivered in-person, online, or in hybrid environments.

Lumen Touch All-in-One Management Solution

Our approach moves away from legacy systems such as SISs and towards the new world of student and enterprise management, with a strong focus on individual plans of study, project-based learning, and predictive analytics on a single secure platform.

We are one of the few companies that offer an all-in-one solution, which includes:

  • a comprehensive SIS (Bright STUDENT)
  • a special education product (Bright SPED)
  • full library and inventory management (Bright RESOURCE)
  • a student college and career management system (Bright SUCCESS)
  • an early education system (Bright STEPS)
  • a full health management system (Bright CARE)
  • a professional development management system (Bright PATH)
  • a full data management and dashboarding product (Bright INSIGHT)
  • Medicaid billing (Bright MEDICAID)
  • a full communication and learning system that incorporates social media and the ability to translate dialogue in over 70 languages (Bright SPACE)

More recently, we added a cybersecurity and auditing service module, and COVID-19 tracking and contact tracing modules.

Infrastructure Is Part of the Tech Solution

From cloud hosting to comprehensive learning management systems, the IT infrastructure of every school needs to be modernized. Infrastructure in K-12 schools should support learning, professional development, classroom management, health and safety, SEL and SPED, and communication and engagement. It should be developed to accommodate a wide variety of learning modes – online, in person, and hybrid. Robust and comprehensive cloud-based infrastructure in the K-12 education environment ensures that students, teachers, parents, and administrators have the ability to improve engagement, enhance communication, foster collaboration, and open worlds of opportunity in learning.

Lumen Touch is at the innovative forefront of developing the kind of technology that truly benefits teachers, students, and school districts. We have been providing our integrated all-in-one management technology to school districts for 18 years. To learn more about our solution, get in touch.

Assessments, Learning Loss, and the Future of Learning

A lot of people in the education industry are talking about how the pandemic fundamentally changed education, simply because it was being delivered through a different medium.

We disagree.

If the means by which we expect students to learn is not allowed to change, then change doesn’t happen just because we vary the medium through which education is delivered. In fact, most educators, often bound by the curriculum requirements of their districts, are still teaching the same subjects in the same way with the same assessments. Just because they’re doing it online instead of in person doesn’t mean anything has fundamentally changed – and fundamental changes to education are what we really need.

We Need to Stop Focusing on Failure

If a student is excelling in music and art while failing math and science, then that doesn’t mean they’re failing as a student. It means they demonstrate exceptional skill in areas that can lead to innovation. In order to foster the true passion and talent in every student, we need to make a fundamental change in how we assess success. This point has been brought to bear on how we evaluate learning loss as a result of the pandemic. Dr. Yong Zhao explains during an interview with Dr. Wendy Oliver, published on EdisonLearning:

The pandemic has created a very unhappy environment for a lot of children. They’re isolated, they’re not going to school, and they’re not talking to friends. But at the same time, we probably should pay attention to see how they have grown. Human beings learn from experiences. These experiences have changed our children in different ways. Perhaps now they are better at handling adverse situations. They are now better at making friends online, which is essential in today’s life. Maybe your children are becoming more independent in learning? These are the types of things he stresses we really need to focus on.

Right Now, We Assess Failure and Focus on Failure

From early on in our students’ educational journeys, we focus on measuring failure. We conduct spelling and math tests and mark what they get wrong. We focus on how far beneath the average they are and we assume that wherever they are at that moment academically is where they will remain. This places an undue burden on the students and the teachers when they are forced to approach education in this way. Instead, we should be focused on the successes and strengths students have. When we focus on successes and strengths and take the time to understand a student’s passions and interests, we can find ways to improve their subject matter expertise by teaching through their passions.

Every Student Deserves to Have an IEP

Right now, the only students who qualify for an IEP (Individualized Education Program) are those students who have a disability that is recognized by the federal government. But shouldn’t every student have an individualized learning plan that is customized to meet their needs and help them achieve the best outcome?

We must be particularly cautious as we come out of the pandemic, as there is a push to assess students and determine what they’ve lost by learning from home. Brian Moon explores this in terms of the unbounded concern over learning loss. He points out that part of the problem stems from education focusing on the wrong question: “How do we help students perform better on standardized tests?” By doing this, we are forcing teachers to teach to the test and focus on teaching what students need to know to pass tests instead of engaging their minds.

Moon suggests a new question: “How do we use assessment to accelerate, deepen, and showcase individual student learning?”

How Do We Use Assessment to Accelerate, Deepen, and Showcase Individual Student Learning?

That is the question that needs to be explored as we redefine education in the twenty-first century. But in doing so, let’s focus on Moon’s point:

We need not categorize students as deficient in order to justify improving the efficiency, depth, and meaning of their learning experiences. Assessment scores are finite, but learning is limitless. When we center student growth – rather than points or percentiles – as the goal of education, we expand the possibilities for how schools can provide value.

The Future of Learning

The future of learning should be individualized. Assessments should not be used to penalize students but rather to help encourage learning. And what students learn should be modernized and revolutionized so that the students moving through the education system today are prepared to live, work, and engage in the society of tomorrow. Learn more about how Lumen Touch is contributing to the future of learning.

Are Virtual Classrooms the Future of Learning?

Students may be returning to the classroom in the fall, but technology has certainly changed not just our ability to deliver instruction but also the innovation surrounding effective education. Virtual classrooms will not go away. The possibilities are limitless! Here are some great examples of how technology is creating optimal learning experiences:

UCI Professor Goes Virtual

Grown tired of Zoom, Christina Lopes, a professor at University of California, Irvine (UCI), developed a virtual space for her students to obtain hands-on experience in her course, How Computers Work. According to a Newswise article, she helped to create a new program called OpenSimulator. Instead of sitting in a classroom learning from a textbook, students are able to see the code come to life.

Virtual Innovation Is Disrupting Every Industry

From virtual meetings, where the CEO of a company appears as a hologram in various locations around the world, to tradeshows where buyers are able to examine virtual versions of the equipment they are interested in buying, virtual and augmented reality are changing how we perceive the world and how we interact with one another. Virtual environments are enhancing virtually every industry, and education is no exception. Virtual classrooms can help educators meet the needs of more students. What started as a way to reach students when schools closed during the pandemic has revolutionized education in a way that can hopefully continue even as students return to the classroom.

Virtual Classrooms Help Bring Education into the Future

We know that a radical revolution in education is necessary in order to prepare students for the future of work. Teaching to the test and basing student advancement on their ability to regurgitate facts is no longer enough to prepare students for the workforce of the future. Virtual classrooms allow students to accelerate their tech skills, improve their soft skills, and learn how to leverage technology for their benefit.

Virtual Learning and Classrooms Can Co-Exist

No matter how students receive instruction, educators are paramount to the overall success and progress a student makes. Virtual classrooms may never fully replace in-person instruction. But virtual classrooms can be used to enhance the in-classroom experience, by allowing students to pursue individualized and customized areas of learning, thereby giving every student the opportunity to have a richer education. Virtual classrooms can also allow two teachers from different districts, states, or even countries to collaborate to deliver a richer, more diverse curriculum.

Virtual education is not the enemy of the classroom – it is an enhancement to it. And for students who have difficulty being in school every day, either due to illness, disability, or the circumstances of their home life, it can bring additional equity to your district.

Preparing for the Return of Teachers and Students to Classrooms

For some students, online learning has lasted for a year or longer. Some teachers have likewise been making magic in front of a computer screen instead of a class full of students. So, the return to fulltime in-person instruction is an exciting moment, but we cannot for one minute think that it will be easy for anyone.

Isolation Makes Human Contact More Stressful

Have you seen the film Cast Away? After 4 years on an island, when the character portrayed by Tom Hanks was finally thrust back into society, it was an overwhelming experience. While the situations may not be comparable, it’s likely that both educators and students will struggle to adjust when being thrust back into the classroom. Districts should consider having supports in place for their employees as well as strong SEL systems for students. Ted Gennerman, director of student services, and Emilie Tregellas, school psychologist for the Oak Creek-Franklin Joint School District in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, wrote an exceptional guide for incorporating SEL to support students and improve student behavior.

Beware the Assessment Drive

We realize that there will be a push to complete a lot of assessments when students return to the classroom full time, in order to determine how far behind – or how far ahead – they are from the standard grade level. While we’d prefer to do away with grade levels altogether and simply teach students at their own pace and in ways that motivate them to learn more and love learning more, we urge districts to complete assessments not to hold students back from their grade level but to identify who needs the most support to catch up.

Forward Progress Must Continue

Even as we return to traditional classroom settings, we can bring what we’ve learned about accelerating and individualizing education into the classroom – and we can bring the technology that helped us achieve it, too. Just as corporations are recognizing the benefit of continuing to support a remote workforce, schools are recognizing the benefit of continuing to use the learning systems and technology they implemented during the height of the pandemic.

Technology Improves Education

Hybrid learning does not have to end when schools open. Consider all of the kids sent to school sick because of attendance requirements who could continue to participate in class from home in a hybrid learning environment. Extending this further, consider the capacity for schools in different areas of the country or world that could collaborate on learning through technology. A recent study, “Learning and instruction in the hybrid virtual classroom: An investigation of students’ engagement and the effect of quizzes,” revealed that the ability for students to relate to their peers, as well as their intrinsic motivation, improved when multiple screens and collaborative technology were in place.

As school districts resume full-time, in-person classes, the last thing we want to see happen is that back-to-school means returning to educating students in the same way we did prior to the pandemic. We need to embrace everything we’ve learned during the pandemic, maintain all of the technology and innovation we’ve incorporated, and continue pushing forward.

Hindsight 2020: A Year Filled with Hope

Do you remember what you were doing a year ago today? You might have been sending the kids off to school, driving to work, or shopping for Christmas presents. You most likely weren’t running back in to grab your mask, transforming your dining room into a work-study area for your kids, or angling your laptop just right for the light and background in your bedroom to hop on yet another zoom call. A lot can change in a year. And from our perspective, it’s a year that points to the endurance of spirit, the kindness of strangers, and the ability to transform challenge into progress.

We Will Endure

We’ve worked through challenges to overcome everything from zoom bombs to Wi-Fi inequity. Along the way, we’ve learned that teachers are wonderfully committed beyond all expectation to caring for their students – and that they can get pretty creative in finding ways to do just that – like the teacher laying on the side of the road recording an ant hill for his students using a GoPro. Or the teacher who used his stimulus check to pay his students’ utility bills. Or all of the teachers who showed up this fall – in person, online, and both – still ready to give their students 100% every day.

We Are All Innovators

The saying necessity is the mother of invention has never been more accurate. From parking buses in neighborhoods to deliver WiFi to rolling out new technology to make it easier for schools to safely track and monitor student heatlh, innovative solutions have been in abundance to help students, teachers, parents, and schools have a successful year. Nowhere has that innovation been more apparent than from the scientists who have rapidly developed multiple viable vaccines.  

Hope Is Eternal

Throughout this year, amidst the tears, frustration, and loss, there has been an underlying feeling of hope. From a renewed appreciation for the essential workers in our communities to empty pet shelters across the country, good things happened in 2020. Here are some of the highlights:

Vaccines are being distributed as we speak. Our ability to endure, innovate, and maintain hope will see us through to a BRIGHTer 2021.

It’s Time to Join SpaceX and Aim for the Moon

Our existing education system is like the rocket ship of the past that got us into orbit. That was the engine that built the economy of our very successful country.

But isn’t it past time that we build a new engine to get us to the education moon?

It took a company like SpaceX to use design thinking to reorient the US space program and bring the prowess of space adventure back to the US. They found a new design and new technology to give them the thrust and a competitive advantage.

So, have you found a new design or new technology embedded in bold leadership to embrace the passion for education redesign? This pandemic that we are in is the defining moment that is separating redesign from re-engineering. If you are caught in the crisis, it may be a good time to re-evaluate your redesign program. If you are meeting the challenge of the pandemic with some ease, then your design thinking and planning is kicking in.

How to “SpaceX” Your Education System

Let’s address the whole arena of technology and its role in managing the crisis and in leading redesign. Most technology in schools is 5-30 years old – oops! It may be important for us to define technology, so we don’t create a cohort of defensive readers.

Technology is defined as science or knowledge put into practical use to solve problems or invent useful tools.

When we mention the word technology, it is most often equated with Chromebooks, laptops, and 1:1 and curriculum software. We do not speak of it in its true context and hence will not be able to exploit it to drive the value of the brave new world, the Age of Agility, and learning tuned to the individuals’ learning abilities.

Had schools taken advantage of the existing updates in technology that are already on the market, we would now have virtual classrooms and virtual technology in every school and home, we would have been able to integrate at-home learning smoothly, and we would not be talking about inequity and inequality to the extent we are. If we had built a learning system in our community from the ground up with design thinking, then it would look unlike most schools we see today; so how do we go from here to there amid a crisis and beyond?

The Crisis-Driven Learning Revolution

The amount of money being spent on edtech technology since 2016 has skyrocketed, with a market cap for technology companies sitting at an all-time high in excess of $250 billion. Schools that embrace the integrated learning evolution discover that they can drive sustained success; high connectivity leads to high performance and streamlined learning can empower creativity. Collaboration beyond the classroom is part of the secret sauce.  Let’s rediscover what it is that we need and explore the education landscape.

If you’re interested in learning how Lumen Touch can help you and your district be ready for the present and the future of learning, please get in touch. We’re eager to show you how we can help you save time and money while improving student learning beyond the realms of our current thinking.

What Should the Future of Learning Look Like?

When we start talking about what the future of learning should look like, we need to consider what the future of work will look like, too. What careers are we preparing our students for? What kinds of skills will they need to succeed – not just economically but in such a way as to advance the whole of society? If we look at the big picture, we need to begin developing a generation of tech-savvy innovators who can think on their feet and examine and analyze problems – all while having the flexibility to adjust to rapidly changing needs within their occupations, their communities, and society. The current education system is woefully inadequate to meet these needs.

From Cursive Writing to Coding?

Some schools still teach cursive writing while others are fighting to return it to the curriculum. But the future of learning is centered around STEM, programming, and robotics. Rather than teach cursive, perhaps we should focus on coding. It is a concept that can be introduced on a basic level in kindergarten and built upon through each year. Coding is the language of the future.

From Static Information to Information Filtering?

Today’s students are overwhelmed with information and little time is spent teaching them the skills necessary to determine what information is factual or how to verify legitimate sources. Perhaps not everyone needs to know calculus, algebra, or mitosis. But the future of learning could include teaching students how to manage the information with which they are inundated from every source – and how to filter that information. More emphasis could be placed on analytical thinking, fact-checking, researching, and recognizing manipulation.

Financial Literacy and Economics

Most Americans are carrying higher levels of debt than that which is considered wise. The pandemic and resulting unemployment have only made this worse, and as the likelihood of a recession or a depression looms, learning to manage money more effectively becomes a critical skill. From understanding the economy and the tax system to knowing how to budget, personal finance courses are a great addition to the curriculum.

Mental and Physical Health

From mental health and mindfulness to diet and exercise, schools can take a much bigger role in teaching students how to take better care of themselves and giving them the tools to do so. Removing stigma from mental health can occur when we make emotional and mental health a part of regular conversation. Making exercise a daily habit can start in kindergarten.

Self-Guided and Independent Learning

Should our schools be working hard to put themselves out of business? While we ask this in a very tongue-in-cheek manner, by recognizing the incredible value teachers and schools have, we can begin creating lifelong learners who can continue to develop their intellectual skills long after they leave school. Teaching students to have the discipline and analytical skills essential to independent learning ensures that their K-12 education is only the beginning. Learning how to learn is possibly the most critical skill any student will gain.

Networking and Relationship Building

One of the benefits of students being forced into distance learning last spring was that most students now have a new skill that can carry over into the workplace: the ability to network and collaborate online. From Zoom calls to working with students and teachers on projects from a distance to making presentations online, these are skills used in the workplace today. Should we not be teaching our students how to build relationships, collaborate, and network – and use the tools and technology that make it possible to do so regardless of distance?

We’re at a momentous point in education and going back to what once was just doesn’t make sense. Whether your district is resuming in-person instruction, remaining online, or developing some hybrid approach, it’s time to start introducing topics that will give students the tools they need to be competitive globally as they enter a workforce that will likely look completely different than anything any of us have seen.

The Future of Learning Is Now

Here at Lumen Touch, we are committed to providing the tools that schools need to deliver this kind of future-driven education. One of our latest efforts is a partnership with VEDAMO. We are integrating the VEDAMO virtual classroom into our Bright SUITE and Bright Student™ systems. This will allow teachers to pull scheduling from our systems into VEDAMO for the virtual classrooms, then grades will be imported into our gradebook from VEDAMO quizzes and assignments. Single Sign-On (SSO) will be a part of the integration.

If you’re interested in learning how Lumen Touch can help your teachers and district be ready for the future of learning, please get in touch. We’re eager to show you how we can help you save time and money while improving student engagement.