For more than 100 years, Oklahoma CareerTech has been connecting students and businesses with training opportunities that help Oklahomans find rewarding careers and support Oklahoma industries. Our goal is to develop a world-class workforce for Oklahoma employers and prepare Oklahomans to succeed in the workplace, in education and in life.
OK Career Guide is an online tool available to all Oklahomans to explore careers and plan their futures. Participants can take assessments, identify occupations, establish education plans and connect to employers.
Kuder Galaxy is an online career awareness platform for students in prekindergarten through fifth grade. Students learn through play, videos, activities, games and rewards in the space-themed platform.
Webinars for OK Career Guide will be Sept. 28, Oct. 26 and Dec. 7. Kuder Galaxy webinars will be Aug. 24, Sept. 28, Oct. 26 and Dec. 7.
All participants are strongly advised to register in advance to provide a quicker, more efficient log-in experience. Beginning July 8, online registration requires you to fill out your personal information for the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education to enter into its new data storage system. After you complete your information for ODCTE, you will continue on to the OkACTE website to verify your personal information with OkACTE. From there, you will proceed with registration and membership options. The online registration/membership is located on a secured site. When registering, please be sure to print your paid receipt. This will help facilitate your log-in process.
Oklahoma CareerTech’s online course, “Intro to CareerTech: A Brief History”, provides an engaging look at how our system became one of the most envied in the world. Register at ctYOU.org, look for the link in the course banner and self-enroll. It’s FUN and it’s FREE!
The online system, which launched Aug. 21, 2015, is built specifically for Oklahoma. It serves a wide audience and provides data to administrators. Oklahoma schools and all Oklahomans have access to the online tool at no cost.
The program combines games, activities and experiences for today’s tech-savvy learners, and is accessible from laptops, desktops and tablets. It uses an outer space theme, including astronauts and spaceships. Students launch into planets, which represent different work environments.
“It’s a fast-paced, interactive program that makes career awareness fun and engaging,” said Cori Gray, CareerTech deputy state director.
Lawton Public Schools Counselor Amy Wilcox said Galaxy encourages students to explore both traditional and nontraditional careers. Wilcox was part of a group that beta-tested the program before its official launch.
“Our students love the program,” Wilcox said. “Galaxy helps their self-esteem and encourages them to become more goal-oriented.”
The system begins with the basic concept of “What is work?” Each year the program builds on that concept, including what people do at work, why they work, what tools and skills they will use for work and how students can prepare for work. By fifth grade, students can investigate specific occupations.
“We’re just letting kids explore what’s out there,” said Lawton Assistant Principal Starla Reed.
In addition to career awareness, Galaxy’s activities integrate academic skills. It emphasizes the importance of reading and writing, and the games show how math, science and social studies fit into the world of work.
Reed said the program is designed to connect to the Individual Career Academic Plan required by Oklahoma state law. Beginning with the freshmen of 2018-19 (graduates of 2023), all Oklahoma students must have an ICAP to graduate. The ICAP guides them as they explore career, academic and post-secondary opportunities, and must be updated annually. A personal portfolio allows students to create meaningful career pathways and prepares them to be career- and college-ready.
Galaxy, a product of Kuder, makes OK Career Guide appropriate for Oklahomans of all ages in all stages of life. OK Career Guide is a statewide career development education system that offers research-based assessments that help users identify interests, skills and values. The system identifies training and education needs for each occupation and a database of schools that offer the necessary education for that career.
Are you spending your time scouring the Web searching for information on career and technology education? The Resource Center for CareerTech Advancement has identified and vetted websites, articles, and resources that can assist you with instruction, assessment, professional development, policy, and more.
Besides offering educational resources and help with instructional design, the Resource Center tracks industry/workplace data and trends. Click HERE for this month’s featured links.
The Resource Center for CareerTech Advancement is a division of the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education. The staff of the Center research educational materials and best practices to disseminate throughout the state CareerTech system. The Resource Center also provides support in identifying curriculum, assessments, professional development and other instructional delivery resources on request.
The Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education in Stillwater has created a new online resource center to help educators make the most of their work.
The new division, known as the Resource Center for CareerTech Advancement, took shape over the past several months before going live at the end of July.
Francis Tuttle, known as the architect of Oklahoma’s CareerTech System, created the curriculum function at the state agency in 1967. The new Resource Center is a natural next step, said Marcie Mack, Oklahoma CareerTech state director.
“Oklahoma was known for 50 years for its competency-based instructional materials for what was then called vocational education, now career and technology education,” Mack said. “That curriculum was developed, printed and delivered to teachers across the state and throughout the nation from the agency headquarters here in Stillwater.”
Increasing competition from national publishers made it difficult to continue to develop new printed products, but paved the way for a new digital opportunity, she added.
Staff members of the Resource Center research educational materials and best practices to distribute online for free throughout the state CareerTech System. They also adapt select curriculum content into smaller resources for teachers, such as rubrics, PowerPoint files and handouts. The Resource Center also provides support in identifying curriculum, assessments, and other instructional delivery resources on request.
Although the focus is on the needs of CareerTech teachers and administrators, public school teachers will find helpful resources as well, Mack said.
The Resource Center website features categories of resources for teachers, trainers, career counselors, administrators and decision-makers, which include tools for teachers and trainers; resources about standards, credentials and assessments; employability and adult basic education resources; and career and academic connections resources.
Planners and researchers can also find something useful on the Resource Center website. An industry/workplace data and trends category provides links to dozens of recent studies, reports and other publications from sources including state and federal agencies, think tanks, foundations, industry groups and education research organizations.
“The new Resource Center for CareerTech Advancement is a comprehensive source for teaching and planning resources,” said Mack. “It brings together a wealth of expertise and research from across the country so that teachers and administrators can focus on applying that knowledge to the benefit of their students.”
Leaning on its legacy of curriculum development to initiate a digital resource center made sense, said Justin Lockwood, a deputy director at the state agency.
“Today’s teachers can access online textbooks with built-in gradebooks. Students can use their tablets or even their smartphones to access digital content, including video, anytime and anywhere,” Lockwood said.
Instead of competing with the national publishers to provide the textbooks, ODCTE saw an unmet need for digital resources to help teachers enhance their lesson plans, he explained.
“With so many online courses and textbooks available from a variety of sources, it creates a need for supplemental resources that can assist a new or experienced teacher in building a comprehensive learning experience for students,” he said.
One of the most popular resources from the Resource Center is a digital version of a longtime print resource known informally as the web book. When the internet was new, teachers spent a lot of time searching for useful online resources, said Craig Maile, ODCTE curriculum manager. The web book was Oklahoma CareerTech’s answer.
“Our curriculum staff listed links to supplemental resources based on their work developing curriculum. Every few years, we’d produce a new edition of the web book and give it away to teachers at conferences and workshops,” he said.
A 2018 digital edition with hundreds of links to resources organized by career cluster is available on the Resource Center website.
“Our next most popular free resource is a notepad with a grid on it,” Maile said. “We’ll probably continue to print that one.”
Lifelong learning is important for any career, but sometimes opportunities for professional development are limited. Because of this limitation, it is important for every individual to develop a personalized learning network.
What is a PLN?
According to Tom Whitby in Edutopia, a PLN is “a tool that uses social media and technology to collect, communicate, collaborate and create with connected colleagues anywhere at any time. Participating educators, worldwide, make requests and share resources.” Just remember that your PLN is not limited to online interactions, but it is the online, global interaction that makes it unique.
How do you create a PLN?
The basic premise of a PLN is to learn and share with others. Networking, or the ability to share, is a wonderful way to learn, but it should not be limited to formal meetings or to random encounters with other professionals. Technology allows for a global learning experience that will occur 24/7.
Begin by connecting with people who have an interest in career and technology education. This group may primarily include family, friends, educators and experts, but it should also include people you meet at conferences and meetings or any other place where face-to-face meetings have occurred.
How do you add peers into your PLN?
Twitter: Create a Twitter account that focuses on CareerTech educators and leaders. For many, Twitter is the foundation for establishing a PLN. Use popular CTE hashtags, g., #careerteched, #CTE or #Vision18, to locate and connect to others. Consider using a Twitter aggregator like Hootsuite to provide organization and simplify your Twitter life.
RSS feeds: Use RSS feeds to stay connected to your favorite education and CTE websites, blogs and publications. Instead of visiting websites on a daily basis, you can use the RSS feeds to gather headlines from those sites and feed them directly to your computer.
Get started by downloading an RSS reader. There are several free and commercial readers, extensions and apps available online.
Visit your favorite websites and look for the RSS link.
Click on the RSS icon or copy the URL to the RSS feed for the site.
Paste the RSS URL into your RSS reader.
Repeat these steps with all your favorite sites.
Social bookmarking sites: Diigo, Delicious, Pinterest, Reddit and Google Reader are just a few sites that allow you to tag a webpage so it can be easily accessed at a later time. The advantage to a social bookmarking site is that you are saving these sites to a web-based tool so you can log into your account on any device and review your saved articles/web pages from remote locations.
Facebook: Create a Facebook account, add your interests and like Facebook pages in which you have a professional interest. Then comment on and share pages.
Google+: This is an online social networking site that allows the user to organize peers into groups called “Circles” and then filter the information you share by group. You can also search for existing educational communities and simply join them and begin to learn and share your own knowledge and experiences.
Create a goal for your PLN
Spend 20 minutes a day sharing and learning. It’s a great way to start your day or a welcome alternative to watching commercials during your favorite TV show. A PLN will take effort — to add peers and sites to your technology devices, but also to add to the conversation. It’s a wonderful feeling when people begin to follow you and ask you to share your knowledge and experiences.
Resource: How do you know which educational hashtags to search by?