Real-World Skills That K-12 Education Doesn’t Teach And 6 Online Learning Platforms That Do Exactly That
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Teaching Real-World Skills: 6 Online Learning Platforms You Need

Technology has drastically changed the educational landscape in the past couple of decades, reducing the time required to perform administrative tasks, improving the personalization of educational material, and introducing new ways of engaging with the subject matter.

However, these improvements don’t change the fact that a majority of learners are awarded high school diplomas without learning the basic real-world skills they need to thrive after graduation. Time Magazine notes that students often don’t learn the basics of money management, contingency planning, and other important subjects. In online courses, where students often require more independence and lack of face-to-face instruction, this problem can be compounded.

Today, we’ll be looking at platforms available that can be used to supplement online courses. Regardless of your style of teaching, these options can be used to give educators the opportunity to impart essential real-world skills and truly prepare K-12 online students for a prosperous future.

Cybersecurity

There’s no question that cybersecurity is one of the most important skills in the modern world. A lack of knowledge about proper security etiquette can lead to data breaches, compromised accounts, and even identity theft. When taking online courses, digital citizenship is obviously a requirement for success; fortunately, eLearning can improve cybersecurity awareness. With the help of online resources and apps, this knowledge gap can be addressed.

The Digital Citizenship app has online safety lessons for students from kindergarten through the 8th grade, focusing on critical, foundational online safety skills. It also prepares students for online research by focusing on etiquette for evaluating and citing online sources. Other covered topics include digital identity theft, cyberbullying, and hacking.

It is available for both iOS and Android mobile devices.

Citizenship Basics

Civic education is a must in order to be an engaged, informed member of a democracy. It allows us to find authoritative information, be active citizens, and help society make meaningful strides towards progress. It also enables people to learn about their rights and the fundamentals of our government. Nevertheless, as reported by the Annenberg Public Policy Center, only "26% of people can name the three branches of government", and many students couldn’t name either of the major candidates during the 2016 U.S. election.

The developers of iCivics look to fill this knowledge gap. It is an educational site intended to help educators teach students about civics topics, including constitutional law, elections, and individuals’ legal rights. Signing up for an iCivics account is free, providing educators with educational games, tools, and lesson plans.

Financial Knowledge

As students graduate and become more independent, they must know the basics of finances in order to avoid accruing unnecessary debt. From negotiating for a fair wage to recognizing legitimate personal loan companies, there is a wide range of aspects of finance that students often fail to learn before entering the "real world".

This should come as no surprise, given that earlier this year CNBC noted that more than half of states don’t require K-12 students to take an economics class. This lack of focus on the importance of financial education has, in the words of this article, led to "a slow-down in the financial literacy of for students".

One of the most reputable resources for financial education over the past few years has been LearnVest. The platform offers advice on creating a comprehensive financial plan, including subjects such as:

• Creating and sticking to a budget
• Making wise investments
• Career advice
• Filing taxes
• Saving for retirement

Finding Support After School

Of course, given the financial difficulties that new college students can face, it’s necessary to educate learners about the resources available to them after graduating high school. While this isn’t vital to success in a particular subject, it can help learners find a feasible path to future educational and career opportunities, as well as fulfilling basic human needs—and isn’t preparing students for the real world a key purpose of education?

There are a number of resources to point students to when it comes to finding financial support. These include:

  • U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
    This site helps users learn about housing options and locate rental help wherever they live in the U.S. For some students — especially those with specific housing requirements, like individuals with disabilities — this can be an essential resource. With the help of resources catered to specific needs, students can live more fruitful lives after graduation.
  • NerdWallet - FAFSA Guide
    When applying for financial aid for college, there is a steep learning curve to finding every source of potential help. NerdWallet breaks this complex topic down in this handy guide.
  • Top 100 Gig Economy Jobs
    This guide provides information on dozens of sites that individuals can use to make extra cash to supplement their income. From rideshare apps to delivery jobs, this extensive guide can help recent graduates explore every avenue to earn extra money.

These are a few resources that can help educators provide online K-12 students with real-world skills. With these tools, educators can help students move forward in life with confidence and, more importantly, a plan. For advice on creating eLearning experiences to aid students in acquiring real-world skills, continue reading on eLearning Industry.

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