Ways to Create Cultural Awareness in the Classroom

Schools should be a safe space for students to come and feel welcome regardless of their culture. It is pivotal for teachers and staff to be a student’s ally. Based on the recent increase in anti-Asian violence, now more than ever, teachers and staff should be bringing light and addressing cultural diversity within the classroom by establishing cultural awareness. It can be challenging to figure out ways to incorporate this much-needed element into the classroom, however, we’ve put together some tips to help elevate cultural awareness within your school.

 Understanding Culture

(Understand)

Creating cultural awareness first begins with understanding what culture means. There are a lot of factors that go into how someone defines their culture. Often culture can be broken down into people’s beliefs, values, language, societal roles, etc. You can turn the breakdown of culture into a fun and interactive activity for your students by giving them the opportunity to share about their cultures. As you get to know your student’s backgrounds, be aware that you’re being culturally sensitive while discussing their cultures with them. You should celebrate the differences in their traditions, beliefs, and social behaviors. Your goal is to foster inclusion within the classroom.

Do Your Research/Educating Yourself

(Research)

 Taking the time to educate yourself on the basics of the different cultures that are in your classroom will help build a strong foundation for you to create cultural awareness in your classroom. From there you’ll be able to help assist students with their journey of learning and understanding other cultures. An activity you can use to get students to also participate in researching other cultures is assigning students to research and learn about other cultures from all around the world. Break the students down into groups and assign them a continent and have them create a presentation about the various cultures that originate from that continent. Then have them share what they’ve learned with the class. This will allow for an open discussion for students to ask, learn and gain new perspectives on other cultures. 

Incorporating Culture into Lessons

(Integrating)

 An efficient solution to create cultural awareness is by integrating the topic into your curriculum. One way to do this is by using a platform like our Onspire Program, which is specifically geared toward cultural awareness and social-emotional learning (SEL). EDS recognizes that teachers and staff may not have the time to dedicate to broadening student’s understanding of cultural diversity, which is why we created a software that can.

Our program gives schools the ability to have students complete lessons on their own, have staff lead lessons on these issues, or blend the program with staff instruction and self-directed learning. C3: Compassion, Civility, and Cultural is a module in Onspire that teaches harassment, intimidation, and bullying prevention; civility and compassion; and cultural awareness. As a literacy-based curriculum, C3’s characters from the fictional Pleasant Valley School “grow” with your students as they journey together from preschool to grade 8, experiencing developmentally typical situational storylines that provide your students with real-world learning experiences.

By having relatable characters and storylines, the lessons become more memorable and are therefore more likely to stick with your students as time goes on.

Summary

All in all, as we make social emotional learning part of a regular curriculum, we are creating a positive domino effect of student advocates for anti-bullying, cultural awareness, and compassion. 

Because we come from the world of education, we also realize implementing new programs is easier said than done, which is why we’ve designed our systems to be easily integrated into your existing language arts literacy and health programs. Schedule a free demo with our team today so that you can see the tools in action.

What to Look for in Educational Software for Your School

featured image for What to Look for In Educational Software blog post

Schools have had no choice but to adapt to teaching virtually due to the Pandemic. Now more than ever, it is important for schools to find an education software that will allow their staff and students to excel in the world of academia. Luckily, a new COVID relief package was passed at the end of 2020, which dedicates $54.3 billion for K-12 schools. In addition to this, the Biden administration is proposing another $130 billion to go to primary and secondary schools to provide even more relief, as reported by Future Ed. These relief benefits can go toward schools needing to adopt an education software to conduct remote and hybrid learning, but with so many options to choose from, it can be hard to know where to spend these dollars wisely. Here are some key things to look for while deciding which education software is best for your school. 

Reliability 

There are a variety of educational software programs on the market, but as you know, their network connection is not always a guarantee. Those hard-working students deserve to focus on learning and not struggling with the frustrations of poor network connection issues brought on by unreliable software. When shopping for your electronic tools, be sure to check that you have direct access to a support team that can be there for you when an issue arises. With all of our software programs, we have a dedicated support staff that is responsive to all questions and concerns in a timely manner. 

 Versatility 

Your school would benefit most by selecting an education software that is versatile. Teaching remotely comes with plenty of challenges, so picking software that allows you to do multiple tasks within one system will help save you time and stress. With a tool like our Onspire platform, your staff can have the ability to complete personalized professional development, create custom courses for their students, and share online programs with parents, all with one simple login. Make sure whatever system you choose is reducing the number of platforms you need to do your job instead of creating more issues. 

 Efficiency 

While looking for education software, schools should consider the efficiency of the program. There are only so many hours in a school day to tackle what needs to be done. Finding a program that streamlines the processes of remote learning, automated reporting and simplifies incident management is a miracle. For example, our anti-bullying software, HIBster, is a miracle worker with its ability for users to create custom reports and manage a school safety program as they enter incident data by utilizing our multi-tab automation process. Not to mention, it includes Student Information Systems (SIS) integration, making it easy to access student details without adding on a completely different system. The tool you use should also have this same capability so that you’re not adding on additional unnecessary work.

Security

Last but certainly not least, the software needs to be secure. Of course, you already knew that. However, we feel it’s important to stress this anyway due to the number of online systems that have been hacked during this adaptation phase of our lives. This is something that we knew was integral prior to a pandemic even being an issue, and our developers make it a top priority to ensure all information is safe, secure, and protected. Asking how companies ensure the security of the school and students’ information is in place will help save you issues in the future. 

 Deciding Factors

With funding available, now is the time to take advantage of updating your school’s education software. Finding a program that fits all your school’s needs doesn’t have to be a painful process. All of our software options have the capability to not only be streamlined together but also are completely electronic, which allows schools to communicate with one another within one district without being in the same office. Our hope is that these programs will transform the way clerical work is managed throughout your district, saving you both time and money while still being effective in your goals. You can see first-hand how reliable, versatile and efficient our programs are by requesting a free demo today