The Keys to Upleveling High School Student Engagement

An Uphill Climb

High school is a crucial period for students. From the pressures to be social, have good grades, identify a career path, and have fun, there can be a lot to focus on. It can often feel like an uphill climb for teachers to grab the attention of their high schoolers. In the recent eDynamic Learning webinar What Employers are Looking for Critical Interpersonal and Employability Skills, Summer Highfill, CTE Business Educator, Oregon Charter Academy shared “How are we going to make sure that our students get consistent real-world experience? I mean, I can put a student in a work-based learning placement. That doesn’t mean they’re going to touch every component of a certain process.” This is an all too common question high school teachers face. Here are key ways to uplevel student engagement moving forward.

Bridging the Gap: Integrating Learning with Real-World Relevance

Making education more relevant and applicable for students’ interests can change the level of effort students put into their studies. Especially if they can see how the work they are doing in the classroom can benefit them in the future. Virtual Simulations from Knowledge Matters provide educators supplemental resources through a gamified curriculum. Including specific lessons and an overarching project, our simulations enable students to bring what they are learning to life in a risk-free environment online. These programs put the students in a real-world situation, where they can learn life skills like balancing a budget and applying for jobs.

For example, the Virtual Business – Fashion simulation brings the fashion world to life for students. Teenagers have long been the drivers of the fashion industry – spending billions of dollars a year on clothing and accessories. The online simulation harnesses the passion that students have for fashion to teach them the real-world business decisions that make or break popular fashion trends. Expanding on their lessons learned from this simulation as well as our retail simulation students can also apply these learnings to running a school store. Hear from Emma Miller, winner of the DECA Knowledge Matters Digital Presentation Skills challenge on how she did just that.


Igniting Interest: Transforming Learning into an Exciting Adventure

Who doesn’t love a little competition? Influsing games into classroom curriculum can increase the effort and focus students put into their work. Giving them a way to “score” their experiences gives them the ability to try and beat their previous score or aim better than their peers. “The Knowledge Matters sims fit into the teen culture. They make learning fun for the students, which obviously makes it even more fun for me.” -Gerri Kimble, Business and Marketing Teacher, Hoover High School, Hoover, AL

Knowledge Matter’s virtual simulations give students access to a no-risk environment, so they can explore, test, and try. With our gamified interface and immediate feedback, students feel comfortable making decisions they think will help them reach their project’s goals, and get to then see the results of those choices. There are also options to collaborate on team competitions in your class (in-person or remotely) and support interpersonal skills for college and career readiness.

Fostering Lifelong Learners

By engaging students in an education experience that is fun and relevant to their passions we can create life-long learners. Students will not only be interested in the moment, but the information and lessons learned will stick with them.

Looking to hear more about engaging learners while providing access to invaluable experiences? Check out our on-demand webinar where we discussed more about the power of competitions and heard from educators who have implemented them in their classrooms. Watch here.

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