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8 Tools to Drive Lifelong Learning in Title 1 Schools

8 Tools to Drive Lifelong Learning in Title 1 Schools

By Jessica Sanders

Today, low-income students are 4.5 times more likely to drop out of high school.

While there are a variety of reasons for this, one important one to consider is that “children growing up in poverty often experience life as a series of volatile situations over which neither they nor their caregivers have any control. Thus they fail to develop a conception of themselves as free individuals capable of making choices and acting on them to shape their lives,” according to Scientific Learning.

In Title 1 Schools, where at least 40 percent of students are considered low-income, if not more, it’s critical that teachers encourage lifelong learning, reminding students that they can change the outcome of their lives and giving them the tools to do so.

This can be encouraged in a number of ways, according to the Center for Lifelong Learning and Design. To encourage lifelong learning in your school:

  • Learning should be authentic and complex.
  • Learning should involve intrinsically rewarding activities.
  • Learning should be available on-demand.
  • Learning should involve collaboration and support.
  • Skills and processes that support lifelong learning must be taught.

The following digital tools make all of these possible in one way or another. Consider introducing them to your students to help them become the learners you know they can be.

More: 10 Most Engaging Apps for Title 1 Schools

TED Talks

Videos are a great way to encourage lifelong learning in students because it’s an engaging medium. With TED, you can be sure students are learning something, about science, technology, life—whatever they’re passionate or curious about, while having a good time.

What’s more, students can access these videos wherever there’s an Internet connection, allowing them to continue learning outside of the classroom. Recommend these videos to your students to get them excited about TED Talks.


By the age of three, students from low-income households have heard 30 million fewer words than their peers who are better off, according to The Early Catastrophe. This means that parents of low-income children may not be engaging with them; not asking them questions and allowing them to do the same.

With a site like Wonderopolis, students can challenge themselves, discovering the answers to questions they didn’t know they had, and have a great time doing it.

This fun website can hook even the most hesitant students, allowing them to learn more words and discover topics that may turn them into the lifelong learner you want them to be.

Whooo’s Reading 

Many reading tools used in classrooms today, including ancient programs like Accelerated Reader, turn students away from reading, making it feel like a chore and associating their success with unimportant point values.

Whooo’s Reading is not another boring reading tool—rather, students can use it to earn Wisdom Coins for reading what they want, whenever they want.

What’s more, students can choose what comprehension questions they want to answer, all of which are open-ended. These questions empower students and encourage higher-level thinking, showing them that reading is not only fun, but it’s something they’re in control of.

Mystery Skype

Connect students with peers in other states, countries or even regions of the world with Mystery Skype, opening their mind to possibilities about who they can connect with.

This fun activity also encourages collaboration, an important part of building a lifelong learning mindset. With Mystery Skype, students must work together to discover where the other classroom is located by asking the right questions and researching in real-time.

You can also use Skype to bring guest speakers into the classroom, including authors and professionals in various industries, giving students a chance to see that they can do anything.

More: Using Mystery Skype as a Classroom Tool

Khan Academy

Show students that they can learn about anything they want, whenever they want, with tools like Kahn Academy. This free website will intrigue young students, and gamification features that tell them how close they are to mastering a subject will motivate them to keep going until they finish the “course” they choose. What’s more, they can truly explore any topic that interests them, from programming to art.

At Google Talks

This YouTube channel combines pop culture—with appearances by Lady Gaga and Ryan Reynolds—with interesting topics, like music, movies, digital citizenship and much more. This may be what first catches their eye, before they begin digging and discover hundreds of videos featuring authors, innovators, scientists and filmmakers.

Have students choose a Google Talk video to watch and share with the class, for a fun, passion-based assignment that encourages lifelong learning.


With this unique website, students can create their own learning collections. After deciding what they want to learn about, students create boards where they collect all the lessons (videos) on that subject. Like a musical playlist, they go from one video to the next, learning something else about the subject.

Encourage students to pick more than one topic to learn about and create boards for every one of their interests. This way, they can start learning at any moment, without having to search for what they want. The video topics on the site include design, science, fitness, technology, blogging and much more.

More: 15 Best Educational YouTube Channels for the Classroom

While this is not always a kid-friendly site for student browsing, it can be used with supervision to encourage students to discover answers to any question they can possibly think of.

Better yet, help students set up an account where they can ask their own questions. (Be sure to monitor the responses before students check, in case something inappropriate comes in.) Students will be amazed to see that they can find answers to their biggest questions whenever they want. This empowers them to ask those questions and looks for answers, even if they can’t at home.

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8 Tools to Drive Lifelong Learning in Title 1 Schools

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