Launch Global Education
Odyssey newsletter: reflection . credentialing . reading
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Volume 1, Issue 4

by Michael Wagner

Knowledge Pilot, Launch Global Education


As I was preparing the newsletter for this week, doing my personal professional development and reviewing potential themes or topics, it was evident that the school year is coming to an end. The topics have definitely switched from what is going on in school to what a challenge the year has been. With that in mind, I have featured articles that are a cross-section of what the world of education has been reflecting on.

Thanks for reviewing this week’s newsletter. Remember, this newsletter is for the benefit of the Launch community, so if you find anything that is particularly interesting, drop us an email at so we can share it with everyone.



Students suffered a learning gap

Over and over there are countless aspects of life that were affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. As time passes and schools begin to return to normal, there will be an enormous amount of learning data studied and released connected to the interruption of instruction, distance learning, and the coping skills of students and families. One area of focus will be the lack of access to proper technology for some students. As Lauraine Langreo from Education Week explains, technology equity played a factor in what she calls the homework gap.

The ‘homework gap’ persists. Tech equity is one big reason why

The class of 2022: A group like no other

All high school graduation classes have certain qualities and traits that make them unique. I think it can be mutually agreed upon that the class of 2022 will be remembered as one of the most unique of all. This class of students has lived through not just one or two years of challenges, but three. For these students, high school was turned upside down and they had to adapt in unique ways. Freelance reporter Daniel Lempres had an opportunity to follow up with some students and hear their stories. You might be surprised by what you read in this story from EdSurge; it may not be what you think. While students had an anything-but-normal high school experience, it wasn’t all bad.

This Year’s High School Seniors Reflect on the Adversity They Faced and How They Persevered

Everyone always wants it for free, but it is complicated

Major news headlines regarding post-secondary education seem to be monopolized by one topic: the cost of higher education and the student debt related to obtaining a college degree. It is such a hot topic that lately, there has been discussion about waiving massive quantities of college debt for some U.S. students.

Responding to pleas from the U.S. public that college education should be free, many U.S. community college systems are trying to provide as much access to free courses as possible. However, complications are ubiquitous within this system that is well established and deep-rooted. CNN reporter Leah Asmelash explores the topic in detail and explains why it is more complicated than just saying – okay everyone, college is free.

Why free college is so elusive -- and how we can get closer to establishing it

A whole new world of learning and training: Credentialing      

There is a burgeoning industry in education today centered on credentialing and certification training. The purpose of obtaining a credential is to gain additional skills or advanced training that is transferable to one’s career. This is also sometimes called upskilling or reskilling. Though many of these courses are geared toward adults, teens can benefit from accessing these courses as well, especially as they look to expand their knowledge or learn more about a possible career path.

It is hard to select one article to understand what is happening in the marketplace today, so I have supplied three articles for you to explore this revolutionary movement.

From Geoff Williams for U.S. News and World Report:

15 Certification Programs for Careers That Pay Well

From Kathryn Tyler for SHRM:

How alternative credentials can help you find employees

From Matthew Dembicki for Community College Daily:

Confusion about credentials and work readiness

Tip of the week


The (tumultuous and uniquely memorable) 2022 school year is in the final stages of completion for students and parents. For many, there is a collective cheer of thank goodness and good riddance. Now the transition is from an unpredictable year of Is school on or off? Is learning in-person or online? to the certainty of being on summer break until the new school year resumes in the fall.

So, what should students be doing during this break in structured academic learning? There are so many things I could suggest (and will in other issues), but this week I will keep it simple: READ BOOKS! I encourage all students, of all ages and all grade levels to never let a day pass during their summer vacation without reading for at least 30 minutes. Regular reading is an important life skill and a terrific way for students to expand their vocabulary.

For many, this summer will include travel for the first time in a long time. If your family will be on the road, incorporate reading while sitting in the car or train, waiting at the airport, or passing time on the plane. It is always fun to immerse yourself in a good story—it’s like taking two trips at once!

For those of you who are looking for some resources, here are some suggestions from Leandra Beabout for Reader’s Digest:

50 best books for teens of all time

Enjoy the reading journey.

Before you go...


I stated in the inaugural issue of the Odyssey newsletter that this section would be something inspirational, informative, or just plain fun (and maybe all three). Over the past weeks, we have concentrated on highlighting moving and interesting commencement speeches. However, after seeing the following video this week on, I could not help myself but include something fun. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

5-year-old Italian piano prodigy plays astonishing Mozart for competition audience


See you next week.