Ed Startups Get Money, Advice From Federal Program (Education Week)
Education technology entrepreneurs trying to make it in the often insular and opaque school market have an unusual ally—one found not in the world of venture capital, but in a competitive federal program charged with guiding small companies to prosperity.
Should Schools Mandate Computer-Coding Classes (National Journal)
It’s happening in Chicago. Last year, Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced that Chicago Public Schools will include an introductory computer-science class in every high school. These classes are supposed to be in place by the end of next year. Over the next three years, the district also is expected to implement a K-8 computer-science pathway for younger students. Earlier this month, Emanuel told techies at the Internet World of Things Forum that Chicago’s high school students will soon be required to take a computer class in order to graduate.
Just one in seven engineers are female, only 27% of all computer science jobs are held by women, and “women have seen no employment growth in STEM jobs since 2000” reports Forbes. Women who work in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math, and those who campaign for higher numbers of women in these fields, think they have some solutions to this growing problem.
While teachers know that collaborating with colleagues to develop multi-class or cross-curricular projects can be incredibly beneficial for students, most never get a collaborative project off the ground. It takes time, coordination, and will—and compatible teaching personalities also play a role in whether a project is successful.
Now, throw in distance. Say, 900 miles. That would keep most teachers from even trying, but not all. For some, it’s just another challenge in an already challenging profession.
What Digital Literacy Looks Like in a Classroom (Education Week)
The New York Department of Education defines digital literacy as “having the knowledge and ability to use a range of technology tools for varied purposes.” Digitally literate people are those who “can use technology strategically to find and evaluate information, connect and collaborate with others, produce and share original content, and use the Internet and technology tools to achieve many academic, professional, and personal goals.”
And that seems to be what people at KIPP prefer. The nation’s largest non-profit charter network, KIPP has garnered national attention in its 20 years of existence, and its shift into blended learning is no exception. Although the network says the majority of its schools are “innovating with technology,” educators and administrators make it clear that devices and software are simply the means with which they hope to help all students — regardless of background — get “to and through college. ”
STEM Data Explorer Shows Areas for Improvement (U.S News & World Report)
“The STEM fields are critical to the nation’s economic future,” Kelvin Droegemeier, vice chairman of the National Science Board, said in a statement. “Our ability to innovate and compete depends on how well we do in science and technology. The National Science Board developed this one-stop answer center to provide a reliable resource on STEM education and careers.”
States Answer Access, Equity Challenges (eSchool News)
Access and equity remain two stubborn issues surrounding ed-tech deployments, but a number of states are carving out innovative ways to put devices in the hands of students and expand broadband connectivity to those without home access. Addressing equity and access concerns not just equity of devices, but equity of learning opportunities, said Doug Levin, executive director of the State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA), during SETDA’s Leadership Summit.
Teacher Leaders Need More Authority, Organizational Support (Education Week)
The idea of “teacher leadership” is one of those curious ones in K-12 education that everyone seems to support, at least in a theoretical sense. But scratch below the surface and there’s not a ton of consensus. Should such teachers be able to formally evaluate other teachers? Should they get paid more? Are these formal positions or informal ones? How are they funded?
Today’s 5 Biggest Ed-Tech Conversations (eSchool News)
Here are 5 takeaways from the sessions, tweets, and conversations that came up time and again during the conference, and which offer a revealing glimpse into the types of technology and interventions educators are turning to now.
Code Debugs the Gender Gap in Tech (Forbes)
The answer lies in education. “The computer science department does not have a gate in front of it, saying Keep Out Girls,” Goldfein says. While women dominate the biological sciences, they stray away from computing. In fact, the job opportunities are far greater in computer sciences. The White House released a study, estimating that there will be 1.4 million jobs in the computing industries by 2020. Yet, at the current rate, only 3 percent of women will have those gigs.