DEN Trend Report: 10/21/15

DEN Trend Report FeaturedLooking to learn more about what’s trending in education?!? Here’s a recap of this week’s news. Let us know what you think about this week’s news in the comments below.

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STEM Is Alive And Well (Tech & Learning)
By Ellen Ullman
We’ve all seen the scary statistics. By 2018, there will be 1.2 million unfilled STEM jobs. Only 10 percent of US scientists and engineers come from underrepresented minority groups. In 2013, 35 percent of eighth-grade students performed at or above the proficient level in mathematics. But I’m here to tell you that when we started looking for schools offering STEM lessons and programs, we were inundated. So maybe we can turn these numbers around and STEM the tide? I’m counting on it.

Blended Learning In Action (Tech & Learning)
Some educators express fear about the shift to e-learning courses and whether they produce the desired results for their students. However, a recent national survey of schools working with The Virtual High School, a provider of online learning programs, found that 95 percent of the teachers, students, and administrators participating were satisfied with the online courses offered through VHS. How are other blended learning models achieving similar success around the country? Below are snapshots from schools that are making blended work.

Kids Learn STEM Through Fashion Design (U.S. News & World Report)
By Amy Golod
A science, technology, engineering and math company offers 3-D printing, robotics and other enrichment courses.
Simon Hopkins, a senior at Park City High School in Utah, works as an instructor at Zaniac, a national science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) enrichment franchise. Hopkins recently concluded one of Zaniac’s first six-week fashion design courses at the company’s Park City campus. He began each week’s class with a brief fashion history lesson, teaching that Converse All Star shoes were originally designed for basketball players, and that Nike, Inc., was named after the Greek goddess of the same name.

In Schools, Google’s Laptops Will Soon Outnumber All Other Devices Combined (Buzzfeed)
By Molly Hensley-Clancy and Matthew Zeitlin
The company’s Chromebooks have already overtaken iPads as the most popular classroom device. But that gap now appears to have widened.
There will be more Google Chromebooks in American classrooms by the end of the year than all other devices combined, Google said today at a company event in San Francisco.
The figure is a striking indication of how quickly, and thoroughly, Google has come to dominate the massive education technology market. In 2012, Chromebooks made up just 1% of devices in American schools; iPads had a more than 50% market share. But by 2014, according to market research firm IDC, Chromebooks were outselling iPads in education.

The Next Education Secretary: Polarizing, Powered By Personal Story (Washington Post)
By Emma Brown and Lyndsey Layton
The nation’s next education secretary is a man driven by what might have been had he not found refuge in public schools.
John B. King Jr.’s mother died of a heart attack when he was 8, and then his father descended into Alzheimer’s disease, leaving King an orphan at age 12. He moved around a lot, staying with relatives. School became the safest, most stable and most nurturing place he knew.
“New York City public school teachers are the reason that I am alive,” King said at the White House this month, after President Obama announced that he would succeed Education Secretary Arne Duncan at the end of this year. “Those teachers created amazing educational experiences, but also gave me hope — hope about what is possible, what could be possible for me in life.”

Should Schools Embrace eDays To Make Up For Weather? (USA TODAY)
By Thomas M. Kostigen
Extreme weather is prompting school systems to think outside the box to figure out alternatives for students losing too many days in the classroom due to calamities from blizzards to heat waves to floods and more.

Americans: Math Is a Must-Have and Science Is ‘Cool’ Again (The Journal)
By Dian Schaffhauser
In the future all the best jobs are going to require people to know a coding language. At least that’s what seven in 10 Americans (73 percent) in a recent poll said they believe. Nearly nine in 10 (86 percent) said knowing how to use a computer is “just as important as knowing how to read and write.” Three quarters said they consider science “cool in a way that it wasn’t 10 years ago.”

Number Of Home-Schooled Students Increases In The District (Washington Post)
By Michael Alison Chandler
When Lisa Cain’s second-grade son became bored at his charter school in the District last year, she started searching for a new school. She went to public schools — “about 25 open houses,” she said — and visited a handful of private ones, too. At the same time, she pored over education research and theory.

New Federal Law Means Computer Science Is Officially Part of STEM (Education Week)
By Jackie Zubrzycki
The STEM Education Act of 2015, which expands the definition of STEM—an acronym for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics—to include computer science programs, was signed into law yesterday.

How Games Can Extend Learning After the Bell (Edutopia)
One of the most rewarding parts of teaching is when a student returns to me with an anecdote about an informal learning community that he or she joined because of something learned in my class. For example, I use the game design website Scratch, asking students to remix an existing game to be about a topic that we’re covering (e.g., turn Flappy Bird into a medieval-themed adventure). In this unit, I share links to YouTube’s community of Scratch users, where more complicated projects are shared. The in-class assignment whets appetites to continue learning long after the bell rings.

This Simple Survey Could Help Close The Achievement Gap (Huffington Post)
By Rebecca Klein
Teachers, do you want your students to perform better in school?
Then take the survey below, have your students take the survey and compare the answers you have in common.
A recent study from Harvard University researchers found that a simple survey could help students foster better relationships with their teachers and subsequently achieve better grades in school. In the study, researchers had a group of 315 ninth-grade students and 25 teachers take a survey at the beginning of the school year about their lives, habits and personal interests. Researchers shared responses with a select group of students and teachers, focusing specifically on the answers both groups had in common. By the end of the year, this group of students — particularly ones who identify as racial minorities — saw a bump in their grades when compared with the other students.



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