DEN Trend Report: 3/9/16

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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New tech program would push hands-on learning to give teens real-world skills (The Washington Post)
Moriah Balingit
At a busy, sprawling campus in Arlington, students are learning how to be car mechanics, physical therapists, emergency medical technicians, chefs, cybersecurity specialists and engineers — all while they are still in high school.

The Arlington Career Center hosts a variety of programs aimed at getting students ready for the workforce immediately after high school and giving them a head start for careers they might train for in college. But the courses are offered as electives, and students must ride buses from their home schools to take part in them.

Alabama Superintendent Creates Digital Hub in Rural Town (Education Week)
Michelle R. Davis
Piedmont, Ala., is a town with three traffic lights, a defunct textile industry, and few job opportunities. But students in the small school district there have MacBook laptops, free Internet at home, and shiny new school media centers that look like they’ve been transplanted from Google headquarters.

Bill Gates explains why classroom technology is failing students and teachers (Quartz)
Amy X. Wang
Billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates has many personal passions. Among them are the eradication of malaria, childhood healthcare, and—of course—education.

Tuesday (Mar. 8), Gates offered some fresh thoughts on the future of schooling in an “Ask Me Anything” Q&A session on Reddit. A user posed the following question:

Hello Mr. Gates,

You have previously said that, through organizations like Khan Academy and Wikipedia and the Internet in general, getting access to knowledge is now easier than ever. While that is certainly true, K-12 education seems to have stayed frozen in time. How do you think the school system will or should change in the decades to come?

What Do Americans Think About Access to Education? (The Atlantic)
Ronald Brownstein
Americans continue to see expanding access to education as the best strategy for widening opportunity in the modern economy, but remain conflicted as to whether to extend that commitment to dramatically widening the pathway to higher education, the Atlantic Media/Pearson Opportunity Poll has found.

States assess their readiness for digital learning (eSchool News)
Dennis Pierce
Statewide ed-tech inventories are helping state leaders assess their digital learning needs
When Ray Timothy, executive director of the Utah Education and Telehealth Network, saw the results of a new statewide inventory of technology deployed across all 989 Utah public schools, one figure jumped out at him in particular.

It was the 100-percent response rate from the survey.

“We knew most districts and schools would respond, but a 100-percent response rate shows that technology is a high priority for education leaders throughout the state,” he said.

The Wrong Way to Teach Math (The New York Times)
Andrew Hacker
HERE’S an apparent paradox: Most Americans have taken high school mathematics, including geometry and algebra, yet a national survey found that 82 percent of adults could not compute the cost of a carpet when told its dimensions and square-yard price. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development recently tested adults in 24 countries on basic “numeracy” skills. Typical questions involved odometer readings and produce sell-by tags. The United States ended an embarrassing 22nd, behind Estonia and Cyprus. We should be doing better. Is more mathematics the answer?

Science achievement gaps begin as early as kindergarten (eSchool News)
Laura Devaney
Science achievement gaps present between racial, ethnic and socio-economic groups in the eighth grade already exist when those children are in kindergarten, according to new research published in Educational Researcher, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Educational Research Association.

The State of Edtech (EdSurge)
Part 1: Technology Trends Shaping Education
As a nation, we obsess about education. Look at A Nation at Risk’s 1984 critique that public education would not bring about a competitive economy. Or maybe Eisenhower’s National Defense Education Act, aimed at increasing science education for national safety in 1958. Or go back to 1930 to Eleanor Roosevelt’s speech in Hyde Park when she called for an improvement in education to build better citizens.

3 Ways to Implement Ed-Tech to­ Help Our Students Succeed (Education Week)
Matt Worthington
Note: This week, contributers to the Smarter Schools Project will be guest-blogging. Today, our guest-blogger is Matt Worthington, a Digital Learning Coordinator for KIPP Austin Public Schools, who will be speaking at SXSWedu next month about education technology policies and their impact on educators.

I am frequently amazed at how far technology has advanced. As I type, engineers and innovators are developing improvements to watches that we can talk to, homes that efficiently manage themselves, self-driving vehicles, invisibility “cloaks,” and “Bionical Spinal Cords” that control physical actions with the brain.

4 ways forward-thinking districts are inspiring more students to code (eSchool News)
Melissa Gedney
How innovative districts are exposing more students to coding and closing the participation gap
Recently, President Barack Obama announced his administration’s commitment to provide computer science education for all students. Endorsement by the White House is valuable to those new to introducing computer science (CS) in the classroom, as well as others, like members of the Digital Promise League of Innovative Schools, who have championed CS for years.
Members of the League, a coalition of 73 of the most forward-thinking U.S. public school districts, have long prioritized computational thinking and CS education for their students. Thirty League districts, representing over one million students, made commitments to the White House to further the President’s proposal.


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