The U.S. Department of Commerce issued a report this week on women in STEM (PDF). A number of its findings: although women hold about half the jobs in the U.S. economy, they hold less than 25% of STEM jobs. But the gender wage gap between women and man is much smaller in STEM jobs, and women in those jobs earn 33% more than comparable women in non-STEM jobs. Women earn a lower proportion of STEM undergraduate degrees, and when they do, they’re more likely than their male counterparts to work in education and in healthcare.
Sign up now for Stanford University’s Introduction to Artificial Intelligence” class this fall — to be held online for free. Take the class, complete the work alongside Stanford students, and get a certificate of completion.
Apollo Group, owners of the University of Phoenix, announced this week that it will acquire Carnegie Learning, an adaptive learning math curriculum. The price tag: $75 million, as well as an additional $21.5 million for “related technology” (that’s code for “patents) to Carnegie Mellon University.
According to AdAge, 25% of toddlers have used a smartphone. The data from the survey also highlighted that Gen Y and Gen X moms were quick to put technology into the hands of their kids. 30% of Gen Y moms, for example, said that by age 2, their child had used a digital camera.
Speaking of technology in the hands of tots, the Vinci tablet, a 7″ tablet aimed at toddlers, went on sale this week. Notably the tablet is surrounded with a sturdy rod framework, purportedly making it easier for it to be held and lugged around by small children. The cost ranges between $389 and $479.
According to an SRI International study, students at Rocketship Education, a network of K-5 hybrid charter schools, with greater access to online learning opportunities — particularly via the Dreambox Learning program — scored higher on math assessment tests than students who had no additional math instruction. “For the average student,” the study says, “these gains would be equivalent to progressing 5.5 points in percentile ranking (e.g. from 50 percent to 55.5 percent) in just 16 weeks.” You can read more of Mindshift’s coverage of Rocketship Education here.
SiliconFilter’s Frederic Lardinois points to remarks from Wikipedia‘s Jimmy Wales at a recent conference where the online encyclopedia’s founder said that the site was losing contributors. The organization is ”scrambling to simplify what he called ‘convoluted’ editing templates that may be discouraging people from writing and editing Wikipedia’s entries.” Lardinois points to a number of other reasons why participation on Wikipedia may be down, including the fact that many entries may just be complete. But it’s worth pointing out that the Wikimedia Foundation has made a lot of efforts lately to do outreach to the academic community. There’s still a lot of research and knowledge that can be shared on the site (by “experts,” by students).
Facebook-based study tool Hoot.ma announced this week that it was launching private study sessions. Hoot.me offers an app that lets students work together via video conferencing, screen-sharing, and chat — all within Facebook. The new feature unveiled this week will allow participants to bar their study sessions from showing up in public feeds. It will also allow people to utilize Hoot.me together without actually being Facebook friends (in other words, you can share a link to request someone join a study session rather contact directly them within Facebook).
A big week for funding of online textbook companies: CampusBookRentals.com, which offers textbook rentals to over 5 thousand college campuses, announced that it had raised $20 million in growth financing. And digital publisher Inking announced that it had raised $17 million. Inkling re-engineers textbooks for the iPad, and via its app, students can purchase digital textbooks in their entirety or by chapter.
‘Tis the season for back-to-school notices about school-wide adoption of [fill in the blank technology]. This week’s announcement: the University of Southern Mississippi is giving Samsung Galaxy Android tablets to honors students.
It’s estimated that only about 10 percent of K-12 schools teach computer science. Some companies are trying to fill a void in American public education by teaching kids computer programming basics. The push comes amid projections that there will be far more tech sector jobs than computer science graduates to fill them.
In this demo-filled talk MIT’s Mitch Resnick, one of the main creators of the kids coding program called Scratch, outlines the benefits of teaching kids to code, so they can do more than just “read” new technologies — but also create them. “As kids are creating projects like this, they’re learning to code, but even […]
Skills used for programming could also be used for a wide range of careers, such as constructing meteorological simulations, making financial predictions, or creating personalized online learning curricula.
TB By Sheena Vaidyanathan Deep into the digital age, the need for everyone to understand and learn programming is becoming more and more apparent. Codecademy, Coursera and other education start-ups are stepping in to fill the much-needed gap to teach adults to code. For kids, non-profits like CodeNow are raising funds to run summer programming […]
Flickr: AngryJulieMonday By Heather Chaplin Since MIT’s Lifelong Kindergarten group released Scratch in 2007, kids ages 8 to 13 have built more than 2.2 million animations, games, music, videos and stories using the kid-friendly programming language. Scratch allows kids to snap together graphical blocks of instructions, like Lego bricks, to control sprites—the movable objects that […]