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.
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With the proliferation of mobile technology, our ability to access information has increased, dramatically changing the practice of teaching. Comparing the two scenarios, the circumstances couldn’t be more different.
Teachers all over America are faced with this challenge of keeping students engaged in the classroom when their world outside of school is one of constant engagement and stimulation. Knowing the world outside of our institutional walls is only one step in addressing modern learning styles. How to act and adjust schools today is the next step in making the classroom of today ready for tomorrow.
For low-income and disenfranchised youth, learning to code might lead to a lucrative career in an industry that’s both booming and lacking in diversity. That’s the idea behind Oakland’s Hidden Genius Project, a two-year program that offers black high school students a variety of tech classes and pairs them with mentors. Kalimah Priforce, a tech entrepreneur and head mentor at the projects wants to see black and Latino kids move from being consumers of technology to being producers — and he wants to see that diversity reflected in high tech products.
The challenges of rural schools are many of the same (though not all) that low-income public schools face across the country: inadequate access to technology and broadband, tight budgets, and educators who have not been trained in using technology in meaningful ways. But these hurdles did not deter Daisy Dyer Duerr, Prek-12 Principal of St. Paul Public Schools in St. Paul, Arkansas.
Project Tomorrow’s Speak Up Survey gives a good snapshot of how students across the country are using digital technology in and outside the classroom.
As media becomes more prevalent in kids’ lives, parents are grappling with the potential benefits and pitfalls of screen time — what’s just the right amount, what’s truly educational, what’s beneficial, and what’s detrimental. To get a better understanding of parents’ attitudes around kids’ educational media, the Joan Ganz Cooney Center surveyed 1,577 parents of kids ages 2 to 10 years old, including a representative group of African American and Latino parents.
If educational technology and 1:1 education are going to thrive, school leaders must be focused on constantly employing the best practices and tools in relation to the most pressing needs of their students. Managing and sustaining these programs means that the big choices don’t stop after a platform has been selected.
The opportunity to extend access to technology in the classroom and at home is enticing, but school districts can get hung up on important details like providing a strong network, making sure each child has a device, and questions about around distraction. Of course, no one answer will work for all teachers or students, but one guiding principle that’s shown to work is for schools to focus on how mobile technology will help shift instruction to be more collaborative, learner-driven and inquiry-based.
As game developers look at a complicated education marketplace studded with persistent challenges, a few guidelines have begun to emerge to help make it easier for teachers to use and see value in educational games.
In 2012, “massive open online courses” were lauded as the most important trend in higher education. But this year, educators and even students rebelled against the rapid expansion of online learning. Two of the biggest MOOCs say they’re making big changes in how they deliver their classes in 2014.