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.
Katrina Schwartz is a journalist based in San Francisco. She's worked at KPCC public radio in LA and has reported, produced and blogged on health, climate change and local news for KQED in San Francisco.
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Educators often try to motivate students to work hard in school by emphasizing that college is the best path towards economic and social mobility. But getting a college education isn’t just about earning money in the future, it’s also about intellectual passion.
Universities say they’re looking for students who are engaged citizens and independent thinkers with a desire to be a part of the school’s community. But many of the measures used to determine college admission don’t test for those qualities. Instead, colleges look at SAT or ACT test scores, the number of Advanced Placement classes a student has completed, GPAs and the ability to write a strong essay. There is often a disconnect between the kind of student colleges say they want and what students have to do to be admitted.
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.
Women and African-Americans are underrepresented among science and engineering graduate students. The Bridge Program, a collaboration between Fisk and Vanderbilt Universities, is working on changing this. And other programs are learning from its approach.
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.
A new study shows allowing fifth graders to use tablets at home and in class has potential to give them more learning opportunities.