Ed News: Teachers Eye Potential of Virtual Reality

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This week in education news, teachers eye potential of virtual reality; schools zoom in on STEM equity; Louisiana considers new science standards; South Dakota’s antiscience bill is stopped; and Idaho teachers, parents, and scientists urged lawmakers to keep climate change in proposed new state science standards.

Teachers Eye Potential of Virtual Reality to Enhance Science Instruction

If you can’t afford a field trip to the International Space Station, donning a boxy black headset might be the next best thing. To take advantage of the latest in 3-D technology, teachers are increasingly expressing interest in using virtual reality to enhance science education. Click here to read the article featured on the EdSource website.

Schools Zoom in on STEM Equity

With the U.S. Department of Education doling out billions of dollars to promote diversity and to support low-income schools in 2017, administrators across the country are also working to better serve students of all backgrounds, abilities and interests. Two annual conferences this spring—the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) and the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA)—will feature multiple sessions designed to help educators deliver more equitable curriculums. Click here to read the article featured in District Administration.

Louisiana to Consider New Standards for Teaching Science

Next month, Louisiana’s state board of elementary and secondary education is expected to vote on new science standards. A committee worked for six months to produce new standards for the state, which currently has some of the oldest science standards in the nation. Click here to read the article featured in Education Week.

New Data: New Science Standards Are Boosting Engineering in Schools

In honor of National Engineers Week, Change the Equation “crunched some numbers, and it looks like efforts to make engineering part of the K-12 curriculum are beginning to pay off.” They believe “that the NGSS are succeeding in their aim to integrate engineering and technology into science classrooms.” Click here to read the article featured on the Change the Equation website.

South Dakota’s Antiscience Bill Stopped

South Dakota’s Senate Bill 55, which would have empowered science denial in the classroom, was defeated in the House Education Committee on February 22, 2017. A motion to pass the bill was defeated on a 6-9 vote, while a subsequent motion to defer further consideration of the bill to the forty-first legislative day — effectively killing it — passed on an 11-4 vote. Click here to read the article featured on the National Center for Science Education’s website.

Parents, Scientists to Lawmakers: Keep Climate Changes in School Science Standards

Teachers, parents and scientists urged the Senate Education Committee Thursday to keep climate change as part of the state’s new proposed science standards. Many who spoke before the committee pleaded with members to go a different direction than the House Education Committee, which voted earlier this month for the new standards but deleted references to climate change. Chairman Dean Mortimer, R-Idaho Falls, held off a committee vote until Monday, so the Senate and the House could explore options on what to do next. Click here to read the article featured in the Idaho Statesman.

Why My Students are Real World-ready with Nothing but a Device

Just as few modern-day workers could function in their jobs without a cellphone, a laptop, or periodic trips to Google, Anthony Johnson wants his students to learn how to solve problems using devices that will likely be similar to ones they will encounter for the rest of their lives. Click here to read the article featured on the eSchool News website.

Stay tuned for next week’s top education news stories.

The Communication, Legislative & Public Affairs (CLPA) team strives to keep NSTA members, teachers, science education leaders, and the general public informed about NSTA programs, products, and services and key science education issues and legislation. In the association’s role as the national voice for science education, its CLPA team actively promotes NSTA’s positions on science education issues and communicates key NSTA messages to essential audiences.

The mission of NSTA is to promote excellence and innovation in science teaching and learning for all.


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One Comment

  1. Debra Shapiro
    Posted February 24, 2017 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

    For more on virtual reality in science education, see “Extending Education Virtually” in the September 2016 issue of NSTA Reports: http://static.nsta.org/pdfs/nstareports/nstareports201609.pdf

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