Ed News: Educators Gain Valuable Tech Experience Through Industry Certifications

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This week in education news, early exposure to robotics helps break gender stereotypes; the next generation of science education means more doing; dance programs help students develop skills such as creativity and persistence that benefit them in the classroom and beyond; Iowa employers are having trouble filling high-tech jobs with below-average STEM pay; a new report finds time, planning, support and professional development as critical to success; rural schools face unique challenges, including teacher recruitment and retention; and ‘Strong Start, Strong Finish’ is vital to Alabama’s future.

Educators Gain Valuable Tech Experience Through Industry Certifications

All 138 teachers in Chagrin Falls Exempted Village Schools are Level 1 Google Certified Educators. Earning those certifications in 2016 did not come cheaply: Teachers devoted precious time to prepare for the three-hour exam, and the Ohio school district footed the bill for training, support and test fees. But when the entire teaching staff understands how to use the arsenal of Google tools to support learning in their classrooms, the benefits far outweigh the cost, says Mike Daugherty, the district’s director of technology and information systems. Read the article featured in Ed Tech Magazine.

Breaking Gender Stereotypes Through Early Exposure To Robotics

Over the past two decades, women in the U.S. have made notable progress in historically male-dominated fields, such as law and business. However, when it comes to technology and engineering, they are progressing at a much slower rate. STEM educational interventions aimed at addressing the gender disparity between men and women have generally focused on increasing the interest of girls and women during high school and college. For many girls, though, interventions that begin during adolescence may be coming too late. Read the article featured in Education Week.

Adapting To And Mitigating Climate Change

Climate change did not cause Harvey, Irma, or Jose, but it is a huge part of the story. Whether you believe in climate change or not, you are likely thinking that we need to adapt and mitigate to reduce damages and death. Veronica dug deep into the subject with Dr. David Evans, executive director of the National Science Teachers Association; Franklin W. Nutter, president of Reinsurance Association of America; and Gerald E. Galloway, professor of engineering at Glenn L. Martin Institute. Watch the panel discussion, hosted by WJLA’s Good Morning Washington.

The Next Generation Of Science Education Means More Doing

Five groups of high school students worked around tables in Vielca Anglin’s science classroom on a recent afternoon at City-As-School in New York City. They had half-liter water bottles in front of them and a range of materials including pebbles, soil, rice, marbles, scouring pads and gauze. Their task: create a gravity-driven water filtration system that gets dirty water as clean as possible. It was up to them to decide what materials to use and in what order. This type of project reflects the best intentions of the Next Generation Science Standards, which encourage teachers to enable students to learn science by doing. Read the article featured in The Hechinger Report.

How Dance Can Help Students In STEM Disciplines

A proof-of-concept study at North Carolina State University finds participation in dance programs helps students – including those in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines – develop skills such as creativity and persistence that benefited them in the classroom and beyond. Read the article featured on Phys.org.

Iowa Struggles To Fill High-Tech Jobs With Below-Average STEM Pay

Iowa employers are reporting trouble filling jobs requiring education in science, technology, engineering and math, while the state’s average pay for high-tech positions is 15 percent below the national average, federal statistics show. Read the article featured in the Iowa City Press-Citizen.

DeVos Wants To Steer Grant Money To School Choice, STEM, And More

Want a better shot of getting federal grant money out of U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos’ department? You may want to consider pitching a project with a STEM, workforce development, competency-based education, or literacy focus—or one that embraces school choice, including for disadvantaged groups of students. And you should find a way to show how you are giving taxpayers good bang for their buck. Read the article featured in Education Week.

Report: Time, Planning, Support, PD Necessary For Blended Learning Success

The latest report from the Foundation for Blended and Online Learning (FBOL) and the Evergreen Education Group, “Teaching with Technology: Educators’ Perspectives and Recommendations for Successful Blended Instructional Strategies,” based on a survey of teachers from a variety of school models in 38 states, identifies time, thoughtful planning, support and relevant professional development as critical to success. Read the brief featured in Education DIVE.

The Geography Of Teacher Shortages

When most of us hear about struggling schools, we probably picture poor inner-city neighborhoods and school buildings filled with graffiti, drugs and violence. While many struggling schools are located in urban centers, just as many can be found in rural areas or small towns – especially in the South. Rural schools face a number of unique obstacles. Approaches to improving education that make sense in urban contexts do not always work for them, particularly when it comes to teacher recruitment and retention. Read the article featured in U.S. News & World Report.

High School Kids Need Good Teachers, Not Good Lecturers

Teaching means helping students wrestle with concepts, make deep connections, and act to improve their world. Ineffective lecturing, on the other hand, is about the futile attempt to fill what the lecturer views are the empty buckets of students’ minds. Students then go through the motions of learning, hold on to their preconceptions, and don’t deeply change their understanding of the concepts and the world. Read the article featured in the Huffington Post.

‘Strong Start, Strong Finish’ Is Vital To Alabama’s Future

For far too long, Alabama has ranked nearly last in the country in education. Our children are our most valuable resources, and they deserve nothing less than the absolute best. It is well past time that we turn things around and compete for number one instead of settling for forty-eighth. We need an educational renaissance in our state. We must ensure that our children are equipped with a top-notch education so that they can compete in a modern, global economy and prepare them to secure good, high-paying jobs. Read the article featured on Al.com.

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. Gail Bradshaw
    Posted November 1, 2017 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

    The trend seemed to be in the last five years to grab up all the subject oriented professionals that lost jobs due to business downsizing. The schools saw a added plus for them to hire the banker, accountant, airline stewardess, etc. They could start them at base salary and their school would rise above all other schools. This scenario was not the case as schools across the states continue to see failing scores and students that couldn’t write nor comprehend the meaning of a paragraph. To further the dumbing down of our children was “google it” slang for what to do when you didn’t know an answer to a question. I saw this as troubling in the beginning as a person that has witnessed the explosion technology era to include those websites that offer wrong answers and myths as factual answers to questions. To further that thought, I was also alarmed when my teens came home with assignments to use wikipedia as a reference.

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