AT&T giving $1.6 million for New York kids’ computing classes

Telecom giant AT&T will donate $1.6 million for New York City schools to fund computer coding classes and internships for about 1,200 students, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Wednesday. AT&T’s contribution to the Fund for Public Schools builds on the city’s recent efforts to promote software-engineering education in city schools. It will also support new enrichment programs, paid summer internships and other academic activities such as digital boot camps. Bloomberg said AT&T’s gift is the latest development in the city’s effort to remake public education to better prepare students for the global, digital economy of the future…

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Better STEM education, training needed for mismatched workers

Boeing is not bluffing about its need for skilled workers or for Washington state to commit to continuous investment in skills training and an educational pipeline that promotes many of this state’s top industries, from aviation to technology, the Seattle Times reports. Though the Machinists rejected Boeing’s contract offer Wednesday, Gov. Jay Inslee and the Legislature stepped up with a smart deal last week. It includes $5 million for the Central Sound Aerospace Training Center in Renton, $8 million for 1,000 new full-time community college slots in aerospace-related studies for the 2014-15 school year, and $500,000 for a fabrication composite-wing training program for current aerospace workers run by the Washington Aerospace Training and Research Center at Edmonds Community College. Additional money will go toward expanding and updating the training center…

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Computer literacy: Education’s fourth ‘R’

Something unusual is happening at a website called code.org, the Deseret News reports. There, former President Bill Clinton, Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio, Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates and the rapper known as will.i.am stand together in perfect agreement about just one thing: more students should learn to code. As in learning to tell computers what to do through computer programming. Rubio likes the idea because computer programmers are in great demand and earn attractive salaries. Gates says “learning to write programs stretches your mind and helps you think better, creates a way of thinking about things that I think is helpful in all domains.”

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Higher Education Evolution Part 2: Faculty’s Role in 2023

Like today’s faculty, many instructors in 2023 will still repeat a lecture multiple times –  if they need the extra practice before stepping in front of a camera.

faculty-2023Professors’ roles will change dramatically over the next decade.

Online learning won’t be the only option in 10 years, but it will be a prevalent one, experts said, and that means more and more instructors will find themselves recording their lectures to be viewed and reviewed over the internet.

Forty percent of credits that college students earn are already earned online, said Ray Schroeder, associate vice chancellor for online learning at the University of Illinois at Springfield.

“I think that will only increase,” Schroeder said.

Class time will be more centered on discussions, as the students will have already watched the lecture on a course webpage before meeting with the instructor.

This is already happening on many college campuses, and the system is referred to as “flipped learning.” But a more controversial possibility that could arise from such a method is an “outsourcing” of lectures.

This is the second part in a three-part eCampus News series about higher education in 2023. Read the full story, and the rest of the series, here.

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Hybrid learning’s promise for personalized education

Hybrid learning offers a much-needed solution to student populations, experts say

hybrid-learning-educationSome technology trends are just that: trends and fads. Others–like hybrid learning–have sticking power, because they enable students and teachers to personalize teaching and learning.

In recent years, hybrid learning–often used interchangeably with blended learning– programs across the nation have skyrocketed. Numerous reports, studies, and research efforts have documented hybrid learning’s rise and the benefits it has to offer for today’s students, who demonstrate a desire to take more control and ownership over their learning. In essence, hybrid learning gives today’s students a pathway to what they have demonstrated they want: a personalized learning experience.

According to the 2013 Keeping Pace with Online and Blended Learning report, 23 states have fully blended, or hybrid, schools. The report defines “fully blended” as a standalone school, and not a program, in which most of the curriculum is delivered in a blended form combining face-to-face and online instruction.

(Next page: What do experts and reports say?)

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Lower expectations for students with disabilities?

New report shows states sometimes offer lower-standard diplomas to students with disabilities

disabilities-studentsA majority of U.S. states offer multiple paths in high school graduation requirements to students with disabilities, according to a new report. However, what some likely intended as a way to help these students may be hurting their chances at entering post-secondary education and the workforce, which begs the question: Are states ensuring that students with disabilities are college- and career-ready?

The report, “Graduation Requirements for Students with Disabilities: Ensuring meaningful diplomas for all students,” released by Achieve and the National Center on Educational Outcomes (NCEO), reveals that more than 400,000 students in 50 states have disabilities. Though 90 percent of these students can meet the graduation standards offered by states for all students, during the 2010-2011 school year, only 64 percent left with a standard high school diploma.

(Next page: Colleges, employers skeptical)

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After-school activities make educational inequality even worse

It’s not just what happens inside the classroom that determines a child’s status as an adult, The Atlantic reports.  Accomplishments outside the classroom can be just as influential.  Yes, a basic public education is in principle free to all (though of course quality correlates with property values).  But activities outside of school are not free, so they largely benefit already advantaged kids. While we talk a lot about inequalities between the rich and the poor, and the role school quality plays in perpetuating class divisions, one often overlooked factor is the opportunities middle- and upper-middle-class kids get to strengthen their life skills through organized competitive activities outside of the school system…

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IBM to announce more powerful Watson via the internet

The New York Times reports: Welcome to the age of supercomputing for everyone. On Thursday IBM will announce that Watson, the computing system that beat all the humans on “Jeopardy!” two years ago, will be available in a form more than twice as powerful via the internet. Companies, academics and individual software developers will be able to use it at a small fraction of the previous cost, drawing on IBM’s specialists in fields like computational linguistics to build machines that can interpret complex data and better interact with humans…

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The fetishization of international test scores

Not one, not two, but 10 national educational organizations are planning to host a blowout digital event to talk about (what else?) international standardized test scores, the Washington Post reports. There’s even a new Web site just for PISA Day, called, you won’t be surprised to learn, PISADay.org. The event is being held on Dec. 3, the same day as the release of the latest scores from PISA, the  Program  for International Student Assessment,  a test of reading, math and science given every three years to 15-year-old students in more than 65 countries and education systems by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development…

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Why tablets are so much better than textbooks

Amplify is an education company using technology towards a simple goal — change the way students interact and learn in the classroom, Business Insider reports. CEO Joel Klein — the former Chancellor of the New York City Department of Education — told Business Insider that Amplify “really seeks to change the way we teach and the way we teach Kindergarten through 12 grade in public schools in America.” We got a chance to tour the Amplify offices in Brooklyn and chat with Klein, as well as some of the company’s software engineers and designers. The company covers a lot of ground — using tablets to help empower teachers and students through collaborative learning apps, data analysis, and games. Through the curriculum, students have access to everything from dramatic readings of famous books to an expansive network of math problems…

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