Discovery Education and Boeing Present a New Virtual Field Trip for Students Exploring STEM and Robotics in Aviation Manufacturing 

Charlotte, NC — Discovery Education and Boeing present a new virtual experience – Manufacturing the Future of Aviation Virtual Field Trip – to show students how STEM makes aviation manufacturing more efficient and safer. This virtual field trip is part of FUTURE U, an award-winning program that provides standards-aligned, hands-on, experiential learning resources that ignite excitement and inspire students to become tomorrow’s innovators. 

Premiering Feb. 7 at 1 p.m. ET and available on-demand, this virtual learning experience transports students to manufacturing centers in Renton, Wash., Portland, Ore., and Salt Lake City, Utah to meet the diverse mechatronics, robotics, and ergonomic engineers at Boeing. During the Manufacturing the Future of Aviation Virtual Field Trip, students discover the revolutionary devices and machines that make modern manufacturing safer, faster, and safer. Learn more and register here

“It’s critical for us to do all that we can to get students excited about the careers of the future. This new virtual field trip is another exciting way students can learn more about how important STEM careers are in the aerospace industry–and how fun and rewarding they can be,” said Vice President of Boeing Global Engagement Cheri Carter. …Read More

Back to school but not back to normal

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In Getting There: Innovation in Education, Editor at Large Kevin Hogan sits down with K-12 educators, thought leaders, and innovators to highlight the latest in an ever-changing school year.

This latest episode, Back to School, but Not Back to Normal, includes:

…Read More

Carolina Biological Supply Company’s New Young Innovators Program Inspires Students with K-12 Students’ Inventions

BURLINGTON, NC, Aug. 2, 2021 – Leading school science supplier Carolina Biological launched the Young Innovators program to highlight student inventions and inspire students and teachers to see that all students can succeed in STEM. As educators and students return to class this fall, these high-interest profiles are free resources perfect for engaging students in learning science, while promoting equity and inclusion. One of the first Innovators of the Month to be featured is six-year old Robert Samuel White III (Sam). Sam White, whose amazing new take on a traditional ABC song encourages other students to think about the jobs they could have as they learn the letters of the alphabet. A video of Sam singing his co-written song, “ You Can Be ABCs,” with his dad went viral on social media last fall. What started as a simple idea to make learning fun for Sam turned into a sensational video and soon to be book that parents and teachers can use with their students who are learning to read. Sam, entering second grade, has also recorded a new video for Carolina, featuring STEM careers to educate young students about jobs in science. A diverse selection of young student innovators will be featured so that all students will see someone that they can relate to. From their classrooms or at home, teachers can engage students in learning science. The new site www.CarolinaYoungInnovators.com launched with 12 Young Innovator profiles and will recognize their accomplishments by honoring a Young Innovator of the Month every month. Carolina is searching for more Young Innovators to highlight, so teachers are encouraged to nominate their students on its online recommendation page.

Individual profile pages and free downloadable literacy cards for each Young Innovator are available now in a choice of grade-appropriate K-12 reading levels in English and Spanish. Teachers can access and share these digital resources with students anywhere they have Internet access. Suggestions are provided for how teachers can use these stories with their classrooms. Carolina is celebrating the launch with a Facebook contest through August. Four winners will receive a Young Innovators poster and T-shirt, plus a signed copy of Sam’s book.

The inspiring students featured in Carolina’s Young Innovators program will surprise and captivate students’ attention. They demonstrate the amazing achievements that happen when students take action to answer a question or solve a problem in science, technology, engineering, and math. By recognizing and celebrating these Young Innovators’ accomplishments both big and small, Carolina strives to open the door to possibilities, to inspire all students and nurture their visions. Carolina promotes diversity and inclusion to encourage every student to take their place in STEM.…Read More

Coding and robotics programs are engaging learners worldwide

On a visit to a class in Sitka, Alaska, we watched second grade students gain incredible experiences in computer science skills. The teacher, Cindy Duncan, believes in teaching young children to code, so she begins the year by introducing students to Ozobots through stories.

She used “The Gingerbread Man” and taught dyads of children to develop story characters. “I teach coding and robotics because as an educator it is my job to recognize that my students are global innovators, thinkers and problem solvers,” she explained.

Related content: 6 reasons to support K-5 coding…Read More

5 Big Ideas for Education Innovation in 2019

Over the last year, education innovators around the country continued to pursue expanded definitions of student success, personalized approaches, and wholly new models of school. For many, the very real challenges of change management and discovering ways to promote scale with quality dominated 2018. But for those conversations to go a level deeper, we can’t assume that these new measures and new models are fully baked or that everything deemed “new” is at it seems. Looking ahead, here are five big ideas I’ll be watching for in 2019:

1. ‘Unbundle’ what we mean by SEL.
Social-emotional learning. Soft Skills. Habits of mind. These critical but sometimes elusive ideas have gotten their fair share of love over the past year. But pulling back the curtain on the research base, the paltry supply of reliable SEL assessments can make the current energy around SEL interventions feel anemic at best, and hollow at worst. Like personalized learning, “SEL” now connotes a bundle of concepts and aspirations that may need to get unbundled in order to be useful. In that vein, in 2019 I’m most excited to watch emerging SEL point solutions targeted at specific, narrow skills or dispositions. These innovations are focused on doing a few things really well. For example, GiveThx, the brainchild of Leadership Public Schools’ teacher-entrepreneur Mike Fauteaux, plucks off one particular emotion and skill: gratitude. In a similar vein, Kind Foundation’s effort, Empatico.org, focuses on experiences that inspire empathy across classrooms. I’ll be watching models like these that offer narrower on-ramps to more rigorous measurement and targeted interventions within the exceedingly broad SEL landscape.

2. Commit to threading the coherent curriculum needle.
Speaking of the murky waters of personalized learning, rumblings (and occasional shouts) about the fragmented state of curriculum to support personalization have been building for years. One of the fundamental tensions we hear articulated is whether a coherent, evidence-based, off-the-shelf curriculum is better than a potpourri of lessons that teachers and leaders assemble—and in some cases build—themselves. Although these debates are not unique to personalized environments, personalization hinges on a commitment to tailor learning experiences to individual students. But the more varied those experiences and resources are, many worry the less rigorous and coherent curriculum becomes. Through the lens of our own Modularity theory, these tradeoffs aren’t unique to curriculum per se: across industries, a modular approach can be more affordable and flexible, while integrated solutions are pricier but better at pushing the frontier of performance. In 2019, I’ll be keeping an eye on how districts and schools manage to strike a balance between the tradeoffs of modular and flexible versus integrated and coherent approaches to curriculum.…Read More

5 big ideas for education innovation in 2018

Last year saw a flurry of activity in support of personalized learning, new school designs, and new approaches to K-12 education policy. Looking ahead, education innovators have their work cut out for them in 2018. Some of this work requires asking hard questions. Some requires acknowledging that there’s an elephant in the room. And some requires looking beyond our current conversation to where the next waves of innovation stand to emerge. Here are five ways I’m hoping the K-12 education innovation agenda moves forward in 2018:

(1) Unpack “just-in-time supports.”

One of the core elements of a high-quality competency-based model is students receiving just-in-time supports. These same supports seem to be implied when advocates of personalized learning call for tailored learning experiences and pathways that resemble those of high-touch tutoring models. Yet we often lack a clear, systematic way to talk about what those supports are and aren’t. What does learning science tell us about the best approaches? In which instances should these supports result from students seeking out help themselves? And when should educators scaffold them in? Put broadly, how can we infuse the notion of “just-in-time supports” with an understanding of what works, for which students, in which circumstances? I worry that without getting deep into these instructional innovations and beginning to categorize them in clear ways, structural innovations to rethink time and unlock personalized, competency-based progressions will risk falling flat. This year I’ll be keeping an eye on efforts like TLA’s Practices portfolio and Digital Promise’s Learner Positioning Systems for clearer answers.…Read More

7 must-knows from blended learning’s early adopters

Earlier this year, the Highlander Institute, The Learning Accelerator and The Christensen Institute teamed up to bring together a conference on blended and personalized learning in Providence, R.I. The goal of the event was to focus on the practical elements of blended learning and personalized learning by surfacing the tactics that teachers and leaders from around the country were deploying on the ground.

These tactics are highlighted in the report, From maverick to mainstream: Takeaways from the 2017 Blended and Personalized Learning Conference, out this week. Seven key tips surfaced from innovators at the convening:

#1 Modify Models to Expand Relationships and Collaboration…Read More

6 tips from personalized learning innovators leading change

Earlier this year, the Rhode Island-based Highlander Institute and the Clayton Christensen Institute teamed up to bring together a conference on blended and personalized learning in Providence, R.I.  The goal of the event was to focus on the practical elements of blended and personalized learning by surfacing the tactics that practitioners were deploying in the trenches. More than 100 teachers and leaders from around the country were invited to share their approaches to piloting and scaling blended learning in classrooms and schools, which we summarized in our latest report, From the Frontlines, out this week.

Although our many presenters hailed from a variety of geographies and contexts, one refrain echoed loudly throughout the Providence Convention Center: implementing blended and personalized learning is about managing change. Innovators stressed that without effective change management, the best technology tools and the most elegant personalized learning models will come up short.  Here are six change management strategies that practitioners stressed as vital to driving new models of learning across traditional systems:

1. Embrace not knowing

One tension in managing change across a classroom or an entire district is making the unknown an opportunity rather than a threat. This framing depends on leaders who are willing to make the unknown safe. As Amanda Murphy, a Highlander Institute Fuse Rhode Island Fellow from Westerly Public Schools, put it, managing change across a system is about “supporting the eager, but non-expert.” In part, this requires giving people room to express concerns. “We had faculty volunteers who were interested but didn’t have expertise,” she said. “They talked about why they were nervous, and this helped people understand that there were many others in the same boat. It set the tone that it’s okay not to know. And now they’re asking for help.”…Read More

Does your school have a growth mindset when it comes to change?

Want your tech rollout to be successful? First, you need the right mindset

Most educational organizations want to improve teaching and learning by leveraging technology. The terms blended learning and its subset, flipped learning, are touted extensively as useful educational goals.

However, there are a number of fundamentals that need to be in place in order to increase the likelihood of organization wide success. This contrasts with the success of the “lone experimenters”; the innovators and early adopters who will implement change no matter what the environment is like.

Fundamentals fall into a number of categories. I will consider one — mindset — in this article. Two previous articles examined infrastructure and leadership.…Read More

Destination Imagination, Oracle Academy launch computer science challenge

Organizations join forces on the development of two coding challenges

Destination Imagination (DI), an educational nonprofit organization dedicated to teaching students the creative process skills needed to become the next generation of innovators, entrepreneurs and industry pioneers, has collaborated with Oracle Academy to advance coding and computer science opportunities that will help students thrive in the future workforce. Oracle Academy works globally to expand knowledge, skills, innovation and diversity in technology through computer science education.

“There is an urgent need to provide students and teachers access to computer science education,” said Dr. Chuck Cadle, CEO of Destination Imagination. “The Association for Computing Machinery estimates that by 2020, one out of every two STEM jobs will be in computing. However, nine out of 10 K-12 schools do not currently provide computer science education. As computing technology continues to grow and evolve, it’s essential we provide students with affordable access to computer science opportunities that will inspire and engage them in career-ready learning opportunities. We’re excited to work with Oracle Academy to ensure students connect to the needs of the future workforce.”

Through the collaboration, Destination Imagination will release two new computer science challenges—Dear Hero and Co{DI}ng Space—in hopes of engaging 10,000 students in computer science education this year. Each challenge is designed to spark kids’ interest in coding and encourage students of diverse backgrounds to incorporate their artistic expression while learning skills such as collaboration, storyboarding and perseverance.…Read More