The ups and downs of girls in STEM

Are girls really underrepresented in STEM?

Yes. 

In the US, the workforce is pretty evenly split between men and women, but in STEM fields men make up 73 percent of the workforce to women’s 27 percent. Why?

It’s easy to want to find a well-meaning solution for this disparity, or even to brush it off as unimportant. But achieving a gender parity in STEM fields (particularly computer science, engineering, and programmers, among others) isn’t just a feel-good social justice crusade. The number of open tech jobs far outpaces the population of traditionally qualified candidates—data projections have pointed to a global shortage of 85 million tech workers by 2030.

It’s not a matter of encouraging girls to pursue STEM programs just for the heck of it, to prove they can and earn a good paycheck—it’s a matter of graduating enough highly-skilled workers to meet economic demand.

Still, the imbalanced statistics for the genders in STEM are damning. What can K-12 schools do to play their part in preparing the next generation for a talent-hungry workforce?

Let students lead…Read More

How our district engages students in a CTE program

Over the past decade, industries across the world have voiced their concern over the lack of tech skills among high school and college graduates. At the end of 2020, there were an estimated 1.4 million unfilled computer science jobs; this figure continues to rise.

However, the education sector’s response is that currently less than half of high schools teach, and only 5 percent of students go on to further computer science study.

It’s not just about educating our students to take a computer science career path. Today, computer science skills are used and applied across all areas of the curriculum and a broad range of careers.…Read More

How edtech is embedded in Society 5.0

The pandemic saw countless education institutes scramble in a bid to offer remote learning, which just highlighted how ill-prepared they were for future learning.

But in this transition, we also learned something vital: Edtech learning helps to level the playing field for those who are unable to join regular classes due to location, illness, or financial constraints. It offers access to courses that many could only have dreamed of, and it allows for education to be consumed on the students’ own terms, around work, family commitments, or other appointments.

It suddenly opened the door to those with young children or those working in low-paid jobs who wanted to learn more skills and fit them around their working hours. Entrepreneurs could learn vital skills such as business strategies, investments, marketing and more, enabling them to pivot to a digital business plan in an ever-changing world.…Read More

Building a Successful Certification Program at Your Institution

In a world where competition for jobs, pay increases, and academic success continues to increase, certifications offer hope to candidates and educators.

Certification helps to build a skilled workforce that meets the needs of local employers and government tech initiatives. Certification strikes the right balance of academic excellence and real-world skills, giving students the confidence and motivation they need to succeed both in school and in a profitable career.

“According to Pearson VUE’s 2021 Value of Certification study, 69% of IT managers believe certification significantly increases an employee’s productivity,” said Ray Murray, of Vice President and General Manager, Certiport. “Certifications are a great way to help candidates get their foot in the door and be more productive in their future careers.”

Defining certification

A certification is any credential that an individual can earn or achieve that validates a level of knowledge or a skillset related to a specific subject or discipline. Certifications are credentials that stand in addition to, in support of, or independently from degrees and diplomas.…Read More

Why E-rate is critical for school technology access

Every year, schools and libraries have access to billions of dollars of funding through the FCC’s E-rate program. Unfortunately, many don’t take advantage, oftentimes because of confusion over who is eligible and what services are available. In this post I’ll break down the importance of E-rate, how it works, and the types of technologies it makes available that are crucial to education.

The importance of E-rate

For students in the 21st century, it’s almost impossible to overemphasize the importance of the internet and digital learning technologies. There is a growing dependence on these resources across the U.S., and they are often seen as critical for connecting students and teachers and preparing students for lifelong learning and jobs.…Read More

3 simple things you can do to start an esports program

Esports is a hot topic in higher education, from recruiting esports athletes, to helping to prepare the future workforce for a multitude of jobs in this more than $1 billion industry. Esports has pretty much exploded on college campuses in the last 10 years–and for good reason. According to Insider Intelligence, it is estimated there will be more than 29 million monthly esports viewers in the U.S. this year. With this amazing growth at the college level, it is bound to trickle down into K-12 education.

For higher education institutions, there have been many benefits of creating successful esports programs. It’s a great way to recruit students, increase engagement, and showcase potential career opportunities. It’s also a great way to connect students who may not have had any interest in other extracurricular activities on campus.

As more K-12 schools and districts start to consider esports, there is often the question of how best to bring it to their students–especially if they don’t have the budget or resources to create an arena like the ones seen on TV.…Read More

Building a Successful Certification Program at Your Institution

In a world where competition for jobs, pay increases, and academic success continues to increase, certifications offer hope because they are a credible, third-party assessment of one’s skill and knowledge for a given subject. According to a study conducted across the state of Florida, those who earn certifications while in school are more likely to have a higher GPA, are more likely to graduate, are more likely to enroll in a post-secondary program, and are less likely to drop out. Furthermore, once the candidate is in the workforce, certification improves a candidate’s marketability and earning power, with some professionals making up to 7% more than their non-certified colleagues.

Building a certification program from the ground up often involves significant legwork from educators and administrators. Get advice below on the best ways to build a successful certification program at your school.

Research Funding Options

One of the common issues faced by many educators is a lack of funding. Asking for additional budget to grow or increase resources in your classroom can be a frustrating process.…Read More

YouScience Releases National Student Ability Report, Indicates Widening Gap Between Students Aptitudes and Workforce Needs

AMERICAN FORK, Utah, July 26, 2022 /PRNewswire/ —  YouScience, the leading student engagement platform that leverages data science to improve student success and bridge the divide between education and careers, today announced the release of a new national report, ” State of The Future U.S. Workforce: Student Ability Report.” The findings reveal that students have the aptitudes, or talent, to excel in today’s in-demand jobs, but often lack interest in these fields, in some cases due to lack of knowledge about available careers. There is a critical need to address this career exposure gap. In doing so it can help engage students towards an educational pathway that results in career success.

The Report findings are an analysis of anonymized data from the YouScience Discovery aptitude assessment taken by 239,843 male and female U.S. high school students during the 2021 school year. The students represent all 50 states. YouScience Discovery uses psychometrically valid brain game-like exercises combined with an inventory of interests to uncover students’ aptitudes. Unlike interest-only surveys, aptitude assessments measure abilities, such as numerical reasoning, comprehension, spatial visualization, inductive reasoning, and sequential reasoning, to show how a person performs in given areas. Moreover, unlike interests, aptitudes don’t change and stabilize around age 14,  according to research

“This latest data paints a critical picture for industry and education: the skills gap is widening. Plus, it is widening at an increasingly rapid rate which impacts every aspect of our economy. Students must be better aligned to and prepared for the future needs of our workforce. We know students have the talent, but they are not being adequately exposed to the career pathways wherein they possess natural skills and where they have the most potential to thrive,” said Edson Barton, Founder and CEO of YouScience. “The good news is there is still time to close the gap and help all students become more engaged in their educational journeys and futures through early aptitude assessment and proper career guidance and exploration.”…Read More

4 engaging strategies that promote student SEL

In 2020, the World Economic Forum released a list of the most sought-after skills for the jobs of tomorrow. Among them were a number of surprising entries such as creativity, coordinating with others, emotional intelligence, and service orientation. At least, they were surprising if you weren’t an educator. For those of us who spent the last year teaching through a pandemic, the necessity of social-emotional learning (SEL) has been only too apparent. After all, what good is a knowledge of STEM if you don’t have the ability to recognize and manage your own emotions?       

As educators, we know all too well how important social-emotional learning is to a student’s overall development. Science, math, and reading are vital subjects, but empathy, self-awareness, and responsible-decision-making are what allow someone to apply those subjects in ways that make the world a better place.

But with so many standards and subjects competing for our attention, how do we make space for effective SEL in the classroom? Well, it starts with the right activities. Here are just a few engaging lessons that can make a huge impact on students’ emotional growth:…Read More