30 K-12 edtech predictions for 2021

When we posted our 2020 predictions on January 1 last year, we–along with the majority of the world–definitely didn’t anticipate the curveball that was (and continues to be) the global COVID-19 pandemic.

2020 has been called a dumpster fire, the worst year in recent memory, and more. Abrupt shifts to virtual and hybrid learning laid bare the vast inequities that exist in the U.S. education system. The move to online learning also made people wonder: Are there practices we can continue when the pandemic abates? What can we take from this when we return to our classrooms? And will we return to our classrooms to teach in the same manner as we did before COVID?

We asked edtech executives, stakeholders, and experts to share some of their thoughts and predictions about where they think edtech is headed in 2021.…Read More

Report warns a decline in language learning could spell bad news for U.S.

A diminishing share of United States residents speak languages other than English–a trend that could have important consequences for business, international affairs, and intellectual exchange, according to a new report from American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

The Academy’s new report, The State of Languages in the U.S.: A Statistical Portrait, summarizes the nation’s current language capacity, focusing on the U.S. education system. A joint venture of the Academy’s Commission on Language Learning and Humanities Indicators, the report draws on the most recent national, state, and local data sources available to draw a more complete picture of language use in the nation.

“This very important work is ongoing and we look forward to the Commission’s final report and recommendations that will be available in February [2017],” said Jonathan F. Fanton, president of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.…Read More

Education Playbook spotlights teaching and learning

Resource from KnowledgeWorks aims to highlight the importance of teaching and learning as presidential debates continue

Amid a heated presidential contest, KnowledgeWorks has released an Education Playbook to put the spotlight on teaching and learning in the U.S.

In the first eight presidential debates, more than 175,000 words were spoken, but “education” was only mentioned 64 times. With the primary election looming and more debates on the calendar, there couldn’t be a better opportunity to discuss the U.S. education system.

“It’s time to raise the level of education debate in the country,” KnowledgeWorks Vice President of Policy and Advocacy Matt Williams said. “As the presidential candidates hit the campaign trail before the primaries, we must talk about and imagine a new vision for teaching and learning in the U.S.”…Read More

10 computer science education resources and facts

Computer Science Education Week is full of resources to get you and your students computing and coding

computer-scienceTo celebrate Computer Science Education Week and to make sure you’re ready to educate students and peers about why computer science is such an essential part of U.S. education and the economy, we’ve compiled a list of 10 useful resources and facts about computer science education.

Are you participating in Computer Science Education Week? Follow the hashtag #CSEW to keep up with events, and let us know your plans.

1. Daisy the Dinosaur is a free app that uses a drag-and-drop format to teach children the basics of computer programming. Students animate Daisy and make her dance across the screen. They also have the option to download a kit to program their own computer game.…Read More

The innovators who are transforming U.S. education

The Atlantic reports: The new global economy demands a robust workforce, flush with technical know-how. Unfortunately, education in the United States of America has been failing to meet this need. According to the U.S. Department of Education, American students rank 17th in science and 25th in mathematics among industrialized nations.  Despite encouraging signs that lucrative STEM jobs will be greater in number and more accessible than ever in the near future, a national Microsoft survey concluded that only 49 percent of American parents of K–12 students believe STEM education is being treated like a top educational priority. To combat this underachievement, organizational and individual entrepreneurs are changing this status quo with ideas that are shifting the way our country educates its children in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics…

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The pros and cons of U.S. education

“If these numbers are not that dismal … then policy can be more accurately focused and less reactionary,” said one reader.

As President Obama enters his second term, his education policies are sure to be in the spotlight again soon.

But are international tests, which help to influence education policies in the U.S., as accurate as we thought? And what, if anything, can we learn from other countries?

A report from the Economic Policy Institute suggests that well-respected international tests have misranked the achievement of U.S. students, meaning federal and state leaders have based their education policies on misleading data.…Read More

Obama defends education policies to critics

Challenging civil rights organizations and teachers’ unions that have criticized his education policies, President Barack Obama said that minority students have the most to gain from overhauling the nation’s schools, reports the Associated Press. “We have an obligation to lift up every child in every school in this country, especially those who are starting out furthest behind,” Obama told the centennial convention of the National Urban League. The Urban League has been a vocal critic of Obama’s education policies, most notably the $4.35 billion “Race to the Top” program that awards grants to states based on their plans for innovative education reforms. Obama pushed back July 29, arguing that minority students are the ones who have been hurt the most by the status quo. Obama’s reforms also have drawn criticism from education advocates, including prominent teachers’ unions like the American Federation of Teachers, who have argued that the reforms set unfair standards for teacher performance. Obama said the goal isn’t to fire or admonish teachers, but to create a culture of accountability. He pinned some of the criticism on a resistance to change. Seeking to ease his strained relationship with the powerful teacher’s unions, Obama hailed teachers as “the single most important factor in a classroom,” calling for higher pay, better training, and additional resources to help teachers succeed. “Instead of a culture where we’re always idolizing sports stars or celebrities, I want us to build a culture where we idolize the people who shape our children’s future,” he said…

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