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Why America’s obsession with STEM education is dangerous

Why America’s obsession with STEM education is dangerous
If Americans are united in any conviction these days, it is that we urgently need to shift the country’s education toward the teaching of specific, technical skills. Every month, it seems, we hear about our children’s bad test scores in math and science — and about new initiatives from companies, universities or foundations to expand STEM courses (science, technology, engineering and math) and deemphasize the humanities. From President Obama on down, public officials have cautioned against pursuing degrees like art history, which are seen as expensive luxuries in today’s world. Republicans want to go several steps further and defund these kinds of majors. “Is it a vital interest of the state to have more anthropologists?” asked Florida’s Gov. This dismissal of broad-based learning, however, comes from a fundamental misreading of the facts — and puts America on a dangerously narrow path for the future. My point is not that it’s good that American students fare poorly on these tests.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/why-stem-wont-make-us-successful/2015/03/26/5f4604f2-d2a5-11e4-ab77-9646eea6a4c7_story.html

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iPad students learn the most important skill There’s something in the air and like the best of things, it’s exciting and scary at the same time. More and more articles like this one and this one and even this one proclaim the death of so many jobs over the next 20 years and magazines like this one explain why people not learning to adapt will be disastrous for everyone, especially current school kids. The major problem for school children is that traditionally, the classroom doesn’t demand they practice adapting to a situation or problem solve open-ended enough scenarios. It’s always been mostly a matter of fitting in and following the guidelines laid out by the teacher. It’s heartening to read stories like this one that show things are changing but these examples still exist as a minority in education.

littleBits 101 - Classroom Set Edition with Task Cards: a littleBits Project by Mrs. J in the Library STEP 1 : Watch the video to discover how littleBits work! Click one of the links below to watch the video. If one is blocked by your school, try the other one. Teaching Students to Reflect in Steps Self-assessment and reflection is key to the forward movement of a student’s learning and potential achievement. The more able a student is to talk about his/her learning in a cognizant way, the better chance he/she has in achieving his/her goals. This is why it is imperative for us to teach students how to do this effectively. We can’t merely assume that by saying to a student, “go reflect on this last assignment,” that he/she will know what we mean.

Designing a School Makerspace Makerspaces, STEAM labs and fab labs are popping up in schools across the country. Makerspaces provide hands-on, creative ways to encourage students to design, experiment, build and invent as they deeply engage in science, engineering and tinkering. A makerspace is not solely a science lab, woodshop, computer lab or art room, but it may contain elements found in all of these familiar spaces. Therefore, it must be designed to accommodate a wide range of activities, tools and materials. Diversity and cross-pollination of activities are critical to the design, making and exploration process, and they are what set makerspaces and STEAM labs apart from single-use spaces. A possible range of activities might include:

10 Online Tools to Engage Students in Studying Process - Fedena Blog When a teacher manages to engage his students in the learning process through interactive techniques, they are able to increase their focus and improve their critical thinking skills. Active participation is important for students to gain meaningful learning experiences in the classroom. How do you motivate your students to get engaged, when most of them don’t give you a chance to show how fun learning can be? Creating a School Library Makerspace: The Beginning of a Journey Our library at Silver Creek High School in Longmont, CO is an active hub for extracurricular activities. We host an Anime Club, monthly Poetry Slams, and Book Buddies, but I felt like we could do more. I wanted something that I could tie to student learning which would promote inquiry, giving students opportunities to solve problems and find answers to questions.

Students want better digital credentials by Ron Bethke, eCampus News Assistant Editor, @eCN_RonBRead more by Ronald Bethke April 23rd, 2015 Innovation in online credentialing can help students better display learning outcomes and the value of their education to employers on social sites. According to a new whitepaper revealed by ed-tech company Parchment at Baltimore’s AACRAO conference on April 13th, a majority of students believe it would be useful to display official credentials on a social site. However, the report suggests their is a lot of room for innovation on the part of institutions. The ideas generated in Parchment’s whitepaper, titled “Extending the Credential; Empowering the Learner,” stem from the results of two surveys which polled over 500 recent college graduates and 100 registrars. Credentialing is also a rising issue in higher education.

Video: Schools, Libraries Uniquely Positioned to Direct Maker Movement, Says Congressman October 11, 2015 School Library Journal The world's largest reviewer of books, multimedia, and technology for children and teens You are here: Home / Technology / Video: Schools, Libraries Uniquely Positioned to Direct Maker Movement, Says Congressman

Dangerous advice for young people A friend shared this on Facebook a few days ago: My comment was "harsh" and I found myself in the minority for thinking so... A number of years ago, there was a popular graduation address that had a whole string of these "grow up" realities and I carefully took the time to respond to each one.

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