Educational technology leaders have expressed mixed reactions to the education spending bill for fiscal 2018 that was approved Thursday by the Senate Appropriations Committee. The bill would provide an additional $50 million for the Student Support and Academic Enrichment (SSAE) grant program under Title IV, Part A, of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), the section that supports STEM learning and technology in education.
In the last several years Columbia Public Schools has begun using technology more widely in its classrooms. In some schools all students are issued iPads, and internet access is enabled for neighborhood families. Printed textbooks give way to eBooks. Smart boards replace old black boards and chalk. Some parents and kids love the changes. Others, not so much. The big question for an outsider is whether this move to the web enhances or degrades education.
Here’s the connection between educational technophobia or technophilia: Both presume that technology in and of itself has superpowers that can either tank or replace human learning. Technology can automate many things. What it cannot automate is how humans learn something new and challenging.
As I prepare to start my ninth year of teaching, I find myself reflecting on the tools and resources I value most. What new techniques will I try this semester, which ones served me best in years prior? At the Maury County School District in Columbia, Tennessee, I teach fourth-graders, a group who are always excited to learn and anxious to interact with the lesson at hand.
As robotics applications proliferate across multiple sectors, the report authors predict more schools will introduce robotics technologies in order to prepare students for future career pathways. “Robotics competitions are providing learners with opportunities to explore STEM challenges and to apply their skills toward developing solutions to major global issues,” according to the report. “Teachers are also using robots to augment classroom instruction and promote student engagement.”
As schools continue to foster 21st century skills in students in order to prepare them for the demands of a global workforce, K–12 will see the adoption of more makerspaces and research efforts to surface best benefits and practices. Furthermore, the report noted that “makerspaces were initially lauded for their role in stimulating interest in STEM fields,” but now they are often viewed as conduits to STEAM education with more emphasis on the humanities, visual arts, dance, drama and other areas of the arts.
Makerspaces and robotics are expected to establish a prominent space in educational technology in the next year, with virtual reality, artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things not too far behind, according to about 60 education experts whose ideas are showcased in a new report.
Attempts to clearly define personalized learning are commonplace in education now more than ever--and the more conversations we have, the more apparent it becomes that many of us (educators) are unsure of how to define the term, or recognize what it takes to bring it to life. The term is robust, because it has the potential to be different for every learner; so, instead of trying to define it, perhaps it would be more beneficial to take a look at some of the misconceptions running wild amongst the education community, and consider what personalized learning is NOT.
The online higher education market in the US is anticipated to witness rapid growth over the forecast period, owing to the robust ICT (information, communication, and technology) infrastructure, increased penetration of mobile devices, rising adoption of BYOD (bring your own devices), and surging demand for employability skills such as problem solving, critical thinking, and interpersonal skills.
“The demand for educational video games, simulators and other game-based learning devices to learn STEM subjects is increasing because it encourages students to undergo live projects or real-time activities so that they can learn by experimenting. The incorporation of game-based learning in STEM subjects help students to overcome the fear of failure in STEM-related examinations by boosting their confidence.