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David Houggy: The case for STEM education

The Aspen Times – David Houggy

“Imagine … the United States is a global economic and military superpower, leading the world in developing new industries, creating jobs, inventing new products and services, and breaking ground in all manner of scientific areas, including technology, biology, genetics, medicine, space travel and more. We have figured out how to put a man on the moon and bring him back. We have a higher concentration of scientists and STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) professionals than any other country in the world — by a large margin. Our universities are unparalleled in the world, and our youth rank No. 1 in math and science among all developed countries. The economy is booming, growing at over 5 percent annually, we are exporting products and services all over the globe, and have a negative trade balance.”(more)

Young Children Are Spending Much More Time In Front Of Small Screens

KQED News Mind/Shift – Anya Kamenetz

“It’s not your imagination: Tiny tots are spending dramatically more time with tiny screens. Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, just released new numbers on media use by children 8 and under. The nationally representative parent survey found that 98 percent of homes with children now have a mobile device — such as a tablet or smartphone. That’s a huge leap from 52 percent just six years ago. Mobile devices are now just as common as televisions in family homes.”(more)

5 ways educational games improve learning, according to teachers

E-School News – Laura Ascione

“When teachers used digital educational games in the classroom, students raised test scores by more than half a letter grade in only three weeks, according to a study from researchers at Vanderbilt University and partners at Legends of Learning, a research-driven educational game platform. The new research, published by the Journal of the Learning Sciences, demonstrates the benefits of game-based learning for students when compared to students who had no access to such games.”(more)

Turning Your Students Into Web Detectives

Edutopia – Jeff Knutson

“Our students use the web every day—shouldn’t we expect them to do better at interpreting what they read there? Perhaps, but not necessarily. Often, stereotypes about kids and technology can get in the way of what’s at stake in today’s complex media landscape. Sure, our students probably joined Snapchat faster than we could say “Face Swap,” but that doesn’t mean they’re any better at interpreting what they see in the news and online.”(more)

Gov. Jeb Bush — What Florida Can Teach America About Empowering Families Through Education Freedom

The 74 Million – Jeb Bush

“Without aspiration, our great country becomes just another country. And so it is disturbing when current surveys show that young people believe they will be worse off than their parents, and their parents agree with them. And when statistics reveal that those born into poverty are likely to remain stuck there, more so than at any time in our recent history.”(more)

U.S. Dept. of Ed Grant Priorities Push School Choice Plus STEM

The Journal – Dian Schaffhauser

“The Secretary for the U.S. Department of Education is taking public comments on her proposed priorities for $700 million in discretionary grants the agency will issue annually in the coming years. Although many of the priorities focus on Betsy DeVos’ flagship interest, school choice, the promotion of STEM education — and particularly computer science — also makes an appearance in the list. The availability of these grants allows DeVos to show her vision for American education, just as former Secretary Arne Duncan did in 2014. Once they’re finalized, they’ll replace his list.”(more)