RSI Corporate - Licensing Wants Mandatory Computer Science Classes in Schools

Fortune – Kia Kokalitcheva

“To music artist, technology can change the world. On Tuesday,, the former Black Eyed Peas singer whose legal name is William Adams, dropped by the Apple Store in San Francisco’s Union Square for a screening of the music video for a new version of the group’s 2003 hit Where Is the Love? He was joined by Apple retail chief Angela Ahrendts, and discussed why the proceeds from the song would go toward education programs and initiatives through Adams’ foundation. Specifically, Adams highlighted the importance of making computer science classes available more broadly in schools, especially in disadvantaged neighborhoods.”(more)

SAT scores: California lags nation

The East Bay Times – Sharon Noguchi

“California’s Class of 2016 scored lower than the national average on SAT reading and math tests, although state students outperformed their national peers in writing, just-released scores show. But the scores released late Monday may represent more than the state’s periodic fluctuation in national comparisons of reading and math. California’s sinking scores may reflect the SAT’s increasing democratization, with more students at differing levels of preparation taking the exam. California saw a 1.6 percent increase in the number of seniors taking the test to nearly 241,600 students. According to the College Board, the private group that runs the test, the increase is due to districts like West Contra Costa and San Jose Unified, which offer students the opportunity to take the test on a school day and cover the fees — about $50 per student.”(more)

How STEM Skills Are the Next Great Equalizer

Fortune – Tim Bajarin

“I grew up in the age of Sputnik and the “space race.” Like most of the youth of my generation, we were challenged in school to “beat the Russians” to space, driven by President John F. Kennedy’s promise to have a man on the moon by the end of the decade. As I reread that speech, delivered on Sept. 12, 1962, I’m struck by how much Kennedy focused on the role technology played in history, and the President’s vision of how it could impact our future…Kennedy’s speech became the rallying cry for my generation. Tens of thousands of students took his challenge seriously. This gave us the engineers, scientists, mathematicians and educators who not only delivered on the promise of putting a man on the moon, but also helped create the core technology enabling modern tools from the Internet to advances in healthcare.”(more)

Through fantasy, children face their fears and become braver

The Guardian – Cornelia Funke

“I am often asked – always by grown-ups, never by children – why I write fantasy instead of realistic prose. Of course this question raises another one: how do we define reality? Is Shakespeare unrealistic because he makes ghosts and witches take the stage? What do the magical adventures of Harry Potter reveal – quite brilliantly – about British reality; class, racism and the roots of fascism? In my opinion, the reality of this world and our existence in it can only be described as fantastic. The more we learn about our reality, the more we realise that we don’t understand it at all. We have learned to build ourselves better ears and eyes to find out about the universe that contains each of us like a grain of sand. We’re rightfully very proud of our new instruments, but we’ve distanced ourselves from nature.”(more)

How one district improved its personalized learning by failing forward

E-School News – Michael Eaton

“In the MSD of Wayne Township, there are several blended and online opportunities available for students. Perhaps the same is true in your district, but how many of those same opportunities are available to teachers as well? Recently, the teachers in one particular program in the district inspired a personalized approach to professional development. The Ben Davis Extended Day (BDED) blended learning program is an extension of one of the district’s high schools, Ben Davis High School. The program operates in the evenings and serves students who, for one reason or another, are not able to attend during the day. The students move through their courses online and at their own pace, while physically attending school in the evenings in a lab setting. There are four teachers that work in the evening that teach the courses for English, math, science, and social studies.”(more)

5 reasons girls don’t pursue technology-related careers

E-School News – Laura Devaney

“Exposing girls to technology early, along with having parents and role models support girls’ interest in technology-related hobbies and career paths, can help encourage more girls to pursue technology in and after college, according to data from CompTIA, a nonprofit association for the technology industry. More than 5.1 million people worked in core technology jobs in the U.S. at the end of 2015, but just 25 percent of those jobs were held by women. CompTIA-commissioned research, based on a survey and focus groups of girls between the ages of 10 and 17, identifies several critical factors that discourage girls from considering careers in tech.”(more)