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Why Building a Diverse Workforce Requires Computer Science Mandates in Schools

Ed Surge – Sabina Bharwani

“In the Silicon Valley, they call it the “3 percent problem.” African-Americans and Latino/Hispanics make up a tiny fraction of the overwhelmingly white, male-dominated workforce of major technology companies. No leader of the top 10 U.S.-based technology companies is African-American or Latino/Hispanic, and only one is a woman—Ginni Rometty, CEO of IBM. The influence of technology in our daily lives is ubiquitous and dictated by a privileged and powerful few. Shifts in technology directly impact our socioeconomic structures—and how individuals contribute to society and make a living. According to the 2016 World Economic Forum (WEF)’s The Future of Jobsreport, the “fourth industrial revolution,” described as the confluence of emerging technology breakthroughs (such as artificial intelligence, the Internet of things, and 3D printing) are utterly transforming everything we experience and understand.”(more)

Rallying Interest In STEAM Education Starts With A Message Of Inclusivity

The Huffington Post – Marcy Klevorn

“As the daughter of the man who co-invented the world’s first adjustable shock absorber, I grew up with engineering as an ever-present part of my daily life. Going to amusement parks meant inspecting the hydraulics before riding the coasters. Chores included assembling shock absorber catalogues. And when my dad’s German and Russian business partners came over for dinner, I was always invited to the table. Those gestures of inclusion gave me great confidence throughout my life. What’s more, I’ve come to learn that the messages we send and receive, consciously or not, are vitally important in shaping what we believe to be possible. Anything can be positive or negative depending on the way it’s communicated. When it comes to STEAM subjects (science, technology, engineering, art and math), I fear that too often the messages and examples are not coming from diverse role models. As a result, we exclude a large percentage of kids from becoming interested in these subjects at a young age, when it’s most important.”(more)

White House to bolster STEM education, close skills gap

CIO – Kenneth Corbin

“On paper, the Obama administration has taken many steps toward advancing education and training in the STEM fields of science, technology, engineering and math — a critical policy priority for many businesses that say they struggle to hire qualified workers. But White House officials are quick to acknowledge that more work needs to be done, particularly in recruiting girls and minority students into computer science and other technical fields. They are hoping that a newly launched advanced placement course will help attract more interest in computer science by integrating the field with other disciplines and emphasizing real-world applications.”(more)

The Many Ways Teacher Diversity May Benefit Students

Education Next – Anna J. Egalite and Brian Kisida

“Four black NBA superstars opened this year’s ESPY awards with a powerful speech decrying the current state of race relations in America, which they described as plagued by “injustice, distrust, and anger.” In a stark display of frustration and passion, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul, Dwayne Wade, and LeBron James highlighted the urgency for unity and change, stating, “We all have to do better.” By using their celebrity status to promote social change, these star athletes stood as influential role models for millions of Americans, including the children who idolize them. But students of color shouldn’t need to rely on star athletes to find positive role models to emulate. In schools across the country, teachers of color serve that role every day, inspiring students towork hard and aim high. Although these slogans might seem a little saccharine, the hopes and expectations that teachers hold for their students matter. Those authentic sentiments of a reassuring mentor are the armor a young person uses to fight off moments of self-doubt and perceived inadequacy as they venture out into the world.”(more)

Learning new language spreads tolerance

The Gulf News – Staff Writer

” Dubai: Learning a new language means adding a ‘new brain’, according to Loay Al Shareef, Saudi presenter, who was speaking at the ‘14 Mins For Good’ session titled ‘The humanitarian dimension of languages’ at the Arab Media Forum (AMF). Learning a new language spreads tolerance among people, as it helps understand how other people think, he added. Al Shareef advised AMF delegates on the best way to learn a new language. “A key to learn anything is to make it fun. Why not make what entertains us teach us,” he said.”(more)