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Analysis: Education Is Falling Behind in Race Against Robots. Here’s What U.S. Schools Can Do About It

The 74 Million – Tim Taylor

“The growth of automation and the increasing sophistication of artificial intelligence in the workplace are starting to create an upheaval so profound that some people are calling it the fourth Industrial Revolution. Our education system as currently structured is incapable of preparing the workers of today and the future for this major transformation. There is still time to reinvent our education system from pre-kindergarten through adulthood so that it can provide people with the lifelong learning they’ll need to stay afloat in turbulent times.”(more)

Robotics in Education: Constructing, Coding, and Competing

Education World – Melissa Pelletier

“The learning theory of constructionism asserts that people construct mental models to understand the world around them, and that this can be achieved through activities like building, tinkering, playing with components of machines and other systems, and watching how they interact. Seymore Papert introduced this theory in the early 1980’s, and around that time, the first educational robotics program emerged, called LOGO, which he also developed. LOGO is actually a programming language he developed that was used to control robot “turtles”—to move them forward and backward a specified distance, turn right or left a specified degree, drop a pen, and draw.”(more)

Why coding needs a stronger emphasis in every school

E-School News – Cindy Wallace

“If you have been to an educational technology conference in the last 5 years, you have seen more and more emphasis placed on coding and robotics with robots making an appearance in conference sessions, at after hour gatherings, and certainly in the vendor hall. This is simply a reflection of what is happening in the private sector. In 2015, it was reported that there was $71 billion spent globally on robotic applications, a figure that is expected to more than double by 2019. Europe is already adjusting its curriculum to include robots both as a teaching tools and as a technology for students to study, but why? By 2018, it is estimated that 71 percent of new STEM positions will be related to computing; it is apparent that computer science is the future of the job market.”(more)

Can robotics teach problem solving to students?

E-School News – Beth Brubaker

“Throughout my 35 years of teaching, I’ve watched students grow up in what I lovingly call the “worksheet generation.” In this environment, students are accustomed to a very structured style of learning, where they are handed a worksheet, then asked to turn to page five in their math book and solve problems one through 15. This approach, however, often teaches students there is only one right answer and limits meaningful engagement and creativity. My teaching experience has taught me that it is no longer possible to prepare students with the 21st century skills they will need for the workforce without moving away from this paint-by-numbers approach.”(more)

The growth of robotics in STEM education [INFOGRAPHIC]

Know Techie – Staff Writer

“STEM Education promotes a learning environment for students around the world to be active in fields like Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. Many STEM related programs use a hands-on learning approach that encourages students to be active and involved inside the classroom. This inspires and motivates students to continue their education in STEM related fields, like robotics, beyond school, building a career in an economy where job openings in STEM industries are skyrocketing. In fact, it’s predicted that by 2020, the demand for STEM professionals will add over one million new jobs in STEM fields.”(more)

Girls Outperform Boys on NAEP Tech, Engineering Sections

Education News – Kristin Decarr

“According to results from the NAEP exam, also called the Nation’s Report Card, American eighth-grade girls were found to outperform their male peers in technology and engineering literacy tests. Overall, girls were found to score three points higher than boys. This information is a reversal of gender expectations, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, as boys tend to score higher than girls do in math and science testing. “We did not expect this pattern and the pattern does seem to be pretty clear from the data,” said Peggy Carr, acting commissioner of the National Center for Education Statistics, a data arm of the Department of Education that evaluated the test results. “Overall it looks like girls have the ability and critical thinking skills to succeed in the fields of technology and engineering, and that’s worth noting.”…The test also discovered that students who participated in after-school activities that were focused on design and systems, such as a robotics club, or spent time creating their own design concepts typically scored higher than their peers who did not.”(more)