Government Learning Manufacturing

Defense Department Funds High School “Hackerspaces”

A new $10 million federal program is bringing “hackerspaces” to high schools, the New York Times reports. Hackerspaces are community groups for hackers to build and invent technology (and take things apart). They are considered incubators for innovation and a major part of the DIY movement—but the high school program has sparked some controversy.   More

Learning

Worried About Student Debt? Major in STEM

students analizing on microscopes

Student debt is so widespread that two-thirds of the class of 2010 graduated with loans averaging $25,250 each, according to the Project on Student Debt. At the same time, some experts say the country is facing a shortage of workers in STEM fields—Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. This means that it may be easier to find good-paying jobs in these fields.Is the STEM shortage a way out of student loan woes? Perhaps if more students choose to study a STEM subject, the country would see less student debt.   More

Learning

STEM Knowledge an Increasing Necessity for All Workers

STEM skills aren't just for job-hunters in tech fields. As reported in SmartPlanet, Dr. Richard Larson of MIT believes that STEM literacy goes far deeper than understanding numbers, formulas, and gadgetry.   More

Jobs Learning

In New Program, Microsoft Engineers Teach High School Computer Science

In a new approach to fixing the computer science skill gap, Microsoft is sending its own engineers to teach in high school classrooms. Volunteers for the program commit to teaching a computer science class for a full school year for at least two hours a week.   More

Learning Partner Insights

Open Online Courses: Higher Education of the Future?

I am "teaching" a MOOC, one of those massive, open, online courses through which Coursera and, more recently, edX offer people around the globe challenging learning experiences through a simple internet connection: video mini-lectures, machine-graded problem sets in some courses, peer-evaluated essays in others, discussion boards, and more. There's no cost or credit for the "students" yet, but could this point the way to the "schools" of the future?   More

Learning

Google Glasses: The Future of Classroom Cheating?

Google Glasses are the future of cheating, writes Jeff Bercovici at Forbes.com. Students are already using technology like smartphones and tablets to cheat on tests and homework, and, after recent scandals like the one at Manhattan’s Stuyvesant High School, some say we’re facing an epidemic.   More

Energy & Green Tech Learning

Augmented Reality Intensifies Nature on Middle School Field Trips

Photo by Nathan Heidt, EcoMOBILE

The annual field trip to the local pond has gone high-tech for some Massachusetts and New York middle-school students. Harvard education researchers are giving the kids smartphones loaded with augmented reality software to see how the technology changes the way they explore of local environments.   More

Bio & Life Sciences Learning

Americans Give Computer Industry Top Favorability Rating

In a recent Gallup poll ranking overall public perception of a wide range of U.S. industries, the computer industry topped the list, with a net 64 percent positive response. The oil and gas industry ranked dead last, with a net -39 percent. No big surprise there. What is surprising—and refreshing—is that healthcare and education were the top two industries in improvement in positive ratings over last year.   More

Learning Manufacturing

From Dinosaur Bones to Cookies, 3D Printing Expands in Colleges

Colleges are finding more uses for 3D printing, from art students creating sculptures of futuristic animals, to engineering students developing zero gravity fuel storage, to biology professors replicating dinosaur bones. All disciplines have the potential to benefit from 3D printing, the Chronicle of Higher Education reports, especially as the technology becomes more sophisticated and less expensive. Many professors are supporters of controversial open-source 3D printers, an affordable do-it-yourself approach where printers are designed from online instructions based on expired patents. Despite impending patent disputes, proponents see open-source 3D printers as a way to bring the technology to the masses, offer more experimentation in the classroom, and attract younger students to STEM fields. One university class even printed 8,000 edible cookies for visiting high-school students—a huge hit for the potential engineers of the future.   More

Learning

Broadband Access Increases Test Scores in Michigan

A Connect Michigan study has found that broadband availability in school increases test scores, CBS Detroit reports. As e-learning becomes an essential part of learning, increased access to broadband allows for critical online interaction, both in and out of the classroom. Broadband availability increases math and reading proficiency scores for students in grades 3 through 8, the study found, as well as the number of students who meet ACT college readiness benchmarks.   More

Learning

Schools Let Students Bring Their Own Devices, Then Struggle to Keep Up

Walk through one of the high schools in the Katy Independent School District in Texas and you’ll see students staring at cell phones, headphones in their ears and fingers on their keypads. On every table in the lunchroom is a mobile or wireless device. Peek into a classroom and you’ll find students using laptops, tablets, and smartphones to research assignments. Last year, for the first time, all K-12 Katy students were allowed to bring their own devices to school, and the move was a predictable hit, says Lenny Schad, chief technology officer of the district.   More

Learning

An Education in Computer Gaming

For nearly a decade, gaming has been touted as one of the next big trends in educational technology. At first, many dismissed the use of computer games as learning tools, but now both educational leaders and gaming companies are starting to take the idea seriously.   More

Learning

Digital Teaching Promises to Improve Grades

Technology in the classroom is not about putting a computer on everybody’s desk anymore. It’s about getting the right software so students can absorb the information universities and schools are teaching. Given all the technology available, increasingly students may find it tough to explain why they can’t maintain a 4.0 grade point average.   More

Learning

“Bring Your Own Device” Movement Turns Classroom Disruption into Pedagogy

In college classrooms where innovations like smart phones and Facebook are getting in the way of learning, some tech-savvy professors are taking an “if you can’t beat ’em join ’em” approach. They’re asking students to bring their web-enabled mobile devices to class and keep them turned on.   More

Learning

Flipped Classrooms Turn Learning on Its Head

When Marc Seigel’s honors students tackle their chemistry homework, they don’t crack open a textbook or pull out a worksheet. Instead, they lounge on beds with laptops balanced on knees, stand at bus stops staring at smartphone screens, and watch YouTube videos on family computers. In November, Seigel started to replace traditional homework assignments with eight- to 12-minute video lectures, each intended to mimic a 45-minute lecture in class. By introducing this trendy “flipped classroom” model, the Middletown, N.J. teacher turned his classroom upside down.   More

Learning Techonomy Events

Is the Current Higher Education Model Unsustainable?

In this session from Techonomy 2011 in Tuscon, Ariz., Angel Cabrera, President of the Thunderbird School of Global Management, describes why the current model of higher education, with its misleading rankings and inflated tuition, is unsustainable.   More

Learning Techonomy Events

Scott Cook on How Technology Can Revolutionize Education

In this video from the "Revolutions in Progress" session at Techonomy 2011 in Tucson, Ariz., Scott Cook, Founder and Chairman of Intuit, discusses how technology can revolutionize education in the same way it has transformed the music and entertainment industries. Digital technology has given musicians and artists a global reach that was unfathomable 100 years ago. Why not treat education in the same way, suggests Cook, and give students access to the best teachers and lessons available using new technologies? Roger McNamee, Managing Director of Elevation Partners, moderated the session.   More

Learning Techonomy Events

Harvey Mudd President Maria Klawe on Justifying High Tuitions

In this session from Techonomy 2011 in Tuscon, Ariz., Maria Klawe, President of Harvey Mudd College, argues that high tuition can be justified at institutions that stimulate innovation and produce replicable results. At Harvey Mudd, which has only 750 students, 40 percent of computer science students are female, something Klawe says should serve as a model for the rest of the country.   More