Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM)

In a time of continued economic stress, states are asked to increase efforts in public education. Digital learning offers a new direction for students, teachers and school districts. Opportunities exist to customize and personalize education so students receive the tools they need to engage in their instruction and become self-directed learners. Digital learning also opens the door to connect students across the state, region and nation with instructional content and practices they may not otherwise receive. This CSG Education Policy Academy provided resources to ensure students are college- and career-ready. Attendees engaged with speakers on a variety of strategic policy examples and programmatic solutions. Speakers also shared best practices and innovations through both regional and national examples.

In a time of continued economic stress, states are asked to increase efforts in public education. Digital learning offers a new direction for students, teachers and school districts. Opportunities exist to customize and personalize education so students receive the tools they need to engage in their instruction and become self-directed learners. Digital learning also opens the door to connect students across the state, region and nation with instructional content and practices they may not otherwise receive. This CSG Education Policy Academy provided resources to ensure students are college- and career-ready. Attendees engaged with speakers on a variety of strategic policy examples and programmatic solutions. Speakers also shared best practices and innovations through both regional and national examples.

Technology has changed the course of the world—making daily tasks easier, faster and cheaper to complete. But are American students prepared to change the course of technology in the future? How can technology change classrooms today? These were the questions posed by experts at The Council of State Governments’ Digital Learning and STEM Initiatives Policy Academy, sponsored by Microsoft and held in conjunction with CSG’s 2013 National Conference in Kansas City, Mo.

According to Cameron Evans, Microsoft’s U.S. Education Chief Technology Offer, on any given day the corporation has 8,000 vacant jobs due to the lack of a skilled workforce.  These are not highly technical jobs but those that can’t be filled by recent graduates due to the skills gap especially in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields. 

In a time of continued economic stress, states are asked to increase efforts in public education. Digital learning offers a new direction for students, teachers and school districts. Opportunities exist to customize and personalize education so students receive the tools they need to engage in their instruction and become self-directed learners. Digital learning also opens the door to connect students across the state, region and nation with instructional content and practices they may not otherwise receive. This CSG Education Policy Academy provided resources to ensure students are college- and career-ready. Attendees engaged with speakers on a variety of strategic policy examples and programmatic solutions. Speakers also shared best practices and innovations through both regional and national examples.

Article Authored by Bill Gates
 

Growing up, I was fortunate to have teachers who encouraged their students to explore areas of learning they were curious about. Having the freedom to try things out allowed me to develop a passion for computing—which eventually led me and a fellow student, Paul Allen, to start Microsoft.

Being lucky enough to have great teachers also nurtured a love of learning that has stayed with me ever since. As I told school leaders recently at the annual conference of the National Association of Independent Schools, my own experience in school is one of the reasons I’m so passionate about the work our foundation is doing in education.

Policymakers, parents and stakeholders are demanding improvements in public education by raising metrics of academic success, pushing for progress in low performing schools, and raising the bar on teacher and leader effectiveness. Differences in funding formulas, allocations and revenue have created disparate funding across the states. These variations in spending per student impact the educational opportunities provided as states ramp up their educational reform. This session highlighted various options states can implement to address the critical budget deficits.

On Monday, President Barack Obama officially unveiled his budget for 2013.  As he spoke from Northern Virginia Community College, Obama highlighted the more than $65 billion in education funding focused on resources dedicated to transforming K-12 and postsecondary education to ensure students have the skills and knowledge to succeed in the future.

If you have a child somewhere in our education system, they have probably asked you offhandedly, “why do I need to learn how to do long division by hand when my calculator will do it for me?”  To that you probably said, “well, because it is important to know the basics before you use a machine to do it for you.”  But do you still believe that after a little in-depth thought on the matter?  Have you done long division by hand since finishing high school?  A better question might be: what are the “basics” that we say are so important?  Conrad Wolfram, the strategic director of Wolfram Research, challenges our current approach to math education and is pushing education systems to stop teaching calculating and start teaching math.

The National Research Council (NRC) recently released a revised approach to K-12 science education focused on “key scientific ideas and practices” important for all students prior to the end of high school.

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