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U.S. students slowly improving in math and science

Last month, the Pew Research Center released data showing that although U.S. students are slowly improving in math and science, they still are behind in the subjects when compared to other countries.

Only 29% of Americans rated their country’s K-12 STEM education as above average; scientists were even more critical, with only 16% of American Association of the Advancement of Science members calling K-12 STEM education above average. Despite these low percentages, U.S. students are slowly improving in math and science, scoring higher on national assessments than they did two decades ago. However, the U.S. still has more work to do when compared internationally, as they still rank in the middle and behind several other nations.
Among these cross-national assessments is the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), which measures reading ability, math and science literacy, and other skills every three years; in 2012, the U.S. placed 35th out of 64 countries in math, and 27th in science (see below photo). Another assessment is the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS), which tests students every four years, placed the U.S. in the top ten countries

STEM_pisa
Interested in reading more? Check out the original article, “U.S. students improving – slowly – in math and science, but still lagging internationally” by Drew Desilver and check out the Pew Research Center’s official website. You can learn more about the most recent PISA results by reading our old blog post, “PISA Results
Here at Project Tomorrow, our vision is to ensure that today’s students are well prepared to be tomorrow’s innovators, leaders and engaged citizens of the world.  We believe that by supporting the innovative uses of science, math and technology resources in our K-12 schools and communities, students will develop the critical thinking, problem solving and creativity skills needed to compete and thrive in the 21st century. You can learn more about us and our various programs at http://www.tomorrow.org/

Around the Web Wednesday

Happy Around the Web Wednesday! Browse all the links below for the latest news and topics trending in education and technology. Be sure to let us know which article intrigued you the most!

Exciting STEM opportunity for high school students

To encourage more students to purse the fields of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), Edwards Lifesciences Foundation is sponsoring two scholarships for high school students (incoming juniors and seniors) to participate in the Edwards Lifesciences Center for Advanced Cardiovascular Technology at UCI’s CardioStart program.

This six-week program will take place between July 6 and August 14, 2015 and teaches students to explore the worlds of cells and tissue biology beyond the textbook through hands-on, bench top and research projects. Please see the above flyer and visit http://cardiovascular.eng.uci.edu/cardiostart to learn more.

Students 16 and over with a minimum GPA of 3.0 may apply by emailing cardio@uci.edu and requesting an application form. The deadline for applications is Monday, March 2, 2015.

Around the Web Wednesday

Happy Around the Web Wednesday! Browse all the links below for the latest news and topics trending in education and technology. Be sure to let us know which article intrigued you the most!

What are your student data privacy predictions for the next five years?

Last month, the Florida Education Technology Conference (FETC), one of the largest conferences in the United States dedicated to educational technology, highlighted innovative ways in which educational technology is used in schools, as well as predictions for the future of student data privacy – a topic that has garnered much discussion in recent weeks.

“In five years, I think education technology will be completely ubiquitous, and it will be integrated into parts of the curriculum that we are just beginning to conceive of,” said Leah Plunkett, a fellow at Berkman Center for Internet and Society, during her session on data privacy with Paulina Haduong. While the growing presence and use of educational technology will bring about new opportunities for learning for students, it will also require new privacy and security policies at schools.

During their session, Plunkett and Haduong tested the audience’s attitudes towards privacy by posing hypothetical situations, such as the implementation of a robot hall monitor that notified parents if students were caught breaking school rules. The audience had several concerns about the situations, asking if the information would go into a cloud drive or private database, who the robot would be controlled by, and if students would even know if they were being monitored. The audience members also made the following data privacy predictions for the next five years:

  • What’s called education technology will become routine.
  • In five years we’ll be struggling to be more efficient.
  • Within five years the U.S. will face a catastrophic public privacy issue in the public space in the cloud.
  • We’ll be trying to get teachers up to speed on technology. Students are there.
  • A reciprocated relationship will develop between advanced teachers and inexperienced teachers who don’t have the (technological) savviness.
  • We might line up legislation to allow teachers to be innovative in the classroom to protect privacy.
  • We’ll learn what data we can safely put in the cloud.
  • Our privacy concerns will diversify over new several platforms that will develop over the next few years.
  • In five years, there will be more devices with more operating systems that will lead to more data being collected and more privacy breaches. (The Journal)

Interested in learning more? Read the original article, “Predictions for the Future of Student Data Privacy” by Patrick Peterson (The Journal), and be sure to view your Speak Up 2014 data if you have not already, as we asked questions regarding student data privacy.

What are your student data privacy predictions for the next five years? Let us know by commenting on this post, our Facebook page, or our Twitter account!

Project Tomorrow featured in The Journal

Earlier this week, Project Tomorrow, Kajeet, and Qualcomm’s Wireless Reach Initiative were featured in Dian Schaffhauser’s “Internet Access as Vital as Devices to Boosting the Learning Experience” in The Journal. The article discusses the results from our three-year study at Falconer Elementary School in Chicago, IL, which were published in our Making Learning Mobile 2.0 Report. Read an excerpt from Schaffhauser’s article below:

 “Within the school 127 fifth grade students and their four teachers were outfitted with Samsung Android tablets and SmartSpots for personal use. Just over a third of the students told the researchers that they didn’t have access to high-speed Internet at home.

As part of the study, the four teachers also received 56 hours of professional development, coaching and mentoring ‘to increase their effectiveness with using the tablets for instruction.’ Because this was the second year of the study, the researchers initially thought the educators would have a greater ‘comfort level’ in their use of the device and online tools within their instruction. However, staffing changes meant that only two of the original four were part of the fifth grade class in the second year, which meant half the teacher team still had a learning curve. Yet, noted the report, ‘The teachers’ strong commitment to professional development and their willingness to incorporate new strategies and resources into their classroom is a hallmark of a successful and maturing mobile learning project.'”

Interested in learning more about the Making Learning Mobile study? Read the Journal’s article, “Internet Access as Vital as Devices to Boosting the Learning Experience” by Dian Schaffhauser, and check out the Making Learning Mobile 2.0 Report.

THE Journal is dedicated to informing and educating K-12 senior-level district and school administrators, technologists, and tech-savvy educators within districts, schools, and classrooms to improve and advance the learning process through the use of technology. Launched in 1972, THE Journal was the first magazine to cover education technology. THE Journal is the leading resource for administrative, technical, and academic technology leaders in K-12 education.

Nominations now open for the ISTE Mobile Learning Network Teacher/Educator Mobile Learning Innovator Award

Nominations are now open for the ISTE Mobile Learning Network Teacher/Educator Mobile Learning Innovator Award! You can nominate yourself or someone else until February 28 for the chance to be recognized at the International Society for Technology and Education Conference and Expo 2015 in Philadelphia. Learn more about the award below:

The ISTE Mobile Learning Network would like to recognize teachers and educators who are doing innovative projects that engage learners. Innovation is driven by a commitment to excellence and continuous improvement. Innovation is based on curiosity, the willingness to take risks, and experimenting to test assumptions. Innovation is based on questioning and challenging the status quo, and it is based on recognizing opportunity and taking advantage of it.

Nominees will be judged on how their mobile learning innovation

  • Increases knowledge and value in education
  • Demonstrates a clear understanding of needs and potential solutions in the mobile learning environment
  • Facilitates growth and sharing in the learning community

ISTE members can nominate themselves or a colleague using the online nomination form.

Click here to learn more about the ISTE Mobile Learning Network and the award.

 

The ISTE Mobile Learning Network, formerly SIGML, is a worldwide advocate for mobile learning that promotes meaningful integration of mobile devices in learning and teaching in formal and informal learning environments.

Around the Web Wednesday

Happy Around the Web Wednesday! Browse all the links below for the latest news and topics trending in education and technology. Be sure to let us know which article intrigued you the most!

FCC Commissioner asks tech industry to innovate education

On top of its decision to raise Internet connectivity funding for schools, the Federal Communications Commission is encouraging the technology industry to improve innovative educational material. On January 8th, FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel spoke to a group of tech leaders in order to encourage the “digital disruption within teaching and the textbook industry,” calling the textbook industry “unimaginative” and a burden to both educators and students, as most school districts cannot afford to update their textbooks regularly.

“…The world and the job opportunities that are out there look remarkably different,” said Rosenworcel. With 50% of current jobs requiring digital skills – and 77% of future jobs requiring digital skills in the next decade – Rosenworcel suggested that textbooks have digital counterparts (e.g. software, apps) in order to engage students on an interactive level. With improved textbooks and educational tools, and a potential increase in the FCC’s E-rate spending, Rosenworcel hopes to reduce “the homework gap,” which occurs when students lack home Internet access in order to complete their homework.

Interested in learning more? Read the original article, “FCC Commissioner to Tech Industry: It’s Time to Reinvent Textbooks, Teaching” by Jason Shueh (Government Technology).

During Speak Up 2014, we asked questions regarding Internet access, E-rate funding, and ed tech funding. For example, we asked technology leaders: If you had increased Internet bandwidth, how would your school or district use that enhanced connectivity?

Find out the results from this question and more when we release the data on February 4th!

Case study: Poudre School District Global Academy

Project Tomorrow has teamed up with Fuel Education to bring you a case study on Poudre School District (PSD) Global Academy in Fort Collins, Colorado.  This innovative online/hybrid school for students in K–12 grade is ranked among the highest in the state of Colorado for student growth across all grades for the 2013–2014 school year. This achievement marks the first time an innovative school using blended and online learning has ranked in the top 95 percent of all Colorado schools – including traditional brick and mortar schools, charter schools, and other online schools.

In this document, we outline:

  • Proof of Program Results – The school’s desired student outcomes, Northwest Evaluaion Association’s Measures of Academic Porogress (MAP®) assessment results, Colorado Measures of Academic Success (CMAS) assessements, and Transitional Colorado Assessment Program (TCAP) results.
  • The PSD Global Academy Approach – The five unique approaches that the school believes is intetral to their positive results.
  • Lessons Learned – The three takeaways for education leaders who want to implment successful blended learing programs.

Download a PDF of the case study: Online, Virtual, and Blended Learning in Action


To read a summary of a recent District Administration webinar featuring PSD Global Academy, click here.
Fuel Education’s mission is to partner with schools and districts to personalize and transform the education experience inside and outside the classroom by leveraging the power of technology-enabled learning. Unlike legacy publishers and other online providers, Fuel Education offers a comprehensive, integrated approach to online learning based on their experience partnering with more than 2,000 school districts in all 50 states and D.C. To learn more about Fuel Education, visit http://www.getfueled.com/