Friday Bulletin Board

tom brady education

Obama spotlights needs of young adult learners
President Obama is making a point to support adult learners who lack the skills demanded by our workforce today. The president and First Lady are hosting a summit to address the needs of this community that has been overlooked even in today’s whirlwind of educational technology. Among the nonprofits attending the White House summit is the Chicago-based Joyce Foundation, which has committed $1.4 million to supporting the development and growing awareness of edtech technologies that can help adult learners. That funding has been committed to MIT Media LabDigital Promise and EdSurge. For details on what those organizations are doing, see link below.

STEM needs a new letter
This is an excellent article by The Atlantic highlighting the need for a well-rounded brain. Though no one can deny the importance of a solid math and science background in today’s world, it’s just as important to know how to put those skills to work for humans. As Mikaila puts it: people these days don’t just want something functional; they want something beautiful too. To me, math and science is like learning the intricacies of an Excel spreadsheet and all that you can do with it, but you need an art and design background to know how to make the beautiful charts that people can make use of.

Creativity alone does not foster innovation, nor do abstract scientific or mathematical concepts. Innovators also need to know how to render those creative ideas into working products that can be put into use.

Think beyond platforms
This Mind Shift piece reminds our school systems not to be defined by the platforms they have chosen for their schools. Again, we’re living in a job market that demands technological fluency—across all platforms. Maintaining and sustaining programs and curriculum shouldn’t stop after a school goes with a platform. Remember that a device and its platform are just one of many tools out there. “Getting these devices in the hands of students is just the beginning.”

US has tougher text books, but South Korea’s got better math scores
In a recent study published in Educational Studies in Mathematics, researchers compared American and South Korean high-school math textbooks and found the American ones to be more challenging overall.  If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you know we believe it’s the teacher, not the tools—great teachers will do  more with a mediocre text book than a mediocre teacher will do with a great text book. What’s interesting about the comparison is that South Korea has a unified curriculum and standard national textbooks, while the US leaves those decisions to be made at the state level. Could this be another reason to push for the Common Core or one set of national learning standards?

Students say the darnest things
Thank goodness for BuzzFeed at the end of the week. This link will take you the best of Reddit teachers posting the funniest things they’ve heard from their little ones. Here’s a sneak peek:

kids say the darnest things

Have a great weekend, folks. LET’S GO PATS!!!

Boston-area educators: Don’t forget to save the date for our #GradeableSocial.

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