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Everything listed under: Technology

  • Who Better to Evaluate our K-12 STEM Programs than American Scientists


    The Pew Research Center conducted a survey of scientists and the general population to help understand how science and public opinion intersect. Pew surveyed general American citizens and scientists affiliated with the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Survey questions asked for their thoughts on everything from STEM education to climate change to the genetically modified foods.

    The results were fascinating, but the specific results that stood out the most to us were those that showed what American scientists think about American K-12 STEM education. Who better to evaluate STEM education than the very scientists who work in STEM fields today?

    STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. STEM has made national news over the last few years because students who study in STEM-related degree programs during college are likely to earn more money in their careers. This income gap is sustained for STEM majors, regardless of whether they pursue work in a STEM-related field.

    Most American high school students don’t graduate high school ready to study university-level science, technology, engineering, or mathematics. This lack of preparation — and the resulting lack of qualified candidates for STEM-industry jobs — is referred to as the STEM Crisis.

    Pew’s research project didn’t set out to prove or disprove the existence of a crisis in STEM education, but the results of its survey could absolutely be used to advance advocacy for STEM education: Nearly half of American scientists believe that K-12 STEM education is “below average” compared to K-12 STEM education in other industrialized nations.

    What will it take for America’s public schools (and Missouri’s public schools) to take the lead in global STEM education? What will it take for us to send our high school seniors off to college, fully prepared to excel in college-level science, technology, engineering, and mathematics classes? Missouri Parent doesn’t have all the answers, but we will continue to research and write about the importance of STEM education in Missouri public schools.

    Here are a few of the takeaways from the Pew study:

    · Only 16% of AAAS scientists rank American K-12 STEM education as above average or the best in the world.
    · Just 29% of the general public rank American K-12 STEM education as above average or the best in the world.
    · A whopping 46% of AAAS scientists believe that America’s K-12 STEM education programs are “below average”.
    · 29% of the general public believes that America’s K-12 STEM education programs are “below average”.
    · Scientists also believe that the general public’s limited scientific knowledge is a result of poor K-12 STEM education.

    You can read the Pew Research Center’s report (which is the source of all statistics used in this Missouri Parent post) here.

    More Missouri Parent Posts About STEM Education:
    What is the STEM Crisis?
    Girl Scout Embrace STEM
    A Missouri University Embracing STEM Education for Public Schools
    INFOGRAPHIC: The Facts About Women and STEM

    Missouri Parent is a free service for anyone in Missouri who has an interest in public education. Come back to the MOParent Blog, check MOParent News, or connect with us on Facebook or Twitter for regular updates and timely information about public education and the funding and legislative issues affecting it.

  • Public-Private Partnership in Joplin Helps High School Students Earn Associates Degrees


    What happens when government, business, public schools, and colleges collaborate? In Joplin and seven other cities in Missouri, the answer is that high school students can graduate with a high school diploma and an associate’s degree, too.

    Joplin’s Innovation Campus began in 2012 as a partnership between Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce, Missouri Southern State University, Crowder College and Joplin High School/Franklin Technology Center. The program enables qualifying students to enroll in associates-degree-focused dual credit courses. The partnering institutions help kids cover the cost of enrollment through grant funding.

    The idea behind Innovation Campuses is twofold. First, Innovation Campus programs help student reach their career goals more quickly. Second, Innovation Campus programs help them get further into their college degrees without incurring student debt.

    According to the Governor’s office, similar programs are being created in St. Joseph, Springfield, St. Louis, Jefferson City, St. Charles, Cape Girardeau, and Rolla. (Source)

    “This is exactly the type of strong public-private partnership we need to grow our economy and keep our state moving forward,” said Governor Jay Nixon of the St. Joseph campus partnership between Missouri Western, Metropolitan Community College, and the St. Joseph Metro Chamber of Commerce. That partnership began in 2012. (Source)

    Innovation campuses are helping to train students for careers, particularly for careers in high-demand fields like nursing and technology, though programs are available in a variety of fields of study. Partnerships between schools and local businesses mean that those businesses commit to “creating or retraining a specific number of jobs”. (Source)

    Continue to learn about the initiatives underway in the state of Missouri to prepare students for college and career by bookmarking the Missouri Parent Blog and following Missouri Parent on Facebook and Twitter.

    About Missouri Innovation Campuses & SB 381
    Missouri’s Innovation Campuses were created under Missouri Senate Bill 381, sponsored by Senator Will Kraus, R-Lee’s Summit. The bill states that Innovation Campuses are: “a partnership comprised of one or more Missouri public community colleges or Linn State Technical College; one or more Missouri public or private four-year institutions of higher education; one or more Missouri high schools or K-12 education districts; and at least one Missouri-based business.”

  • Education & Technology: A Meeting of the Minds


    On October 17th and 18th, educators and technology gurus gathered together for a two-day conference called the St. Louis Tech for Schools Summit. The Summit gave teachers, edtech companies, and entrepreneurs the chance to share best practices, test out technology products, and exchange expertise.

    The event was organized by EdSurge, an independent news research company devoted to covering education technology and its role in schools. While conferences are, in fact, part of the revenue model at EdSurge, the St. Louis Tech for Schools Summit was absolutely free for educators.

    Opportunities for entrepreneurs and teachers to come together are more common these days than they have traditionally been in public schools. In January, a relatively new organization called Startup Weekend Education will come to Kansas City, Missouri, while programs like Missouri DECA have encouraged business thinking in education for decades.

    What made the St. Louis Tech for Schools Summit unique is that it gave educators—who have classroom and subject area knowledge and expertise—the opportunity to talk directly to edtech companies and entrepreneurs about the products and services on the market for students. As EdSurge says, the Summit is a chance to “try out some of the most innovative technology being built for schools”. (source)

    To see a list of the specific priorities articulated by the Summit’s district partners, click here.

    There’s something intriguing and potentially very valuable about bringing educators together with businesses in a meeting of the minds on educational technology. In an educational landscape that is weighted either for big business or for schools (but rarely for both), EdSurge has created a unique opportunity to bring the strengths and experiences of both industries together for mutual benefit.

    EdSurge also offers detailed research documents (for a fee) on educational technology topics ranging from edtech fundraising to trends in the field. Its Product Insights, which synthesize feedback on technology products from hundreds of educator reviews into one concise document, might be particularly useful for edtech decision makers in public schools.

    To learn more about trends, funding issues, and legislation affecting Missouri schools, bookmark the Missouri Parent Blog, visit us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.

  • Little Miss Geek

    London, England-based social enterprise Little Miss Geek wants to change the world. How does it plan to do that, exactly? It aims to inspire the next generation of young girls to work in technology and gaming.

    The Little Miss Geek movement started with a book by the same name written by Belinda Parmar and published in 2012.

    According to, Little Miss Geek (the book), “charts the rise of the Little Miss Geek as she fights her way from childhood, through school and into the heart of the technology industry. Along the way the book outlines practical steps that will bridge the gap between women and technology, and help inspire girls everywhere to be tech pioneers. Women will be part of the next technological revolution. Little Miss Geek has arrived.”

    The book is just the beginning of a movement that challenges the status quo of women in technology. According to the Little Miss Geek website:

    “Little Miss Geek is inspiring the next generation of young girls to change the world through technology. We will do for the tech industry what Jamie Oliver did for school dinners; to cause nationwide change from the ground up.”

    Little Miss Geek is working with teachers, tech industry leaders and policy makers to inspire girls to work in technology. Its impressive list of partners includes Dell, Nikon, Mozilla, Philips, WIRED, and Bank of America-Merrill Lynch.

    The organization’s programs include after school technology clubs and the “Her in Hero” campaign, which encourages schools to celebrate Ada Lovelace Day (Lovelace is recognized as the very first computer programmer).

    Perhaps the most admirable trait of the Little Miss Geek movement is its determination. Its website says that it, “…will not rest until 50% of the tech and games workforce is female…” (source).

    In the United States, only 18% of students graduating with computer science degrees are women, but the Department of Labor estimates 1.4 million new computer science jobs by 2020. Determination will be critical in helping to change the educational and professional climate for women and girls with interests in computer science and technology.

    To learn more about Little Miss Geek, visit its website or click here to learn more about American women in coding.

  • Social Media: Block It or Teach Around It?

    Should schools block access to social media or teach students to use it responsibly? Tweet this

    Is there a healthy middle ground?

    Abigail Walthausen is a writer and high school English teacher who recently published an article in The Atlantic that made us curious to know what you think:

    Should schools continue to block the parts of the Internet that are deemed distracting, or should they teach students to work effectively amidst those possible disruptions?

    Walthausen’s article encourages schools and teachers to embrace the “many-headed hydra that is social media”, and to give students “guidance in becoming productive citizens of the web”.

    Citing psychologist Larry Rosen and writer Amanda Ripley, Walthausen encourages educators to teach students how to actively manage internet-based interruptions, and to think of social media not just as a distraction, but as something that can be integrated meaningfully into daily life. The logic? That later on, these young people will be more valuable as employees if they’re able to balance focused work and social interaction (in real life or online).

    Walthausen’s primary criticism of the way most schools handle Internet-based distractions is that they use content-blocking software that is clunky and broad. Instead of filtering content in a nuanced way (protecting students from dangerous content, while leaving access to harmless content), most of the filtering software used in schools blocks entire websites or types of websites from students. Walthausen calls this “brute-force technology”.

    “Brute-force technology” filtering means that many students and classrooms are blocked from entire categories of websites, such as all blogging software or all of YouTube. “These broad filters aren’t actually very helpful,’ says Walthausen, “because we need much more nuanced filtering”.

    Walthausen’s bottom line is that filtering in schools isn’t inherently a bad thing, but that filters are less important than teaching students to manage Internet distractions. According to Walthausen, schools should teach students to “live responsibly and productively on the Internet”.

    What Do You Think?
    Do you think that schools should use Internet filters at all grade levels, or is there an age or grade level at which the focus should shift from filtering content to teaching students to work productively in its midst? Should educators push for more nuanced filtering software so that the worst content is filtered while non-dangerous content is made available to students?

    We want to hear from you. Leave a comment today here on the blog or on our Facebook Page.

  • Schools and Libraries to Benefit from Technology Funding & Donations

    Schools and libraries nationwide may soon see an influx of computers and software, and gain increased broadband speeds of 100 megabits per second.

    These improvements are the result of $750 million in pledged donations from companies and from recent changes to the Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC) funding of its E-Rate grants program.

    Microsoft, Apple, AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint are among the companies who have pledged to support technology in schools.

    Apple will provide $100 million in iPads, Macbooks, software and support. AT&T has promised $100 million in mobile broadband services, and Verizon has pledged $100 million in cash and in-kind services to expand digital learning services.

    Sprint will provide wireless services for up to 50,000 low-income high school students over four years, while Microsoft’s contributions will take the form of free and subsidized hardware and software.

    At the same time, the FCC has committed to use inefficiencies in it’s existing E-Rate grant program to provide an additional $2 billion in funding to schools over two years, bringing high-speed Internet connections to 20 million students in 15,000 schools.

    “Harnessing the power of digital technology is central to improving our education system and ourglobal competitiveness. In the Internet age, every student in America should have access to state-of-the-art educational tools, which are increasingly interactive, individualized and bandwidth-intensive.” – FCC Commissioner Thomas Wheeler (source)

    The FCC’s increased funding for the E-Rate program will come from unused past E-Rate funds and from shifting money away from outdated telephone services like dial-up Internet.

    These changes are good news for Missouri students, schools, and libraries, many of which are working with outdated computers and software and are located in rural areas with limited or no high-speed Internet.

  • Career & Technical Education in Missouri Schools

    One of the subjects raised during the House Interim Committee on Education’s 2013 Public Hearings was the importance of career and technical education (CTE) in Missouri.

    CTE programs are offered in agriculture, business, health sciences, family consumer sciences, skilled technical sciences, and marketing and cooperative education. The goal of CTE is to bring together academic and occupational skills training to prepare students for the job market.

    Across Missouri, there are more than 50 area career centers and over 400 comprehensive high schools, as well as a technical college, a dozen community college districts, and seven four-year institutions that help deliver CTE to students.

    Two state agencies; the Department of Social Services and the Department of Corrections, are active in the delivery of CTE programs in Missouri.

    In 2011-12, nearly 3,000 adults, more than 80,000 postsecondary students and more than 180,000 secondary students participated in Missouri CTE programs. The majority of those 2011 graduates (82% of postsecondary graduates and 92% of secondary graduates) were either employed, continuing their training, or serving in the military after graduation. (source)

    CTE plays an important role in Missouri public education. As Missouri Parent tracks legislative updates and educational policies related to CTE, we’ll keep you informed on the Missouri Parent Blog.

  • A New Kind of Pinterest, Designed for Education

    There are so many technology tools emerging for students that tools for teachers sometimes get lost in the mix. That’s not the case for eduClipper, a brand new Pinterest-like website that’s designed for K-12 teachers by a former teacher.
    Teachers and parents can use the eduClipper bookmarklet to grab content from anywhere on the web, placing it on any of their own (or their shared) eduClipboards. The source link of each piece of content is also grabbed, ensuring that original creators are credited.

    eduClipper also offers a “Follow Me” tool, complete with easy-to-use embed code, for educational bloggers and teachers who have their own websites. And for teachers who want to collaborate, it’s easy to share Collective Clipboards with peers or colleagues.

    Some ways eduClipper is different from Pinterest:
    · eduClipper is designed for educators, by an educator
    · eduClipper allows teachers to create classes or groups of students
    · eduClipper helps teachers align content they’re clipping and sharing to Common Core State Standards and ISTE NETS
    · eduClipper offers auto-citations of web content
    · eduClipper is safe and secure, allowing teachers to oversee and help set student permissions and settings.

    Be sure to check out Missouri Parent on Pinterest too!

    One school librarian says, "The motto of eduClipper is "Clip Anything. Share Everything." and although it may sound simple, it has brought a whole new dimension to social networking in education." – Kris Fulmer (source)

    eduClipper was just launched in the summer of 2013, and it’s already gotten great reviews:

    Richard Byrne, blogger for Free Tech for Teachers, said, “"Well after a big investment from some venture capital firms and ten months of testing and revising features eduClipper is better than ever. In fact, I think it's what teachers wish Pinterest could be." (source)

    Ed Tech Roundup says that eduClipper has “serious classroom potential”. It goes on to say, “You could easily integrate EduClipper into any subject at the elementary or secondary level and it's the perfect tool for organizing, sharing, and discussing digital content.” (source)

    Are you an educator? Have you used eduClipper yet? Leave a comment and let us know how you like it and whether you’d recommend it to other teachers in Missouri.

  • I’ll Never Need to Understand Computer Code…Right?

    Today we’re going to highlight a few career paths that your student may not realize use computer science.

    According to Computing in the Core, “over 70 percent of computing occupations are outside of the information technology industry: 9 percent are in information services, 12 percent are in financial services, 36 percent are in professional and business services, 7 percent are in government and public education services, and 12 percent are in manufacturing.” (source)

    Read on to learn how the critical thinking and computational skills taught in computer science classes might help your child forge ahead in a seemingly unrelated career field.

    The Arts
    Musicians, videographers, photographers, and other artists need to learn computing and basic programming skills for editing, special effects, and digital composition.

    Financial Services
    Security of information and automation of trading services are vital in financial services.

    Healthcare & Research Science
    Researchers use computing technologies to process huge quantities of information in areas like DNA sequencing. Other healthcare professionals use computing for patient care, or to ensure security and privacy of patient information and records.

    Information Technology
    IT professionals design software, hardware, applications, networks, or devices.

    From designing new and better products to managing warehouses or shipment facilities, computer science is integrated into the manufacturing process from ideation through product delivery.

    Retail & Marketing
    Retail and marketing professionals use software to track and analyze purchasing trends and for inventory management.

    The United States' military relies on significant technologicalcapabilities to provide it with an advantage on the battlefield. Communications, planning, intelligence, and other fields all require members of the organization to be fluent in computer usage and basic computer science skills.

    Mapping, Global Information Systems (GIS) & Weather Forecasting
    All of these geography-related career fields use computer science. Mapping and GIS often approach interdisciplinary problems using computer science, and weather forecasters rely heavily on technology to help them collect and interpret weather trend information for accurate forecasting.

    How has computer science influenced your own career? Are there fields that you think Missouri’s students would be surprised to learn involve computer coding or other technical computing skills? Share your insights — leave a comment today.

  • 3 Empowering Coding Camps for Girls

    Research shows that graduates of college degree programs in science, technology, engineering, and math-related (STEM) fields are likely to earn significantly more income than their peers do who graduate from non-STEM programs.

    Unfortunately, girls make up only 24% of the STEM-related workforce. In this post, we talked about how women could help fill an untapped pool of talent in computer coding in the United States, earning better incomes along the way.

    Today, we’ll share three fantastic summer opportunities that are a great fit for girls who are interested in computing-related STEM careers. The best part? Two of these camps — sponsored by the National Science Foundation and Microsoft — are completely free for your daughter to attend.

    Microsoft’s DigiGirlz High Tech Camp – St. Louis
    Microsoft holds a special girls-only high tech camp that works to dispel stereotypes of the high-tech industry. The camp, called DigiGirlz High Tech Camp, gives girls the opportunity to listen to executive speakers, participate in technology tours and demonstrations, network, and learn through hands-on workshops.

    The program was established in 2000, and this August 6th and 7th, St. Louis will be one of seven cities in the nation to host the camp. The camp is free of charge, and interested girls can register here.

    Girls Gather for Computer Science: 4 Week Camp
    At the Girls Gather for Computer Science Camp (G2CS), 7th and 8th grade girls are invited to take an imaginative approach to computer science. The day camp is offered atPacific University in Oregon, and it’s offered at absolutely no charge to families.

    G2CS is supported by the National Science Foundation, which covers the cost of public transportation to and from Pacific University, meals, field trips, and an overnight trip. Applications to G2CS are due February 13th, and can be found online.

    App Camp for Girls
    This inspiring camp for 12- to 14-year-old creative software developers was brand new in 2013, and its 2014 schedule is still in the works. The App Camp for Girls was held in Portland, Oregon in 2012, although the camp’s organizers hope to grow the camp outside of the Pacific Northwest in future summers.

    In each of the camp’s week-long, girls-only sessions, girls brainstorm, design, code, and pitch their own apps. Camp supporters include Etsy and MacUpdate.

    Was this post helpful? You might enjoy these posts, too:
    What is the STEM Crisis?
    A Missouri University Advancing STEM Education for Public Schools

  • The World Needs Women Coders

    Click the image above for a full infographic "Girls in IT: The Facts"

    It’s true: the world needs women coders. And in the United States, in particular, women represent a largely untapped pool of talent in computing that could help fill a growing need for qualified job candidates who hold computing bachelor’s degrees.

    The U.S. Department of Labor estimates that more than 1.4 million computing jobs will be open by the year 2020. The U.S. will only be able to fill about 30% of those opening computer jobs with qualified college graduates — ones holding computing degrees. And of those degree holders, only 18% of them are women.

    What’s stopping young women from pursuing degree programs in computer-related fields?

    One study shows that women and men choose computing majors for very different reasons. Men pursue computer science because of interests in computer games far more often than women do, for instance. Women who pursue the field, on the other hand, show a more significant interest in helping others via their work.

    Both men and women show equal interest in computer science as a creative outlet, computing as a good career opportunity, and computing as providing good financial opportunities after college.

    So if women have the same practical desires (job security, good pay) as men do regarding careers in computing, then what pushes men to earn bachelor’s degrees in computer-related fields while simultaneously pushing women away from the same degrees?

    The barriers preventing girls from pursuing computing degrees are unique. Computing curriculums need to be relevant to women, and girls need to be better educated about the many ways that computing can become part of their careers. Parents, teachers, and schools can all help promote computer science as a professional opportunity for women and girls.

    Do you want to encourage a female student, daughter, or mentee to consider a career in computing? Here are some talking points in English and in Spanish from the National Center for Women & Information Technology that can help you get the conversation started.

  • 3 Fresh New Tools that Extend Learning Beyond the Classroom

    Educational technology changes perpetually, and is also changes quickly. To help keep you up to speed, we’ve highlighted three fresh and innovative new tools that extend learning beyond the classroom.

    Glogster EDU
    Glogster EDU is a complete educational solution for digital and mobile teaching and learning. The company’s logo reads, “Poster Yourself”, because the website empowers educators and students to create GLOGS — online multimedia posters — with text, photos, videos, graphics, sounds, drawings, data attachments, and more.

    Glogster EDU features:
    · An easy drag & drop interface
    · Flexibility for use by students, teachers, and classrooms
    · Sharability using embed codes, wikispaces, edmodo, social networks and social bookmarking
    · Creative use for book reports, research projects, classroom projects, homework, distance learning, presentations, digital posters, and more

    Example Glog:


    Kidblog is a safe and secure blogging tool that enables students to easily create — not just consume — digital content. The site offers clutter-free, ad-free design and lets students create blog posts from home or school using a computer, tablet, or smartphone.

    Security is a highlight of Kidblog: Teachers maintain control over student accounts, preventing kids from needing to memorize usernames or provide personal information to create their blogs. The website has COPPA-compliant Terms of Service, and kids’ blogs are kept private; viewable only by their teachers and classmates.

    Teachers have full administrative control on Kidblog, using Google Apps for Education for site sign-in. They are provided with the ability to assign password-protected parent and guest account information at their discretion. Finally, Kidblog offers customizable privacy settings that allow teachers to follow the technology policies of their own individual schools or districts.

    ExamTime has one overarching goal: to change the way that students learn. The company provides free study tools and encourages good study habits like goal setting, personal learning styles, brainstorming, and collaborative learning — all online.

    ExamTime allows students and teachers to build digital flashcards, quizzes, and notes, and to set up goals in preparation for assignments and tests that are still on the horizon. Digital study aides include mindmaps, flashcards, notes, quizzes and more.

    Students can access ExamTime on any device (phone, tablet, laptop, etc.), and once students have created study tools, those tools can be easily shared with friends.

    How have you or your family embraced 21st Century learning skills with your students or children? Do you have a favorite tool for digital literacy? Leave a comment below or on our Facebook page — we’d love to hear from you!

  • A Homework App To Keep Your Student Organized

    Gone are the days when keeping track of schoolwork meant carrying a separate notebook or day planner. If your son or daughter has a smartphone, iPad, or other mobile device, the myHomework App could be a helpful way to help him or her keep schoolwork organized.

    The myHomework App tracks homework, tests and projects, and sends reminders to let students know when upcoming assignments, projects and tests are due. Students can also use the app to track their schedules (time, block, and period based schedules are all supported).

    As with most apps, myHomework syncs between devices. For example, if your child uses a smart phone, a tablet, and a desktop computer, he or she can add information to any of those devices and then sync it between them seamlessly so that details on all devices are kept up to date.

    If that weren’t handy enough, myHomework also integrates seamlessly with an app for teachers called helps teachers manage their syllabi, digital classroom resources, and classroom assignments. Park Hill South High School in Kansas City, Missouri, is one of many schools across the country using it.

    Students using myHomework can “join” a teacher’s class, allowing the student to have instant access to the classroom syllabus, resources, and assignments directly from his or her mobile device. If students don’t use myHomework, they can still log in to their teacher’s classroom from any web-friendly device using the mobile-friendly website.

    Students and teachers can find myHomework and in the Apple App Store, on Google Play or in the Windows Store. Both apps are available for Kindle, Windows 8, iPhone, iPad, and Android.

    Technology is innovating our classrooms, and it’s changing the way our students learn, organize, and manage their schoolwork and their lives. If you’ve discovered great apps for your students, leave a comment for us. We’d love to share your recommendation with other parents across the state.

  • What is the STEM Crisis?

    STEM stands for “science, technology, engineering and math”, and research suggests that students who complete STEM degree programs in college are likely to earn more, whether or not they work in a STEM-related field.

    One of the leading STEM universities in the nation is here in Missouri. A 2013 U.S. News & World Report study explored which of its own 2013 Best Colleges-ranked schools distributed the largest portion of bachelor’s degrees (as a percentage of total degrees) in science, technology, engineering and math. The Missouri University of Science & Technology was ranked third in the study; only California Institute of Technology and Colorado School of Mines outranked Missouri S & T.

    This is great for Missouri, right? Well, sort of. The problem is that there’s a lot of research out there showing that American K-12 students — including our students here in the Show-Me State— aren’t arriving to college prepared for university-level math and science classes.

    According to the Missouri Mathematics and Science Coalition, “Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) plays a significant part in our [Missouri’s] ability to effectively compete in this new age. This is why investing in STEM education at all levels from early childhood to postsecondary education, specifically targeting advancement in student engagement and preparedness is paramount for having a high-skilled workforce ready to compete and thrive in the 21st century global economy.”

    And the National Math + Science Initiative (NMSI) has devoted an entire webpage to sharing information about the STEM Crisis and why it’s imperative for the nation, and for our students, that they receive quality STEM education in schools. Timothy Huneycutt, a representative of NMSI says, “The STEM crisis is a very real issue, and it is of paramount importance that we solve it.” (Source)

    If you’re like many parents, you hope that your child is successful in school and in life. Your son’s or daughter’s foundational learning in STEM studies are incredibly important, especially if he or she might someday want to pursue a STEM-related college degree or career path.

    For more information on STEM education, continue to visit us on the Missouri Parent Blog, or consider signing up for Missouri Parent email updates at the top of this page. You can also like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

  • Engaging Students with Video in the Classroom

    Gone are the days when video was used as an end-of-the-semester reward or as a way to keep kids busy when a substitute teacher was called into the classroom. For kids in today’s K-12 classrooms, video isn’t just a distraction; it’s a tool.

    Creating video is easier and less expensive than it’s ever been. Many students, teachers and parents have video cameras built into their laptops, mobile phones or tables, and most digital cameras can also capture video.

    It’s also easier than ever to edit and share video. Tools like iMovie, Windows Movie Maker, Animoto, YouTube and Vimeo are easily accessible, making it possible for teachers to use video to supplement classroom education or for students to complete video-based assignments.

    There are many reasons why teachers incorporate video technology into their classrooms:

    Video encourages engagement: Kids enjoy videos, and when video is used effectively, it can engage students, help them learn, and make classroom lessons more memorable. This teacher’s video, for instance, has his math students thoroughly engaged on the not-so-engaging subject of complex numbers:


    Video supports multiple learning styles: Students learn in different ways, and video — which uses sound, visuals, and movement — appeals to students of more than one learning style.

    Interactive, real-time video allows students to teleconference with students and teachers from other classrooms anywhere in the world. Field trips take on a whole new meaning when many museums and cultural sites offer virtual tours that teachers can use with their students in the classroom.

    Video nurtures creativity: When kids are asked to storyboard, film and edit their own videos, they’re given a chance to communicate what they’ve learned in the classroom creatively.

    Video is an important skill for digital literacy: In a world where “internet video accounts for 40% of all consumer Internet traffic” understanding how to effectively create and use video isn’t just a fun skill; it’s also a practical one.

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