All posts tagged: STEM

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Doug Bergman: STEM- No Longer an All-Boys Club

by Doug Bergman Expert Educator Columnist, USA Congratulations to hundreds of girls around the country who have just been recognized by NCWIT( National Council for Women in Technology) at the national and state level for their accomplishments and participation in Computer Science. In my state of South Carolina, 5 of the 12 awards were our Porter-Gaud girls! We are very proud! I am so honored to be part of a Computer Science program that values having females as integral members. In my first year teaching at Porter-Gaud there were exactly ZERO females in my advanced classes. I think one reason why females have not been attracted to Computer Science is because it is oftentimes seen as an all-boys club. What girl wants to be the only one on the class? I can see that. And traditionally, for whatever reason, the public face for Computer Science has been seen as predominantly male. Although if we dive deeper, we find that females have played a significant part in getting us to where we are today—they just don’t …

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Julie Hembree: Adding Coding to Your Literacy Bag of Tricks

by Julie Hembree Expert Educator Columnist, USA I am a reader, a writer and an elementary school librarian. What I am not is a computer programmer or coder, or so I thought until recently. This fall when the wave of publicity increased about the Hour of Code, and National Computer Science week, I dismissed it. I simply didn’t think coding was anything I needed to teach during my library lessons, especially in elementary school. I have so much to teach in my weekly lessons already, why should I add more to my plate? What on earth could coding have to do with literacy? It turns out, the answer is a lot. I visited the Hour of Code resource page and watched videos that stressed coding should be as valued as reading, writing and math. “Everyone in this country should learn how to program a computer…” they said. Intrigued I tried out one of the tutorials meant for the kindergarten through second grade students, knowing with my coding skill set, this was the perfect place for …

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Tasha Candela: 2014 Web Design Competition

by Tasha Candela Expert Educator Columnist, USA Prior to the 2010-11 school year, I did not know the Michigan Council of Women in Technology (MCWT) existed.  It was my technology director, Fran Hubert, who sent a web design contest flyer to my inbox.  Hundreds of professional development opportunities and contests grace my desk annually.  This one was no different.  And it certainly was not printed on neon paper adorned with glitter flecks.  But web design is my favorite class to teach so I jumped at this chance.  It was a choice that I will never forget. It is not the contest itself that fills my heart with admiration for MCWT.  It is the countless volunteers who sacrifice family and work time to provide these teenagers with an authentic learning opportunity.  The professionals at MCWT truly love giving back to others and their generosity is displayed through both their words and works.  They have collected technology volunteers from widely known technology companies to grade student websites.  They have offered job shadowing experience and internship opportunities.  They …

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Cathy Cavanaugh: Values of Learning Programming Language in School

by Cathy Cavanaugh Director of Teaching and Learning, Microsoft in Education What is a human language? As a symbol system for encoding and communicating ideas, our languages are varied and dynamic, each reflective of its own cultures and ways of knowing. Thus, each language has intrinsic value to influence thought and interaction. Additionally, each language has practical value in the 21st century. Recognizing the many benefits of learning multiple languages, schools around the world require native language fluency and a minimum of competence in a second language. Thus, world language standards have been developed by professional organizations to guide effective teaching and learning (http://www.actfl.org/publications/all/world-readiness-standards-learning-languages). The choice of languages offered in a school depend on a matrix of factors including locally and regionally spoken languages, availability of teachers and curriculum, and interest among students. Increasingly, world languages and other subjects learned in school are associated with preparing students for college, career, and community.

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Abderrahmen Haddad: The Event that Changed My Life Forever!

by Abderrahmen Haddad Expert Educator Columnist, Tunisia I have been teaching computer science at Ali Trad Pioneer Middle School in Tunisia for 8 years now. My story with education started at the age of 10 when I was a student in grade 3 and my mother was my teacher. I admired her a lot and discovered how dedicated she was to her job. It was really amazing to experience the way she expressed her feelings and respect towards her students. The inspiration I got from my mother motivated me to become a responsible and caring teacher. And today, I believe that teaching is the greatest profession of all times.

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Doug Bergman: The Value of and Need for Computer Science

by Doug Bergman Expert Educator Columnist, USA How many times have you been using an app on your phone and it did not work quite like you wanted? How many times have you been with your friends and someone said, “They should make an app for that”? How many times have you complained about the location and functions of the buttons on your smartphone? How many times has the software program you are using not been able to do what you wanted—or worse –you just could not figure it out?  What options did you have? Stop using it. Try another program or buy another device. What you are experiencing is called being a consumer of technology.   It’s not a bad thing, in fact we need folks like that to use and buy the things that the “creators” make. That’s the difference: users vs creators. We need more creators.