A new Verizon commercial cites a sad statistic by the National Science Foundation: 66 percent of 4th grade girls say they like science and math, but only 18 percent of all college engineering majors are female.
People have offered many potential explanations for this discrepancy, but this ad highlights the importance of the social cues that push girls away from math and science in their earliest childhood years.
The video depicts one girl's development from toddler to teenager. She wanders curiously through nature, examines the plants and animals around her, creates an astronomy project, and builds a rocket with her older brother. But all along the way, she hears many all-too-common refrains from her parents: "Who's my pretty girl?" "Don't get your dress dirty," "You don't want to mess with that," and "Be careful with that. Why don't you hand that to your brother?" These statements are subtle, but the ad suggests that they can ultimately discourage girls from pursuing traditionally male-dominated STEM subjects in school. Read More
Teaching and learning should be marvellous fun as well as being content and concept rich. Parents, children and many educators look for ways for making it so. Choice around who teaches our children, what they are taught and where they study matters to parents. When given opportunities to make educational decisions they take them. Digital technology and EdTech are here to stay.
They will provide efficiencies in acquiring information, and aid in analysis, evaluation, application and creativity in learning. They will sharpen assessment, too. Mobile learning will become an ordinary habit as the world comes to our fingertips. Read More
Marlon Frausto is in pursuit of the new American dream. Just a few weeks ago he left his job, in Hispanic marketing for the legal industry, and moved to San Francisco.
Every day he wakes at 5:30 a.m., commutes 45 minutes by train, and studies until 9 or 10 at night. He’s spending down his savings and says he’s getting help from “my loving family.”
At age 26, Frausto has gone back to school. Sort of. He’s enrolled in a brand-new kind of trade school: the immersive web-development program, also known as a “coder boot camp.” These programs promise, for several thousand dollars, to take people like Frausto and, in a manner of weeks, turn them into job-ready web developers. Read More
The latest in the adorable platformer franchise for Sony consoles is the biggest yet. In addition to the iconic Sackpeople, players can now also play as three brand-new characters, each with its own special abilities. And I don’t just mean their capacity to steal your heart. I mean that one of them can run really fast, and another can fly. Read More
Costume Quest 2
Halloween is still one of my favorite days of the year, but my current devotion is nothing next to the excitement I felt about the holiday when I was a kid. It was the one time all year that I could walk around declaring that I was a Ghostbuster, and not only would people not roll their eyes, but they would give me candy. Read More
It doesn’t matter how old you are — LEGO is cool. And the games based on their film-licensed building sets combine the fun of construction with the blind devotion of fandom. Whether you like Star Wars, Harry Potter, The Lord of the Rings, DC, or Marvel, a fun, block-based title exists that will drop you into the plastic world of your nerdy choosing. Read More
Scott Aikin admits that he’s “a very conservative pedagogue.” That’s why the author and Associate Professor of Philosophy at Vanderbilt University says that, this fall, he’s asking his students to keep their laptops at home. Instead, he wants their full attention for his main method of teaching: lecturing.
“I call it ‘the chalk and talk.’ I have a piece of chalk and I talk. I fill the board with notes and sometimes diagram things or map out an argument. Students are allowed to stop and ask questions or challenge at any time, and I’ll make good on answers. That’s it. Students only need pens and paper for the class (if not their books, too),” he said. Read More
A friend of mine who is a trained software engineer and works in the Tech industry posted a link on facebook last week and swore that he is never going to hand his 3 month old son an iPad. Not now, not ever. I don’t blame him, with a title like that? [Here’s Why Steve Jobs Didn’t Let His Kids Use iPads and Why You Shouldn’t Either] I can totally imagine a parent tapping on that link with her finger shaking in fear, reading in astonishment and then deciding how they will cut their child’s iPad time. That is, if they don’t go straight for the garbage bin to chuck the iPad first.
This article is not an aberration. I see at least one such article everyday — mostly on Facebook, Twitter and sometimes also in popular educational blogs. Read More
CodeMonkey is an engaging online game that teaches real computer programming to children as young as 9. We release new features and challenges on a monthly basis. Stay tuned, and don't touch the green banana!
From first steps in coding to advanced subjects in computer science. We’ve got you covered with intuitive, bite-sized lessons. Taught by cute animals! Read More
If Minecraft has taken over your kids and you hardly know who they are or what they're talking about anymore, you're in good company. But, although you may love that the game helps build 21st-century skills such as creativity, innovation, and collaboration, your kids' obsession can be overwhelming. Perhaps most puzzling is that every waking moment they're not playing Minecraft, they're in front of YouTube watching Minecraft.
For fans -- and they are legion -- Minecraft YouTube videos are a huge part of their enjoyment of the game. There are tutorials (for ideas on new things to create), "Let's Play" videos (footage of people playing the game), challenges (new gameplay ideas to try), mod showcases (which show off cool thing kids can download to modify their Minecraft worlds), and more. Read More
Game design is a promising area of innovation in STEM learning. Research suggests that empowering youth to create their own video games promotes learner independence. Moreover, it encourages youth to take ownership over STEM knowledge, rather than viewing it as belonging to others. Thereby ushering them into STEM communities of practice. Read More
Among the most critical academic disciplines for success in a 21st century workforce are those involving Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM). These disciplines are increasingly digital, networked, and rapidly changing. And yet, U.S. students are becoming less engaged and falling significantly behind the rest of the world in terms of STEM learning. Read More
Now's the perfect time to buy your kids/nieces/cousins some robots. Robots are a great way to get children excited about computers. Robots get them stoked in a way that a simple Hello World console app just can't.
If you're not careful you can spend hundreds on robots. However, I'm notoriously frugal and I believe that you can build some amazing stuff with children with a reasonable budget.
Here's some of the robot and electronics kits I recommend and have built with my kids. Read More