Oct 16 2015

Tech in the Right Hands Pushes STEM to the Future

In the latest issue of EdTech, writers explore the expanding horizon of STEM.

Since the new school year started, I’ve been reminded of a few important facts about technology and education. The first is that devices can be used for more than just gaming and watching YouTube videos. The second is how much of an impact putting the right technology into students’ and teachers’ hands can make.

From encouraging greater participation in the STEM fields to allowing access to the web from whatever device students have in hand, technology-backed education continues to shift instruction and learning.

"Innovation Fosters Student-Centric Learning" shares a number of best practices for planning modern, collaborative classrooms that help students learn in ways that they prefer. Great Prairie Area Education Agency’s Sally Lindgren reminds us that the success of any modern classroom starts with teacher training. “Teachers really need to understand this instructional shift,” she says. “They must become 21st century learners before they can be 21st century teachers”

Star City (Ark.) Schools STEM Coordinator and Principal Gina Richard details how instructional staff and IT worked together to enhance and upgrade infrastructure to accommodate a new technology-based curriculum in “New K–12 Networks Power STEM’s Future."

Tech-focused learning also requires proper planning to ensure future needs will be met. Many schools and IT leaders turn to ISTE’s 14 Essential Conditions as a comprehensive guide for designing and maintaining such critical educational infrastructure.

Ryan Imbriale, executive director of learning for Baltimore County Public Schools, says the conditions have been instrumental to the district’s goal of graduating every student with “global, 21st century skills. That means redesigning curriculum and redefining instruction in a blended learning environment.” Read more about the 14 Essential Conditions in “ISTE Standards: Districts Build Off the Essentials.

As connectivity and infrastructure evolve to better meet school districts’ educational missions, we at EdTech are pleased to bring our readers insights and expertise from those who’ve made it work.

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