Dr. Salman Khan's Khan Academy got the "60 Minutes" treatment this weekend. Khan has garnered worldwide fame for his 3,000 and growing YouTube instructional videos in a wide range of subjects - but mainly those tough and thorny ones such as math, science, technology, etc..
In tandem with the Digital Promise rollout, our organizations—the Joan Ganz Cooney Center and E-Line Media—announced the second year of the National STEM Video Game Challenge. This video-game-design competition is intended to motivate interest in science, technology, engineering, and math, or STEM, learning among America's young people by tapping into students' natural passion for playing and making video games.
"60 Minutes" report on "Hrabowski: An educator focused on math, science" broadcast on November 13th is an inspirational look at a school that emphasizes math and science and eschews a big football program - refreshing, given the terrible Penn State sex abuse scandal.
Will this trump previously believed truisms about gender and subject abilities?
When it comes to the STEM fields, women have been most successful in medicine and biology - and least successful in engineering, math and computer science.
But experts hope that, too, will change.
A recent report from the American Association of University Women notes that, 30 years ago, the ratio of seventh- and eighth-grade boys who scored more than 700 on the SAT math exam, compared with girls, was 13 to 1. Now it's 3 to 1.
Vast stores of natural gas in the Marcellus and Utica shales running under Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York and West Virginia have set off a rush to grab leases and secure permits to drill using the extraction technique called hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.
Many school districts suffer from a dearth of teachers in key subject areas such as math and sciences. Maricopa County in Arizona is compensating for this by setting up virtual classrooms and hiring instructors from afar to teach students. Many qualified teachers are snapped up at the higher education or high school level and this allows students at the middle school level to have access to higher level courses.
While perhaps not the optimal solution versus having a teacher on campus, it allows students to take a wider range of courses from qualified instructors from almost anywhere.
The Maricopa County Education Service Agency is expanding its program after a successful pilot this spring. The agency paid $400,000 to hire an instructor, set up a video-recording studio and purchase video equipment and iPads that are leased to schools.
The researchers results are not encouraging and unsurprising, given the raft of other data pointing to deficits in math proficiency in the US. This important paper should be included as our nation seeks to form effective programs and curriculum to remedy this dismal situation.
Given that definition of math proficiency, U.S. students in the Class of 2011, with a 32 percent proficiency rate, came in 32nd among the nations that participated in PISA. Performance levels among the countries ranked 23rd to 31st are not significantly different from that of the U.S. in a statistical sense, yet 22 countries do significantly outperform the United States in the share of students reaching the proficiency level in math. Six countries plus Shanghai and Hong Kong had majorities of students performing at least at the proficiency level, while the United States had less than one-third. For example, 58 percent of Korean students and 56 percent of Finnish students performed at or above a proficient level. Other countries in which a majority—or near majority—of students performed at or above the proficiency level included Switzerland, Japan, Canada, and the Netherlands. Many other nations also had math proficiency rates well above that of the United States, including Germany (45 percent), Australia (44 percent), and France (39 percent).
Speaking of ways to increase national and global technology knowledge and skills during a recession, this one has to take first prize.
The course is one of three being offered experimentally by the Stanford computer science department to extend technology knowledge and skills beyond this elite campus to the entire world, the university is announcing on Tuesday.
The online students will not get Stanford grades or credit, but they will be ranked in comparison to the work of other online students and will receive a “statement of accomplishment.”