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An instructional technology specialist outlines the key principles guiding his district’s distance learning efforts in the middle of the global COVID-19 pandemic
It is no secret that not all kids are interested in school. It can be easy for them to become distracted or uninterested in the topics discussed. So, what can educators do to help improve the engagement and achievement of students in their classes?
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If the Great Recession of 2008 taught us anything, it’s that even the most robust economies are vulnerable. And the economic devastation brought about by the COVID-19 global pandemic only served as a stark reminder of this fact.
While rural America has so far been spared the brunt of the virus and the worst of its economic impacts, the American countryside has not fared so well in other areas of the economy. In an increasingly tech-driven global marketplace, our small towns and rural landscapes are being left behind. Rural school systems have long struggled with financial constraints, and perhaps nowhere is this more evident than in the schools’ science and technology programs.
By Luke Smith
The childhood dread around math homework is so ubiquitous it’s become a cliche. It’s a cliche based in truth: ask any math teacher around the world and I’m sure they’d all tell you that a great many students find it hard to engage in math lessons.
Thankfully, there is a solution. Now that technology is an unavoidable part of our lives, the development of that technology has become an important part of our education. Coding and programming is now firmly a part of school systems around the world, and while it may seem like something flashy and new to parents, it’s actually just math in disguise.
By Hannah Ross
It’s no big secret that kids love to create. Hands-on activities provide a wonderful way to engage children and teach them important lessons they’ll remember long-term. This concept has inspired the fast-growing “maker movement” — a trend of do-it-yourself activities for children that involve learning, building, and experimentation.
Robotics is one of the most popular examples of the maker movement. Kids and adults alike are enamored with robots; creating an object from scratch and learning to control its actions is just plain cool. But there’s more: the fundamentals of robotics are directly connected to important STEM skills. It’s not just fun, it turns out; it’s educational.
It is well known that children who develop arithmetic skills at a young age are more likely to be successful in science, technology, engineering, and math subjects when they are older. It is also known that parents have a strong influence on their child’s ability to develop these skills.
For instance, children whose parents frequently ask things such as, “You have four pennies… how many would you have if I gave you two more?” are more likely to be successful in math classes and math-related careers later on. But, what is less well known is the fact that spatial reasoning has an impact on these mathematical abilities as well.
Research shows that teachers can integrate technology to help students grasp mathematical procedures and develop advanced mathematical proficiencies. The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) added that technological tools are necessary for engaging students. What types of technology can be implemented into mathematics classrooms? The following section offers several ideas that can help when teaching math to kids.
Math has always been known as one of the less-glamorous subjects. Sure, there are people who love the rhythm and reason of mathematical concepts, but average Kindergartners won’t tell you that they want to be an engineer, or a mathematician, or even a computer scientist when they grow up. But if every Kindergartner grew up to be a fireman, or movie star, or race car driver, or pilot, our society would certainly suffer.
So what makes one student inherently interested in math concepts, while another just wants to score high enough on a math test to not have to take it again?