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InformED Report 12/13/16

Education Ministry Drafts Action Plan To Deal With Declining STEM Students

Malaysian Digest | Twitter

Kuala Lumpur: The Education Ministry is drafting the 2017-2025 National Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Action Plan to overcome the declining number of students joining the stream.

Deputy Education Minister Datuk P Kamalanathan said, the action plan to be implemented through the ministry’s cooperation with the Higher Education Ministry and Science, Technology, and Innovation Ministry, focuses on eight key areas, including basic teaching and learning policies and facilities.

“The plan also focuses on awareness programme, career, strategic cooperation, data and research, commercialisation and innovation,” he told the Dewan Rakyat sitting today.

He was replying to Datuk Takiyuddin Hassan (PAS-Kota Bharu) on the cause behind the declining ratio of students in the STEM stream.

To read more visit Malaysian Digest

Mansfield school district approves pre-k, STEM campuses

Amanda Rogers | Star-Telegram | Twitter

The Mansfield school district has some big plans for some little students and some scientific ones.

On Nov. 15, district trustees voted 6-0 to build a new $14.9 million early childhood literacy center next to Della Icehower Intermediate School for 3- and 4-year-old pre-kindergartners and Preschool Program for Children with Disabilities (PPCD) students. The school board also voted 6-0 to allocate $5.6 million to renovate the annex behind Wester Middle School for a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) Academy. Trustee Michael Evans was absent.

“One of our guiding principles is that students be reading on grade level by the third grade,” said Holly Teague, the district’s associate superintendent of curriculum, instruction, and accountability. “Having pre-kindergarten gives them a head start.”

To read more visit the Star-Telegram

Minnesota High School Students Learn to Program Robots

U.S. News | Twitter

It is a message known all too well by seventh- and eighth-grade students in Stephen Larson’s computer programming course at St. John’s Preparatory School, the St. Cloud Times (https://on.sctimes.com/2gkdCHa ) reported.

Larson, who has spent the past five years at St. John’s Prep, has encouraged his students in the trial and error art of computer programming and robotics.

“I think technology is helping kids understand programming quicker and faster,” he said. “And more kids are becoming involved as it becomes easier to do.”

Over the course of a semester, Larson’s students learn the basics of programming language on iPads before applying their skills to programming Arduino robotic units.

To read more visit U.S. News

President’s Message to President-Elect

Scott Jaschik | Inside Higher Ed | Twitter

One hundred and ten college and university presidents have issued a joint letter to President-elect Donald Trump urging him to forcefully “condemn and work to prevent the harassment, hate and acts of violence that are being perpetrated across our nation, sometimes in your name, which is now synonymous with our nation’s highest office.”

This action is needed, the presidents write, because of the incidents taking place nationwide, including many on college campuses. “In our schools, on job sites and college campuses, on public streets and in coffee shops, members of our communities, our children, our families, our neighbors, our students and our employees are facing very real threats, and are frightened.”

The full text of the letter and the signatories may be found at the end of this article. (UPDATE: An additional 19 presidents who signed since the letter was first circulated may be found below the original list, and a second group was added on Monday.) News coverage of some of the incidents on college campuses may be found here and here and here. (More than 450 professors at the University of Pennsylvania, Trump’s alma mater, have issued an open letter calling on the president-elect to “immediately and publicly denounce” the way three people in Oklahoma signed up black freshmen at Penn to receive text messages with images of violence against black people and racial slurs from someone called “Daddy Trump” or “Heil Trump.”)

To read more visit Inside Higher Ed

The ‘suck it up, buttercup’ bill: Iowa lawmaker targets post-election campus ‘hysteria

Samantha Schmidt | The Washington Post | Twitter

In the days following the election, university campuses across the country erupted in rallies and marches. College counselors offered “healing spaces” and meditation sessions to help students cope with postelection trauma. Some professors even canceled classes or allowed students to opt out of tests.

One lawmaker in Iowa says he finds this “whole hysteria to be incredibly annoying.”

Bobby Kaufmann, a Republican, plans to introduce a bill that echoes the eye-rolling frustration expressed by many who think colleges are “coddling” their students.

He’s referring to the piece of legislation as the “suck it up, buttercup” bill and he hopes to introduce it when the legislature resumes in January, the Des Moines Register reported.

To read more visit The Washington Post

Most Students Don’t Know When News Is Fake, Stanford Study Finds

Sue Shellenbarger | The Wall Street Journal | Twitter

Preteens and teens may appear dazzlingly fluent, flitting among social-media sites, uploading selfies and texting friends. But they’re often clueless about evaluating the accuracy and trustworthiness of what they find.

Some 82% of middle-schoolers couldn’t distinguish between an ad labeled “sponsored content” and a real news story on a website, according to a Stanford University study of 7,804 students from middle school through college. The study, set for release Tuesday, is the biggest so far on how teens evaluate the information they find online. Many students judged the credibility of newsy tweets based on how much detail they contained or whether a large photo was attached, rather than on the source.

More than two out of three middle-schoolers couldn’t see any valid reason to mistrust a post written by a bank executive arguing that young adults need more financial-planning help. And nearly four in 10 high-school students believed, based on the headline, that a photo of deformed daisies on a photo-sharing site provided strong evidence of toxic conditions near the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in Japan, even though no source or location was given for the photo.

To read more visit The Wall Street Journal

The Hidden Danger of Social Media: Fake News

Elizabeth Osborne | edCircuit | Twitter

Social media, for better or worse, is a part of 21st-century culture. And for America’s youth, it’s deeply ingrained in their experiences and viewpoints. They don’t know a world without Instagram, SnapChat, and Google. It’s simply their reality.

Social media connects users across the world, allowing them to share ideas, thoughts, and content. While the dangers of social media are prominent in teachings to youth, the entire spectrum of what exactly is dangerous may not be covered. Students are warned of sexual predators online and the consequences of posting scandalous photos or inappropriate comments. But what have we taught them about being able to discern what’s true and what’s false?

Social media has become a source of news, especially with today’s youth. This generation doesn’t buy newspapers or even visit news websites. Most metrics show that visits to the home pages of mainstream news are down considerably. Content that is shared on social media platforms, whether it is from other individual users or the media, has become the bulk of what many in our society consider news. The Pew Research Center has determined that 62 percent of adults receive the majority of news via social media. This has become the norm. So do social media platforms have a responsibility to debunk fake news? And how can educators equip students with the right skills to distinguish between truth and fiction?

To read more visit edCircuit

InformED Report is brought to you in cooperation with American ED TV and MindRocket Media Group

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