It was a few years ago when I said the next foreign language in K12 education was going to be programming languages. There is no question that Spanish, Arabic and Mandarin are languages to learn in the future, but the ability to speak the language of computers deserves the same attention. Recently, I attended the California STEM Symposium, where code.org CEO Hadi Partovi highlighted the $500 billion opportunity in jobs and that less than 2.4% of college students graduate with a degree in computer science (https://code.org/promote). Moreover, he also mentioned that only 1 out 10 schools offer some form of programming classes. It is clearly evident that K12 education is not aligned with the industry demands of coding professionals.
While the keynote left many of us asking more questions, it left me rejuvenated to keep pushing the need for coding in K12 education. One of the ways we can join together is through connecting the educational community around the topic to begin sharing, questioning, and promoting the coding movement. In my search in Twitterverse, I couldn’t find a hashtag that brought the K12 community around the topic of computer science and coding. I figured the first step was to start a hashtag called #codeK12 to begin the conversation. I look forward to connecting with the K12 coding pioneers there…And if there is another hashtag that already exists, that is awesome and I will gladly join that conversation stream.
One of the more profound quotes I have heard in quite awhile. Not only did I have the pleasure of attending the first ASCEND Conference at Qualcomm yesterday, I was honored to guest tweet for the hosting organization @steamconnect. As the social media guest for the day, I tried to capture events as they were happening and quotes that were meaningful for me. The one message that stood out for me was brought up by Denise Grande who quoted an employee of Boeing in her presentation, “Change happens at the speed of trust.“
There were an array of presentations yesterday representing policy makers, educators, industry, non-profits, research, and even students. In my opinion, the students of EastLake High School dance team were definitely one of the big successes in the entire conference. While I won’t go into all the details of each speaker (you can check my @steamconnect tweets), the overall message was to continue to challenge all of us to work together in defining, advocating, researching and implementing STEAM education. A noble cause that aligns with my belief in intersecting the Arts with STEM education.
The positive energy was palpable with the many different STEAM stakeholders, and you left the day with plenty of hope. It was inspiring yet also left me asking more questions. For me, this often happens at conferences where we bring “like minds” together and, for the most part, we are preaching to the choir. Replete with inspiration, we then go back to our separate worlds and face immediate challenges that stray us from what inspired us in the first place. For some, it pushes us to work even harder; for others, it is deflating. Yet the quote above leaves me with hope that change can happen despite the challenges. We just have to adjust the lens and begin with something more simple. Building and maintaining trust is the prerequisite to change.
Post for another day, but keeping my thoughts on this subject of change: F3 (Find the Found First)
The funny part is that it brings me back to the conference where I have met all the found. Now the challenge is to connect the found with everyone else. There was a great quote from Ed Hidalgo from Qualcomm: “How do you aspire for something that you don’t know exists?” I thank @steamconnect again for the opportunity and will continue to collaborate with the many innovative and creative people who attended the ASCEND Conference yesterday. Change takes time and it all begins with building relationships with each other. I look forward to connecting with many of you.
My other favorite quote from yesterday: “We can teach our workforce to write code, what we need is employees to imagine what we need to write code for.” -Grande
Our team is very excited to present at the next Google Apps Summit at the San Diego County Office for Education. We will be presenting at 10am on Google Scripts on Monday, January 28th. It has been an endeavor we have been working over the last few months. Leveraging the power of Google Scripting, we have developed or in the process of developing applications that support academic, operations, and administration systems in our Google Apps for Edu domain. Hope to see you there!
When I first heard rumors of the iPad mini, I immediately asked myself how much this device will cost. I definitely see schools jumping at the opportunity to bring iOS devices at a lower price point than the $499 and up regular iPad. However, when I read rumors on the suggested pricing on the new iPad mini ($249), it lead to another question, what will happen to the price of the iPod Touch. Currently, the new iPod touch starts at $299 (32GB) and can go up to $399 (64GB). Yes, the new iPod Touch will have the retina display and the supposed iPad mini will not, but does that justify pricing the iPod Touch more than the iPad mini. With the release of the iPad Mini, they will really be releasing an in the middle version of the iPad and iPod Touch. I just hope Apple strategically prices it as such…what I really want is the iPod Touch to go down in pricing to about $100-150. My elementary students and teachers would love that pricing entry point. Maybe Apple will make an 8GB or 16GB version of iPod Touch to retail lower. We shall see…
It has been awhile since I last posted an entry on my blog. It is one of those peaks in my workload where I am in full operations mode and have very little time for reflection. In lieu of my lack of effort, I would like to highlight a new blog that is providing valuable insight in education called TeachSupport. I highly recommend visiting the site. Happy Reading!
From the About page of TeachSupport:
TeachSupport facilitates reflection and collaboration around practical issues in pedagogy. Our mission is to support teacher development, particularly that of educators new to the profession, by supporting continuous improvement. We believe that the most meaningful professional development happens when teachers are (1) empowered to explore aspects of their own practice, (2) acquire new knowledge and resources, and (3) actively apply best practices within a supportive community of educators. Based out of a charter network in San Diego, TeachSupport delivers quality professional development to support teachers and students alike.