This book is for educators, parents, and community partners!

Resources, ideas, examples, for both beginners and experts.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

What does it Take to Engage a Student Today?

 Consider this: The National Academy of Sciences and Texas Instruments have collaborated on a program, STEM Behind Hollywood, which uses zombies to spark students' interest in science, technology, engineering and math. There is software, and it will cost eventually, but is available to teachers for free during a trial period. It includes exercises to reverse engineer zombie brains and use math to calculate the spread of contagions. "This is the kind of experiential learning that gives students a deep understanding of the concept," said Melendy Lovett, president of Texas Instruments' Education Technology. 

Whatever it takes? Right? Kids in classrooms are hit with so much media in every aspect of their lives--perverse and quirky soundbites and plot twists--classroom teachers must now provide an environment and challenges as exciting as a Hollywood set. As a young child locked behind a wooden desk, I used to dream of sailing on a boat in a river. I drowned out the sound of the teacher's voice by the sound of the water lapping against the shore on the Yangtze River. I could be yanked back to the classroom by the clash of a yardstick crashing on my desk by an irate teacher. I have no idea what those kids were learning. Kids have not changed. Give them a reason to care. Connect learning with a world they know and care about.

Many of the Millennial's Hollywood heroes have embraced STEM, have become STEM professionals themselves. They're not all twerks. Good for them, and good for anyone who's creative enough to engage kids in learning and in the process help them understand they, too, can be heroes in a world they may have not known existed before watching the Zombie Apocalypse Webinar.... Way to go, Mayim!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Creativity in the Classroom

Since I wrote this book, Connecting Students to STEM Careers, I've had to do some soul searching. With students and teachers tethered to Common Core standardes, tests and policies, I wonder: Have we lost the ability for teachers and students to be creative? Are you encouraging your children/students/yourself to use the fabulous digital tools to have fun and to be creative?

Here are some basic resources:
  • Build you own website with Joomla:
  • Host an educational blog with Edublogs:
  • Or use the popular WordPress to start a classroom blog:
  • Create podcasts with your students and post them on your blog through the Education Podcast Network:
  • Of course, you will need some tunes:
  • For the literary bent, visit Goodreads where users share book lists and faves lists:
  • Bookmark your favorite digital site using Delicious:, this is a social bookmarking site where you can organize and share web pages; discover what others are using around topics of interest....all of these tools allow students and teachers to collaborate between classrooms and across the world.
  • For all the latest in what's happening in the world of digital media, be sure to follow Kathy Schrock's Guide for Educators:
Forget about those tests for a while, keep an open mind and an open heart for the individual student--allow them to explore the possibilities and apply these to their own dreams and desires and interests. The results might be new relationships between teachers and students who are learning and adapting across generations and across cultures.

Find more of these resources in the book: Connecting Students to STEM Careers

Order information can be obtained by clicking on the cover of the book in the upper right hand corner of the page.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Role Models for STEM Careers

How do Kids Learn about S.T.E.M. Careers?

Mostly young people learn about the possibilities for the future from role models in their environment. Until now, access to those role models have been limited to who they encounter in their own communities. With digital tools and social networking, there are no limits to the adults with interesting careers that kids can encounter right in their own classrooms.

So what issues in classrooms today prevent students from connecting to S.T.E.M. Careers?

The book, Connecting Students to STEM Careers, Social Networking Strategies, looks at critical issues such as lack of:
  • Access to technology
  • Teacher Training
  • Time
  • Administrative Support
  • Funding
  • Parental Support
Although there are serious consequences for leaving students behind in a world that is rapidly changing and evolving, there are numerous roadblocks to adopting, and adapting to, new tools and new strategies for teaching about and learning about the possibilities for careers in the S.T.E.M. fields.

This book provides suggestions for getting started and for enriching the groundwork that has already been laid out for engaging students in critical careers of the future. All of them will require deep knowledge and understanding in and of the digital world and what is to follow...

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

A New Year

Back to School

It's a new school year. Teachers all over the country are feeling the pressure: test scores, core curriculum, S.T.E.M. education, emerging technologies, over-crowded classrooms. There's scant opportunity for creativity in the same ways we understood teaching in the past.

For teachers who feel comfortable with, and are incorporating digital media into instruction, there are opportunities to use social media and other communications technologies to bring mentors into the classroom, to forge partnerships. Professionals in the arts and in STEM fields can help. They are willing to help. Visit the CILC website and find a long list of professionals who will work with your students to help foster creativity and innovation. (Click on the Content Provider Programs.) By using technologies on a regular basis, you are helping train students build to communication and collaboration skills.

On their own, students can use the Internet to conduct research and build information fluency. According to the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) NETS for students, (National Education Technology Standards), students who can apply digital tools to "gather, evaluate, and use information" are more likely to succeed in developing critical thinking skills, test taking skills, and more likely to be prepared to apply the STEM education tools they learn today in the workplace of tomorrow.

Yes, I'm suggesting that teachers and parents use digital tools much like an instructional assistant. Delegate to the PC, the Mac, and the plethora of community partners willing to work with K-12 students using social media and distance learning tools.

Most youngsters already understand the concepts related to technology operations, but they need guidance in Digital Citizenship, in understanding the ethics and rules and safety measures required to use the Internet effectively. Once they understand these guidelines, teachers can function more like coaches than fonts of knowledge. They no longer are responsible for providing all the information, rather they can help prepare students for adult life by guiding them in how to acquire knowledge on their own. The results can be effective test-takers, students who are armed with 21st century learning skills.

The new classrooms of the 21st century have new requirements. Therefore they must have new and different instructional methods that take advantage of emerging technologies and foster partnerships throughout the world.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

What is a S.T.E.M. Career?

Why all the fuss about STEM and STEM careers? Every few years the education field is overcome with a new buzz-word, a new way to improve schools and the way children learn and teachers teach, a new reform tactic. The onslaught of technology in the classroom, coincided with a quantum change in how people interact with computers, approximately 30 years ago. When Apple and Microsoft and a few lesser-knowns provided a desk-top interface, when Apple started giving away Apple IIs to every teacher who would use one and many who balked at the idea; when IBM hosted round-tables and think-tanks with K-12 educators; when software publishers raced through the gate to be the first to sell educational software to K-12 schools, there was a palpable shift in the way schools would be run and what the workplace would expect when newly-graduated students arrived.

That was the beginning of the shift. That was way back in the early 1980s. Can you even remember, if you were around then, conducting your work or study without a desktop computer as an appendage? If you are a Gen-Xer, try to imagine typing letters and putting them in the mailbox and waiting for a reply; calling people on the phone and waiting for a reply. Building a card catalogue of contacts and making notes on each card of your history with that person or organization. If you were trying to make something happen, you did what we called "networking." You called people and they would give you ideas of more people to call until you had created a network of interested parties or patrons on 3x5 cards. Big projects, like environmental awareness programs, called for huge expensive ad campaigns, phone trees, and bulk mailing from which you might expect a 2% response from a huge expensive and tedious outreach effort.

It took a while for people to catch on to the power of the personal computer. This wasn't just a fancy could create mailings, databases, spreadsheets. You could save files and organize files and people and projects. Some wondered early on how money could be made. Surely this was possible.

The desktop computer changed the way scientists could conduct research. They had a stake early on in students being trained in computer applications and programing. Computer science, engineering, and mathematics were quickly becoming  fields attracting nerds and geeks from every corner of the globe. Nerds were cool. Computer and video games flourished and software publishers capitalized on the possibilities early on: Tom Sneider, Mario, The Oregon grab a few from the recesses of my memory.

The private sector had much to gain now from a well-trained generation who were still sitting in traditional classrooms being taught by traditional teachers who were too busy to learn how to integrate computers into the classroom. This was 30 years ago and the struggle still exists, but we've come a long way.

I think the big wake-up call for the importance of a digital-savvy nation came when the bottom fell out of the economy. We really needed to get serious about keeping up with the Joneses on the eastern side of the global neighborhood; we needed to get serious about assuring our children of a place in a world that is nothing like the one their parents graduated into. 21st Century Skills translated into jobs and with luck, a college scholarship because who can afford that luxury any more?

About the same time the market flopped, and big bunch of oil was spilled into the sea. Children in classrooms in every corner of the world were watching one of the biggest ecological disasters in history, live, as it unfolded--a powerful teachable event. Scientists, technologists, engineers, and mathematicians from around the globe came together to solve a crisis. Some classrooms watched, some participated, hundreds of thousands of students discovered during that time the importance and the relevance of preparing for a STEM career.

Today, STEM education and STEM careers have become one of the biggest buzzwords to hit the education field in a long time. If you are a classroom teacher or a K-12 administrator, you might be interested in reading my book: Connecting Students to STEM Careers, Social Networking Strategies.

Monday, June 25, 2012

ISTE2012 Conference!

Are you attending the ISTE2012 Conference?  You might be there in San Diego right now!  If so, Don't miss out on an opportunity to pick up my book, Connecting Students to S.T.E.M. Careers, Social Networking Strategies, and other great ISTE books. "Why now?" you say, "when I have my hands filled with conference materials, my laptop, my lunch..."

Here's why: If you visit ISTE Central (and it's located near the entrance), you can take advantage of the show special and if you buy 4 books, they give you the 5th one free and will ship all of them to you at no cost!

If you're not at the conference, you might be wondering what it's all about. Well, not only is ISTE one of the top publishers of educational technology books in the world, they are the premier professional organization for educators world-wide. Visit their website and find out about professional development opportunities, forums, advocacy groups, and more.

The annual conference, formerly call NECC, has been going on for over 30 years, drawing teachers, administrators, and tech professionals together in a different major city in the U.S. This year it's in San Diego. There are hundreds of sessions, workshops, panels, gatherings, demos; 500 vendor exhibits including agencies and organizations in the educational technology field. 400 informal and interactive learning activities and sessions focus on the bleeding edge of what's new and what's emerging to help teachers and administrators keep in touch with how their classrooms and schools can improve learning and teaching by integrating technology.

Visit the conference website for more information. And if you're there now, don't miss out on ISTE Central where you can see all the latest ISTE books, including mine, and meet some of the authors and staff in person!

If you're not there, you can pick up a copy of the book any time by visiting their website store.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Free STEM Online

Keeping up with STEM at no Cost

I was blown away the other day when someone from an organization called Online Universities got in touch to say they'd been following my blog and that they had connections with all kinds of free online S.T.E.M. resources, professional development and advanced courseware. No kidding! My follower gave me a link to a blog that lists all kinds of great resources including classes, lecture series, videos, forums, and an array of instructional opportunities to study or simply keep up in the so-called STEM fields. It seems the acronym has really caught on and is being used as a marketing tool. But that's not necessarily a bad thing. It's a way to say in one syllable what could take several paragraphs otherwise, right? It's a way to provide an umbrella for content in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics...all the left-brainers under one roof, so to speak.

The blog post is titled, "50 Best Sources of Free STEM Education Online." The post provides links to programs such as MIT Open Courseware, Carnegie Mellon Open Learning Channel, iTunesU, Muppet Labs, Discovery Channel...all great stuff, even help with math. There was a time one would have to spend weeks gathering all this information. Technology has freed up our time for more creative endeavors. Making best use of technology-based resources like these and others provides us with so much more than the task at hand. It changes our world and how we interface with it....changes how we learn, how we communicate, and the depth and breadth of what we can ingest and digest. In many ways, it's how effectively one uses the tools. Learning where to find the information is one of the key steps to effective use of digital tools.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Curiosity Inspired the Kid

Jay Matheson

What Inspires a Students' Passion?

...the journey to find out.

Passionate teachers and role models grab children's attention, engage their interest. There are so many stimulations competing for a child's interest and attention these days. It's a wonder they can focus on or become engaged authentically in anything.

A colleague inspired me to write the book, Connecting Students to STEM Careers. We worked together on a project of his invention to help rural students gain awareness of potential career fields through meeting and talking with role models, mentors, and other professionals, from a distance, by using the new digital tools.

As an online facilitator and teacher trainer for this federally-funded project, I became aware of the issue of isolation, not only isolation in the classroom, but isolation from the world as a rural student. I also became aware that it's not necessary for these students to be cut off from the world any longer because of the wealth of distance learning tools and programs, because of all the generous professionals willing to share their time with classroom students.

Jay built a successful career awareness program around the belief that " have a natural curiosity about people," he says. "I don't know if kids are really very curious about jobs, but they are curious about adults and what adults do, so we're tyring to play on that. The content might have been science or math related, but then to spend some time allowing kids to do that natural kind of chatter with the presenter....There's a natural curiosity that young people have...because in their minds they're going to be doing some of those things. You never know when you're going to come across an interest in a child."

He is one of those special educators who has, over the years, come to understand the workings of the brain of a child. He is one of those special educators who get it and apply it with amazing innovation and care. Recently, Jay started a blog telling his story as a 40-some year educator, from his days as a student teacher to his time as an administrator at one of Oregon's Education Service Districts.

Check out the beginnings of the story. I can already tell it's one I'll follow with interest:
one educator's memoir........ 

You can also learn more about the Extending Career Options for Rural Students project in the book.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Funding STEM Programs and Projects

Fundraising and Grantwriting Tips

So many good ideas, so little money. In the last decade, there has been an overwhelming surge of innovation for education. Fueled by technological advances, by the invention of new and improved digital tools at extraordinary speed, we are inspired. Perhaps I should say the kids are inspired and educators have grabbed onto the tail of the comet. And rightly so. Snooze and lose. We can organize the chaos for good, connect students to all kinds of people, all kinds of opportunities that once would have been way beyond the grasp of a classroom student, Anywhere, USA.

Here's the rub: it costs so much just to have access to the technology, how will we fund the projects and programs the technology will support? Where will the money come from to fuel the innovation? We must be clever and thoughtful fundraisers. Gone are the days one was able to write up a good idea, organize a grant proposal, and wait for the check to arrive.

I've raised millions of dollars for educational projects over the years, through grants, partnerships, and dreaded cold calls. Here are a few tips to help if you're struggling to find ways to fund your STEM project, your STEAM project, or if you're still trying to come up with enough iPads or laptops to go around:

  • Don't try to do it alone....establish working partnerships. Show potential funders how you can make their dollars stretch and support more than one classroom, more than one school. Show them you have learned to cooperate and to share.
  • Do find partners in cyberspace. Check out Classroom 2.0, Teacher 2.0, and the many forums on LinkedIn to find like-minded colleagues and classrooms. Use the tools to build something meaningful together and demonstrate to potential funders that you are a mover and a shaker.
  • Read grant guidelines carefully. Pay attention to details such as deadlines, grant dollar ranges, and areas of interest. Keep calendars of deadlines and NEVER ask for money for equipment if they state in their written material they do not fund equipment. Remember the adage: "What part of 'no' don't you understand?" (My 7th grade English teacher taught us about 'File 13,' where papers go when someone hasn't followed directions.)
  • Before you start fundraising, be sure your program has measurable goals, objectives, and outcomes. Demonstrate that you have a business sense. What will be the return on their investment? How is it measured? How will you collect the data?  Express your goal, and also WHY this goal is critical.
  • If your project is funded once, how will the program fly on its own down the road? After all, you wouldn't ask someone to throw money into a blackhole would you? Or would you?
  • Know your audience. Who will be reading your materials and making decisions? Get inside their heads if you can. Peruse their websites and understand their mission. Don't invite the president of a company to your science fair on the day of their company's annual marathon.
  • Keep your funders and your community informed about your programs and your progress. Promote, promote, promote. Share the good news, share the struggles, engage the community. Make them want you and your project to succeed. Use social media, and use it wisely. Model cyber citizenship for your students. Get students to help.
  • Don't be afraid to make a call to local industry presidents, board members, and other decision-makers to solicit their help. Listen to public radio make their bids for membership donations and from them, get tips on sales strategies. In their relentless bids for community support they focus on the benefits of public radio. What are the benefits of well-educated kids who are prepared to participate in the world ahead, prepared and inspired to attend college, to innovate and invent?
  • If you believe, potential funders and potential partners will believe.
  • By the way, there are avenues of support other than money: time, materials, and even moral support will get you to your goal.
There are many grants databases for schools.  Once upon a time, the only place to find foundations was through the Foundation Center (which is still a great resource), but now there are a plethora of specialized references online.  One example of a site I like is Grant Wrangler, check it out, they feature grants and awards by grade level, subject area, and deadlines. Very cool.

In the book, Connecting Students to S.T.E.M. Careers, Social Networking Strategies, you'll find more of these resources in Chapter 6.

If you are seeking help with your funding strategies, contact me at Schoolhouse Communications.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Making the Connection to Digital Learning

The Perils of Outdated Classrooms

At one time, classrooms were isolated and separated from the world—students listening to teachers, taking notes, hoping to remember tidbits to regurgitate later on exams and pop-quizzes. Their will to succeed, or perhaps their fear, kept them awake, not their engagement in the learning activity. Educators who cling to the old ways do so at the peril of the students they teach.

We are, like a speeding bullet or train, heading into a digital world that is no longer simply "emerging," it is blooming every day: new tools, new sites, new social media strategies. It's easy to say, "I don't have time for that," or, "I don't want my kids lurking around the Internet, it's too dangerous." While both of those statements are true in some way, K-12 teachers who ignore the world in which their students live, leave them to fend for themselves.

Yes, it's important to connect students to S.T.E.M. career resources and awareness, but it's just as important to train them in the effective use of the digital tools and social media sites that could be utilized in the classroom.

Several years ago I heard Ian Jukes speak at an education conference. His passion filled the room. I thought, "Is this guy on something?" I later decided that he is one of those rare people who are doing what they are meant to do, and doing it with gusto. He is a champion for 21st century learning, so to speak. To this end he is a prolific speaker and blogger and author. I recommend his blog: The Commited Sardine. You can commit too by visiting the blog and subscribing.

Do you know about flipped classrooms? Would you like to learn more about global classrooms, gaming for learning, and learning with handhelds? If you want to spend a little time catching up, understanding digital kids, subscribe to his blog. No, I'm not working for the guy, I never met him. I beleive he is someone who can help anyone who wants to get onboard the train and help guide the kids who are using digital tools to play, to use those tools to learn. The peril is in becoming irrelevant.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Adapting to New Tools in the Classroom

Since changes are going on anyway, the great thing is to learn enough about them so that we will be able to lay hold of them and turn them in the direction of our desires. Conditions and events are neither to be fled from nor passively acquiesced in; they are to be utilized and directed.
-John Dewey

There are universal roadblocks to adopting and adapting to new tools and new strategies for teaching and learning: access, training, time, money, and resistance. If we don't accept the challenge, the consequences of leaving kids behind in a world that's rapidly changing and evolving are critical.

We are sliding into the digital age faster than the proverbial speeding bullet. We who were born and raised in a different environment may never catch up. What we can do is listen to and learn from the young people who were born into a technology-rich world, who have had radically different experiences. It is our challenge to guide these kids, our students, with our own unique knowledge and experiences. We have the wisdom of the past to share with the world citizens of the future.

Education will look different in ten years, so will the marketplace into which they will go. Building relationships with professionals who work in S.T.E.M. fields will help prepare students by broadening their view of the possibilities, by seeding the fertile soil of their passions and their imaginations. The emerging digital tools have the power to connect K-12 students to people, to ideas, and dialogue that informs them about the world.

The key to success is having an open mind and to be willing to explore the possibilities, often on one's own time. The results will be new relationships between teachers and students...learning and adapting across generations and across cultures.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Social Media in the Classroom

picture by ivanpw
More and more, classroom teachers are making use of social media in the classroom. At first, there was great resistance from teachers, administrators, and IT staff.  Teachers had to take time out of already overtaxed schedules to learn the technology (we can all relate) and then to learn how to use it effectively for instruction. Administrators had to make decisions that could come back to haunt them. Someone might lose their job or their credibility. For IT staff, it meant more work in terms of support and also in terms of the safety of their network where critical data is utilized and stored. Ultimately, they had to open the floodgate (ports on the firewall) and let the "wild rumpus" start. Eventually, as we have observed with the emergence of desktop and instructional technology in the classroom since the mid 1980s, technology as a part of our culture and therefore part of learning cannot be denied. From the time the computer was made available to the individual and the Internet became accessible to all, there was no turning back.

When I first began writing Connecting Students to S.T.E.M. Careers, Social Networking Strategies, one of the top issues barring the integration of social media in the classroom was the blocking of blogs, YouTube, Facebook, and other social media by school district firewalls, by the people making those decisions. But Zeitgeist can't be denied. Everyone was using it at home and businesses had incorporated social networking seemingly overnight, as soon as the hundredth monkey discovered its value as a no-cost marketing and communication tool. Educators in the know wrote articles and presented workshops. "We have to deal with it," said education writer Patrick J. McCloskey in the 2009 Teacher Magazine article. "Locking out the sites and tools of this new world our kids live in will render us irrelevant and useless when our students need us most...many of our students know how to reach a larger audience more quickly than any school district memo could ever hope to...our students need our help to make them understand how powerful that is....We can build the 24/7/365 school if we embrace the technologies our students are already using."

This sentiment and thousands like it flooded the education media highway and before you could say Jack Sprat could eat no fat, kids were bringing their cell phones, lap tops and iPads into the classroom. One report in early 2011 listed, for the month of February, 550,000,000 Facebook users; 95,800,000 had joined Twitter, and over 42 million people were using Nings such as Classroom 2.0 and Flat Classroom. The vanguard now has instant data.

Today it's safe to say that we've wandered far enough into the woods that there's no going back. Perhaps it's time to review why use social media in the classroom. Here are a few suggestions related to the Career book:
  • learn about careers in fields like environmental science from the professionals in those fields 
  • ...prepare for the future workplace
  • be proficient in digital technology skills including teamwork/collaboration
  • learn how to use the tools effectively, safely and legally
  • be able to evaluate and share content
  • learn what's real and what's a scam
  • discover how many ways science, technology and art are a part of the way we live and work
  • motivate students by allowing them to engage in and direct their learning based on personal passions
  • help students discover they, too, can achieve anything
  • tap students' imaginations about their futures and their personal potential
  • provide them with an up-close look at the world without having to leave the classroom
  • allow space for young people to begin to imagine a future outside the realm of their own experiences
We have always known that people learn better in context. With careful guidance by teachers and parents, young people can harness what they do for fun on the Internet to build a community of professional partners in the classroom.

Please join the blog and share how your students are using social media in the classroom.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Career and Job Predictions

Kids in classrooms are using technology to explore career options. It would seem they can't really go wrong by pursuing careers in any one of the S.T.E.M. fields. If they aren't so inclined, if they have a passion for the arts, I believe it's important to follow your bliss as Joseph Campbell pointed out. Happiness is an element of success often left out of the equation by well-meaning educational policy-makers and parents who worry about the security of their childrens' futures.

And what is it that we know about the future in terms of the job market right now? I read an interesting article on the Internet yesterday published by Monster dot com. It was actually two articles, one listed jobs that died in 2011 and the other the "The Best Careers for Right Now." Both lists were somewhat predictable: Real estate agents might hang up their hats; if you deliver the mail, find a new day job; if you stand behind the counter in a video store you might not have seen a customer for a while; newspaper reporters can keep on writing, just not at their old desk at the newspaper office. Fifty percent of the secure jobs for the future as predicted in this article, posted on Comcast, are in the S.T.E.M. fields, particularly in the area of health care and information technology.

While encouraging young people to keep their compass on their passions and their dreams, let's include in that directive the importance of watching the world as it evolves, and also keeping an eye on the rear-view mirror. By understanding the past, and staying awake in the present, we might be ready for the future.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

A Savvy Blogger

With so many bloggers and social mediaites sharing information, ideas, opinions, and resources about technology integration in the classroom, it's difficult and time-consuming to separate the wheat from the chaff. One of the best educational technology blogs, and I list this one in my book, is written by Tim Wilson: The Savvy Technologist. Once a classroom teacher, he now works as a chief technology officer in a public school in Minnesota. He uses his blog to chat about technology integration from his perspective as a classroom teacher. His blog posts are engaging and straight-forward. He began sharing his ideas and opinions focusing on blogs and wikis several years ago. His musings and his unique philosophical style now cover a range of emerging digital communication tools. This is a blog that offers value for both novices and experts. If you're a beginner wondering how to get started with social media, I recommend The Savvy Technologist. If you're an expert with years of experience, here is a peer whose thoughts and suggestions are worth the time it takes to read what someone else has taken the time to share.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

What is Career Awareness?

Some may wonder what is "Career Awareness." With the competitive world today's students face upon graduation, it's important they are aware of the many possibilities for jobs and career paths in all kinds of fields.

Once they become aware of their passions such as the environment, medicine, scientific research, and how the arts might be connected to these interests, they need to be introduced to the options and possibilities and how these relate to their studies now. They need to be challenged long before they get to college or enter the workplace.

In the book, Connecting Students to S.T.E.M. Careers, I propose that, "Students who were once isolated within the four walls of the classroom can now use interactive digital media and distance learning tools to interview professionals and learn from role models through firsthand experiences. As students develop relationships...goal setting becomes more authentic....They begin to understand the education and training needed to fulfill their dreams." They begin to develop a clearer understanding of why they are doing what they are asked to do in the classroom.

One of my own mentors, Jay Matheson, who provided inspiration for the book through his Oregon-based project, Extending Career Options for Rural Students, says, "There's a natural curiosity that young people have--because in their minds they're going to be doing some of those things. You never know when you're going to come across an interest in a child."

There is an extensive list of STEM-related career degree programs available at this government site: STEM-designated careers. The light may go on for one movitvated student by browsing this list.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


Together we do it Better

I owe a debt to all the smart people who talked to me about STEM career awareness and allowed me to quote them in my book, Connecting Students to STEM Careers. Without these partners, the book wouldn't be so smart or so informative.

That's true for all partnerships, and helps make the point of why we should partner classrooms with people in our global community. Students need role models, people to emulate. Let's not put it all on the shoulders of individual teachers. Easy to blame one teacher, but really? 

One partner who contributed to my book is Kathy Schrock. She is well-known for sharing what she has learned about educational technology with teachers everywhere. She isn't in it for the money, clearly, she just seems to like to help teachers. Here is her website where teachers, parents, students, anyone, can find great resources for teaching and learning: Kathy Schrock.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Science Resources for Kids

Regional Science Centers can be found all over the world, but the days of school bus driven field trips for school children are all but over. Fortunately for today's students, digital technology is the magic carpet on which to ride in order to visit places like the Center for Radiophysics and Space Research at Cornell University's Department of Astronomy, or the Hubble Space Telescope Science Institute; the Regional Science Center at Moorhead at Minnesota State University, or the Science and Discovery Center in Central New York, or the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, or any one of the Science Learning Centres located in the United Kingdom, to name but a handful of the many regional science centers welcoming and inspiring students through virtual doors every day from all over the world.

No parent permission slips or brown-bag lunches are required. Parents don't have to chew their fingernails all day long and keep an ear to the news in fear of a deadly bus crash, knowing that the school buses on which their children ride have no seat belts. They'll be home before dark. They'll be home at the usual time, even if they've been to Tucson, Arizona or Washington , DC.

The ticket to ride on these virtual field trips is bandwidth, teacher innovation, and administrative support. Science centers are one example of the kind of community partnerships upon which today's students thrive and tomorrow's workforce relies.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Digital Tools in the Classroom

My publisher, the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), is also a professional membership organization (with members all over the world, I might add), and they do more than just publish books. They support educators in their quest to stay abreast of emerging desktop technologies, and this is no small job. At this point, digital tools are emerging like ants at a candy store picnic.

ISTE has developed technology integration standards for teachers, administrators, and students. Under the National Educational Technology Standards for Students (NET*S), K-12 students are encouraged to use the same tools they use to communicate with their friends outside of school to "...construct knowledge to generate new use digital media to work collaboratively [to] develop cultural understanding and global awareness."

By following some of the ideas in the book, Connecting Students to STEM Careers, Social Networking Strategies, students will not only broaden their awareness of trends and opportunities in these fields, they will, in the process, expand their proficiency in the use of technology for professional purposes. They will gain:
  • Research and Information Fluency
  • [Skills related to] Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making
  • Digital Citizenship [by learning about safe, legal, and responsible use of information and technology]
  • [...a sound understanding of] Technology Operations and Concepts
To learn more about the ISTE NET*S, about how to become an ISTE member, to learn about their annual conference, or how to purchase the STEM book, visit the ISTE website:

Members have access to a worldwide community of their peers on the ISTE site through blogging, Nings, and other social and digital media tools. If you're a teacher or a parent, I suggest it's important to stay ahead of the digital curve.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Connecting with the Natural World

Technology can help connect students to people in the outside world, people they would probably not meet otherwise because of the isolated nature of classrooms; because it costs too much to bring guest speakers in, or to take students on outings. Digital technology is a wonderful tool for learning and teaching. But we shouldn't let technology obliterate our humanness.

The winter solstice has just been upon us. We are in the so-called dead of winter. Days are short and nights are long. In many areas of the world it's cold outside, and while kids are out of school for winter vacation, are they stepping away from the computer and the television? I wonder. I hope so.

I'm old enough to remember a childhood when no matter how cold or how dark, we'd take one more run on the sled or the skis by the moonlight or the lamplight until the sound of our mothers calling us to come home could no longer be ignored. There is something so important about connecting with the natural world that no matter how many S.T.E.M. professionals students meet online, those connections aren't enough to inspire a child, to provide them with authentic experiences of life on this planet.

I hope school children will spend these vacation days mucking in the snow, digging in the dirt, building forts in trees.  I hope they will feel icy wind on their cheeks and the welcome warmth of winter's sun on a frigid afternoon when they're simply having too much fun to notice that their toes are freezing inside their boots.

Not that long ago we learned about the sun and the moon and the earth because it was our immediate environment. We lived on the earth, rather than watching it on a television screen. I recently watched an amazing documentary about Chaco Canyon in New Mexico. In 2900 BC settlers in the canyon were what we might call astronomers and archaeologists. They built great temples in alignment with the sun without the help of computers or sophisticated measuring tools. They lived their lives in alignment with celestial events, including the Winter Solstice.

While children at all grade levels should be aware of career opportunities in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, they should also be able to answer the question: "What is my relationship to the sun?" They should be able to answer the question from personal experiences of exploring their world away from the computer.

Back in the classroom, at the end of winter break, the magic and wonder of digital technologies will provide enrichment opportunities like The Exploratorium, a dynamic place for kids to explore the ocean floor and outer space and all the in-between. Webcasts hosted by scientists provide first-hand experiences in places like Chaco Canyon. Earlier this evening I watched a webcast of the Winter Solstice that had originally been streamed live from one of the ancient canyon temples, an amazing indoor exploration of the outdoor world.

If you have young children at home, take them for a walk in the dark and talk to them about the waxing moon and about the solstice. If they get a chance later on to interact with an astronomer online, they will have first-hand knowledge and their excitement will be all the greater.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Curiosity Leads to Passion

Are you a parent, teacher, or adult community member? If your answer to any of these is yes, odds are you are an unwitting role-model. Kids are curious about adults. Child's play is centered around imitating what they see adults do in their day-to-day lives.

Youngsters aren't so much interested in "careers" as they are in the adults who function in various roles. They are naturally curious, says Jay Matheson, Coordinator of Technology and Media Services at one of twenty regional education service districts in Oregon. Jay's project, Extending Career Options for Rural Students was the inspiration for Connecting Students to STEM Careers . "I don't know if kids are really curious about jobs, but they are curious about adults and about what adults do. You never know when you're going to come across an interest in a child."

Young people in classrooms around the world are also interested in each other, in cultures and social environments different than their own, or located in a different town, state, or country. With the advent of social media, we as world citizens are becoming more and more connected. The concept of a melting pot has taken a virtual twist. Students can build relationships with peers in classrooms on the other side of the world. They are connecting with scientists, educators, doctors, authors....It's about developing relationships, satisfying curiosity, and stumbling upon a passion that might change the course of someone's life.

There is a classroom partnership program called ePals that provides a platform for students to collaborate from classroom to classroom, from country to country. A Global Learning Community, ePals serves millions of students in approximately 200 countries, supporting student-to-student distance collaborations through the use of blogs and wikis, podcasts and videocasts. Partnerships are also established in simple formats such as emails, supported by translation services, file-sharing and virus protection.

Through online programs like ePals, kids  learn how to develop relationships and satisfy basic curiosities about life in the outside world. With the guidance of parents and teachers, these relationships can help inform them about the world, about the importance of what they are doing in the classroom.

If you are aware of similar applications for K-12 students, please feel free to share.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Is S.T.E.M. Picking up S.T.E.A.M.?

Most of us would agree that the arts help us develop a greater appreciation and understanding of the world around us. It could also be said that it's science, technology, engineering, and mathematics that helps us interpret our world.

Lately there's been a lot of talk about the need to add arts into the S.T.E.M. equation. In other words, STEM<STEAM.

In a December 7 article in Education Week, Erik Robelen provides a balanced overview about the momentum gathering behind an organized movement to demonstrate the connection and combine arts with STEM initiatives.

There are big guns behind the movement. NSF is providing grants and sponsoring conferences. They recently helped launch a project called The Art of Science Learning, a formalized exploration of how the arts can strengthen STEM skills, "...and spark creativity in the 21st-Century American workforce."

In my book, Connecting Students to STEM Careers, I talk with Dr. Patricia Galloway, a renowned civil engineer and past Vice-Chair of the National Science Board. It was her love of art that first made the connection for her with her field in engineering. Listening to a presentation by a civil engineer professor as a young woman, she quickly made the connection and found the intersection between her art and a career as a civil engineer.

There are many different ways that right brain and left brain perceptions and creations intersect. Art helps young students understand abstract concepts and encourages us to think outside the box, as all great inventors and innovators have done.

Robelen concludes that the jury is still out on the research. And some say, can't we enjoy art for art's sake? Not all aesthetics are engineers. True. But most engineers rely on their creative powers; technologists are problem-solvers who rely on their ability to look at the world in many ways.  Robelen talked with a biology professor who once served on the National Research Council's Board on Science Education. She is not on the bandwagon all together. She agrees there are ways the arts and STEM work together, but, she says, "...they are very different ways of knowing the world." That, in my opinion, is possibly WHY they should go together.

I am STEAMed up. As a matter of fact, it's possible that many of today's students will find their way into technology careers through their creative endeavors in the classroom with video and other digital tools, through the use of social media to explore the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Professional Development Online

 In my last post I said that "...teachers in the know..." can help children of all ages connect to career awareness resources using the wealth of digital tools now available. It's that " the know" part that's tricky. How can busy classroom teachers keep up with a digital world that changes and expands every day? And it is important to keep up. We can't guide child safely through shark-infested waters if we don't know how to swim.

It's also critical for school distircts to support teachers by providing and supporting ongoing and embedded professional development. When I say embedded, I mean that it's part of the culture of the work environment and the teaching and learning environment of the school. That doesn't mean that teachers have to be gone all the time attending workshops.

There are numerous resources, good resources, available online to supplement face-to-face teacher training. One of my favorites are programs offerred by PBS: PBS TeacherLine and PBS LearningMedia. Teacher Line courses are credit-bearing college level courses covering a range of teacher education modules from teaching math to STEM education in the classroom. (Note: There are two new classes starting on PBS Teacher Line on January 25 and again on February 29, 2012.)

PBS LearningMedia is a brand-new resource for teachers offering classrom-ready curriculum content in digital media format.Their collection already includes over 16,000 digital resources in the arts and in science, for example, and professional development. The site offers a content management system, teacher and classroom accounts, student access, and the content is standards-aligned. It's all online and educators have access at their convenience.

PBS updated and expanded TeacherLine in 2009, and several of the online courses now focus on strategies and techniques for incorporating digital tools into instruction. There are close to 200 graduate-level courses, and several are designed to guide teachers in Web 2.0 collaboration skills, digital literacy skills, digital citizenship, and use of Web 2.0 tools such as blogs, wikis, and social media networking sites.

Part of being a teacher in the know is knowing where to access resources to keep updated in order to swim along with the kids. And don't be afraid to let your students be your teachers too.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Grade Levels for S.T.E.M. Career Awareness

Last night I was at a book fair with the STEM careers book and got a chance to talk to people face-to-face about the concept of career awareness for kids. Some were educators, some parents, even a few home schoolers. Most wanted to know what was a good age to start career exploration. A few commented that it was for high school students. Au contraire, career exploration could, and should, begin in the elementary grades. It makes sense that from the very beginning, kids have an underlying understanding of why they are in school, that they have a future, that the world is larger and more complex than they can imagine. Most importantly, that they can do whatever they want. They can follow their dreams and they will succeed. But dreams need a context, or a framework. If the dream is to save animals, how does that parlay into a career and a job that will support them and make them happy?

The elementary students in the picture are talking to astronauts at NASA. They are having an interactive conversation with an adult they would never have otherwise met if it weren't for the videoconference equipment in their school. Kids are curious about the lives of adults and they ask questions about how did they get to be astronauts. This experience will stick with them for a long time and certain classes may have more meaning as they work their way through school. They will remember the astronaut who told them that he or she had to study math, science, engineering, and technology on their way to becoming as astronaut.

It is especially life-changing for a young girl to encounter a female scientist or engineer. She learns that girls can do all kinds of things in life, anything that boys can do, anything they want to do.

By the time students are in middle school they are beginning to form real interests that can be nutured by role models and mentors. There are many many professional organizations that now have a presence on the Internet and most offer programs online for K-12 students and teachers. A link or RSS feed from a relevant site could provide dynamic information feeds for classrooms. NASA is a good example, but in just about any area of interest, from science to the arts, there are professional organizations with websites and Facebook pages, Nings and blogs that are informative and safe.

Technology in the classroom can be used effectively by teachers in the know to broaden the world for students of all ages. When they interact with researchers, field-workers, and all kinds of professionals doing work that young people are interested in, learning takes on a new dimension. If the student whose dream it is to save endangered species has opportunities to interact with scientists at the Audubon Society, to see what they do, learn what their job is called, they are at once engaged in life and in learning.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Oregon Authors Book Fair

I'll be at the Willamette Writers Annual Author's Book Fair in Portland, Oregon, on Tuesday night, December 6. The event is free and there will be an array of novelists and non-fiction writers on-hand to talk to readers and to provide information about their books.

My two books for educators: Connecting Students to S.T.E.M. Careers and Videoconferencing for K-12 Classrooms will be offered at a 30% discount (regular I.S.T.E. member price).

Where: The Old Church, corner of 11th & Clay, downtown Portland, Oregon

When: Tuesday, December 6, 7:00 p.m.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Most Popular I.S.T.E. Book!

The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), publisher of my book, announced yesterday that the S.T.E.M. book is flying off the shelf. In an email sent to all of their members, they said, "We know STEM is a hot topic, and in November we saw that first-hand as Connecting Students to S.T.E.M. Careers flew off our shelves!"

As part of Computer Science Education Week, today through December 9, they are offering 10% off the price of this book, and two of their other best-sellers: Getting Started with LEGO Robotics and The Computer Lab Teacher's Survival Guide.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Videoconferencing with S.T.E.M. Professionals

One of the best ways for kids to have a face-to-face experience with professionals in S.T.E.M. fields is through a live, interactive videoconference. Many schools now have room-size equipment and connectivity. The biggest challenge for teachers is finding content and access to people who are willing to participate.

CILC, or the Center for Interactive Learning and Collaboration, is an online, non-profit agency that provides a directory of videoconference content providers from all over the world. These providers are professionals in their fields who have been trained in the art of interactive videoconferencing with K-12 classrooms. There are providers for professional development for teachers and workshops and classes for students at all grade levels.

The CILC organization is offering an extensive S.T.E.M. planning, training, and coaching package for school districts. Most importantly, they offer access to affordable workshops and classes for classroom students. They can, through the magic of videoconferencing, interact with astronauts, surgeons, and scientists in a range of fields, in all kinds of engaging situations. And frankly, students are usually more interested in asking questions about the presenter's did they get to be an astronaut? How do they use the bathroom in space? Once they've had this interaction, the idea of being an astronaut or a doctor or a research scientist is real, not just a figment of someone's imagination.

Are you a classroom teacher introducing a unit on nanotechnology or robotics? It's likely that the CILC directory will offer a workshop or entire curriculum package in that area you could use as an introduction to the curriculum or as a culmination program.

Videoconferencing is one way to use digital technologies to bring S.T.E.M. professionals into the classroom. It's live and interactive and the impact on students is an authentic and memorable experience.

The picture above shows an interactive workshop taking place with a science teacher at the Columbia Gorge Museum, located on the Columbia River in Oregon.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Thousands and Thousands of S.T.E.M. Careers

What's all the fuss about career awareness in science and technology? Did you know that if you start poking around in one area of science, for example, you will find that in that one field alone there are hundreds of career possibilities, and thousands more jobs within those career paths? How are kids who are preparing for lives in a world that becomes more and more competitive supposed to know about these possibilities and opportunities?

In Chapter 7 of Connecting Students to S.T.E.M. Careers I provide sample resources and links to professional science organizations and learning centers. One of those is the National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center (USGS). It's mind boggling how much inspirational and eye-opening information is on their website. One afternoon on that site and a child's perspective might be changed forever. Certainly they will have opened a door to a world. Remember the closet in Narnia?

Who and what is the USGS? They're an independent fact-finding agency that functions as part of the Department of the Interior, specifically the U.S. Geological Survey. They collect, monitor, analyze, and share information about natural resource conditions, issues, problems...such as climate change. If a student is interested in this field, this website will provide them with a closer look at the work that's being done. There are even opportunities to interact with scientists. One of the USGS missions is to partner with the academic community, including K-12. They have numerous programs for K-12 classrooms including social media connectivity. Classrooms and individual students can follow them on Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, and Flickr. They can listen to podcasts on critical issues in biology, geography, geology, water, you name it. If you "like" their Facebook page, you will get regular briefs and announcements,  be able to interact with the scientists, ask questions, make comments.

Other resources they provide for K-12 classrooms include: videos, online lectures, maps, images, and curriculum content, including resources for undergraduate university classrooms. There are so many ideas, and topics to explore on this site, just one visit to the site will broaden a child's understanding of possibilities, of what's out there in the world.

By using social media to learn and interact, students can also learn the rules of the road, how to use the social media tools safely and effectively.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Finding Classroom Partners

In the book, Connecting Students to S.T.E.M. Careers, I stress the importance of laying the groundwork for community and global partnerships to help prepare students for future careers. Mostly kids don't even know these careers exist; what it is they're working toward? They learn in isolation.

To compound the problem, K-12 teachers are strapped to standardized instruction. What time do they have to run around setting up partnerships with S.T.E.M professionals? Where do they find these people? How can they get them to the classroom to talk to students about their careers? This is a huge issue.

One of the many resources and links I share in the book solves this problem in a big way. The Open Source Teaching Project helps students make connections to real-life scientists and engineers, to people working in all kinds of careers and all kinds of jobs. They make use of digital tools to post interviews, conducted by college students, with experts in a variety of fields who share their passions and the realities of their day-to-day lives. They talk about what students can do now to prepare for jobs of the future. The face-to-face interviews, all posted on the website, are free.

Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics professionals answer questions like: How did you become interested in this field? What kinds of tools do you use to carry out your work? What advice do you have for K-12 students who are interested in your subject area? What do you most enjoy about your job?

Each interview is about 30 minutes long and takes place at the interviewee's place of business. There are hundreds of interviews on-hand and one of the best parts of the program is that it includes guidelines for teachers on how to integrate these conversations into the curriculum.

The project benefits both college students and K-12 students. The college students who are conducting the interviews get a first-hand look and a deeper understanding of their field of interest. K-12 students have access to scholars and professionals; they have an opportunity to see the real-world relevance of what they are doing in school.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Connecting Girls to S.T.E.M. Careers

In the process of writing the book, Connecting Students to S.T.E.M. Careers, I interviewed several professionals in the S.T.E.M. fields, professional educators, and a graduate student conducting research at Columbia University. One of my favorites of these conversations was with Dr. Patricia Galloway. The first woman President of the American Society of Civil Engineers, at the time I spoke with her she was the Vice Chair of the National Science Board. We talked about why girls are not interested in becoming engineers. “The women who influence what career paths girls might follow,” she said, “do not understand what a career in engineering looks like or believe that it’s a likely career path for girls.”

But that may be changing, thanks to the Girls RISE Museum Network (RISEnet). They are working with a network of regional science centers to strengthen the professional capacity of informal science educators to engage and motivate girls to explore and pursue science and engineering careers. They are building a national network of science museums to contribute to the development of a diverse pool of young female engineers.

Girls RISEnet organizes around a train-the-trainer model, and regional science centers such as the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI), located in Portland and serving Oregon, Washington and Alaska, host regional workshops for classroom teachers in grades 6-12 and other leaders of programs for girls and underserved minorities. The program includes travel grants to ensure that everyone who wants to participate from throughout the vast, rural region is able to attend.

The Girls RISE website features resources and research on engaging girls in S.T.E.M. careers. They even offer a network of engineering mentors, professionals who have already committed to sharing their expertise with schools. The mentor database can be cross referenced by location and discipline.

I believe it’s true that just one interested and caring role model can be the first step to inspiring a young girl to reach for the moon. Dr. Galloway’s advice to girls is to never let anyone convince them that their dreams can’t come true.

Website of the week:  Engineer Girl

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Author Interview- I.S.T.E.cast

I.S.T.E., the pubisher of Connecting Students to S.T.E.M. Careers, Social Networking Strategies, presents regular live interviews with their authors via podcasts. These can be accessed any time on the I.S.T.E. website.

Listen to me in conversation with I.S.T.E. staff as we talk about job shadowing, teacher certification in S.T.E.M. education, and other topics related to providing insights for K-12 students about career opportunities in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

Questions were posted by interested educators prior to the interview on the I.S.T.E. Connects blog. These podcast interviews are a regular feature on the I.S.T.E. website, providing followers with a deeper insight into the thoughts and personalities of I.S.T.E. authors.

Find my interview here:

Monday, November 14, 2011

Global Education and other favorite blog sites

As I begin to develop my new education blog about connecting students to career information and options in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), I realize there's so much to share, so little time...

From time to time I'll share some of my favorite blogs,  and on the day I post a new link in the sidebar here, I'll share in a post a little about the blog and why I like that one over all the others. Not that I've read all the others, because who can keep up? Networking in this way might help some of us slog our way through it all.

The first blog site I'd like to pass along is Dr. Laurence Peters' "Global Education." I happen to believe that global awareness is an important element of career awareness for K-12 students. I believe most scientists, for example, would agree that research and development is in fact not so much of a race as it once was. In order to deal with the world's problems--communicable and degenerative diseases, global warming and the array of environmental issues that threaten our health and safety,  the energy crisis--STEM professionals around the world  have to work together. We can no longer isolate our classrooms from cultural differences, engage students in superficial examinations of histories and cultures of people with whom they will one day need to collaborate.

Dr. Peters was born in the UK and has lived and worked in the U.S. throughout his adult life. His enthusiasm for Global Education in  K-12 classrooms culminated in a book published by I.S.T.E., Global Education,  and on his blog: Global Education.

I like this blog because it's filled with well-written briefs on a wide range of global issues of which students and teachers should be aware and might incorporate into a cross-curricular global education strategy.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

What is the new Digital Divide?

The Digital Divide, not so long ago, represented the dichotomy between the haves and the have-nots: who had ownership and/or access to computer technologies and who did not. The divide was generally economic. Those who could afford computers, had them in the home. School districts whose budgets allotted for technology, had it.

This divide still exists to some degree, though most schools and most homes have some sort of connectivity and some sort of device....Today's Digital Divide is not only about access for students, it's also about teacher skills and training. As educators, our charge is to prepare students to make use of emerging digital technologies in meaningful and in safe ways. Educators have opportunities to join their students in cyberspace and help them use the tools effectively to prepare for their futures. Students whose teachers lack training in the effective use of digital technologies and in the requirements of those technologies for the workplace of the future are today's "have nots."

Teachers need training and support. They need access to resources. NASA's Endeavor program offers teachers fellowships through their Science Teaching Certificate Project. Highly competitive, about 50 teachers across the country are currently involved. The program is administered by the U.S. Satellite Laboratory, Inc. and provides graduate credit courses through regional higher ed partners and participation in the NASA Endeavor Certificate in S.T.E.M. Education from the Teachers College at Columbia University.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

About the publisher

I'd like to make my first post about my publisher, the International Society for Technology in Education (I.S.T.E.). The flagship professional organization for technology in the classroom for over 30 years, they have helped revolutionize education around the world. With 20,000 members, they provide a myriad of services including the publication of hundreds of titles of books for educators, journals, and website applications. They have a global impact with educators and education leaders who are engaged in improving learning and teaching by advancing the effective use of technology in PK-12 and teacher education at the university level.

ISTE represent more than 100,000 education leaders throughout the world and their membership also includes affiliate organizations and corporations.

They provide forums where educators connect with peers to share ideas and emerging trends in digital technology and instructional strategies.

ISTE and their partners and members created the National Education Technology Standards, NETS, providing roadmaps and proficiency measurement goals for students, teachers, and administrators.

ISTE sponsors and presents an annual conference and exposition. The conference, once known as NECC, the National Education Computing Conference, is now simply the ISTE conference. ISTE 2012 will be held in San Diego. People attend from all over the world: teachers, technology coordinators, administrators, library media specialists, teacher educators, and policy makers.

The foundation of their mission, according to their most recent annual report, is to "share a common passion: a desire to see very student realize his or her potential through a vibrant and innovative learning experience."

The book, "Connecting Students to S.T.E.M. Careers, Social Networking Strategies," is available through their online bookstore and other book retail outlets such as