Mobile Devices, and Learning, a Cure for the Digital Divide?

I was first intrigued with mobile learning on a flight to Aukland, New Zealand. The small child across the aisle from me, clutched his device for every waking hour of the flight. I could not see what was on the device, I know it was an Apple IPhone. I was too polite to ask what it was that he was using on the phone… In countless planes, trains and even in an automobile, the problem of boredom seemed to be reduced. The mobile device seems to have solved those types of problems. To think of the power of Mobile look at this infographic . It is a good digital display of what is happening.

Some information on the trends  about mobile devices. And here is an infographic on the state of digital education. You won’t believe your eyes.

The Horizon Report and other futuring reports include the use of mobile devices.

It won't replace you, it will enhance the learning environment!

Mobile Devices

At a visit to the National Geographic I had to pay attention to the device that was questioning me about my geographic knowledge. The device was counting answers and giving instantaneous feedback.

But are what mobile devices are  allowed in schools? Are the powerful intersections of visualization, powerful content and models being kept away from the classroom? STEM resources are mostly available in imagery, visualization , modeling and embedded assessment, online.

In her Mindshift Blog, Tina Barsegihan states:

One of the most exciting things about living in the digital age is witnessing huge cultural changes occur in real time.

We’re at just that point now with mobile learning. Whether it’s on an e-reader, a tablet, or a cell phone, there’s great excitement — though not a lot of research yet — around the potential of how these devices can strengthen learning.

“There are frontiers that we’re just beginning to learn how to reach.”

“What if your mobile device had a sixth sense?” asked Harvard professor Chris Dede, who’s researching the diverse dimensions of mobile learning, at the recent ISTE conference.

When most of us consider education, we think of learning happening in isolated places — schools. But mobile devices are upending that assumption. With innovations like augmented reality, different kinds of information and experiences can be superimposed onto the real world, complementing and adding another dimension to “formal” learning institutions.

Pilot programs are springing up all over the country (more on those soon), as educators and researchers determine what kind of learning can happen best with mobile devices.

“We know from generations of work that devices are catalysts,” Dede said. “The device never produces learning, but when coupled with changes in content, new forms of assessment, linking people together, that’s what enables learning.”

Chis Dede talks about mobile learning : ” Learning a variety of content and skills anytime, anyplace wit a small device light enough to be carried in one hand.” Chis Dede, Timothy E. Wirth Professor in Learning Technologies, Harvard University

Jason Ohler.” Virtual learning and the availability of digital content have changed to offer more methods of student engagement, increased customization of learning objects, open resources, and personalized education..

Imaging the Universe, You can't do that with a book

Learning using visual Imagery

Digital citizenship is impossible until we help students live one life instead two. Right now they live two—a digitally unplugged life at school and digitally deluged life outside school. Having them bring their devices to school is a great first step in creating a reality-based environment for the discussion of digital citizenship. But what do we do about those students who have nothing to bring?posted by Jason Ohler
May 19, 2011

” Learning in the 21st Century, Taking it Mobile“ was a conference I attended about a year ago.. We know that the policy, process and technology infrastructures that are adopted over the next few years will shape education for decades. We also know that the lack of broadband is a problem in many places in the US. We have been talking about 21stCentury adaptations and transformation for many years. It is still a goal. . Many think the devices will change the learning landscape and equalize access.


There is a dark side of the digital divide without broadband. Everyone assumes that people can access high powered sites. The FCC is busy working to create broadband for all but the realization of this will probably be a long time in coming. The sad part of this is the lack of classroom access in some parts of the US. We are told the new E-rate will help to solve this, but it is a BIG problem. Sometimes the people who need access most are out of sight , out of mind.

We had a big discussion on the District of Columbia schools and what the teachers were or were not accomplishing, but no one questioned their lack of technology support in training, in devices, and in content integration. Quietly, the discussions are going on in various school systems, but there is no conclusion as to what really works. 

Teaching online , anywhere anytime, Henry Neeman does outreach to all from Oklahoma

Reaching out to involve students and faculty in Supercomputing

As mobile devices become ubiquitous, students are using then to facilitate learning and enhance productivity in and out of school.  There are roadblocks, but the most difficult to solve is the disconnect of access. After that, there is the concerns about cyberbullying and creating a platform of use that is reflective of the purposes of the task in education.

At the conference we mulled over these questions and they stay with me still.

The Digital Divide is always a question.

What do mobile wireless devices contribute as a platform for bringing education innovation and best practices to scale?

What do mobile wireless devices contribute as an enabler of innovative powerful methods for teaching and learning?

How can we complement the current educational infrastructure( computers, wires) with the emerging wireless mobiles, cloud based infrastructure? What are key challenges in financing, implementation and policy?

How can we plan to accommodate the rapid evolution of mobile devices?

How would you answer these questions?

Moblie Device at Blue Waters Kiosk at NSF Expo ExhibitMobile Devices capture the attention of students. who have never seen or used these devices before. This is outreach for the Teragrid.

Research, 2010 and Our Future, Students Speak Up about Their Vision for 21st Century Learning


The Internet is an astonishing source of educational resources: Lesson plans, classroom-product reviews, and even psychological support for those dark days when your students (or your coworkers) are straining your mental balance are only a Google search away. The trick, however, is getting that pipeline of online information flowing throughout your school, including directly into classroom PCs. Computers are often centralized in a media center, building codes can be prohibitive for setting up a broadband feed, and most schools are short-changed when it comes necessary tech support.

Here is a recipe for wireless access for those on the digital dirt road or for the understanding of those who did not get to attend the conference from the George Lucas Educational Foundation that is a how to.. The project is entitled the Digital Generation.

Welcome to the Digital Generation

What Devices?

There are a lot of devices that can be included in this discussion. The ones I know are,mobile and associated technologies, smart phones, IPod, IPhones, Netbooks, digital clickers, chargers and battery packs ,mobile interactive whiteboards.

Wireless to the Rescue

Taking it Mobile

Access to smartphones has more than tripled among high school students since 2006, according to a survey report from Project Tomorrow®, a national education nonprofit organization, and Blackboard Inc.

The report ,Learning in the 21st Century: Taking it Mobile!shows that students now view the inability to use their own devices in school, such as cell phones, smart phones, MP3 players, laptops or net books, as the primary barrier to a successful digital education. The various reports can be found here.

Can we Change the Digital Divide with Mobile Devices?

The FCC Chairman indicated in his discussions early in the year that Digital Tools may be the solution to the digital divide

Mobile Divide…. What Can we Learn about Making a Difference with Mobile Technology?

Philosophy of the Mobile Divide In the US

Mobile Digital Divide– According to a new study on U.S. consumers and mobile from the Pew Research Center, an unprecedented 60% of adults in the U.S. access go online wirelessly, whether by laptop or cell phone. Two factors are driving this trend, and shaking up any preconceived notions about America’s digital divide.

Finding #1:“Cell phone ownership is higher among African-Americans and Latinos than among whites (87% vs. 80%) and minority cell phone owners take advantage of a much greater range of their phones’ features compared with white mobile phone users. In total, 64% of African-Americans access the internet from a laptop or mobile phone, a seven-point increase from the 57% who did so at a similar point in 2009.”

Finding #2: “Young adults (those ages 18-29) are also avid users of mobile data applications, but older adults are gaining fast. Compared with 2009, cell phone owners ages 30-49 are significantly more likely to use their mobile device to send text messages, access the internet, take pictures, record videos, use email or instant messaging, and play music.”

What’s driving more Blacks and Hispanics, and older adults, to mobile?

According to Pew spokesman Aaron W. Smith, increased mobile web usage is driven by two key factors: age and economics. A younger demo with an annual income of $30,000 or less a year has jumped in usage, and African-Americans and Hispanics are younger and have less money than the general white population.

Mobile is thus bridging the digital gap between the traditional distinction of haves and have-nots, and while it’s a positive trend, it’s still a gap between those with cellphone-only access and those with computers as well.

About 18% of African-Americans use a cellphone as their sole device for Internet access compared to about 10% of whites. That said, laptop ownership has risen from 34% in 2009 to a current 51% among African-Americans.

Overall, 59% of Americans now access the Internet through mobile devices as opposed to 51% a year ago. So mobile may prove to be the ultimate equalizer, at least on the digital playing field.

Other interesting facts from the study reveal that Americans are using their mobile devices to (as ranked by Pew’s latest stats vs. April 2009)

The most interesting discussions are about the way in which wireless can be deployed. Bring your own wireless, netbooks using the cloud, and a variety of ways to solve the digital divide were proposed.

This from Mindshift

Bring-your-own-device classrooms. Since most kids these days already have access to a mobile device, schools are seizing the opportunity to turn these gadgets from distractions into learning tools by incorporating these devices into classroom lessons and projects. From mobile phones to laptop computers, teachers and students are increasingly bringing technology to the classroom, and in many school districts, it’s being put to good use.Numerous studies have highlighted the benefits of one-to-one computing programs in raising test scores and increasing college attendance, but with many districts strapped for cash and unable to provide devices for each student, this isn’t always a possibility. The solution may be found in asking students to bring their own devices to class, cutting back on the number of mobile devices the school needs to provide while still enhancing the learning experience.

What have mobile devices go to do with STEM and changing education in America?

Eliot Soloway ”

Are cellphones and other mobile devices powerful learning tools or intolerable classroom distractions?

For Elliot Soloway, the answer is a no-brainer. Cellphones, hand-held gaming gadgets, and netbooks—all relatively cheap, seemingly ever-present mobile devices used (and often abused) by today’s teenagers—can engage middle and high school students in learning inside and outside of school, he and other advocates of mobile learning say.”

STEM Applications you can’t replicate by talking or lecturing.

Windows to the Universe  ,Windows to the Universe explores the Earth, planets of our solar system, and the universe. It includes images, animations, and data sets, and information about books .

The Exploratorium,The Exploratorium isn’t just a museum; it’s an ongoing exploration of science, art, and human perception—a vast collection of online interactives, web features, activitiesprograms, and events that feed your curiosity.

Project Lead the Way

The PLTW Innovation Zone (aka the classroom) is an engaging and thought-provoking place, where students develop critical thinking skills through hands-on project-based learning, preparing them to take on real-world challenges. Students will have the opportunity to create, design and build things like robots and cars, applying what they are learning in math and science to the world’s grand challenges.

The PLTW program is designed to serve middle school and high school students of diverse backgrounds from those already interested in STEM-related fields to those who are more inspired by the application of STEM than they are by traditional math and science courses.

Whyville ,
What does it take to build a sustainable, green energy community? 8th Graders are showing us how using WhyPower, an interactive learning game within the largest interactive learning world, WhyVille. Here is an interactive game.

Energy Game:  WHYPOWER

Whyville is a thriving community with its own economy, newspaper, government and much more.  It now has its own power grid!  As part of the WhyCareers program, we are “electrifying” Whyville with a power grid that uses traditional and renewable energy sources.  Students will manage the power grid to select the right mix of coal, natural gas, nuclear, hydroelectric, solar and wind energy. They will build homes in Whyville!  They will observe and measure power use in Whyville, and form good energy behaviors and habits. Finally, they will explore the math, science and career topics related to energy.  Just like in real life, success in Whyville is not pre-programmed!  Students skill, initiative, creativity and teamwork determines the rewards they receive and the “virtual money” they earn in WhyPower.
Whyville. Run a city using energy reources.

National Geographic FieldScope is a web-based mapping, analysis, and collaboration tool designed to support geographic investigations and engage students as citizen scientists investigating real-world issues – both in the classroom and in outdoor education settings. FieldScope enhances student scientific investigations by providing rich geographic context – through maps, mapping activities, and a rich community where student fieldwork and data is integrated with that of peers and professionals, adding analysis opportunities and meaning to student investigations.

NG FieldScope

  • uses cutting-edge technology to make interactive mapping and geospatial data analysis tools accessible to students via the web in an intuitive package that is free and does not require software installation.
  • enables students and classrooms to upload their own field data – including quantitative measurements, field notes, and media, such as photos – and to see it in relation to data from peers and professional scientists.
  • fosters collaborative sharing and analysis of data among the FieldScope community and beyond.

National Geographic is partnering with groups – across a range of scientific disciplines – that are interested in exploring how FieldScope can better support student geographic learning and outdoor investigations.

FieldScope Projects

Chesapeake Bay Chesapeake Bay FieldScope Project is a “citizen science” initiative in which students investigate water quality issues on local and regional scales and collaborate with students across the Bay to analyze data and take action. Chesapeake Bay FieldScope is a project of National Geographic’s Education Programs in collaboration with theChesapeake Bay Foundation and the NOAA Chesapeake Bay Office.

Online Labs

Resource from the Federal Trade Commission kids learn critical thinking skills and apply them to understanding advertising.

It is an on line game.

Digital Citizenship

Living Life Online   there is a book available from the FTC that accompanies this project as a digital citizenship iniative. Bulk orders are available at

Julia Barnathan (standing), curriculum developer for Northwestern’s Office of STEM Education Partnerships, assists a student with a lesson in radiation that uses iLabs to access a geiger counter at the University of Queensland, Australia.
CREDIT: Amanda Morris, Office for Research, Northwestern University

Passport to the World, Geography! Are you Up to Date?

On the Great Wall

No one has ever described the Great Wall in the media to my satisfaction

There are children who do not know the intersection of geography, history, story and maps.

Actually there are lots of people reporting the news to us from various media platforms who have little in the way of geography education or real knowledge. It is a national shane.

There is a tool that we can all use at

There are resources for teachers that are incredibly wonderful at the National Geographic Society.

There are also alliances, that you can join in your state. The alliancesare here.. More resources are here. Resources

The Alliances

Geography Education Alliances connect K-12 teachers with university faculty, offering professional development opportunities and promoting improvements in geographic education at state and local levels.( The alliances breakj the silos of education , you have the professors, researchers, professional photographers, teachers , all working for change in a state. The resources and the opportunities are many.. My principal joined the alliance and went to some conferences with me.  I love going to Geographic conferences. They are an experience to learn a LOT from.!!! Geography is an adventure.

Vendor solutions for Geography? Well there is a lot that is free on the National Geographic Education site.

Classroom materials have been developed by geographers and geographic educators to teach the field as a discipline rather than through fact and recall. I was lucky enough to be a geographic educator a teacher, before technology called me to national service with the White House for a long term initiative. NIIAC.

Cast the students as researchers who use geography to solve real world problems. Each activity:introduces a skill for analyzing data geographically provides information about a specific place employs a specific kind of map (isoline, choropleth, profile, etc., illustrates a useful explanatory theory of modern geography. What is geography? See this cartoon for a visual definition

The 21st Century Partnership has added geography to their skills bank.

Here is a philosophical discussion about geography. Title:

Reconceptualizing Geography as Democratic Global Citizenship Education

Find the reference here in a PDF

(Bednarz, 2002)

Teaching geography in this manner is far better than didactic traditions if one values critical thinking and the development of transferable student insight about spatiality. Yet this still falls short of what we have described as democratic citizenship education.

As a teacher, I was lucky enough to be involved in a National Summer Workshop from the National Geographic Society. I was teaching in Virginia and there was a great Alliance that I was able to learn from and work with. My mentor was killed in the (/11 crash at the Pentagon. They were taking students to a meeting in California. The Virginia Geographic Alliance was a rich resource for me and other teachers.

History can be boring, but not if you use the resources available to make it real. GIS, GPS, Stories and pictures , the Internet and You Tube, enhance a lot of what you THINK you know.

In reality do you know place geography? Interactive Maps?

What is Geography?

Children, parents and the media audience see the world without really knowing much about the cuture of the groups that we talk about. A real friend of mine has NO understanding of the cultures that are in the Middle East. He told me that “we” liberated Arab women? I was too challenged to peacefully explain that he did not know the culture to reply. I think that also such misconceptions are best solved by the person with the misunderstanding. But what would lead him to such a misunderstanding. What does he read? What did he learn? What is his guide to the world? Perhaps some one of the many media minute mavens. Those reading the scripts on TV. often have no geographical idea of where the place is that they are talking about.

Maps. Maps. Maps. are here.

I like the articles that talk about geography education. Many school systems do not use geography as a subject of interest, because it is not tested. It may be offered after the fact. That is because of the politics of education, and the lack of knowledge of those with the power to make a difference in real world education.

My husband and I have traveled to many places in the world. Vic has lived in Africa, and started his career teaching English as a foreign language in Africa. His parents were missionaries to China,

I have lived in Greece. I thought I knew Greek History and the literature. I thought I did. I only touched the surface of the information available at the time. I loved living in Athens, and studying various elements of the Greek History. I particularly loved the  studying in the museum in Thessalonki, Greece.

All Roads Lead to Rome

I started my world ttravels late, on a Fulbright to India . Travel experiences, seeing your own country from afar are also quite an education. You can believe we have some very interesting discussions in our household about various elements of culture in the places we have lived and worked.

Earthwatch was a project related to something I was doing in the geographic. It was my first scientific study sponsored , to learn archaeology , of the Beaker people. But what little real history of the area of the Med did I have. Not much. That experience was eye opening to me.

But the definition geo-literacy probably is best for us in a media centric world. You will love the visualization of the topic on the page. You might also like the longer definition and explanations by Dr. Danny Edelson Photo: Daniel Edelson.

A geo-literate population can make far-reaching decisions about their health, their environment, and their community.

National Geographic Society Education Network 

For updates and newletters, sign up here.

This is a beta site

Do you know Science on a Sphere. It is a transformative use of media to teach. It is awesome.

I was working with NTIA, NOAA, when I was pulled away from Geography as my main sphere of Interest.
NOAA is a federal agency focused on the condition of the oceans and the atmosphere. It plays several distinct roles within the Department of Commerce with a broad mission. Some of NOAA’s more widely-known divisions include the National Weather Service, The National Hurricane Center, and the National Marine Fisheries Service.

Science On a Sphere (SOS)® is a room sized, global display system that uses computers and video projectors to display planetary data onto a six foot diameter sphere, analogous to a giant animated globe. Researchers at NOAA developed Science On a Sphere® as an educational tool to help illustrate Earth System science to people of all ages. Animated images of atmospheric storms, climate change, and ocean temperature can be shown on the sphere, which is used to explain what are sometimes complex environmental processes, in a way that is simultaneously intuitive and captivating.

Science On a Sphere® extends NOAA’s educational program goals, which are designed to increase public understanding of the environment. Using NOAA’s collective experience and knowledge of the Earth’s land, oceans, and atmosphere, NOAA uses Science On a Sphere® as an instrument to enhance informal educational programs in science centers, universities, and museums across the country. Science On a Sphere® is available to any institution and is currently in operation at a number of facilities in the US.

See if you can get a kid to move, when there is this exhibit to learn from. It is mostly in museums or may be coming to a conference near you.

FInally, the 21st Century Partnership now shares the ideas of geography, and they have involved schools in the blueprint. Here is their set of resources.

   Games in Education , yes, yes and yes,

Featured Games

  • Photo: A screen from the games Lost Chronicles-Fall of Caesar, showing Brutus walking through an ornate hall

    Lost Chronicles: Fall of Caesar

    Reveal the conspiracy behind Caesar’s murder in this hidden object investigation. Meet historical figures, including Marc Antony, and learn of their role in the conspiracy.  Explore historically-detailed locations in Rome and Greece, searching for clues, as you follow the path of Marcus Brutus after he murdered Caesar.  Play various mini-games, puzzles, and more, and access informative articles courtesy of National Geographic in this compelling game.


  • salem-game.jpg

    Lost Chronicles of Salem

    Help a mother and daughter who have been accused of witchcraft escape superstitious mobs in this captivating hidden object thriller. Explore 1692 Salem in richly detailed screens, and play mini-games like word jumbles, puzzles, and more.


  • Photo:  A photo montage of migrating animals--zebras, crabs, butterflies

    Great Migrations

    Based on the breathtaking National Geographic Channel miniseries Great Migrations, this game challenges you to protect and guide your animals on their dangerous migration journeys. Select a leader, collect your herd, evade predators, and heal all wounds!


  • Photo: Logo of the game Build It Green--Back to the Beach

    Build It Green: Back to the Beach

    You love this tropical island, and now it is up to you to protect it and everything around it. Build it green

    I cannot share everything that is of the National Geographic. Go to the home page, sign up, sign in and get working.

    Bonnie Bracey Sutton

    Victor Sutton


Games? Has Education Got Games? Yes and No

Make a traditional teacher angy..say games and wait for the push back. Sometimes just to be tech savvy and interested can make you lose a friendship. I lost a friend of ten years like that. We traveled India together and met often. But we taught together and I found that she despised the use of technology. “Cut that OFF.!!” She had no ability to see the learning factor in games.

 If you want to get a dressing down in education, all you have to do is to talk about games, interactive media or any infographic.


ARE You Kidding Me?

Some people will look at you cross-eyed as if you have NO earthly idea about what goes on in a classroom. Some will hiss ” school time is too important for” games.”. I started using technology when MECC created games for education , and got to demonstrate and work on games. I also at that time was able to create games and to teach student simple game making. The power of taking the information to others in game format was good.In the early days of technology we could make our own games.

 Stopping Transformation

I used to work in a school where the assistant principal hated games so much that when the principal was away she would march to my room, confiscate the games I used in my learning landscape and I would have to wait until the “real‘ principal came back to get them.I learned to make copies of the game and to just endure the charade. My real principal liked my work( but you may know the politics of schools , she knew that I was being harassed by the lady, so we agreed on a strategy.

.Parents understood that I was creating a learning landscape. The kids who had to be in the afterschool program would thry to sneak back into the classroom where I was correcting papers to use the computers. Parents would send me supper and sometims come in and go through the games themselves. This was back in the day of simple games, like Lemonade Stand,  ( The Lemonade stand game that I used was devoid of commercials) in fact the web versions are often not the original games.

Odell Lake
Odell_Lake_(computer_game)Hot Dog StandHot Dog Stand – Serve up burgers, fries, drinks and of course hot dogs with ketchup and onions on top. Hot Dog Stand is a well made and fun restaurant game. This was early food chain, and ecology. There are much better games available now. We call them serious games.

We used some reading games and stories that I had from a publisher in New Zealand for reading instruction. The reading games are now a part of a cuirriculum that can be cloud based. We were on the right track.

Of course we did the turtle games and we learned turtle language.

I even got to work with my very favorite game through a number of iterations. It was Oregon Trail. Eacn new Oregon Trail got more and more complicated .. I loved the transitions, but most of all I loved creating learning around the game. The geography, the history of trails.

The recipes, the museum trips to look at the kinds of wagons that people traveled in and the posters and information about the various stops along the trail. It was an interesting way to weave in some new kinds of learning. Stack cake, learning not to shoot too many animals because they could not be carried. Researching the tribes that people met along the way.

First I used it with a whole class. Then I learned to borrow computers so the whole class could play and then we wrote grants to get more computers. Five computers worked well for the most part.

Margaret Spelling was not enamored of games. So the initiative within the Dept of Education died on her watch. Funding was cut All of a sudden as a science teacher and a person who believed in games I was suspect.

Arlington Career Center/ Special Initiatives of Choice

 I worked in an after school and Saturday initiative that was wonderful. We linked kids to their interests. We let them learn using computers and games. There are still children who do not have a computer of their own at home. There are children who line up in libraries to use computers, or who work in community centers on their digital skills. In West Virginia there are ways to get digital using volunteer fire stations. The funny part is that we at first had a mish mosh of computers so the games were different on various computers. That was not a problem.

In Arlington County, I also had a wonderful high school principal who was running a career center. He let me work with games, robotics, and innovation. Our classes were always over subscribed, We did a summer program those classes were always oversubscribed. We wove into the offering, some rudimentary knowledge of computers, a side class was to let kids build their own computer, there was the hard core games, and by that there were the kids who accessed games , educational games or games of my choice or access, and then the spinoff for robotics and NASA space science, We used a lot of Lego physics, and built small robots.

Build Knowledge, Build a Dinosaur Park, Meet a Dinosaur Scientist.. we did all of that.

What did the game do?

You had to focus on the information about the Dyno Park to run the scenario. You had to know the details of the various animals you kept. But wait, those are old games. I learned a lot about how children learn watching them choose the book, the game, and build their own dinosaurs. It was more than I knew and I had to work with them

We never have enough spaces for the children who were being in the courses. We changed it up and made it so that the games was the center or part of the learning landscape. Dinosaur, DynoTycoon, Here you will find a free download of the original Dinopark Tycoon from 1993. The classic Dino Park Tycoon includes of the ideas of new tycoon games, like zootycoon.

Smithsonian visits, Visits from an amber collector and we had a real Smithsonian scientist Dr. Embry, who let us come visit and watch him work in this magnificent setting. In the summer we would pick a topic and weave activities, hands on learning , books and field trips into a learning adventure. I got to practice this skill recently at a summer camp at the Smithsonian. It is one of my Tpak Skills. And I admit that when I can I put food into the matrix. Or plants or gardening. We worked hard in school to learn. We combined many ways in which to learn. Tpack is one of the ways that diagrams the ways of using intersecting ways of learning.

I will confess I was never any good at keeping the park going. You can download it free online, What the games did for me, was to destroy the ranking of who was the best learner in the classroom. What the games did for me was to give me an invitation to special education students, to limited English speaking children to learn. The game might be what they wanted to do, but the rest of the learning came along with the package.

I never found the resources in Amazon Trail. The students loved the game so much that I rarly got to play, but I watched them play, and saw their skills and they shared the levels of their play. More than that with the games often I could merger a Jason lesson or initiative, once during my time in the classroom, I was teaching a Jason project on jungles, using games,

Dinopark Tycoon is an excellent game which makes one remember the wonderful times of our youth. This game is great because you get to open your own dino park, and do all of the things, such as manage employees, buy inventory items, choose dinosaurs, and other exciting things to run the dinosaur park. The goal in this game is to create the ultimate dinopark and to become a real Dinopark Tycoon. People come from far and wide to visit your park, so you need to make it the best park that it can be.  My little relatives and I challenged

each other to build the best pak. I never reached excellente. I will use the excue that I got distracted.

You start by buying land, fence, and dinosaurs. The game really gives you quite a variety of dinosaurs to buy. Get a lot of money, and you can get the ultimate dinosaur, careful though, it doesn’t last long and proves to be a waste of your money!
You need to make sure you keep your dinosaurs fed or they may get restless and break out of their pens. That results in having to buy new fencing and new dinosaurs. Who knows where the dinosaurs go after they leave, but it doesn’t matter to you! After you have enough money being a dinopark tycoon, you can buy concession stands and other items to make your park even better for the guests.


game is really easy to use. Help is easily found, in all menus of the game. If you are running low on funds, get a loan from the bank to keep you going. You need to make sure you keep your prices in check so that you are getting some sort of profit, otherwise, you’ll lose money and your dino park ends up bankrupt.
This is a great game for younger children and older children alike. Children as young as 7 or 8 and older would enjoy Dinopark Tycoon because of its easy to use interface and its real world game style. It is both a fun game to play and a fun way to learn. Through playing this game, children are learning money sense and business sense. They are learning what a dollar is worth and that they cannot just buy everything, they need to think wisely before they make a purchase because if they just buy, they will end up with no money and the game will be over.
This is a great game for public schools to have on their 
computers because kids really love to play it and they are also learning at the same time. Anyone can have a wonderful time playing Dino Park Tycoon!

Download Dinopark Tycoon



I had a mentor who was George Lucas. During that time he had games in education. The games were as Seymour Papert said, hard fun. I was able to use those games in my classroom and in my game work. George Lucas was all about innovative learning

He says in his recent blog that it is time to have a conversation about what is going on in our schools.

 Here is the blog.

Lucas writes:

” It’s time to have a conversation about what’s right in our schools, what’s working. And as we debate what to do to fix the problems, let’s remember that there are successes in education every day we can emulate. In districts of every stripe and demographic make-up, educators are dedicating themselves to providing their students with a high quality 21st century education and using new technologies to make it happen. They are showing kids how to find and analyze information and how to creatively deploy their analyses to solve problems.”

“These educators are beginning to reinvent the learning process, guiding students through rigorous, real-life projects that integrate core academic topics and personalize the learning experience based on a child’s strengths and weaknesses. They are building confidence and ambition in children, by supporting them emotionally and providing a safe, engaging environment to learn. Most importantly, these innovative educators are creating a next generation of citizens with academic knowledge and problem solving abilities that will serve our country for years to come.”

One Christmas, there was a meeting at the ranch and I got four of the Lucas Games as a present. I have used those games in media expositions all over the world. I mixed fantasy and fiction in the study of space and we were on. In the classroom we had the various resources from the Challenger Center, and youth oriented initiatives that had their own scenarios and simulations.

In my schools I became a problem to other teachers because everyone wanted to be in my classes. I was a hard teacher in that we had to do whatever it was that the school system asked, but then there were the extras.. the MECC games and the projects t would get funding for , computers for, and resources for. The parents and children and I learned a lot about creating a learning environment, one part of it being games. The principal allowed parents to access the games and to be a part of the learning journay. We learned that hands on, minds on, brains on were exciting, we wove books, pictures and resources in to the mix and there were always games as a part of the learning scenario.

We the children, the parents and I were a network for learning. And there was a teacher on my grade level who asked me to teach these games and the Jason Project to her kids. We

became a team for those activities. My children did a lot of the teaching. But we were able to influence that teacher andf her group of kids.

There are other more interesting ways to enter the use of games , some of which I will cite.

I will confess to use of games in education from when I was learning basic. That was a long time ago. We were constructing knowledge and making our own games. Iin the after school program, we had students from all over Arlington County who came to play and who learned a lot more than they did in the regular classroom. One child would not even leave the classroom for popcorn and for a bathroom break. As much as I could I tried to be flexible  one child just would not leave the room. I ended up calling his mother. She said, I have been waiting for your call. He is acting out isn’t he. He has always been a problem in school. I said, „ Excuse me, do I have the wrong numbet? This child was the best of all of my students. He was Egyptian , who knew/ He did not speak English well, Who knew. Games were his passport to learning. I never bothered him again. I figured out a way to let him learn and then the mother and I found a community place where he could use the computer. I loved teaching him a game that a friend of mine constructed about a little Egyptian boy, Little Horus. That game seems to have disappeated, but it was good for socio cultural work.

Games have gotten more complex now. Once at Supercomputing the conference a game maker who created games for sports altered the bodies of the players as he was teaching us game design. It was fun, it was hard fun because he let us do a few alterations.

Dr, Kevin Clark at George Mason University also used games and had a couple of conferences that I went to that gave me more knowledge about the ways in which the armed forces uses games and simulations to attract recruits.

Dr, Chris Dede uses embedded assessements to help teachers evaluate knowledge.

Of course , he has always been far ahead of the pack. Well he was the person who mentored me in the uses of technology. See his latest work here.
dede_presentation.pdf · PDF file

You may not know Idit Harel. She has the program MaMaMedia ,

kind of an interactive game involvement for kids.It is loud, she says kids like it that way.

She has a new project in games that I have been priviledged to work with , Globaloria.

There is a community of teachers, who learn technology skills, and then teach students to build their own games using Flash.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Globaloria is a social network for learning web-game design and simulation production. Invented by the World Wide Workshop Foundation in the spring of 2006, it seeks to create technology-based educational opportunities through a flexible set of virtual learning networks for students in developing nations, and economically disadvantaged and technologically underserved communities. Using a network of educational web 2.0 platforms, students develop 21st-century digital literacy, master social media technology, and gain a deeper understanding of curricular areas, such as sciencemathematics and health. Its activities help students sharpen their communication and critical-thinking skills for leadership online and offline, bringing them closer to the participatory and collaborative nature of work in the 21st century.[1]

[Globaloria]… aims to teach youth how to take control of their new-media world.

Idit Harel Caperton[2]


What are games?Some are serious At the Federation of American Scientists, Melanie Stegman invites teachers to try out her game, Immune Attack. It is a serious game.

You must navigate a nanobot through a 3D environment of blood vessels and connective tissue in an attempt to save an ailing patient by retraining her non-functional immune,

But wait there is more at the Federation of American Scientists Learning Technology site. According to the web site,
The Learning Technologies Program (LTP) studies ways to use technology to improve how people teach and learn.  Well-paid, rewarding jobs in the U.S. depend on a workforce prepared to operate in a fast-paced, technologically sophisticated global economy.  Doing this in an affordable way for a highly diverse population demands new approaches. Since the LTP was founded in 2001, a lot of progress has been made in how educational leaders approach technology in and out of the classroom.  In 2005 when we published our
Summit on Educational Games in 2006, we were one of the few voices.  In 2010, however, the President and Ms. Obama have spoken in favor of video games as a tool for education and for fitness

Source :


Evaluate Immune Attack

Learn More About Immune Attack

Immune Attack is a supplemental teaching tool, designed to be used in addition to middle school and high school biology textbooks.  Immune Attack introduces molecular biology and cellular biology in detail that is usually reserved for college students.  However, it uses the familiar and motivational video game format to introduce the strange and new world of cells and molecules.

Please consider EVALUATING IMMUNE ATTACK in your classroom.  It requires 3 class periods in a computer lab over 2 weeks time.  Register here and we’ll send you the details.

Here is a modern way of using games in the classroom. This iS Dr. Bob’s Blog on games and  assessment.

Here is one of my favorites,.

I love the Why Power Game,.

It kept me fascinated trying to run a city.

I love the embedded assessment and standards that are completed by playing this game.
What does it take to build a sustainable, green energy community? 8th Graders are showing us how using WhyPower, an interactive learning game within the largest interactive learning world, WhyVille.

Here is a serious use of a serious game.

Using war games to treat post-traumatic stress disorder…

Soldiers may benefit from virtual reality applications for the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). A new study reviews how virtual reality applications are being designed and implemented across various points in the military deployment cycle, to prevent, identify and treat combat-related injuries.

and all the ways that I talked about that come together to help students learn.Dr. Bob Plants has this excellent blog to take the subject further.

Teachers to Blame? I don’t think so.. Look more closely at the “politics “of Education

A democratic education means that we educate people in a way that ensures they can think independently, that they can use information, knowledge, and technology, among other things, to draw their own conclusions.
– Linda Darling-Hammond

Transforming Education Using Tools and Well Trained Teachers

Visualization and Modeling with an IPad

Whose to Blame for Poor Urban Schools? Look more closely at the politics of schools to find out.

I am losing a lot of my educational friends lately or at least we are sparring on line. Like the press, they look at the older teachers of America and say, that the problems in education are the fault of the older, teachers the digital immigrants. Well, is it really?

When I question people about what happens in K-12 they rest the problem squarely on the shoulders of the K-12 teachers.

Why is America falling behind in academics? There are many reasons. We are 21st in the world in Science and 25th in the world in Math. We who started the use of the Internet…Well it is so bad that the Congress has created a solution.

US to back 21st century learning
By Maggie Shiels
Technology reporter, BBC News Website, Silicon Valley

The US Congress has given the go-ahead for a new centre to explore ways advanced computer and communications technologies can improve learning.
The National Center for Research in Advanced Information and Digital Technologies will focus on “bringing education into the 21st century.”Supporters said classrooms have failed to keep up with technology innovations.
“America’s reputation as an international leader rests in the hands of our youth,” said Sen. Chris Dodd.
“It should be among our top priorities to provide our students with the tools they need to maintain and build upon this standing.”
The Senator was one of the original sponsors of a bill that proposed the setting up of the centre. Meanwhile Congressman John Yarmuth of Kentucky spearheaded the passage of the bill through the House and said its timing could not be more critical.
“American businesses know that they need a well-educated workforce to face growing competition from China, India and Europe.”
The Federation of American Scientists said, “The creativity that developed extraordinary new information technologies has not focused on finding ways to make learning more compelling, more personal and more productive in our nation’s schools.
“People assumed that the explosion of innovation in information tools in business and service industries would automatically move into classrooms.”
That, the Federation said, has simply not happened.
The centre will support a ‘first of its kind’ comprehensive research and development program aimed at improving all levels of learning from kindergarten to university and from government training to college.
Missed opportunity
“Education is falling further and further behind the rest of the economy and we have to rethink our basic approach to helping people learn,” said Henry Kelly, the Federation’s president.
The FAS said that learning scientists and educators have known for years that people learn faster if education can be personalised and if students are motivated by seeing how their knowledge can help them solve problems they care about.
Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2008/08/19 07:51:13 GMT

In the past the unmatched vitality of the United States’ economy and science and technology enterprise has made this country a world leader for decades, allowing Americans to benefit from a high standard of living and national security. But in a world where advanced knowledge is widespread and low-cost labor is readily available, U.S. advantages in the marketplace and in science and technology have begun to erode. A comprehensive and coordinated federal effort is urgently needed to bolster U.S. competitiveness and pre-eminence in these areas so that the nation will consistently gain from the opportunities offered by rapid globalization, says a new report from the National Academies.

Given the United States’ history of economic and scientific pre-eminence, it is easy to be complacent about these complex issues, the report says. Following are some indicators that illustrate why decisive action is needed now:

· For the cost of one chemist or one engineer in the United States, a company can hire about five chemists in China or 11 engineers in India.

· Last year chemical companies shuttered 70 facilities in the United States and have tagged 40 more for closure. Of 120 chemical plants being built around the world with price tags of $1 billion or more, one is in the United States and 50 are in China.

· U.S. 12th-graders recently performed below the international average for 21 countries on a test of general knowledge in mathematics and science. In addition, an advanced mathematics assessment was administered to students in 15 other countries who were taking or had taken advanced math courses, and to U.S. students who were taking or had taken pre-calculus, calculus, or Advanced Placement calculus. Eleven countries outperformed the United States, and four scored similarly. None scored significantly below the United States.

· In 1999 only 41 percent of U.S. eighth-graders had a math teacher who had majored in mathematics at the undergraduate or graduate level or studied the subject for teacher certification — a figure that was considerably lower than the international average of 71 percent.

· Last year more than 600,000 engineers graduated from institutions of higher education in China. In India, the figure was 350,000. In America, it was about 70,000.

· In 2001 U.S. industry spent more on tort litigation than on research and development.

Without a major push to strengthen the foundations of America’s competitiveness, the United States could soon lose its privileged position. The ultimate goal is to create new, high-quality jobs for all citizens by developing new industries that stem from the ideas of exceptional scientists and engineers.

Increase America’s talent pool by vastly improving K-12 mathematics and science education.

· Among the recommended implementation steps is the creation of a merit-based scholarship program to attract 10,000 exceptional students to math and science teaching careers each year. Four-year scholarships, worth up to $20,000 annually, should be designed to help some of the nation’s top students obtain bachelor’s degrees in physical or life sciences, engineering, or mathematics — with concurrent certification as K-12 math and science teachers. After graduation, they would be required to work for at least five years in public schools. Participants who teach in disadvantaged inner-city or rural areas would receive a $10,000 annual bonus. Each of the 10,000 teachers would serve about 1,000 students over the course of a teaching career, having an impact on 10 million minds, the report says.

Sowing the Seeds

Sustain and strengthen the nation’s commitment to long-term basic research.

· Policy-makers should increase the national investment in basic research by 10 percent each year over the next seven years. Special attention should be paid to the physical sciences, engineering, mathematics, and information sciences, and to basic research funding for the U.S. Department of Defense, the report says.

· Policy-makers also should establish within the U.S. Department of Energy an organization called the Advanced Research Project Agency — Energy (ARPA-E) that reports to the undersecretary for science and sponsors “out-of-the-box” energy research to meet the nation’s long-term energy challenges.

· Authorities should make 200 new research grants annually — worth $500,000 each, payable over five years — to the nation’s most outstanding early-career researchers.

Hands on Technology

Best and Brightest

Develop, recruit, and retain top students, scientists, and engineers from both the United States and abroad. The United States should be considered the most attractive setting in the world to study and conduct research, the report says.

· Each year, policy-makers should provide 25,000 new, competitive four-year undergraduate scholarships and 5,000 new graduate fellowships to U.S. citizens enrolled in physical science, life science, engineering, and mathematics programs at U.S. colleges and universities.

· Policy-makers should provide a one-year automatic visa extension that allows international students to remain in the United States to seek employment if they have received doctorates or the equivalent in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, or other fields of national need from qualified U.S. institutions. If these students then receive job offers from employers that are based in the United States and pass a security screening test, they should automatically get work permits and expedited residence status. If they cannot obtain employment within one year, their visas should expire.

Incentives for Innovation

Ensure that the United States is the premier place in the world for innovation. This can be accomplished by actions such as modernizing the U.S. patent system, realigning tax policies to encourage innovation, and ensuring affordable broadband Internet access, the report says.

· Policy-makers should provide tax incentives for innovation that is based in the United States. The Council of Economic Advisers and the Congressional Budget Office should conduct a comprehensive analysis to examine how the United States compares with other nations as a location for innovation and related activities, with the goal of ensuring that the nation is one of the most attractive places in the world for long-term investment in such efforts.

· The Research and Experimentation Tax Credit is currently for companies that increase their R&D spending above a predetermined level. To encourage private investment in innovation, this credit, which is scheduled to expire in December, should be made permanent. And Congress and the administration should increase the allowable credit from 20 percent to 40 percent of qualifying R&D investments.

The study was sponsored by the National Academies, which comprise the National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, Institute of Medicine, and National Research Council. They are private, nonprofit institutions that provide science, technology, and health policy advice under a congressional charter.
This news release and report are available at

Committee on Science, Engineering, and Public Policy

And Urban Schools? ????????

Academic freedom: the typical urban school district’s personnel and budgeting systems leave principals without much say in hiring teachers or allocating resources.

The Los Angeles Unified School District is the second largest school system in the nation–and perhaps the worst. Slightly less than half of its 75,000 employees are classroom teachers, meaning that Los Angeles spends just 35 percent of its budget on teacher pay. By comparison, the school systems in Houston, Texas, and Edmonton, in the Canadian province of Alberta, spend 49 percent and 56 percent, respectively, of their budgets on teachers. Since 1980, Los Angeles Unified’s enrollment has grown by 180,000 students, but the district has added only 15 schools with a total of 20,000 seats. As a result, nearly 200,000 students must be bused to a distant campus while most attend multi-track, year-round schools that can push more students through but offer 17 fewer days of instruction.

Although elementary schoolers in Los Angeles have made real gains in literacy in recent years, among high-school students, only 23 percent in reading and 34 percent in math meet or exceed the national norm on the Stanford 9. Of the district’s teachers, 27 percent lack full credentials. The system has a chronic shortage of qualified principals.
If Los Angeles is the worst school district in America, its East Coast cousin, New York City, is a close second. And the Chicago schools, while improving, are still recovering from the day in 1988 when William J. Bennett, secretary of education in the Reagan administration, pronounced them the “worst in the nation.” Why are these three school systems in such deep disarray? Certainly not because they are the three largest.

None of them has more than a fraction of IBM or Toyota’s work force, and those companies are icons of good management. Nor is it because they serve high percentages of minority children from low-income families. Houston’s schools, which are equally minority and poor, perform well relative to other urban school districts. The reason is that the school districts in New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago are too centralized, much too top-down in their management, for their size.

I Excellent teaching requires extensive training and experience. A seasoned, excellent teacher would have training in and experience with pedagogy and content. 

“Telecommunications provides the new learning platform of this century and is replacing the textbook as the medium through which a modern education is provided,” Lucas said. “The world’s knowledge is now available online, far beyond what books and materials can provide in schools and libraries themselves.” George Lucas

K-12 was the group that got the blame. Most of the time I was the only K-12 teacher in the audience. But there have been times when I was not, and ageism struck. A young teacher sitting beside me
not knowing my work, or advocacy, said, its the old teachers who are to blame for all of the ills of education. She went on to talk about her mother, who was a teacher and to say that
people like her mother ought to get out of education. I didn’t say much, unusual for me. but I thought what??

I was the only K-12 teacher on a committee, the National Information Infrastructure Advisory Council
. It was a lot of hard work. I learned a lot. I traveled all over the country, in areas of need, and difficulty. My teaching experience is also varied, I have taught in black schools, at the lower socioeconomic areas, in a so called charter school designed to welcome those who were interested in , in a science focused school, done team teaching and I have been a demonstration teacher for AAAS, for the use of hands-on science teaching. I have worked with Karen Buller of and we wrote curriculum for American Indians.. and traveled to the schools in Indian country, sharing technology.
I guess most of my life has been teaching, with extraordinary experiences in professional development during the summer. As a legacy teacher. I was trained in a HBCU. Not much was expected of me, and not much was taught . According to the times, we had to be able to teach and to know curriculum to seventh grade level. The math was certainly not old or new. It was drill math. End of story.

So I think what I want to explain is that we had two societies and two kinds of schools. I boldly integrated into schools, teaching in schools as the only black teacher on the faculty of some schools who did NOT teach the tracked students. I taught , initially the gifted and talented students and I was good at it. I am an excellent teacher.

So what happened to me that did not happen to most minority teachers? I rested my professional development outside of the public schools. I was a child of museum study and my Sunday excursions to the Smithsonian, and I am stubborn. I went to the well where the movers and thinkers and those with ideas were working, in workshops, courses, expeditions, and especially had wonderful teaching experiences, learning experiences with NASA and with the National Geographic and three years of Oceanography at the National Aquarium in Baltimore. Sadly, most teachers get the WORST of professional development.


My reason for talking about those experiences is that I was taught by the best. From various groups like NCTM, and NSTA I gathered resources, knowledge, networks, and pearls of wisdom. Who can teach the use of geography and visuals like the National Geographic. I feel into a wonderful set of examples of how to.. and it has been a passport for the use of technology for the rest of my life.
That is not the usual case for teachers. Usually the professional development comes from within the school system, or a special group of experts that they trust. It has been wonderful to see school systems allow their teachers to use Blue Webn Videoconferencing for Learning, Exploratorium, Thinkfinity Learning Network, and the resources of the National Geographic. Some school systems , even advise their teachers of learning opportunities and initiatives that occur.

I believe that some of the politics in school systems and the
lack of professional development of merit are to blame for the teachers who do not measure up. Not being new teachers they have been allowed, encouraged to teach as they do. It probably didn’t make much difference.

They were teaching minority kids. Who cared?

There is blame in the politics of teaching, the bad professional development , the use of only in-house knowledge, and the stubbornness of schools resisting change and depth of content knowledge. I worry about the digitally naive and the content deprived teachers. But then, who cares? To people like Michelle Rhee, its the older teachers. I don’t think that rings true for all teachers.

We might also remember that there was a knowledge divide
a content divide , and of course the low expectations exoected for those who teach our most needy students.




Teachers ask about STEM, is it a Flower? No , It is the flowering of new ways to teach Science, Technology , Engineering and Math

Family STEM Learning

AAAS Science Days

Science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) workers drive our nation’s innovation and competitiveness by generating new ideas, new companies and new industries. However, U.S. businesses frequently voice concerns over the supply and availability of STEM workers. Over the past 10 years, growth in STEM jobs was three times as fast as growth in non-STEM jobs. STEM workers are also less likely to experience joblessness than their non-STEM counterparts. Science, technology, engineering and mathematics workers play a key role in the sustained growth and stability of the U.S. economy, and are a critical component to helping the U.S. win the future.

In 2010, there were 7.6 million STEM workers in the United States, representing about 1 in 18 workers.

STEM occupations are projected to grow by 17.0 percent from 2008 to 2018, compared to 9.8 percent growth for non-STEM occupations.

STEM workers command higher wages, earning 26 percent more than their non-STEM counterparts.

More than two-thirds of STEM workers have at least a college degree, compared to less than one-third of non-STEM workers.

 • STEM degree holders enjoy higher earnings, regardless of whether they work in STEM or non-STEM occupations.

application/pdf iconstemfinalyjuly14.pdf

Robert Ping, sharing visualization and modeling images from the Teragrid

STEM Initiatives,, Outreach, Teragrid , Family Science Days

What is a girl to do, earn and learn!!
Just a few NCWIT resources for your perusal
NCWIT Resources

NCWIT offers a range of resources to suit your needs.  All of our resources are FREE, easy-to-use, downloadable, and printable.

  • Practices NCWIT promising practices use social science research as a foundation for advice, case studies, and activities that are proven to attract, retain, and advance girls and women in IT.
  • Talking Points NCWIT Talking Points are a series of easy-to-use conversation cards designed to promote the involvement of women in IT by helping people talk about the issues.
  • Programs-in-a-Box NCWIT Programs-in-a-Box offer turnkey solutions to pressing issues facing the IT community. Programs-in-a-Box provide all the components necessary for quick and strategic action, right out-of-the-box.
  • Workbooks & Guides NCWIT workbooks and guides provide you with practical, hands-on steps for changing your recruitment and retention practices and implementing institutional reform.
Never too early to learn to love science!

Family science days at AAAS in Washington DC

Women in STEM: An Opportunity and An Imperative

Today Commerce's Economic and Statistics Administration released the second in a series of reports on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). This report, entitled Women in STEM: A Gender Gap to Innovation (PDF), looked at women and STEM. The results offer an opportunity and an imperative for women and America. The results showed that women are vastly underrepresented in STEM jobs and among STEM degree holders despite making up nearly half of the U.S. workforce and half of the college-educated workforce. That leaves an untapped opportunity to expand STEM employment in the United States, even as there is wide agreement that the nation must do more to improve its competitiveness.

Other key findings are:

Although women fill close to half of all jobs in the U.S. economy, they hold less than 25 percent of STEM jobs. This has been the case throughout the past decade, even as college-educated women have increased their share of the overall workforce.
Women with STEM jobs earned 33 percent more than comparable women in non-STEM jobs–considerably higher than the STEM premium for men. As a result, the gender wage gap is smaller in STEM jobs than in non-STEM jobs.
Women hold a disproportionately low share of STEM undergraduate degrees, particularly in engineering.
Women with a STEM degree are less likely than their male counterparts to work in a STEM occupation; they are more likely to work in education or healthcare
For more information on this topic, read Chief Economist Mark Doms's blog post about the report and ESA's first report on STEM: Good Jobs Now and For the Future.
Women in STEM: An Opportunity and An Imperative

Although women fill close to half of all jobs in the U.S. economy, they hold less than 25 percent of STEM jobs. This has been the case throughout the past decade, even as college-educated women have increased their share of the overall workforce.
Women with STEM jobs earned 33 percent more than comparable women in non-STEM jobs–considerably higher than the STEM premium for men. As a result, the gender wage gap is smaller in STEM jobs than in non-STEM jobs.
Women hold a disproportionately low share of STEM undergraduate degrees, particularly in engineering.
Women with a STEM degree are less likely than their male counterparts to work in a STEM occupation; they are more likely to work in education or healthcare
For more information on this topic, read Chief Economist Mark Doms's blog post about the report and ESA's first report on STEM: Good Jobs Now and For the Future.

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Women in STEM: An Opportunity and An Imperative

Submitted on August 3, 2011 – 11:30am
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<a href=”; rel=”lightbox[field_photo][Gender Shares of Total and STEM Jobs, 2009Download Original]”>Gender Shares of Total and STEM Jobs, 2009

Today Commerce’s Economic and Statistics Administration released the second in a series of reports on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). This report, entitledWomen in STEM: A Gender Gap to Innovation(PDF), looked at women and STEM. The results offer an opportunity and an imperative for women and America. The results showed that women are vastly underrepresented in STEM jobs and among STEM degree holders despite making up nearly half of the U.S. workforce and half of the college-educated workforce. That leaves an untapped opportunity to expand STEM employment in the United States, even as there is wide agreement that the nation must do more to improve its competitiveness.

Other key findings are:

  • Although women fill close to half of all jobs in the U.S. economy, they hold less than 25 percent of STEM jobs. This has been the case throughout the past decade, even as college-educated women have increased their share of the overall workforce.
  • Women with STEM jobs earned 33 percent more than comparable women in non-STEM jobs–considerably higher than the STEM premium for men. As a result, the gender wage gap is smaller in STEM jobs than in non-STEM jobs.
  • Women hold a disproportionately low share of STEM undergraduate degrees, particularly in engineering.
  • Women with a STEM degree are less likely than their male counterparts to work in a STEM occupation; they are more likely to work in education or healthcare

For more information on this topic, read Chief Economist Mark Doms’s blog post about the report and ESA’s first report on

STEM: Good Jobs Now and For the Future.

Engineering new ideas at Tracy Sdhool, Tracy Learning Center, Tracy, CA.

Girls can learn to engineer.

What Science Pipeline? Making Sense of STEM Offerings! Part One

Family Outreach Days at AAAS Family Days  - Teragrid Booth

Students explore visualizations of the oil spill.

We all know that many students are not anywhere near talented teachers who can give them the information they need to be curious, understanding, interested and involved in the STEM initiatives. For many there is no pipeline, no indepth knowledge of any of the subjects that will create workforce, or future readiness for careers.

As a career STEM teacher, I was teaching science, math, problem solving, engineering and the use of technology early, i caught a lot of flack.  There were helpful groups of people and organizations that  reached out to me, to others and who helped us to become the teachers that need to be STEM educated. There were these teachers an d we were ridiculed during the Bush administration for teaching science. It was the bottom of the needs totem pole for M. Spellings. So we were not groomed, by our school systems or regarded in a good light. Political winds blew us away.

There was

NASA has many resources that a teacher can personalize and share with no cost.

Astronomy , space science education, the Chalenger Center Programs, so many offerings

,  NASA’s Education Materials Finder will help teachers locate resources that can be used in the classroom. Users may search by keywords, grade level, product type and subject. With hundreds of publications and Web sites indexed, the finder is the best way to locate NASA educational resources.

›  Find Materials Now

We meet the world on the news , but do students know where in the world the news is coming from?

The National Geographic Society and its Outreach to Teachers

Community, Education, and Student Outreach,  

Most remarkable in the way of transformational and experiential teaching was the experience offered by the National Geographic. It was not just an experience for me. There are Alliance groups within the Geographic. There are opportunities. I had a month of involvement in all things geographic. What they have to offer changes as the programs expand. There is a section on education, there are special programs, , there are lesson plans and there are mentorships to be had in the AAGE.

National Geography Standards

The first ever national geography standardsGeography for Life, were published in 1994 and are being voluntarily adopted around the country. These geography standards are benchmarks against which the content of geography courses can be measured. Standards will affect the education of all children in the United States, and they should be part of the program of instruction of schools in your community. Copies of Geography for Life are available for purchase from the NCGE store.

The Geography Standards Framework consists of two levels. At the first level, the subject matter of geography is divided into six essential elements. By essential we mean that each piece is central and necessary; we must look at the world in this way. By element we mean that each piece is a building block for the whole. At the second level, each essential element contains a number of geography standards, and each geography standard contains a set of related ideas and approaches to the subject matter of geography.

National Geography Standards

The first ever national geography standards, Geography for Life, were published in 1994 and are being voluntarily adopted around the country. These geography standards are benchmarks against which the content of geography courses can be measured. Standards will affect the education of all children in the United States, and they should be part of the program of instruction of schools in your community. Copies of Geography for Life are available for purchase from the NCGE store.

The Geography Standards Framework consists of two levels. At the first level, the subject matter of geography is divided into six essential elements. By essential we mean that each piece is central and necessary; we must look at the world in this way. By element we mean that each piece is a building block for the whole. At the second level, each essential element contains a number of geography standards, and each geography standard contains a set of related ideas and approaches to the subject matter of geography.

 Earthwatch Education

Earthwatch fellowships enable critical partners to participate in research expeditions worldwide. Each year, Earthwatch’s Fellowship Programs enable hundreds of studentsteachersconservation professionals, and corporate employees to join expeditions at little or no out-of-pocket expense. Earthwatch Fellows are emissaries of the Earthwatch mission, sharing their experiences and new knowledge with thousands of students, teachers, and colleagues upon their return.

Educator Fellowships

Summer Fellowships
Get out of the classroom and head into the field to learn about cutting edge research and conservation efforts, to develop professional skills, and to make a difference for our shared environment! As a summer educator fellow, you’ll spend 1-2 weeks of your summer recess on an Earthwatch expedition alongside a diverse team of volunteers led by prominent field researchers. After your expedition, you’ll bring the world back into your classroom and to your students as you’ve never done before.

Learn more about our Summer Fellowship program.

Live From the Field
Live From the Field educator fellows join Earthwatch research teams during a brief portion (7 to 10 days) of their school year and share their experiences with classrooms at home using blogs containing, photos, videos, lessons, and activities. Live From the Field educator fellows also connect with students through live video and phone conferencing at scheduled times during their expedition.

I joyously participated with other teachers in Earthwatch Outreach.  It was fun to be an Earthwatch fellow. Working with a scientist in the field using technology to share the archeological findings was hard work, but rewarding. I learned the culture of the island, the history of Mallorca, I learned about archeological excavation , and how we could use technology to map the site and the finds. Many teachers have been Earthwatch Fellows. The experience can be a life -changing event. Who knew about the other history I learned so much about . The cultures of the Med were unknown to me. Dr. William Waldron was the PI at the time. I participated in a further grant, we mapped the Mongoose popution of St. Martins .. and then volunteered to do Turtle nests , at night , another project. Nothing in a textbook can match the experience. Nothing!

K-12 classroom educators of any subject(s) from public or private schools nationwide are eligible to apply for Earthwatch fellowships. The strongest applicants are those who are passionate about teaching, excited about making a difference with their time and talents, and committed to engaging their communities using their knowledge, passion, and energy.

A starting point is the Education Department of the National Geographic. I don’t remember why I knew about them, or what I saw that made me apply to a summer institute.

, NSTA and their workshops, NCTM and their initiatives , and their free resources, the Fish and Wildlife Service, 4H and the SET program, the Exploratorium, and wait there are more, but I won’t name them all.

There is a digital divide, and there are resources everywhere, if teachers can access them, but given the state of broadband, in many areas that are rural and distant , the people who are concerned about STEM , are creating a false illusion that teachers create the problem.

There is also the knowledge that we in the classrooms have a mandated methodology which we can tweak but the management, ie the school boards and policy people make most of the decisions. So, what ‘s a teacher to do? Stay tuned. The age of Sputnik is over!!

The age of Transformation , has begun in Education.

Exploring the Teragrid

Outreach to the public sharing research = Oil Spill simulation

Michael Morgenstern for The Chronicle

By Hal Salzman and B. Lindsay Lowell
The strength and size of the nation’s science-and-engineering work force are the subject of much concern, following the Obama administration’s education initiatives; international testing that shows students in Shanghai at the top of the world; and, last year, an update of the influential report “Rising Above the Gathering Storm.” That report finds the deterioration of America’s competitiveness so severe that it is likened to a Category 5 hurricane. It calls for the United States to create a “New Sputnik” education initiative and expand our science-and-engineering work force. It reinforces a common worry over American students’ lackluster international standing compared with those in several Asian nations and in a handful of small European nations.

We believe that those concerns are overstating and misidentifying America’s challenges in science and engineering, and that they are missing the real opportunities for improving the nation’s education and work force. As we examined the evidence, several points became clear: The United States needs to improve education broadly rather than expand particular fields of study; look inward rather than abroad for exemplary educational models, in light of the limits of international comparisons; and focus on the core lessons about improving the lowest-performing group of students. There is actually no compelling evidence that, over all, the educational pipeline is failing to meet demand.
Our recent analysis of Department of Education data for three decades followed students from high school to the job market. We found little in the way of overall change in students’ pursuit of science-and-engineering studies or their entry into those careers over the past 30 years. We found that while a steady proportion of college students graduated in science and engineering, no more than half of them landed jobs in a formally defined core science or engineering occupation.
So, given a steady supply, why do companies report difficulty in finding ideal workers? Listen carefully and it sounds as if the employers would like entry-level workers to have skills not typical of newly graduated students. Leading engineering companies seek technologists with a depth of skill in a technical area combined with a broad education across technical fields, business, and the social sciences. Colleges find it difficult to develop all of that in only four years. So the hiring difficulty may reflect problems with pedagogy, the structure of higher education, the unwillingness of some employers to train new workers, and a lack of collaboration between academe and industry. It does not, however, indicate a loss of student interest or a shrinking pool of science-and-engineering graduates.
Nevertheless, some policy makers and industry leaders believe that to meet the demands of our knowledge economy, more such education is needed. They even think it is preferable to other fields of study. While acknowledging the value of science-and-engineering knowledge, we find that it is but one of many forms of valuable knowledge. Moreover, the science-and-engineering managers we interviewed expressed dissatisfaction with the “soft” communication, or teamwork, skills of their new engineers. And changes in hiring patterns suggest that the nation’s economic future depends on developing a balanced portfolio of well-educated workers across the spectrum of skills, knowledge, and disciplines.

Finally, some industry lobbying groups and high-tech companies seek to augment the supply of domestic workers by importing foreign labor on temporary visas. But this confuses the purpose of those programs with the country’s immigration policy for citizens-in-waiting. Immigration policy is driven by a long-term vision and a wide range of social and political objectives. The original intent of temporary-visa programs, on the other hand, was to meet short-term, not structural, labor shortages. Ensuring that labor markets are not distorted by short-term visas, which in their current form lead to a number of labor-market and social problems, is not anti-immigrant, and does not undermine the strength of U.S. science and engineering. In fact, raising the numbers of temporary visas for foreign workers during cyclical talent shortages can distort labor markets and discourage domestic students from careers in engineering and the sciences.

While we do not maintain that our study, or any one study, is definitive, we do believe that influential groups should consider new evidence in their quest to advance science, technology, and economic growth. When we look at the past three decades, the data support a far more favorable set of conclusions on student performance and supply than those promulgated by critics of the so-called STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) pipeline. At the same time, our research supports the widely recognized fact that women and minorities are the most likely future source of STEM workers, and, discouragingly, that where the education system is most clearly failing is precisely for those populations. Of course, focusing on the big picture leaves out clear-cut examples of unfilled shortages of workers in esoteric but crucial occupations.
The classic tried and true formulation is that supply follows demand or, less sanguinely, that depressed wages and discouraged workers result if supply outstrips demand. To avoid those problems, a number of demand-side policies should receive support from all quarters. These policies include stable and increasing government financing for research, reinvigoration of lagging private-sector investments in research, tax breaks and other incentives for research-and-development activities, and the creation of an environment that encourages entrepreneurship. In terms of education, however, the evidence clearly points to improving basic education for low-performing students, schools, and populations—not an attempt to artificially inflate the number of science-and-engineering degrees awarded.
Hal Salzman is a professor of public policy at Rutgers University at New Brunswick. B. Lindsay Lowell is director of policy studies at the Institute for the Study of International Migration at Georgetown University.


No Gifted Child Left Behind?  First, the good news: It turns out, millions of kids from low-income families are acing standardized tests. Now, the bad news…

With the tests we find that there are many who have the capacity to learn, to create to innovate, but, sadly nothing happens.  Download the report, here is the summary.

Today in America, there are millions of students who are
overcoming challenging socioeconomic circumstances
to excel academically. They defy the stereotype that poverty
precludes high academic performance and that lowerincome
and low academic achievement are inextricably
linked. They demonstrate that economically disadvantaged
children can learn at the highest levels and provide hope
to other lower-income students seeking to follow the
same path.
Sadly, from the time they enter grade school through
their postsecondary education, these students lose more
educational ground and excel less frequently than their
higher-income peers. Despite this tremendous loss
in achievement, these remarkable young people are
hidden from public view and absent from public policy
debates. Instead of being recognized for their excellence
and encouraged to strengthen their achievement, highachieving
lower-income students enter what we call the
“achievement trap” —
educators, policymakers, and the
public assume they can fend for themselves when the facts
show otherwise.
Very little is known about high-achieving students
from lower-income families — defined in this report as
students who score in the top 25 percent on nationally
normed standardized tests and whose family incomes
(adjusted for family size) are below the national median.
We set out to change that fact and to focus public attention
on this extraordinary group of students who can help
reset our sights from standards of proficiency to standards
of excellence.
This report chronicles the experiences of highachieving
lower-income students during elementary
school, high school, college, and graduate school. In
some respects, our findings are quite hopeful. There
are millions of high-achieving lower-income students
in urban, suburban, and rural communities all across
America; they reflect the racial, ethnic, and gender composition
of our nation’s schools; they drop out of high
school at remarkably low rates; and more than 90 percent
of them enter college.
But there is also cause for alarm. There are far fewer
lower-income students achieving at the highest levels than
there should be, they disproportionately fall out of the
high-achieving group during elementary and high school,
they rarely rise into the ranks of high achievers during
those periods, and, perhaps most disturbingly, far too few
ever graduate from college or go on to graduate school.
Unless something is done, many more of America’s brightest
lower-income students will meet this same educational
fate, robbing them of opportunity and our nation of a
valuable resource.
This report discusses new and original research on
this extraordinary population of students. Our findings
come from three federal databases that during the past 20
years have tracked students in elementary and high school,
college, and graduate school. The following principal
findings about high-achieving lower-income students are
important for policymakers, educators, business leaders,
the media, and civic leaders to understand and explore as
schools, communities, states, and the nation consider ways
to ensure that all children succeed: