On July 22, The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA)was signed into law. The signing ceremony was a showcase for the importance of national workforce education and development to economic recovery. It included the release of Ready to Work: Job-Driven Training and American Opportunity, a federal-wide effort to ensure “that federally funded training programs are singularly focused on getting more Americans ready to work with marketable skills.”
ShopBot Tools, a respected leader in digital design and fabrication tools, has launched "Digital Fab Tools for Schools," a special promotion supporting the wider availability of digital fabrication technology and curricula in high schools and middle schools in collaboration with Autodesk, Inc. Using digital fabrication tools helps teachers incorporate hands-on "making" to successfully teach STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) and other subjects.
With the generous support of Autodesk, a leader in cloud-based design and engineering software, this ShopBot promotion will provide interested teachers and educators with a voucher worth $2,500 toward the purchase of a limited number of ShopBot Desktop CNC tools, together with ShopBot’s training and support, and a free* copy of Autodesk123D Design software. The Autodesk 123D Design software is a 3D modeling tool that allows users to create a digital model and then 3D print or fabricate their idea.
Technology in Action
The following set of facts are called the Ten Pillars of Economic Wisdom. These basic laws of economics were developed by The Economic Foundation of New York. It might be called a guide for human's economic life. These ten rules show how simply the economic truth can be told.
How often we wish for another chance
To make a fresh beginning,
A chance to blot our mistakes
And change failure into winning--
And it does not take a new year
To make a brand-new start,
It only takes the deep desire
To try with all our heart
To live a little better
And to always be forgiving
And to add a little laughter
To the world in which we're living--
So never give up in despair
And think that you are through,
For there's always a tomorrow
And a chance to start anew.
Article for Review
Visualization and model building are skills that technology instructors have been providing their students for some time. Using visualization and the ability to replicate a model are skills that can be enhanced when students are introduced to communication simulation and the process of developing simulated representations of reality. In this article, the authors explain how to develop and design a communication simulation using a physical security analysis of a computer laboratory as the theme of the activity. Communication simulation from the authors’ viewpoint is the use of technology and visualization to allow the student to communicate by using a model
Computer developed simulations are new teaching tools that faculty are starting to use in their classrooms. In this paper, the authors look at one type of simulation, communication, which can be implemented into the classroom using a physical security analysis from a technology/visualization perspective. However, to disseminate this article to a broader audience and to be consistent with the understanding of the terminology used throughout the narrative several terms will be defined using Wikipedia as the resource. As Clark Aldrich states (2009, p. xxxii), “The lack of common terms is a huge problem, and it has substantially hindered the development of the simulation space. Sponsors, developers, and students have not been able to communicate intelligently.”
Follow The Money
$500 Million in Community College Grants for Training Programs. Click (READ MORE) for State allocations.
$500 million in grants to community colleges and universities around the country for the development and expansion of innovative training programs. The grants are part of the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training initiative, which promotes skills development and employment opportunities in fields such as advanced manufacturing, transportation and health care, as well as science, technology, engineering and math careers through partnerships between training providers and local employers. The U.S. Department of Labor is implementing and administering the program in coordination with the U.S. Department of Education.
The most important thing to note about STEM funding is that it’s driven by several different motives, and understanding where a funder is coming from will be crucial to finding the right fit. For some, typically Silicon Valley tech philanthropists, it’s about nurturing innovation. For others, it’s about global market dominance and getting ahead of China. Corporate funders are interested in keeping their industries strong, and in many cases, directly training and recruiting future employees. Then there are funders who consider it a justice issue, ensuring that disadvantaged students graduate with access to future jobs and competitive pay.
Generally, there are a handful of program categories that win grants in this field: Professional development for K-12 teachers, Informal education such as camps and afterschool programs, Competitions, awards and science fairs, STEM equipment and curriculum, Implementing STEM standards and reform.
The Art of the Future
The economy is the single most important issue for a sizable majority of voters in the 2012 presidential race according to the latest Washington Post-ABC News Poll. Similarly, U.S. competitiveness, entrepreneurship, and innovation are the hot topics in politics and business. On Wednesday, January 18, 2012, Harvard released a survey of approximately 10,000 alumni, from the Harvard Competitiveness project, indicating American competitiveness will decline over the next three years, according to 71% of those surveyed.
STEM Education Source and Technical Education Publishing will provide information about Technical, Technology and STEM related sources of information and curriculum that can be helpful in the classroom. The following are some great resources for preK-12 STEM Education.
NASA — Educators
eGFI: Dream Up the Future
Veteran Technology Educator Jacqui Murray discussed her view of what the classroom of the future might look like. The following are some of her published opinions and visions. Many are already happening today.
What’s your vision of the future?
Students will each have a digital device. It may be a tablet PC, laptop, Chromebook, Surface–that won’t matter. What’s important is that it is portable, sturdy, fits in a backpack, and is digitally secure. All student work will be done on these.
Students will actively participate via a backchannel device (i.e., Today’s Meet, Socrative, Padlet, Twitter, a Google Apps adaptation). The stream of student comments, thoughts, questions, ideas will appear on the class Smartscreen for the benefit of all. Students will access it on their digital devices, while class goes on. The teacher will address comments so she can address concerns.
Homework and projects will be submitted online, via Dropbox, GAFE, or a school-specific program like Schoology. No printing, no depositing to the class inbox, no lost in the dark recesses of the student backpack. Work will be completed and immediately shared with stakeholders.
Workers with STEM—science, technology, engineering, and mathematics—skills are essential in promoting innovation and economic growth, but there is a relative (and perhaps an absolute) shortage of U.S. workers with the STEM skills our economy requires, according to Jonathan Rockwell of the Metropolitan Policy Program at the Brookings Institution. His recent report, Still Searching: Job Vacancies and STEM Skills, used new data to “analyze the skill requirements and the advertisement duration time for millions of job openings.” It contains a wealth of information for those preparing the STEM workforce of the future. http://www.brookings.edu/research/interactives/2014/job-vacancies-and-stem-skills#/M10420
Festo Didactic, the education division of the Festo Group has acquired Lab-Volt Systems. This is a major Corporate Merger in the Technical Education Sector. For the customers of both companies, this acquisition opens up the availability of a much broader range of products and services worldwide. Lab-Volt’s and Festo Didactic’s product portfolios will be integrated according to a joint portfolio and branding strategy. Festo Didactic, a global education company, is the market leader in technical education with focus on both, learning systems and training services. Lab-Volt is the leading specialist for equipment and solutions in the technical training and continuing education sectors, focusing on electronics, electrical and mechanical engineering, and telecommunications
The time that every student will have a computer for their schoolwork is here today. Technical Education Publishing has discussed the transition with several Technology Directors around the country and will share the top stories. If your school does not have a 1-to-1 deployment of Lap Top or IPAD for each student, you soon will. The key issue for providing this technology has been how to protect technical devices from accidental damage, vandalism and more. We have discovered an organization with the courage and imagination to offer this protection. This is the first in a series of discussions we are having with Technology Educators and Worth Ave. Group.
STEM education is rapidly changing. The redesign of the Advanced Placement science exams puts new emphasis on evidence-based reasoning, data analysis and experimental design . Engineering education is becoming an expectation for secondary school students in the U.S.  and becoming increasingly student-centered . These changes require students to participate in new roles in the classroom and require teachers to devote more instructional time to the acquisition, analysis and interpretation of data. Since the publication of the National Science Education Standards  school systems have been pressured to invest in science labs. However, the quality of lab experiences for most U.S. students remains poor and it is often the case that the continuous investment required to maintain and supply lab work does not support initial investments .
Sikorsky Aircraft, a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp. has launched the 2013 Sikorsky Helicopter 2050 Challenge, a national competition that invites youths ages 9-16 to envision a helicopter capable of addressing global issues likely to be encountered by mid century. Winner of the grand prize — the Igor Sikorsky Youth Innovator Award — will receive a $1,000 scholarship check, meet with Sikorsky rotorcraft engineers, and receive an expenses-paid tour of the BLACK HAWK and SEAHAWK® helicopter assembly lines at Sikorsky’s Stratford, Conn., headquarters.
“We’re challenging kids across the U.S. to think globally about their future and how they can make a difference,” said Judy Bankowski, Vice President and Chief Information Officer at Sikorsky. “This year’s objective is to design a helicopter that can have far-reaching positive impact for our planet and its inhabitants.”
The consideration of cord length is very important in a bungee jump—too short, and the jumper doesn’t get much of a thrill; too long, and ouch! In this lesson, students model a bungee jump using a Barbie® doll and rubber bands. The distance to which the doll will fall is directly proportional to the number of rubber bands, so this context is used to examine linear functions.
Collect data using a rubber band bungee cord and a Barbie doll.
Use the data collected to construct a scatterplot and generate a line of best fit.
Predict how many rubber bands are needed for Barbie to safely jump from a given distance.
Rubber bands (all the same size and type)
Yardsticks or measuring tapes
Barbie® dolls (or similar)
The Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE), is the largest national education association dedicated to the advancement of education that prepares youth and adults for careers. The Association for Career and Technical Education was founded in 1926.