Great things happened last Wednesday. President Obama announced that private corporations supported the “Educate to Innovate” initiative with $260 million for STEM Education (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math Education). This amount is in addition to the $250 million that the federal government announced in November.
The “Educate to Innovate” initiative is to strengthen our science and math programs in schools. The plan is to increase the number of teachers graduating with science and math concentrations. It is also focused on training our current science teachers to create hands-on, problem solving environments within our classrooms. It is perceived that science and math are the future of our economy and our ability to compete globally.
In addition to a focus on science and math, the STEM Education program stresses the importance of technology integration into the classroom. Understanding the skills needed for the 21st Century has been made a priority and hopefully that means that we will continue to see more money both private and public supporting these initiatives.
We shouldn’t wait until we see the dollar signs though, because as most of us look at state budgets we know that isn’t going to be anytime soon! It will be too late by the time the economy gets turned right-side up for those students in your classes now. Take the steps now to train yourself with these tools and show your administration that you are prepared to bring your students into 21st century learning.
Knowledge is powerful and as teachers we should represent that as life long learners. Help your profession realize that the world is not going to turn the clock back and eradicate all computers and technology. Instead it will move forward leaving those uninterested in growth behind.
This week I will not be writing about tools that can support your content. Instead I am going to be posting about ways that we can prepare ourselves to “Educate to Innovate” by bringing learning into the 21st Century.