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November 2017 Monthly Roundup For Educators

By The Room 241 Team November 30, 2017

It’s arguably one of the busiest times of the year—you’re preparing your students for holiday break, which means tests, grading, projects, and more grading. How do you keep up with the news? We’re here to help. Here are a few noteworthy articles published during November. Whether it’s during your free period, your morning coffee, or before bed, take a look at these headlines.

When STEM Becomes STEAM More Kids Have Access (The Seattle Times)

The Seattle Times takes a look at what happens when schools add art to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. The article notes that the technology sector, in Seattle and beyond, desperately needs to diversify. One way to do that? Turn STEM into STEAM to attract more students. “By combining technical content like engineering and calculations with a range of art forms, creativity, and sensory engagement—you reach a whole new set of students,” Lauren Bayer, Marketing Coordinator and Graphic Designer at Living Computers: Museum + Labs, said in the story. (And then take a look at our blog post, Why the A in STEAM Is Just As Important As Every Other Letter.)

The Path Less Taken: Barriers to Providing Career and Technical Education at Community Colleges (American Enterprise Institute)

This article explores the importance of career and technical training at community colleges nationwide. It notes that some of these programs result in higher earnings than bachelor degree programs, including technical and allied health fields. Employers are desperate to fill the middle-skills gap, and community colleges are taking that as an opportunity to add more programs and to do their part in training the next generation of workers.

How Silicon Valley Plans to Conquer the Classroom (The New York Times)

There’s no doubt that technology is changing education from the moment students begin preschool until they graduate college. And Silicon Valley is going “all out” to own America’s school computer and software market, which is projected to reach $21 billion in sales by 2020. What does this look like? K-12 students carrying laptops around school hallways donated by computer and software companies like HP. In Baltimore County, the New York Times reviewed thousands of pages of school documents and interviews with school officials, researchers, teachers, tech executives, and parents about technology changes in local schools.

Educators Can’t Help Homeless Students If They Can’t Identify Them (EdSurge)

During the 2014-15 school year, it’s estimated that 113,000 homeless students were enrolled in Texas schools alone. But more than 25 percent of school districts in Texas reported no homeless students, leading them to believe many were going unnoticed. How do educators recognize and support homeless students? This article explores the challenges, the opportunities, and the strategies to help homeless students reach their fullest potential.

Absences, Trauma, and Orphaned Children: How the Opioid Crisis is Ravaging Schools (Education Week)

In Allegany County, Maryland, superintendent David Cox has seen firsthand how the opioid crisis is affecting his district’s students. They’ve seen their parents overdose, become orphaned, and they represent millions of students nationwide dealing with the same emotional trauma. Cox spoke to Education Week about what his district of more than 74,000 students needs to deal with this growing crisis. He talks about when the crisis started escalating, what his district is doing to support students affected by trauma, and what needs to happen at the state and federal level to support students nationwide.

Why Are Parents Afraid of Later School Start Times? (The Atlantic)

Research has shown that early school start times, around 7:30, don’t align with children’s sleep needs. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend pushing start times back to about 8:30 a.m. for middle and high school students, but parents and districts are hesitant to make changes. This article explores the history of early school start times, why districts don’t want to make the changes, and the benefits of starting school later.


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