Opinion

Women In Technology: Why It's Good For Everyone

I’m heading to Ireland soon to take part in the IT@Cork European Technology Summit. The conference is ambitious for certain and will be tackling hot issues from the Cloud, STEM, Digital Media and The Future Of Talent, with top-tier guests from industry leaders, such as VMware, and bright lights in tech education, such as CIT. I’m speaking on a benchmark panel (and a digital marketing one too with a different angle) talking about gender diversity in technology and business.

Crowdfunded Science Is Here. But Is It Legit Science?

In the US, most scientific funding comes from the government, distributed in grants awarded by an assortment of federal science, health, and defense agencies. So it’s a bit disconcerting that some scientists find it necessary to fund their research the same way dudebros raise money for a potato salad. Does that migration suggest the current grant system is broken? If it is, how can we ensure that funding goes to legitimate science working toward meaningful discoveries?

FAA should rethink its rules and unlock commercial drone innovation

On April 24, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will wrap up its first public comment period for its proposed rules allowing commercial use of small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) — commonly referred to as "drones" — in U.S. airspace. These rules will mark an important milestone in the path toward unlocking the untapped opportunities presented by this innovative technology. Unfortunately, the FAA's proposed rules take an overly cautious approach that could stifle innovation by heaping prescriptive regulations on a rapidly evolving technology. A better approach is to create a series of risk-based, technology-neutral rules that make safety paramount while not sacrificing innovation.

What the future of science education should look like

Science is one of those subjects that everybody agrees is of the highest importance but somehow manages to get short shrift when it comes to policy. In the following post, Arthur H. Camins looks at where science education has been and what it should look like. Camins is the director of the Center for Innovation in Engineering and Science Education at the Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, N.J. He has taught and been an administrator in New York City, Massachusetts and Louisville, Kentucky.

Time to upgrade from the Walkman in education

Today we can choose an iPod with a touch screen, pay as little as $49 for a slimmed down version, or go with an iPhone, now in its sixth generation, with more computing power than Apollo 11.  Yet, our schools are still failing our students: one in five members of the class of 2015 has dropped out of high school, just two in five will go on to college, and our global competitiveness will pay the price.   While No Child Left Behind made some important strides in tasking schools with tackling long-ignored achievement gaps, the law mandated prescriptive solutions, which prevented schools from implementing better ways to meet student needs.

Integrating technology and learning

Today is different. Memorization of important information is no longer the most efficient route in school because of the ease of access. Why should students devote hours and hours memorizing the Krebs cycle if they can simply find a diagram and explanation online? Memorizing the cycle would only be useful to students who intend to enter a biology-related occupation, and those students will likely memorize the process anyway because they will use it frequently.

How to Educate the Next Generation of Googlers: Two Lessons From the White House Science Fair

For a country famously lagging in math and science, how did we produce students like these -- and how can we produce more of them? I found two key themes in the many dozens of well-rehearsed presentations: For young people, science is not just inherently interesting. It's a tool to solve the world's most important problems. I was struck by how much innovation at The White House Science Fair was grounded in empathy.

Innovation Act makes patents harder to enforce, easier to infringe

A wide and diverse group of stakeholders from throughout the U.S. economy – including the university, individual inventor, biotech, pharmaceutical, venture capital, medical device, and startup communities – have repeatedly articulated specific concerns with H.R. 9 and offered changes to address those concerns while still targeting abusive behavior in patent litigation. These efforts have not led to the significant changes necessary to keep H.R. 9 from harming the U.S. economy.

Why Solving Poverty through "Higher Education" Is a Mistake

These are jobs that can pay decently and that go begging. For example, according to Deloitte, there will be 2 million manufacturing jobs that go wanting over the next decade. The reason? Companies can’t find people with the skills needed to work in new high-tech factories and to run equipment. Then there are occupations like electricians, plumbers, and robotics technicians that don’t have enough workers because kids are taught to be interested in only a handful of more glamorous or socially-acceptable occupations.

Rethinking the Rise of STEM Education?

... is such an intense focus on STEM a good idea? Most would say yes. America, so the narrative goes, became a global leader largely because of the innovations of it scientists and engineers – think Silicon Valley and Bill Gates. However, American students persistently lag behind other countries in globally benchmarked math and science tests like PISA and TIMSS. This trend has sparked an almost frantic pursuit amongst policymakers to improve mathematics and science achievement, lest we fall behind and lose our global standing. Thus, in a recent Washington Post article, an influential journalist and writer Fareed Zakaria caused quite a stir (see rebuttals here, here, and here) when he forcefully questioned the wisdom of “America’s obsession with STEM.”

Want Innovation? Create a Culture of Yes

Reward is the "what if things go right" scenario that we too often ignore. It brings balance to our decision-making. No matter if it's thick or paper thin, there is a silver lining, a hidden reward, in every situation we face. By embracing optimism, we bring to life a forgotten story that has been hidden from us for too long: the best case scenario. Here are a few reasons why finding your silver lining can help you bring more to the boardroom.

When in doubt, blame the STEM educators: 100 years of finger pointing is enough

Unquestionably, developing a skilled and prepared workforce is a challenge that is interwoven into the fabric of the education system.  But STEM educators … somehow… seem to bear the brunt if not all of the blame when the product of the system does not seem to align with the demand from industry. More to the point, for more than 100 years, the blame for the skills gap has been placed at the feet of the secondary education system … and more specifically at the feet of the teachers and counselors that stand on the front lines of that system.

For the Love of Learning: Making School Worse, Faster

I love technology, and I use it every single day. I teach with it, and I learn with it. Without technology, my teaching and learning would suffer. However, too much of what is being sold as “Education Technology” merely shoehorns technology in a way that supplements traditional, less-than-optimal teaching and learning practices which ultimately leads the classroom to revert to the way it was before. Here are three mistakes schools and teachers make when integrating technology:

Microsoft at 40, the iPad at 5 and the always-changing nature of tech

At Microsoft, it's certainly better for the company to focus on the future, rather than the past. That's partially because the last decade has been difficult for the company. In fact, the last five years have been particularly challenging, with Microsoft being passed in market cap and mindshare by the likes of Apple and Google.

U.S. must stem slide by allocating sufficient resources to educate its students

Resources and technology are crucial to a proper education in math and sciences. However, schools all over the country struggle due to a scarcity of both. We students in New England should take education into our own hands and try to remedy our education system's shortcomings by making the best of the resources we have. Yet, our efforts remain futile. No amount of textbooks (obsolete textbooks, at that) or Internet research can compare with the access to a well-stocked student library or rich databases.

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