Weekly Education News Update!

The Tennessean discussed the need for diversity among teachers in schools, whether it be more teachers of color, or increasing the number of teachers from rural settings.  It has been proven through research that diverse teachers have a positive effect on student’s educational experience.  Having a diverse staff allows more students to be able to relate to their educators.  “In the spirit of giving every student the best education possible, we should aim to have that diversity reflected in our staff as well.”

More recently, the main goal for teachers is to make their lessons interactive and captivating.  For instance, in a Forbes article, virtual reality is stated to be one of the six transformative technology trends occurring in education.  Virtual reality “enhances teacher instruction while simultaneously creating immersive lessons that are fun and engaging for the student.”  Many schools are now offering technology devices such as iPads or laptops to entire classrooms.  This concept is revolutionary for education, especially for schools with a high rate of students who come from low-income families.

Another increasingly popular technology trend in education discussed in Forbes is blended learning.  Blended learning “gives more responsibility to the student, as it involves less direct instruction from the teacher and more discovery-based methods of learning.”  As teachers incorporate blended learning into their classrooms, students can go at their own learning pace.  Another transformative technology trend mentioned in Forbes is increased use of educational gaming in classrooms, in an effort to make lessons more fun for students.  These games are created to provide immediate feedback; students are motivated to keep playing the games while gaining knowledge and skills.

This past week, The Strait Times examined how bilingual kids can pick up another language easier than a monolingual child.  A study was conducted with monolingual and bilingual toddlers to see if they were able to notice the differences in the change of wording stated aloud to them.  “The findings supported the theory that exposing children to two languages at the same time has cognitive benefits.”  A child is able to learn a language quicker from birth to around three years old.  Knowing this, Genius Plaza’s newly launched Pre-K program is a perfect way to help parents teach their young children Spanish or English. There are many videos, lessons, and educational games available on Genius Pre-K, a great place to start immersing your son or daughter in English or Spanish.

Black Enterprise covered the new Oakland Startup Network initiative. In this piece, Lili Gangas, Chief Technology Community Officer at the Kapor Center for Social Impact said, “The goal is to bring in a lot of the other ecosystem players in Oakland that are focused on increasing the number of underrepresented entrepreneurs.”

This week, we also learned on Medium about the “skyrocketing” growth of girls taking the AP Computer Science exam. According to this piece, “The growth among female students has been incredible, increasing participation in AP CS exams by 135% since 2016. Not to be outdone, underrepresented minorities have increased participation by nearly 170% over last year!”


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