A new program in Baltimore aims to bring more technology to the classroom by bringing technologists, educators, and students together to become a community of technology trainers and experts, according to the article “Closing the Loop Between Students, Teachers, and Technologists.“
The cycle begins by bringing in volunteer technologists to train teachers in new technology as part of the teachers’ professional development. Once teachers master the new technology, they hold after-school programs where they teach students the new skills. Then, students go to other schools as a trained student technologist and train a new set of teachers.
This tech-training model not only supports growth in technology education, it also creates community, supports innovation, and gets a new generation interested in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) careers. STEM professionals are in high-demand as our lives become more integrated with technology. However, studies show students need to be introduced to and interested in STEM subjects early in life to consider a STEM career.
In a study of 500 college students pursuing a STEM major, four out of five students said they decided to pursue a STEM career in high school or earlier. The study also found females were especially motivated (68%) by a single class or teacher to continue their STEM studies.
Those involved in the new technology program believe it has the potential to become a national model. Imagine the impact of just a few students all across the country, not only learning in-demand computer skills, but training teachers to embrace technology and getting real-world experience at the same time.
“Closing the Loop Between Students, Teachers, and Technologists,” by Tina Barseghian. 8 March 2012. Mind/Shift. Accessed on 9 March 2012. http://mindshift.kqed.org/2012/03/linking-students-teachers-and-technologists/