Over the past past few days I have met with educators, technologists and scientists who are trying to make science relevant to students and the public through innovative, state of the art, interactive, smart technology and current science education. This is the way of the future and attending the AAAS conference this past weekend made me realize it more than ever. As I always like to say... innovation is here and getting better, we either embrace it and show kids the future of it or fall behind and let the kids pass us on their own.. And they will.
We can no longer stay in our ivory impractical towers. I found out this weekend at the conference that based on a Leopoldo network study 90% of educators want to make learning relevant but studies show that closer to 40% spend less than 1 hour per month on outside engagement - speaking to scientists, experts, attending conferences, seminars, innovative professional development keeping them abreast of current technologies, issues and pedagogy and enrichment they can bring back to the classroom.
Leaders and the public would be wise to embrace innovative technology and the teachers using it to bring inquiry and true relevance into the classroom where kids are eager and excited to learn because learning no longer feels like a chore and everyone is capable giving the proper opportunities.
Let me leave you with this.... Did you ever have to memorize the planets in order? ....my, very, educated, mother, just, served, nine, pies. ( but no longer Pluto) well, who cares?...
But did you ever learn why Venus is the distance it is from the Earth and use technological tools that will bring relevance to this in relation to gravity, distance and elliptical orbit? This is what the student will remember into adulthood.
I am so thankful I was given the opportunity to attend the AAAS conference in Boston from 2/14 to 2/17. I was even able to bring my teenage daughter to many events thanks to the kindness of Suzanne Thurston. It is wonderful to see all the minds, young and old and somewhere in between, being stimulated. I think we both left with an even greater appreciation for science, and for that I thank you AAAS, Verizon and Suburu.
~ Alexia Forhan