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Short Tech/ STEM assessment

October 10, 2012

 

I felt like taking a trip down STEM road to see what I could find. I started out wanting to see the state of computer literacy with teens but moved out to STEM in general. It seems that there are mixed feelings about the state of Tech and STEM related employment and educational needs.

Here are some links to recent, past few years, news articles and website about the topic.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2012/jul/10/digital-literacy-roundtable

http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2012/mar/31/why-kids-should-be-taught-code

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/30/us/new-digital-divide-seen-in-wasting-time-online.html?smid=pl-share

http://changetheequation.org/

http://www.usnews.com/opinion/articles/2012/06/15/stem-education-is-the-key-to-the-uss-economic-future
The basic feeling (globally maybe) is that tech/ STEM rules the day but education in the subject area is lackluster. Schools are not getting students fired up about science, but also many families do not know how to get their kids educated about jobs in STEM. Yet for all the jobs, STEM is a complicated area to work in, always changing and so keeping a job is hard.

What I wanted to find was a general understanding of what people felt was ‘computer literacy’ and how teens stood in relation to that definition. What comp.lit. seems to mean to most people is “the ability to uses a computer more in depth than word processing,” so the levels are typing/email/blogging than Website creation than computer programming. Obviously, these are not mutually exclusive areas but as a general progression of understanding and technical difficulty the progression seems ok. At any rate news articles and studies seem to indicate that teens/young people do not know much beyond general usage of computers, that is they can not create stuff with a computer. Create things like: building a computer, website, application/program, network, robot, application specific computer system. But more than having the ability to build things do teens/young people know where to look for information to do so if they wanted? That would be information discovery literacy. So before you can creatively command a computer you have to know where to look to find information on the topic of interest, that is what LIS is about – is it not (yaya for us!).

So this is all very interesting and I felt like sharing with the class.

 

 

 

 

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