Blogs on Career and Technical Education

Blogs on Career and Technical EducationRSS
David WestMarch 18, 2014

"School is boring." There is no place for that statement when teachers are creative, engaging and promote genuine learning. But how do teachers make their classes the opposite of boring?

When I began teaching high school business courses four years ago, I was just 23 years old. Because I had recently lived through traditional high school and college instruction, I knew there had to be a different way -- a better way.

Inspiration struck one night, months into my first year of teaching, while watching what was then a new TV show called Shark Tank. Here, entrepreneurs pitch their business ideas to millionaire and billionaire investors in the hope of securing funding to start, grow or save their business. When I showed my business students one episode, they begged to watch more. At that point, I knew I had something. So, to capitalize on my students' enthusiasm, I created a project out of it.

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Vicki Davis @coolcatteacherDecember 4, 2013

According to, 90 percent of U.S. schools are not teaching any computer science. Eyebrows have been raised this year as the U.K. passed a plan to educate every child how to code.

In my opinion, parents of every student in every school at every level should demand that all students be taught how to code. They don't need this skill because they'll all go into it as a career -- that isn't realistic -- but because it impacts every career in the 21st century world. Any country recognizing that will benefit in the long term. Here's how you can start.

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Mary Beth HertzSeptember 4, 2013

Editor's Note: In this blog sponsored by Lego, author Mary Beth Hertz mentions her use of the Lego Mindstorm product. Hertz did not know Lego was sponsoring her blog and Lego made no request for product mentions. To best serve our audience, Edutopia is leaving the reference intact, as it reflects the facts of the author's experience and not any commercial arrangement between Lego and Edutopia.

Right now in education, it seems like everyone is talking about STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math). Once again, our government has had a knee-jerk reaction to the success that other countries are having on international science and math tests. For many robotics coaches, this is all a bit "ho-hum." For decades, teams of students have been applying their knowledge of math, physics, electronics and computers to build machines that complete specific tasks and challenges. These teams have been working hand in hand with professional engineers as well as their teacher-coach, and they have been turning these experiences into internships at big-name companies and eventually into full-time careers.

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Ben JohnsonJuly 3, 2013

With the speed of change reaching a frenetic pace, the idea of schools preparing students for the future is becoming more and more of a challenge. I was fortunate to attend a P-20 Summit (preschool to doctorate -- I had to ask what it meant, too). Hosted by the University of Texas at San Antonio Office of P-20 Initiatives, the summit addressed where we are now and what we can do to prepare students for their futures.

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Manan Shah, PhDJuly 1, 2013

Technology is here to stay. There are two main ways of interfacing with technology: passively as a user and actively as a developer. Today's technical problems are very complicated -- they cannot all be solved in theory on a whiteboard or exhaustively via computation. The use of simulation methods to obtain a "solution" to the problem at hand is not uncommon in industry. The purpose of this post is to provide broadly a "why" and "how to" for introducing simulation methodologies into high school math and programming courses. While the subject matter is technically deep, the concepts are well within the grasp of high school students -- and possibly younger students.

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Mariko NoboriFebruary 27, 2013

MC2 STEM High School is an unusual year-round public school of about 270 students, located in Cleveland, Ohio. The school emphasizes integrated project-based learning, partnerships with business professionals, and real-world internship experiences to help students understand the crucial link between academic achievement and their future economic success. We visited their school and spent time with the dedicated adults and enthusiastic students who have helped create the school’s success. Take a look at this video for a glimpse into three students’ experiences there.

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Ajit JaokarJanuary 28, 2013

Following the previous post about teaching programming languages to kids, here are five more strategies which we are using in our trials at feynlabs. Our goal is to maintain young people's interest in learning programming so that the participants will acquire enough depth to take independent steps beyond what they learn. As usual, I welcome comments and feedback

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Ajit JaokarJanuary 25, 2013

Today, there is a grassroots movement for teaching programming languages to kids.

Some of the factors driving this movement include new devices like the Raspberry Pi1, initiatives like Khan Academy2, and a greater global emphasis on math and science education. For policy makers, the stakes are high because computing skills are now seen as an indicator for a nation's economic competitiveness.

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Dana ReineckeJanuary 24, 2013

The challenges associated with autism are costly to the affected individuals, their families, and society. Individuals with autism face difficulties in communication and socialization, as well as increased risk of behavior problems that can severely impact their ability to participate in everyday activities.

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Mark PhillipsMay 29, 2012

Some years ago I was hired by Norway's Ministry of Education to train vocational education teachers. Having myself attended a comprehensive high school where vocational students were those who couldn't make it academically, and having taught in a suburban high school where there was zero vocational education, it was eye-opening to be in a country where vocational education had high prestige, was well-funded, and included students who could have gone to medical school if that had been their preference.

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