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FCC Launches Update of E-Rate for Broadband in Schools and Libraries | FCC.gov

FCC Launches Update of E-Rate for Broadband in Schools and Libraries | FCC.gov | STEM Education models and innovations with Gaming | Scoop.it
I.              IntroductionIn this Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), we initiate a thorough review and update of the E-rate program (more formally known as the schools and libraries universal service support mechanism), building on reforms adopted in 2010 as well as the Commission’s reforms of each of the other universal service programs.  During the past 15 years, the financial support provided by the E-rate program has helped revolutionize schools’ and libraries’ access to modern communications networks.  E-rate-supported Internet connections are crucial for learning and for the operation of modern schools and libraries.[1]  Increasingly, schools and libraries require high-capacity broadband[2] connections to take advantage of digital learning technologies that hold the promise of substantially improving educational experiences and expanding opportunity for students, teachers, parents and whole communities.[3]  As a result, there is a growing chorus of calls to build on the success of the E-rate program by modernizing the program and adopting clear forward-looking goals aimed at efficiently and effectively ensuring high-capacity connections to schools and libraries nationwide.E-rate has been instrumental in ensuring our schools and libraries have the connectivity necessary to enable students and library patrons to participate in the digital world.  When Congress passed the Telecommunications Act of 1996 authorizing the creation of the E-rate program, only 14 percent of classrooms had access to the Internet, and most schools with Internet access (74 percent) used dial-up Internet access.[4]  By 2005, nearly all schools had access to the Internet, and 94 percent of all instructional classrooms had Internet access.[5]  Similarly, by 2006, nearly all public libraries were connected to the Internet, and 98 percent of them offered public Internet access.[6]  The challenge we now face is modernizing the program to ensure that our nation’s students and communities have access to high-capacity broadband connections that support digital learning while making sure that the program remains fiscally responsible and fair to the consumers and businesses that pay into the universal service fund (USF or Fund).In schools, high-capacity broadband connectivity, combined with cutting-edge educational tools and content, is transforming learning by providing customized teaching opportunities, giving students and teachers access to interactive content, and offering assessments and analytics that provide students, their teachers, and their parents, real-time information about student performance.[7]  High-capacity broadband is also expanding the boundaries of our schools by allowing for interactive and collaborative distance learning applications, providing all students – from rural communities to inner cities – access to high-quality courses and expert instruction, no matter how small a school they attend or how far they live from experts in their field of study.  High-capacity broadband platforms and the educational options they enable are particularly crucial for providing all students, in both rural and urban communities, customized and personalized education and access to cutting-edge learning tools in the areas of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education, thus preparing our students to compete in the global economy.In libraries, high-capacity broadband access provides patrons the ability to search for and apply for jobs; learn new skills; interact with federal, state, local, and Tribal government agencies; search for health-care and other crucial information; make well-informed purchasing decisions; engage in life-long learning; and stay in touch with friends and family.  In Idaho, for example, the state agency’s Libraries Linking Idaho database portal, available in all Idaho libraries, provides essential resources to library patrons such as an online video encyclopedia and a program to provide tools for test preparation and skill-building.[8]  Additionally, the Chicago Public Library’s YOUMedia and The Labs at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh offer young people an opportunity to produce rich, multi-media products using the latest technology tools while connecting these learning experiences directly back to school and careers.[9]  Further, the Howard County Public Library in Maryland houses a Learning Lab to engage young adults in using new and emerging media and technology.[10]  Libraries are uniquely important because they provide Internet access to all residents in communities they serve.[11]  In addition, libraries support distance learning and continuing education for college and adult students.[12]    There is strong evidence and growing consensus that E-rate needs to sharpen its focus and provide schools and libraries with high-capacity broadband connections.  In response to a 2010 Commission survey of E-rate funded schools and libraries, only 10 percent of survey respondents reported broadband speeds of 100 Mbps or greater, while 48 percent reported broadband speeds of less than 10 Mbps.[13]  Approximately 39 percent of the respondents cited cost of service as a barrier in meeting their needs, and 27 percent cited cost of installation as a barrier.[14] Likewise, although the speeds of library connections have been increasing over time, many libraries report that speeds are insufficient to meet their growing needs.  An annual survey done by the American Library Association (ALA) shows that in 2011-2012, while 9 percent of libraries reported connection speeds of greater than 100 Mbps, 25 percent of libraries still have speeds of 1.5 Mbps or less, and approximately 62 percent of libraries reported connection speeds of 10 Mbps or less.[15]  Thus, notwithstanding the trend towards faster speeds, 41 percent of libraries reported that their speeds fail to meet their patrons’ needs some or most of the time.[16] Last month, President Obama announced the ConnectED initiative aimed at connecting all schools to the digital age.[17]  The ConnectED initiative seeks to connect schools and libraries serving 99 percent of our students to next-generation high-capacity broadband (with speeds of no less than 100 Mbps and a target speed of 1 Gbps) and to provide high-capacity wireless connectivity within those schools and libraries within five years.[18]  President Obama has called on the Commission to modernize and leverage the E-rate program to help meet those targets.  Teachers, local school officials, state education leaders, digital learning experts, and businesses from across the country endorsed President Obama’s vision and have called for an update to the E-rate program to meet today’s teaching and learning needs.[19] In voicing his support for President Obama’s ConnectED initiative, Senator John D. Rockefeller IV, one of the original supporters of the E-rate program, explained: “[I]n its almost two decades, the E-Rate program has fundamentally transformed education in this country – we have connected our most remote schools and libraries to the world.  But as impressive and important as the E-Rate program has been, basic Internet connectivity is no longer sufficient to meet our 21st Century educational needs.”[20]  Even more recently, the bipartisan Leading Education by Advancing Digital (LEAD) Commission has taken up the call and released a blue print for paving a path to digital learning in the United States which    highlights “inadequate high-speed Internet connectivity in the classrooms” as “the most immediate and expensive barrier to implementing technology in education,” and calls modernizing E-rate the “centerpiece of solving the infrastructure challenge.”[21]The need for E-rate reform is also clear given the extraordinary demand for existing E-rate support.  For this funding year,[22] schools and libraries sought E-rate funding in excess of $4.9 billion, more than twice the annual cap of $2.25 billion.[23]  The E-rate funding cap was set by the Commission when it created the E-rate program in 1997 and demand for funds has exceeded the cap every year since the inception of the program.[24]  Moreover, technology is constantly evolving, so to be most effective, the E-rate program must evolve to meet the current and future needs of schools and libraries. Therefore, in this NPRM, we seek to modernize E-rate to ensure that it can most efficiently and effectively help schools and libraries meet their connectivity needs over the course of the rest of this decade and the next.Three years ago, the Commission took important initial steps to modernize E-rate to improve efficiency and respond to the increasing technological needs of schools and libraries in response to recommendations made in the National Broadband Plan.[25]  The reforms, adopted in the Schools and Libraries Sixth Report and Order, focused on: (1) providing greater flexibility to schools and libraries in their selection of the most cost-effective broadband services; (2) streamlining the E-rate application process; and (3) improving safeguards against fraud, waste, and abuse.[26]  Among other things, the Commission allowed schools and libraries to lease dark fiber from any entity, including state, municipal or regional research networks and utility companies;[27] made permanent a rule to allow schools to open their facilities to the public when schools are not in session so that community members may use the school’s E-rate supported services on the school’s campus;[28] and established the Learning On-The-Go (also known as E-rate Deployed Ubiquitously (EDU) 2011) pilot program to investigate the merits and challenges of wireless off-premises connectivity services for mobile learning devices.[29]In this NPRM, we seek comment on ways to build on these steps and more comprehensively modernize E-rate, including improving the efficiency and administration of the program.  We begin by proposing explicit program goals and seeking comment on specific ways to measure our progress towards meeting those goals.  During the last two years, the Commission has established goals and measures as part of modernizing the three other universal service support programs.[30]  Today, we propose to do the same for the E-rate program.  We then seek comment on a number of possible approaches to achieving each of our proposed goals.Thus, the balance of this NPRM is organized into the following six sections:In Section II, we propose three goals for the E-rate program:

(1) Ensuring schools and libraries have affordable access to 21st Century broadband that supports digital learning;

(2) Maximizing the cost-effectiveness of E-rate funds; and

(3) Streamlining the administration of the E-rate program. 

We also propose to adopt measures for each of the proposed goals. 

In proposing to adopt specific goals and measures, we seek to focus available funds on the highest communications priorities for schools and libraries and, over time, to determine whether E-rate funds are effectively targeted to meet those goals.

In Section III, we focus on the first proposed goal and seek comment on ways to modernize and reform the E-rate program to better ensure eligible schools and libraries have affordable access to high-capacity broadband.  First, we propose to focus E-rate funds on supporting high-capacity broadband to and within schools and libraries, and we seek comment on updating the list of services eligible for E-rate support.  Second, we seek comment on various options for ensuring equitable access to limited E-rate funding.  Finally, we seek comment on what other measures we could take if these steps, combined with the other efficiency measures proposed elsewhere in this NPRM, appear insufficient to meet our program goals.  In particular, we seek comment on potential options to focus additional state, local, and federal funding on school connectivity and to lower the costs of new high-capacity broadband deployment to schools and libraries. In Section IV, we focus on the second proposed goal and seek comment on maximizing the cost-effectiveness of E-rate purchases, including how we can encourage increased consortium purchasing; create bulk buying opportunities; increase transparency of spending and prices; amend the competitive bidding processes; and encouraging efficient use of funding.  We also seek comment on a pilot program to incent and test more efficient purchasing practices. In Section V, we focus on the third proposed goal and seek comment on ways to streamline the administration of the E-rate program by, among other things, requiring electronic filing of all documents with the E-rate program Administrator, the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC); increasing transparency of USAC’s processes; speeding USAC’s review of E-rate applications; simplifying the eligible services list; finding more efficient ways to disburse E-rate funds; addressing unused E-rate funding; and streamlining the E-rate appeals process.In Section VI, we seek comment on several additional issues relating to the E-rate program that have been raised by stakeholders, including issues related to school and library obligations under the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA); identifying rural schools and libraries; changes to the National School Lunch Program; fraud protection measures; use of E-rate supported services for community Wi-Fi hotspots; and procedures for dealing with national emergencies.

In seeking comment on our proposed goals and measures, and on options to modernize E-rate to better align it with these goals, in addition to specific questions posed throughout, we encourage input from Tribal governments and ask generally whether there are any unique circumstances on Tribal lands that would necessitate a different approach.  Similarly, we request comment on whether there are any unique circumstances in insular areas that would necessitate a different approach.


[1] State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA), The Broadband Imperative:  Recommendation to Address K-12 Educational Infrastructure Needs, at 10 (rel. May 21, 2012), available at http://www.setda.org/web/guest/broadbandimperative (  last visited July 15, 2013) (SETDA Recommendation).  See generally Charles M. Davidson and Michael J. Santorelli, The Impact of Broadband on Education:  A Study Commissioned by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce (December 2010) available at http://www.uschamber.com/sites/default/files/about/US_Chamber_Paper_on_Broadband_and_Education.pdf  (last visited July 15, 2013).

[2] We use the term “high-capacity broadband” in this NPRM to describe the evolving level of connectivity schools and libraries need as they increasingly adopt new, innovative digital learning strategies.

[3] SETDA, The Broadband Imperative:  Recommendation to Address K-12 Educational Infrastructure Needs, at 10 (rel. May 21, 2012), available at http://www.setda.org/web/guest/broadbandimperative  (last visited July 15, 2013) (SETDA Recommendation).

[4] See U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Internet Access in U.S. Public Schools and Classrooms: 1994-2001 (2002), available at http://www.immagic.com/eLibrary/ARCHIVES/GENERAL/US_ED/NCES2018.pdf (last visited July 15, 2013); U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, Internet Access in U.S. Public Schools and Classrooms: 1994-2005, at 4-5, 16 (2006), available at http://nces.ed.gov/pubs2007/2007020.pdf (last visited July 15,  2013).

[5] See id. at 4-5. 

[6] See Information Use Management and Policy Institute, College of Information, Florida State University, Public Libraries and the Internet 2006:  Study Results and Findings, at 7 (2006), available at http://www.ii.fsu.edu/Solutions/Public-Libraries-The-Internet/Reports (last visited July 15, 2013).

[7] See, e.g., Foundation for Excellence in Education, Digital Learning Now! at 11-12 (rel. Dec. 1, 2010), available at http://www.digitallearningnow.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/Digital-Learning-Now-Report-FINAL1.pdf) (last visited July 15, 2013).

[8] See American Libraries Association, Libraries Connect Communities: Public Library Funding & Technology Access Study 2011-2012, American Libraries Magazine, at 41 (rel. summer 2012), available at http://viewer.zmags.com/publication/4673a369#/4673a369/1 (last visited July 15, 2013) (ALA Summer 2012 Report).

[9] Letter from Emily Sheketoff, Executive Director, American Library Association, to the Honorable Barack Obama, President of the United States, CC Docket 02-6, at 1 (dated July 8, 2013).

[10] Id.

[11] Id. at 2.

[12] Id. at 1.

[13] See Federal Communications Commission, 2010 E-rate Program and Broadband Usage Survey: Report, at 4-5 (Wireline Comp. Bur. 2011), 26 FCC Rcd 1, available at http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-10-2414A1.pdf (last visited July 15, 2013) (E-rate Program and Broadband Survey). 

[14] Id. at 2, 9.

[15] See ALA Summer 2012 Report at 23. 

[16] Id. at 23-24.

[17] See The White House, Office of the Press Secretary, ConnectED:  President Obama’s plan for Connecting All Schools to the Digital Age available at http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/docs/connected_fact_sheet.pdf (last visited July 15, 2013) (ConnectED Fact Sheet).

[18] Id.

[19] See, e.g., Press Release, Jay Rockefeller, Promises Made, Promises Kept: Rockefeller Program that Expands Internet Access for WV Schools, Libraries Gets Major Boost (June 6, 2013), available at http://www.rockefeller.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/press-releases?ID=2c487a72-7b98-456f-b723-278fc11a2202 (last visited July 15, 2013); Press Release, Statement of NCTA President & CEO Michael Powell Regarding the President’s ConnectED Initiative (June 6, 2013), available at http://www.ncta.com/news-and-events/media-room/article/2774 (last visited July 15, 2013); Press Release, AT&T Chairman & CEO Randall Stephenson, AT&T Response to President Obama's ConnectED Plan (June 6, 2013), available at  http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/att-response-to-president-obamas-connected-plan-210464851.html (last visited July 15, 2013); Press Release, Verizon Senior Vice President of Public Policy and Government Affairs, Verizon Response to President Obama’s ConnectED Plan (June 6, 2013) (on file with Commission); Obama Pushes for Higher Speed Broadband in Schools, by Grant Gross, IDG News Service, (June 6, 2013) available at http://www.cio.com/article/734558/Obama_Pushes_for_Higher_Speed_Broadband_in_Schools (last visited July 15, 2013) (quoting Comcast’s Sena Fitzmaurice, vice president of government communications); John Chambers, Cisco Statement on White House E-Rate Announcement, Cisco Blog (June 6, 2013, 2:44 PM) available at http://blogs.cisco.com/news/cisco-statement-on-white-house-e-rate-announcement (last visited July 15, 2013); Press Release, Statement of LEAD Commission, Lee Bollinger, Jim Coulter, Margaret Spellings, Jim Steyer, Lead Applauds ConnectED Intiative (June 6, 2013), available at http://www.leadcommission.org/news/statement-lead-applauds-connected-initiative (last visited July 15, 2013); Press Release, CEO of NTCA Shirley Bloomfield, NTCA CEO Comments on White House ConnectED Initiative (June 6, 2013), available at http://www.ntca.org/2013-press-releases/ntca-ceo-comments-on-white-house-connected-initiative.html (last visited July 15, 2013); Press Release, CEO of ISTE Brian Lewis, International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) Applauds President Obama’s ConnectED Initiative (June 6, 2013), available at http://www.iste.org/news/news-details/2013/06/06/international-society-for-technology-in-education-(iste)-applauds-president-obama-s-connected-initiative (last visited July 15, 2013); Press Release, CEO of Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) Keith Kruger, ‘Giant Leap” Forward with ConnectED (June 6, 2013), available at http://www.cosn.org/Portals/7/docs/Press%20Releases/2013/CoSNStatementConnectED6June13FINAL.pdf (last visited July 15, 2013); Press Release, National School Boards Association, NSBA Welcomes President’s Plan to Improve Schools’ Internet Access, (June 6, 2013) available at http://www.nsba.org/newsroom/press-releases/nsba-welcomes-presidents-plan-to-improve-schools-internet-access.html.aspx (last visited July 15, 2013); Press Release, American Library Association, ALA welcomes White House call for increased E-rate funding for libraries and schools, (June 6, 2013) available at http://www.ala.org/news/press-releases/2013/06/ala-welcomes-white-house-call-increased-e-rate-funding-libraries-and-schools (last visited July 15, 2013); Press Release, Council of Chief State School Officers, CCSSO Statement on ConnectED Initiative Announcement (June 6, 2013), available at http://www.ccsso.org/News_and_Events/Press_Releases/CCSSO_Statement_on_ConnectED_Initiative_Announcement.html (last visited July 15, 2013); Press Release, President of Alliance for Excellent Education Gov. Bob Wise, Gov. Bob Wise Comments on President Obama’s “ConnectED” Plan to Provide Schools with High-Speed Internet Access (June 6, 2013), available at http://www.all4ed.org/press_room/press_releases/06062013 (last visited July 15, 2013); Press Release, National Association of Secondary School Principals, Principals Believe Better Internet Access Will Open More Doors (June 6, 2013), available at  http://www.nassp.org/Content.aspx?topic=Principals_Believe_Better_Internet_Access_Will_Open_More_Doors (last visited July 15, 2013).

[20] See Press Release, U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, & Transportation, Rockefeller says E-rate Should Expand to Connect More Students to High Speed Broadband (June 6, 2013), available at http://www.commerce.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?p=PressReleases&ContentRecord_id=5cb24ad3-281e-4abd-acd0-afb699008e3e&ContentType_id=77eb43da-aa94-497d-a73f-5c951ff72372&Group_id=505cc3fa-a767-40f4-8ac2-4b8326b44e94 (last visited July 15, 2013).

[21] See LEAD Commission, LEAD’s National Educational Technology Initiative – a Five Point Plan  available at http://www.leadcommission.org/sites/default/files/LEAD%20Commission%20Blueprint.pdf (last visited July 15, 2013).

[22] Each funding year (FY) runs from July 1 of that year through June 30 of the following year.

[23] See Letter from Mel Blackwell, Vice President, USAC, to Julie Veach, Chief, Wireline Competition Bureau (April 22, 2013), available at http://www.usac.org/_res/documents/sl/pdf/tools/news/FY2013-Demand-Estimate.pdf (last visited July 15, 2013) (2013 USAC Demand Letter). 

[24] See Federal-State Joint Board on Universal Service, CC Docket No. 96-45, Report and Order, 12 FCC Rcd 8776, 9054-55 at paras. 529-31 (Universal Service First Report and Order).  As discussed below, the Commission began indexing the cap to inflation in 2010, and in 2003 the Commission provided for unused funds for previous years to be carried forward to subsequent funding years.  See infra paras. 59, 62-63; see also E-rate Funding Requested vs. Available and Disbursed Chart (FY 1998-2011) (Appendix C).

[25] Federal Communications Commission,  Connecting America: The National Broadband Plan, (National Broadband Plan), available at http://www.broadband.gov/download-plan (last visited July 15, 2013); Schools and Libraries Universal Service Support Mechanism, A National Broadband Plan for our Future, CC Docket No. 02-6, GN Docket No. 09-51, Order, 25 FCC Rcd 18762 (2010) (Schools and Libraries Sixth Report and Order).

[26] Schools and Libraries Sixth Report and Order, 25 FCC Rcd at 18764-65, para. 6.

[27] Id. at 18765-73, paras. 8-19.

[28] Id. at 18773-77, paras. 20-27.

[29] Id. at 18783-87, paras. 41-50.

[30] See Connect America Fund et al., WC Docket No. 10-90 et al., Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, 26 FCC Rcd 17663, 17681-17683, paras. 48-59 (2011) (USF/ICC Transformation Order); Lifeline and Link Up Reform and Modernization et al., WC Docket Nos. 12-23, 11-42, 03-109, CC Docket No. 96-45, Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, 27 FCC Rcd 6656, 6671-77, paras. 27-43 (2012) (Lifeline Reform Order); Rural Health Care Support Mechanism, WC Docket No. 02-60, Report and Order, 27 FCC Rcd 16678, 16696-99, paras. 34-43 (2012) (Healthcare Connect Fund Order).

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Dennis T OConnor's comment, July 24, 2013 2:54 PM
Suggest you post the pdf using the NewPost feature. It will read more easily and not take up so much screen space.
STEM Education models and innovations with Gaming
STEM (Science Technology Education & Mathematics) K-20  education models and innovations
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Engineering highly adaptable robots requires new tools for new rules

Engineering highly adaptable robots requires new tools for new rules | STEM Education models and innovations with Gaming | Scoop.it
Northwestern University mechanical engineering professor Todd Murphey and his team are engineering robots that one might say could make robotic assistance as seamless as "humanly" possible. With support from the National Science Foundation (NSF), the team is using novel algorithmic tools, such as a drawing robot, to develop the algorithms, or rules of behavior, that would greatly enhance a robot's ability to adapt to human unpredictability.

Murphey points out that in order for robots to help people, they have to have at least a basic understanding of the types of tasks people can do. Some tasks, like lifting and placing an object, are close to the types of tasks that robots already do. Other tasks, like drawing, are harder for robots, partly because there are so many ways to get the same image. As Murphey explains: "And so, drawing is a type of task that's maybe not the same as that sort of precision manufacturing task that we've seen robots do historically."
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Learning Studios - Digital Promise Global

Learning Studios - Digital Promise Global | STEM Education models and innovations with Gaming | Scoop.it
A Learning Studio is a place where learners define the problems they want to solve and design solutions to address them. Leveraging powerful technology, students engage in activities and projects that expose them to skills and concepts such as design thinking, three dimensional design, and social entrepreneurship.
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Stereotypes about “Brilliance” Affect Girls’ Interests as Early as Age 6, New Study Finds

Stereotypes about “Brilliance” Affect Girls’ Interests as Early as Age 6, New Study Finds | STEM Education models and innovations with Gaming | Scoop.it
By the age of 6, girls become less likely than boys to associate brilliance with their own gender and are more likely to avoid activities said to require brilliance, shows a new study conducted by researchers at New York University, the University of Illinois, and Princeton University.
The findings appear in the journal Science.
The research, led by Lin Bian, a doctoral student at the University of Illinois, and NYU psychology professor Andrei Cimpian, demonstrates how early gender stereotypes take hold and points to the potential of their life-long impact. Sarah-Jane Leslie, professor of philosophy at Princeton University, also contributed to the research.
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The K12 Engineering Education Podcast

The K12 Engineering Education Podcast | STEM Education models and innovations with Gaming | Scoop.it

This is the podcast for all the educators, engineers, entrepreneurs, and parents out there who are interested in getting kids into engineering at younger ages. Listen to real conversations among various professionals in the engineering education space, as we try to find better ways to educate and inspire kids in engineering thinking. .

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Irreverent Learning

Irreverent Learning | STEM Education models and innovations with Gaming | Scoop.it

There are dozens of resources available to tell you about makerspace. How to create one, how to implement one, etc. Articles about libraries as the hub for a school's makerspace; articles telling you what you need to set up and what kinds of projects you might do; and many, many, many books to read to better understand and implement a makerspace.

I was thinking about makerspace today as I was watching a couple of kindergarten students build a fantastic structure with wooden blocks. And then I was watching some kids make drawings influenced by a rather heated conversation about emojis. And later I watched some kids figure out how to create their own manipulatives so they could better understand a particular way of solving a particular kind of math problem.

Makers. Making. And just randomly in a classroom.

I agree that some resources for some kinds of makerspace activities require storage and often an electrical outlet so those tools also require rules. And I agree that having a space or resources for kids to use for specific kinds of tasks or problems, or for extension activities, or for supplemental work when they've finished their other work might require a separate space if only to reduce distraction for other kids and for storage.

But I've also seen what kids can do with some craft sticks and Play-Doh®. Toss in some markers, a few sheets of construction paper, some chenille sticks, and random other stuff and who knows what they'll make? Give them access to a tablet or laptop with the ability to record something and stand back.

Then they'll be asking for other stuff when they say "It would be cool if we had something that let us. . . " because they might know exactly what they want but they have an image in their heads for what they want to create, to make.

So when schools and teachers talking about setting aside space so they can have a single place for making, I assume that's mostly for quality and damage control because making can be messy.

If you're waiting for a budget or a special room for a makerspace, stop waiting. Get some craft sticks, duct tape in different sizes and colors, chenille sticks, styrofoam shapes, and whatever else. Mismatched buttons, leftover pieces of cardboard, small nuts and bolts that don't seem to have a home, leftover wire, glue sticks, yarn or string. All kinds of stuff you can pick up while walking through Michael's, Hobby Lobby, your garage, and elsewhere. If you want to be organized, but each of them in their own bins or baskets. Or just make the stuff available on a table or on a shelf in your classroom.

....read more

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Jumpstart Projects with Cayenne - myDevices Cayenne

Jumpstart Projects with Cayenne - myDevices Cayenne | STEM Education models and innovations with Gaming | Scoop.it
Jumpstart Raspberry Pi & Arduino Projects with Cayenne
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Communicators Tours Driverless Car Test Site

The Communicators tours the Mobility Transformation Center at the University of Michigan to see how this test site can help car companies develop wireless…
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Lessons Learned from the 2016 AP Chemistry Exam

Lessons Learned from the 2016 AP Chemistry Exam | STEM Education models and innovations with Gaming | Scoop.it
Lessons Learned from the 2016 AP Chemistry Exam

Tue, Oct 4, 2016 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM CDT
Show in My Time Zone
This presentation will outline the process involved in the creation and refinement of the AP Chemistry Exam, and it will discuss the elaborate measures taken to ensure the consistent, fair, and accurate grading of the free-response section. The presentation will then review in detail all the free-response questions from the 2016 AP Chemistry Exam and highlight the most common…Read more
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K12 Engineering Postcast #STEM

Promoting education in engineering and design for all ages. Produced by Pius Wong, engineer.

This podcast is for educators, engineers, entrepreneurs, and parents interested in bringing engineering to younger ages. Listen to real conversations among various professionals in the engineering education space, as we try to find better ways to educate and inspire kids in engineering thinking.

Topics to cover are intended to be wide-ranging. They include overcoming institutional barriers to engineering in K12, cool ways to teach engineering, equity in access to engineering, industry needs for engineers, strategies for training teachers, "edtech" solutions for K12 classrooms, curriculum and pedagogy reviews, and research on how kids learn engineering knowledge and skills. Thanks for listening!
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Preparing Students for a Project-Based World

Preparing Students for a Project-Based World | STEM Education models and innovations with Gaming | Scoop.it

Authored by Bonnie Lathram, Bob Lenz and Tom Vander Ark


In the paper, Preparing Students for a Project-Based World, released jointly by Getting Smart and Buck Institute for Education (BIE), we explore equity, economic realities, student engagement and instructional and school design in the preparation of all students for college, career and citizenship.

The new economic realities are illustrated by Robin Chase, founder of Zipcar: “My father had one job in his life. I’ve had six in mine, my kids will have six at the same time.”

Throughout the paper, authors Bonnie Lathram, Bob Lenz and Tom Vander Ark describe how the new economy and growing inequities are impacting students and schools, and what we need to be doing to better prepare students for a project-based world.

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The Power of Curiosity

The Power of Curiosity | STEM Education models and innovations with Gaming | Scoop.it
Research shows when people are curious about something, not only do they learn better, they learn more. It should come as no surprise, then, that inquiry-based learning is proving to be an effective education model. Inquiry-based learning occurs when students discover and construct information with the teacher’s guidance. It is a learner-centered model that arouses students’ curiosity and motivates them to seek their own answers. Increasingly, technology is the foundation of an effective inquiry-based lesson. Download this Center for Digital Education paper to learn more about inquiry-based learning and how you can support this model in your classrooms. The paper also offers sample lesson plans that draw upon inquiry-based strategies with the integration of technology.
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Brit Morin: Inspiring Creativity with Great Content [Entire Talk] | Stanford eCorner

Brit Morin: Inspiring Creativity with Great Content [Entire Talk] | Stanford eCorner | STEM Education models and innovations with Gaming | Scoop.it
Brit Morin, founder and CEO of Brit + Co, describes her path and motivation for launching a platform that aims to inspire women and girls to be creative through compelling content such as videos, online classes and do-it-yourself kits. Morin explains how creativity is sparked by rekindling that playful spirit from our youth and stems from the primal instinct to make things.
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Maker Promise

Maker Promise | STEM Education models and innovations with Gaming | Scoop.it
In March 2016, Digital Promise and Maker Ed issued a call-to-action for school leaders around the country to commit to growing the next generation of American makers, by committing to dedicate a space, designate a champion, and display the results of maker education.
School leaders across the country answered the call.
Over 1,400 schools representing one million students in all
50 states
signed the Maker Promise.

These schools are leading the movement to harness new digital design and production abilities to unleash students’ passion, creativity, and capacity to make. But it doesn’t stop with them.

You can join this movement by signing the Maker Promise today.
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Coding for What? - DML Central

Coding for What? - DML Central | STEM Education models and innovations with Gaming | Scoop.it
Ben Williamson argues that if kids need to learn to code, it should be for digital citizenship, not to become complicit with computational propaganda.
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Think and discuss
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Harnessing wave energy to light up coastal communities -- Science Nation | NSF - National Science Foundation

There's a new renewable energy player in town and it's about to make waves in the industry. Despite its massive potential as a source for renewable energy, the ocean is unlikely to contribute meaningfully to electricity supplies without dramatic, innovation-driven reductions in the cost of energy conversion. That's where engineers Balky Nair, Rahul Shendure and Tim Mundon come in with their company, Oscilla Power. With support from the National Science Foundation (NSF), they're developing a utility-scale wave energy harvester called the Triton. It's a sturdy system with few moving parts -- rugged enough to stand up to harsh seas with little need for maintenance. This technology shows promise as a means for delivering utility-scale electric power to the grid at a price that is competitive with conventional fossil or renewable technologies. The team plans more tests with increasingly larger and more sophisticated prototypes. At full scale, each Triton system will be 30 yards wide and will power more than 650 homes. Original air date: February 8, 2016
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Code for the Future.com

About Us
Code To The Future is the Leader for Computer Science Immersion. Having been highlighted by the White House for helping start America’s first elementary Computer Science Magnet Schools, Code To The Future provides the premier Solution for Districts and Families.
Our Mission is to inspire students to become aware of their incredible potential, and equip them with the skills necessary for success in school and life.

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The culture of engineering does not take women seriously

The culture of engineering does not take women seriously | STEM Education models and innovations with Gaming | Scoop.it
Isolation and ‘blatant sexual harassment’ among the issues reported by female engineering scholars, writes Brian Rubineau

Via Sylvia Martinez
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The Perfect Storm for Maker Education

The Perfect Storm for Maker Education | STEM Education models and innovations with Gaming | Scoop.it
Originally published at http://blog.iat.com/2015/09/30/a-perfect-storm-for-maker-education/ Perfect Storm: an expression that describes an event where a rare combination of circumstances will aggravate a situation drastically.  The term This term is also used to describe an actual phenomenon that happens to occur in such a confluence, resulting in an event of unusual magnitude. Maker Movement: The maker movement,…
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I put "Maker Ed" under STEM not to exclude other areas of making, like music and art, but as design processes within sciences and engineering.
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Engineer GirlEssay Contest - Engineering and Animals

Engineer GirlEssay Contest - Engineering and Animals | STEM Education models and innovations with Gaming | Scoop.it
Engineers affect everything about the way people live, so it is not surprising that they also have a big impact on the animal world. Environmental engineers, for example, are often tasked with evaluating projects in order to minimize negative effects on valuable animal species. In some cases, engineers have developed ingenious solutions to help animals and people share the planet. 

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) maintains a list, known as the IUCN Red List, which ranks the conservation status of thousands of species. For your essay, choose an animal that is ranked by IUCN as either: vulnerable, endangered, or critically endangered. Learn about the animal and consider how engineering might improve life for that species. To prepare your essay consider the following questions: 

Why did you choose this species, and what problem or problems does it face? 
What ideas have already been tested that may help to design a solution and begin solving those problems? 
What specific solution would you suggest to help solve the problems faced by this species? 
Aside from the animals, who would benefit from your proposed solution? 
Are there any policies or standards currently in place that would affect the way your solution could be implemented? 
Who would have to be involved in implementing the proposed solution? 
Who should fund the proposed solution?
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Search AP Credit Policies

Find colleges and universities that offer credit or placement for AP scores. Begin your search by entering the name of the institution below. For the most up-to-date AP credit policy information, be sure to check the institution's website.
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National Chemistry Week (NCW) - American Chemical Society 10.16-22

National Chemistry Week (NCW) - American Chemical Society 10.16-22 | STEM Education models and innovations with Gaming | Scoop.it
NCW encourages chemists and chemistry enthusiasts to build awareness of chemistry at the local level. Local Sections, businesses, schools, and individuals are invited to organize or participate in events in their communities with a common goal: to promote the value of chemistry in everyday life.

The NCW 2016 theme is "Solving Mysteries Through Chemistry", focusing on the chemistry of forensics and more.
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STEM 2026
A Vision for Innovation in STEM Education- US Dept of Education via AIR

Executive Summary

Building on the priority to support science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM1 ) education set by the Obama Administration that is reflected in several of the Administration’s initiatives,2 the U.S. Department of Education (the Department) is releasing a report outlining a vision to carry on that legacy in the coming decade. This vision was informed by the key observations, considerations, and recommendations put forth by a varying range of STEM education thought leaders and experts from the field during a series of 1.5-day workshops convened by the Department in collaboration with American Institutes for Research (AIR). This report is a resource that provides examples, not endorsements, of resources that may be helpful in reaching the STEM 2026 vision as outlined by the field experts. 

The complexities of today’s world require all people to be equipped with a new set of core knowledge and skills to solve difficult problems, gather and evaluate evidence, and make sense of information they receive from varied print and, increasingly, digital media. The learning and doing of STEM helps develop these skills and prepare students for a workforce where success results not just from what one knows, but what one is able to do with that knowledge.3 Thus, a strong STEM education is becoming increasingly recognized as a key driver of opportunity, and data show the need for STEM knowledge and skills will grow and continue into the future. Those graduates who have practical and relevant STEM precepts embedded into their educational experiences will be in high demand in all job sectors. It is estimated that in the next five years, major American companies will need to add nearly 1.6 million STEM-skilled employees (Business Roundtable & Change the Equation, 2014). Labor market data also show that the set of core cognitive knowledge, skills, and abilities that are associated with a STEM education are now in demand not only in traditional STEM occupations, but in nearly all job sectors and types of positions (Carnevale, Smith, & Melton, 2011; Rothwell, 2013). 

The nation has persistent inequities in access, participation, and success in STEM subjects that exist along racial, socioeconomic, gender, and geographic lines, as well as among students with disabilities. STEM education disparities threaten the nation’s ability to close education and poverty gaps, meet the demands of a technology-driven economy, ensure national security, and maintain preeminence in scientific research and technological innovation.

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Is the maker movement putting librarians at risk?

Is the maker movement putting librarians at risk? | STEM Education models and innovations with Gaming | Scoop.it
Librarians in the Shawnee Mission School District are making way for “the maker movement,” and some worry where that story is going.

Reading stories, of course, has been a big part of what Jan Bombeck does with children. “Stories, stories and more stories,” she told the school board last month.

The Ray Marsh Elementary School directory lists Bombeck as “librarian” because she is state-certified to be one. But at least four Shawnee Mission grade schools have hired “innovation specialists” to run their libraries when fall classes open.

That’s the language of the maker movement, which seeks to convert once-quiet school spaces — usually in the libraries — into hands-on laboratories of creation and computer-assisted innovation.
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In fact, the word “librarian” didn’t come up in the job description for an innovation specialist at Merriam Park Elementary. “Stories” wasn’t there, either. 

 No mention of “books,” “literature” nor “shelves.”
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The Active Learning Continuum

The Active Learning Continuum | STEM Education models and innovations with Gaming | Scoop.it
Ninety-one percent of respondents to a recent CDE survey agreed active learning better prepares students for college and careers than traditional education frameworks. So why is it that it’s more common to see rows of desks facing the front of the room instead of workspaces designed for collaboration and exploration in today’s classrooms? Unfortunately, students can often lack the communication, critical-thinking and problem-solving skills they will need in their careers when they graduate. This paper helps school districts change that outcome. It discusses the benefits and challenges of active learning and offers real-life examples and strategies to help districts make their learning environments more engaging and collaborative.
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Can Schools Get Maker Education Right?

Can Schools Get Maker Education Right? | STEM Education models and innovations with Gaming | Scoop.it
as districts rush to embrace the trend, some key observers are also worried.

Can schools, with their standards, state tests, and bell schedules, maintain the do-it-yourself, only-if-you-want-to ethos that fueled making's popularity in the first place?

"There's an amazing grassroots effort underway to bring the maker movement into education," said Dale Dougherty, the founder of MAKE magazine and godfather of the modern maker phenomenon. "But if schools don't get the spirit of it, I don't think it will benefit them a whole lot."

Undoubtedly, making is having a moment. Beginning June 17, the White House will host its second National Week of Making. The U.S. Department of Education is supporting efforts to rethink career and technical education through the creation of high school maker spaces. And nonprofit advocacy groups such as Digital Promise and Dougherty's Maker Education Initiative are encouraging districts to champion making inside their schools.

For all the excitement, though, there are also hurdles.
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