EdTech News for Friday, November 25, 2022: Global Private Schools form Association, Changes for Data Science Teaching & Learning

EdTech News: The latest in online teaching and learning

Happy Friday! For those of you reading this because you needed a break from the Black Friday ads, you will get the respite you need. One caveat, though. Our American friends are enjoying the only holiday the US really gets, so only the Canadians are working today. That means you might find some Canadian spelling in this article. Think of it as a typo, but one that expands horizons.

The Global Independent Schools Association (GISA) launched on Thursday. The new association is calling for greater knowledge-sharing between the independent education sector and governments to achieve the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal number four (SDG4): ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education for all by 2030.

K-12 independent schools educate 350 million children around the world. Association members will provide a forum for the sector to share its accumulated knowledge and expertise with each other and with policymakers and governments throughout the world.

“Getting the independent sector to raise its voice in service of the public good is hugely important. Tomorrow’s economy will be unforgiving for those without a strong education and skills for the future. Unless the independent sector joins others – governments, business, NGOs – to work out how we educate and skill up a new generation, valuable expertise will remain siloed, and solutions will be lost,” said Andreas Schleicher, Director of Education and Skills for the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

Association founder Sunny Varkey inspired leaders across the global independent education sector to form the GISA after September’s UN General Assembly.

“The window of opportunity is fast closing to fulfil the promise of providing every child with their birthright of a good education by 2030. Until now, there has been a void in the representation of the global independent sector and lack of coordinated effort in the search for solutions to this urgent crisis. GISA members will be as diverse as the communities they serve, contributing frontline experiences of educating children across every possible income scale, culture, and border. GISA will also become a genuine partner in delivering SDG4, supporting policymakers and facilitating collaboration between its members to keep innovating and transforming education for the greater good. Together, we will work with governments to help them meet their educational and economic goals,” said Varkey.

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Teaching and learning in the field of data science will change drastically if one Texas-based professor gets his way. Dr. Yaunlin Zhang is developing a data science curriculum for high-school students. The associate professor in the Department of Computer Science in the Edward E. Whitacre Jr. College of Engineering at Texas Tech University believes an early introduction to the subject will benefit future generations. The field of data science represents a convergence of computer science, mathematics and statistics not normally taught in high school.

“We will provide a way to connect these concepts using basic ideas based around logic,” Zhang said. “Understanding the basic concepts will help students transition to higher-level education, and high-level research will benefit from students’ having this understanding at an earlier stage.”

Zhang’s work is funded by a $3 million National Science Foundation grant.

The project: Collaborative Research: Fostering Virtual Learning of Data Science Foundations with Mathematical Logic for Rural High School Students, brings together researchers from Texas Tech and the University of Florida, and industry partners.

“The long-term goal is to have an effective new course,” Zhang explained. “But because the material is very new, no one has ever unified it. To figure out how we can unify these disciplines we need to carry out a lot of research. That’s what makes this a good science project!

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The Center for Media Literacy has free resources for teachers seeking to address media studies curriculum requirements. The teaching and learning materials can be found on the CML’s website.

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