View this email in your browser
 
2017 (1) 27 July 2017

STEAM-powered education: what’s in a name? 

'All aboard the STEAM train!' No 
Everybody needs a catch phrase. I have no idea what mine should be. Let me tell you what I’m aiming to do with The STEAM Report. You can provide me with a motto in return. 

'Full STEAM ahead!' Hmmm
STEAM is a new buzzword for an old concept: Education works better when it isn’t compartmentalised into subjects. The best learning takes place when a student can make use of a number of skills to solve a problem. Students will do that anyway. But unless there is a way for the school to acknowledge that skills from a number of domains have been utilised, we can’t record those skills or report them back to the parents. Read More

image

STEAM versus STEM

STEM has been a buzz word for a few years now. Everything is STEM. Throw money at STEM. STEM will save us.   Science. Technology. Engineering. Maths... it’s catchy. Education stems from STEM, etc. etc. But is it catch all? STEM has a science-y feel to it. It’s lab coats and thick glasses and white rooms. And of course, it doesn't have to be. Various organisations are doing phenomenal things to make STEM relevant and exciting - hence my new job as Editor of The STEAM Report... but it’s called the STEAM Report, not the STEM Report.  

Quoting from the Education Council’s report (2015) ‘National STEM school education strategy 2016-2026’, the idea behind STEM is that ‘schooling should support the development of skills in cross disciplinary, critical and creative thinking, problem solving and digital technologies, which are essential in all 21st century occupations.’ Read More

image

Mid- New Year’s Resolutions

Some might say that putting together a list of resolutions at the middle of the year might be counter-productive. I prepared this article at the start of the year but it made more sense to hold it for the first issue of The STEAM Report; I will use this list to write future articles.  

Figure out where to put the apostrophe in New Years’
A quick Google search tells me it’s New Year’s. The resolutions belong to the New Year, therefore the ' belongs after after the r. With that done, I can focus on what I want to accomplish in the STEAM arena in 2017. I have spent years researching the best way to use technology in class. Now I want to make sure that I can link Technology to the S_EAM around it.

Ensure that at least one of my DigiTech units is linked to an equivalent Science Unit
The first hurdle to STEAM in any attempt to formalise assessment across learning areas is working between departments. We all know the schools with the Tech teachers hidden in offices up the back of the school (keep me in the dark, I’m a fungi). Read More

image

Inaugural $50,000 Matific Games

Forget finals footy, look out for The Matific Games in mid-August for your fix of competitive action.  Students will battle it out to show their maths proficiency and hard work on Matific’s suite of online maths games for K–6 Read More

image

Fund a NAO robot for your school

The Brainary, distributors of NAO robots, is offering to help schools to apply for a Digital Literacy Schools Grant. NAO is an ideal platform for engaging students in STEM concepts and the Arts and social sciences in differentiated lessons. Read More

Uni Syd to support schools Digital Technologies curriculum
The University's ACA will deliver the Australian Digital Technologies Challenges for Years 5 and 7 on behalf of the Commonwealth Department of Education and Training until December 2020, with support from Grok Learning and Monash University. Read More

ScopeIT Education offers free Science Week primary lesson plans
To mark Science Week 12-20 August, ScopeIT has created  a lesson plan focused around Science week and offers an introductory coding lesson that can be delivered by classroom teachers Read More

image

What’s new in STEAM?

Everything. Everything’s new. STEAM is innovation. Think what the steam engine did for society! We’re going the same way. But specifically, the year has already gotten off to a huge start with events and news that is positively STEAMy. Read More