Tag Archives: education technology

Girls and Women in STEM in Asia: UNESCO Report

janetpic_preferred_croppedBy Janet Pinto, Chief Academic Officer, Curriki 

Curriki was very pleased to be in attendance on March 9th when UNESCO’s Asia and Pacific Regional Bureau for Education unveiled their report on girls and women in STEM fields, at the Bangkok Science Center for Education in Thailand.

Titled “A Complex Formula: Girls and Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics in Asia”, the report examines the status of girls studying math, science and engineering subjects in primary, secondary, and post-secondary education, and the current state of employment for women in STEM fields. The report was based on in-depth country studies from Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mongolia, Nepal, the Republic of Korea and Viet Nam, in conjunction with other statistics from the region. The full 122-page report is freely available here on the UNESCO Bangkok web site.

Key Findings 

AComplexFormula

The highest level message of the report is that “early and targeted intervention through education can greatly facilitate girls’ and women’s increased participation in STEM fields”.

While there are a number of interesting variations among the 7 countries studied, substantial consistency was found across a number of key findings.

  • Overall there is a shortage of talent on STEM fields in the Asia-Pacific region.
  • Globally, fewer than 30% of STEM researchers are women.
  • Gender differences in STEM topics become especially apparent around age 15, during secondary school education.
  • The gender gap at the secondary level correlates with under-representation of women in STEM during higher education and in the workforce.
  • Within the STEM fields, both in higher education and in the workforce, women tend to be found primarily in biology, chemistry and medicine.
  • Women are very lightly represented in physics, engineering and computer science/IT.
  • These latter fields are more math-intensive, and in school girls report more anxiety around, and lower interest levels in, mathematics.
  • There are fewer female teachers in STEM, implying fewer role models for girls.
  • Gender stereotypes are widespread in teaching and learning materials for STEM subjects.

Recommendations

A few of the recommendations from the report are:

“Teacher education and policies on recruitment must ensure a fair representation of both male and female teachers in all subjects, including mathematics and science, at all levels if education.

  • Teacher education… should be transformed to ensure that teachers are trained in gender-responsive teaching strategies.
  • Promoting more female role models in STEM, whether female teachers…female students and faculty members in higher education, and more broadly more women working in STEM fields, is an important strategy.

Curricula and learning materials should undergo further rigorous review from a gender perspective to ensure that they do not perpetuate gender stereotypes.”

Curriki is particularly interested in the last of these recommendations. We have tens of thousands of STEM materials at www.curriki.org, available for free, to support STEM education for girls and boys in Asia and around the world. We encourage you to upload STEM materials onto the Curriki web site, especially those that show equal participation of girls and boys in STEM learning roles, across the various disciplines, and that reflect both men and women as role models, equally. If you have such materials to upload, Curriki and our large, global educator and learner community will be most appreciative.

What are OERs?

OER2

By Janet Pinto, Chief Academic Officer, Curriki

Here at Curriki, we talk a lot about OERs assuming everyone is familiar with the term. But in case you’re not, here’s a short explanation of what they are and why they’re so beneficial. janetpic_preferred_cropped

What are OERs?

OER stands for Open Educational Resources, which are high-quality, openly licensed, online educational materials that teachers, educators, or other professionals have created and have made freely available to others for use, reuse, adaptation, and sharing.

What does that mean to you? If you’re a teacher or a student, you can freely use or adapt these materials to suit your personal needs.

How are OERs used in education?

Digital technologies like OERs allow us to personalize the learning experience so that students can learn at their own pace and have instant access to the latest information.

OERs can improve education by allowing costs to be shifted away from expensive, proprietary resources to open, sharable ones. Plus, OERs can help break down the barriers of the “Education Divide” – the gap between those who have access to high-quality education and those who do not.

Curriki offers K-12 OERs

Reaching more than 10 million users worldwide, Curriki is the largest global learning community where you can find more than 56,000 free learning assets, ranging from lesson plans, videos, and worksheets to multimedia activities and courses.

All of the OERs have been created and contributed by educators, curriculum designers, curriculum partners, and school districts. They are “mashable,” which means that you can select resources (e.g., lesson plans, videos, animations, photos, etc.), tweak them, or combine them with other resources to generate your own custom teaching tools. And many OERs have already been mapped to standards.

Have you checked out the thousands of OERs in all subjects and grade levels available on Curriki?  Here’s an example of what you’ll find:

July2014

You can get access to these free learning resources by joining Curriki (it’s easy and it’s free). Start downloading resources today.

If You Care About OERs, Read This!

KimJonesimage

By Kim Jones, Curriki CEO

If you’re not familiar with the term OER (Open Educational Resources), they are learning resources that teachers, educators, or other professionals have created and have made freely available to others for use, reuse, adaptation, and sharing.

Last week, Representative George Miller (CA) introduced the Transforming Education Through Technology Act in the U.S. House of Representatives. The Act would help schools, districts, and states transform learning systems by utilizing innovative technology.

We are very excited because the legislation includes prominent roles for OER in two ways:

  1. All U.S. states would be required to “consider making content widely available through open educational resources when making purchasing decisions with funds received” under the Act.
  2. OER is explicitly called out as an efficiency/productivity strategy that grantees could pursue to extend the “reach of high-quality materials, tools, curriculum, instruction, or teachers.”

I ask that you support this Act by creating awareness of its intent (i.e., please spread the word!), as well as its OER provision, so that we can garner broad support to advance this in Congress.

You can find out more about the Transforming Education Through Technology Act here. Specifically the legislation would:

  1. Support teachers and principals in using technology to increase college and career readiness, close achievement gaps, and engage all students.
  2. Help school districts build a technology infrastructure to make sure schools take full advantage of what technology has to offer.
  3. Help states improve student learning, upgrade assessments, and improve educator preparation and support.
  4. Seed innovation to create the learning environment of tomorrow using the best technology of today.

Thank you and stay tuned for ways that we can support this Act.

December Survey: EdTech & 21st Century Skills

This month’s Curriki survey is about Technology in Education & 21st Century Skills!

Curriki would love to hear your thoughts on how ipods, wikis, smartboards and other technologies should be integrated throughout the curricula so that we can better create custom collections to suit your needs!

To take this month’s survey, click here and when you’re finished, make sure to browse our EdTech and Information and Literacy resources for your classroom!

Share