Ed News: Virtual Reality Could Help Students Remember Better, New Research Says

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This week in education news, new research unveiled that people remember information better if it is presented to them in a virtual environment; to influence the future in the most positive way, we need some of our best minds to pursue STEM; according to a Learning Policy Institute analysis, nearly 25 percent of former teachers said housing incentives might entice them to return to the field; experts address ways to support latest science education standards; Missouri Governor vetoes STEM education bill; Case Western Reserve University plans to replace the usual anatomy labs with a new series of hands-on experiences, including a virtual-reality simulation; and to develop a conservation attitude, it helps to spend time in nature.

Feds Should Create New $10,000 Tax Credit To Boost Teacher Pay, Progressive Group Says

What can the federal government do to help boost lagging teacher pay? The Center for American Progress has an answer: Create a new tax credit that would bolster educators’ salaries by up to $10,000 a year. Read the article featured in Education Week.

Virtual Reality Could Help Students Remember Better, New Research Says

Virtual reality (VR) is exciting and engaging for students, but for the most part, schools have struggled to find ways to incorporate it into the curriculum. Now, new research reveals one possible impetus for more classroom inclusion. University of Maryland researchers found that people remember information better if it is presented to them in a virtual environment. Read the article featured in eSchool News.

How School Choice Is About To Fundamentally Change

The battle lines have long been drawn, but the context in which educators debate school choice is likely to shift in the coming years. As schools catch up with higher education in using new technologies to reshape how and where we learn, hopefully we will see fewer skirmishes depicting opponents of school choice as “flat Earthers” or proponents as enemies of public schools. Instead, educators and policymakers finally will have to address fundamental challenges in giving every student an equal opportunity to reach his or her full potential. Read the article featured in Education Week.

The Future Is Brighter Than You Think

Do you remember the future when you were a kid? The one that couldn’t come soon enough? We looked forward to the next space flight, the next scientific discovery. We heard about meals instantly cooked by sound waves, TV wrist watches, robots that vacuumed the floor, cars that steered themselves — or even flew! Well, we’ve had some disappointments — no flying car just yet — and some major problems: climate change, terrorism, nuclear threats. Read the article featured in The Baltimore Sun.

Can Affordable Housing Ease Teacher Turnover?

Frustrated by stagnant wages and rising health care costs, teachers in five states pushed back with walkouts and strikes in 2018, with more predicted for the coming fall. As a teacher, I recognize the familiar litany of concerns: rising premiums, insufficient salaries, scant resources, and challenging working conditions—deep-seated problems that have pushed many people to quit teaching, and others not to consider it at all. These issues have escalated as the cost of living and health insurance premiums have increased in step with the country’s economic recovery, while teacher compensation has never fully recovered from recession-era cuts. Read the article featured in edutopia.

Gabriela González’s Improbable Journey To Lead Federal STEM Panel

Barely 3 years after arriving in the United States from Mexico at the age of 13, Gabriela González was facing a precarious future. She had moved out of her mother’s house in Bellingham, Washington, and was living on her own while attending high school. Her grades were good and she wanted to continue her education, but college seemed out of reach. Today, she is an executive with Intel in Chandler, Arizona. She’s also writing a doctoral dissertation on the barriers to girls who want to pursue engineering careers. And last week she became chair of a new top-level advisory panel charged with shaping the U.S. government’s $3-billion-a-year investment in STEM education. Read the article featured in Science.

Company Helped Write Missouri’s STEM Education Bill, Leading To Its Veto

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson vetoed a bipartisan bill because the detailed standards for an online STEM curriculum program seemed “narrowly tailored to apply to only one company.” And that company helped create that criteria, according to one of the bill’s handlers. The measure would have offered an online program to Missouri middle-school students so they could prepare for science, technology, math and engineering careers starting in the 2019-2020 school year. Read the article featured on KCUR.org.

Schools And Colleges Try Virtual Reality Science Labs, But Can VR Replace A Cadaver?

When Case Western Reserve University launches a new health education campus with the Cleveland Clinic next year, one feature will be conspicuously absent. There will be no place for cadavers. The school plans to replace the usual anatomy labs with a new series of hands-on experiences, including a virtual-reality simulation. The reason, says Mark Griswold, a professor at the medical school, is that running a cadaver lab is costly and difficult. Read the article featured in EdSurge.

Save The Planet! Do A Citizen Science Project With Your Students

To develop a conservation attitude, it helps to spend time in nature. Yet with so much of the population living in urban areas, there are ever fewer opportunities to climb a tree or take a hike. Citizen science projects might be just the remedy, a new study suggests. Read the article featured in Education Week.

Stay tuned for next week’s top education news stories.

The Communication, Legislative & Public Affairs (CLPA) team strives to keep NSTA members, teachers, science education leaders, and the general public informed about NSTA programs, products, and services and key science education issues and legislation. In the association’s role as the national voice for science education, its CLPA team actively promotes NSTA’s positions on science education issues and communicates key NSTA messages to essential audiences.

The mission of NSTA is to promote excellence and innovation in science teaching and learning for all.

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