January 14, 2021
Math Education SmartBrief
Teaching & Learning
Amazon engineer says teacher inspired her career
An eighth-grade math teacher's suggestion that student Nashlie Sephus attend a hands-on engineering camp for girls at a nearby university led to a promising career path for Sephus, who now manages the Amazon Web Services machine-learning group. Sephus is giving back to her hometown of Jackson, Miss. by funding a tech hub, as well as a local nonprofit offering technical assistance to students.
Full Story: IEEE Spectrum online (1/13) 
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5th-graders explore STEM on Saturdays
The IBM Family Science Saturday Program is bringing inquiry-based, hands-on STEM exploration to about 20 fifth-graders from St. Augustine's School in Ossining, N.Y, with workshops covering subjects such as kitchen chemistry and artificial intelligence. Mary Jane Daley, a regional superintendent for Catholic schools in the area, believes the extra-curricular program will encourage students to pursue STEM careers.
Full Story: Catholic New York (1/13) 
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The Palm Beach County school district in Florida started a Teaching With Technology Trailblazer program in 2017 and now has more Google-certified teachers -- about 20% of educators at each of the district's 180 schools -- than any other system in the country, says Adam Miller, educational technology director. In this Q&A, Miller discusses the district's investment in 11,000 SMART panel displays and other technology, plus advises school leaders to get broad input on tech goals.
Full Story: EdTech online (1/11) 
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Digital Books & Activities
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Student-created curriculum teaches problem-solving
The problem with engineering lessons is that they eliminate the most important step, says high-school sophomore Luke Harris: correctly identifying the problem at hand. Harris explains in this commentary how he has aimed to fill this gap by creating a curriculum for students in middle and high school that teaches them how to research problems in addition to creating product prototypes.
Full Story: Fast Company online (1/11) 
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Educators share examples for how to use, react to data
(Allison Shelley/Deeper Learning)
Data can be a powerful tool to improve teaching and learning, three educators say in this blog post. Luiza Mureseanu, an instructional resource teacher in Ontario, Canada, discusses the adjustments she makes based on information she gathers from Google Forms, exit tickets, notes, surveys and interviews with students.
Full Story: Education Week (1/12) 
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Featured Content and Resources
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Policy & Legislation
Chicago program seeks to bridge digital divide
(Jeff Schear/Getty Images)
More than 36,560 families -- representing nearly 55,000 students -- signed up for Chicago Connected, the city's program aimed at helping to bridge the digital divide by providing free internet access for students from low-income households. While officials recognize it has been challenging to enroll students, they anticipate reaching their goal of access for 100,000 students by the end of the school year.
Full Story: Chalkbeat/Chicago (1/12) 
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Timeline varies to vaccinate school staff
(Chris McGrath/Getty Images)
The CDC has classified school staff as essential workers, and federal vaccine distribution guidance places them in the 1b category -- among the first to receive the vaccine. Yet, the timeline to vaccinate school staff varies nationwide because states establish their own priority guidelines.
Full Story: National Public Radio (1/13) 
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Editor's Note
SmartBrief will not publish Monday
In observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day in the US, SmartBrief will not publish Monday. Publication will resume Tuesday.
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The most beautiful part of your body is where it's headed.
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Math Education SmartBrief is an aggregation of published news and editorial content from diverse sources. The content of Math Education SmartBrief does not necessarily reflect the position or editorial viewpoint of any particular organization.
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