What Teachers Want and Need

What Teachers Want and Need – Barriers, Challenges and Opportunities

In 2010 and 2011, WebProfessionals.org and the WhyITNow.org initiative sponsored several key events on behalf of IT and New Media program managers and those that teach within the high school and the community college system.

The goal of these key events was to determine:

* What teachers want and need
* How to best support students and teachers in the classroom
* To develop advocacy plans to serve those needs

Events included:

* Aligning and Improving Web Curriculum Summit – Opportunities, Challenges and Barriers within the Education Sector, a gathering of community college and high school educators teaching Web centric topics throughout the U.S.
* Going for the Gold, a gathering of Career Technical Education (CTE) teachers
* IT Innovation Summit, a gathering of educators, industry professionals and policy makers

Summary of Key Findings

* Sharing resources for teachers
* No time to spend on professional development for teachers
* Train H.S. teachers to teach topics before college
* Develop standards for H.S. and college graduates to meet (not just English and Math)
* Discord between CIS and Art Departments at Community Colleges
* Entrenchment of faculty/departments
* Career path – marketable skills + industry
* Specify who is qualified to teach Computer Science
* Work with Art/New Media/Graphic Communication departments
* Partnerships and sponsorships to provide learning opportunities. Examples include: materials, job shadow, guest speakers, etc. Help provide what the state budget cannot.
* Commit staff/resources to collaboration activities. Examples: participation in CTSO activities and efforts like judging, internships, industry panels, etc.
* Mentor students and teachers and helping with preparing students for competitions and soft skills.
* Industry needs to be materially involved in promoting and supporting CTE financially, with internships and by providing feedback. In turn create a pool of qualified workers, and also to support local industry during a down economy.
* Get industry more involved in CDE’s to keep current with today’s ever changing industry standards.
* Would like them to participate in career exploration day at schools.

“I’d like to thank the WebProfessionals.org association and the WhyITNow.org initiative for hosting the IT Innovation Summit Sacramento. The most exciting thing is that the WhyITNow.org initiative has brought in people of from all different aspects of education and industry and we have found that we have consensus on some key issues. For example, one of the problems is that we’re not talking with each other and that we’re living in silos and we need to break away from that somehow. I think that there is a consensus that we need to get together more and work together.” Gary Page, Consultant California Department of Education.

Our Process:

To help facilitate our understanding of the challenges, barriers and opportunities educators face every day, attendees we’re broken up into groups of three and given twenty minutes to prioritize and summarize their findings.

Additional Details
Aligning and Improving Web Curriculum Summit – Opportunities, Challenges and Barriers within the Education Sector – Summer 2011

Leading Web technology educators and representatives from Web professional organizations assembled in San Francisco, CA June 13, 2011 for the “Aligning and Improving Web Curriculum Summit.” The five-day Aligning and Improving Web Curriculum Summit event was sponsored by the non-profit Web professionals.org and its WhyITNow.org initiative promoting jobs, productivity and innovation.

The Aligning and Improving Web Curriculum Summit focused on:

•Web professional education, curriculum and pathways within the community college and high schools in the U.S.
•Defining Web professional occupational titles and weighting and measuring the most important skills required by employers hiring Web professionals today
•Barriers, Challenges and Opportunities for Web professional education within the education sector
•Advocacy strategies for teachers and students interested in Web professional topics in the classroom

“The Web profession is changing with the advent of multiple screens, tablets etc. We need to prepare students and teachers with knowledge skill and abilities to meet the challenges to land the job and remain employable.” said Professor DuBois, WebProfessionals.org Director of Education and Summit Chair.

Highlighted below are some initial reflections from those that participated:

Team One:

•Imani Butler, Silver Creek (high school)
•Sandy Fedu, Los Rios Community College
•Sheley Little, Los Rios Community College
•Randy Scovil, Cuesta College

Challenges within the Education Sector:

•Getting students to consider Computer Science
•New way students learn – 21st Century
•Sharing resources for teachers
•Finding good resources
•ICT too broad to cover totally by one person in class
•No time to spend on professional development for teachers (IT)

Barriers within the Education Sector:

•Poor students with no computer at home
•Terminology for ESL students
•Everyone needs Computer Science
•University of California A-G requirements (California High School)
•Funding for hardware, software, time and budget
•Educational requirements to teach Computer Science (Math Credential required)

Opportunities within the Education Sector:

•Train H.S. teachers to teach Computer Science before college
•Develop standards for H.S. and college graduates to meet (not just English and Math)
•Career path – marketable skills + industry
•Specify who is qualified to teach Computer Science
•Work with Art/New Media/Graphic Communication departments

Team Two:

•Robert Bagwell, Rogue Community College
•Neil Dunlap, Berkeley City College
•Melissa Green, San Mateo County Community College District (greenm@smccd.edu)
•Jennifer Hubbard, Cuesta College

Challenges within the Education Sector

•Disconnect between demand in industry for employees/web developers with a math background and the decrease in math as a requirement for a computer science degree
•Students think that because they have used technology that they are computer literate
•Markup is being trivialized because of rich user generated content
•Discord between CIS and Art Departments at Community Colleges
•Slow process of bringing industry innovations into the classroom

Team Three:

•Dave Cooper, Folsom Lake College
•Steven A. Singer, Kapi’Olani Community College
•Peter Wood, City College of San Francisco
•Jeff Banganini, Mendocino College

Barriers/Challenges within the Education Sector:

•Entrenchment of faculty/departments
•Reconciling degree, certificate, and continuing education
•Programs and priorities
•Cost and quality of textbooks and tools
•Professional development time for faculty

Opportunities within the Education Sector:

•ICT is attractive/motivating to youth
•Localities can use recommended curricula to define their own standards
•ICT is the “T” of STEM initiative
Getting the Gold Conference – Fall 2010

Participating panelist included:
• Alyssa Mangan, FFA Advisor from Elk Grove High School
• Cindy Beck, State Advisor, Cal-HOSA California Department of Education
• Dara Dubois, State Advisor, SkillsUSA
• Jayne Campbell, Competitive Event Coordinator and Past President, FBLA
• Melissa Webb, Home Economics Careers & Technology Education Programs Consultant, California Department of Education, California Association FHA-HERO
• Ryan Underwood, California DECA Executive Director

Industry Partnerships

* Partnerships and sponsorships to provide learning opportunities. Examples include: materials, job shadow, guest speakers, etc. Help provide what the state budget cannot.
* Commit staff/resources to collaboration activities. Examples: participation in CTSO activities and efforts like judging, internships, industry panels, etc.
* Mentor students and teachers and helping with preparing students for competitions and soft skills.
* Industry needs to be materially involved in promoting and supporting CTE financially, with internships and by providing feedback. In turn create a pool of qualified workers, and also to support local industry during a down economy.
* Get industry more involved in CDE’s to keep current with today’s ever changing industry standards.
* Would like them to participate in career exploration day at schools.

State Career Technical Student Organization (CTSO) Level

* National CTSO should create commercials/PSAs promoting benefits and life-long learning opportunities for students. Bring awareness to community and stakeholders.
* Advisers need training on how to better coach their student members to be able to achieve more affectively. Pair up new advisers with experienced advisers.
* Promote more opportunities for A-G acceptance for CTE programs.
* State CTSO develop partnership training for enhancing student learning via online tutorials and internships.
* Should have direct partnerships with colleges – articulating classes, etc.
* National CTSO Level
* Provide marketing/promotion materials tailored to the stakeholders – administrators, industry, government and community. Include a nationally recognized spokesperson. Address what is currently being done, planned, etc.
* CTSOs need to promote competitive events that reflect the most current and needed skills in the field.
* Develop targeted lesson plans related to CTSOs to integrate into classrooms & curriculum.
* More scholarships for winners.
* Need resources: current skill guidelines; technical assistance; leadership training; easy centralized registration;

Government

* Districts need to understand the value of CTSOs in order to direct funding and resources
* Districts and schools should be held accountable with their Perkins’ funding and be requiring to have a CTSO to receive Perkins’ money
* Teachers need the freedom to explore alternative approaches to delivering and assessing curriculum in order to support CTE in the classroom.
* Look at graduation requirements to support students is A-G, how can we make them just as successful
* CDE or County should allow experimenting with contextualized learning collaboration- needed hours to plan to improve students understanding; commit more resources to supporting CTE state –wide and at the local level. Gov/state should bring teachers together for sharing best practices to collaborate ideas and improve students’ learning.
* Support from administrators and local districts
* More in-service time between teachers and industry and training

Teachers

* Student presentations at staff, district and community meetings show-casing student activities and achievements. Highlight program serve lunch to staff, but they need to tour progress facilities
* Externship opportunities to experience real life applications of what you’re teaching.
* Job- shadow a career you teach about.
* Networking- need opportunities to network.
* Teachers should take programs seriously and promote high expectations to build credibility and pride for students.
* Advertise what you do – let your administrator know what you do
* ALL TEACHERS need CTE training… it should inform all curriculum since the goal is to get a job and become a member of society.
* Teachers continue to expand/improve rigor and relevance and fun in classes and organizations.
* Academy concept
* Create site support teams for CTSO advisers.

Students

* Students need to promote and recruit students and peers to grow program to enhance marketing skills and create organization relationships
* Parents need to become active players in developing programs … many have resources and ideas that can benefit and inform our programs.
* Students and parents need to see value and relevance in the CTE program.
* Allow students to explore their avenue of interest, get them involved, give them chance to explore.
* Students need exposure to CTSO’s without cost in order to see the value/ opportunities.
* Students market their programs to parents, teachers and community proof it works!

“I’d like to thank the WebProfessionals.org association and the WhyITNow.org initiative for hosting the IT Innovation Summit Sacramento. The most exciting thing is that the WhyITNow.org initiative has brought in people of from all different aspects of education and industry and we have found that we have consensus on some key issues. For example, one of the problems is that we’re not talking with each other and that we’re living in silos and we need to break away from that somehow. I think that there is a consensus that we need to get together more and work together.” Gary Page, Consultant California Department of Education.
IT Innovation Summit, a gathering of educators, industry professionals and policy makers

Group Leader, Mary La Prade, Willows Unified School District California

Problems, Challenges Barriers to IT education in California

* Classes not considered state of the art enough to transition into university.
* Lack of communication between county offices, high schools, community colleges high school districts to establish for computer literacy courses.
* Students not trained with industry standard skills
* Lack of communication and agreement of classes between community colleges and state colleges and universities
* Perception of value of IT programs

Solutions

* Business need greater involvement with professional development of the teaching profession.
* IT has to be reinforced in every subject areas provided at the education institution
* County office could be the facilitator to bring all players together

From Paula Stephan, Placer County Office of Education, California

Problems, Challenges Barriers to IT education in California

* Enrollment (Elimination of electives)
* Lack of basic computer skill
* Conceptualization of curriculum, workplace experience for teachers
* No Pathways

Solution

* Make CTE graduation requirements
* Digital literacy H.S. Basic Skill
* Internship for teachers
* Business – IT Across the sectors

From Julie Cole, Oxnard Union High School District OUSHD

Problems, Challenges Barriers to IT education in California

* 20 year old course on the book
* We have some courses with Rigor and Relevance however – the bar keeps moving
* Define Computer literacy at all grade levels
* Not enough time to collaborate with each other
* Not enough money to pay for all of the development that needs to take place
* Communication articulation up and down from our grade level

Solutions

* Encourage legislation that we must have CTE as a component for graduation
* Share our “new course on the WhyITNow.org and WebProfessionals.org
* Link a-g articulation up and down

James Jones, Mid Pacific ICT Center (MPICT) San Francisco, CA

Problems, Barriers. Issues to IT education in California

Problems:

* Inconsistent Terminology
* Inconsistent business demand expressions
* Misinformation
* Devalued academic credential b/s g inconsistencies
* No widely adopted ICT academic standards

Barriers

Many different Silos, frequently competing and not communicating and different cultures

Issues:

* Rapidly changing technologies

Solutions

* Getting decision makers identified
* Getting statewide advisory group of ICT education
* Widely adopted ICT academic standards and pathways and curriculum and credentials built on them
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