What we’re watching: Grants bring high-speed Internet to rural areas, how teen’s brain development impacts learning
Teachers at schools in Congress, Ariz., used to start downloading video the night before they’d show it in class because of low Internet speed, but thanks to state and federal grants that Yavapai County schools used to upgrade their broadband connection, a partnership with a small microwave Internet company, and access to a fiber-optic connection, rural schools in the area will soon be able to experience the fast Internet speeds that schools in urban areas are used to, according to a Cronkite News story.
Researchers have found that the brain continues to develop from the middle school years into early adulthood, providing insights on how young adults are thinking, problem solving and learning, according to a story on National Public Radio.
After her daughters earned their college degrees at Arizona State University through the Hispanic Mother-Daughter Program, Maria Ramirez went back to school to study elementary education and graduated from ASU this year, according to an article in The Arizona Republic.
Nearly 350 fourth- through sixth-grade students from 29 California schools took part in a math competition where they worked on conceptual, computational and word problems as well as a team project and construction activity to showcase the skills they’re learning at school that will benefit them in careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, according to a story in the Santa Maria Times.
The budget passed by Arizona Legislators and signed by the Governor includes legislation that changes how public school districts hire builders for construction projects and the penalties schools could face if there is malfeasance in the selection process in response to the financial ties that Scottsdale Unified School District’s superintendent and other officials had with an architect working on a construction project for the district, according to a story by Arizona Center for Investigative Reporting.
Many LGBTQ students say they feel unsafe and unwelcome in their schools, communities and families despite historic highs in support for rights and legal protections, according to a U.S. News & World Report article.
The Arizona Department of Education received a $735,000 grant for the next five years for the Troops to Teachers program that helps current and former members of the U.S. armed forces begin careers in teaching, according to a story on KTAR News 92.3 FM.
New standards for teaching American Sign Language in kindergarten through high school were released by Gallaudet University’s Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center to ensure that deaf and hard-of-hearing students study sign language in the same way that students learn English, according to an article in Education Week.
Del Rio Elementary students learned how to weave on an old-fashioned loom, pan for gold and brand a hide as well as experienced what it is like in a one-room school house and Navajo hogan as part of their hands-on learning of Arizona history thanks to community members who came to the school to share their expertise, according to a story in the Chino Valley Review.
Middle- and high-school science teachers spend about $450 of their own money each year on materials for their students to use in their lab work, according to a PBS NewsHour article. While all teachers spend money on student supplies, science supplies need to be replaced frequently or may be used only once in dissections or chemical reactions, and a lack of funding for these supplies could put students at a disadvantage in their training for science careers.