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STEM vs. STEAM: the Intersection of Art and Science

Most educators are familiar with STEM learning. STEM is an acronym that stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. The idea of STEM learning deals with an applied approach to educating students in those four subject areas.

At one point, the United States led the world in STEM fields, but over time, we have fallen behind the pack. The U.S. Department of Education along with President Obama have worked to create initiatives that focus on fostering STEM education and career advancement.

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Top New Books for Educators: Check out December’s Releases

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Here are some of December’s top new books for educators:

Computational Thinking and Coding for Every Student book cover

Computational Thinking and Coding for Every Student: The Teacher’s Getting-Started Guide
Jane Krauss, Kiki Prottsman

Our students are avid users and consumers of technology. Isn’t it time that they see themselves as the next technological innovators, too? Computational Thinking and Coding for Every Student is the beginner’s guide for K-12 educators who want to learn to integrate the basics of computer science into their curriculum. Readers will find

  • Practical strategies for teaching computational thinking and the beginning steps to introduce coding at any grade level, across disciplines, and during out-of-school time
  • Instruction-ready lessons and activities for every grade
  • Specific guidance for designing a learning pathway for elementary, middle, or high school students
  • Justification for making coding and computer science accessible to all
  • A glossary with definitions of key computer science terms, a discussion guide with tips for making the most of the book, and companion website with videos, activities, and other resources

Momentum for computer science education is growing as educators and parents realize how fundamental computing has become for the jobs of the future. This book is for educators who see all of their students as creative thinkers and active contributors to tomorrow’s innovations.

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Top New Books for Educators: Check Out November’s Releases


Here are some of November’s top new books for educators:

Alphabet Books book cover

Alphabet Books: The K-12 Educators’ Power Tool
Bonnie Mackey, Hedy Schiller Watson

Alphabet books are perfect for establishing introductory lessons and serve as a starting point for project ideas. Alphabet Books: The K–12 Educators’ Power Tool is ideal for school and public librarians as well as teachers who need to meet specific learning standards. The indexing by topic, grade level, and content area helps in finding just the right book for the aligned instructional objective.

Some 300-plus alphabet books are additionally categorized according to the complexity of the text structure. Featured books for three grade level categories (Pre K–2, 3–6, and 7–12) are accompanied by instructional strategies to use with these books. Images of the finished student projects for every described strategy are included to clarify the instructional values. A chapter that focuses on the use of alphabet books in the English language learners’ classroom offers strategies for the specific needs of this student group.

Book features:

  • Presents in-depth indexing and coding for more than 300 alphabet books for grades K–12, providing an easy-access resource for librarians and teachers
  • Includes analysis of text structures and instructional values that helps educators link curriculum objectives to specific alphabet books
  • Provides lessons and strategies with featured books for pre-K through 12th grade
  • Describes specific instructional suggestions that can be used with ELL students with lists of second-language titles

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Major Themes from iNACOL 2016

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Educators from across the country gathered in San Antonio October 24-28 for iNACOL’s annual Blended and Online Learning Symposium. Here are some of the major themes from this year’s event.

Redefine Success

Susan Patrick, President and CEO of iNACOL, opened the conference with a call to action. The recently adopted Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) has given our country the opportunity to redefine what success looks like for our students. States now control local educational policies and are encouraged to broaden the indicators of student success beyond standardized test scores. Now is the time for purposeful discussions about educational policy at all levels. Our students need fearless leaders to challenge the status quo and support changes that have a lasting impact.

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