2016 Conference Theme: COLLABORATING TO BUILD A DIVERSE STEM-LITERATE SOCIETY
Applications should emphasize how collaboration at all levels enhances educator knowledge and student learning in order to support a diverse STEM-literate society. Applicants should show how their presentation makes a connection to one or more of the four strands as well as provide practical resources for teachers.
Collaboration implies letting your guard down and opening yourself to other ideas. In a society that may be getting more isolated due to technology, the technology and engineering teacher has a wonderful structure for increasing collaboration at all levels, thereby deepening student exposure to the positive outcomes of cooperation and collaboration. The 2016 DC Conference theme and strands were chosen to provide a vehicle for educators to present their creative ideas on collaboration.
Strand 1: SUPPORTING EDUCATOR COLLABORATION TO FOSTER COLLEGE AND CAREER READINESS
Technology and engineering education can have the greatest impact on STEM literacy and preparation of students for college and career readiness. Challenging our field, however, is the perception that our classes are only an elective and the tendency of educators to stay within their content silos. By collaborating with academic and career and technical teachers, technology and engineering teachers raise the visibility of our field and contribute positively to the preparation of students to be STEM literate, and college and career ready.
Strand 2: MEETING THE NEEDS OF DIVERSE LEARNERS THROUGH COLLABORATIVE INSTRUCTION
Technology and engineering teachers have unique tools to help build a diverse STEM workforce. Elementary technology teachers likewise have a unique set of pedagogical tools to help all students feel accomplished and confident in their STEM abilities. Reaching diverse students requires sustained technological leadership and creative out-of-the-box ideas. Integrated STEM practices may be the key to reaching diverse learners in technology and engineering classrooms.
Strand 3: DEVELOPING STUDENT COLLABORATION TO INCREASE STEM LEARNING
While collaboration at the teacher level is important, it is equally vital that all students are given opportunities to collaborate. This may be as simple as partnering in cooperative groupings or as sophisticated as transnational work teams. In between these extremes are many opportunities for technology and engineering teachers to build student skills in cooperation, communication, and a sense of learning for the good of all. Examples of student collaboration include Technology Student Association (TSA) competitions, Technology and Engineering Education Collegiate Association (TEECA) regional and national competitions, in-class design challenges, and student research presentations. Collaboration by students has the added benefit of increasing applied learning of technology and engineering content.
Strand 4: SCALING MEANINGFUL PARTNERSHIPS THROUGH COMMUNITY COLLABORATION
Collaboration with entities outside of education brings many benefits to technology and engineering educators. Whether the collaboration involves ongoing communication through advisory boards, special grants, field experience, classroom speakers, donation of equipment and consumables, or teacher professional development, the benefits to technology and engineering teachers and students are clear. The development of partnerships is time-consuming but worthwhile. Initiating and sustaining partnerships should be a long-term goal for all technology and engineering educators.
2016 TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING STEM SHOWCASE
The 2016 Technology & Engineering STEM Showcase provides a forum to feature your best exemplar of technology and engineering instruction! Please come and share your STEM idea, technique, or best practice related to learning activities, marketing materials, career guidance, facility design, program design, assessment methods, equity, or classroom and laboratory management techniques. Showcasers are asked to illustrate a single element of technology or engineering teaching and learning that exemplifies good STEM instruction to share with conference participants. ITEEA will be compiling these exemplars to share online as well with our members.