Professional Development | News
ISTE and HP Expand Free Teacher Training in Catalyst Academy Mini-Courses
- By Dian Schaffhauser
Intercultural understanding through digital exchanges, a crash course on games for learning, and using mobile apps to convert students into "citizen scientists" are three of the topics that will make up the latest round of "mini courses" offered through HP's free Catalyst Academy. Working with the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) and the New Media Consortium (NMC), the company recently announced a second group of "Academy Fellows," educators and education-related organizations from around the world that will develop the new set of MOOC-like training specifically for teachers.
The goal of the program, according to the organizers is to reach "hundreds of thousands" of teachers in grades six through 16 around the world with courses that focus on "STEMx" education. That's HP's term for the traditional science, technology, engineering, and math-related curriculum, along with newer science categories such as biotech and nanoscience and 21st century skills such as collaboration, global fluency, and computational thinking.
Each new course will generate a $16,000 stipend for the fellow or fellows developing it. Several will be developed in languages other than English. The scheduled training lasts between six and 12 hours of "clock time" over a four-week period. Participants have the opportunity to earn digital badges and downloadable certificates of completion.
Once courses have been delivered, they're added to the Academy catalog and made available to anybody — including non-teachers — to take at any time as a self-paced program upon registration.
Others are scheduled, such as a recent addition to the Catalyst program, the beta version of "Applications of Social Media for STEMx Teaching," developed by Holly Ludgate and Samantha Becker from the New Media Consortium. According to Adams Becker, the course takes place in Facebook, "which has enabled us to directly demonstrate to educators how they can leverage social media in cutting-edge ways."
The new courses under development encompass these subjects:
- "Choose Your Own Learning Adventure" from San Francisco-based P2PU;
- "Mobile app design without programming" (Spanish, Portuguese) from Madrid-based Centro Superior para la Enseñanza Virtual;
- "Mobile Curriculum Building Hack-a-Thon" from Vermont-based Digital Wish;
- "Stereotype Threat: The Key to Eliminating Invisible Barriers to Success in STEMx" from The Blake School in Hopkins, MN;
- "The Sound of Science: Making Audio for STEMx" from New Jersey City University;
- "STEMx Solutions and Conversations" (Hindi) and "Creating an [information communications & technology]-enabled transformational learning environment" from Learning Links Foundation in Delhi, India;
- "Arctic Connections: Changing Ecosystems Around the World" from Polar Bears International in Bozeman, MT;
- "Intercultural Understanding through Digital Exchanges" (Arabic, English, French, and Spanish) and "DeforestACTION: Developing Earthwatchers in your Classroom" (English) from Taking IT Global Youth Association;
- "Digitally Curious: Fostering Mathematical Curiosity in Technology-rich Learning Environments" from Dallas' Good Shepherd Episcopal School;
- "Teaching and learning of science through Inquiry based science learning centres" from the University of the Western Cape in South Africa;
- "Creating Social Entrepreneurs using the Design Cycle Engineering Model" (English, French) from Saint Andrew's School in Boca Raton, FL;
- "Engaging students in Science and Engineering Practices of the Next Generation Science Standards" from California State University, Northridge;
- "Analysing Sporting Performance with GeoGebra" from Cambridge, UK-based STEM Team East;
- "Crash Course on Games (for Learning) and Game Design" from California-based Pepperdine University;
- "Developing Mobile Augmented Reality Apps" (Spanish) from Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia in Madrid;
- "Using Mobile Devices to turn students into citizen scientists" from Slide2learn in Australia;
- Geogebra Application for Meaningful Education (GAME)" (Spanish) from Universidad de Palermo in Buenos Aires; and
- "Building digital literacy in the hands-on science classroom" from Agastya International Foundation in Bangalore.