MOOCs Aim To Strengthen Computer Science And Physics Teaching

Science educationFrom Forbes: When massive open online courses (MOOCs) took off three years ago, many educators had high hopes that these courses could expand and diversify access to education. Early aspirations were soon replaced with criticism: studies showed that MOOCs weren’t reaching those who needed access the most. Further data revealed that completion rates were strikingly low, even among students who intended to complete courses and not just browse or sample lectures.

Yet as an educational technology, the MOOC platform offers possibility. MOOC providers are branching out into new areas, and courses have grown to include a wide variety of courses that span academia and professional development. One area where they can have an enormous impact is increasing the percentage of women and people of color who study science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). We must begin to address the challenges facing these groups earlier in their educational lives.

Click here to learn how we can begin addressing those challenges.

Free Community College for 2 Years? President Obama Hopes So

From the White House: Today, the President unveiled a new proposal: Make two years of community college free for responsible students across America.

In our growing global economy, Americans need to have more knowledge and more skills to compete — by 2020, an estimated 35 percent of job openings will require at least a bachelor’s degree, and 30 percent will require some college or an associate’s degree. Students should be able to get the knowledge and the skills they need without taking on decades’ worth of student debt.

Click here to read the numbers that support President Obama’s proposal.

Small entrepreneurial companies spell big success for Kentucky’s economic development

Brian CNXFrom Kentucky Living: When the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development brought a group of Kentucky entrepreneurs together with journalists recently, the room seemed packed to bursting with ingenuity.

The talk was about sending miniature satellites into space (Teton Aerospace in Morehead)…an injectable substance that can serve as an internal brace for horses with injured tendons and ligaments (Equinext LLC of Lexington)…sheets made from moisture-wicking material that can keep even the sweatiest sleeper cool and dry (Wicked Sheets, Louisville).

This isn’t speculation—these are products they have brought or will soon be bringing to market. It’s just one sign of a new emphasis in the state’s economic development efforts.

Click here to read the full story, which includes a section about IFBG 2014 speaker Brian Mefford and his company, Connected Nation Exchange.

Kentucky’s business climate among best in nation

Louisville SkylineFrom the Lane Report: Kentucky ranks eight in the U.S. for best business climate, according to Site Selection magazine’s yearly Top State Business Climate rankings.

Kentucky was ranked ninth last year and 11th in 2012.

“Kentucky’s economy continues to grow,” said Gov. Steve Beshear. “We’re proud to offer companies a pro-business environment, including an educated workforce, strong infrastructure and progressive incentives. This ranking reflects our dedication toward creating more jobs and supporting our Kentucky families.”

Click here to read the full story.