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As 500 Startups Eyes Aggressive Expansion In 2016, Diversity Tops The Agenda
The accelerator 500 Startups is eyeing an aggressive global expansion plan in 2016, with 10 new micro-funds planned worldwide, and as the investment firm plots its next course founder and managing director Dave McClure says that diversity in the fund and its portfolio are the top priorities. McClure points to the geographic reach and multinational makeup of the existing team at 500 as indicative of the firm's existing commitment to look beyond the typical profile for founders and investors in Silicon Valley.
Posted on 29 Dec 2015
Why Creative Thinkers Should Consider a STEM Career>
Most companies are looking for employees that can problem solve, collaborate creatively and communicate new ideas. We want to make sure that we start exposing students to these skills while in elementary school. For example, participate in science fairs and create an adventurous or exploratory project. Creative thinking involves digging deep within yourself to see what new ideas you can come up with. What I admire about creative thinkers is how they see what they can improve in their lives to make things move faster or perform more efficiently. Faster, better, stronger, right? We'd be doing things the same way we've always done them if it weren't for creative thinking. It's a vital component of innovation. Innovation leads to inspiration. Creative thinkers are normally inspired by others and, in turn, inspire even more people with their new ideas. Web designers have to know what graphics can be used on the web, what colors are associated with each other and so much more. Graphic designers have to understand the color wheel and create images that stand out every day. As you can see, creativity is used daily in most STEM careers. We want students to follow a certain number of steps to get an outcome. The students have to be creative to come up with ways to test those steps to make sure they work.
Here are five reasons why creative thinkers should consider a STEM career.
Posted on 29 Dec 2015
What the ESSA Means for the Future of Computer Science and STEM
With the adoption of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), Washington has entered a new age for the federal regulation of schools and embraced computer science as a core subject in education. The new education legislation was adopted with overwhelming support by both the House and Senate this month before being signed by President Barack Obama on Dec. 10 - the same day Washington introduced new policies governing technology in classrooms. ESSA replaces the Bush administration's No Child Left Behind Act, shifting oversight on evaluations from the federal level to the states and ushering in new priorities and goals for schools across the country. Among these new goals is a focus on STEM education topics. Computer science was included with other core subjects, such as writing, science, technology, engineering and mathematics, in ESSA's definition of a ''well-rounded education.''
Posted on 20 Dec 2015
How California's Fair Pay Law Could Narrow The Gender Pay Gap Worldwide
Following former Reddit CEO Ellen Pao's unsuccessful suit against her former VC firm Kleiner Perkins, more women have come forward to press similar claims against the likes of Twitter, Facebook, and Microsoft. That gender discrimination persists in the tech industry is no surprise. With major companies under pressure lately to share their diversity stats, we now have a better sense of the issue's scope; solutions have been harder to reach. But with a new California law set to take effect in just a few weeks, things could finally begin to change. The legislation is designed to encourage women to report discriminatory practices, which should impel companies to be more proactive than they've so far proved. The questions now are how well the law will work, and what its impact might be beyond Silicon Valley.
Posted on 20 Dec 2015
FACE entrepreneurship - fighting against fear of failure
FACE Entrepreneurship promotes ICT entrepreneurship among young Europeans by fighting against fear of failure and promoting a risk taking culture. The aspiring entrepreneurs are guided and challenged throughout the path of entrepreneurship by means of audiovisual content featuring well-known ICT entrepreneurs who share their story when starting up (e.g. success, failure, fears). Their testimonials are available upon registration on the FACE Entrepreneurship platform where users (FACErs) will access all types of audiovisual content consisting of web series, interviews, events, expert advice and much more. Last but definitely not least, FACErs will have the opportunity to win a trip to Dublin, Prague, Munich, Helsinki or Copenhagen to attend one of the FACE Entrepreneurship 2016 events where they will meet the speakers.
Posted on 15 Dec 2015
'She Started It' Doco Created To Empower 1 Million Girls
People revere successful tech entrepreneurs who have shaped the world with their innovative products and influence. Names like Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg are the obvious ones. Such role models have inspired many entrepreneurs to pursue their dreams. But very few of them are women. Without more visibility, the participation rate of female entrepreneurs will continue to be low. According to the study, Sources of Economic Hope by the Kauffman Foundation, for high growth firms, ''women usually account for less than 10 percent of founders in any given sample.'' An upcoming documentary called 'She Started It' is being made to illuminate more female tech entrepreneurs around the world and encourage more women to believe, ''If she could do it, I could do it!'' The film follows five young female founders on their entrepreneurial journey of struggle and triumph over the course of 2+ years. It also features interviews with experts such as Ruchi Sanghvi, the first female engineer at Facebook FB -1.66%, who also sold her company, Cove, to Dropbox.
Posted on 15 Dec 2015
Curricula Developers and Professional Development Providers Introduce TeachCS Platform to Strengthen High School Computer Science Education
As the nation focuses on Computer Science Education Week, December 7-13th, leading computer science curricula developers and professional development providers joined forces to announce TeachCS, a platform for high school teachers looking to broaden their computer science training and curricula. Funded by private sector philanthropy, the goal of TeachCS is to match in-service high school teachers with both computer science professional development and financial support to attend training from leading academic institutions, in order to better prepare their students for the lucrative computing jobs most in demand in the future. In its pilot year, TeachCS will provide in-service high school teachers with funding for professional development in one of three curricula - Exploring Computer Science (ECS), AP Computer Science Principles, or Bootstrap.
''TeachCS will support educators with little to no background in CS Ed who are looking to become computer science teachers. The chief requirements are the teacher's interest in learning to teach computer science and the support of the school community in the creation and sustainment of a computer science program for at least three years,'' said TeachCS Executive Director, Rob Underwood. Both requirements will be evaluated through a fellowship application to be launched in early 2016 through which any public high school teacher in the nation can apply.
Posted on 15 Dec 2015
Transforming K-12 computing education
All U.S. high school students should have the opportunity to take rigorous computer science (CS) courses that are relevant to their lives and their interests, courses that engage and inspire them. The new Advanced Placement Computer Science Principles (AP CSP) course is just such a course. Like the earlier Exploring Computer Science, AP CSP was designed from the beginning with equity in mind, with the explicit goal of attracting and retaining a broad range of students, especially students from those groups that are often underrepresented in computing: women, persons of color, and persons with disabilities. AP courses are popular with administrators, admissions officers, students, and parents. School administrators see them as a way to raise the academic profile of their school; college admissions officers see them as a known quantity with an established level of rigor and a standardized assessment; students and their parents see them as a way to strengthen high school transcripts and provide an economical start on college credits. The AP designation helps get CSP accepted in schools across the U.S.
Posted on 15 Dec 2015
Are Hardware Toys the Future of Kids' Coding?
Plenty of games and apps teach kids to code. But educators and toymakers are betting that teaching computer science isn't about coding at all. ''Computers have gotten so user-friendly that modern people, maybe not just kids, expect the computer to come to us,'' Gene Luen Yang, a graphic novelist and computer science teacher, told EdSurge earlier this year. ''But if you want to get into the nitty gritty of how to create new technology, you need to understand how the computer works natively.'' The proliferation of devices has made technology a ubiquitous presence in children's lives. But that does not mean they understand how anything works. Enter computer hardware toys, which hopefully build kids' understanding of how electronics function.
Posted on 15 Dec 2015
What Does Parental Leave Look Like in NYC's Silicon Alley?
Workers in most industries struggle to achieve a healthy balance between career advancement and parenting. In the last year, Facebook, Microsoft and Netflix have all announced sharply improved family benefits including up to a year of leave for mothers and fathers. With these announcements, media outlets have started to declare the tech sector as the ''most radical'' on the issue. Anecdotal evidence suggests New York tech companies are not emulating their Silicon Valley rivals. A survey of local companies found some startups offer no leave at all, while others provide a very modest six to 12 weeks of paid time off. One provided parental leave only to its paid female staff.
Posted on 15 Dec 2015

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