One key difference that separates our current generation of technology education from previous eras is that everyone must be a learner. The industry is changing so quickly that even (perhaps especially) IT certification instructors need to stay ahead of the learning curve. Certiport has recognized this need and is responding to it by sponsoring a new conference for educators.
The 2015 CERTIFIED Educator Conference will be held June 18-20 in Orlando, Fla. During the three days of the conference, IT certification instructors from across the country will be able to enjoy insightful keynote addresses, deep dive breakout sessions, activities and face to face discussions designed to help educators enhance their teaching and mentoring ability.
"Teachers and administrators have been asking us for years for a place to collaborate and learn more about successfully implementing certification in the classroom," said Aaron Osmond, vice president of the global Certiport offering for Pearson VUE in a recent press release. "We are thrilled to launch the first CERTIFIED educator conference and invite educators to come and learn how to empower their students and their own career with industry-recognized certification ... we want more educators to learn the keys to bringing in-demand technology skills to education."
The future of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education is in the hands of these educators. STEM education has seen a decline in popularity among students in the United States in recent years. When compared to the rest of the world's teens, American teens rank 23rd in science and 31st in math. Some of this is potentially due to a lack of training at the educator level.
President Barack Obama has said in the past that, "[L]eadership tomorrow depends on how we educate our students today — especially in science, technology, engineering and math." Acting on these sentiments, U.S. government have begun taking a number of things to combat the decline in STEM performance.
In 2009, the White House launched the Educate to Innovate program — $260 million worth of investments to get American students back to the top of science and math achievement. In 2010, National Lab Day was established to increase excitement about STEM among teens, and in 2011 the Obama administration set a goal to invest more than 3 percent of GDP into research and development.
The fiscal year 2015 budget includes $170 million in new funding to be put towards STEM Innovation Networks, STEM Teacher Pathways and a National STEM Master Teacher Corps.
These increased efforts from the government are extending a challenge to all involved in education. The future of STEM interest and performance among students is in the hands of today's educators — which is why the CERTIFIED conference is so timely. Interested parties can register online to attend the conference in June. Doing so could be an important step toward making a difference in the lives of the younger generation.
The best teachers are the best learners, and the best learners make a lasting difference. As President Obama challenged educators in his 2011 State of the Union address: "If you want to make a difference in the life of our nation, if you want to make a difference in the life of a child, become a teacher. Your country needs you."