By Evan Nisonson
A staggering one-in-three high school graduates who took the ACT tests in 2013 are not ready for college, the testing organization has said in a recent report. Of the 1.8 million high school graduates who took the test last year, only 26 percent achieved college readiness benchmarks in all four subjects of English, reading, math and science. Another 27 percent met two or three benchmarks, and 16 percent met just one.
This is a significant challenge to the expectations of policy makers, educators, parents and students themselves who look to our educational systems to better prepare the youth of today into the skilled workforce of the future. To be clear, the number of unprepared, or even under-prepared, college freshman can impact states even today through a rise in unemployment and a decrease in the number of much-needed skilled workers. We must do better.
One part of a solution is to arm our teachers with better tools, such as digital content, that would lead to a more personalized and more impactful curricula for students. The other is harnessing the multitude of data generated in education to establish linkages between K-12, postsecondary, and workforce partners.
The latter part of the solution is what the Montana Office of Public Instruction (OPI) has chosen to deploy to better prepare their students for college and careers. The aim of the project is to facilitate collaboration between educators, parents, and students to develop academic, financial, and future career plans that align with student aspirations. Continue Reading »
The Texas A&M University System and IBM have created one of the world’s largest computational sciences infrastructure. Built on a mix of high performance computing technologies that include Blue Gene/Q, Power 7 and System x servers, scientists and engineers across the system’s 11 universities and seven state agencies will work on projects dedicated to advancing agriculture, geosciences and engineering. Early tests pitted the Blue Gene/Q, installed at TAMUS’s flagship campus in College Station, on a material sciences problem that previously took weeks. The Blue Gene/Q’s 418 Teraflops solved it in less than an hour.
Jon Mogford, the Vice Chancellor of Research for TAMUS, will play a key role in the coordination and success of these diverse projects, teams and technologies. He met with IBM Smarter Planet to discuss how the university system is putting this massive new infrastructure to work. Continue Reading »
President Barack Obama addressed the students and faculty of the Pathways in Technology Early College High School (P-TECH) in Brooklyn, New York, today to spotlight the school, its teachers and administrators, the architects of the program, and its partners.
Opened in September 2011, P-TECH is a collaboration among the New York City Public Schools, The City University of New York and IBM. An open-admissions, grades 9 – 14 institution, P-TECH provides a rigorous academic and workplace skills curriculum leading to a no-cost associate degree in technology and preferential consideration for jobs at IBM. The P-TECH model has been so successful that five similar schools have opened in Chicago; four more are planned for New York City; and New York State will rollout 16 new P-TECH-model schools in 2014. Continue Reading »
By Richard Koubek
The times of the professor working solely within the confines of campus are bygone days as we academicians embrace the practicalities of new performance standards, rapid technological advances and simple economics.
In 1997, the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) launched a new standard that seismically shifted our educational focus away from what we teach in the classroom to what our students learn. Core to this initiative is the collection of feedback and input from companies who hire our students, measuring student success along learning outcomes. Continue Reading »
By Linda Sanford
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s recent announcement of 16 new “early college” technology-focused high schools based on IBM’s P-TECH model has implications far beyond state borders. A national study by the Brookings Institution concludes that half of all STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) jobs are “middle skill” positions requiring postsecondary training but not a four-year degree. And the U.S. Department of Labor reports that the American economy will create 14 million new middle skill jobs over the next 10 years – on top of the 29 million jobs that exist right now. Continue Reading »
By Bill Liao
The great Arthur C. Clarke once wrote that “any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” Yet in a time when nearly all human activity is reliant on the magic of computer software, entire generations of kids are not learning to program until far too late, and the dropout rate for computer science degrees is routinely 50 percent. We have a global shortage of good programmers, and many startup companies simply fail for want of decent programming talent.
By Dr. David Sinclair
What skills will tomorrow’s city leaders need?
This is a very broad question, but it has a specific set of answers. Tomorrow’s urban leaders must organize, analyze and understand the resource that is Big Data. They will need to be able to use the sea of data pouring into their systems to predict how the city will operate and then build adaptable and informed plans to deal with the inevitable disruption and change. This set of skills fall under the heading of data analytics.
It is with these skills in mind that we have designed a Data Analytics Master’s programme at Dublin City University in partnership with IBM Research Dublin. The goal of the programme is to provide future planners with a deep understanding of the issues, as well as the techniques and tools needed to explore large amounts of raw data and extract meaningful conclusions from it. With such a skill set, tomorrows’ urban leaders will be positioned to build smarter, sustainable cities. Continue Reading »
By Katharyn White
In recent months, this blog has described aspects of IBM’s commitment to Africa. I want to focus on the importance of talent in the region.
Several years ago, I participated in an IBM initiative to bring the advantages of global integration — spanning mindset through operations — to communities, clients, and IBM employees, with a specific emphasis on Africa. We refined our view of the vital attributes of personal leadership in a global economy, expanded IBM’s Corporate Service Corps and created global teams to accelerate our understanding of, and success in, growth markets. I was given the opportunity to lead our South African team, and through this role, I saw first-hand the importance of talent. Our report, “Developing global leadership: How IBM engages the workforce of a globally integrated enterprise” describes that working environment and how challenges and skill gaps were addressed.