As many Iowans are faced with the challenges of homebound learning, the STEM Council facilitated a Twitter chat to connect STEM educators and families to each other and to ideas.
There was a whirlwind of insights, resources and information shared from participants in response to the following questions.
- What resources are you using to help learn STEM through this homebound period? Many tweeted that they were using video chat services such as Zoom.us and video demonstrations to stay in touch with students and colleagues and tracking tools such as Slack. Others have STEM Facebook groups and Pinterest for idea sharing. For coding, code.org/athome was recommended. For authentic STEM work, the clearinghouse.futurereadyiowa.gov was suggested as a resource for partnering with workplaces on ongoing projects that can be done at home.
- How are you solving technology access and capacity challenges? One educator said a Google form link was sent out to parents to find out who had computer or internet access needs. Some school districts have sent printed materials to students at home to ensure they had all the resources available.
- What are you doing to make sure young learners of special needs are being served? In large part, it was shared that educator outreach and access to each individual student was necessary to help identify instructional and access needs. Online professional learning events have been compiled by @iowa_aea to equip educators with tools and resources to support all students.
- Post-pandemic, how do you think this will affect your professional practices going forward? Many of the participants reported that technology will likely be incorporated more in learning environments in the future, especially when Iowa weather impacts in-person learning opportunities. Others suggested considerations such as involving communities and families more in education, blending learning and practicing STEM skills of collaboration, communication, problem solving and creativity.
Overall, the chat produced 126 hashtag mentions, 123 likes, 109 replies, 56 retweets and 30.6K impressions.