My Quest To Teach

January 16, 2017

There Are More Hidden Figures Around Us

mae_taylor_richardson-e1464812958699
Dr. Mae Jemison and Taylor Richardson

There Are More Hidden Figures Around Us
by Prof. William Jackson @wmjackson
Edward Waters College

“I’m just amazed at the shoulders that I’m standing
on to allow me to work to achieve my dreams.”
Taylor Richardson, attending “Hidden Figures”
premiere at the White House 2016

Dedicated to the past Hidden Figures that allowed
girls and boys to embrace STEM – STEAM – STREAM
and grasp new opportunities to fulfill dreams from the
depths of the sea, to the height of the clouds to the
deepest of space.
The movie ”Hidden Figures” 2016 is inspiring thousands
of girls and women to eliminate the fear of learning,
to understand the fun of exploration, embrace artistic
creativity, develop themselves as “thought leaders” and
“smart creatives.” To understand that it is ok to be smart,
gifted, talented and special. The perceived glass ceiling of
career limitations has been shattered by the flames of
curiosity to explore not just the limitations of earth’s
atmosphere and her seas, but has moved into the air less,
weightless and limitless expanse of space and time.

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FIRST LEGO LEAGUE of Jacksonville, Florida

The emergence of STEM – Science Technology Engineering
Math is looking good to girls and women as careers explode
in diversity in the embracing of girls and women into areas
at one time exclusively open to men, white men.
The irony of “Hidden Figures” is that research has proven
that women are more analytical and able to comprehend
and apply mathematics skills faster than men. They are more
detailed oriented and specific about applying learning to
real world situations.

African Americans and others of color have been involved
with most if not all space agencies, this involvement is not
just as custodians, cooks, maintenance and other support
personnel. These positions are important, they help the
people do the jobs they to do and service this country.
The other aspect is not just as service personnel, but the
intellectual abilities that allow for NASA and other agencies
to meet with success and build a legacy through the
intelligence of everyone that contributes. People of color
have always and will continue to contribute, they have not
received the recognition they deserve.

STEM / STEAM are the hottest sectors in the U.S. job market
and has grown to international levels. Even before it became
a commonly used word the elements of STEM have been
important. Because of movies like “Hidden Figures” and others
doors of imagination and dreams are growing for girls,
women, boys and men of color and culture.

STEM does not start in high school or higher education, it
starts in elementary education labs, classrooms and weekend
competitions and events. It starts in after school programs and
new curriculum’s that teachers have a passion to apply new
and exciting ways to engage students that were once thought
slow or different, but were actually higher order and critical
thinkers, just bored with cookie cutter teaching strategies
dated from the 1950s and 1970s. Today’s students need to
be engaged and active learners.


William Jackson teaching a STEAMS
class – Science Technology Engineering
Math Sports – engaging studnets.

When I taught STEAM at an elementary Magnet it is important
that learning is relevant and students can apply their past
learning to new learning and integrate it to everyday life.
If students are not engaged mentally, actively involved, have
hands on activities and allowed to explore environments there
are lost opportunities to build the excitement to allow future
scientists, mathematicians, engineers, innovators and even
technical expertise in computers and robotics.


HBCUs are important in the education
of future STEM employees.

Many people still do not realize that STEAM and STEM run the
U.S. economy, look at the growth of careers that not only require
a college degree, but certifications. “The future of the economy
is in STEM,” says James Brown, the executive director
of the STEM Education Coalition in Washington, D.C. Even
President and Mrs. Obama have encourage STEM education
through grants and national programs.

Parents must understand as well that their children’s employment
are influenced by STEM. Employment in occupations related to
STEM science, technology, engineering, and mathematics is
projected to grow to more than 9 million jobs by 2022
nationally and internationally. Children now may now have to
find jobs in the U.S. and have to travel overseas, they must be
prepared to keep this nation competitive.

U.S. relationships with the world are important because if the
U.S. does not have friendly relationships globally then research
opportunities, international collaborations, joint projects and even
educational research will be at jeopardy. We cannot afford to be
secluded because the world is diversified in economic and social
diversity.
Students should be asking what their STEM futures are and how is
their current educational instruction preparing them for the future?
Parents should be asking are their children being prepared to be
employed or setup to be under or un – employed.

“One of the things that I’ve been focused on as President is how
we create an all-hands-on-deck approach to science, technology,
engineering, and math… We need to make this a priority to train
an army of new teachers in these subject areas, and to make sure
that all of us as a country are lifting up these subjects for the
respect that they deserve.”
President Barack Obama, Third Annual White House Science Fair,
April 2013

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Events like the FIRST LEGO LEAGUE by Mark Douglas McCombs
are foundations to engage youth, teens and young adults into
robotics, programming, design, innovation and as developers.
There are hundreds if not thousands of “Hidden Figures” in homes,
schools, communities, cites and this nation. They should be
encouraged, mentored and provided role models to spread their
wings to take flight to be unHidden…

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Mark Douglas McCombs, center celebrating the
FIRST LEGO LEAGUE competition at The Bolles
School

Parents your child may be the scientist to discover a cure for cancer,
diabetes, heart disease; your child may be the next deep sea
explorer or engineer to develop light speed, force fields or even
new fuels to power the world. Uncover the hidden talent in your child
by supporting their education, their thirst for exploration and their
gifted abilities.

Resouces:
Statistics uses data from Occupational Employment Statistics
https://www.bls.gov/spotlight/2017/science-technology-engineering-and-mathematics-stem-occupations-past-present-and-future/home.htm

FIRST LEGO LEAGUE
http://www.firstinspires.org/

Jacksonville Florida FIRST LEGO LEAGUE
https://www.facebook.com/markdmccombs

The Office of Science and Technology Policy
https://www.whitehouse.gov/administration/eop/ostp/women

Hidden Figures – Taraji P. Henson
https://m.facebook.com/amightygirl/posts/1222453677790943:0

Photos:

 

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December 7, 2016

What I Learned at WordCampUSA in Philadelphia 2016

What I Learned at WordCampUSA in Philadelphia 2016
by William Jackson, M.Ed
Instructor: Edward Waters College
Jacksonville, Florida #MyQuestToTeach
Accompanied by
Joshua Rodriguez, junior Biology major
Jon Gregory, junior Elementary Education

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Attending WordCampUSA Philly was a great
opportunity to join over 1800 bloggers, developers,
programmers, users and even educators.
Joining together to learn, share, and collaborate
on a platform that allows for dynamic content to
be posted in diverse digital environments.

Attending with my students Joshua Rodriguez
a junior studying Biology and Johnathan Gregory
a junior studying elementary education, both students
attending Edward Waters College. Provided an opportunity
to apply what they are learning in the classroom in
real world situations.
These situations are not just educational, but involves
business, commerce and entrepreneurial opportunities.

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Edward Waters College an HBCU building leaders in
diverse disciplines is working to build content creators
and innovators. In order for this to be successful students
must be exposed to industry leaders, developers and
programmers and marketers.
Conferences like WordCamp allow for exposure, it
encourages interaction and engagement. If students are
not involved they lose the chance to be inspired and
encouraged to think beyond their current community and
even economic level.

Learning from conferences is Dope and Lit, more students
of color and culture need to have the opportunity to
join in on the discussions to learn and contribute. To move
beyond consumers to change into developers.

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HBCU – Historic Black Colleges and Universities
should continue to prioritize learning on a foundation
level to liberate the thinking of the application and
integration of technology to produce not just consume.
Students of color and culture should not follow the words
of those who want to limit the abilities of them, because
students of color and culture and African students are
smart creatives, dynamic innovators and embrace
entrepreneurialism that opens doors to build people
and nations.  My students and I will take back to
our schools, our communities and our peers new knowledge
to share, to inspire, to ignite the fires of discovery that
change the way children, youth, teens and even young
adults see themselves.
“Children don’t care what you know, so long as they know
that you care,” is a quote the Jon Gregory shared with me
from attending EdCamp NASBE, it applies here as well.
We must share, encourage, engage, inspire, influence,
ignite and kindle the joy for learning so students will be
life-long learners to build a better tomorrow.

HBCU students should attend conferences, workshops,
seminars, meetups, EdCamps, WordCamps, Bar Camps,
and other technology events. If the mindset does not
change children of color and culture will find themselves
unemployable or under-employed in dead end careers and
jobs. This is economic and even political self destruction,
the lack of education creates a lack of economic and
political power.

Photos from our adventure to WordCamp USA 2016

 

September 28, 2016

STEAM and the Educational Growth of Children in 2016

STEAM and the Educational Growth of Children in 2016
William Jackson, M.Ed.
Edward Waters College @wmjackson
Educational Technology, Social Media and STEAM

10

This blog was originally written in 2013,
much has changed in the opportunities for
children of color and culture to grow and
develop into Nerds, Blerds, Geeks and
Entrepreneurs.

In our educational systems nationwide,
where children of color and culture are taught
not just the educational curriculums and
strategies for successfully passing
assessments, educators teach the value of
education by integrating project based learning.
It should be known that the development of
knowledge in itself is not transformative,
the application of knowledge, creativity
and innovation is powerful.

The educational initiatives of STEAM, STEM,
STREAM CSTEAM and even STEM2 are
vital to prepare youth for current and future
careers. Students of color and culture
do not care about statistics, graphs, charts,
Excel spreadsheet. They want to know how
they can use these skills to provide for their
families and build their communities.

This is why educators at all levels must
make their instruction relevant and apply
to real world situations not to pass a
mandated state assessment.

Print

The investment of STEAM Science
Technology Engineering Arts Mathematics
can be seen in the development of hand-on
projects, collaborative and cooperative learning
activities that show the significance of
hands-on learning that is interactive and
educationally engaging for students.
These activities are also the precursors to
career selections for students that have
unknown talents and abilities to do great things
in this world. Teachers cultivate and nurture
critical thinking skills in their students.

Society can no longer teach with old school
traditional lecture methods. Today’s students
are interactive, they need to be engaged, involved
and even entertained.  Instruction in schools can
no longer be teacher centered in its direction to
teach concepts, strategies, standards, there needs
to be a transition to student centered learning in
today’s schools even in higher education. Tech
labs must be available to allow individual
research and learning, group learning and gender
collaboration.

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History = Alton Yates Future = Taylor Richardson
Both of Jacksonville, Florida

STEAM/STEM integration encourages students
to be the center of attention in learning, the teacher
sets the parameters and learning objectives to
accomplish tasks that are fashioned
to teach diverse areas of interactive learning.
The students understand that learning can be
fun first, engaging second, and transformative
third.  The connections from Science
Technology Engineering Arts and Mathematics
involving higher order and critical thinking skills.
When incorporating the “R” for Reading students
apply comprehension for understanding. Instead
of hearing from teachers that they “better”
understand what is being read, there is a “reason”
why comprehension is important.

Chinua Achebe, Nigerian author states that
children should never be afraid of reading and
should be excited to go to libraries and museums.
It is the responsibility of parents to make this a
reality.

See Dick and Jane run up and down a hill do not
cut it, students could be building bridges, rockets
or robots along with reading what is the speed of
Dick if he falls down the hill or how fast would
Jane have to run to catchup with Dick as he rolled
down the hill. Reading is important to follow
directions to complete tasks, but teaching it like a
Dick and Jane book ruins the excitement and
the fun!!!

Real world experiences in careers shows children
of color and culture to see past traditional careers,
they get a chance to see what the future potentially
holds.

STEM2 (squared) integrates Medical aspects
and CSTEAM incorporates Computer
initiatives. Students are learning that they can be
Geeks, Nerds, Blerds, and start their own businesses.
Society cannot afford to dumb down learning because
early childhood students are watching Star Wars,
Star Trek, Guardians of the Galaxy, Avengers,
Iron Man, and Captain America, they’re wondering
how they too can build robots, drones, spaceships
and have an influence in the world.

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News reports from NPR show that the direction for
careers is changing and students must be exposed
to information and resources to keep up with change.
http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2016/09/08/492954687/how-coffee-is-perking-up-engineering-education
The Airforce is in need of drone pilots, children
of color and culture and women need to consider
careers that open new directions and demand new skills.
http://www.npr.org/sections/parallels/2016/09/08/493004533/the-rise-of-the-drone-and-the-thorny-questions-that-have-followed
What was once thought of as out of bounds for
children of color and culture are now new
opportunities to receive high tech education and
advancement not seen in the last 10 years.
http://www.npr.org/2015/01/24/379550383/the-drone-war-hits-a-bottleneck-too-many-targets-not-enough-pilots
Parents, especially parents of color and culture must
understand the future implications
in employment and careers for their girls and boys.
Higher educational access to resources that
encourage community engagement and a higher level
of interaction and educational attainment
for students that involve learning outside the classroom
and involved in the community.

If parents do not want their children to return home
after graduating from college or stay home
after high school graduation they must continue
to be parents, to guide their children far away to start
careers that allow for occasional visits. If you have adult
children, you understand the importance of stable,
progressive careers that allow your children to grow
away from home.  To spread their wings to fly….

The choice is simple for 180 days of school, learning,
growing, exposure and adapting
to new ideas for development, teachers must
challenge their students engagement and
build their intellectualism and how to apply
their intelligence. There should not be any
consideration of color, culture, gender of lifestyle.

All students matter in any educational
arena and teacher must be prepared to teach the
diversity of our world.
                           STEM – STEAM – STREAM – CSTREAM – STEM2

bluford-jemison

September 21, 2016

Africans and Blogging A Paradigm Change

1

Africans and Blogging A Paradigm Change
William Jackson, M.Ed.
Edward Waters College
william.jackson@ewc.edu
@wmjackson – Twitter

“Your content is the shining star that attracts and
connects people to your message.”
@sherfranklin

This quote is intended to encourage Africans that
their thoughts, experiences, and convictions to share
their story cannot stop. The opportunity to share life
and cultural experiences must be written
and blogged about to share a true story of African
people, African civilization, African culture and
African history.

Blogging opens doorways to learning encouraging
intellectual exchanges,  building thought leaders,
communities of digital cohesion and uniting
people of diversity. Unifying people even if they
have differences of  ideas, religion or philosophy,
blogging can be a connection. The  connective power
of blogging using digital tools allows Africans to
share content not just locally, but globally. There was
a time the  only stories that came from Africa where
from mainstream European media that did not share
the African story in a positive light, with the use of
Social Media and mobile technology accuracy, truth
and openness can be shared.

4

Africans like Michelle Atagana, editor of Memeburn, one
of South Africa’s leading tech blogs. Her involvement
has seen changes in the influence of writing/blogging.
Stating that, “For Africans, in terms of getting online,
I would say maybe in early 2004 and 2006, that was
the emergence of blogging,” “If you want a magic period,
I’ll say 2008 to 2009.” This shows that Africa
is not far behind in the world, there are challenges in
wired and mobile infrastructures, but this is being
addressed by collaboration with mobile
tech companies, the military and even non profit
organizations that are servicing the people not
just the corporations.

“Africans cannot afford a poverty of thought or
conviction.” Unknown

3

The ability to share real time content, not just written
text, but photos, video and multimedia elements makes
a profound statement of truth and reality in Africa.
American Social Media is based on the “social” aspects
of communication. The day to day events that
Americans go through, in  Africa the scope is much
different, content ranges from economic,
educational, political and cultural exchanges that
influence the dynamics of African life. Youth, teens
and young adults that have the opportunity to access
Wifi or have service providers emulate Americans of
similar age with access to music, sports and
entertainment. The dynamics of Social Media and
blogging are similar, but the foundation is what is
happening directly to the mental, physical and
emotional well being of people in cities, towns and
even the country side of Africa.

E-commerce is being affected, the power and influence
of online information is influencing economic markets.
Consumers are able to make choices that they
did not have before. To purchase locally and globally
in markets once closed to Africans. Business owners
like Mike Saunders, CEO of South African digital
marketing company, Digitlab has stated that, “If you
have something of  value to add to a market, to an
industry or to consumers and you share that value
with people (through Social Media), you can become
very influential with people.”

During this growth in infrastructure, mobile devices,
and even the educational levels to use diverse
technologies Africans are being exposed to a world
where they can have instant connection with the world.
Because of the Social Media world opinions will change
and the mindsets and perceptions of African people
will change, the perceptions of African people will
have to change to allow a more inclusive
and equitable opportunities in commerce, education,
politics and other key areas of growth. Blogging
allows the sharing of ideas not just in text on diverse
digital platforms, thus creating a powerful tool
that influences thoughts.

2

Africans need to continue to create their own content
because Africa needs to continue to grow itself outside
of European colonization. The physical
colonization has changed, next is the continued
psychological ending of being colonized for centuries.
Africans must continue to find their Voice, share their
stories and build a foundation on intellectualism while
building each generation to embrace, strengthen and
flex their intellect, their creativity and develop through
blogging innovative ideas from African young people.

Everything in Africa is a powerful source of content to
be created by Africans of all ages, generations,
educational, economic, cultural and political background.
From business and commerce, industry to education,
movies to mythology, history and culture, music
and the arts, all are fuel for the fire of creativity and
innovation in blogging. The higher education system
of Africa has a daunting task to build
new and empowered educational leaders that will
continue to move Africa into the 21st century and
beyond. Education is the key to allowing Africans
to apply the multi-talented skills needed to forge a
new path. African higher education, must work with
high schools and lower educational levels to prepare
them to be future  students in the institutions of
higher learning or vocational education.

Content comes in all forms so the educational
structure of Africa will have to change in order for
its students to graduate with the skills to compete
in a  global economy.

The comparison can be seen in the power of content,
how the writings of Chinua Achebe can be shared
through generations by Social Media, the sharing of
poetry and short stories by Wole Soyinka and other
African writers and story tellers.
Branding and marketing can be seen in the similar
stories of the Yoruba religion of Africa and Sango,
deity representing thunder like Thor the Norse god.
Marvel is making millions from this centuries old
story of Thor, but just imagine if Sango
was used first, how Africa could benefit from the
globalized marketing and commerce.
The cognitive and emotional influence to African
boys and girls to read an African story that shows
their continent on a global platform and
encouraging reading, literature, cultural pride
and the need for the growth in writing/blogging
by more  African boys and girls.

wole

There are millions of stories waiting to be told
in Africa, it is up to African  children, teens, young
adults and even adults to start blogging to tell their
stories before others grab them and tell a different
version and reap the harvest.

African’s have been denied for to long to tell their
stories, now there is a platform
and tools to amplify their voice to enable unity,
collaboration and cooperation.
Africans have a important story to tell and
blogging is the platform to do it.

Resources by William Jackson
Silicon Africa
http://www.siliconafrica.com/top-tech-blogs-in-africa/

Chinua Achebe Writers Can Be Activists
https://myquesttoteach.wordpress.com/2016/02/01/chinua-achebe-writers-can-be-activists/

Colonization Continues
https://myquesttoteach.wordpress.com/2016/01/07/the-colonization-of-african-americans-continues-in-america/

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