The New York Academy of Sciences
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Posted June 08, 2020
The New York Academy of Sciences
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, educational institutions have shut down indefinitely, forcing educators around the world to shift from in-person classroom teaching to distance learning. To help ease the transition, the New York Academy of Sciences created a two-part series aimed at early-career faculty and high school teachers who want to become successful instructors of online courses, trainings, or professional development programs. In part one, award-winning instructor Barbara Houtz shares strategies designed to engage students, improve retention, and improve learning outcomes in distance learning. In part two, she explains how to incorporate 21st century skills—specifically communication, collaboration, critical thinking, and creativity—into online curriculums for students of all ages.
STEM Education Solutions
With the need for virtual education during the current COVID-19 quarantine, how can you keep your students engaged in a virtual classroom and ensure they retain what they learn? Get tips and strategies that will prepare you to direct online courses designed to engage students, improve retention, and enhance learning outcomes.
Barbara Houtz, M.Ed, STEM Education Solutions
Barbara Houtz is a former Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellow, a science educator, an author of three books on effective teaching strategies in science, a curriculum developer, and a trainer for K-20 teachers in science, engineering, and literacy. After 13 years of classroom teaching, she moved to the federal government, where she spent several years working at the National Institutes of Health, Office of Science Education, advising on curriculum and teacher professional development for multiple federal research agencies. She was the Director of Outreach for the Pennsylvania State University’s College of Science, where she developed multiple educational programs to promote interest in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) careers and ensure college and career readiness for K-12 students. She has also provided curriculum development and on-site professional training for national non-profit and for-profit companies, including Invent Now, Achieve3000, TeachingPOINT, and Carolina Biological.
Barbara has over 25 years of experience in training educators and other professionals in both face-to-face and online environments. Her class on best practices in science education, Scientists Teaching Science, has helped thousands of professionals learn how to utilize active teaching strategies recommended for effective instruction. Her clients include the National Institutes of Health, Harvard’s School of Medicine, Boston Children’s Hospital, the University of Puerto Rico’s Minority Biomedical Research Support program, Stony Brook University, Columbia University, Emory University’s School of Medicine, Worcester Polytechnical Institute, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and the New York Academy of Sciences. She is currently the CEO of STEM Education Solutions.
Now more than ever, it’s essential for educators to guide their students through online learning and to ensure that students get the most out of their courses. That includes teaching the 4 Cs: Communication, Collaboration, Creativity, and Critical Thinking. How can an instructor embed these essential 21st century skills into an online curriculum? Get ideas for activities, projects, and assessments to use in your virtual classrooms that will set students up for success today, as well as in their future careers.