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Q & A

Q&A

Why IConnect?

IConnect has exceptional access to amazing content from around the world, as an affiliate of Art and Living magazine which, for thirteen years, has kept the pulse of international art, design, and philanthropy, and has, by visiting factories, research centers, studios, kitchens, and laboratories, chronicled outstanding creativity in all walks of life.  This is the essence of our footprint, with the academic support of professors at UCLA and SUNY Buffalo.

 

Why Now?

It’s time to change the paradigm; teachers just need the right tools.

 

Why is critical thinking important?

Critical thinking is based on evidence and logic. Emotions and memorization do not figure in logical thinking. Critical thinking is known to propel better test scores and hone faculties necessary to succeed in higher education or in the workplace (Smith & Szymanski, 2013).

 

IConnect stimulates creative thinking in the classroom by linking traditional subjects with art disciplines to show how knowledge of those subjects is applied in real life. It is a learning system based on state-of-the-art, next-generation, multimedia teaching tools.

 

Why is using teachers to create the content vital to the success of the program?

Excellent teachers know what students need and what works in the classroom.  Teacher input is necessary to ensure that everyone using the program gets what they need, the way they need it, to ensure student engagement and success.

 

IConnect content is created by teachers for teachers who know best how to engage students in a positive manner, so students will choose to be in the classroom. A classroom filled with students who are absorbed frees the teacher to do what teachers do best: TEACH!

 

Why is using real-life examples to teach essential to success?

Tackling real-world problems can make issues, like sustainability, more tangible and meaningful to students. Real examples provide concrete applications of knowledge and skills learned in the classroom and illustrate their relevance. Real examples also encourage students to be aware of the choices they make and how they fit into a greater societal context.

 

IConnect real-world examples demonstrate the complexity and unpredictability of on-the-job challenges and, as such, can stimulate critical thinking. They also highlight the need for an inter- and multi-disciplinary approach to problem-solving. Further, using examples from the real world demonstrates that, oftentimes, there is no perfect solution to a given problem. But presenting concrete examples induces students to think about solutions, rather than simply focusing on problems.

 

Why is the curricular incorporation of creative disciplines needed?

Our high schools are designed to prepare students for college, not the world most will enter. Parents want the educational system to maintain high standards, so their children have opportunities to achieve the collegiate ideal. The problem is that the all-too-prevalent, college-oriented standard often limits non-college-bound students from exploring other skills-based opportunities.

 

IConnect responds to the national agenda calling for educational reform and enriched content. IConnect inspires as much as instructs by introducing to the classroom the systematic exploration and enjoyment of creativity at no extra cost to schools. To improve our schools, we have to humanize and personalize education for every student. Education is about relationships. Great teachers are not just instructors or test administrators: they are mentors, coaches, motivators, and lifelong sources of inspiration to their students.

 

Why are Makerspace and STEM/STEAM important elements to integrate into the program?

A related strategy in contemporary educational planning for primary and secondary schools is comprised of two movements – STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) and STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics). The first of these concentrates on mathematics and the sciences as the backbone of classroom curricula. The second involves a union of arts and humanities studies with the big four STEM subjects.

Another recent movement, the Makerspace movement, is not intended to replace the traditional educational format, or substitute for the “vocational training” of a bygone era, but rather to augment conventional academic curricula and coexist with them. The connection is obvious for anyone who has ever worked in any traditional STEM career. From software engineers and aerospace technicians to bio-technical engineers, professional mathematicians, and laboratory scientists, all professionals know that building great things and solving real problems requires a measure of creativity. Professional artists themselves are incorporating technological tools and scientific processes in their work.

 

IConnect lessons stand squarely on the shoulders of STEM/STEAM subjects – namely, Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math.

 

How can IConnect empower the traditionally-underserved student?

Despite high college aspirations many high school graduates do not enter or complete college and even though nationwide two out of three ninth-graders report plans to enroll in college only 44 percent will go to college at all and only 21 percent will finish a bachelor’s degree.

That means, currently, 79 percent of students need something else.

The most important predictor of college and career success is an academically-rigorous, engaging high-school experience.

 

IConnect strives to make equitable access a guiding principle by giving students the opportunity to be excited and engaged in real-world projects. IConnect’s use of technology will eliminate barriers students from traditionally underserved ethnic, racial, or socio-economic groups have previously encountered. All students should have access to inspiring, engaging programs – no matter their ability level or demographics.

 

IConnect expects technology to become the great equalizer of the modern age, ensuring that no student is denied the opportunity to access the finest potential education this world can offer.

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