"Across the Western hemisphere, it is not hard to find 3D printer manufacturers or distributors specializing in education products and services supplying 3D printers and ancillary products. Neither is it difficult to find inspiring student stories within this geographical region of how 3D printing has transformed their learning experience and inspired them to create original and well-thought through applications of the technology. This is all very positive momentum… but there’s something really important missing.
One vital group within the education equation gets frequently overlooked — the teachers. The people that are directly tasked with preparing students — our children — for the modern workplace. There are fantastic teaching pioneers out on the frontline, excited by 3D printing themselves, and transmitting this passion into their classrooms. Moreover, increasing numbers of schools are buying into 3D technology for the classroom and the potential for facilitating learning activities across the curriculum.
But for teachers, there has to be a purpose behind the potential. Where do they go to find that purpose, particularly if they are not familiar with the 3D printing ecosystem themselves; which, let’s face it, many of them will not be?"
Following are four highly effective classroom strategies that fuse critical thinking with kinesthetic learning. Each strategy is designed to spur dialogue, get the oxygen pumping and make the lessons much more dynamic. In particular, struggling learners can benefit from these strategies as they can become frustrated and restless during challenging lessons.
The Maker Rubric is a simple way to assess the progress and growth of a student maker. This rubric was specifically developed to measure any maker project they complete, whether its 3D printing, claymation, soldering, sewing, puppetry… whatever. It is also a way to, if necessary (dependent on how your school system values grades) assign a numerical percentage to a maker project.
Are you looking for a fun, hands-on activity to teach basic programming and maker skills at home or in the classroom? Arduino, and specifically, Arduino UNO are an excellent tool to teach and apply basic electronics and robotics skills.
For years, LEGO has been at the forefront of innovative building kits for young makers and creators. Always looking for new ways to keep kids building and experimenting, LEGO has gone far beyond the static blocks we are all familiar with.
From LEGO City kits to LEGO Star Wars, LEGO Technic, and even LEGO Minecraft kits, there really is something LEGO for every age, skill level, and interest. But the jewel in the ever-growing crown of the LEGO universe just may be the addition of LEGO robotics, and the maker sensation that is the LEGO Mindstorms EV3 building kit and programming platform.
Hands-on and experiential learning is used in some elementary schools but this diminishes as students get older. In too many high schools and colleges, instruction seems to occur through engaging the ears and sometimes the eyes (through visuals such as with slide presentations). Interestingly, though, a Study Finds 52% of U.S. Adults Say No. 1 Way to Learn is Through Active Participation, Followed by Visual Demonstration.
From slide shows and stop-motion animation to short films and remixes, video-making is a tried-and-true way to get kids engaged in building, demonstrating, and sharing knowledge. These video and animation apps and sites offer user-friendly tools and features that make it more fun than ever to get kids' productions created, edited, and polished. If your students are making videos in classroom, then they're probably also watching videos in the classroom. If so, check out our tips and resources for how to Get Students Thinking Critically About Video.
"Rose Broome, founder and chief executive officer of HandUp, grew up in California's Silicon Valley, playing in computer server rooms and making backup tapes. As an undergraduate at Santa Clara University, she studied computer science and business computing as an information systems student, but then switched disciplines. Graduating with a degree in campaign management, Broome thought that it would enable her to do more community-focused work, such as public health messaging.
"I wish I had known at that time that you could make a big difference with computer science, and I'm excited to share that message with other girls," Broome says.
Featured on Google's Made with Code website is a video highlighting Broome and other women who use code to make a difference. Broome's HandUp is an online fundraising platform through which people can donate to individuals in need or to nonprofit organizations working with homeless populations.
While earning a master's in psychological research from San Francisco State University, Broome gravitated toward the statistics and data analysis part of her research, and from there made her way back to technology. "This is how I can make a big impact in the world and use the skills that I have and really love," she realized.
In June 2014, Google launched Made with Code, which aims to inspire girls to learn how to code and to expose them to the idea that coding is a means for achieving their professional aspirations."
When my 4-year-old told me the other day that she was “ready for princesses,” part of me died. Not just because the day had finally arrived when that virulent meme had infected her, but also because of how utterly powerless I was to contain it. Let me be clear: These...
Last year, Dr. Karlsson Wirebring and fellow researchers published a study that supports what many educators and parents have already suspected: students learn better when they figure things out on their own, as compared to being told what to do.
Google CS First is an online platform for creating, managing, and teaching a middle school computer science (CS) program. There are currently 72 programming explorations and lessons across nine domains (such as arts, gaming, sports, storytelling, and social media). Each lesson is ready to go out of the box and includes a minute-by-minute teacher script, student instructions, example projects, materials (with solution guides), and more. The site also features comprehensive help guides for everything from setting up and maintaining a club to tips for classroom management and discipline issues.
While not new, project-based learning has become a popular method to try and move beyond surface-level learning. Many teachers are trying to figure out the right ingredients for strong projects that interest and engage students, while helping them meet required learning targets. But implementing project-based learning well isn’t easy, especially when many teachers are more accustomed to direct instruction, when they can be sure they’ve at least touched on all the topics in the curriculum. On top of the push toward projects, some educators are also embracing maker-education, a distinct but often overlapping idea.
“There’s a lot of research out there about integrating making into project-based learning to ramp up what students are learning in the core content areas that they’re going to be tested in,” said Michael Stone, an Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellow, who taught high school in Tennessee.
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