I get caught up in things. Informercials. New gadgets. New shades of Sharpie. Every kid I’ve ever taught has said, “You say EVERYTHING is your “favorite thing.” It’s true. Life? It’s my favorite. I grew up, but my internal excitement level has stayed at a five year old’s level. So, I’ll just preface this post with that. I will also say that I’ve held off on writing this. Long enough to figure out if this whole “maker movement” was another “thing I love,” or more. It’s more. So much more.
Having used coding for this school year, it seems like there are so many teachable moments to use with my class that I did not know existed. I want to outline three accidental discoveries while I was teaching geometry.
My colleague and I walked into a room filled with a dozen fifth-grade girls snacking on pretzels and huddling around a LEGO robot they had named Kitty. Two of them were laughing about the goggles they had made out of robot wheels, while another small group crowded around a laptop to program wheel rotations. The rest attempted to drive Kitty through what looked like an obstacle course.
It was our first glimpse into life as mentors for the Girl Scouts of Western Washington's LEGO League, a competition that combines programming LEGO Mindstorms robots, team project planning, and creative problem solving to get kids excited about science and technology.
MIT and partners, for example, recently released a free iPad app with its visual programming language ScratchJr., so kindergartners could use it to code stories and games even before knowing how to read. Vikas Gupta, a former Google executive who founded the startup Wonder Workshop (formerly called Play-i), has taken a slightly different path. "We learned that in order to make programming of interest to young children, it has to be a tangible product. It can’t be just software," he told Co.Exist last year.
Enter Dot and Dash—Wonder Workshop’s two new robots that teach coding skills to children as young as five that are now being field tested in a few dozen elementary school classrooms nationally. And they are definitely tangible: Dash hears and responds to sounds, navigates around a room and avoid obstacles, and comes to life with sound and lights. He can even play the xylophone. Dot, on the other hand, doesn't have wheels and is meant to interact with Dash via Bluetooth and act as a controller. Both have their own customizable "personalities." On the back end, through four apps that control both robots, they are secretly teaching coding skills such as "event-based programming, sequencing, conditionals, and loops."
Cookies on a periodic table, an egg drop, a python, a toucan and a bearded dragon reptile will all be on display at Hagerstown Community College Saturday for the school's Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Festival.
With more than 18 million downloads to date, Minecraft is the best-selling computer game of all time; the game’s free-form structure has made it popular with kids and adults alike. But little by little, teachers, parents, and students have discovered that the game can be used for educational purposes, too. Former teacher Joel Levin and his colleagues founded a startup called TeacherGaming that aims to bring Minecraft into classrooms everywhere, helping students and teachers of all disciplines use their creativity to design projects, free from the kinds of limitations they would face using traditional methods.
In April, an online resume modeled after Airbnb’s website went viral, racking up nearly half a million hits. The resume -- or what she describes as the "campaign" -- was crafted by Nina Mufleh, who had
Donna Rosenberger's insight:
A great way to get the job she wanted. Way to follow your dream!
"The maker movement and maker education, in my perspective, are such great initiatives – really in line with what student-centric education should be in this era of formal and informal learning.
Maker education (often referred to as “Maker Ed”) is a new school of educational thought [at least in terms of having an “official” educational label – JG] that focuses on delivering constructivist, project-based learning curriculum and instructional units to students. Maker education spaces can be as large as full high school workshops with high-tech tools, or as small and low-tech as one corner of an elementary classroom. A makerspace isn’t just about the tools and equipment, but the sort of learning experience the space provides to students who are making projects. (9 Maker Projects for Beginner Maker Ed Teachers)
Social media has helped me gain a more global perspective and become aware of some of the problems associated with the maker movement. The two I discuss in this post are:
1. Maker movement initiatives are often driven by more affluent white males.
2. The maker movement is too often being associated with the tech stuff – Arduinos, Littlebits, Makey-Makeys – stuff that less affluent schools and community programs can afford."
CS Unplugged is a collection of free learning activities that teach Computer Science through engaging games and puzzles that use cards, string, crayons and lots of running around.
The activities introduce students to Computational Thinking through concepts such as binary numbers, algorithms and data compression, separated from the distractions and technical details of having to use computers. Importantly, no programming is required to engage with these ideas!
CS Unplugged is suitable for people of all ages, from elementary school to seniors, and from many countries and backgrounds. Unplugged has been used around the world for over twenty years, in classrooms, science centers, homes, and even for holiday events in a park!
Sharing your scoops to your social media accounts is a must to distribute your curated content. Not only will it drive traffic and leads through your content, but it will help show your expertise with your followers.
How to integrate my topics' content to my website?
Integrating your curated content to your website or blog will allow you to increase your website visitors’ engagement, boost SEO and acquire new visitors. By redirecting your social media traffic to your website, Scoop.it will also help you generate more qualified traffic and leads from your curation work.
Distributing your curated content through a newsletter is a great way to nurture and engage your email subscribers will developing your traffic and visibility.
Creating engaging newsletters with your curated content is really easy.