"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!
Computer science skills are becoming more and more important to success in today’s economy, and this importance is highlighted during the annual Hour of Code. A number of resources on Code.org and other sites can help students of all ages and skill levels develop coding skills.
The “new math” curriculum is great — and nearly guaranteed to drive children and their parents understandably insane, because teachers don’t know how to teach it yet. Here’s what to do to help your child while they learn.
Donna Rosenberger's insight:
Parents need to get involved in helping their children not have an aversion to Math.
PPG donates $65K to support STEM education programming for girls Pittsburgh Business Times (blog) The PPG Industries Foundation donated $65,000 for educational programs that aim to teach girls about science, technology, engineering and math (STEM)...
Though there is an increasing focus on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education in the U.S., there remains a gender disparity among workers in these fields. According to a 2011 U.S. Department of ...
The grownups who make and debate education policy disagree about a lot of things, but they often take it as a given that kids love technology. And tapping into that love of gadgetry and games is a way to make students “more engaged” in learning, or so many believe. Interviews with students in the middle-income, …
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.
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