Inside the University of Washington’s CoMotion MakerSpace, students, faculty and staff use sewing machines to create anime convention costumes, 3-D print models for aeronautics research or make circuits for a custom-built amplifier.
Inspired by the DIY movement, these communal spaces with soldering irons, laser cutters, saws, duct tape, pegboards full of tools, butcher paper, crayons and other “making” tools are popping up across the country. They enable a broader array of people to tinker, create, crochet or prototype whatever invention they can dream up.
To ensure those spaces are truly inclusive, a team of UW researchers has released newguidelines aimed at ensuring makerspaces are accessible to people with disabilities.
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. — Amazon sparked interest in drones more than a year and a half ago when it revealed on “60 Minutes” a program to use drones to deliver packages within 30 minutes. Since then the Amazon Prime Air engineers have largely kept a low profile as they test their technology overseas.
But at a conference Tuesday attended by leading players in the burgeoning drone world, Gur Kimchi, vice president of Amazon Prime Air, shared the company’s proposal for how drones could operate safely in cities, suburbs and beyond around the world.
“Imagine the Internet without HTTP and TCP/IP,” Kimchi said. “That’s basically where we are now. So we’re putting our foot down, and we’d like everybody to feel an urgent need to come together and create these standards and adapt them.”
He spoke at the NASA Ames Research Center, which is hosting hundreds of guests for a three-day conference to discuss an air traffic management system for drones.
Amazon suggests divvying up airspace access based on a drone’s mission and capabilities. Drones would connect to an online network that manages their flights in real time to prevent any trouble. Amazon believes this approach will ensure safe and efficient drone flights.
Kimchi is calling for airspace under 200 feet to be designated for low-speed localized traffic. Drones in this space might be surveying, shooting videos or conducting inspections. Drones without the best collision-avoid technology would also be restricted to this level.
This study summarizes what is known about assessment of student learning in high school Computer Science (CS) in the United States (US), reports on the results of the landscape study, and concludes with recommendations for advancing the state of assessment in K–12 CS. With support from Google, the Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA) Assessment Task Force conducted a study of secondary school educators to determine the state of computer science education assessment and how teachers assess student learning in their computer science classrooms. Based on interviews with computer science practitioners, we found that teachers use a variety of formative and summative assessment techniques, but also face a number of challenges finding valid and reliable assessments to use in their classrooms.
Quality assessment items are few and far between as teachers rely on a assortment of sources (test banks, colleagues, even their own undergraduate CS courses) to evaluate student learning in their classes. Furthermore, teachers in this study discussed how the unique nature of computer science, including how students approach algorithms to write their programs, makes assessment a challenging and time-consuming endeavor. The ubiquity of programs and code on the Internet also makes it difficult for teachers to accurately gauge what students know.
Given the challenges of assessment in computer science classrooms, we recommend that the computer science education community develops valid and reliable computer science assessments to evaluate student learning. Additionally, we recommend creating an online repository to allow computer science teachers access to high quality assessments. Given the availability of CSTA K–12 computer science standards since 2011, the time has arrived for the computer science education community to develop complementary assessments that match those standards. In summary, the CSTA Assessment Task Force recommends the following tasks for the computer science education community:
Develop valid and reliable assessments aligned to the CSTA K–12 Computer Science StandardsDevelop valid and reliable formative and summative assessments for programming languages beyond Java, such as Python, C#, etc.Develop an online repository of assessment items for K–12 computer science teachersDevelop a community of practice surrounding the use of assessment in computer science classroomsDesign and deliver professional development to increase K–12 computer science teachers' assessment literacy. In particular, train teachers to understand and implement classroom assessment.
Travis Haas, a New Orleans high school science teacher, says that ever since Hurricane Katrina, his students have endured so many lectures and lessons on the importance and vulnerability of Louisiana’s wetlands that many develop “wetlands fatigue” — rolling their eyes and tuning out faster than you can say “bayou.” Luckily, wetlands fatigue is nothing …
The monolithic codebase is dead. Modern applications are built of code from a variety of sources including employees, partners, and contractors from different geographies, with different skill levels, and working on a number of platforms. Application development is a supply chain, with dependencies supported by a network of systems ranging from greenfield development to legacy integrations, and utilizing a patchwork of code from custom, open-source, and commercial third-party sources. Ensuring consistency, security, and standards in such an environment can be challenging, but is essential for maintaining reputation, relationships, and customers.
Introducing the Makey Makey Bit: a small-but-perfectly-formed innovation enabling littleBits users to transform prosaic everyday objects (pretty much anything) into a touchpad - using nothing more than alligator clips, a computer, and some magnets. Visually, the new module is slightly...
Providing every student a good start in STEM proficiency is more relevant now than ever. While the number and type of available jobs in STEM fields continue to grow, student interest and knowledge has not kept pace. We see an opportunity to change the trajectory.Start with STEM is a nationwide effort to drive corporate dollars and volunteerism for the nation’s highest quality K-12 STEM programs and schools. The campaign is directly tied to our goal of reaching 1.5 million new students through credible and effective STEM education programs in 2015.
The concept was similar to other anonymous social media messaging platforms, like Yik Yak, Secret and Whisper. But when Preetham Reddy, lead developer for RezTech LLC in Phoenix, and his team built the Sipper location-based bulletin app, he learned a few hard lessons—as most fledgling app developers do.
RezTech’s app experience, while not particularly unique, touches on the realities of mobile app development today. First, every developer must weigh multiple tradeoffs:
Enjoy full app life-cycle support and commercial IDEs, or piece together open-source solutions;Choose native, hybrid, Platform-as-a-Service or HTML5-based platforms and widgets;Access an ever wider array of device-specific functionality; andCreate delightful user experiences while managing customer expectations.
Second, the newfound popularity of the messaging layer is just one example of how there is still plenty of Web-based low-hanging fruit available for developers who know how to position apps well and build communities around them.
Third, mobile app development entails inevitable trial-and-error, along with the strategy and endurance to survive it.
Fourth, consumer-focused apps can’t emulate native user experience; they must bake it in.
Read on for 10 tips modern developers should take to heart when aiming for mobile success.
The Legislature’s spending will be matched by the Massachusetts Computing Attainment Network, an industry group that has been seeking more public-school computer science funding for a few years. MassCAN will use the money to train teachers in computer science instruction and to lobby more school districts to introduce the lessons.
Additive manufacturing: 3-D printing beyond plasticEngineers turn to copper, but must first overcome a major challenge
At Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (VT), Christopher Williams heads the effort to further advance 3-D printing--known among engineers as additive manufacturing--with copper, a widely used conductor in electronics. Williams is using a process called binder jetting in which an inkjet printer selectively jets glue into a bed of copper powder, layer-by-layer. The printed copper product is then taken to a furnace to fuse the particles together
With support from the National Science Foundation (NSF), Williams is addressing a major challenge in the 3-D copper printing process, which is to eliminate the porosity that develops in the part during the process. These microscopic pockets of air weaken the finished product.
The Green Apple Day of Service, which will take place on Saturday, Sept. 26, 2015, gives parents, teachers, students, companies and local organizations the opportunity to transform all schools into healthy, safe and productive learning environments through local service projects. Be sure to check out project ideas, pick up helpful event resources, readabout last year's impact, find an event in your area and register your 2015 event today!
Once you've created a makerspace, create some excitement around it by engaging students with possibilities, supporting colleagues in exploring it, and innovatively using the space.
f you build it, will they come? Just because you create a makerspace (PDF) in your school doesn't guarantee that your community will embrace it. Students who have had all personal choice removed by traditional educational models can be passive and feel overwhelmed when faced with real-world problems or design challenges. Academic passivity is common in schools where students swallow content and regurgitate it on multiple-choice tests. Students simply want to know how to get the "A." This type of learning does not stick.
Teachers may find the role of facilitator (or "guide on the side") uncomfortable if they are used to being the "sage on the stage." New technology in these spaces may be intimidating. Teachers need encouragement and professional development to change their mindsets and become facilitators of learning.
How do you change your culture and ensure that your shiny new makerspace will empower students to acquire 21st-century skills? How do you change the culture of student apathy to encourage a mindset of doing? Follow these steps and design tips to build a culture of making and active learning.
Through historical photographs and motion pictures of the Seattle World’s Fair, "When Seattle Invented the Future" brings to life the textures and sounds of Seattle in the late 50s and early 60s. In interviews, Seattle’s business, civic and cultural leaders and longtime residents tell of the excitement and ambition the Fair ignited.
June 30, 2015 Game-based learning is a learning trend with an increasing attraction in today’s classrooms. At its core, game-based learning deploys learning principles incorporated in the gaming industry in educational settings. The purpose is to enhance students learning and create optimal learning experiences in and outside classrooms. This is usually done through the use of a variety of hands-on and highly competitive activities geared towards engaging students and motivating them to learn better.
For those of you interested in learning more about this learning trend, we have compiled for you this collection of wonderful books written by leading figures in this field. The books feature a myriad of academic studies, empirical researches and theoretical perspectives providing a holistic picture of what game based learning is all about.
MIT App Inventor is a blocks-based programming tool that allows everyone, even novices, to start programming and build fully functional apps for Android devices. Newcomers to App Inventor can have their first app up and running in an hour or less, and can program more complex apps in significantly less time than with more traditional, text-based languages. Initially developed by Professor Hal Abelson and a team from Google Education while Hal was on sabbatical at Google, App Inventor runs as a Web service administered by staff at MIT’s Center for Mobile Learning - a collaboration of MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) and the MIT Media Lab. MIT App Inventor supports a worldwide community of nearly 3 million users representing 195 countries worldwide. The tool’s more than 100 thousand active weekly users have built more than 7 million android apps. An open-source tool that seeks to make both programming and app creation accessible to a wide range of audiences, MIT App Inventor has grabbed the attention of:
Formal and informal educators who have used MIT App Inventor to introduce programming to their Computer Science students, science club members, after-school programs attendees, and summer campers. Many educators have also started to use MIT App Inventor to develop apps in support of their own instructional objectives.Government and civic employees and volunteers who have harnessed the power of MIT App Inventor to develop custom, often hyper-local apps in response to natural disasters and community-based needs Designers and product managers who have seen the potential that MIT App Inventor has to support the iterative design process via rapid prototyping, testing and iteration.Researchers who use MIT App Inventor to create custom app in support to meet their data collection and analysis requirements in support of their research in a wide variety of fields from medical to social.Hobbyists and Entrepreneurs who have an idea they want to quickly turn into an app without the cost or learning curve that more traditional app creation entails.
The work of the MIT App Inventor team is driven by five primary objectives:
Sustaining and enhancing the tool - we have made a long-term commitment to sustaining and enhancing MIT App Inventor as a cutting edge free service to end users. To this end, we are continuously improving the tool, adding new features, debugging and enhancing its performance.Building enterprise enhancements - Motorola and Ford we work with public agencies and private corporations to support unique applications of the tool by developing or enhancing custom features of MIT App Inventor in response to partner needs.Building capacity - we seek to expand the capacity of formal and informal computing education for adults and youth around the world. In doing so, we are actively engaged in developing and disseminating resources and training materials to support those interested in creating programs in their locale.Promoting computer science education - we are committed to calling attention to the state of computer science and computational thinking in education. From a policy perspective we actively engaged in local and national conversations about standards. From an awareness perspective, we are eager to participate and support large-scale campaigns that support reaching new audiences.Conducting and supporting community research - undergraduate and graduate students at MIT and collaborating institutions are actively engaged in conducting and publishing research while developing, testing and evaluating the use of MIT App Inventor around the world.
When we talk about what changes technology has brought to classrooms across the globe, the answers could basically be never ending. Teachers could talk about things like bringing ease toresearching all types of topics, bringing organization (and a lack of physical papers to lose) to the classroom, and making connections for professional development. There could be a lot of discussion about the millions of nuances of amelioration brought to classrooms – both physical and virtual.
That said, the handy infographic below takes a look at 4 ways technology is changing how people learn. The things that I find striking – and important- about this particular graphic is how simple the concept is. These four general concepts can be applied across the board: to learners of all ages, in all subjects, in any area of the world or for any type of learner. Take a look and see what you think: are there any other very general principles of how technology is changing learning that can be widely applied? Weigh in by leaving a comment below, mentioning @Edudemic on Twitter or leaving your thoughts on our Facebook page.
4 Ways Technology is Changing How People LearnWe’re moving from individual learning towards more collaborative learningWe’re moving from more passive learning to active learningDifferentiated instruction and personalized learning are becoming more popularWe’re becoming multitaskers more than ever before
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