I am in a privileged position as I teach students in an iPad 1:1 school, so have always been able to teach coding using our iPads. However I know there are a wealth of fantastic computerless coding lessons and wanted to explore these, to see if students would gain a better understanding of coding!
The maker movement was front and center at the 2015 ISTE conference—and that’s a good thing for me. After following maker initiatives with great interest for some time now, I have the opportunity to design a maker space this year for 6th–12th grade students at my school, Worcester (MA) Academy.
A search of this year’s program at ISTE, held June 28 to July 1 in Philadelphia, using the term “constructivist learning/maker movement” resulted in 67 related sessions. The ISTE Librarians Network hosted a maker station at their Digital Age Playground and convened a panel on library maker spaces, featuring elementary and middle school librarians, a school administrator, and the coordinator of a public library maker initiative. Vendors and exhibitors demonstrated tools, lessons, and ideas for maker spaces. Meanwhile, a four-hour Maker Playground Wednesday morning drew a huge crowd of attendees.
One of my goals at the conference was to gather ideas and tips to help me create my library’s maker space. Here are some highlights of what I discovered at ISTE."
"On Tuesday 3rd June, we held our second professional learning day for the teachers involved in the iLearn 1-1 iPad project. This time our focus was particularly on the effective use of the iPad in the Numeracy Block. We were fortunate to have Melissa King join the presentation team. We had a great day. Some of the activities we engaged in are outlined:"
Start Developing iOS Apps Today provides the perfect starting point for iOS development. On your Mac, you can create iOS apps that run on iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch. View this guide’s four short modules as a gentle introduction to building your first app—including the tools you need and the major concepts and best practices that will ease your path.
"Gaming is an important component of the child's cognitive and emotional growth. In his wonderful book " What Video Games Have to Teach Us About Learning and Literacy. Second Edition: Revised and Updated Edition " http://amzn.to/1bOeA48 James Paul Gee argued for the importance of game play for the learners' developing personalty and the honing of their thinking capacities. Gee analyzed several of the popular video and online games like Sims City, and War of Warcraft, to mention but a few , and found out that the learning design informing these games are behind their sweeping popularity among gamers in all around the world. Gee further claimed that investing time in playing these games does impinge positively on the learning skills of kids. It, among many other things, help them develop strategic thinking, problem solving, active critical thinking, and meta-level thinking. Check out this post http://bit.ly/19nKi7H ; to learn more about the learning principles embedded in game play as conceptualized by Gee."
Technology and the Internet can be used in many different ways, and you can benefit a lot if you learn how to use them wisely. You won’t realize the full potential of the Internet and your gadgets until you start using tools that will enhance your learning and authoring potential. There are many tools that can be used for that purpose, but we chose the best 10 of them for educational writers, which you should start using as soon as possible.
"If you want to learn to program, you don't need lessons. You need to write a lot of code and have a great time doing it.
That's what programming is about. It's gotta be fun. Not fun like yay a badge but fun like NO MOM I HAVE TO FINISH THE LEVEL! That's why CodeCombat is a multiplayer game, not a gamified lesson course. We won't stop until you can't stop--but this time, that's a good thing.
If you're going to get addicted to some game, get addicted to this one and become one of the wizards of the tech age."
There are thousands of different ways to introduce programming to your class in fun and interactive ways for the upcoming Hour of Code (December 8-14). While most apps and tutorials do require internet connected computers or mobile devices, it does not mean that schools without this level of technology cannot get involved. In fact, coding with paper can be an even more engaging and meaningful way to introduce students to early programming concepts.
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!
A higher-order thinker is a critical thinker. What are the attributes of a critical thinker? In The Miniature Guide to Critical Thinking Concepts and Tools, Richard Paul and Linda Elder describe a well-cultivated critical thinker as someone who: raises vital questions and problems, formulating them clearly and precisely;gathers and assesses relevant information, using abstract ideas to interpret it effectively; comes to well-reasoned conclusions and solutions, testing them against relevant criteria and standards;thinks open-mindedly within alternative systems of thought, recognizing and assessing their assumptions, implications and practical consequences as need be; andcommunicates effectively with others in figuring out solutions to complex problems.
"The summer is a great time to explore new-to-you iPad apps that you might want to add to the iPads that you have in your classroom. Each day this week I’m going to share a selection of apps appropriate for four ranges of pre-K-12 grades. On Monday I shared 21 apps for Pre-K through 2nd grade. Yesterday, I shared apps 3rd through 5th grade students. Today’s list features apps for grades six through eight. "
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