Author: Bob Hand
As a K-12 teacher, you must always be willing to try new things — and virtual reality (VR) is an extremely promising avenue. However, given the alarming rate at which edtech startups fail, you may be understandably reluctant to jump on any particular bandwagon. Nevertheless we continue to explore new strategies and products. Ambitious instructors must keep a pulse on trends in technology in order to determine when a new innovation might have potential for use in the classroom. Continue reading.
iknowit.com is a math practice site designed for K-5 students. It’s currently a completely free resource, until August of 2018 (at which point it will cost several dollars per student). The site has over 25,000 Common Core aligned math practice questions across 300 lesson topics, and was designed with an eye towards engaging early elementary students. Continue reading here.
Lightwell is a new creation tool for students and teachers that allows you to build and publish fully interactive, mobile iOS apps without the need for writing code. The Mac (and soon to be Chromebook) app is well-suited for secondary students, particularly those who have previous video/photo editing experience, though that certainly isn’t necessary. In addition to the application, the Lightwell team has put together a great collection of support resources so that teachers can feel more comfortable putting the application to use in the classroom. Continue Reading.
Book Review | Connected Librarians: Tap Social Media to Enhance Professional Development and Student Learning by Nikki D. Robertson
Connected Librarians is a new ISTE publication by Nikki D Robertson. Robertson is a veteran educator, school librarian, and instructional technology facilitator. In her book, she explores how social media has become essential for outreach, advocacy, and a variety of other school needs. Additionally, Robertson discusses how the responsibility for modeling the proper use of social media to students typically falls to the library media specialist. Continue Reading.
Author: Bob Hand
While a student pulling out their mobile phone during class would have been cause for a warning or detention a decade ago, thousands of K-12 learners regularly use their mobile devices in the classroom today. Approaches in instruction need to keep pace with the rapidly evolving technological landscape. Nearly half of all school districts have adopted a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policy, but teachers across the nation are still getting their sea legs.
If you are in a school district that has recently adopted one, you have a good idea of how dramatically the practice shifts classroom structure. Continue reading on our editorial's page.
Sown to Grow is a new platform that is designed to help students set goals, track progress, and reflect on their learning. The platform also allows teachers to help guide learning, monitor growth, and provide feedback to their students. In short, Sown to Grow is meant to provide students with more ownership over the learning process, and help promote reflection over classroom assignments and activities. Continue reading on our Review's page.
Reading Horizons has spent the last 30 years working towards creating programs to support beginning and struggling readers at the K-12 level and beyond. They offer a wide range of solutions and products with this goal in mind, and you can also read our earlier reviews of Reading Horizons Discovery for K-3 students and of Reading Horizons Elevate for 4th grade to adult.
For anyone interested in learning more about the Reading Horizons method, this YouTube playlist is a great place to start.
The Reading Horizons team has always offered on-site professional development (PD) to support these resources, but the team has just released a collection of online training modules which are designed to provide additional training and support to teachers and schools who have signed up for Reading Horizons. Continue reading on our Review's Page.
Marbotic is a french company that was formed in 2012 with the goal of creating education technology apps and tools for young learners. They currently offer two products, Smart Letters and Smart Numbers (or a combined kit with both). These products are meant to help preK-2 students with a variety of ELA and math skills. Plus, the team has an excellent, CCSS-aligned lesson book that is available for teachers as well. Continue reading on our Review's Page.
Utopia 360° is a company that offers a variety of virtual reality and augmented reality experiences. In terms of K-12 STEM education, they currently have three bundles and apps: Space Exploration, Dinosaur Experience, and Animal Zoo. All of these are meant to help students explore content through both augmented and virtual reality. Each bundle comes with a headset and cards. These cards are then used to trigger the augmented/virtual reality experience.
For this specific review, I had the opportunity to test out the Space Exploration bundle, which is designed to let students explore content related to the planets, the solar system, space missions, and content along these lines. Continue reading on our Review's Page.
KIBO is a robot from KinderLab Robotics that aims to help preK-2 students and teachers integrate programming and STEAM skills (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) into their class and play time. KIBO can be used without a device or a screen, and is meant to be a hands-on, active programming and robotics experience. The robot is based on 15 years of child development research, and has been used in classrooms, libraries, museums, clubs, and camps around the world. Continue reading.
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