Google has recently announced it is scrapping its VR projects leaving educators questioning the place of this technology in the learning environment. In this post, virtual reality (VR) expert and regular conference presenter around the world, Kai Liang unravels the findings of this news report and sheds light on the reality of virtual reality! Continue reading on our Editorial's page.
Reviews | Discovery Education Experience: Curated, Personalized, Digital Resources for K-12 Educators
Discovery Education Experience (DEE) is an online learning platform that provides curated, digital curriculum resources to K-12 teachers. The platform also includes an on-demand collection of teaching strategies and professional development, as well as a wide variety of real-world, relevant topics, lessons, and activities. DEE draws on over 200 publishers for content and covers a wide variety of topics and subject areas.
Overall, it’s an excellent resource to supplement existing curricula or to rely on as a primary curriculum. Continue reading on our Review's Page.
Teach Boldly: Using Edtech for Social Good is a new ISTE publication by Jennifer Williams, Ed.D. Williams is the co-founder and executive director for the nonprofit Take Action Global, where she has helped build schools in refugee camps and remote areas of Africa, Asia and South America. Williams is also a professor at Saint Leo University in the College of Education and the College of Graduate Education, where she champions teachers, preservice teachers and students. Continue reading on our Review's page.
Book Review | Spark Change: Making Your Mark in a Digital World by Olivia Van Ledtje and Cynthia Merrill
Spark Change: Making Your Mark in a Digital World is a new ISTE publication written by Olivia Van Ledtje and Cynthia Merrill. Olivia (Liv) is an 11-year-old student and shark-lover who runs LivBits and has done a ton of great work supporting youth empowerment through technology and social media. Cynthia is a literacy consultant and provides coaching and training to teachers and administrators.
Together, they wrote Spark Change, which provides examples and ideas for how “students can use technology as a tool for empathy, equity, and activism.” Continue reading on our Review's Page.
Reviews | Robo Wunderkind Education Kits: Develop Coding, Robotics, and STEAM Skills for Elementary and Middle School Students
Robo Wunderkind is a robotics education company that offers a variety of robotics kits that can be used in classrooms, after school programs, summer camps, and at home. This review will specifically focus on their education kit, as well as the associated apps and curriculum. The Robo Wunderkind curriculum is built for cross-curricular use in elementary and middle school classrooms and includes 70+ hours of highly scaffolded lessons that are aligned with CCSS, ISTE, CSTA, and NGSS standards. Continue reading on our Review's Page.
SAM Labs combines physical kits with a digital app to bring coding and STEAM skills into K-8 classrooms. Their kits and app are also paired with a first-rate curriculum, which is designed to be integrated into the science classroom, or taught by a computer/technology teacher alongside what students are learning in science. The curriculum is aligned with NGSS, CCSS, CSTA, and several state standards, and is both rigorous and highly scaffolded.
Overall, SAM Labs are an excellent resource for integrating STEAM, coding, and Computer Science (CS) skills into K-8 classrooms. Continue reading on our Review's Page.
Typing.com is a wonderful, free resource for helping students learn how to type. They have a collection of self-directed lessons that guide students from beginner to intermediate to advanced. But in addition to this collection of typing lessons, the Typing.com team has also added new lessons on technology basics (that include instruction and assessments) as well an introduction to “coding” (or web design) through lessons on HTML and CSS.
And throughout it all, teachers can get detailed reports and analytics on their students’ progress. Continue reading on our Review's page.
Nitro Type is a wonderful, online typing practice game that allows students of all ages to compete with each other in typing races. It was one of my favorite tools to use when I taught computer literacy 7 years ago, and the Nitro Type team has added lots of wonderful features since then. The biggest addition is their new teacher dashboard, which lets teachers track student usage and progress while they play the game. Continue Reading.
VersaTiles® from hand2mind are classroom resources that have been used for the last 40 years as a way for students to practice various cross-curricular skills. VersaTiles® are meant to be a skills practice system that can be used primarily in K-8 classrooms to help students build math and literacy proficiency. Students use a workbook and a set of tiles to answer questions, and then check their own progress to see what they know and what gaps they might have. Continue reading.
Registration for the 2019-20 Conrad Challenge is open until November 1,
for teams of 2-5 students ages 13-18. Learn more and register here.
Antonio Stark is an international business and a space policy consultant. He is a Brand Identity Manager for the Space Generation Advisory Council and sits on the Alumni Leadership Council for the Conrad Challenge. Stark's association with Conrad Foundation dates back to the 2015 Conrad Challenge, in which his team won first place in the highly competitive Aerospace & Aviation category for their creation of a high functioning micro-gravity space toilet.
The invention had zero motors, in contrast to the multi-motor efforts that, at the time, were malfunctioning on space crafts. As he explains, "I created a toilet bowl that basically didn't have to use any motor. It was purely water pressure, but I had to use some complicated fluid dynamics for the fluid to be able to suck in things while not having gravity."
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