Hi Everyone - My partner Pamela and I just had our first kiddo! So I will be taking a break from the blog until this summer. In the meantime, I hope you and your loved ones are all able to stay safe and healthy with everything going on these days! Best of luck wrapping up the school year in what are likely less than ideal settings, and the site will be back this summer!
By: Kristi Shaffer
In today’s digital learning environment, technology is a valuable tool to complement good instructional strategies. However, students still need to be taught how to use technology effectively and how to be good digital citizens. To better meet these goals, we made the switch two years ago from a 1:1 iPad program to a 1:1 Macbook Air program, a transition that required extensive training and support for our faculty and staff.
In addition to supporting teachers with their new devices, I help identify their technology needs, suggest resources, and facilitate implementation. When we select technology resources, we’re looking for tools that solve particular challenges we are facing. Specifically, we choose ones that support classroom learning, help manage time-consuming tasks, and promote collaboration and transparency. Continue reading on our Editorial Page.
InferCabulary is a web-based, visual vocabulary and reasoning program that helps students use critical thinking to learn the nuanced meanings of vocabulary. The program can be used on any web-enabled device, and can be used by all K-12 students. InferCabulary can be integrated at the individual, small group, or whole class level. Continue reading on our Review's Page.
inquirED offers an online, K-6, inquiry-based social studies curriculum. The curriculum is aligned with the C3 Framework, as well as the Common Core ELA standards, 21st Century Skills, and CASEL competencies. Included with the curriculum are a wonderful collection of professional development (PD) resources that are designed to help teachers make the shift towards incorporating inquiry-based learning in their classrooms.
Overall, inquirED offers an excellent curriculum that helps support the development of problem-solving, critical thinking, and presentation skills, while also being aligned with the most common national standards and frameworks. Continue reading on our Review's Page.
Showcase is a free resource where students can create completely student-driven and student-owned portfolios. It’s not meant to serve as a site where teachers can create assignments or submit grades, rather, it’s a place where students can pull together and showcase the work they are proud of from their K-12 careers. Students can share their portfolios with whoever they would like, including teachers, family members, colleges, and future employers.
Overall, Showcase is an excellent resource that gives students control and autonomy over what they want to share and with whom. Continue reading on our Review's Page.
SPIKE™ Prime from LEGO® Education is an intuitive, scalable, and highly adaptable STEAM learning solution for students in grades 6-8. SPIKE™ Prime combines LEGO bricks and building elements with intelligent hardware and a drag-and-drop coding interface based on Scratch to engage students through playful learning and complex problem solving.
The bricks and building elements work in conjunction with the LEGO® Education SPIKE™ App, which allows students to program their creations in a wide variety of ways.
Overall, LEGO Education SPIKE™ Prime is an exciting and well-designed solution to help support students in developing coding, programming, and STEAM skills. Continue reading on our Review's Page.
Kano is an education technology company that offers teachers and students a variety of ways to learn about computers, computer science, technology, and coding. For example, they have their Kano PC which allows students to build and customize a PC for themselves, while learning to code along the way. Kano also offers a variety of coding kits, like the Disney Frozen 2 Kit, the Harry Potter Coding Kit, and the focus of this review - their Star Wars the Force Coding Kit. Continue reading.
Xello is an online platform designed to help K-12 students prepare for future success through a program focused on building self-knowledge, personalized plans, and critical life skills. Xello’s platform is built around academic and user research to help students build personalized plans for the future, and the skills and knowledge to persist. Their overall goal is to help every student, regardless of background, ability, or pathway, understand their future academic and career possibilities. Continue reading.
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.
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