Book Review | No Fear Coding: Computational Thinking Across the K-5 Curriculum (2nd Edition) by Heidi Williams
One of my favorite books and resources is now available in a newly updated and revised 2nd edition! No Fear Coding: Computational Thinking Across the K-5 Curriculum is an exceptional resource written by Heidi Williams (who also happens to be my colleague). The 2nd edition has been expanded to include new and updated resources and activities, so even if you’re familiar with the first edition, this is a great time to revisit the book.
Book Review | Ethics in a Digital World: Guiding Students Through Society’s Biggest Questions by Dr. Kristen Mattson
Ethics in a Digital World by Dr. Kristen Mattson explores incredibly important ideas surrounding the non-neutrality of technology and how grades 6-12 educators can better support the development of digital citizens who are equipped to navigate ethical questions at the intersection of technology and humanity. Personally, I believe this book (and these topics) should be a must-read for all 6-12 (and K-12) teachers and technology leaders.
Technology impacts nearly every aspect of our daily lives, and building a foundational understanding of that impact is of critical importance in modern education.
Book Review | Distance Learning for Elementary STEM: Creative Projects for Teachers and Families by Amanda Thomas
Distance Learning for Elementary STEM is a timely and accessible new book that explores a wide variety of beneficial ways to integrate K-5 STEM activities into distance and online learning. Thomas does an excellent job writing this book from a perspective that supports both teachers and parents, and pulls in beneficial examples that can be done with limited to no budget, at home or in a classroom.
Book Review | Coding and the Arts: Connecting CS to Drawing, Music, Animation and More by Josh Caldwell
Coding and the Arts by Josh Caldwell is an excellent new release that explores a wide range of integration possibilities for bringing coding, computer science (CS), and computational thinking (CT) into the arts. This book is written for K-12 teachers and technology leaders at all grade and experience levels, from those who have worked with these ideas before, to those who are brand new to thinking about coding and computer science.
FormAssembly is a SaaS platform that lets you easily and quickly build web forms to collect data, send data, process payments, and conduct a variety of functions that today’s K-12 school districts need to accomplish. It’s an excellent tool for leaders at the school or district level, and it can also integrate with a wide variety of authentication services (e.g., CAS, LDAP, etc.), payment applications, and CRMs like Salesforce.
Waterford Reading Academy is an instructional program that guides students from “learning to read” to “reading to learn.” The platform consists of two components, a preK-2 program and a 3-6 program, both of which can be used on any internet-enabled device. The preK-2 program offers curricula on reading, social-emotional learning, math, and science—and it is completely personalized and adaptive based on each student’s individual needs and abilities.
The 3-6 portion generally focuses on reading comprehension and independent reading of whole books. The content can be customized for individual students or for whole-class instruction.
Genial.ly is a presentation creation platform that offers a wide range of possibilities for what teachers and students can create. From excellent templates to interactive visuals, there are some really fun and exciting ways to easily create visuals of all kinds. Plus, it’s a freemium resource, so teachers and students can get started creating completely for free.
ClassroomAPP is a single platform that combines all the digital tools a teacher could need to provide online or in-person instruction. This means that not only can ClassroomAPP act as an LMS, but it can also serve as a testing platform, a video conferencing platform, a place to monitor student devices, a source of reports and analytics, and a whole lot more. Essentially, any digital task a teacher might need to perform can be achieved within ClassroomAPP.
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. The program is built around a large body of vocabulary learning research, and comes with a free 14-day trial for parents, specialists, and schools.
Additionally, to help schools as they deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, InferCabulary is currently providing two months of free access to its online visual vocabulary tool. The offer applies for all new school plans, regardless of the size. To sign up for free access, click here.
Visme: Easily Create Online Presentations, Infographics, and Other Visual Content, Updated for 2020-2021
Visme is a web-based application that can be used to quickly and easily design presentations and infographics. After testing is out, it’s quickly becoming one of my favorite design tools because of its simplicity and its great collection of templates and graphics. Plus, the app offers a free plan where you can get started and check it out, let’s take a look.
Here you can find the Round Up's collection of in-depth reviews on the latest programs, apps, websites, and more.
Check out our featured review | ClassroomAPP: A Complete, K-12 Digital Platform for Online and In-Person Classrooms