Computer Science Education Week: Teaching coding one hour at a time

Posted by Tommy Ly on December 06, 2018

This winter, as you keep the seasonal cold at bay, I hope you catch the Hour of Code. This week marks what has become quite famously known as Computer Science Education Week (CSEdWeek). The event began as an initiative with a purpose to improve access to and quality of technology education in schools by engaging policy makers. Its time frame in the second week of December honors the late Navy Rear Admiral Grace Hopper (December 9, 1906-January 1, 1992), a pioneer programmer who laid the groundwork for syntax-to-machine language compilers. And as computer folklore would have it, she was among the engineers in 1947 who discovered the first actual computer system “bug” – a moth to be precise (CSEdWeek).

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Topics: Workforce Development, TETRIX Robotics, 21st Century Skills, Coding, STEM, Technology, ROBOTICS, IN THE CLASSROOM

Money, time, and training: The challenges of bringing technology into the classroom

Posted by Natalie Vanderbeck on December 03, 2018

There’s no debate: teaching in the 21st century has been greatly enhanced by the aid of technology. The students in our classrooms are digital natives. They’re eager to utilize various technologies, resources, and devices. Their natural aptitude with devices and their interest is the buy-in you need to enhance and deepen their learning through tech. In short, students thrive when given opportunities to use technology in the classroom. However, there can be challenges, which often hinder the implementation of bringing technology into the classroom. Let’s break them down, tackle them, and get that tech in!

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Topics: Professional Development, Resources, FUNDING, Elementary School, IDEAS & INSPIRATION, ROBOTICS, Technology, Coding

Using inquiry-based learning in your elementary classroom – including coding education

Posted by Natalie Vanderbeck on November 10, 2018

Inquiry-based learning isn’t a new idea in education. While writing my master’s thesis, I studied science classrooms that utilized inquiry-based learning vs traditional teacher-led learning. To be certain we’re all on the same page, let’s define inquiry-based learning: “a student-centered approach where the instructor guides the students through questions posed, methods designed, and data interpreted by the students. Through inquiry, students actively discover information to support their investigations” (Edutopia).

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Topics: Elementary School, Hands-on Learning, Coding, Social and emotional learning, Technology, Collaborations, ROBOTICS, IN THE CLASSROOM, Inquiry-based Learning

The science behind Hollywood’s spooky special effects

Posted by Jessica Born on October 29, 2018

Spooky. Scary. Silly. Ghoulish. Gross. Halloween has many forms. And nobody makes it seem simpler or more real than in the movies, but how do they create the scary?
Magic? Well . . .
Science? Absolutely.

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Topics: Activities, STEM, Technology, Science, IDEAS & INSPIRATION, Homeschool

There’s no substitute for hands-on learning

Posted by Melissa Karsten on October 25, 2018

Twenty-first century students tend to thrive in fully immersive educational experiences and embrace social learning environments where they can be hands on (Forbes). How can this influence your students’ future education goals and careers? A great example of this is in North Carolina. Engineers engrained in a hands-on movement there, along with other professionals and sources, tell us real-world, hands-on learning provides many long-lasting benefits.

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Topics: Hands-on Learning, 21st Century Skills, Social and emotional learning, Careers, Engineering, Technology, STEM, IN THE CLASSROOM