Technology & Engineering Education

This section will contain information concerning current trends in Technology an Engineering Education 


Can BYOD be a reality?

 

Is BYOD a trend brought on by marketing or can it really be a reality?

BYOD-contribWe have all heard the term BYOD/BYOT and many of us have even implemented such a program in our institutions. The thought of offsetting district expenditures by having students supply their own devices is certainly an eye opening thought. Can a BYOD truly exist without a district supplied one-to-one option or similar district solution? It's something I wrestle with each time I hear of districts doing one without the other.

The two terms BYOD and one-to-one are typically heard synonymously for the simple fact that in a BYOD only environment, those students who do not have access to their own devices will not be able to participate in online or computer based classroom activities unless provisions are made in each classroom to ensure every child has a device. This in itself can pose its own challenges as certain personal devices may not be able to view resources required by the class.

Flash based activities will not be viewable on iOS devices. Most testing as of today states explicitly that personal devices may not be used, so in this case, we must still have enough district owned devices to tackle the growing number of online assessments.
 

Five strategies for using classroom technology

 

Key takeaways from the study, based on information gathered from five school districts, include recognizing the importance of:
1. Planning and investing in bandwidth and wireless connectivity to power educational technology
2. Providing ongoing professional development opportunities that equip educators to effectively integrate digital learning and employ new instructional approaches
3. Restructuring the traditional classroom to personalize learning
4. Developing creative strategies by connecting with stakeholders outside of the district, and
5. Using data systematically to improve learning and instruction.

"For decades cable has been at the forefront of connecting technology to schools to support — and transform — student learning,” said David Pierce, executive director, Cable Impacts Foundation. "With cable as our nation's leading broadband provider, we gladly supported this important research highlighting exactly how this transformation takes place in a digital environment.”

The research team conducted interviews with 13 stakeholders across five school districts spanning diverse geographic regions throughout the country. Those districts include: Elizabeth Forward School District in Pennsylvania; Lewisville Independent School District in Texas; Mobile County Public School System in Alabama; San Jose Unified School District in California; and West Allis-West Milwaukee School District in Wisconsin.

"Digital learning is an important medium for helping to create the conditions for young people to thrive,” said John Gomperts, president & CEO of America's Promise. "As America's Promise continues to progress toward the GradNation goal of a 90 percent graduation rate by 2020, we hope that these lessons help to guide other school districts that seek to engage students through technology, and to equip them with the essential tools to succeed in college and the 21st century workforce.”

Follow this link to read the full paper:http://www.americaspromise.org/resource/wired-learn-k-12-students-digital-classroom

Material from a press release was used in this report.
 
Check out the Power Tools Institute for great Safety Information and Videos.
http://www.powertoolinstitute.com/
 
 
12 free coding tools and apps

Posted By Laura Devaney On April 29, 2014 @ 6:00 am In Curriculum,Featured on eSchool news,Resource,Top News

These coding programs and apps help students develop programming skills–and they're free
Educators and stakeholders agree that computer science skills are some of the most in-demand skills in today's workforce, and encouraging students' interest in coding and computer programming in early grades can help foster interest in computer science as students enter college. Some of the following resources or apps are designed for older students, and others are aimed at children and beginning coders.

Cargo-Bot 
Cargo-Bot is a puzzle game where students teach a robot how to move crates.
Hopscotch 
Program characters to move, draw, and collide with each other, and use shaking, tilting, or even shouting at the iPad to control them. Hopscotch was inspired by MIT's Scratch and gives kids a creative way to learn the fundamentals of coding and computer programming.
Codecademy: Hour of Code 
Students can learn how to build things online by programming with Codecademy. The app introduces users to the basic concepts behind the apps on their phone and the websites they visit. They'll learn to understand the basic structure of code when they see it.
Alice 
Alice is an innovative 3-D programming environment that makes it easy to create an animation for telling a story, playing an interactive game, or a video to share on the web. Alice is a freely available teaching tool designed to be a student's first exposure to object-oriented programming. It allows students to learn fundamental coding concepts in the context of creating animated movies and simple video games. In Alice, 3-D objects (e.g., people, animals, and vehicles) populate a virtual world and students create a program to animate the objects.
HacketyHack [6]
Hackety Hack will teach users the absolute basics of programming from the ground up. No previous coding experience is needed. With Hackety Hack, students learn the Ruby programming language. Ruby is used for all kinds of programs, including desktop applications and websites.
LearnStreet 
This site offers free programming lessons in JavaScript, Python, and Ruby. Activities are completely web-based with more than 100 exercises in each course.
Mozilla Thimble 
Thimble makes it ridiculously simple to create and share your own web pages. Write and edit HTML and CSS right in your browser, then instantly preview your work. Host and share your finished projects with a single click. Perfect for beginners and experts alike. web-based code editor, part of the company's recently unveiled "Webmakers” project. Thimble is designed to give novice webmakers an easy-to-use online tool to quickly build and share webpages.
Tynker 
Tynker helps children develop computational thinking and coding skills in a fun, visual, intuitive, and imaginative way. Tynker is used in over 8,000 schools to teach computer programming. More than 6 million kids have started coding with Tynker. Students can solve fun puzzles and learn to code.
Simply drag & drop visual code blocks and program characters to beat the level. Additional adventures and puzzle levels are available as in-app purchases.
Scratch 
With Scratch, students can program your own interactive stories, games, and animations. They can share their creations with others in the online community. Scratch helps young people learn to think creatively, reason systematically, and work collaboratively.
Daisy the Dinosaur 
This free coding app has an easy drag and drop interface that kids of all ages can use to animate Daisy to dance across the screen. Students will intuitively grasp the basics of objects, sequencing, loops, and events by solving the app's challenges. After playing Daisy, kids can choose to download a kit to program their own computer game.
Code Monster 
Code Monster, from Crunchzilla, is an interactive tutorial for kids that focuses on action. Code changes immediately yield visible results. Projects start with simple boxes and colors, rapidly progressing into exciting experiments with simple animation and fractals. Important programming concepts like variables, loops, conditionals, expressions, and functions are introduced by example.
Kodu 
Kodu is a new visual programming language made specifically for creating games. It is designed to be accessible for children and enjoyable for anyone.  The visual nature of the language allows for rapid design iteration using only an Xbox game controller for input (mouse/keyboard input is also supported).
 

Why Chicago is Mandating Coding

Education

By Sara Ashley O'Brien   @saraashleyo November 5, 2014: 5:50 PM ET

Mayor Rahm Emanuel has made K-12 computer science education a priority. 

Parlez-vous "code"?

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel believes the language of the future is code writing -- and he wants every kid in Chicago to be prepared. In a room full of techies at the Internet of Things World Forum last week, he didn't talk about Chicago'schief data officer or the city's smart parking and LED street lights. Instead, he emphasized the Windy City's commitment to computer science and coding education. "In three years' time, you can't graduate from high school in the city of Chicago if you didn't take code writing and computer science," said Mayor Emanuel in conversation with Cisco CEO John Chambers. "We're making it mandatory."  Emanuel first announced the city's five-year plan for computer science education last December. In three years, Chicago public high schools will require a foundational computer science course in order to graduate. In five years, at least 50% of its high schools will offer AP computer science courses.

Related: 6 things to know about STEM

Computer science is one of the top paying college degrees -- and yet only 2.4% of college students graduate with degrees in the field (a number that's declining). Moreover, out of 3.6 million AP exams taken in 2012, only 3,000 computer science exams were taken by African American and Hispanic students, according to Code.org.

Chicago has roughly 600 public schools that educate 400,000 kids -- the majority of whom are African-American (39.7%) and Hispanic (45.2%).  Improving access to coding and computer science classes could open doors for low-income students, and Chicago officials believe it's not limited to high school education.  While roughly 25 states allow advanced computer science to count as math or science credits, Code.org says Chicago's plan is the most comprehensive.  This year, the city partnered with Code.org to incorporate computer science lessons into the curriculum of 25 elementary schools.

Related: The future of tech: your local library

"I believe kids start dropping out of college in third grade. They don't drop out freshman year. They don't quit junior year. Our responsibility is to make sure they're ready for third grade at three years old," Emanuel said.   This summer, 150 K-12 teachers (from roughly 30 Chicago high schools, 20 middle schools and 20 elementary schools) took professional development courses to learn how to incorporate computer science into their teachings.  At the elementary school level, kids can be introduced to the fundamentals of computer science through activities.  "Just having kids jump into computer science at the high school level, they don't have a good context for it," said Cameron Wilson of Code.org. "Having them exposed early and building on concepts year after year is really important." 

First Published: October 20, 2014: 5:12 PM ET

 




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