50 Sites & Apps for K-12 Education Games — from techlearning.com by Diana Restifo and David Kapuler
Game-based learning is a great way to integrate technology into the classroom while engaging kids with real learning.

Excerpt:

Game-based learning turns potentially tedious study time into an adventurous knowledge quest, complete with catchy soundtracks and digital rewards. It helps keep kids engaged with the subject matter and motivated to pursue greater expertise. Best of all, web- or app-based gameplay integrates easily into both online and in-person classes.

With the demise of Flash at the end of 2020, many favorite educational game sites went under. That’s why we decided to update our popular list below to include the latest and best sites and apps for K-12 education games. Many are free (or offer free basic accounts) and some provide progress tracking and analysis tools for teachers. All will help kids enjoy learning.

Also relevant/see the following resource and excerpt from Goldie Blumenstyk’s The Edge (from the Chronicle of Higher Education)

Creative Acts for Curious People: How to Think, Create, and Lead in Unconventional Ways — by Sarah Stein Greenberg

Excerpt:

Greenberg also makes a compelling case for the “playful and joyous” approaches the d.school has been championing, like the secret handshake or building several prototypes of an ideal chair using tools like cardboard, pipe cleaners, and chewing gum and toothpicks. After so many months of loss and social deprivation, she told me last week, “those elements are more important than ever.”

 

3 Tips for Making Passion-Based Learning Work Successfully — from thejournal.com by Dennis Pierce

Excerpt:

Passion-based learning, a form of self-directed learning in which students pursue projects of interest to them, is becoming more popular in schools — and for good reason: Educators who have set aside time for passion-based learning have discovered that students become highly engaged and motivated when learning about topics that intrigue them, while taking their learning much deeper than they would in a traditional lesson.

Passion-based learning initiatives include Genius Hour and 20time, both inspired by Google’s program that lets employees spend 20% of their time on projects of their choosing to spark innovation.

Giving all students the option to explore their interests can be challenging on a large scale. To overcome this hurdle and make the process easier for teachers, Sonora Elementary uses a new peer-to-peer learning platform called Tract, which is a collection of video content organized into self-directed learning paths.

tract.app allows students to be creative and practice their storytelling and multimedia skills

From DSC:
I love the type of tool/app like Tract — as students can work on a variety of skills:

  • multimedia development
  • music
  • acting
  • writing/composing
  • digital storytelling
  • …and more

Such projects/tools can unleash a great deal of creativity, engagement, and positive energy. Learning becomes more relevant, enjoyable, and interesting when we can provide more choice and control to our students.

 
 

Resources from “The Science of Learning” — from deansforimpact.org

Excerpt:

The Science of Learning summarizes existing cognitive-science research on how students learn, and connects it to practical implications for teaching. The report is a resource for teacher-educators, new teachers, and anyone in the education profession who is interested in how learning takes place.

Deans for Impact believes all teacher-candidates should know the cognitive-science principles explored in The Science of Learning. And all educators, including new teachers, should be able to connect those principles to their practical implications for the classroom.

One of those resources is:

Also see:Learning by Scientific Design -- a report from Deans for Impact

The use of regular quizzes is extremely effective in committing something to long-term memory


There are six major takeaways from our first administration of our Learning by Scientific Design assessment:

  1. In general, future teachers are unfamiliar with basic principles of learning science – and they struggle to connect these principles to practice.
  2. Encouragingly, future teachers recognize the critical role that background knowledge plays in learning.
  3. Future teachers struggle to identify effective forms of practice – and they appear to conflate student engagement with learning.
  4. For the most part, teacher-candidates hold beliefs about teaching and learning that align to principles of learning science –- but there are clear areas for improvement.
  5. Teacher-candidate understanding of learning science does not vary based on key categories we might expect.
  6. Teacher-educators in the LbSD Network do better at identifying learning-science principles in practice than just the principles in the abstract.

 
 

Why “Challenging” Isn’t The Right Goal — from byrdseed.com by Ian Byrd

Excerpt:

If I asked you to alphabetize the US state capitals in under 90 seconds, you’d certainly be “challenged”! But you’d also feel stressed out and frustrated.

I wish I had realized this years ago. Something can be “challenging” and also be at the very bottom of Bloom’s Taxonomy. Something can be “challenging” and even impede learning.

So here’s the word I use now when I’m planning lessons for Byrdseed.TV: interesting.

I want to “interest” students. A student who is interested will work over the weekend simply because they want to know more. An interested student will stay in from recess by choice to keep at it. An interested student is intrinsically motivated.

From DSC:
This reminds me yet again of this graphic that readers of this blog will recognize:

In the future, learning channels will offer us more choice and more control

 

Google Earth

Google Earth Lesson Plan — from techlearning.com by Stephanie Smith Budhai

Excerpt:

The 3D interactive online exploration platform Google Earth provides a pathway to endless learning adventures around the globe. For an overview of Google Earth and a breakdown of its unique features, check out How to Use Google Earth for Teaching.

 

 
 

“In person” classes offered in virtual reality — from zdnet.com by Greg Nichols; with thanks to Will Richardson for the resource
A virtual reality college campus welcomes students this fall.

Excerpt:

“With this cadaver lab, our pre-med students will no longer need to rely on other universities for advanced anatomy and biology classes,” said Dr. Shirley Brown, Dean of Fisk University. “Virtual reality technology takes our university to a level equal to the most advanced schools in the country.”

 
 

Transforming the classroom with augmented learning — from thetechedvocate.org by Matthew Lynch

Excerpt:

Forbes documented the many ways that augmented reality (AR) has come to life in recent years. They list several award-winning apps that use AR. A few are:

  • The “Gatwick Airport Passenger” App, which helps passengers navigate the airport;
  • The “Dulux Visualizer” App, which  lets you virtually scan and paint your room any color you choose;
  • “Envisioned by the Mine” App, which lets you put 3D images of any type of accessory or furnishing in your home that Lowe’s offers;
  • “Sephora Virtual Artist”, which allows you to “put makeup on” without actually touching brush to face;
  • “Accuvein”, which doctors and nurses use to scan a patient’s vein network (it reduces escalations by 45%);
  • And, of course, there are apps like the “BIC DrawyBook App” just for fun.

But what about the classroom? Can we see a future in transforming the classroom with augmented learning?

From DSC:
Along the lines of developing creativity with edtech…

I saw another item recently about Book Creator, something that’s made this blog before. I love that type of tool because it promotes creativity, unleashes a student’s imagination, promotes their artwork and writing/storytelling and their musical or acting abilities, and it develops skills in design and developing multimedia-based artifacts. For teachers, it could be a nice project-based learning exercise. 

I asked our youngest daughter if she would like to use it…we’ll see. You can get a free account that allows you to publish up to 40 books. (Plus there is pricing for schools and districts.)

And who knows…? This type of thing might just produce the next J.K. Rowling or a J.J. Abrams.

Book Creator -- check it out

Book Creator -- check it out

Book Creator -- check it out

 

Reimagining Education: What to Keep/What to Ditch — from techlearning.com by Matthew X. Joseph
When reimagining education, the focus needs to be on finding and keeping the best learning practices

 We have a unique opportunity to look at programmatic and philosophical shifts to promote energetic and curious learners. 

 

Lights, Camera, Action! 5 Ideas for Student-Created Video Assignments — from barbihoneycutt.com by Barbi Honeycutt, Ph.D.

Excerpt:

Here are 5 ideas for student-created videos. I hope these ideas inspire you to mix up your assignments and assessments to increase student engagement and improve learning.

Judith [Dutill] mentioned that students’ knowledge of and comfort with communicating by video is a 21st century skill that we need to prepare them for.

 

From DSC:
One of our daughters — who just graduated from college with a degree in Early Education — told me about a fun tool for classroom management. It’s called ClassroomScreen.com. I just thought I’d pass it along in case you want to try it out!

“Support your class activities, stimulate engagement and help your students get to work by using the intuitive tools of Classroomscreen.”

A fun tool for classroom management: Roll the dice, a calendar, stopwatch, clock, & more!

She also mentioned:

  • Slides.go — Free Google Slides and PowerPoint templates to boost your presentations
  • Teacher TikTok — elementary teacher, classroom resources
 

When Should You Use Branching Video Scenarios for eLearning? — from learningsolutionsmag.com by Bill Brandon

Excerpt:

Among the many changes today in the way we think about learning and training is the shift from knowledge transfer to skill development. Scenario-based learning (SBL) and the inclusion of practice with feedback are often overlooked but in many cases more effective approaches to the development of skill and competence.

What’s a scenario?
A scenario is a type of story; it presents learners with a situation in a way that engages them and places them in the situation. Scenarios are a methodology for quickly creating and delivering content to an audience based on needs and feedback. Scenarios are closely related to microlearning, and in fact some microlearning employs short scenarios as the main method of delivery. Learners are able to make decisions, solve problems, apply knowledge, and practice skills. The scenario presents challenges like the ones the learners will face in real-life situations.

The story is important! In his book Scenario-based Learning: Using Stories to Engage Learners, Ray Jimenez says, “The design of scenario-based training requires the craftsmanship of a storyteller, an instructional designer, and a subject matter expert.” 

 
© 2021 | Daniel Christian