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.

 

Why everybody’s hiring but nobody’s getting hired — from vox.com by Rani Molla and Emily Stewart; with thanks to Ryan Craig for this resource
America’s broken hiring system, explained.

Tim Brackney, president and COO of management consulting firm RGP, refers to the current situation as the “great mismatch.” That mismatch refers to a number of things, including desires, experience, and skills. And part of the reason is that the skills necessary for a given job are changing faster than ever, as companies more frequently adopt new software.

“Twenty years ago, if I had 10 years experience as a warehouse manager, the likelihood that my skills would be pretty relevant and it wouldn’t take me that long to get up to speed was pretty good,” Joseph Fuller, a management professor at Harvard Business School and co-author of a recent paper on the disconnect between employers and employees, said. “The shelf life of people’s skills for a lot of decent-paying jobs has been shortening.”

From DSC:
I also think those hiring don’t think people can reinvent themselves. Folks who hire someone (and/or the applicant tracking systems as play) always seem to look for an exact match. There is little vision and/or belief that someone can grow into a position, or to lead differently, or to go in a different but better direction. They reach for their cookie cutters and shove their imaginations and ability to think bigger aside.

Employers could help people by investing in their employees’ growth and development — even if it means they actively help an employee take a right turn. Such an employee could hopefully find a new fit within that organization — if they do, they would likely turn out to be fiercely loyal.

Even if it means offering an employee 1-2 courses a year that they want to learn about — NO STRINGS ATTACHED — the learning culture would get a huge boost!!! Peoples’ love/enjoyment of learning would grow. Morale would improve. People would feel valued.

Let me offer a personal example:

  • My old boss, Mr. Irving Charles Coleman Jr, let me take a Photoshop class while I was working in the IT Department at Kraft Foods’ headquarters. Kraft paid for it, even though it wasn’t directly related to my position at the time. That course ended up changing my life and my future direction. No kidding. Thank you Irv! You’re the best!
 

McKinsey for Kids: I, Robot? What technology shifts mean for tomorrow’s jobs — from mckinsey.com

Tomorrow’s jobs will look different from today’s—and not just because you might be working alongside robots. In this edition of McKinsey for Kids, peer into the future of work and what it may hold for you, whether you’re thinking about becoming a doctor, an influencer—or a garbage designer.

 

40 Fingers: Message in a Bottle — from theawesomer.com

Also see:

 

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. 

 

From DSC:
While checking out an edition of innovation & tech today, the following sites caught me eye.

LearnWorlds looks intriguing to me. It will be interesting to see how teachers, professors, trainers, instructional designers, artists, coaches, and more make their living in the future. I’m pulse-checking the area of learning platforms and posting items re: it so that we can stay informed on these trends.

Learn Worlds dot com -- create and sell online courses from your own website

Learn Worlds dot com -- create and sell online courses from your own website

Also from LearnWorlds:

 


Also see:

Thinkific’s powerful, all-in-one platform makes it easy to share your knowledge, grow your audience, and scale the business you already love.

thinkific.com -- an online learning platform

 

Potential unfulfilled: COVID-19, the rapid adoption of online learning, and what could be unlocked this year — from christenseninstitute.org by Thomas Arnett

Excerpt:

The foundational tenets of conventional instruction hinge on uniformity and compliance. Schools and classrooms, by and large, need students to conform to a common set of requirements in order for cohort-based learning to work. Unfortunately, nearly all students struggle to one degree or another to fit conventional instruction’s norms.

For example, conventional instruction requires students to show up to school ready to learn at times dictated by the school schedule, but for some students, life gets in the way. Conventional instruction moves all students through content at a uniform pace, but not all students master content in the time allotted. And conventional instruction often obliges students to sit and work or sit and listen for large portions of the day, yet some students struggle to sit quietly for extended periods of time. Fortunately, online learning offers the ability to replace many of these systemic rigidities with greater adaptability to students’ needs.

From DSC:
The above excerpt brings the image (below) back to my mind. The image represents our educational systems’ ways of never stopping or slowing down for anyone. They leave the station at such and such a time and then they move at a very face pace for everyone. There’s no stopping them — regardless of whether a student has mastered the content or not.

K-12 education in America is a like a quickly moving train that stops for no one.

 

Leveraging EdTech: brilliant tools for student voice — from global-edtech.com by Cecilia Astolfi
Cecilia Astolfi provides three very useful tips for any teachers wishing to promote student voice in the classroom

There are three tools I recommend in order to enhance the ability of students to express their views in a constructive and valuable manner.

Best Microsoft PowerPoint Tips and Tricks for Teachers — from by Luke Edwards
You may be amazed to see how much you can get out of Microsoft PowerPoint as a teacher

Excerpt:

5. Create Instagram Stories in PowerPoint
Another social media app that has great traction with students is Instagram, specifically the Stories feature that allows you to share images or videos from the day, which are wiped for a fresh set each day.

Imagine doing this in class? Perhaps the students could carry on a story you were studying in class. Maybe they could tell the tale of a comet as it travels through space. The options are huge and it’s easy to do using this PowerPoint template as a starting point.

6 kids games that make math learning engaging and entertaining — from educatorstechnology.com

Excerpt:

BBC School Radio Maths is an excellent educational resource we learned from MakeUseOf‘ s list of 10 Cool Math Games for Kids. School Radio Maths offers a wide variety of educational games to help kids develop their math skills. Kids will get to grapple with various numeracy challenges that involves a higher degree of mental skills. The games are entertaining enough to keep pupils motivated and focused on the learning task at hand.

6 strategies to help you improve your math skills — from educatorstechnology.com

Excerpt:
As a child, did you love math back in the elementary? Now that you are an adult, do you feel awkward with your Mathematic’s skills? Let’s admit it – not everyone is great at Math. Some find it fun, brilliant, stimulating others find it too difficult to comprehend.

However, the stigma associated with math learning is not always true especially knowing that Math is omnipresent and is being used in almost every facet of our life. The purpose of this post is to share with you  some of the ways to help you  strengthen your Math skills.

This map lets you fly along the path of a drop of water from any place in the U.S. — from fastcompany.com by Adele Peters
Click on any spot or enter an address, and it will show where the water is likely to flow. Good for both learning how pollution and plastic spreads, but also for an aerial visual ride of the country’s waterways.
Also see: river-runner.samlearner.com/

This image portrays a map of the United States.

Hands-On with the Lego Snapchat Augmented Reality Experience That Lets You Build With Friends Remotely — from next.reality.news by Adario Strange

Excerpt:

The world of Lego is timeless primarily because everyone, regardless of age or background, can build a wide variety of amazing things with the simple component blocks from the classic toymaker.

But now that Snapchat has brought that dynamic to augmented reality via the Rebuild the World Snapchat Lens the possibilities are truly endless.

Snap Spectacles Early Prototype, Volkswagen Drives into AR, Inside Lego Snapchat, & Instagram Updates AR — from next.reality.news by Tommy Palladino

Best Apps To Learn The Korean Language — from edtechreview.in by Saniya Khan

Excerpt:

Korean, one of the popular Asian languages for non-native speakers, is the official language of the Republic of Korea (South Korea) and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea).

This is an increasingly important language globally considering South Korea’s powerful economy, geopolitical importance, and growing presence in Asian pop culture; perhaps one reason for garnering a surprising amount of interest in people worldwide to learn the Korean language.

5 Places to Sell Your Artwork Online — from hongkiat.com

Excerpt:

Selling art online is making a comeback. Artists have been selling their work on the Internet but as of late, there’s an increase in online art sales. You can of course build your own website to share your art, run your own marketing and promotional exercise via social media and other channels but you will probably gain more exposure with the following websites . Time to get your beautiful art out there.

12 good edtech tools to use in your distance education — from educatorstechnology.com

Excerpt:

Looking for some educational websites to help you with the management of your online (and also face-to-face) classroom teaching? The list below has you covered. It features a collection of  some popular web tools you can use to perform a wide variety of educational tasks. These include: creating interactive video lessons, collect formative assessments and provide real-time feedback to students, enhance students learning through the use of digital games and flashcards, create online classes and share assignments and learning resources with students, organize students into appropriate learning groups and many more. Links to these websites are under the visual.

 

The best advice I can give you: Become a student of your child — from raisinglifelonglearners.com by Colleen Kessler

Excerpt:

One of the best pieces of advice I give a parent is to become a student of their child. To really pay attention and discover what your child is interested in, passionate about, or wants to explore further so you can use that information to design the best homeschool ever. In today’s episode, we revisit a conversation with Andrew Peterson all about how to practically become students of our children. You will also find all of our best resources for becoming a student of your child…

A young girl looking at some artwork.

 

A virtual premiere screening for Tomorrow's Hope: The Promise of Early Childhood Education

[Virtual premiere screening] Tomorrow’s Hope: The Promise of Early Childhood Education

Free and open to the public.

“Tomorrow’s Hope” brings us into the journey of passionate educators and tenacious kids and their families on the south side of Chicago, determined to carve out the future despite a sea of incredible challenges.

 

How Teaching Robotics Fosters Tech and Soft Skills — from techlearning.com by Erik Ofgang
Students who compete in robotics competitions learn STEM skills, but equally important are the social skills they gather

Group of 5 young students with their projects for robotics competition

Excerpt:

Beginning on May 17, Fausto and his teammate’s on the Owlbots 3028x will compete at the first-ever Live Remote VEX Robotics World Championship. The event runs through May 29 and is hosted by The Robotics Education & Competition (REC) Foundation and VEX Robotics.

 

How to Learn Animation At Home: Beginner’s Guide to Online Courses, Software and Resources — from graphicmama.com by Al Boicheva

Excerpt:

On the bright side of the current reality, it’s the perfect time to be productive and learn new skills. Why not trying to learn animation? If this is something you’ve always been interested in and would like to try, it’s not necessary to do it the traditional way and study it at a university. In fact, you can do it online in the comfort of your home.

So, what are the options to become a self-taught animation designer? Let’s walk through the process together.

 

NJ High School Adds New Recording Studio to Learning Spaces — from spaces4learning.com by Matt Jones

Excerpt:

A career and technical high school in New Jersey has added new professional recording gear to one of its teaching spaces. County Prep High School, part of Hudson County Schools of Technology, added hardware from Solid State Logic (SSL), a UK-based company that manufactures analog and digital audio consoles for music and audio production. Students in the music and audio technology program learn how to write their own songs and produce their own music. The senior project involves putting a label together and releasing songs.

 

The Studio at County Prep High School in New Jersey installed at the front of a teaching space with seating for about 16 students -- it overlooks a tracking room with a piano and two soundproof booths.

The new studio at County Prep High School features professional equipment from Solid State Logic.
Source: Solid State Logic

Also see:

A different view on the console at this New Jersey High School

Addendum on 4/1/21:

  • Control Room 42 ushers in the future of broadcasting — from derivative.ca
    Excerpt:
    Control Room 42 (CR42) a project from RTBF, public broadcaster for the French speaking part of Belgium, gives broadcasting’s traditionally hardware-based control room a radical makeover enabled by TouchDesigner in ways its designer Hugo Ortiz thought impossible a few years ago. Recipient of The European Broadcasting Union’s Technology and Innovation Award 2020, this new software-based control room prototype that also integrates Artisto for audio and Smode for real-time graphics brings game-changing innovation to the broadcasting industry.
 
© 2021 | Daniel Christian