Google Classroom is an assignment distribution and collection service. It was rolled out in August of 2014. Many school districts, including mine, were given a preview before it was released. The service is web-based so there is nothing to install. Any browser works with Google Classroom but I recommend using the Chrome browser.
Miro:bit is a device that originated with the BBC in the UK. This device is available to students in the UK for computer education. The goal is to provide an affordable way to teach students computer technology and programming.
In the July 15, 2018 issue of Digital Maestro Magazine, I cover the various options for sharing and collaborating on Google documents. This includes Docs for word processing. The word processor is quite capable of handling many of the common writing tasks. Some features are not as robust as those from Microsoft Word. Docs really shine when it comes to sharing and collaboration.
In the July 1, 2018 issue of Digital Maestro Magazine, I explore the use of Scratch for teaching basic geometry skills. The first lessons begin with the basics. We draw squares and rectangles. Within each project, we learn to use the power of coding to calculate the perimeter and area.
In the June 15 issue of Digital Maestro Magazine, I take a look at using Google Sheets as a graphing calculator. In the issue, I explore the use of Sheets to plot linear equations. I also take a look at plotting Sine and Cosine functions. The examples include instructions for creating templates which teachers can use during classroom presentation or instruction.
The mBot from Makeblock is a robot ideal for learning STEAM concepts. STEAM refers to Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math. STEAM is an extension of STEM with the inclusion of Arts. I like to include Research to form STREAM. Research incorporates reading and writing. It also includes vocabulary and academic language.
A Google classroom must be created every year and assignments must be re-created every year. As teachers, we don’t teach the same way each year but the materials and resources remain fairly consistent. It would be nice if we could refer to these resources without the need to re-create the classroom and assignments.
Tinkercad is a free online service with applications for designing 3D models and electronic circuits. The circuit simulator has basic electronic components for assembling a variety of circuits. The simulator provides a way for us to integrate lessons on electricity. Students assemble circuits in a structured environment. The simulator is easy to use and appropriate for students of all ages.
OneNote Class Notebook is a service from Microsoft Office 365. It helps teachers create and distribute digital notebooks to students using OneNote. Through OneNote, we can distribute and collect assignments using a familiar notebook format. The app is available for a variety of devices.
Thinking maps are graphic organizers. They provide a common visual language for communication and collaboration. They are visual tools to inspire lifelong learning. Students become better thinkers, problem solvers, and decision makers. There are eight different types of thinking maps. Each map links to a specific cognitive process.
3D printing was created to develop rapid prototypes. Prototypes are models of a finished product. The printed object itself is not the finished product. Printed objects are not durable enough for commercial use. But, they are durable enough to teach several concepts. Math and science models are two examples for content integration.
Scratch is a visual programming language that is free and available for children to use. The programming language is targeted at children to helping them learn to program. With Scratch, they can create interactive stories, games, and animations. Students and teachers can share their products with others in the Scratch community and on the web.