Dropbox and Copy are two similar services that allow users to store files in the cloud and sync them to a folder that is on your desktop. Each service has an online interface where you can upload and manage files. You also have the option to download an application which places a folder on your hard drive that is tied to your cloud storage. Any file that you put in that folder is accessible locally on your device but is also synced to the cloud. You can also access your files using an iPad/iPhone app.
Copy offers 15GB of Free storage – Click here for a free account.
Dropbox offers 2GB of Free storage. Click here for a free account.
I use both accounts and store documents and images for a blog on one account and personal files on the other account. Great way to keep things organized.
TeachingChannel.org is a video showcase—on the Internet and TV—of inspiring and effective teaching practices in America’s schools. They have three simple goals, all of them reliant on input from teachers:
- Build professional learning resources that teachers want
- Deepen and improve opportunities for teacher learning
- Elevate and celebrate teachers in our society
The videos are extremely high quality produced by a collaborative effort between video production experts, education advisors, and the classroom teachers themselves. Teaching Channel does not determine or influence the content taught in the videos.
The video library offers educators a wide range of subjects for grades K-12. The videos also include information on alignment with Common Core State Standards and ancillary material for teachers to use in their own classrooms.
Teaching Channel Presents, a weekly one-hour program featuring Tch videos, airs on PBS stations in nearly 75 million homes across the United States.
Information above came from LearningChannel.org
Meraki was a company that was started by two MIT Phd students in 2006 and was later acquired by Cisco in 2012. Meraki System Manager is a free cloud based service which allows schools to remotely manage iOS, android, mac, pc, and chrome devices. Meraki provides the administrator the ability to add and remove iOS apps, mac applications, wifi configurations, and exchange email settings to some or all devices. By setting up tags for individual devices you can easily target who will receive which app or application.
For small schools or anybody on tight budget this service is a great way to manage and keep track of devices. It would also be helpful in implementing a one to one. I am currently testing it out with my family’s devices. We have 4 iPhones, 3 iPads, 3 Macs, and a Chromebook. I am able to keep track of all the devices on one simple control panel. There is also a built in google map showing the location of each device. I can see this being a useful tool if one of my kids loses an iPhone and we need to track it down. From the control panel you can wipe the device or lock it. Sign up for a free Meraki account and try it out.
The term Computational Thinking (CT) was first used in 1996 by Seymour Papert. CT is a problem-solving process that includes the following characteristics:
- Analyzing and logically organizing data
- Data modeling, data abstractions, and simulations
- Formulating problems such that computers may assist
- Identifying, testing, and implementing possible solutions
- Automating solutions via algorithmic thinking
- Generalizing and applying this process to other problems
A robotics curriculum is the perfect skills based subject to teach students CT skills. Carnegie Mellon’s Robotics Academy is designed around the CT model and has developed curriculum for Middle and High School teachers. Although most CT skills are introduced at the college level there are a number of resources available for pre-college students. Here are a few to choose from.
The NSF (National Science Foundation) uses a broader definition of STEM to include the fields of Chemistry, Computer and Information Technology Science, Engineering, Geosciences, Life Sciences, Mathematical Sciences, Physics and Astronomy, Social Sciences (Anthropology, Economics, Psychology and Sociology). STEM education in the US has received quite a bit of attention recently due to the decline in the number of US students graduating and entering the science and engineering fields. For the United States to remain competitive on the world stage we need to do a better job exciting and encouraging students to enter scientific fields of study. New and emerging scientific fields such as nanotechnology, artificial intelligence, and robotics offer students opportunities that never existed before. As K12 educators we have the ability to engage students and show them what opportunities are available to them when they leave and enter college. Below are a few websites that have resource and ideas on how to engage students and possibly spark an interest in one of the scientific fields.