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How Should you Spend that Technology Stipend?

How Should you Spend that Technology Stipend?


 32 of the Most-Recommended Tech Resources 

Got your hands on some much-needed money? Here’s some of the most-recommended tech to help you take your school or classroom to the next level.

Got your hands on some much-needed money? Here’s some of the most-recommended tech to help you take your school or classroom to the next level.


3D Printers

Creality CR6 

  • Super easy assembly so you can start printing straight out of the box, with a compact and reliable extruder, you know that a smoother extrusion and an easier filament feed will ultimately generate faster, quieter, and smoother prints.  Weighing only 9.2kg and with manageable dimensions (442*462*540mm), this is a 3D Printer that you can carry.

    • If you go a step lower with a Creality Ender 3 you get a solid machine for around $230, leaving you with some money to spend on printer filament.  

FlashForge Adventurer   

  • Adventurer 3 Pro is configured with upgraded Wi-Fi, 3D cloud printing, and remote management.  

  • The Adventurer 4 has a real leveling-free design of platform and a larger printing size. To integrate interest, daily life and working efficiency with intelligent printing experience for family consumers, educators and office users.

MakerBot SKETCH

  • Their Certification program gives your students the tools to build and strengthen their design thinking skills with 3D printing. Get access to a full set of interactive content, projects, quizzes and exams developed by MakerBot Certified Educators, and find lesson plans designed for grade levels and subjects applicable to your classroom and curriculum.

Ender

  • Creality Ender-3 is open-source with amazing printing precision and affordable price, making it one of the best 3d printers for beginners.

Monoprice Selects

  • Over the past couple years, the company has released a handful of printers that are not only very affordable, but they are also laden with high-end features that you normally don’t find on such inexpensive machines.


Bots

Ozobots

  • An award-winning robotic platform that makes it easy to teach coding & STEAM with all subjects (math, ELA, & more) and increase engagement anywhere.

Sphero Mini

  • Sphero Mini is the perfect entry into STEM, and they offer bundles and accessories for students of all skill levels. Control Sphero Mini, complete educational activities, and learn how to code.

Dash Robots

  • Dash, Dot, and Cue inspire in students a powerful sense of collaboration and hands-on learning. Wonder Workshop’s comprehensive solution provides educators with a concrete way to teach an abstract concept–coding.

Vex IQ

  • The VEX IQ Classroom Bundles are offered in three different ways and each contains all the STEM hardware needed while educators get professional development, curriculum, and support.  VEX IQ enables classroom & competitive robotics that inspire students with a complete STEM experience, developing creativity & innovation.

Edison Robot 

  • Edison is a programmable robot designed to be a complete STEM teaching resource for coding and robotics education for students from 4 to 16 years of age.


Gadgets

Makey Makeys 

  • Makey Makey can be used in any subject area to help students grasp new concepts through tangible, interactive, hands-on activities. We’ve developed beginner and intermediate courses to help teachers painlessly incorporate tech into their lessons. 

micro:bit

  • Develop fluency in concepts and languages of computer systems and foster digital creativity in your classroom. Students make the connections between abstract ideas and real world outcomes by working with software and hardware together: designing, building, prototyping, iterating.

Little Bits plus a 3D printer

  • An easy and accessible way to learn electronics and engineering. Snap together the easy-to-use building blocks and start inventing with a complete collection of littleBits kits, including sets for the home, classroom, and standalone Bits. 

Snap Circuits

  • Snap Circuits offer kits for future engineers from as young as five years old to learn about electronics.

3Doodler

  • With a 3D pen you can draw a raised graphic on a piece of paper or any flat surface. But what makes a 3D pen truly unique is its ability to “draw” in mid-air, allowing you to instantly form 3D structures right in front of you, which you can pick up and hold in your hand.

Merge Cube

  • The Merge Cube lets you hold digital 3D objects, enabling an entirely new way to learn and interact with the digital world.

Tello Drone

  • An impressive little drone for kids and adults that’s a blast to fly and helps users learn about drones with coding education. 

Arduinos

  • An open-source electronic prototyping platform enabling users to create interactive electronic objects.  All necessary hardware is included with each of our products, so teachers and students can focus on the learning experiences and their kits come with online learning content, aligned with the latest industry trends and international curriculum standards.

Raspberry Pi

  • Raspberry Pi seeks to enable any school to offer students the opportunity to study computing and computer science through providing the best possible curriculum, resources, and training for teachers. They make computing and digital making accessible to all through providing low-cost, high-performance single-board computers and free software.

    • A set of Pi 400 kits  would be cheaper than going 1:1 with chromebooks!

      Got your hands on some much-needed money? Here’s some of the most-recommended tech to help you take your school or classroom to the next level.


Subscriptions

Elementari.io 

  • An online platform that connects artists with writers to create and share interactive stories. We have over 10,000 illustrations and sounds with more added each week by the community to jump-start your story

Nearpod

  • Real-time insights into student understanding through the creation of interactive lessons, interactive videos, gamification, and activities — all in a single platform.

CodeMonkey

  • A fun and educational game-based environment where kids learn to code without any prior experience. 

BreakoutEDU 

  • Full access to the Breakout EDU platform includes 800+ standards-aligned digital games and 900+ Kit-Based games covering a wide array of subjects and topics, a virtual Classroom where teachers can assign games to their class, a Digital Game Builder where students and teachers can create their own games, and Student Game Design Courses to facilitate the game design process.


Programs/Curriculum

CodeHS 

  • CodeHS tries to offer all the tools, resources, and support your school needs to run a successful computer science program, all in one place.  It provides an LMS, IDE, industry-relevant computer science certification exams for high school students, as well as professional development.

KUBO  

  • KUBO is an educational coding solution providing everything you need to get to grips with coding and computational thinking designed specifically for kids aged 4 to 10+.  It provides both a hands-on and a digital solution, which delivers the perfect balance of hands-on and digital learning, encouraging a whole new generation of kids to develop 21st-century skills. 

LEGO Education

  • WeDo2.0 is based upon the latest science standards and was created to enhance students' curiosity and science skills. The set is delivered in a storage bin along with sorting trays, labels, a Smarthub, a Medium Motor, Motion Sensor, a Tilt Sensor, and enough building elements for two students.  The accompanying desktop and tablet supported software provides a programming environment and includes the WeDo 2.0 Curriculum Pack (which covers life, physical, earth, and space sciences, as well as engineering), and the accompanying eLearning program helps teachers to become confident users of the WeDo 2.0 Core Set.

  • Boost lets children create models with motors and sensors, and then bring their creations to life through simple, icon-based coding commands. The free LEGO BOOST tablet app includes easy step-by-step building instructions for creating and coding multifunctional models.

  • Spike is a STEAM learning tool for grade 6-8 students. Combining colorful LEGO building elements, easy-to-use hardware, and an intuitive drag-and-drop coding language based on Scratch, SPIKE Prime continuously engages students through playful learning activities to think critically and solve complex problems, regardless of their learning level. From easy-entry projects to limitless creative design possibilities, including the option to explore text-based coding with Python, SPIKE Prime helps students learn the essential STEAM and 21st century skills needed to become the innovative minds of tomorrow

  • Mindstorms have students build robots that walk, talk, think and do anything you can imagine.

  • First LEGO League in the classroom lets teachers make lessons interactive and exciting and convey scientific and technical content haptically and realistically to students aged 9 to 16 years.  FIRST LEGO League Challenge is an annual research and robot competition in which children and young people construct and program a LEGO robot so that it can master various tasks, called missions. Furthermore, a real problem must be scientifically developed and creatively solved in the research project. They even offer scholarships to teams!

Destination Imagination

  • Working in teams to solve STEAM Challenges, quiet children come alive. Kids who like things their way realize how much better their ideas are with input from their teammates. And if your child hasn’t found his or her niche yet? No problem. DI introduces kids to a wide range of ideas, skills, and techniques while solving Challenges their way.

Odyssey of the Mind

  • Odyssey of the Mind teaches students how to develop and use their natural creativity to become problem-solvers, bringing the classroom to life as students apply what they learn and combine it with their interests and passions to solve our unique open-ended problems. This international program also emphasizes teamwork, budgeting, time management, public speaking, and so much more. 

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Tips for Teaching Students About Software

Tips for Teaching Students About Software


Understanding the function of software as well as how it interacts with corresponding hardware are foundational skills in computer science.  Here are a few tips for teaching your students all about it!

Understanding the function of software as well as how it interacts with corresponding hardware are foundational skills in computer science.  Here are a few tips for teaching your students all about it!


Tip #1

Work on what students use in their other classrooms.

Yes technology class is the place to introduce cool tech that students may not be getting the chance to interact with elsewhere, but it’s also the place to get them from passable to proficient in their everyday tech use.  Docs, Slides & Sheets all have features your kids might not know about that can get them working smarter, not harder.


Tip #2

Help your students be creators, not just consumers.

Encourage your students to be creative in the implementation of their tech.  Go a step further and get them thinking about what needs are being met by the software they are using, then see if they can think up something better, or maybe even something for an unmet need.


Tip #3

Review vocabulary.

Computer science is a field that has a great deal of subject specific vocabulary.  Furthermore, a great deal of that vocabulary consists of words that have entirely different meanings in other contexts (cookies, run, block, loop, etc.)  Don’t assume students know the right terms for what they’re working with, or let students continue to work with technology they don't know how to refer to correctly.   Be sure to incorporate learning the definitions, as this will enable students to begin to recognize and choose between similar software (among other things).

Understanding the function of software as well as how it interacts with corresponding hardware are foundational skills in computer science.  Here are a few tips for teaching your students all about it!


Tip #4

Consult standards.

Use national computer science standards such as those put forth by CSTA or ISTE to get a clearer idea of what you should be teaching.  Many software standards involve not only knowing how to use software, but also how it works and how to learn from common computer processes to augment their own problem solving abilities.


Here are a few particularly relevant guiding standards from each to start you off on the right foot:

  • CSTA K-12 CS Standards 

  • 1B-CS-02 3-5

    Model how computer hardware and software work together as a system to accomplish tasks.

  • 2-CS-02 6-8

    Design projects that combine hardware and software components to collect and exchange data.

  • 3A-CS-02 9-10

    Compare levels of abstraction and interactions between application software, system software, and hardware layers.

  • 3B-CS-01 11-12

    Categorize the roles of operating system software.


  • ISTE Standards for Students 

  • 3 Knowledge Constructor:

    Students critically curate a variety of resources using digital tools to construct knowledge, produce creative artifacts and make meaningful learning experiences for themselves and others.

  • 5 Computational Thinker:

    5a - Students formulate problem definitions suited for technology-assisted methods such as data analysis, abstract models and algorithmic thinking in exploring and finding solutions.

    5b - Students collect data or identify relevant data sets, use digital tools to analyze them, and represent data in various ways to facilitate problem-solving and decision-making.

  • 6 Creative Communicator:

    6a - Students choose the appropriate platforms and tools for meeting the desired objectives of their creation or communication.

  • 7 Global Collaborator:

    7a - Students use digital tools to connect with learners from a variety of backgrounds and cultures, engaging with them in ways that broaden mutual understanding and learning.


Tip #5

Don’t do work that you don’t have to.

My shop contains lessons ready-made for you to teach.  Get everything you need in one swoop with the Software Technology Lessons Bundle For Grades 1-5, or check out a wide variety of other software lessons!

I love integrating literacy and tech lessons together. It was challenging, but I created 9 eBooks to teach students about Software programs we use regularly:




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10 of the Best Upcoming STEM Conferences

10 of the Best Upcoming STEM Conferences


Education conferences are a great way to learn tips and tricks for your teaching, find out more about new instructional products, and make connections with other innovative educators.

Education conferences are a great way to learn tips and tricks for your teaching, find out more about new instructional products, and make connections with other innovative educators.  They’re also a fantastic place to get those professional development hours you might be short on!  These days, many conferences are either partially or fully virtual, and/or provide access to recordings of the sessions for a period of time afterwards.  This makes attending one easier than ever before. 


Here are 10 of the best STEM conferences coming your way, starting in Fall 2021 and going into Summer 2022:


October 28 – 30, 2021 Portland, OR

November 11 – 13, 2021 National Harbor, MD

December 9 – 11, 2021 Los Angeles, CA

NSTA STEM21 

Each year, the National Science Teaching Association hosts a national conference on science education (in the spring), three area conferences (in the fall, as stated in the dates above for 2021), and a STEM Forum & Expo.  The conferences for 2022 are scheduled in Houston, TX from Mar. 31 – Apr. 3, and another in Chicago, IL from July 21 – July 24.   


October 28 – 30, 2021 Virtual Event

SSMA Annual Convention

SSMA (School Science and Mathematics Association) strives to build and sustain a community of teachers, researchers, scientists, and mathematicians.


November 4 – November 6, 2021 Virtual Event

AACU Transforming STEM Higher Education  

AACU (American Association of Colleges and Universities) conference this year is entitled "Nothing Stays the Same: Reflecting on, Reckoning with & Re-Engineering Undergraduate STEM Education".


January 25-28, 2022 Orange County, Florida

FETC 2022

At the Future of Education Technology Conference you’ll hear expert insights, meet with the leaders in the technology industry and find your people to help you advance even further in your professional goals.  The future of education is sparked by continually reimagining how technology can be incorporated into the different learning models. 


March 9 – March 12, 2022 Orlando, FL

ITEEA Standards for Technological and Engineering Literacy: The Role of Technology and Engineering in STEM Education

 The 2022 ITEEA (International Technology and Engineering Educators Association) conference focuses on the roadmap that Standards for Technological and Engineering Literacy (STEL) provides for all educators. The conference theme highlights the importance of the three organizers within STEL—standards, practices, and contexts with connections and learning opportunities for all STEM learners.


Education conferences are a great way to learn tips and tricks for your teaching, find out more about new instructional products, and make connections with other innovative educators.
June 26 – June 29, 2022 Minneapolis, MN

2022 ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition

Now in its 129th year, the ASEE (American Society for Engineering Education) Annual Conference and Exposition is the only conference dedicated to all disciplines of engineering and engineering technology education. The premier event of its kind, the ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition fosters an exchange of ideas, enhances teaching methods and curricula, and provides unparalleled networking opportunities for engineering and engineering technology education stakeholders, including deans, faculty members, researchers, and industry and government professionals.


March 2 – March 5, 2022 Providence, Rhode Island

SIGCSE TS 2022

The Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education is organized by the ACM Special Interest Group on Computer Science Education (SIGCSE) and is the organization’s flagship conference. It has been held annually in February or March in North America since 1970. The SIGCSE organization provides a forum for educators to discuss issues related to the development, implementation, and/or evaluation of computing programs, curricula, and courses, as well as syllabi, laboratories, and other elements of teaching and pedagogy.


April 2022

Elementary STEM CON 

Elementary STEM Con believes educators deserve professional development that lives up to crucial work they are entrusted to do every day.  They aren’t looking to simply deliver PD; they aim to provide an experience that builds skills and renews your passion and enthusiasm for teaching.


June 26-29, 2022 New Orleans, Louisiana 

ISTE Live 22

The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) conference has been recognized as one of the world’s most influential education events.  ISTELive 22 will be a hybrid event featuring powerful voices and offering a treasure trove of content and resources for attendees in New Orleans and those attending virtually around the world.


Summer 2022 Denver, Colorado

Steve Spangler: Science In The Rockies

This conference is perfect for educators, administrators and curriculum specialists (Pre-K to 8) who want to explore best practices, instructional strategies and high-level engagement pedagogy for inspiring students through STEM.  Participate in more than 75 hands-on STEM experiments, demonstrations and design challenges that are aligned with the Next Generation Standards, and take home over $500 worth of teaching materials and supplies.


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