Eduporium Weekly | The 5 Best Tech Tools in our Black Friday and Cyber Monday Sales
First off, we’d like to start our weekly blog post by saying that we hope everybody had a wonderful Thanksgiving with their families! With the festivities of the whole Thanksgiving Weekend experience, you know, comes Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping. We know that everybody enjoys a good bargain -- especially teachers trying to add technology to their classrooms and parents looking for holiday gifts for their little ones. Our weekend-long sale launched early yesterday morning and is continuing until 11:59 pm ET on Cyber Monday! It even includes all day Saturday and Sunday, too! Let’s take a look at the EdTech products you can get as part of our special savings.
If you’re familiar with STEAM education at all, you’ve probably heard of or even used Meccano robots. The best thing about this innovative company is that they keep creating new stuff for teachers to use! All of their kits are designed to get kids working with their hands, collaborating, tinkering, and problem solving while they develop a foundation for the skills of tomorrow. The kits are designed in a progressive line, meaning that they start out on the simpler end and, as kids get more skilled in buiding robots, they can move on to more complex kits! As part of our sale, we're offering the G15KS, 2.0, XL 2.0, and G15 kits. After kids become adept with these kits, they can move on to the more complex Meccano M.A.X. Robot, which is a whole new animal!
The G15KS and G15 kits are each designed to serve as introductory sets with more pieces added to each new kit. Using them, kids can construct basic robots and begin to discover that they can program their actions and responses. There are even Meccano kits designed for older students as well. The M.A.X. is a bit more advanced and incorporates new kinds of components. Using this kit, kids can build a super-cool robot that moves around on its own -- only now they have the potential to control its functions using a connected device It doesn’t get much more real-world relevant than this! If you've got students who love engineering, programming, and robots in general, this is the best time to get them something new and exciting. You have until Monday night at 11:59 pm ET to save a lot when you purcahse any of our Meccano robots.
The Meccanoid G15, in particular, is a 2-foot-tall personal robot that kids can build and program themselves! Utilizing voice recognition, Ragdoll mode, drag-and-drop programming, and Learned Intelligent Movement, Meccanoid is able to move incredibly realistically. Ready to be programmed or commanded to do anything kids can think up, Meccanoid is adaptable and eager and features six high-powered motors. With phrases to say, robot trivia to share, and stories stored in its Meccabrain, Meccanoid comes equipped with everything it needs to become a progressively powerful teaching tool. This version of the Meccanoid even knows over 3,000 pre-programmed commands and questions, helping kids spark a love of robotics with a super smooth introduction to drag-and-drop programming!
Like littleBits, MaKey MaKey is a classic EdTech tool and one that empowers any student to become the inventor we know they can be. This affordable and reliable piece of hardware allows students to turn any conductive object they can find into a touchpad. With this touchpad, they can control these innovative devices in some very creative ways. If you were to do a Google or YouTube search for MaKey MaKey, some of the first results would be of ingenious projects that kids have made. It’s incredible to see how they’re constantly discovering new objects that are conductive and also finding new ways to highlight some of the classic conductive objects, like fruits, water, and coins!
To break it down a bit, MaKey MaKey’s inventors created this tool with the goal of allowing students to be able to “make” anything a “key.” What does this mean? Well, it means that the technology inside the MaKey MaKey board is activated when a circuit is completed. The way that the circuit is completed is by adding a conductive object into the fray. So, not only are kids getting to invent tons of cool devices and have fun mixing and matching different components, there is very much a science behind learning with the MaKey MaKey. Kids are constantly discovering new objects that are conductive and, through trial and error, they’re also seeing which ones are not -- a very beneficial model of hands-on STEM learning.
Children of all ages can creatively leverage the unique technology found inside the MaKey MaKey interface and its alligator clips to craft functioning tools out of common objects. Using the conductivity found naturally in people, the MaKey MaKey enables students to complete circuits by grasping an alligator clip in one hand and connecting the other end to any conductive object, showing how they can creatively control chaos using their own bodies! This go-to STEM tool will expand children's imaginations as they scramble to find the next thing they want to turn into a computer keyboard! It only needs a tiny bit of conductivity to work and there’s no wrong way to interact with technology, truly making the MaKey MaKey an invention kit for everyone! Be sure to grab a kit or two of your own during our Black Friday sale, which lasts through Monday!
If you haven’t gotten a chance to check out SAM Labs’ kits and their amazing potential to transform the classroom, our weekend sale is the perfect time to pick some up! SAM Labs has three engaging kits, which they have developed at their headquarters in the United Kingdom. They are a great company to work with and they even put on a demonstration at our booth during ISTE 2017! Their kits are similar to littleBits, but offer a more complete opportunity for students to explore STEAM learning through active building, creativity, deconstruction, and more. During our Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales, both the Curious Cars Kit and the Classroom Pack are available at a discounted price -- a great opportunity to add some STEAM to your classroom!
The Curious Cars Kit allows students to engineer mobile machines using specialized building blocks, which each have their own unique function. Kids as young as 7 years old will learn fast and they’ll learn furiously as they rip open the Curious Cars Kit and are instantly able to explore innovative construction, creating, and programming! This invention-enabling kit features all the components inventive kids need to construct a car and the smart blocks for programming it. It even comes with an easy-to-use mobile app and Bluetooth connectivity so curious students can take their hands-on learning on the go and ideas for over 20 projects that will get them designing, creating, and problem solving. Whether in the classroom or at home, the Curious Cars Kit is ideal for introducing invention-based skills to kids at an early age while they tap their imaginations to ignite purposeful playtime!
With SAM Lab’s Classroom Kit, on the other hand, teachers can catalyze a wealth of STEAM experiences right in the classroom. This techy toolbox comes complete with enough parts for groups of up to four students to work collaboratively on building a number of different designs. It also includes ideas for a number of curriculum-based STEAM projects, making this kit very teacher-friendly. While exploring, students will learn about programming logic, data capture, and even electronics. With over 40 SAM blocks in the kit, there’s always something new to be built! Whether it’s in the classroom or for homework assignments, the STEAM Kit and all other SAM Labs kits are great for shaping young innovators. Take advantage of the sale and get one of your own before the prices go back up on Tuesday!
There’s somewhat of a theme developing here. Our Black Friday sale is very circuit-heavy. We don’t mind, though. There’s nothing wrong with injecting some electricity into STEM education! To go along with littleBits and SAM Labs, another product line that’s part of our weekend sale is Snap Circuits. Particularly attractive to kids because of their ability to make learning seem like play and to parents because they make play seem like learning, Snap Circuits is a very family- and budget-friendly learning tool. And, like just about every other product in our store, they have a whole line of specialized kits that allow kids to hone in on mastering different STEM concepts. Like littleBits, they start out on the simple side with Snap Circuits Jr. and Snap Circuits Beginner before introducing the 300 Kit, 500 Kit, and 750 Kit. What do those numbers represent? The amount of projects students can complete!
As part of our Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales, we’re offering discounted prices on the Jr., Pro, and Extreme Kits. Snap Circuits Jr. is a very user-friendly, introductory model that truly allows kids to learn all about STEM by doing. There is no soldering and no tools required and students even get to utilize some pretty cool components, like glow-in-the-dark propellors, resistors, and motors as they build innovative circuits! The Pro Kit offers students up to 500 different circuitry projects that become more complex the further along they go. More importantly, it’s great for introducing them to new ways of looking at science and providing them with an endless amount of creative possibilities. Then, you have the Extreme Kit, which is made up of many more parts and allows students to complete 750 projects! Did we mention that these projects each have step-by-step guides? They’re included in each of the kits, which helps ensure that students are always building correctly!
In terms of tech specs, these EdTech tools are extremely simple for students to use. The components really do snap right into place, allowing kids to connect whatever they need in order to build the circuit represented in the diagram. Each block contains snaps that enable them to create different electrical and electronic circuits. Each block also has its own unique function or functions as well. Simple wires act as spacers and provide connections between different layers while the power source blocks supply the necessary power with the help of two AA batteries and can be used to electrify handmade circuits. For unique connections, the jumper wires clip to the metal snaps and result in increasingly inspiring circuitry! To take advantage of special pricing on these Snap Circuits kits, click here to buy before our Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales end on Monday night!
Tech Will Save Us
Like SAM Labs, Tech Will Save Us is another one of our partners from across the pond in the United Kingdom. They have created a number of consumable DIY kits for students that cover a number of different STEAM principles. They have, for example, a kit that allows students to construct their own synths, one with which they can build their own games, and even one that students can use to build a device they can code to light up when they move. For our weekend sale, however, the two Tech Will Save Us kits on the docket are the DIY Speaker Kit and the DIY Thirsty Plant Kit. Both of these are very hands-on and afford students with plenty of practical experience with learning about engineering, solar energy, and the principles of sound!
Let’s start first with the DIY Speaker Kit. It’s name pretty much tells you all you need to know. With the components inside, kids can build devices that can turn just about any object into a speaker. It helps students see what they can accomplish when they enlist just a little bit of creativity and they’ll even learn some soldering skills as they put their speakers together! The Thirsty Plant Kit, on the other hand, is a lesson in both gardening and in solar energy. It comes with all the components kids need to build their own smart watering sensor. What does this mean? Well, when the plant’s soil becomes too dry, the sensor sets off a sound to let them know that it’s time for some more water. They get the engineering practice with this kit as well and can learn a bit about sensors and environmentally friendly practices in the process!
So, there you have it. Those are some of the biggest names you can get during our weekend-long sale. But, those aren’t the only products and brands on the table. Want a complete list? Well, here you go. From Meccano, you can get the G15 Personal Robot, Meccanoid 2.0, Meccanoid 2.0 XL, and G15KS Personal Robot. From SAM Labs, you can grab both the Curious Cars Kit and the Classroom Pack. The Snap Circuits deals include the Jr. Kit, Pro Kit, and Extreme Kit. Want some conductive paint? Bare Conductive’s 10 ml pen, 30 ml jar, Touch Board Starter Kit, Touch Board Pro Kit, and Pi cap are available. Finally, the MaKey MaKey Classic is available along with the two Tech Will Save Us kits, the Smart Letters, Smart Numbers, and Smart Letters & Numbers kits from Marbotic, and the Shivering Penguin and Fabtronic Sewing kits from Teknikio! All in all, that’s 23 different STEAM tools you can save on this weekend! To start shopping, click here! Remember, the sale has already begun and won’t end until 11:59 pm ET on Monday night!
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