If you've been following along and following our social media, you certainly know how busy we've been in October. That trend continued last week as we headed to upstate New York and spent some time with our good friends from the Syracuse area, attending two separate events on Wednesday and Thursday. More locally, we also exhibited at our third consecutive MassCUE Fall Conference, the crown jewel of New England EdTech events and teacher PD!
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If there is one goal of contemporary education it’s to prepare students for the real world. They will be entering a world that’s hands-on, in need of problem solvers, and rewarding to those who can develop creative solutions. It’s not as kind to those who only possess book smarts. It’s a challenge, but teachers, starting as early as middle school, need to facilitate learning that mirrors the real world. Whether it’s a renewed commitment to STEM, tech, or, most importantly, project-based learning, students need the practice.
Drones are excellent tools for creating new angles for STEM learning. But, what about when students can 3D print the parts to build it themselves? Well, then it becomes an entirely new animal. The various drone education kits from OnPoynt are designed to foster class-wide collaboration and get your students innovating, 3D printing, and flying both in and outside the classroom safely and effectively.
Have you ever dreamed of having a robot as a friend? Well, the Meccano M.A.X can be your personal smartbot! M.A.X is not only programmed to respond to certain commands, but it can also learn from kids and build knowledge about their interactions with its incredible artificial intelligence technology. The best part is that students even get exposure to engineering as they build M.A.X from scratch and then teach it new behaviors, skills, and tricks using voice commands, buttons on its ‘MeccaBrain,’ or using its free app.
Here's the thing. It can get expensive when teachers are trying to obtain STEM tools for students to use in the classroom. We get that, which is why we offer an Educator Discount because we believe firmly that cost should never stand in the way of a child getting the education he or she needs. That being said, there are plenty of other ways to reduce the cost burdens that often come with tech purchasing and one of them is probably something you are already familiar with.
The way we look at it is that we can’t help increase innovation with technology if we don’t build partnerships with a variety of organizations. The obvious approach would be to go out and sell ourselves to as many schools as possible. We’ve realized, however, that there are many, many more ways to help children build the skills they need. So, we’ve cultivated partnerships in a number of different spaces in an effort to allow kids access to skill-building tools whether they’re in the classroom or not.
Bare Conductive is a company that's been on our radar for quite a while now. In fact, they were one of the few STEAM products we had in our now-enormous online store when we first launched our website back in 2014. Like us, they continue to innovate and release new and exciting tools for enhancing experiential learning with technology. You've probably already seen their conductive paint, conductive paint pen, and glowing house set. Well, now they have some new additions and we're ready to share them with everyone!
Ready for an adventure though the human bloodstream? Through the White House? To space? Virtual reality makes these thrilling adventures possible. In our office, we have both the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive and today, I experimented with the Oculus. I was very excited because I had only ever used VR while sitting down before -- certainly never standing and with touch controllers. I asked Khat, our Graphic Designer (and in-house VR expert), to give me a tutorial of the Oculus.
If you’re thinking about going 1:1 in your school or district, there are a lot of things to consider. The first among them is the goals you hope to achieve with this initiative and then you’ll probably get into considering which computers to use. A 1:1 program offers students a nice advantage when it comes to accessing information, but there are other things for school leaders to consider, such as cost. If you’re still determined to make it work, here are some of the best models for achieving a successful 1:1 rollout.
We're used to spreading the importance of tech in learning around New England and even around the United States. Our latest trip, however, took us all the way to Moscow, home of EdCrunch 2017! With part of our founding team hailing from Russia, we jumped at the opportunity to present at the two-day conference and introduce some new technologies to our friends across the ocean. After that, some of our other team members made the somewhat shorter trip to the Bronx, NY to host 'The State of EdTech in 2017' in collaboration with Manhattan College. We're happy to report that both trips went great!