CodeCombat adds game, web development to coding platform

CodeCombat, which offers an engaging platform for helping kids learn computer science (CS), has significantly enhanced its platform in time for back to school.

CodeCombat has added major new capabilities including Game Development and Web Development, and quadrupled the number of levels available to users of its original Learn to Code module, giving students plenty of runway to keep enhancing their coding skills.

CodeCombat’s classroom product, which launched just four months ago, is now in use by 45,000 students in grades 4-12 across 1,600 schools in all 50 states – making it one of the fastest-growing companies in the ed tech space.…Read More

Kids Discover Online unveils custom assessments feature

Kids Discover, a provider of engaging science and social studies curriculum, announced that its interactive digital library, Kids Discover Online, now includes custom assessment capabilities. Kids Discover Online enables educators to mix and match material from science and social studies to facilitate students’ exploration of big ideas through cross-curricular learning. The newly added Assessments tool gives educators full control to create, distribute, and assess custom quizzes, tests, and homework assignments directly within the platform.

The Assessments feature includes more than 5,000 pre-built questions covering more than 1,200 science and social studies topics. Question types vary to include discussion prompts, short answer, multiple choice, and true/false. Educators can save content to their Classroom and have questions specifically corresponding to a given article automatically populate the question bank.

“It is so important that our users know we listen to their feedback and requests. They are our best source of information on how to continue making our solution the absolute best for them and their students,” said Ted Levine, the president and CEO of Kids Discover. “With pre-built questions, customization features, automated grading, and Gradebook tracking, teachers will now be able to use our science and social studies content to accurately assess their students’ knowledge and understanding within those subjects.”…Read More

Washington district partners with Discovery on college, career readiness

Washington’s Highline Public Schools announced the launch of a new partnership supporting college and career readiness with Discovery Education, provider of digital content and professional development for K-12 classrooms.

Through this collaboration, all K-12 classrooms districtwide will have access to engaging digital content through Discovery Education Streaming Plus, an award-winning, comprehensive digital service supplementing instruction across all K-12 curricular areas.

In addition, 35 teacher leaders and their principals, representing five elementary schools, two middle schools and one high school, will participate in Discovery Education’s Digital Leader Corps. A comprehensive professional development system, Digital Leader Corps develops teacher-leaders to propel the district’s transition to modern digital learning environments.…Read More

Stanford course prepares educators for the new school year

The ability to communicate effectively is increasingly recognized as an important skill for students entering the workforce. Two new initiatives that guide educators – the College and Career Readiness Standards and the Framework for 21st Century Learning – identify communication and collaboration as key elements of student learning. The standards particularly describe the importance of students understanding the reasoning of others and engaging in meaningful conversations using critical thinking.

Stanford University’s Graduate School of Education has launched a short online course designed specifically to help educators create rich and meaningful opportunities for communication within the classroom. The course, Effective Conversation in the Classroom, launches this August with three online sessions. K-12 classroom instructors, instructional coaches, and educational administrators are invited to enroll.

Each session includes expert video screencasts, classroom video clips, readings and resources, and assignments that will help participants create a strong foundation of communication within the classroom. The course has been developed by Understanding Language/SCALE, a Stanford research and practice center focused on K-12 language and performance assessment. The teaching team consists of Stanford Professor Emeritus Kenji Hakuta, Senior Researcher Dr. Jeff Zwiers and Lecturer Dr. Sara Rutherford-Quach.…Read More

Vernier app offers hands-on learning about thermal energy

Accompanying physics, chemistry and biology investigations have students analyze images and videos captured with the FLIR ONE Thermal Camera

Vernier Software & Technology developed a new free app to allow students to study thermal energy concepts by analyzing images and video captured with the FLIR ONE Thermal Camera for iOS.

Using the Thermal Analysis for FLIR ONE app, which is available for download in the App Store, as well as new investigations created by Vernier, students can measure temperature changes on the skin, illustrate convection, track heating due to friction, compare heat conduction in different materials, analyze the transparency of materials in infrared versus visible light, and more.

“The new app provides students with an engaging way to study and to visualize thermal energy,” said John Wheeler, CEO of Vernier Software & Technology. “Ideal for BYOD and mobile learning environments, the app matched with our innovative investigations lets students easily collect and analyze thermal data, make scientific connections, and participate in hands-on learning.”…Read More

App of the Week: One-stop shop for research and writing

Ed. note: App of the Week picks are now being curated with help from the editors of Graphite.org, a free service from Common Sense Education. Click here to read the full app review.

Citelighter Education

What’s It Like? Citelighter is an engaging online platform designed to support students and teachers as they tackle the intricacies of the writing process. Students simply sign up and download the Citelighter toolbar or work on the Citelighter website. Students can work on Citelighter’s platform to research topics and construct their own written work or use the Citelighter toolbar to search and cite from the open Web. On the platform, students follow a series of scaffolded steps predetermined by their teacher; they’ll explore leveled articles and various multimedia content (videos and images) before they begin writing a paper. As students find useful excerpts, capturing and organizing is as simple as highlighting, clicking, and dragging. Citations are automatically saved and referenced in a bibliography.

Price: Free/subscription

Grades: 3-12…Read More

Panasonic showcases new laser projectors, digital displays

Variety of laser projectors and multi-touch displays recently showcased

Panasonic has launched a wide range of visual systems technologies. The booth showcases the latest professional visual systems and professional video technologies through engaging demonstrations, including a new flagship 4K+ SOLID SHINE Laser 3-Chip DLP projector, high-impact projection mapping solutions, an ultra-narrow video-wall display featuring virtually invisible bezels, along with other new professional display and  professional video products.

Product highlights at InfoComm 2016 include:

Projectors

PT-RQ32KU 3-Chip DLP SOLID SHINE 4K+ Laser Projector…Read More

LEGO’s WeDo 2.0 teaches science, coding

New wireless, tablet-ready robot-based learning system for elementary science curriculum teaches science and coding in a hands-on way

At the International Consumer Electronics Show, LEGO Education launched LEGO Education WeDo 2.0, a hands-on science solution designed for elementary classrooms using a robot-based learning system.

The solution combines the LEGO brick, classroom-friendly software and engaging, standards-based projects to teach elementary students essential science practices and skills.

With WeDo 2.0, students explore, create and share their scientific discoveries as they build, program and modify projects. Through a series of collaborative challenges, they deeply engage with science, engineering, technology, and coding, sparking a love for experimentation and investigation.…Read More

How paper-free days can spark a tech transformation

Cutting out paper and pencils one day a week gets everyone thinking more creatively

Sometimes one simple question is all it takes to trigger revolution in a school. In the case of Kelly Mill Elementary outside of Atlanta, the question was: How can we more effectively engage our learners? It’s loaded, I know. The idea migrated from my head into staff meetings, and a variation on that question eventually ended up posted next to every copy machine in our school to prompt teachers to find new ways of teaching—without paper and pencils.

The term “paper-free days” may sound like a tactic to cut spending, but that wasn’t the main goal. I wanted to challenge my teachers to think differently about educating and engaging students. Are doing worksheets and reading textbooks really teaching our students what they need to know? Probably not.

What if we were to get young learners moving, get their hands dirty through project-based learning, incorporate more technology, and actually engage them in material? Would it make a difference? From there, paper-free days  were born, and traditional teachers quickly embraced the true meaning of being paper-free.…Read More

Full Sail launches new camps for coding, robotics, gaming, and more

Full Sail Labs, an educational experience designed for students from 1st to 12th grades with a focus on technology, science, art and media

full-sail-labsFull Sail University on Dec. 11 unveiled Full Sail Labs, a series of week-long summer camp for students from 1st to 12th grades. Students can take one of 11 camp sessions focusing on topics such as gaming, robotics, or animation at its campus near Orlando.

Developed by Full Sail University with the goal of creating an engaging and open learning environment that allows children and teens to explore creativity through storytelling, art, and technology, Full Sail Labs provides young creative talent with the knowledge to become digital content creators.

Through this experience, young students have the opportunity to explore the techniques used for filmmaking, coding, animation, gaming, robotics, and much more in a fun and collaborative environment.…Read More