How esports can boost teamwork skills

Teamwork and communication are the top skills employers are looking for, a new survey of hiring managers reveals. That bodes well for the students at a Los Angeles secondary school who are taking part in an innovative program that uses esports to teach critical 21st century skills: Teamwork and communication are also the skills these young gamers have seen the most improvement in so far.

Working with a company called wethink, Horace Mann UCLA Community School launched an afterschool program in January that has students in grades 6-12 practice and reflect on 21st century skills such as problem solving, teamwork, communication, leadership, and character as they compete against each other in the popular online video game League of Legends.

Esports is a perfect vehicle for learning these essential workforce skills, wethink says. Many of the attributes that students will need in the workplace correlate with success in gaming. For instance, to achieve success, players have to learn how to work together to accomplish a common goal.…Read More

A ‘Brilliant’ way to learn STEM

Every now and then, a new resource comes along that’s worth a second–or third, or fourth–look.

You might feel that way about Brilliant–a site that helps users learn not through lecture videos, but through hands-on, interactive learning.

Brilliant works by helping learners of all ages master content instead of simply memorizing. It also provides instant feedback so that learners can improve their knowledge through problem solving. Struggle is part of Brilliant’s instructional strategy, because the path to learning STEM isn’t necessarily 100 percent easy.…Read More

How the 4 Cs prepare students for the real world

As our world continues to become more connected through technology, today’s students have boundless access to a wealth of information. But, to effectively leverage these resources, students need to be able to make meaning of them.

According to educator Thomas Hoerr, the very notion of intelligence has changed. We no longer rely on the limits of our single mind to access the information resources we need to solve problems. Problem solving has always involved teamwork and cooperation. Today, however, open source programs, wikis, blogs, and other Web 2.0 technologies enable total strangers divided by space and time to collaborate.

Successful problem solving in the 21st century requires us to work effectively and creatively with computers, with vast amounts of information, with ambiguous situations, and with other people from a variety of backgrounds.…Read More

Young Empowered Startuppers’ Online Entrepreneurial Learning & Activity Platform provides competitive advantage for today’s teachers, students and schools.

The latest of the awards was an Award of Excellence in Applied Innovation, with a perfect score of 12/12 from the Institute for Performing and Learning, the judges commented that “it is no doubt this project will be an example to follow in improving the work the Institute for Performance and Learning seeks to explore in the future.” Using a fully integrated online learning and project platform, YES takes students and teachers seamlessly through their entrepreneurial journey from problem solving ideas to viable, pitch-ready ventures. The program meets Canada wide Entrepreneurship Curriculum Requirements and can be delivered flexibly depending on the needs of the students, teachers, and school.  

The platform can be a 100% online plug and play course or be used in a hybrid or flipped classroom model.  The ability to seamlessly move between varying models has made teachers’ work that much easier during the current ever-changing times. “The program leverages the LMS system by offering an experience-based platform where learners receive support and engagement by mentors and administrative staff, as directed by the learner. It also offers an intuitive interface that promotes use of just in time data,” commented the judges from the Institute of Performance and Learning.  

Shauna Stanyer, an entrepreneurship teacher from Holy Cross Regional High School in Vancouver, Canada recently remarked “I really appreciate the content brought throughout the training modules and how it is delivered through the platform. It makes planning an exciting and innovative course easy, while allowing me to focus on the project-based learning with my students.”  The content and curriculum developed for the course are engaging and exciting for students, and teacher feedback on this new tool has been overwhelmingly positive.…Read More

6 ways to embrace the messiness of math education

Math is not easy to teach or learn. So, teachers use a variety of strategies to boost their students’ numeracy skills as they progress through math education.

But some of those approaches could be unproductive, contended Dr. Juli Dixon, Professor of Mathematics Education at the University of Central Florida, in a recent edWebinar sponsored by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Mathematics. She described standard practices that can derail rather than support mathematical reasoning, and offered alternative methods that would benefit students far more.

Embracing the messiness of math education…Read More

Learning through gaming

When students are so deeply engaged in a task that they can’t wait to dive in — and at the same time, they’re learning fundamental skills that are critical for their success — it’s a magical combination.

That’s what a lucky group of 20 students at Horace Mann UCLA Community School are about to experience as they take part in an innovative afterschool program. The students will practice and reflect on 21st century skills such as problem solving, communication, and teamwork as they compete against each other in the popular online video game League of Legends.

A partnership between UCLA and the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), Mann is a public school serving students in grades 6-12. As director of the UCLA Community Schools Initiative, Dr. Christine Shen serves as a liaison between the school and the university. Her typical day consists of interacting with others and solving problems, and so she knows firsthand the value of these skills.…Read More

Complete web-based math curriculum

Art of Problem Solving (AoPS) is offering one free month or a $15 discount on a yearly subscription to Beast Academy Online, the complete web-based math curriculum designed to help students ages 8-13 deepen their understanding of math. The program features engaging, comic-book style illustrations that keep kids coming back for more, even as they grapple with some of the most rigorous math problems available.

Some of Beast Academy Online’s highlighted features include:

●     More than 800 lessons and over 15,000 problems including puzzles, games, word problems and skill drills. Students get immediate feedback when they complete problems and full solutions are provided for every problem.…Read More

Bridging the gap between science and coding

Students exposed to coding and programming at an early age are well equipped to take on higher-level computer science courses in high school—and they also build essential skills for future opportunities in the technology world.

When Rob van Nood was hired as the educational technology specialist for Catlin Gabel School in Oregon, coding and computer science courses were only offered in grades 9-12, and not to students in the younger grades.

Related content: 5 examples of coding and robotics in the classroom…Read More

The coolest K-12 robotics programs we saw at ISTE

Efforts to get kids coding have exploded in recent years, but sometimes kids need a push to discover the “why” behind learning how to code. At ISTE 2019, that push to learn coding was clear as new K-12 robotics solutions emerged.

Aside from the cool factor K-12 robotics offers, students who learn to program through robotics learn a number of skills they’ll take with them well into adulthood, including creativity, problem solving, and the ability to fail without quitting.

We’ve rounded up some of the best K-12 robotics solutions and programs we saw during the conference. Share your favorite K-12 robotics programs with us on Twitter @eschoolnews.…Read More

11 educators share how they bring coding into the classroom

By now, most educators understand the importance of coding. Programmers continue to be in high demand, and coding improves much-needed skills like creativity, persistence, problem solving, and critical thinking.

But just because you know you should teach something, doesn’t mean you can. Perhaps you can’t figure out how to fit it into your already crowded curriculum, or maybe you’re intimidated to try. eSchool News is here to help.

We asked 11 Sphero Heroes—teachers from all over the U.S. who are using Sphero robots to transform teaching and learning in their classrooms and beyond—to share their expertise about bringing coding into the classroom.…Read More