What should educators teach? Computational thinking

The way we approach problems in the workplace has changed drastically because of technology.  Therefore, it is imperative that we set students up for future success by teaching relevant skills and modernizing the curriculum. 

As we work to realign K-12 education to better meet the needs of today’s Information Age society, I implore my fellow educators to embrace teaching research-backed skills like computational thinking across curriculum. By doing so, we will benefit our students and our world.

Why computational thinking?

Today’s employers are seeking problem solvers. Computational thinking is an appropriate way to teach students quantitative and qualitative thinking. Computational thinking practices equip students with problem-solving skills, such as analyzing data, in order to make inferences and break problems down into manageable pieces. This transdisciplinary mode of instruction ensures learners can pair critical thinking with creativity to think through challenges and identify potential solutions.

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Stanley Black & Decker and Discovery Education Announce 2021 Making for Good Challenge Winners

Silver Spring, Md. (Thursday, April 29, 2021) – Today, three students across the United States are recognized for innovative solutions to societal and environmental issues as winners of the Stanley Black & Decker and Discovery Education 2021 Making for Good Challenge. Working individually or in teams of 2-4, high school students nationwide created 60-90 second videos outlining innovative solutions to societal or environmental problems.

The annual challenge builds upon a Stanley Black & Decker and Discovery Education educational program – Innovation Generation – igniting, engaging, and empowering students to become innovators through no-cost dynamic digital resources. Through real-world explorations of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math (STEAM), Innovation Generation cultivates students’ collaboration, problem solving, and creative thinking.

The winning 2021 Making for Good Challenge teams and prizing are as follows:…Read More

SplashLearn Announces ‘SpringBoard Math Challenge 2021’

The popular game-based learning program SplashLearn, announced the 7th edition of its massively popular SpringBoard Math Challenge today. The math competition is a calendar marked event and is highly anticipated by teachers across the US and Canada. SpringBoard Math Challenge 2021, open to all classes from grade 1 to grade 5, will run from March 1 – May 9, 2021.

“SpringBoard is unique because it brings students together in an environment that enables competition as well as collaboration. This year, it assumes a new meaning as different classes compete with each other but are also coming together, learning together while also having fun – something they haven’t been able to do this year,” said Joy Deep Nath, Co-founder, SplashLearn.

After creating an account on SplashLearn, teachers can enroll their classes for SpringBoard 2021. Once enrolled, all the math problems the students solve will earn them points, which will count towards the total class score. The best performing classes with the highest points win weekly prizes at both the state and national level. The grand winners will be announced at the end of SpringBoard. Prizes worth more than $20,000 are up for grabs this year.…Read More

Leading in this time of crisis

Henry (Hank) Thiele, Superintendent for Community High School District 99 in Thorndale (IL) can’t stop looking forward.

Despite the current, daily chaos of re-opening and lockdowns, hybrid and remote learning, and other disruptive undercurrents affecting schools, he believes that being prepared for what’s next is as important as dealing with the problems of right now.

In this conversation with eSchool News, Hank offers his insights for education professionals that will have to deal with fractured communities in the future even after they are “back to normal.”…Read More

4 tips for blended learning success

This school year (and likely the early part of 2021) continues to look different for each and every school, and even if those schools are in the same district. Despite these differences, we all shared three major challenges: the need to teach both face-to-face and online (sometimes concurrently); collaborate and connect while social distancing; and remain fluid, flexible, and agile in an evolving learning environment.

For many, the solution to all three of these problems is blended learning, where students learn both through electronic/online media and traditional face-to-face teaching. An educational style that was gaining ground long before the pandemic entered the picture, blended learning is playing a prominent role in the K-12 environment right now.

For example, smaller districts may not be able to offer full virtual programs with full-time teachers. And even if students are back in class 100 percent of the time, there may still be students who have to quarantine at home. Responsible for keeping the learning going for these youngsters, schools have to be ready to teach both online and face-to-face.…Read More

Super Duper’s Jeepers Peepers Game Wins 2020 NAPPA Award

Super Duper Publications’ Jeepers Peepers The “Ask and Answer” Question Game has earned a 2020 National Parenting Product Award (NAPPA). This popular family favorite won in the Best Board & Card Games category.

“Jeepers Peepers is a great interactive game because it’s so much fun to play, and at the same time helps young children develop important skills such as asking questions, describing, categorizing, and problems solving,” said Thomas Webber, chairman of Super Duper Publications. “We are honored that NAPPA recognized it as one of the best card games for families.”

The National Parenting Product Awards has celebrated the best in family products for more than 30 years and is one of the longest-running family product awards programs in the country.…Read More

Solving at-the-Desk Classroom Charging Problems with a New, Multi-Use Solution

JAR Systems launches a new Active Charge upgrade for their Adapt4 USB-C Charging Station. Designed as a cost-effective solution for charging classroom devices while they are in use, it is a first-of-its-kind bundle. Active Charge saves districts time by including all essential items such as four power banks to actively charge devices while in use, adapters to connect older devices, and a USB-C charging station for both the power banks and mobile devices.

“We saw so many districts struggling with the same dilemma, but the solutions were all temporary and costly. We knew we had to offer something that would not only solve their need for active charging now but also provide long-term value,” said Axel Zimmermann, the company’s CEO regarding the development of the product.

Active Charge helps districts to overcome the monetary and physical barriers that they have faced in combatting low battery life, allowing the focus to stay on learning. It costs less than other battery-powered options and is more practical than running cables and power strips to desks. It enables districts to get more mileage from their current devices and they can also continue to use the Adapt4 USB-C Charging Station even after they refresh their devices.…Read More

BIOZONE Launches Comprehensive Environmental Science Program

BIOZONE has just published an exciting new AP Environmental Science title (in print and eBook) dedicated to addressing the College Board’s new APES Course & Exam Description (2019).
Using engaging, current, and relevant case studies, this includes activities on:

  • COVID-19 pandemic (snapshot up until July 2020)
  • Increased incidence and severity of wildfires (California, Australia, Brazil, Siberia)
  • Global climate change – latest scientific data (up to 2019 in some cases)
  • Finding and applying solutions to environmental problems

Take a quick look now – you can access an immediate FULL PREVIEW (see every page) by going to the product page and clicking on the Full Preview button at: www.thebiozone.com/apes
“I’d be delighted to receive any feedback about your impression of this resource,” Richard Allan Biozone’s President commented. “Our writing team have put their heart and soul into making it as engaging and as cutting edge as we can get it. We intend to publish a new edition every 2 years to keep it that way. So much is going on in this subject right now and we are super excited to share our passion to inspire better outcomes for our planet through science education!”
BIOZONE’s resources are available in both print and digital formats:

  • Digital version: allows teachers to assign and mark lessons remotely. A low-cost eBook Lite option is now available for budget-constrained districts.
  • Print version: Learning-from-home solutions can also include our print titles. Limited broadband access may be an obstacle for many students. Print titles, used alongside learning
    management tools and teacher coaching can provide effective “learning-from-home” solutions.

About Biozone
BIOZONE International is a world leader in delivering cutting-edge high-quality student instructional materials and teacher resources for high school sciences (grades 9-12). With a 30-year presence in the United States, New Zealand, Australia, and the United Kingdom, along with a global footprint of dedicated educators, we possess an absolute passion for next generation science.…Read More

Free classes and practice problems in over 200 subjects

Many K-12 schools have closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. More closings are sure to come. In response, Varsity Tutors, founded by Washington University in St. Louis alum Chuck Cohn, has launched a new service called Virtual School Day.

Virtual School Day: Nearly 200 free, live K-12 classes available all day long intended to help parents fill their children’s day with enriched learning. Some popular classes are “Intro to Spanish for Kids”, “Coolest Women in History”, “Java Programming Basics”, and “The Story of Your Favorite Fairy Tales”.

Virtual Summer Camps: Free half-day summer camps are a week-long, with enrichment-based classes in subjects like foreign languages, chess, theater, coding, Minecraft, how to be a detective, photography, and more. These live, interactive camps will be taught by expert instructors vetted through Varsity Tutors’ platform.…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