On to MassCUE

by Beth Knittle on October 10, 2016

It has been one heck of a roller coaster start to the school year. Lots of new tech to deploy, PD to develop not to mention new state standards to integrate and the likely hood of licensing changes.  It is a lot to take in.

But October is here and things tend to get into a rhythm and it is time to connect with others and indulge in some personal learning.  I look forward to attending MassCUE our stated premier conference in technology and learning.  I always learn something an connecting with others not only inspires but put things in perspective.  If you are in the area I highly recommend attending the conference, it is well worth the effort.

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Pokemon Go or Gone?

by Beth Knittle on July 31, 2016

As many of you know Pokemon Go was all the rage the last few weeks.  I don’t normally play games but thought I would give it a try and was enjoying playing with my young adult children.  It got us out of the house and doing something together, it was more a side note to our family outings. Steve Dembo has a good post summing up initial thoughts on Pokemon go.  It was fun. Today as a result of the update many users are all back to zero.  Twitter and  Facebook are full of people complaining about the reset and loss of items and money.

It will be interesting to see how Niantic responds to this. So far no word on the issue, if they made $35 million the first two weeks, and about $1.6 million a day from iPhone users how will they handle all the money and items people lost if the issue is not resolved? Do they refund people? Do they just figure people will start again?

As noted in the article about Pokemon revenue the game was beginning to lose players. How many more will it now loose as a result of this issue, even if it was not intended and the issue resolved?  As a watcher and teacher of technology what lessons might the consumer learn or other game companies from this “glitch.”  It will be interesting to see what happens over the next few days.

UPDATE:  Pokemongo support has posted a fix for some users, though not sure how this helps those who only have one gmail account and still have issues.

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Adding Computer Science into the Curriculum

by Beth Knittle on July 26, 2016

This June the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education formally adopted new Digital Literacy and Computer Science Curriculum Frameworks.  A good portion of the digital literacy frameworks overlap with the literacy standards regarding research, analysis of information, collaboration and presentations.  These standards place added emphasis on these skills and the tech tools needed to meet them. What is significantly different is the much needed addition of computer science; computing and society, digital tools and collaboration, computing systems and, computational thinking. These have not been a part of the general k-12 curriculum in the past and it will take some creative planning to work these standards into an already full learning day.  The goal is that these frameworks should be integrated in the core subjects and not stand alone classes, though at the high school level subject specific classes should also be added as learning options.

I have had fun exploring a variety of tools and websites geared toward K-5 students.  We already use the code.org curriculum courses 1-3 but have been seeking out short, quick side trips into the world of computer science to provide to teachers who are not computer science aficionados.  Here are a few of the resources I have been exploring.

  • Made with Code, a Google Project, is directed at young girls to expose them to the world of coding.
  • Google also has free resources for teachers and clubs at CS-First.
  • Code.org has many options at Code Studio.
  • Computer Science Unplugged has a large number of activities for computational thinking that do not require the use of a computer.
  • Mozilla has mini project to learn HTML at Thimble.
  • Scratch has a wide variety of options for learning basic coding principles.

Other resources? Please add them to the comments below.

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Learning, Schools and a Great Big World

July 13, 2016

For those of you who have been regular readers you know I struggle with traditional schooling and how it confines and limits learning. I have raised two children who were interested in computers, gaming, digital art, ancient languages, ancient arts and mythologies, topics not part of most school curriculum.  A good deal of their learning […]

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School is Out, Time to Play

June 21, 2016

School is out for the summer and now it is time to play. For me it is time to finally give this blog an overhaul.  I will be switching themes to Divi and creating from the ground up.  Change is never smooth for me so the site might go back and forth in styles and […]

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Summer Break?

May 31, 2016

When I was a classroom teacher I looked forward to summer break.  I was able to close out one school year, leave myself a ton of reminders for the start of the next and was ready to turn my mind and body to other pursuits. I could come back fresh, excited and eager to dive […]

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Data and Innovation

April 14, 2016

Repeatedly we hear the call to base everything on data driven research, not a bad idea in itself but when you live in the world of technology and innovation then it possess quite a stumbling block. How can you collect data on the future? It takes years to develop a good research plan, carry it out […]

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