We are living in an age of Gen Zers who, as digital natives, are in tune with technological advances in communication such as social media, gaming, and conducting research almost exclusively using the internet. Their avenues for engagement are changing and teachers who are increasing STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) instruction in their classrooms are exploring ways to incorporate more hands-on, immersive learning experiences that combine innovative technology with real-world connections. The motivation for doing so is to see their students’ active participation in experiments and projects, as well as strengthening the four Cs of 21st-century skills: Critical Thinking, Collaboration, Communication, and Creativity.
It’s the middle of both Walk to School Week and National Walking Month so clearly walking is essential to maintain physical health as well as to improve focus and concentration once students make it to school. It’s a great time to incorporate simple STEM activities to engage your students in learning and walking.
March 18th is Global Recycling Day and this year’s theme is ‘Recycling Heroes’ to recognise those who demonstrate the critical role that recycling plays. This includes what these recycling heroes do to help keep the environment clean and balanced. By recycling, we help decrease the need for collecting and processing non-renewable resources like coal and oil, and raw materials like trees. All these activities contribute to the pollution of our air and water, as well as increase greenhouse gas emissions thus affecting the climate. Recycling saves energy and reduces the hazardous effects of greenhouse gases such as the continued rise of global temperatures, melting ice caps, and the increased danger of wildfires. Really, we all could be recycling heroes by the actions we take. Here are activities to try with your class, even in a hybrid learning environment:
Shelley Emslie, a 5th grade teacher in Bigfork, Montana (U.S.), was looking for a way to encourage her students to try different technologies as they headed into a life beyond the classroom. Working in a small rural town, she was determined to provide her students with the tools to guide them to a bright future.
Christine Tarver, a former 5th grade teacher in Florida (U.S.), was determined that her students advance their abilities and skills using education technology. She wanted her students to experience hands-on learning combined with emerging technologies, understanding that by doing so they were more likely to develop the critical skills necessary for the 21st century.
The sounds of birds chirping and singing in the mornings can help to create feelings of positive expectation for the day to come. The melodies of these little creatures bring a sense of peace and solitude, helping one to appreciate the nature surrounding us. With that visualisation in mind, annual Birdwatch events help students act as conservation researchers by tracking the types of birds they observe in different environments. Included is the Big Garden Birdwatch that runs from January 29 to 31 (sign up here), wherein participants will spend an hour counting birds observed in their gardens or balconies and document data. Data collected is vital for helping plan solutions for preserving the different bird populations (for Birdwatch 2020 results, click here).
Topics: STEM learning
Thanks to technology, there are so many wonderful and engaging ways to teach computer science concepts. From sensors and online coding to robots and 3D printers, educators have more tools than ever to help. Sometimes, though, all these tools can be a bit overwhelming. While many educators utilise technology tools independently, they are best used when integrated together. Just like STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) is not four completely independent subjects without overlap, the use of robotics, 3D printers, and sensors shouldn’t be used in isolation either. So, here are a few tips and tricks to make sure you’re making the most of your technology tools.
I don’t know about you, but my activity levels have definitely decreased this past year. I find that I’m spending more time in front of my PC for work and recreation (video chatting with family and friends, going on virtual tours, streaming channels for shows and movies, etc.). With many children in remote or hybrid learning situations, their activity levels are also decreasing as it has become easier to move from one place to sit to another place to sit (i.e. chair to sofa). Besides allowing for more physical activity during breaks (run outside for 15 minutes, 5-minute stretches every hour, 60-minute lunch and recreation break sans devices), learning should also incorporate more movement. In addition, with the push for more hands-on STEM integration, students having to school at home need a viable option for STEM learning besides online games and interactive worksheets.