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.
Virtual learning environments are particularly tricky for engineering, design, and art teachers. Unless you can send packets of activity-specific supplies home with your students, you have to be flexible and work around the resources available in each student’s home, which can vary greatly. You can’t always rely on students having paints, construction paper, or popsicle sticks readily accessible. Even what were once household staples like paper-towel rolls may not be available in some eco-friendly households that only use reusable cloths. So how can educators provide a complete STEM course with these variables in mind?
Integrating new technology can be very intimidating. It is important to approach educational technology in a way that looks and feels successful. Robo3D and MyStemKits help educators feel that technology can be integrated effectively by providing an end-to-end solution for STEM learning. By pairing 3D printing technology and research-based pedagogical techniques, educators can use this Boxlight STEM solution to enhance 21st century learning.
The first Earth satellite, Sputnik 1. Neil Armstrong and landing on the moon. The International Space Station. Pictures of ice from the Mars rovers. These are the different things that come to my mind when thinking of space exploration and education. These are topics that have probably been discussed, researched, and studied in classrooms everywhere. But how often is space exploration a part of student learning?
Cartography is the science of collecting and interpreting geographic data and using it to create maps. This assists us with regional planning, emergency response coordination, traveling, land surveying, and both sea and space exploration. The individuals who possess the knowledge and talent to produce the maps we need are called Cartographers or Photogrammetrists.
The coronavirus pandemic doesn’t appear to be going anywhere anytime soon. Schools and educational institutions are preparing environments so that students can learn at home, should the need comes. This includes equipping them with the necessary technology to make the “virtual classroom” a reality. More often that not, STEM learning is not a focus in these virtual classrooms although it needs to be.