Category: Critical thinking

How to defeat fake news–one teacher’s ideas

Differentiating between reliable websites, books, information has always been a topic in classrooms. Kids tend to think if a site is at the top of the Google hit list, it is the most reliable. It requires teaching to explain why that isn’t true. What has increased in the last decade is the prevalence of ‘fake new’, what used to be called ‘yellow journalism’, where news is presented ina way that garners views and clicks rather than disseminates the truth.

Education Week tackles this issue as a teacher describes efforts to defeat fake news online. Here the article:

TikTok Is Feeding My Students Fake News About Ukraine. How Can Truth Win?

The roots of misinformation about Russia’s invasion stretch back further than social media

 

Students prefer images instead of written analysis of world events, which Chris Doyle, a teacher at a Connecticut school, describes as “TikTok over The New York Times.” Yet, Doyle writes in this blog post that imagery can be deceptive, fabricated and even outright propaganda, as Doyle works to debunk them, leading to concerns about the information students are consuming.

Read more…

Ask a Tech Teacher has quite a few articles and resources on this topic. Here are a few:

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Coding Websites/Webtools by Grade

 

Over the next week, I’ll share ideas that will get you ready for your Hour of Code. This includes (links won’t work until the articles are posted):

  1. Hour of Code? Here’s why you should participate
  2. Long list of websites by grade
  3. 15 Unusual Projects
  4. The Easiest No-coding Way to Build an Education App

This is a long list of online activities related to coding and programming. It is updated once a year so I apologize in advance for any dead links. At any time during the year, click to take you to the master list.

Program on computers, iPads, laptops–whatever works, whatever age. I’ll start this list with web-based options, by grade level and then continue with a mash-up:

Kindergarten

1st grade

2nd grade

3rd grade

4th grade

5th grade

MS

HS

Build an App

  1. Apps Geyser
  2. App Inventor–build Android apps on a smartphones; from MIT
  3. Game Salad
  4. Glide–create an app from a spreadsheet
  5. Jotform App Builder
  6. Metaverse–create apps using Metaverse’s AR platform
  7. Thunkable

Coding Curriculum

  1. C-STEM Studio–download to teach computers, science, technology, engineering and math with robotics
  2. Code Academy
  3. Coursera
  4. Everyone Can Code–from Apple
  5. Free Code Camp
  6. Google Computer Science for High School–free workshops (with application) for K-12 teachers
  7. Learn to Code (for free)
  8. PluralSight
  9. Ted-ED Think Like A Coder–a 10-episode cartoon-based series to teach kids about coding in a game format
  10. Tree House

Hour of Code

Miscellaneous

  1. Animatron–design and publish animated and interactive content that plays everywhere, from desktop computers to mobile devices.
  2. Basics of Coding–from AT&T
  3. BeeBop–based on the Beebop floor robot–free
  4. BotLogic–great for Kindergarten and youngers
  5. BrainPop coding games
  6. Build a website–a guide
  7. Cargo-Bot—logic iPad gamecoding
  8. Cato’s Hike (K+)
  9. Chrome Experiments–geeky experimentation with programming
  10. Codea (Perfect for Intermediate+)
  11. Code.org–learn to code; with teacher accounts, no student emails required (join with Join code)
  12. Codespace–coding curriculum
  13. Daisy the Dinosaur—intro to programming
  14. Edabit–learn to code with interactive challenges
  15. Foos–app or desktop; K-1
  16. Grasshopper–coding app for beginners with lesson tutorials; intuitive
  17. Hopscotch (for up to intermediate–more complicated that Kodable)
  18. Hummingbird Robotics
  19. I like programming video
  20. Kodable-great for K-2–learn to code before you can read
  21. Kodu—game programming
  22. KOOV–by Sony Education
  23. Learn to code
  24. LightBot Jr.–programming for six-year olds
  25. Lightbot–solving puzzles with programming; MS
  26. Minecraft coding mod
  27. Move the Turtle–programming via iPad for middle school
  28. Osmo Coding--a purchased game system to teach coding
  29. Pencil Code
  30. Pyonkee–free, a little glitchy
  31. Robby Leonardi–programmer–a game played about programming in the style of Mario
  32. Roboblockly–to teach coding and math, from UCDavis
  33. ScratchJr--for ages 5-7
  34. Stencyl–build games without coding with downloaded software
  35. Stickman–draw a stick figure and the site animates it
  36. Swift Playground–from Apple, includes lessons and challenges designed to teach kids to code
  37. Symbaloo collection for coding
  38. TED Talk on young programmers
  39. Which Language Should You Learn to Code–an infographic of options

Robotics

  1. C-STEM Studio
  2. Cue–from Wonder Workshop
  3. Dash and Dot — from Wonder Workshop–younger thinkers
  4. Drones
  5. Mebo
  6. Robot Don
  7. Sphero

Scratch

Click for an Hour of Code lesson plan bundle (K-8).

Click for Robotics 101 lesson plan.

Windows apps

  1. CodeWriter 
  2. HTML Programs

More on Hour of Code

6 Unplugged Activities for Hour of Code

Build Your Own Apps

Build Websites

Hour of Code–Is it the right choice?

Kid-created Games That Teach

Looking for a Class Robot? Try Robo Wunderkind

Minecraft Review

PrimoToys–unplugged programming for youngers

Root Robotics–Great Way to Extend Hour of Code

Scratch Jr.

Should Coding be a Part of the Modern School’s Curriculum?

Websites and Apps to Support Hour of Code

Why Should Students Learn Computer Science? A Teacher’s Perspective

Wonder Workshop’s Amazing Dash

@CSEdWeek #hourofcode #hoc #edtech


Jacqui Murray has been teaching K-18 technology for 30 years. She is the editor/author of over a hundred tech ed resources including a K-12 technology curriculum, K-8 keyboard curriculum, K-8 Digital Citizenship curriculum. She is an adjunct professor in tech ed, Master Teacher, webmaster for four blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice, CSTA presentation reviewer, freelance journalist on tech ed topics, contributor to NEA Today, and author of the tech thrillers, To Hunt a Sub and Twenty-four Days. You can find her resources at Structured Learning.

5 Tips for Helping Children with Homework

Often, students are expected to work independently at school and on their homework. That is a great idea for learning if you provide simple guidelines that allow them to be more effective, less frustrated. Here are tips to help your children get more out of homework time:

Helping Your Child with Homework: 5 Tips to Help Kids Get Better Grades

Homework is a key part of the school experience. Not only does homework help students get a better grasp of the lesson, but it also helps teach about responsibility. While it’s always a good idea to also teach kids to be independent and do their homework on their own, there’s no harm in providing some help, especially in lessons or even subjects where your child may have challenges with.

In order to effectively help your child with homework, here are some tips that you should know:

Allot time for homework

Helping your child with homework doesn’t just mean doing the homework for them. The essence of homework is giving your child some form of responsibility so let them take charge in accomplishing their homework.

However, what you can do is to help your child in keeping a homework schedule. This further helps your child learn about time management. 

One of the best practices in allotting time for homework is to schedule it before a fun activity such as watching TV or playing, as this helps your child feel rewarded for being able to finish his homework. It is best that you also keep yourself available during this time so that you are there in case he needs guidance from you.

Maintain a conducive learning environment at home for your child

It’s always a good idea to maintain a study room for your child, free from distractions. Or, if a separate room cannot be provided, set a study desk for your child in a part of the room that is not facing things that might distract him while doing his homework. 

The idea is to make sure that your child can focus on doing his homework and that he will be away from distractions. 

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Most Common Tech Problems You-all Face

In the grad school classes I teach and my coaching sessions, the biggest problem facing teachers is not the 3R’s or equity or differentiation. It’s technology. In an education environment that is taught remotely as much as in person, this has become a big deal.

A few months ago, I took a poll. Here are the results:

If you’d like to see the earlier poll (from over ten years ago), here it is. It’s interesting to see what has changed in both the computer problems that were spotlighted and what teachers considered common!

Do you agree? Does this match your experience?


Jacqui Murray has been teaching K-18 technology for 30 years. She is the editor/author of over a hundred tech ed resources including a K-12 technology curriculum, K-8 keyboard curriculum, K-8 Digital Citizenship curriculum. She is an adjunct professor in tech ed, Master Teacher, webmaster for four blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice, CSTA presentation reviewer, freelance journalist on tech ed topics, contributor to NEA Today, and author of the tech thrillers, To Hunt a Sub and Twenty-four Days. You can find her resources at Structured Learning.

What Do You Think is the Hardest Tech Problem?

In the grad school classes I teach and my coaching sessions, the biggest problem facing teachers is not the 3R’s or equity or differentiation. It’s technology. In an education environment that is taught remotely as much as in person, this has become a big deal. I’d like your feedback on issues you face.  It’s an easy poll, shouldn’t take more than a few minutes. You’ll see results right away but I’ll post them also in a few months, let you know what I found out:

[polldaddy poll=10806155]

 

If you’d like to see the earlier poll (from over ten years ago), here it is. It’s interesting to see what has changed!

[polldaddy poll=1754921]


Jacqui Murray has been teaching K-18 technology for 30 years. She is the editor/author of over a hundred tech ed resources including a K-12 technology curriculum, K-8 keyboard curriculum, K-8 Digital Citizenship curriculum. She is an adjunct professor in tech ed, Master Teacher, webmaster for four blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice, CSTA presentation reviewer, freelance journalist on tech ed topics, contributor to NEA Today, and author of the tech thrillers, To Hunt a Sub and Twenty-four Days. You can find her resources at Structured Learning.

Coding Websites/Webtools by Grade

Over the next week, I’ll share ideas that will get you ready for your Hour of Code. This includes (links won’t work until the articles are posted):

This is a long list of online activities related to coding and programming. It is updated once a year so I apologize in advance for any dead links. At any time during the year, click to take you to the master list:

Program on computers, iPads, laptops–whatever works, whatever age. I’ll start this list with web-based options, by grade level and then continue with a mash-up:

(more…)

HS Seniors: What do you know about Search Engine Algorithms?

As High School seniors prepare to graduate, many will choose something about computers for their job or continued studies. Here’s a great overview from an Ask a Tech Teacher contributor of what one of those fields–working with the powerful algorithms that drive search and research–is about:

What are search engine algorithms?

For many students who are approaching school leaving age, they will already have decided the career path which they wish to take. Not surprisingly, given the role it plays in our everyday lives, many choose to pursue a career in IT. Of course, this is an incredibly broad topic. Still, in this article, we will focus predominantly on aspects relating to websites, moreover, how they can help to achieve business goals and other objectives.

As an international school in Hong Kong, we do all we can to prepare our students for going out into the workplace. Our various IT classes cover a wide range of topics with web development, e-commerce and SEO all being covered to some degree. Indeed, it is three areas, which are all interlinked, where most students wish to work, understanding the professional opportunities that are likely to present themselves. However, for a website to fulfil its potential, it must satisfy the needs of search engine algorithms.

What is an algorithm?

Algorithms are not a new phenomenon and have been used as a part of mathematics for thousands of years. They are often mistaken for being a formula but are in actual fact a series of different formulas or ingredients. They are often likened to preparing a meal for a large group. However, the meals may essentially be the same; different people like it to be cooked differently. Some people might want their meat cooked rare while others like it well done, some like salt, some like pepper, and so on. The algorithm means that a different formula is required for each person.

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