Make time for Hour of Code this week

 

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Millions of students from around the world will take part in Hour of Code over the next few days as part of Computer Science Education week, Dec. 7-12.

Hour of Code is a global initiative designed to demystify code and demonstrate that computer science is not only a crucial skill for students, but that it can also be fun and creative.

To that end, Code.org has partnered with companies like Microsoft and Disney to provide free, themed tutorials and templates. Students as young as four are offered a unique “behind the scenes” perspective of what goes into building games like Minecraft.

A comprehensive list of tutorials and resources is available at www.hourofcode.org.

Are you and your students taking part? Tweet your pictures and tag @TeachersMedia for a chance to win a FREE 1-year subscription to the new Teachers Media platform service, launching in 2016.

~ Teachers Media

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Tips for using your tablet in the classroom

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You’ve selected the appropriate device. Downloaded the right apps. Your tablet is powered up and ready to use.

So, now what?

If you’re new to technology, that next step can be daunting. But even if you’re a tech-savvy educator, working with a new device can be challenging. Sure, you could ask your students for help, but before you do, consider these time-saving tips gathered from blogs and articles across the globe.

What’s the best way to “search” on your Surface Pro 3? Writer Kevin Purcell answers this and 15 other questions in his fascinating article on mastering the Surface Pro.

To see five more cool things your Surface Pro can do click here, and be sure to check out this article for links to 50 resources that will guide you through the shortcuts and features of your iPad or Android tablet.

Still not convinced tablets are right for your classroom? We’ll leave you with this article by Julie DeNeen, who looks at 21 great reasons to consider using tablets in the 21st Century classroom.

Thanks for following our blog posts this week. For more on using technology in the classroom, visit the Teachers Media website to access thousands of videos, articles, professional learning packs and more.

~ Teachers Media

Educating and learning: there’s an app for that

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The quality of an educational app is pivotal in the ever-changing world of teaching and learning, and it can add great value to a student’s educational experience—providing you choose the most effective apps for your needs.

However, scrolling through them can perhaps seem a little daunting—Microsoft alone has more than 150,000 apps in the Windows Store. Luckily, there are resources to help you sift through them. For instance, in this comprehensive article, writer Angie Li looks at 11 of the top apps for students.

But the educational app market is still very murky territory. Hundreds of thousands of apps are available to any learner on their preferred platform—every thing from simple games to creating content such as this cool comic book creator. In order to stand out, its vital that the applications represent great value in terms of education.

Concerned the apps might not be visually appealing enough for students? In this blog post, Linda Craig lists the five most beautiful educational iPad apps guaranteed to wow your students.

But can students really learn from an app? Studies indicate they can. This article by Catriona Wallis, geared more towards younger students, offers some good information on the topic.

What educational apps have you found to be the most effective?

Join us tomorrow when we’ll explore some time-saving tips for getting the most out of using your tablet for teaching and learning.

~ Teachers Media

P.S. Teachers Media is an online professional learning platform for global educators. Are you registered? Our Lite service is FREE!  Plus, you can sign up for a free 21-day trial of our Plus service, giving you access to more than 3,500 best practice resources including videos, articles, professional learning packs and more.

Using your tablet for innovation in education

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Collaboration is often touted as one of the cornerstones of 21st Century learning, a necessary competency that can be used creatively for innovation in both teaching and learning.

In this article, writer San Gliksman takes a look at six of these collaborative learning opportunities using iPads. How many of these ideas can you incorporate into your classroom?

Similarly, Andrew Robertson explores the innovative potential of the Surface Pro by looking at real student and teacher data compiled after interviewing several users. Each of these five mini case studies offers a quick tip for using your Surface in the class.

And, for more case studies, take a peek at Stephen Noonoo’s article, How 5 Inspiring Tablet Classrooms are Changing Education.

In what innovative ways are you using tablets in the classroom? We’d love it if you’d share your experiences in the comment section below.

Don’t forget to check back tomorrow when we explore some of the best available educational apps available for your tablet.

~ Teachers Media

To introduce technology—or not?

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The answer isn’t quite as simple as computer savvy technicians might have you believe—there are numerous factors to consider, even in this golden era of technological advancement.

As Laura Moorhead writes in her article, There’s No App for Good Teaching, “Introducing technology often winds up an awkward mash-up between the laws of Murphy and Moore: What can go wrong, will—only faster.”

Sound daunting? Luckily the Internet is overflowing with articles that not only help to narrow down the options, but also take a hard look at what—if any—technology makes the most sense for your class, and more importantly, your students.

Sarah Moxin nicely breaks it down in her article, Trading in the Whiteboard for OneNote and he Surface Pro, by using the SAMR model, which essentially looks at the four key ways to use technology in your class—substitution, augmentation, modification and redefinition.

Unfortunately, no amount of research can fully prepare you, as demonstrated by Beth Bacon’s blog post, which concisely outlines three potential problems you may encounter using tablets in the classroom, along with possible solutions.

Check out this informative article for further exploration of the pros and cons of tablet use in the classroom

Regardless of what technology you choose, we hope you consider Teachers Media for your online professional learning service. Register free at www.teachers-media.com, or take a 21-day FREE trial of our Plus service to access more than 3,500 resources, including numerous videos on technology best practices.

On the blog tomorrow, we look at how tablets are truly fostering innovation in education.

— Teachers Media