Computer science -- in particular, coding -- has become a top-level priority in K-12 education. This article details six tools that teachers can use to teach the fundamentals of code and encourage students to experiment on their own.
Instructional-technology specialist Jennifer Scheffer recently focused on recruiting more girls for a student-run help desk. More girls have joined the program since the recruitment efforts. Scheffer featured the program during a session at EduCon, a conference held by the Science Leadership Academy in Philadelphia.
One fourth-grade teacher in Alabama says student-owned tablets have helped to increase engagement among her students, as well as allow students reading at varying grade levels to move at their own pace. Alisca Harris also said that while she trusts her students, she approves of the school's strong Internet filter that limits access to some sites.
MIT's Education Arcade and the Learning Games Network has a released a free online game that aims to teach empathy. Quandary targets students in grades 3-8 and has them solve problems on a fictional planet. Students earn points by interviewing characters and accurately predicting their responses, and, eventually, by how well they resolve and defend their solutions.
A Pennsylvania school district is finding ways to combine science, technology, engineering and math with the arts. In one school, students used a robotics kit to create interactive features to accompany audio recordings of a Robert Frost poem. Educators say these types of hands-on activities can help engage students in poetry who generally do not like the subject.