Thinkfinity.org has announced that they will be closing up on June 30, 2014.
From their blog post, it looks like Verizon has decided to stop funding for Thinkfinity.org. That’s too bad, Thinkfinity.org was a good repository of resources from Kindergarten through 12th Grade. In their announcement, they have listed several of their content partners who provided many of their resources. In addition, their updated FAQ section suggests saving information and your favorite Thinkfinity pages as PDF’s for use later on. After June 30, 2014 most of the content on their site will be gone. Unfortunately, this is one of the risks of using “free” content sites.
Several tech industry leaders have contacted the Governor of California to try to boost Computer Science Education across the board in California. Right now there are approximately 70,000 Open Computer Science Jobs in California. Based on the current estimates of students in that state taking Computer Science, this is about 16 jobs for every Computer Science Student in California.
To help meet the needs, executives from Microsoft, Salesforce, Netflix, Twitter, and Google want the State of California to increase Computer Science Education in all grades from K through 12.
Makerbot has a plan to use crowdfunding to get a 3D printer into every school.
3D Printing is taking off. However, while 3D Printers have gradually been coming down in price, they are still cost prohibitive for most school (and school systems). With Makerbot’s Crowdfunding initiative, perhaps this may change.
3D Printing can be used in wide range of areas within schools. Teachers and Students in just about any subject area can find clever ways to use 3D printed models in the classroom. If you are interested in applying for a crowdfunded 3D printer, check out Makerbot’s link on donorchoose.org.
For more information on 3D Printing, check out these links …
Today, Google announced their Google Classroom LMS. Its still very early and not much information exists about Google’s entry into the Learning Management System neighborhood. They do have some details about signing up for their Beta test and an assurance that Google will not be placing ads into their LMS. Click here for more information from Google’s Blog.
It will be interesting to see how Google Classroom affects the established LMS’s such as Moodle, Instructure, and Edmodo.
Another useful app for the classroom is shutting down. Techsmith will be shutting down the ASK3 App this summer. According to their blog, they will continue to keep Ask3 in the Appstore until June in order to give teachers who are using it the opportunity to continue using through the end of the school year. By August 2014, they will be purging their online storage for the app.
I’m always looking for interesting hands-on projects to use for engaging my students. I ran across this page at Instructables.com about making your own customized Operation game. The project requires the use of several tools that are not readily available in my classroom and probably not available in most, but finding someone to loan the tools might be a viable option.
I can see this type of project working in several subject areas. Here is an example of how far a little creativity can take this idea.
Kahoot is a different type of web-based Student Response System. While most student response systems just pop up questions for students to answer via their devices, Kahoot takes the quiz game approach. Students become actively engaged in the questions and compete to get the correct responses.
Check out this video and the link below to give Kahoot a try.
In case you have not heard, Microsoft is set to finally end support for Windows XP. With millions of computers still running XP, here are some upgrade options for users ranging from doing nothing (and hoping for the best) to choosing a new O/S to install on that machine to getting new machines and dumping the old ones.
Geddit is a new web based tool for getting feedback from students a for performing formative assessments during lessons. Students can use any web enabled device from classroom computers / laptops to tablets & phones.
Check out Geddit here. Be sure to run through the online demo lesson to get a good understanding of how their system works.