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In this new series, author and educator Aaron Quigley shows you how to stay up to date with the latest educational technology and classroom management techniques. Each week, he'll introduce you to a new tip you can use to be more efficient, and increase student achievement. Aaron covers concepts like the flipped classroom, Common Core Standards, and the role of social media in education. The series also covers a variety of productivity apps, learning management systems, and other technologies, using a project-based approach that simulates the real K–12 or university classroom environment. Check back often for new tutorials, every Monday with Teacher Tips.
- Hello educators and welcome to the teacher tips weekly series. This week, we're reviewing a tool that could allow your students to dream big. Around the nation, there are some really cool robotics programs and engineering programs that are bringing real life problems into the classroom. If you've not checked it out yet, to see one of these programs in action, I highly recommend you watch the STEM to STEAM documentary here on lynda.com. Today, I'm encouraging you to be the catalyst to bring one of these programs to your school. Having student gain hands on, real world experience is one of the best ways to increase learning engagement and start creating self-motivated learners in your own classroom.
One company out there that is helping educators create these hands on experiences is littleBits. At littleBits, you can purchase hardware and learning guides to equip your students to make their own engineered and programmed devices. Students around the nation are using these simple tools to solve everyday problems and creating inventions and devices that are completely unique. Here at the littleBits website, you can click on Make Something and then Projects to see what people are creating with littleBits. For example, with some very basic devices and a little bit of programming, someone's created a wireless device to control an old school thermostat.
There's also people creating chicken feed monitoring or even devices where you can remotely feed your pets at home. One of the great things about littleBits is they recognize the benefit to education. If you go to Get Started and then click on littleBits for Educators, here there's a variety of information about how educators are using littleBits in the classroom. In addition to that, littleBits offers educators a discount. The standard discount is 15 percent and there's sometimes promotions, such as right now where they've got a 20 percent discount. As you scroll down the page, you can see how littleBits views this as an opportunity to bring the hands on learning to the classroom.
They even have featured collections that are built just for education. If you'd like to learn more about how educators are using this, at the very bottom of the page, there's an educator's spotlight, as well as case studies about how schools have used the littleBits program inside their curriculum. Teacher tips often focuses on free software and applications to help increase the productivity and achievement inside the classroom. While this kind of classroom technology comes with a steep price tag, if you feel that your students would benefit from littleBits, I encourage you to not let funding slow you down. You can seek out EdTech grants, you can get your PTA or PTO involved, and even fund raise with your students.
Just imagine what your students could build with their imagination, the right tools, and your instruction. I hope you enjoy exploring the littleBits website and I look forward to seeing you all here next week on teacher tips.
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