Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Top 10 Google Expeditions & Cardboard Tips!





1. Get Your Viewer

Purchase a cardboard online at:
> Google: goo.gl/hwYVSr
> Amazon: goo.gl/EqaTtC
> Web: goo.gl/yZPm7e

2. Download the Cardboard App

> iOS: goo.gl/HLZYq7
> Android: goo.gl/YQ5M7q

Go on an Urban Hike - Visit the Eiffel Tower, Venice
Canals, the Old City of Jerusalem, and underwater
at the Great Barrier Reef.

3. List of Expeditions

With more than 500 Expeditions to choose from,
students can journey far and wide, learning from
immersive new experiences. Find the right
expedition for your classroom in this list from
GoogleEDU and this map (via @MrCarey)

> Sheet: bit.ly/TeacherExpeditions
> Map: bit.ly/awesometableGE

4. Install Expeditions

The Expeditions app is available for Android and iOS
(iPhone and iPad) devices.

> iOS: goo.gl/5GwpJy
> Google Play: goo.gl/hxLVtX

5. Teacher Guide

Check out this PDF 411 on onboarding
Expeditions at your school or in your
classroom bit.ly/TeacherExpeditionsGuide

6. Streetview

Use the Google Street View Camera to
create your own 360 degree Photospheres.

> iOS: goo.gl/v0QL0t
> Android: goo.gl/qk2FgR

7. Make your Own Cardboard

Get the template and build your own
cardboard viewer. You’ll need the following:
> cardboard
> lenses
> magnets
> velcro
> rubber band.

Template > vr.google.com/cardboard/get-cardboard

8. Google Cardboard Book

Get step by step instructions on how to use
this exciting technology in your classroom.

Buy the book > goo.gl/kxY3lb

9. 360 YouTube Video

Experience 360 Video on YouTube by searching
#360 or go to the 360 channel @ goo.gl/kS9wx7
Cardboard not needed, just move the video
around on your computer screen.

10. Create 360 Video

Start taking 360 Video with the Rico Theta
(hardware to purchase) Camera and upload to
YouTube to view in Cardboard.
> theta360.com




Monica I. Martinez
Google Certified 
Administrator & Trainer
Regional Director EdTechTeam
Latin America & Southern US
Austin, TX







Tuesday, August 22, 2017

EdTech: It’s Easier Than They Think

EdTech is a popular buzzword, and I’m a big fan. But I’m not sure EdTech means what many people think it means.


EdTech often conjures up a limiting and inaccurate vision: computers, SmartBoards, and little kids with huge VR goggles on their melons. This causes many teachers to believe they don’t have time to learn “EdTech”. Which is a big, sad, stinky pile of misconception… Because it’s easier than they think.

If you’re reading this, you probably already consider yourself an EdTech geek of sorts. How can you help less tech-savvy teaching buddies dive in without drowning? Here are two thoughts inspired by my experiences at the EdTechTeam CA Summit in Mt. View in Aug, 2017.

Give Witness That Art > Science

We should always talk about the art of teaching first! What teaching challenge can an EdTech tool help with?

For example, teaching in an inclusive classroom that contains a big variety of learning styles and speeds is a daunting challenge. How can a teacher deliver material to standards and still find 1-on-1 time to help the students who need a little more? Well, that teacher would need high level student engagement, a lot of self-directed student inquiry, some smart groupings, student choice in activities and showing understanding, and flexibility to strategically place themselves where most needed at any moment. That’s a mouthful! And a LOT of planning!

Here’s an EdTech tool that can make this happen simply and with a manageable amount of planning. And it’s easier than they think!

Get your copy here!

Apply Google Docs through the art of teachers like Lisa Highfill, Kelly Hilton and Sarah Landis and you get Hyperdocs. Simply put, Hyperdocs leverage all the scientific awesomeness of Google Docs (“versioning”, collaboration, simultaneity, simplicity) through a teaching technique (art) that gives students choice and voice! They’re engaging and flexible. Hyperdocs demonstrate an artful lesson design philosophy that uses the science-based canvas, brushes and paints provided by Google Docs. (You can also use Slides, Sites, and other applications. Play around!)

Problem meets solution. Time management and differentiation meets artful design using Google Docs.

Go Deep First!

EdTech newbies should NOT try everything at once! They will surely get swamped by the mass and unrelenting speed of new EdTech apps.

Teachers should pick one or two helpful ideas and get really good at them. They should team up with a fellow brave soul willing to try something that can help, then dive in! Ideally, they should not come up for air until they feel as though they can teach others how to use this tool. Why go that far? Physician, heal thyself with some DOK4!

Like our students, teachers that develop DOK 4 thinking habits about one tool will find it easier and easier to add other new tricks and tips into their clue bags. If a teacher can “connect” and “create” and “critique” and “design” using a tool, then the next tool is sooo much easier to learn and adopt.

Great Starting Points

Teachers breaking into EdTech with a sense of dread should start with simple tools that make THEIR OWN lives easier. Buy in is the key to any future experimentation with tools. Here are some great topics for teachers to dive into. You can YouTube any of this.

*Learn Email Inbox Management Tools and Tricks
*Learn Web Browser Tips and Tricks (Extensions and Applications)
*Calendar - Email Integration Tips and Tricks
*Google Drawing Integration into Google Slides
*Google Forms for Formative Quizzes (add Flubaroo extension)

The list goes on and on, and these are just five random choices of things I think any teacher would love to know more about.



Jeff Macloud teaches computer applications, robotics and science topics on special assignment at three K-5 schools in Napa Valley Unified School District. He’s Google for Education Level 2 certified.







Experience your own Summit Takeaways and find one near you!




Monday, August 21, 2017

Have Google Will Travel

It was a blistering hot day in July 2017. My bags were packed. I was on my way to meet my traveling companions. We were headed for Giza! When we met, I realized they had forgotten to pack their bags. They were traveling without a toothbrush or a pair of pajamas. What to do? Well … “settle in traveling companions! We are going to Egypt!” I decided to embark on the journey anyway. With over 20 eager 5th graders awaiting the trip, I began what would be the first of 12 trips to Egypt that summer without ever leaving the North American continent!

With the help of Google Expeditions, I could take students across continents and oceans to Egypt!

Background:
This summer is the second year that Riverside Unified School District has provided approximately 400 students at thirteen different school sites the opportunity to travel to “parts unknown.” The Summer Camp program was designed to bridge the summer slide so that students who would normally not have experiences to talk about or write about WOULD! In collaboration with our Innovation and Learner Engagement Department (ILE) we created a lesson design that would connect engineering concepts (Simple Machines) by traveling virtually to the Pyramids of Giza!


Experience:
Using Google Expeditions, the Asus ZeFone 3 Laser, Merge viewers, and TP Link routers, students in 5th and 6th grades experienced an immersive learning environment as they traveled virtually to the Pyramids of Giza on the continent of Africa! In conjunction with front loaded content about Simple Machines, students were able to make connections about how ancient Egyptians may have used pulleys, wheel & axle, ramps, and levers to build the massive structures. With the support of 3 instructional specialists acting as tour guides, over 400 students in Riverside were able to experience this adventure of a lifetime. Students were taken across varied experiences and viewed the Pyramids at Giza, the Great Sphinx, the city of Cairo, and more!

After the experience concluded, summer teachers further connected the learning by having students engage in collaborative conversations and drafting an expository essay on what they had learned.


Equipment Used:
Asus ZeFone 3 Laser
Merge viewers
TP Link routers

Resources:
Google Expeditions: https://edu.google.com/expeditions/
Lesson Plan Design: Click HERE
Graphic Organizer
Photo Credit: @MsSalinasEdu



Janet C Sewell
TK-6 ELA/ELD Staff Developer
Riverside Unified School District
Thinker. Dreamer. Believer.
“Educate toward the common good.”
Twitter: @jcsewell1







Caryn McLoughlin
Staff Development Specialist for Tech Integration
Riverside Unified School District Department
Website: Ilerusd.com
Innovator. Learner. Creator.
Twitter: @CarynMcLRUSD

Friday, August 18, 2017

"Break Out" of the Classroom

Have you “Broken-Out” yet? The idea of an “Escape Room” might be seen as a novelty activity, however, planning a “Breakout” or “Escape Room” experience for your students might be just what your classroom needs. These types of experiences are rich ways to asses, gamify, build community and comradery in the classroom and just plain have fun!

What is a Classroom Breakout?
This type of Breakout is a series of puzzles that students must solve in a specified amount of time to unlock various locks on a box to reach whatever is placed inside the box. Unlike other “Escape Rooms” students are not trying to escape a physical location, they are instead trying to solve a series of puzzles to reach an end goal. A Breakout can be done using a physical box and locks, in a virtual format, or a combination of the two. This type of activity builds classroom community as the students must work together either in partners or small groups to complete the task. Breakouts are also great for assessment. Want to see if your students can add or subtract 3 digit numbers? Give them a Breakout task that uses these skills and watch the magic happen!

Ready to get started with your first Breakout? Let’s explore some options...including some budget friendly options below and a Breakout lesson plan ready to use! #teacherbudget

Option#1:
One of the most popular options is BreakoutEDU.
BreakoutEDU offers an immersive game platform, with all the tools necessary including lesson plans and games, to implement a Breakout experience in your classroom. The physical kit with box, locks and other tools starts at $125. Then simply choose a game, download, setup according to the directions and play.



Option #2:
The second option is a “Virtual Breakout.” These types of breakouts are done completely digitally using Google Sites. The teacher shares the link to the Breakout with each student or group of students to complete the breakout as a team. You could also have the class complete the breakout together using one device and having a “team captain” input the information for each lock to move on. The site could be displayed on a SMARTboard so all students can see clues, etc. to keep the game progressing.

The Virtual Breakout still consists of a timer and various locks (just like physical ones) that students must unlock to complete the Break Out. These locks are created using Google Forms and embedded onto your Google Site. [See example below created by my friend Lucia Perrotti for our Chromebook Camp.]



You can create your own Virtual Breakout or you can search for pre-made options in the Sandbox curated by BreakoutEDU digital. Can’t find exactly what you are looking for? Then why not create your own? BreakoutEDU digital also includes an entire “build your own” website with complete with videos and hyperlinked resources to put right into your virtual breakout! When you finish, be sure and upload your Break Out to the Sandbox for other users to try. #togetherwearebetter

Option #3:
Build your own custom Breakout! This year with my 2nd grade kiddos I decided to create my own custom end of the year Breakout using a combination of physical locks and a box as well as digital resources from BreakoutEDU.

First, I went to my local Dollar Tree and purchased a locking toolbox, a red bike lock, a green bike lock and a keyed lock. Since it was the end of the year I also snagged a box of cookies to put inside for my kiddos to share once they unlocked the box. Those cookies never tasted so sweet! Total cost $5.



For the task itself, I decided to design my Breakout around the last day of school. Here was the synopsis:


The teacher’s aren’t ready for the school year to end so they have locked the doors to the school! Will the students be able to “breakout” in time to enjoy their summer break or be destined to spend the entire summer in school with their teachers?



I created a Google Slide presentation with the directions for game play and embedded a timer. You can snag that presentation here. I also decided what three puzzles I wanted to use for the game. I decided to create my own puzzles (worksheet format) for the students to solve as a team. The first was a reading comprehension passage, the second was 2 and 3 digit addition and subtraction with regrouping, and the third was a fun cypher code. You can snag those puzzles here.

When students solved each puzzle it gave them a code to input on the Locks App from BreakoutEDU $1.99 in the App Store. I set up the locks in advance which would then give the students a riddle to solve which would unlock one of the physical locks on the box. (see facilitator's guide below for lock codes)



I also created a facilitator's guide for myself and other team mates (who were also going to be completing the Breakout). This was a great way to ensure that the game went smoothly in all classrooms and that each teacher knew exactly what to do. Think lesson plan. That’s here too with information on how to set up locks and set up gameplay.

When it came time to Breakout…. I have never seen my students so engaged. I kept thinking to myself, why did I wait so long to implement this in my classroom? This option did take a little time for set-up and creation but can be used year after year and did I mention it cost me all of about $7 and required only one digital device?


In the end, finding what works for you and your class is what is important about planning your first Breakout. Whether it’s a kit from BreakoutEDU, a virtual option using Google Sites or a combination of digital tasks using the Locks App and a physical box. Finding what fits your teaching style and your budget is what is most important.

So, what are you waiting for? It’s time to Breakout!





Jennifer Reaves
TIS/ Former 2nd Grade Teacher
Morgantown, WV
@jzwvu07
jreaves@k12.wv.us

Thursday, August 17, 2017

3 Take Home Messages from the Google Innovator Academy

It’s has been a week since the Google Certified Innovator Academy concluded in Washington DC (#WDC17) and I am still processing all that happened. From the application process, the face-to-face Academy and as I jump into the year long project, it has been an experience that has taught me a lot about myself and helped me to figure out who I want to become. As I begin to reflect on my experience, I am going to take a small nugget of what I learned from my coach Mark Garrison and use the rule of 3 to capture a small glimpse of my experience.

Serious Beginner
In Aikido, a Japanese martial art, there are no coloured belts as you progress, just white belts and black belts.After countless hours of training, sparring tests and learning from your sensei, you may be able to earn your black belt. The black belt doesn’t symbolize that you are a master at Aikido, but is a visual symbol that you are a “serious beginner”. Similarly, becoming a certified Google Innovator is just the start of my learning where I am now a serious beginner when it come to changing education. Hearing about past accomplishments and future visions from my cohort showed me there is so much more to experience and learn. As I embark on my project, my mindset is a serious beginner, where I am driven and dedicated to bringing my vision to life, but know this year will be a year of growth.

Family
One of the common pieces of feedback you hear about the Google Innovator Academy is that your cohort is your family. No surprise here, but I completely echo the sentiment! Family is all about unconditional support and in the academy there are times where I failed hard and failed fast. It is always tough to rebound from failure and acknowledge it, but the beauty of the cohort is that everyone from the leads, coaches, cohort; they all have your back and even help raise you up. With our projects, we were taken through the design thinking process and one of the coaches, Jennie Magiera lead us through an activity as described by Amy Burvall (coach) as “kill your darlings” where we determine the flaws in another person’s project. I left this activity heartbroken about my project, but not about myself - a small demonstration of the unconditional support received.



Heart Full
Stepping into Google Innovator Academy, I had the little voice inside my head doubting why I was included in the cohort - self-doubt comes too easily with me. What was impactful for me was at the academy nobody cared what your resume looked like but cared that you were there. One of my favourite moments was the first day where we had an opportunity to share a story that impacted us as an educator within our teams. Every story shared was emotional and real and it was amazing to have such an authentic experience rooted in a shared common passion for improving education. The Google Innovator Academy is sometimes described as the best professional development of your life, but I would describe it as the best personal development. There is a striking difference between professional development and personal development. At the end of a EdTechTeam summit, I often leave with my head full ready to try different things, but at the end of the Google Innovator Academy, I left with my heart full and inspired to change the world.




For more information about the Google Certified Innovator Academy and application for the next cohort visit: https://edutrainingcenter.withgoogle.com/certification_innovator

Applications for the next cohort in Stockholm, Sweden are open. Apply today!




Jason Trinh
Secondary Teacher
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Google Certified Innovator
@jasontries

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

10 Reasons Why I Have #FlipGridFever!


Cross-posted from The Technology Infused Classroom.
Use the promocode: HOLLYCLARK to get 90 days of FlipGrid Free trial.

Have you caught #FlipGridFever yet? If not, its time you did! This is arguably one of the best apps of 2017. It has so many layers of thinking it can uncover. At first view – it is a video response platform – but it is so much more, so layered, and so effective in helping teachers capture rich information about student learning and growth. Let’s take a look…

What is a FlipGrid?

In simple terms and from the website, “A grid is where your students go to view your topics, record their responses and reply to their classmates." These grids can be open or locked.

Why I love FlipGrid:

1. Everything presented in an organized grid – which makes it highly visual, easy to navigate, and assess.

Photo Source- flipgrid.com

2. The grid environment promotes metacognition – it provides an easy way for students to watch other student videos; self reflect, learn from each other, and compare their learning with that of their peers. This allows them to “think about thinking” and naturally throws them into a state of metacognition. Boom! Now that is good pedagogy!


3. Set up is really easy. You just name a grid, ask a question and let the video reflections begin. Each grid can have limitless topics – For example, name a grid “The Outsiders”, and have many topics or discussions within that one grid.

4. Provides a rich platform for pedagogical learning strategies like assessing prior knowledge, checks for understanding and reflection.

5. Works for EVERY subject – see below for 10 great ways you can use it in the classroom.

6. FlipGrid helps students to use video as an educational tool. It also teaches the digital citizenship lessons of commenting and communicating effectively with others via video and media (note: teachers need to spend a bit of time talking about proper commenting and meaningful replies first – students don’t naturally know how to do this in a constructive way).

7. Every student benefits from other students' perspectives. Students spend their lives taking videos, selfies and interacting on social media with a global audience – now teachers can harness the power and fun of social media in their classrooms.

8. Video responses often prompt further discussions among students and the class.

9. Allows you to hear from every student – even the ones who are shy or slow to respond – the students who don’t typically raise their hands. It works great for some students just need a bit more time to process and then post. I have seen shy students who don’t love posting their own face use SnapChat and filters to gain comfort posting. They might use the animal face filters to gain a sense of comfort around posting. It also allows students to build articulate verbal reasoning skills as they post and respond.

10. It meets students where they are – in our classrooms are kids who are hyper-connected and have the world as their social circle – and FlipGrid is a platform built for this type of Generation Z learner.

Read 15 Ways to Incorporate #FlipGridFever into the Classroom

Go ahead – try one out its easy. Just sign up at Flipgrid.com.

For more fun ideas like these check out our new book The Google Infused Classroom out now!


Holly Clark
NBCT
Google Certified Teacher
Author of The Google Infused Classroom
Educational Strategist and Head of Publishing
EdTechTeam
California
@HollyClarkEdu

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

EdTechTeam México- CEPAC Innovates!

En los días del 31 de julio al 2 de agosto EdTechTeam México tuvo la oportunidad de capacitar a un grupo de 21 maestros del Centro Educativo Para Altas Capacidades (CEPAC) que abrirá sus puertas este septiembre 2017, siendo la primera escuela pública de especialidad e innovación educativa del nivel básico, orientada a atender a alumnos diagnosticados con altas capacidades o superdotados en el estado de Jalisco en un espacio adaptado y equipado especialmente para llevar a cabo el aprendizaje integral que demandan y bajo la tutela de maestros capacitados para enfrentar este gran reto. El grupo de 21 maestros se dividió en dos grupos. El primero estuvo formado por 13 maestros con conocimientos muy básicos de las herramientas de GSuite para Educación. El segundo grupo conformado por 8 profesores ya habían tomado el curso para certificarse como educadores de Google en el nivel 1. Los maestros llegaron desde Guadalajara Jalisco en un autobús y a pesar de las largas horas de viaje, mostraron siempre una actitud positiva y comprometida. Durante tres días de intenso trabajo los maestros recibieron la capacitación para certificarse como educadores de google en los niveles 1 y 2 respectivamente. Debido al poco espacio que tenemos en nuestra oficina, Google México nos ofreció usar sus instalaciones para realizar esta capacitación. Durante estos días, los maestros también estuvieron expuestos a una sesión de expediciones, durante la cual el asombro y el entusiasmo dieron un toque muy emocionante a la sesión. Los maestros recibieron un trato muy especial por parte de Google, ya que fueron invitados a hacer un tour por las instalaciones y a comer en el comedor de Google, lo cual representó para estos maestros momentos muy especiales. EdtechTeam México así como Google México estamos muy entusiasmados con este proyecto que promete brindar a estos alumnos una educación basada en la innovación y en la colaboración. Felicidades a la SEP de Jalisco por tan extraordinario proyecto.



From July 31 to August 2 EdTechTeam Mexico had the opportunity to train a group of 21 teachers from the Educational Center for High Ability (CEPAC) that will open its doors in September 2017. CEPAC is the first public school of specialization and innovation, designed to assist students diagnosed with high capacities or considered gifted in the state of Jalisco, in a space adapted and specially equipped to carry out the comprehensive learning that these students demand and under the guidance of trained teachers prepared to face this great challenge. The group of 21 teachers was divided into two groups. The first consisted of 13 teachers with very basic knowledge of GSuite tools for education. The second group comprised of 8 teachers that had already taken the course to be certified as Google Educators at level 1. Teachers came from Guadalajara, Jalisco to Mexico City on a bus, and despite the long hours of travel, always showed a positive and committed attitude. For three days of intense work, teachers received training to be certified in levels 1 and 2 respectively. Due to limited space in our office, Google Mexico offered us their facilities for this training. During these days, teachers were also exposed to a Google Expeditions session, during which the wonderment and excitement gave an exciting touch to the training. Teachers received a special treatment from Google, as they were invited to tour the facilities and have lunch at Google, which accounted very special moments for this amazing group of teachers. We at EdtechTeam Mexico and Google Mexico are very excited about this project that promises to give these gifted students an education based on innovation and collaboration. Congratulations to the SEP of Jalisco for such extraordinary project!





Paty García
Google Certified Innovator
& Trainer
Director of Professional Development
EdTechTeam
Mexico




Aprende más sobre ImpactoEDU haciendo click aquí. Contáctanos a través de este formulario o mandando un correo a ImpactoEDU@edtechteam.mx


Friday, August 11, 2017

Connecting Coding to Robotics with Sphero

I love teaching robotics and coding! Sometimes, learning to code can be a struggle for students if they can’t see a direct application to the work they are doing. As a teacher, I wanted an easy-to-use robot I could incorporate into my classes and Makerspace that would help students see coding in action. After researching options and reading reviews, I decided on the Sphero SPRK. I love the Sphero because coding the robot is easy, even for beginners. Simply connect the robot to your device via Bluetooth, and start coding with the free Lightning Lab app. The Sphero is durable, too; it can handle a drop off with a surface under 3 feet high, go for a swim, and be used with paint! The Sphero SPRK model was $129. Through Donors Choose, I was able to acquire two Sphero SPRKs for my classroom and Makerspace two years ago. I teach students in grades 6, 7, and 8, and the Spheros are one of the most popular items at our Makerspace. Students have created paintings with our Spheros, built obstacle courses in hallways and classrooms, and have taken them for a swim!


Our local university, Black Hills State University, hosts GEAR UP in the summer. Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) is a competitive grant program of the U.S. Department of Education that increases the number of low-income students who are prepared to enter and succeed in postsecondary education by providing States and local community-education partnerships six-to-seven year grants to offer support services to high-poverty, middle and high schools. A component of the South Dakota GEAR UP Program includes a 3-week Summer Honors Program for students from the grant’s Partner Schools. From https://www2.ed.gov/programs/gearup/index.html and Peggy Diekhoff, BHSU GEAR UP Project Manager


I was asked to teach a technology course for the GEAR UP class at BHSU this summer. My 2 weeks of class time was to be focused on programming. My students would be in grades 9, 10, 11, or 12 next school year. Many students did not have experience with coding or robots in their schools. I knew that I would have access to LEGO Mindstorm robots, Sphero SPRK Robots, CodeCombat licenses, iPads and laptops.

At the start of our class time, students answered questions about their experience with coding and robotics, as well as their interest in different opportunities in class the next 2 weeks. On the first and second day of class, students were introduced to the Hour of Code through Code.org’s video What Most Schools Don’t Teach and coding lessons with the Hour of Code.



During the first week of class, the first and third class periods could work on LEGO Mindstorms in groups of 2-3 (if they had an interest in robotics on the survey). Alternatively, students could work on CodeCombat.com (link) curriculum, different course levels were available in the areas of Game Development, Web Development, and Computer Science. The second and fourth class periods could work on Sphero SPRK Robots in groups of 2-3 if they were interested in robotics or the CodeCombat lessons mentioned above. Students had access to iPads with the Lightning Lab app installed. They were encouraged to figure out how the Sphero operated and then to combine code blocks to cause their robot to create a shape. Students figured these tasks out quickly and began building their own obstacle courses. Students had cardboard, painters tape, and small empty storage containers they could use to create their courses. Students designed a maze with multiple entrances and exits, a maze with a ramp, and a course that was more like a race track with a ramp.

While working in their small groups students began to connect the code blocks to control the Sphero. Students immediately made connections to the different Hour of Code activities they had tried and the mechanics of the Sphero programming. Each day that students came back they scouted out their same iPad from the day before so they could continue to work on their code. Once students had enough code to get the Sphero through one of the courses, they would continue to refine the code, working on making it faster, adding noises and different colors.


After the first week, the different groups switched. The students who started with the Spheros and moved to the LEGO Mindstorm robot and software had a much easier time programming their robots than the first group. Students who worked with the Spheros before attempting the more advanced Code Combat lessons were better able to problem solve and persevere as they learned more complex coding statements.

The Spheros were such a hit that I brought my 2 Spheros from school the last few days of class. Students who had expressed no interest in learning robotics during our time together were asking to work on the Sphero with other students and creating code with the help of their peers.


At the end of our time together, I asked students questions about the Spheros. Students who used the Spheros in class said that the Sphero helped them learn to code. Many students said they would like to have Spheros at their school. I asked students what they would tell others about Spheros if they were thinking of using them to learn about coding or robotics: “I would say that Spheros offer a simple method of coding and it’s fun. Also, Spheros are a combination of robotics and coding”; “It’s fun; makes coding easier to learn because it’s engaging”; “That it’s a great choice and would benefit them in the future”; “Yes, use the Spheros! They help teach coding to many and it’s very fun”.

Many robots are available for purchase today. Thinking about who will be using the robots is important--as well as what you hope to accomplish with its use--when you are deciding which robot to purchase. I love that the Sphero is accessible for a wide range of learners (ages 8+). The easy-to-use controls in the Sphero apps provide a great entry point for using a robot and allow for users to gradually explore more control with coding. Spheros are a great tool for students to see coding in action.



Teri Bauerly
STEM Educator
Spearfish Middle School
South Dakota

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Classroom 2.0 Live: The Google Infused Classroom


Cross-posted from The Technology Infused Classroom by Holly Clark

Welcome back to a new school year! We are so excited to have two amazing educators and authors, Holly Clark and Tanya Avrith, to help us kick off our new year! They will share ideas from their new book “The Google Infused Classroom” which is based on the premise that we need to fuse great pedagogy with powerful technology tools to create meaningful learning experiences for our Generation Z students. They will go over some of the concepts from the book, as well as showcase some fun ways you can really get at student understanding in your classroom! This webinar will be a great way to get inspired for the upcoming school year – and learn ways to take learning to the next level.






Get your copy today!