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Teaching Kids to Code Every era demands--and rewards--different skills. In different times and different places, we have taught our children to grow vegetables, build a house, forge a sword or blow a delicate glass, bake bread, create a soufflé, write a story or shoot hoops. Now we are teaching them to code. We are teaching them to code, however, not so much as an end in itself but because our world has morphed: so many of the things we once did with elements such as fire and iron, or tools such as pencil and paper, are now wrought in code. We are teaching coding to help our kids craft their future. In this collection we share many different perspectives on coding, from a university professor's vantage point (MIT's Mitch Resnick describes why learning to code is like learning to learn) to an entrepreneur's reflections from his cross-country roadtrip to bring coding--and his stuffed dog--to classrooms across the U.S.

Spiral You start by creating an online class group for your students. Your students can then use any internet-connected device, such as a tablet or mobile phone, to create their own profile on Spiral and join your online class group. You’re now good to go! Spiral apps mirror your normal learning activities but what’s really smart is that our unique three-way view solves the problem of how to get everyone joining in. Here’s how it works. ThingLink in the Classroom - One image. Tons of possibilities. Want to get your message across, but do not want to cloud it with heavy text? Move away from the drib drab of everyday lessons and get more interactive using a free web-based tool called ThingLink. ThingLink can transform the way you teach, and not only that, but the way your students learn. Enough already? You want to know how this work?

Free Web Tools to Engage Students in Creative Learning July 10, 2014 After posting about "Developing Critical Thinking through Web Search Skills", today I am sharing with you this wonderful 7-page guide featuring some of the excellent tools from Microsoft to engage students in creative learning and meaning making in the classroom. The guide is completely free and is available for download from the link below. The tools included in this guide are all free and for the most part they do not require special training or advanced technology knowledge to operate them. These tools are also designed in such a way to help motivate students to express their creativity or achieve personal success in an area that truly interests them. From art to music to science, these applications have something to offer students in nearly every grade. Some of the things students can do with these free tools include:

Plant a Question, Grow Answers Topic (required) Type the topic of your new AnswerGarden. This can be a question or a topic, such as: "What do you think of my website?" More options (optional) For your convenience, you can change the following settings for your new AnswerGarden. Code Monster from Crunchzilla <h2>Code Monster gets kids excited about programming. It is a combination of a game and tutorial where kids experiment with learning to code. <p> Code Monster use Javascript.

Which Creative Commons License is Right for me? 23 Jun 2014 The poster explains the rules associated with the various types of Creative Commons license visually and helps you pick the right license for sharing your work. couch mode print story Creative Commons makes it easy for content creators to define a set of rules under which they would like the public to use their creative work. For instance, if you upload a photograph on the Internet, you can apply a Creative Commons license that would allow others to embed that photograph in a website or use in a presentation but not sell it commercially. The important thing to note about CC licenses is that they are irrevocable.

Can iPads help students learn science? Yes, study shows The scale of the universe can be difficult to comprehend. Pretend you are going to make a scale model with a basketball representing Earth and a tennis ball as the Moon. How far would you hold the tennis ball "Moon" from the basketball "Earth?" Most people would hold them at arm's length from each other, but the answer may surprise you: at that scale the balls would need to be held almost 30 feet apart. A new study by Smithsonian researchers at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics shows that students grasp the unimaginable emptiness of space more effectively when they use iPads to explore 3-D simulations of the universe, compared to traditional classroom instruction. This study comes at a time when educators are increasingly questioning whether devices such as iPads should play a greater role in education.

Canva - Create Beautiful Slides, Posters, and Infographics Canva is a new service that makes it easy to create beautiful slides, flyers, posters, infographics, and photo collages. Creating these graphics on Canva is a drag-and-drop process. Start by selecting a template then dragging and dropping into place background designs, pictures, clip art, and text boxes. Canva offers a huge library of clip art and photographs to use in your designs.

Rita F. Pierson: WATCH: How A Teacher Encouraged Her Students With An 'F' TED and The Huffington Post are excited to bring you TEDWeekends, a curated weekend program that introduces a powerful "idea worth spreading" every Friday, anchored in an exceptional TEDTalk. This week's TEDTalk is accompanied by an original blog post from the featured speaker, along with new op-eds, thoughts and responses from the HuffPost community. Watch the talk above, read the blog post and tell us your thoughts below.

Education reform for computer science With schools more eager to welcome coding in the classroom, some advocates now push to make it a public-education priority. In her 2014 book Connected Code: Why Children Need to Learn Programming, Yasmin Kafai, Ed.D. ’93, of the University of Pennsylvania, urges schools add on to the traditional “3 Rs” of reading, writing, and arithmetic: the aRts and pRogramming. That the public perceives computers as both essential, and essentially opaque, is a form of illiteracy. Jane Margolis, Ed.D. ’90, senior researcher at UCLA’s Graduate School of Education and Information Studies, argues that this “learned helplessness” has larger implications for equality. Margolis’s book Stuck in the Shallow End continues to be one of the few lengthy examinations of how an early section of the pipeline—public K-12 education—creates racial disparities in the field of computer science. Despite the free programming resources available online for learners who know where to look, cultural barriers remain.

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