others it means time to find new ways of engaging students and improving the way they do things come Fall.
For these educators, summer is the season not only of cottages but educational conferences, which bring teachers and principals from all over the country together to share war stories and the latest pedagogical techniques. One of the bigger trends this Fall will be computers in education. All the major manufacturers are suddenly swooping in on school boards to become their go-to machine for online resources. Many are adopting Chromebooks, Google's lightweight always online laptops that are light on the wallet, too. Samsung has entered the fold with a tablet intended to replace pens and paper, and includes classroom management systems as well as curriculum based content. And many have already flocked to Apple's iPad as their educational delivery appliance of choice, so much so that the company has established the Apple Distinguished Educators program, its way of recognizing K-12 and high school teachers that use their products to transform teaching and learning.
On the After School front, technology clubs are springing up to teach
computer game programming using tools like Scratch and Gamemaker, which
themselves have game like interfaces that make code writing fun. Minecraft clubs
explore the environment of a 3D world with the ability to build whatever they
can conceive. And the Thinking Skills Club curriculum of brain games will be
helping to build cognitive capacity in its students, preparing young minds to
excel at school.
The club recently posted a Youtube video showing how the website works, including playing game Snow Line, which increases Executive Functions, one of the six skill sets it addresses on the sits.
When Fall comes, teachers will once again have to choose how to get
curriculum across in ways that are fun and engaging. It's nice to know that, with
our new techno tools, the number of choices is growing exponentially.