Tech Talk

Winter 2017

(Inspiring ideas in education, media, and technology shared by and for the staff of Bonner Elementary School!)

Table of Contents

* Maker Spaces

* Khan Academy for the Classroom

* Check This Out!

  • Canva
  • StoryboardThat
  • Wonderopolis

Makerspaces~ A space for creating, learning, problem-solving, and cooperating!

If you've noticed some unique tables by the window in the library and cool things like a dancing robot, blinking lights and strange noises, then you have seen the makerspaces! The makerspace concept got its start around ten years ago and was originally located in public libraries until quickly moving into school libraries soon thereafter. They are used to promote STEM or STEAM activities and are often equated to "centers" that are set up in classrooms for students to rotate through various activities.

Makerspaces not only provide learning opportunities in science, tech, engineering, art and math, but they serve as a vehicle to encourage problem-solving and cooperation among the participants. The five makerspace stations include: Osmo coding with iPads, origami (Japanese paper folding), Snap Circuits (encourages electrical engineering and design), K'Nex (similar to Legos but uses sticks and other shapes to construct moveable "machines"), and Dash (a robot that uses coding technology via an iPad). It can get a little loud with 20+ students engaged in a robust activity of creating space sounds with slide switches and resistors, but it is well worth the learning and "imagination-stimulation" they receive!


Khan Academy for the Classroom

If you're looking for an excellent supplement and practice for your students, Khan Academy delivers. "I want to give them tools to use at home and this incorporates traditional math they can do themselves within a technology platform." Matt Haas began using Khan Academy this semester and started by signing up for a free teacher account. Although, Khan does offer several methods to create your classroom, Matt logged in through his Google account and then imported his student list from Google Classroom.

Khan isn't games. It is actual math practice and has excellent tutorial short videos for students to view if they miss the question. "It provides real time data on each student so I can not only review for myself, but show the student AND his or her parents," Haas states. The program keeps up with the total minutes and assigns a point value to the students' completed work.

While math is the most comprehensive subject available through Khan (Kinder through high school as well as specific subjects such as algebra, trigonometry, calculus, etc.), many other falling under Arts & Humanities, Science & Engineering, Computing, and Economics & Finance are also provided within the site. Teachers now have a powerful tool that students can access at home and as a classroom support system to the day's lesson.

Khan Academy