Wednesday, August 2, 2017

What Cutting Edge Looks Like in a School (2017) at Forbes

This is my latest story at Forbes. It's all about cutting edge tools in schools.

Yes, a lot of them involve technology but believe me, it's more about just what's good for kids right now.  These tools demonstrate the kind of leadership that I find in great educators and educational institutions.

You can find my story about cutting-edge tools for schools here.

Here are some additional comments that I didn't have room for at Forbes but it's so important that you know this.

Merge VR:
What is important to know as a parent or teacher when it comes to Merge VR is that schools can use augmented reality to build their lessons! Yes! I know it's in the works. You have to get on their radar asap and find out how you can be one of the first to start making something amazing with the Merge Cube! Send your school this link to learn how to develop for Merge!

LearnFit by Ergotron
Fun fact: I personally tested Ergotron since November of 2016! Believe me, testing this was not hard work! It was easy to put together- I think it came in just two pieces. It has a slot for drinks and pencils and other stuff. My 10-year-old was not supposed to sit on it but I found him doing that a lot. I rolled it around everywhere and spilled on it and used it pretty much everyday and it really still looks so new!  Wow! I know it's an expense but ask your school to try it out in one classroom- somewhere where it's a long period, where group work is involved, where lecturing is involved. See what happens!

Play the game of school to win! This can be a complex system but so is college and so is love. We would never  away from either. Classcraft can be as complex as you want it to be. It's up to the teacher and fortunately it is up to the students for the program's success! It makes cooperation cool and fun. And it does what life doesn't usually do for us. It allows each society leader (teacher) to quantify certain tactics and behaviors.  Maybe in one class in Wisconsin, giving a specific compliment to a classmate grants a player 10 points but perhaps in another class where this behavior needs heavy encouragement, maybe the same behavior would merit 30 points. 

I know you're all sold. Who would think this was a bad idea. Even the digitally-timid can be swayed.  You have to think about how to get people to play, even pay to play.  It's been done elsewhere and can be done in your school too. Know your audience. Good luck. Classcraft is awesome.

This is a very interesting new product that is adorning the wrist of many a mind-wandering child. I am wearing it as I am writing this to you. It's something that helps yours truly write this post today as well as do other things today. Remember, nothing is a panacea but if we find tools that work for us, then we employ them in our master plan. It's as simple as that.

New Matter Mod-t
There isn't much to say. It's simple. It's easy. It's fun. I have made things I've found in the Thingiverse, altered it with Tinkercad and of course, used the Mod-t to make a little LEGO boat. It's just the coolest thing ever. Think about what you would want for your child's school 3D printer. You just want it to be simple. The real learning comes from designing something, not loving it, and then redesigning it again and again until you do.

Remember to catch the story at Forbes!

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