Patrick Higgins, Jr.

“STEM and the Humanities Classroom” and “Changing the Game”

In change on March 1, 2014 at 2:29 pm

This morning, I was fortunate enough to present at #wetech14 in West Essex, NJ.  The two sessions I presented were on STEM and the Humanities Classroom and the Changing the Game: Helping students move from Entertainment Technologists to Educational Technologists.Screenshot 2014-03-01 at 1.13.10 PM

And

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Holiday Gadgets!

In change on December 13, 2013 at 4:55 pm

It’s the Holiday season, and with that the world of gadgets and gadgetry is on full display.  Within the lives of our students, and probably our own families, there is a greater dependence on gadgets than we have ever had before.

If you are looking for some last minute items for those on your lists, I’ve put together some reasonable choices, including options for less than $50.

  • The Apple Insider Gift Guide: while not a singular product, this list is geared toward those of you who are Mac fans.  Tons of things here for the iPad!
  • The Chromecast: Google has created a device that plugs into the back of your television that allows you to stream content from any device that uses Chrome as a browser.  Have an iPad?  Via Chrome you can send your screen to the television across the room.  Have an Android phone?  You can stream from Google Play, Google Play Music, Pandora and Netflix right to your television.
  • Anki Racers: the rise of toys that are controlled via phones and other handheld devices continues.  More and more, we see remote control helicopters, cars, and all sorts of things bundled with apps.  Anki Racers are no different.  Here is a quick video to detail what these toys do:

  • Nest Home Temperature Management: We have now entered a world in which you can control the conditions in your home from wherever you are.  Via an app on your phone, you can start adjust the temperature prior to your arrival at home.  Think of that, get in your car at the end of a workday, open the app and set the thermostat to your desired temperature and arrive home in a warm, toasty house.
  • Makey-Makey: two graduate students have it in their mind that we are all inventors.  They set out to prove this through their creation of the $50 device called Makey-Makey.  No bigger than a credit card, this product does some amazing things.  If you’ve got a child in the family that loves to tinker, this one is perfect.  Check out their video:

For more lists of great holiday gear, be sure to peruse CNET’s lists here.  They have something on here for everyone.
Also, a quick note about Warren Buckleitner: Warren is the publisher of Children’s Technology Review, a monthly publication that reviews new and noteworthy entrants into the learning and technology field.  To see his work, please be sure to go to his site.  Also, I recently got to see him present an array of learning toys.  Here is his presentation:

Five Research-Driven Education Trends At Work in Classrooms | MindShift

In change on October 28, 2013 at 3:00 pm

A few weeks ago during the October 14th PD Sessions, I had a conversation with a group of people about cultivating perseverance and “grit” within our students.  That no matter what their DRA2 level, or their NJASK score, the future success of our students could quite possibly be their ability to work through difficult tasks without giving up easily.

 

On the heels of that conversation, this article from KQED came out: Five Research-Driven Education Trends At Work in Classrooms . In it, the author of the article talks about that very feature:

 

Paul Tough’s book, How Children Succeedpopularized the ideas of grit and perseverance. Now those ideas have made their way into a U.S. Department of Education’s Technology office reportas well as the Common Core State Standards, which many states are already implementing. The idea that failure is an opportunity to learn and improve, not a roadblock to achievement, is often referenced as one of the most important life skills a student can take with him beyond the classroom. 

Angela Duckworth’s research on grit has shown that often students, who scored lower on intelligence tests, end up doing better in class. They were compensating for their lack of innate intelligence with hard work and that paid off in their GPAs. Duckworth has even developed a “Grit Scale” that allows students to self-report their “grittiness.”

 

 How does the work you do in the classroom help your students move through their frustration and towards a solution?  

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