Tag Archives: technology integration

Computer Science and Technology Integration

Brain research tells us that learning really ‘sticks’ when activities are both meaningful to students as well as integrated in curriculum in an interdisciplinary approach. As well, students are motivated when they are actively discovering and investigating a problem.

computer science

Teach coding with Scratch to middle school and junior students to build computational thinking skills.

TechnoCode, the newest technology project developed by TechnoKids, was created specifically to spark an interest in computer science by engaging students. As they use Scratch to build programming skills, young learners construct a series of activities for kids. As game designers, they consider their users’ interests and abilities. They become authentic programmers who plan, code, and actually field test their unique creations.

The TechnoCode project is primarily a STEM project that teaches coding. However, the activities also integrate into other areas of curriculum including language arts, mathematics, social studies or science, visual arts, and music.

Computer Science

TechnoCode is an introduction to programming. The activities have students build algorithms that sequence commands, events, loops, and conditions. Use the project to target computer science learning outcomes. The project includes a detailed list of skills achieved in each Session, ideal as a teacher checklist for assessment.

Language Arts

The assignments in Session 1 and Session 4 can be integrated into curriculum as a language arts unit. In these assignments, students engage in visual storytelling. They create animated scenes and stories. To extend language arts learning outcomes, the concept of plot, setting, and characters is also applied when engineering games in Session 3 and 5.

Integrate coding into curriculum.

Integrate coding into curriculum.

Mathematics

Integrate TechnoCode into an existing problem-solving unit in Math class. The assignments are an ideal fit because coding requires mathematical and logical thinking. For example, placing sprites on the stage requires plotting ordered pairs, rotating objects involves knowledge of angles, and setting the size of sprites uses percentages. As well, logic is used to control when or if an action happens.

Social Studies or Science

Include The Session 4 Skill Review in TechnoCode as a creative way to showcase learning into another subject area. In this activity, students build an interactive diorama. It shows a scene from nature or a historical event that engages the viewer to click on objects to learn more. Complete the activity to have students share facts or create a simulation about a topic currently being studied. Samples provided include space exploration, tornado, and farming.

Visual Arts

Target visual arts learning outcomes with TechnoCode. Graphic design is interwoven throughout the activities. Students apply their creativity to paint or edit unique sprites and backdrops. They also apply their skills to engage the audience using visual elements. In addition, the Session 2 Extension Activity specifically has students draw artwork with a pen using code.

Music

Integrate TechnoCode into a music class. In the Session 3 Extension Activity, students invent an instrument. This activity is a fun way for students to express their musical talent.

programming

TechnoCode technology project teaches programming using graphical blocks.

Inspire your students to become coding ninjas with TechnoCode!

Top 5 TechnoKids Blog Articles of 2017

This year marks TechnoKids 25th anniversary. TechnoKids has been publishing technology projects and writing about technology education since 1993. In 2011, we published our first TechnoKids blog article, Six Benefits to Project Based Learning and Technology Integration. Since that time, we have written hundreds of blog articles. The posts connect teachers to helpful online resources, provide how-to instructions, review apps or web-based services, and express our opinion about technology integration. Thanks for reading!

TechnoKids Blog Articles – Technology Integration Ideas

Despite writing many new articles in 2017, many posts from several years ago remain reader’s favorites. In case you missed them, here are our top 5 blog posts shared and read by readers in 2017:

Wrap Text into a Shape using Photoshop CC

TechnoKids Blog  text into shape photoshop cc

Detailed instructions explain how to use Photoshop CC to wrap text into a shape. The blog post includes helpful tips with illustrations. This is a great article to bookmark if you are teaching a Photoshop unit.

Create WordArt Online

TechnoKids Blog  online wordart maker

An article that highlights one of our favorite online WordArt sites: CoolText. If you haven’t used this site before check it out! Your students will have lots of fun creating amazing titles and original text for their documents, presentations, and publications.

Color Part of a Black and White Photo using Photoshop CC

TechnoKids Blog History Brush Tool

Step by step instructions explain how to use the History Brush Tool to color part of a grayscale image. In only a few steps your students can create original artwork using Photoshop CC. Read this post if you like easy photo editing lessons.

Custom Bullets in Google Docs

TechnoKids Blog  custom bullets

In 2016, TechnoKids wrote a blog article about how to customize bullets in Google Docs. We explain how to create eye-catching lists with fun-looking bullets or professional headings that stand out with special characters. Since we published that post, Google has continued to improve the gallery of options. Your students will love the emojis!

Survey Questionnaire Ideas for Students using Google Forms

TechnoKids Blog  research question, google forms

So happy that readers love Google Forms and data analysis as much as we do! Our article about generating a meaningful research question for a survey has remained popular for years. People each day read this post. If you haven’t tried it yet, we recommend using Google Forms to collect and analyze data with your students. Designing a questionnaire and interpreting the results makes learning relevant.

Our bloggers like sharing helpful tips and resources. We appreciate that you take the time to read our blog posts. Thanks!

Quick Search Tip for Quality Results

site:search

Any search tip that makes online research more efficient is a welcome relief for teachers and students. Researching online with students can be a time consuming and sometimes frustrating task. The amount of information available on the Internet is mind boggling. Too often searches result in a lot of worthless or irrelevant information, or data of questionable trustworthiness. How can searches limit results to quality content?

Limit a search to a website

Site:search is a great way to save time and limit search results. This method restricts a search to a particular site or a specific type of site. It’s simple: in the search box, type site: followed by the limiting factor and search topic.

For example, if you want to just search the Smithsonian website for information on Wilbur and Orville Wright, type site:smithsonian.com wright brothers. Results yielded will be all references within the Smithsonian web archives, instead of the millions of suggested sites that will appear after a search for ‘wright brothers’. Left out are blog or opinion articles, all commercial sites using the name Wright Brothers, or any other unrelated sites. As an added bonus, since the source of all information will be the Smithsonian Museum, you know that the facts will be authentic and trustworthy.

Limit a search to a domain type

Learn Research SkillsInstead of limiting a search to just one site, you can restrict it to a type of site. This eliminates a whole minefield of biased or unreliable sources. For example, if you are searching for information about forestry and you type gc.ca Canada lumber, you will receive only sites that are published on Canadian government websites. Such information is authoritative and saves time researching the credibility of sources.

Here are some ways to restrict searches to trusted websites appropriate for classroom use.

Limit a Search to a Domain Type:
site:gov site:org site:edu
Limit a Search to Government Sites:
site:epa.gov site:nasa.gov site:loc.gov
Limit a Search to Organizations:
site:britishmuseum.org site:pbs.org site:worldwildlife.org
Limit a Search to Publications:
site:nationalgeographic.com site:timeforkids.com site:popsci.com
Limit a Search to Research-Based TV Shows:
site:history.com site:biography.com site:discovery.com

site:searchTeach your students the site:search tip. Their online research will be more efficient and will yield better, more legitimate results. TechnoResearch is a technology project that introduces essential research skills to elementary and middle school students. Learn how to plan, retrieve, process, share, and evaluate information. Using this fun and engaging project, students will acquire skills that are transferable to any inquiry challenge in all areas of the curriculum. Read more about TechnoResearch here.

Why Students Should Use Presenter View in PowerPoint 2

In my previous post, I explained how to use Presenter View in PowerPoint 2016. It’s a nifty feature that, if you have a projection system, allows a presenter to see the current slide, next slide, speaker notes, and presenter tools on a separate screen. The audience sees only the slide.

Benefits to Presenter View

Speaker Notes

Teaching students how to give a presentation that is informative while captivating the attention of the audience is a valuable skill. An essential part of a presentation is the preparation of speaker notes. These notes provide structure to a presentation and encourage the audience to listen as well as view the screen. Speaker notes can include reminders of what to say and additional information or facts that do not appear on the screen. If a second screen is not available, speaker notes can be printed as Notes Pages or as an Outline. But if you have a projection device and can see the computer screen while presenting, Presentation View allows you to see your notes and reminders on your computer screen during the presentation. The projector only shows the slide to the audience.

Practice Practice Practicepresenter view
Any presentation should include a number of rehearsals, either privately or with peer coaching, before it’s ready to unveil to an audience. Using Presenter View, the speaker can rehearse with the navigation tools, see the current and upcoming slides, practice using his notes, and become proficient using the pointer tools.

Control the Flow of Information
If the text on a slide is contained in bulleted points, set the animation so each one appears upon a mouse click. That way, you can limit the amount of words the audience can read and expand on the information as you speak. The audience will focus on both the slide as well as the speaker.
If there are pictures, you may want to control when they appear. Set the animation so images or diagrams show upon a mouse click. The viewers will focus on the picture only when you cause it to appear.
Presenter View allows you to preview what will happen when you press ‘next’ in advance of the audience seeing it.

Tools
The laser pointer, pen, highlighter, and eraser allow you to annotate, draw, or direct the eyes of the audience to particular words or images on the slide. Used sparingly, these tools help to attract and hold the attention of the audience. You can even black or white out the screen should you want to stop or pause the slide show.

presenter view

Use the laser pointer, pen, or highlighter to direct the viewers’ attention.

See All Slides
During the question period at the end of the presentation, or at any time during the presentation, you may want to go to a particular slide. If you click See All Slides, a thumbnail of all slides appears on the presenter’s screen only. Click on the desired slide and it will appear on the audience’s projected screen.

Timer
The stopwatch at the top corner of Presenter View is handy if there is a time limit for the presentation. It’s also useful when practicing – are you speeding up each time you present? Be careful not to talk too fast when you become familiar with the slide show. Remember that the audience is watching it for the first time.

Teach Presentation Skills

technopresenterTeach essential research skills, power up a presentation, and build public speaking techniques with TechnoPresenter. Integrate this technology project into a curriculum area using any topic of study. This project is suitable for student in junior and middle school grades. Learn more about TechnoPresenter here.