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Exploratorium - Exploratorium

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4 to 12
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Explore, play, and discover at the website for Exploratorium in San Francisco. This very comprehensive site is part of their learning laboratory exploring the world through science,...more
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Explore, play, and discover at the website for Exploratorium in San Francisco. This very comprehensive site is part of their learning laboratory exploring the world through science, art, and human perception. Choose from the many different offerings including blogs, videos, and websites or explore by topic. If you teach science, you will want to bookmark this site for use all year long!

tag(s): atmosphere (28), colors (81), earth (231), electricity (91), energy (203), geology (83), light (49), magnetism (38), matter (61), motion (62), oceans (150), optical illusions (13), optics (15), sound (103), space (213), STEM (143), temperature (31), time (142), water (131)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the many resources found on Exploratorium to supplement science lessons. Resources include animations, songs, activities, and more. Share this site with students to use as inspiration for science fair projects. After using resources from the site, have students make a multimedia presentation including information learned using Ignite, reviewed here. Ignite is a tool to create a unique multimedia project using layers and incorporating collaboration. Alternatively, choose one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools, reviewed here.

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iExploreSTEM - University of Iowa

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4 to 12
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iExloreSTEM is a volunteer community dedicated to bringing STEM activities and festivals to local communities in and near Iowa; the ideas and resources can apply to any state. The site...more
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iExloreSTEM is a volunteer community dedicated to bringing STEM activities and festivals to local communities in and near Iowa; the ideas and resources can apply to any state. The site includes information and resources for planning STEM festivals and creating safe activities. Scroll down the page to find several sample activities listed by discipline including architecture, engineering, and more. Other useful resources include links to STEM career information and STEM links to specific states.

tag(s): animals (284), architecture (84), engineering (127), environment (319), plants (152), STEM (143)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the free activities, videos, and other resources throughout the year. Be sure to bookmark this site to search for resources for any lesson. Share a link to specific lessons and activities on your class website for use at home. Include STEM career information with any career exploration unit. After completing STEM activities, challenge students to create a presentation using Prezi, reviewed here, to share their results and learning process.

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Smithsonian Science How Webcasts - Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History

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5 to 12
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Bring a Smithsonian scientist to class through live webcasts including the ability to respond to questions in real-time. Choose the link to the schedule to view and register for upcoming...more
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Bring a Smithsonian scientist to class through live webcasts including the ability to respond to questions in real-time. Choose the link to the schedule to view and register for upcoming webcasts. No worries if you missed a session, go to the archives to see all previous sessions and view corresponding teaching resources. Resources include videos, lessons, online activities, rubrics, and more. Each webcast also provides correlation to Next Generation Science Standards.

tag(s): agriculture (56), arctic (45), birds (52), dinosaurs (58), environment (319), fish (26), fossils (46), human body (124), insects (70), mammals (33), minerals (18), paleontology (42), plants (152), rocks (51), solar system (123), space (213), volcanoes (64)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the many free resources on this site to use in your classroom. Watch webcasts together on an interactive whiteboard, or have students view at home and bring their questions and comments to class. Use this site for enrichment for gifted learners to dig deeper into science concepts. Challenge cooperative learning groups to create their own science videos using a tool like Stupeflix, reviewed here, and share them on a site such as TeacherTube, reviewed here. Have students make a multimedia presentation demonstrating science concepts using Zeetings, reviewed here. Zeetings' features allow for audience participation, polls, video, embeds, web links, and more.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Sylvia's Super-Awesome Maker Show! - Sylvia Todd

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5 to 12
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Sylvia's Super-Awesome Maker Show! is the website created by a California teen to share her enthusiasm for science through demonstrations and web shows. View videos as Sylvia demonstrates...more
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Sylvia's Super-Awesome Maker Show! is the website created by a California teen to share her enthusiasm for science through demonstrations and web shows. View videos as Sylvia demonstrates how to to make sidewalk chalk, builds a cardboard periscope, experiments with squishy circuits, and much more. In addition to the entertaining videos, the site also includes several printables with additional directions for creating projects. If your district blocks YouTube, the web shows may not be viewable. You could always view the videos at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as Freemake Video Converter, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): engineering (127), experiments (73), STEM (143), video (268)

In the Classroom

A young female teen, science, and maker ed - the perfect ingredients to get girls interested in science! Sylvia's web shows could be an excellent "back door" to creating female student interest in science! Share videos with students as part of your plan to implement maker spaces in your classroom. Use Sylvia's presentations as a model, then have students create videos demonstrating classroom projects and experiments using a tool like Stupeflix, reviewed here, and then share them on a site such as TeacherTube, reviewed here. Have cooperative learning groups create podcasts demonstrating their experiments. Use a site such as podOmatic, reviewed here.

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OK2Ask: Getting Started with OneNote - TeachersFirst

Grades
3 to 12
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional development session from February 2017, opens in Adobe Connect. Microsoft OneNote is a free tool that takes digital notebooks to the...more
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional development session from February 2017, opens in Adobe Connect. Microsoft OneNote is a free tool that takes digital notebooks to the extreme while keeping everything together on all of your devices. Organize, create, and collaborate anytime anywhere with text, audio, video, files, digital ink, and so much more! Provide support, feedback, and encouragement from one simple application. Remember, it's OK2Ask''®. This session is for teachers at ALL technology comfort levels. As a result of this session teachers will: (1) Learn the basic use of Microsoft OneNote; (2) Explore ways to give feedback to students using OneNote; and (3) Collaborate with other educators on ways to use OneNote in the classroom.

In the Classroom

The archive of this teacher-friendly, hands-on webinar will empower and inspire you to use learning technology in the classroom and for professional productivity. As appropriate, specific classroom examples and ideas have been shared. View the session with a few of your teaching colleagues to find and share new ideas. Find additional information and links to tools at the session resource page. Learn more about OK2Ask and upcoming sessions here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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GameMaker Studio - YoYo Games

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4 to 12
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GameMaker Studio uses drag and drop features for creating online games without having to learn code. Download the software for use on Windows machines running XP and higher. Tutorials...more
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GameMaker Studio uses drag and drop features for creating online games without having to learn code. Download the software for use on Windows machines running XP and higher. Tutorials provide instructions for beginners and leads learners through complete instructions for creating and sharing games. If your district blocks YouTube, then they may not be viewable. You could always view the videos at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as Freemake Video Converter, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): coding (50), game based learning (110), gamification (71), STEM (143)

In the Classroom

Use GameMaker Studio as an interesting way to introduce coding to your class for beginners and experienced coders. Display GameMaker on your interactive whiteboard or projector as you progress through the steps to code a game, then have students create and explore on their own. After school clubs and activities can use GameMaker to learn to code. Use this tool with gifted students for a great challenge. Set up a coding activity center for interested students when they finish class work or for rainy days and snow days. Share this link on your class website for students to access both in and out of the classroom.

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TeachersFirst's Resources for Game-Based Learning - TeachersFirst

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K to 12
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This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst is selected to help teachers and students learn about game-based learning and how to incorporate games into teaching and learning....more
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This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst is selected to help teachers and students learn about game-based learning and how to incorporate games into teaching and learning. Engage your students in the way they love to learn - games! Explore resources for quick practice or create your own games using these tools. Nurture problem solving, logic, and creativity.

tag(s): coding (50), differentiation (48), game based learning (110), gamification (71), logic (236)

In the Classroom

Share these tools on your class website or blog for students to use both in and out of the classroom. Use these tools to differentiate and reach all students at the various levels. Challenge your students to create their own games for review of content or acceleration options.

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Hippani - Hippani Ltd

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6 to 12
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Hippani is an HTML animation software download for creating apps, animations, and more. There are many tutorials available making it easy for beginners to start creating professional...more
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Hippani is an HTML animation software download for creating apps, animations, and more. There are many tutorials available making it easy for beginners to start creating professional looking results. There is a free and professional version. The free version allows you to create HTML animation and GIF's. With the free version, you can also test out the professional version during the free 30 days trial. Works with Windows and Mac OS X, however, the web apps created can be converted to iOS, Android and Windows phone apps via another program.

tag(s): animation (66), coding (50), images (271)

In the Classroom

Download Hippani's software onto classroom computers to learn basic coding skills. Students will quickly catch on to this program when allowed to explore and see what they can make. Then, for those who show an aptitude for coding, take advantage of the free 30-day use of the professional edition. Have students browse through the gallery and tutorials to learn about the features of Hippani. Allow them to explore and create on their own as part of your MakerSpace or as a center. Challenge students to use this software to create animated GIFs such as demonstrating how simple machines work, changes in landforms over time, or significant events from novels.

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Full Steam Ahead - Brunel's ss Great Britain

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6 to 12
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Learn the science and practical knowledge of ship building with this interactive based on one of Britain's most historic ships. Complete the interactive as an apprentice or master builder...more
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Learn the science and practical knowledge of ship building with this interactive based on one of Britain's most historic ships. Complete the interactive as an apprentice or master builder as you choose designs for different components of the ships including the hull, propellers, and engine. Download the apps for Apple and Android devices for use on any platform.

tag(s): 1800s (47), DAT device agnostic tool (166), engineering (127), STEM (143)

In the Classroom

Share Full Steam Ahead with students as part of any STEM lesson on engineering or sink and float. After using the interactive several times, have students create a simple infographic sharing their ship-building observations using Easel.ly, reviewed here. The original ship was launched in 1843, have students compare the structure to other ships of the time or as a contrast to modern ships.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Design Challenge Learning - The Tech Museum of Innovation

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2 to 12
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Design Challenge Learning offers several lesson plans correlated to Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards based on STEM concepts. Begin your search by choosing the length...more
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Design Challenge Learning offers several lesson plans correlated to Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards based on STEM concepts. Begin your search by choosing the length of lesson from under an hour, one to two hours, or lessons that cover multiple sessions. Another option provides a five-lesson unit on Seismic Engineering. Each lesson includes questioning prompts, vocabulary, and information on core concepts.

tag(s): agriculture (56), architecture (84), commoncore (95), density (21), energy (203), forces (46), friction (13), gravity (49), heart (44), human body (124), magnetism (38), matter (61), motion (62), plants (152), simple machines (37), sound (103)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the many free lesson plans offered at Design Challenge Learning to teach science concepts. Create a class wiki with additional resources for experimenting with science. Not comfortable with wikis? Check out the TeachersFirst Wiki Walk-Through. Have cooperative learning groups create podcasts demonstrating their understanding of one of the concepts. Use a site such as podOmatic, reviewed here, and then post them on the wiki or on your class web page.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Microsoft Project Siena - Microsoft

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6 to 12
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Project Siena is a tool for creating Windows-based apps without any prior app-building experience. View the video tutorials and download sample apps, then follow the link to get Siena...more
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Project Siena is a tool for creating Windows-based apps without any prior app-building experience. View the video tutorials and download sample apps, then follow the link to get Siena on your computer, this only works on Windows operating systems. Modify the sample apps for your own use, or use them to understand how to include features and build your own app.

tag(s): coding (50), computers (92), critical thinking (110), problem solving (272), STEM (143)

In the Classroom

Share Project Siena with students interested in computer coding. Have students modify sample apps to demonstrate an understanding of concepts. For example, modify the Bridge Tutor app to demonstrate how to conduct a science experiment or change the Health Cost Calculator to become an interactive tool for learning personal finance.

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Code School - Code School LLC

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5 to 12
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The Code School free account provides access to twelve introductory courses in computer coding. Create an account using your email address, then navigate to courses to view the free...more
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The Code School free account provides access to twelve introductory courses in computer coding. Create an account using your email address, then navigate to courses to view the free offerings. Courses offer several levels of training including videos and challenges. Earn digital badges as you complete each course.

tag(s): coding (50), computers (92), critical thinking (110), engineering (127), problem solving (272), STEM (143)

In the Classroom

Coding is an excellent way to teach critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Use this site as homework, a center, or in a lab setting. Courses are self-paced, so differentiation is easy. Explain to students that coding is a critical skill in today's world filled with technology and will also be a valuable skill in the job market. Many jobs that will require coding do not yet exist. Put a link to this tool on your class website, blog, or wiki. Since registration is via email, for young students consider using a "class set" of Gmail subaccounts, explained here; this tells how to configure Gmail subaccounts to use for any online membership service. Using Gmail subaccounts will provide anonymous interaction within your class.

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Dash - General Assembly

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4 to 12
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Dash is an interactive, online learn to code program. Use Dash to practice HTML, CSS, and JavaScript to build a website, blog theme, CSS robot, or your own mad libs ...more
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Dash is an interactive, online learn to code program. Use Dash to practice HTML, CSS, and JavaScript to build a website, blog theme, CSS robot, or your own mad libs game. Choose your project, then follow prompts in each accompanying slide show to add coding and receive feedback. Dash also highlights skills learned to view progress throughout tutorials. Click on any learned skill for a quick review lesson. The one-minute intro video resides on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, the video may not be viewable. You could always view the video at home and bring it to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as Freemake Video Converter, reviewed here, to download the video from YouTube.

tag(s): coding (50), computers (92), critical thinking (110), problem solving (272), STEM (143)

In the Classroom

Use Dash to learn basic coding skills. Students will quickly catch on to this program when allowed to explore and see what they can make. Provide a simple assignment with defined rules/tasks to learn the tools. Younger students may familiarize themselves more easily working with a partner. Be sure to recommend that students "ask three before me" (the teacher). When finished with these lessons, move to other free tools such as Scratch, reviewed here. Teachers of even very young gifted students can turn them loose with these challenges when they have already mastered the math or science curriculum. Have them create a creature they can explain to the class or share with gifted peers in other classrooms.

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Vidcode - vidcode.io

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5 to 12
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Vidcode provides beginner project tutorials for learning to code through projects designed to match teens' interests, specifically for teen girls. Although designed for girls, all students...more
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Vidcode provides beginner project tutorials for learning to code through projects designed to match teens' interests, specifically for teen girls. Although designed for girls, all students will benefit from the projects available on the site. Free projects include topics such as Make Your Own Filter, Make a Stop Motion, and Doodle SFX: Magic. Follow the step by step directions to drag and drop code to create and share projects. The best way to find the free projects is to click the Pricing link at the top of the homepage, then select "Start Coding" under the free column to view and access the free projects. Use email, Google, or Microsoft 365 to register. Once finished with the project, share it using the URL provided. A short intro video resides on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, the video may not be viewable. You could always view the video at home and bring it to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as Freemake Video Converter, reviewed here, to download the video from YouTube.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): coding (50), critical thinking (110), engineering (127), images (271), multimedia (61), problem solving (272), STEM (143), video (268)

In the Classroom

Create a coding center in your classroom using Vidcode. Encourage students to use the tutorials to create projects to include with any multimedia presentation. Have students make their multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge Multimedia tools, reviewed here. Some tool suggestions are (click on the tool name to access the review): Piktochart, Lucidpress, Powtoon, and theLearnia. Use Vidcode projects as part of any after-school or recess/lunch coding club activity.

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Cardboard2Code - CBIS Education

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4 to 12
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Cardboard2Code offers three free modules to learn computer programming tasks. Module topics include creating a cardboard robot arm, a virtual robot arm using Scratch, reviewed...more
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Cardboard2Code offers three free modules to learn computer programming tasks. Module topics include creating a cardboard robot arm, a virtual robot arm using Scratch, reviewed here, and using Python to control a robot arm. Enter your name and email to access each module. This site was created in the UK, so some of the pronunciations and spellings may differ from those in American English. There is a short introductory video that resides on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, the video may not be viewable. You could always view the video at home and bring it to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as Freemake Video Converter, reviewed here, to download the video from YouTube.

tag(s): coding (50), computers (92), critical thinking (110), engineering (127), problem solving (272), STEM (143)

In the Classroom

Cardboard2Code would be perfect for use as an independent or group learning station. Share these modules with students interested in learning to code. Include a link on your class website to the modules for students to complete at home. Locate a volunteer with coding skills to work with your class to complete modules.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Code the Future - Code the Future Ltd.

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K to 12
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Code the Future connects local volunteer developers to educators as an initiative to teach coding to students. Register your class project on the site to be linked to a volunteer ...more
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Code the Future connects local volunteer developers to educators as an initiative to teach coding to students. Register your class project on the site to be linked to a volunteer in your community.

tag(s): coding (50), computers (92), engineering (127), STEM (143)

In the Classroom

At the time of this review, there were very few volunteers available in the United States. Use the site to find ideas for coding projects, then reach out to your local community to find available volunteers to help you and your students reach your goal.

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Pencil Code Gym - David Bau

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K to 12
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Code your own art, music, and interactive fiction with Pencil Code Gym. The main language is Coffescript, but you can press the gear button to use HTML, Javascript, and CSS. ...more
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Code your own art, music, and interactive fiction with Pencil Code Gym. The main language is Coffescript, but you can press the gear button to use HTML, Javascript, and CSS. Follow instructions to code using drag and drop blocks or text. Click the pencil in the upper left corner to see several resources including Materials for Teachers, Teachers Manual, Printable Activities, and several others. Toggle back and forth between the two formats to view the different formats. The wide range of activities make this site perfect for use with students of all levels of coding abilities. When complete, share finished projects on "GymStage", the sharing portion of Pencil Code Gym.

tag(s): coding (50), critical thinking (110), digital storytelling (152), drawing (78), geometric shapes (164), musical notation (37), problem solving (272)

In the Classroom

Create a link on classroom computers for use as centers. Use the text options for students to use with digital storytelling. This site is perfect for differentiating different levels of coding skills. Allow students to explore at their own pace, then share their creations with classmates. Challenge students or groups to create videos explaining their creations using theLearnia, reviewed here, and share them on a site such as TeacherTube, reviewed here. Be sure to add a link to your class website for students to practice at home.
 

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W3 Schools Online Web Tutorials - W3 Schools

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4 to 12
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W3 Schools offers online tutorials for learning different forms of computer coding, from beginner level through advanced concepts. Choose from available categories to begin, then follow...more
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W3 Schools offers online tutorials for learning different forms of computer coding, from beginner level through advanced concepts. Choose from available categories to begin, then follow the tutorials including online examples to edit. Take quizzes to test your skills. Experienced coders will appreciate the reference guides included on the site containing common tags and terms used.

tag(s): coding (50), computers (92), critical thinking (110), gamification (71), logic (236), STEM (143)

In the Classroom

Use these tutorials to provide coding instruction for students at all ability levels. Make coding part of science inquiry or math logic in any classroom. Include it in the context of the scientific method or discussions about careers in science. You may even want to portray coding as just another "world language" in today's world. If you are looking for more ways to use coding in the classroom, check out TeachersFirst's Coding in the Classroom page.

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Intro to JS: Drawing & Animation - Kahn Academy

Grades
6 to 12
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In this Kahn Academy interactive online course, participants learn the basics of the JavaScript language to draw images and animations and beyond. Select from the Contents menu on the...more
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In this Kahn Academy interactive online course, participants learn the basics of the JavaScript language to draw images and animations and beyond. Select from the Contents menu on the left, or scroll down the page. Lessons are taught using short videos. Many videos have an interactive transcript and an error checker to assist you if you make a mistake. Use the provided links to videos hosted on YouTube. After viewing the explanation or a concept, try the practice sessions. Work through the seventeen modules with multiple lessons to earn badges. Many of the videos include real-time student questions and replies, Tips, Thanks, and Spin-Offs. The New Program space encourages the creation of original JavaScript programs. To save progress and keep track of projects, create an account by signing up using Gmail, Facebook or any email. Identify yourself if you are teacher or parent. Documentation, in both text and video format, includes information on JS basics. Help is available in a community forum format which students may access. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos may not be viewable. You could always view them at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): animation (66), coding (50), computers (92), critical thinking (110), problem solving (272)

In the Classroom

The course is self-paced, so differentiation is easy. Explain to students that coding is a critical skill in today's tech-filled world and will be a valuable skill in the job market. Compare coding to just another "world language." Put a link to this tool on a class website, blog, or wiki. Look for more ways to use coding in the classroom on the TeachersFirst's Coding in the Classroom page, here. Make JS part of science inquiry or math logic in any classroom. Besides the intrinsic factors that come with learning to code, students will be motivated by badges. Set up a coding activity center for interested students when they finish class work or for rainy days and snow days. Coding is an excellent way to teach critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Use this site as homework, a classroom center, or in a lab setting.

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Girls Who Code - Reshma Saujani

Grades
6 to 12
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Girls Who Code is an organization founded to help close the gender gap in technology. They have two programs offering girls the opportunity to explore coding with peers. The Clubs ...more
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Girls Who Code is an organization founded to help close the gender gap in technology. They have two programs offering girls the opportunity to explore coding with peers. The Clubs Program is for girls in grades 6-12 and meets two hours each week in local schools and provides opportunities for computer training for beginners through advanced learners. The Summer Immersion Program offers a 7-week training for 10th and 11th-grade students in coding and exposure to jobs in the technology field. Accepted students receive stipends for transportation and living expenses to attend the program. Enter your city, state, and zip code to see a map for clubs in your area, or consider contacting the organization to start a club in your area. While most of the content on this site is appropriate for middle school girls, please preview before you share.

tag(s): coding (50), computers (92), critical thinking (110), logic (236)

In the Classroom

Share this site with your school's administration or anyone willing to consider leading an after-school computer program for girls and ask them to become a sponsor. Be sure to share information on the Summer Immersion Program with your high school guidance counselor and technology teachers as an excellent opportunity for interested students.

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