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Yaskawa America, Inc., Motoman Robotics Division Sponsors 2018-2019 Cyber Robotics Coding Competitions

Intelitek partner, Yaskawa Motoman, joins as a sponsor in helping to promote STEM, coding and robotics in schools, introducing students to careers in technology

Cyber Robotics Coding Competition

Derry, NH – Oct. 23, 2018 – The Intelitek STEM and CTE Education Foundation has announced that Intelitek partner, Yasakawa America Inc., Motoman Robotics Division (Yaskawa Motoman), has committed to being a major sponsor of the 2018-2019 Cyber Robotics Coding Competition (CRCC), happening in 14 states across the United States.

With more than 400,000 Motoman® robots installed worldwide, Yaskawa Motoman is a leading provider of industrial robots, seamlessly integrating cost effective, efficient and safe robotic solutions for virtually every industry and robotic application. Dedicated to inspiring students to become interested in STEM courses and careers in robotics, Yaskawa Motoman collaborates closely with educators and industry professionals across the Americas to help build a relevant workforce training environment.

The CRCC was started in 2017 by the ISCEF Foundation to promote STEM in schools using an online, entirely virtual mobile robotics experience in a game-like user interface. Students in middle and high school participate in class or at home and earn points as they complete progressively more difficult levels or missions. Students love the challenge of a game and CRCC teaches them coding while they are having fun competing with classmates, as well as other classes and schools.

“The need for skilled labor in coding, robotics and automation is on the rise – and is not being fulfilled. We need to ensure that students are exposed to STEM opportunities from a young age. CRCC does exactly that,” said Bob Graff, Senior Sales Manager, Education at Yaskawa America Inc., Motoman Robotics Division. “We are excited to support the competition and see so many students at such a young age have the opportunity to learn the concepts and technicalities of robotic engineering.”

During the months of October and November, students compete online for the first two phases of the competition, learning, practicing and building skills in robotics and coding. Schools that qualify will then meet face to face in each state to compete in the more challenging codeathon finals.

“More than 150,000 students have competed in the CRCC,” said Ido Yerushalmi, CEO of Intelitek, the provider of the platform for the competition. “We see this as a major breakthrough in promoting technology studies and specifically programming of robotics for all students in any school, regardless of resources.”

For more information go to https://crcc.io

About CRCC

The Cyber Robotics Coding Competition (CRCC) is the first-of-its-kind online competition designed to be interactive and exciting as participants learn how robots work and expand their knowledge of STEM careers. Competitors undertake their missions on Intelitek’s CoderZ Cyber Robotics Learning Environment, a cloud-based platform featuring a graphical simulation of robots. The innovative, online platform has a coding interface where users between 6th and 12th grade can activate a virtual robot, or “cyber-robot,” and watch the results in a real-time simulation. For more information about CRCC please visit https://crcc.io.

About Intelitek

Intelitek has been transforming education and bringing robotics into classrooms across the globe through comprehensive technology learning solutions for more than 30 years. The Company’s innovative tools and technologies empower instructors and inspire students to improve the world around them. Intelitek’s sustainable support and professional development ensure the continued success of educational programs. By helping deliver the competencies needed for in-demand careers, Intelitek is producing results for students, teachers, nations, and economies. More information can be found by visiting www.intelitek.com.

About Yaskawa Motoman

Founded in 1989, the Motoman Robotics Division of Yaskawa America, Inc. is a leading robotics company in the Americas. With over 400,000 Motoman® robots installed globally, Yaskawa provides automation products and solutions for virtually every industry and robotic application; including arc welding, assembly, coating, dispensing, material handling, material cutting, material removal, packaging, palletizing and spot welding. For more information please visit www.motoman.com.


University of New Hampshire to Host the State Finals for State’s Second Annual Cyber Robotics Coding Competition

Cyber Robotics Coding Competition

DERRY, N.H. – Oct. 18, 2018 – On December 15, the University of New Hampshire (UNH) will host the finals of the state’s Cyber Robotics Coding Competition (CRCC), being held by the New Hampshire Department of Education (NH DOE) and the Intelitek STEM and CTE Education Foundation (ISCEF). The CRCC, sponsored by Intelitek and Oracle Academy, is an eight-week virtual coding competition in partnership with UNH and New Hampshire 4-H that provides students and educators with the opportunity to build STEM related skills using a cloud-based simulation platform featuring a virtual, 3D-animated robot.

Frank Edelblut, the commissioner of the NH DOE, will be on hand to give out awards. “We are very excited by the commitment that the University of New Hampshire is making to the Cyber Robotics Coding Competition,” said Edelblut. “Students will be competing with their peers from across New Hampshire inside one of our state’s premiere learning institutions while also learning new skills and having fun. What a great opportunity for everyone.”

The NH DOE and Intelitek have been excited to collaborate to create this competition and in doing so, gave rise to an international phenomenon that has resulted in more than 50,000 students all over the world participating in similar events.

“NH 4-H is excited to co-host the 2018 NH CRCC final competition, here at UNH,” said Kate Guerdat, Ed.D, associate state 4-H program leader. “Intelitek’s collaborative and innovative approach to increasing access to STEM experiences for diverse NH communities aligns with UNH Cooperative Extension’s priority of meeting people where they are. As the youth outreach component of Cooperative Extension, NH 4-H looks forward to not only supporting the capacity building experience for youth, but engaging families in STEM learning as well.” 

In the first New Hampshire CRCC, held at the end of 2017, more than 2,500 students in middle and high schools throughout the state used CoderZ, a cloud-based coding platform to compete in over 80 different and challenging robotics missions. In addition to winning prizes for inclusiveness, faculty participation and diversity, the top schools competed in a grand finale competition for the best middle school, best high school and a grand prize called the Governor’s Award. (Gallery).

“UNH has an incredible computer science program that has prepared graduates to work at industry giants such as Apple, Google and Microsoft, so of course the UNH computer lab is a very fitting locale for the CRCC Finals,” said Ido Yerushalmi, CEO of Intelitek. “We are very excited to be working with such a great institution to expand student access to coding.”

The NH CRCC will be held from mid-October to mid-December. To register a school, club or community organization for the event, visit https://crcc.io/signup.

For more information on CRCC competitions, go https://crcc.io/new-hampshire/ or contact Danny Watt, Director of CRCC at ISCEF, at dwatt@iscefoundation.org.

About CRCC

The first-of-its-kind Cyber Robotics Coding Competition (CRCC) was created by ISCEF and is supported by Intelitek and Oracle Academy. The online competition is designed to be interactive and exciting as participants learn how robots work and expand their knowledge of STEM careers. Parties interested in organizing Cyber Robotics Competitions for their school, district or state can contact ISCEF at info@iscefoundation.org

About Intelitek

Intelitek has been transforming education and bringing robotics into classrooms across the globe through comprehensive technology learning solutions for more than 30 years. The Company’s innovative tools and technologies empower instructors and inspire students to improve the world around them. Intelitek’s sustainable support and professional development ensure the continued success of educational programs. By helping deliver the competencies needed for in-demand careers, Intelitek is producing results for students, teachers, nations, and economies.

About the NH DOE

The New Hampshire Department of Education is committed to providing leadership and services which promote equitable educational opportunities that enable the state’s citizens to become fully productive members of society. The department helps students, parents, and educators meet the educational needs of children so they can build bright futures while also working to improve family engagement with schools. The department assists residents with disabilities in gaining access to educational opportunities and employment while also approving programs for veterans. The NH DOE works to promote lifelong learning, and ensures that post-secondary institutions and career schools meet applicable standards so the people of New Hampshire can improve their lives.

 About Oracle Academy

As Oracle’s flagship philanthropic educational program, Oracle Academy advances computer science education globally to drive knowledge, innovation, skills development, and diversity in technology fields, offering a free and complete portfolio of software, curriculum, hosted technology, faculty trainings, support, and certification resources. Supporting 6.3 million students annually in 128 countries, the program works with public and private partners to provide the tools educators need to engage, inspire and prepare students to become innovators and leaders of the future. Through Oracle Academy, students receive hands-on experience with the latest technologies, helping to make them college and career ready in the era of big data, cloud computing, the Internet of Things, and beyond, please visit us at academy.oracle.com.

Trademarks
Oracle and Java are registered trademarks of Oracle and/or its affiliates.  


Cyber Robotics Coding Competition

National Cyber Robotics Coding Competitions Hosted by Intelitek STEM and CTE Education Foundation Set to Begin October 15 for Schools in 14 States

DERRY, N.H. – Oct. 10, 2018 – College and professional football games aren’t the only fall competitions underway. In October, the Intelitek STEM and CTE Education Foundation (ISCEF) kicks off the 2018 Cyber Robotics Coding Competitions (CRCCs) in 14 states and the District of Columbia. The CRCC is the first-of-its-kind, free to participate, online coding and robotics tournament for students in grades 5-9 that enables schools and districts to engage students in STEM learning by using game-based competitions that are both safe and fun.

Sponsored by Intelitek, CoderZ and Oracle Academy, the first eight-week virtual coding competition was held in New Hampshire at the end of 2017 and gave rise to an international phenomenon that has resulted in more than 50,000 students all over the world participating in similar events. Just last month more than 30,000 students in Vietnam registered for their CRCC in just under 48 hours.

This year, 14 different competitions will be held in 13 states, including California, Connecticut, Maryland, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia, Wisconsin, as well as the District of Columbia. A fifteenth — the U.S. National Open Access competition — will be held virtually for students in schools without a statewide CRCC.

Just like last year, this year’s competitors will undertake their missions on Intelitek’s award-winning CoderZ Cyber Robotics Learning Environment, a cloud-based platform featuring a graphical simulation of LEGO Mindstorms EV3 robots. The innovative, online platform has a coding interface where users between 5th and 12th grade can activate a virtual robot, or “cyber-robot,” and watch the results in a real-time simulation.

“Coding and robotics are incredibly important areas for students to pursue to support our economic growth and development,” said Ben Smith, STEM Coordinator, Supervisor of Educational Technology, Lincoln Intermediate Unit 12, New Oxford, Penn. “Competitions like the CRCC engage and excite students so they become invested in their learning.”

Teachers and schools can signup anytime before Nov 8th to join the event which kicks off on Oct 15th with a Boot Camp for students. Educator resources include a webinar, which can be accessed here.

The 2018 CRCC will be held in three stages, starting with Boot Camp, which opens to students on October 15 and lasts approximately three weeks. In this first stage, students and educators work on their choice of more than 50 lessons (called “missions”) in order to gain or hone knowledge of coding and robotics fundamentals. High participation and diversity among Boot Camp competitors can earn that school teams awards and invitations to the Finals.

The second stage of the CRCC is the Qualifiers, which will be open from November 5 through November 14. Students will work to complete over 20 missions and earn points for their school’s team. Schools with the highest average scores will receive invitations to the finals. The third round, the Finals, is a live, in-person, one-day event held in December in which two student representatives from each school will be challenged to complete five more advanced missions under a time constraint.

Smith added, “Getting students in middle school involved is the critical time where they can work to develop computational thinking skills that can impact their career choice.  The CRCC provides students the opportunity to participate in challenging, but fun, missions that will capture their interest and motivate them to pursue computer science.”

“Our mission is to make robotics and coding accessible to all schools in a fun and engaging way,” said Ido Yerushalmi, CEO of Intelitek. “That is what we are successfully doing with CoderZ and CRCC – we’ve made it so easy for teachers, engaging for students and as simple as possible to participate – because all that is needed is Internet connectivity.”

For more information about CRCC, visit CRCC.io, or to express interest in organizing a Cyber Robotics Competitions for a school, district or state, contact Danny Watt dwatt@iscefoundation.org

About Intelitek

Intelitek has been transforming education and bringing robotics into classrooms across the globe through comprehensive technology learning solutions for more than 30 years. The Company’s innovative tools and technologies empower instructors and inspire students to improve the world around them. Intelitek’s sustainable support and professional development ensure the continued success of educational programs. By helping deliver the competencies needed for in-demand careers, Intelitek is producing results for students, teachers, nations, and economies.

About Oracle Academy

As Oracle’s flagship philanthropic educational program, Oracle Academy advances computer science education globally to drive knowledge, innovation, skills development, and diversity in technology fields, offering a free and complete portfolio of software, curriculum, hosted technology, faculty trainings, support, and certification resources. Supporting 6.3 million students annually in 128 countries, the program works with public and private partners to provide the tools educators need to engage, inspire and prepare students to become innovators and leaders of the future. Through Oracle Academy, students receive hands-on experience with the latest technologies, helping to make them college and career ready in the era of big data, cloud computing, the Internet of Things, and beyond, please visit us at academy.oracle.com.

Trademarks
Oracle and Java are registered trademarks of Oracle and/or its affiliates.  


CoderZ Wins Award

CoderZ wins ‘Best Coding App or Tool’ at the 2018 Tech Edvocate Awards

Seal-Promo-660x400

After 4 months of hard work, the judges narrowed down the year’s top edtech companies, products, people and more. They solicited nominees from readers in June/July and held online voting from June 1, 2018 – August 21, 2018. The nominee’s performance during the online voting period was used to gauge their popularity, but in no way signaled that they would become a finalist or walk away with an award. The finalists and winners were ultimately selected by a panel comprised of two edtech thought leaders, two PreK-12 teachers, one college professor, two K-12 administrators, one college administrator and two PreK-12 parents.

See all winners here.


Product Review: CoderZ – by Tech&Learning

CoderZ by Intelitek is a browser-based coding environment that teaches middle-and high-school students to program both virtual and physical robots.

FRANK PILEIRO
AUG 30, 2018
 

gocoderz.com ■ Retail Price: Home use: $6.25/month (billed annually); classroom subscription: $840; school and unlimited use by quote.

TL_09_18_Final-93

CoderZ by Intelitek is a browser-based coding environment that teaches middle-and high-school students to program both virtual and physical robots. CoderZ puts a virtual robot in front of every student, and they progress through a variety of standards-based “missions” using Java block coding language. CoderZ is compatible with LEGO Mindstorms Education EV3, so student creations can be downloaded and run in real life.

Quality and Effectiveness: CoderZ is a nice solution for students to get started in coding and robotics. Teachers with limited budgets don’t have to purchase physical robots, and the 3D coding environment simulates writing code for a real-life robot that can be tested and debugged as they progress through the different challenges. The programs can be downloaded onto a compatible robot for more real-world problem solving.

TL_09_18_Final-92

CoderZ also has a classroom management component and provides data so teachers can easily assign tasks, track progress, identify students’ needs, and adjust instruction if needed.

CoderZ gives more advanced students the option of moving out of the Java block coding environment to code directly in a text-based editor.

Ease of Use: CoderZ loads quickly and runs smoothly on any browser or platform. The interface is intuitive and easy to navigate for both teachers and students. Users who log in for the first time are greeted with a series of text boxes that direct them through a beginners tutorial to acquaint them with the interface as well as the block coding environment. The accompanying curriculum resources make it easy for teachers to share content with students.

TL_09_18_Final-94

 

Creative Use of Technology: CoderZ’s instructional design and interface make it a good solution for schools that want to introduce coding and robotics to students but find it fiscally challenging to purchase enough robots. The 3D gamified learning environment is realistic and attractive. It also give students feedback and help mechanisms to assist and instruct them if they get stuck. Its flexibility enables more advanced students to explore some of their own programs and gives teachers the ability to differentiate by assigning open-ended assignments.

Suitability for Use in a School Environment: The CoderZ platform will integrate well into any middle- or high-school STEM/coding program. It gives students the opportunity to learn how to code robots without schools having to make large investments in robotics hardware and create complicated labs full of hardware.

TL_09_18_Final-95

The gamified “mission” based lessons are clear and easy to follow, and they progress through the necessary skills from basic to complex. The block-based environment builds on the basic sequences of instructions and moves to more complex functions, variables, and loops.

OVERALL RATING:

CoderZ is a creative, economical, and browser-based solution to get students coding by using robotics as the basis for projects that advance them through more complicated coding tasks.

TOP FEATURES

• Cloud-based platform gives students the opportunity for anytime, anywhere access.
• Classroom management tools enable teachers to track and monitor student progress.
• Intuitive and flexible gamified learning environment with realistic graphics.


CoderZ finalist in the Tech Edvocate Awards program

CoderZ named a finalist for ‘Best Coding App or Tool’ in the Tech Edvocate Awards program. Winners will be announced on August 31.

The-Evocate

See akk finalists here


Infographic: How education needs to keep up with Industry 4.0

Why Education 4.0?

Intelitek’s viewpoint on Education 4.0 is derived from a more familiar concept known as Industry 4.0. In the industrial context, this term describes the fact that society has experienced four industrial revolutions in the last 250 years. These revolutions have completely changed not only the world of industry but many aspects of community, the practical nature of the workforce, and the way we see living in modern times.

Education 4.0 defines today’s required schooling for being an active member of society and a valuable employee in the industrial workspace.

Even today during most learning sessions, students are required to sit quietly in class, have no interaction with their peers and listen to the single source of knowledge – the teacher. Education 4.0 involves collaboration with peers, guests, teachers and administrators. Education 4.0 environments must foster discussion and teamwork.

Intelitek learning environments are designed to duplicate other parts of societal development. We are inspired by Industry 4.0 and the development of transportations systems, healthcare systems, and much more. The fundamentals of Education 4.0 are:

  1. The learning path is tailor made
  2. We offer formative assessment
  3. Teachers become mentors
  4. Divergence and pluralism

 

Infographic for Industry 4.0_ver4-1


New Hampshire Department of Education to Host Second Annual Cyber Robotics Coding Competition

Cyber Robotics Coding Competition

Last year’s inaugural event drew thousands of students statewide and spurred additional national and international competitions in West Virginia, Nevada, Texas, Washington, D.C. and Paraguay 

DERRY, N.H. – Aug. 1, 2018 – The New Hampshire Department of Education and the Intelitek STEM and CTE Education Foundation (ISCEF) will being teaming up again to hold a statewide Cyber Robotics Coding Competition (CRCC) from mid-October to mid-December. Sponsored by Intelitek, and Oracle Academy, the CRCC is an eight-week virtual coding competition that provides students and educators with the opportunity to build STEM related skills using a cloud-based simulation platform featuring a virtual, 3D-animated robot.

New Hampshire was the first state to hold the competition. In doing so, it gave rise to an international phenomenon that has resulted in more than 30,000 students all over the world participating in similar events.

“CRCC is learning as it is meant to be,” said Frank Edelblut, the commissioner of the NH DOE. “Students could not be more engaged. They are not only building coding skills, but creativity and innovative capacity to solve problems. This year, they will be competing with students from around New Hampshire and around the world and will be able to challenge themselves even further. Ido and I share a vision to see a million students participating in this event in the next five years.”

In the first New Hampshire CRCC, held at the end of 2017, more than 2,500 students in middle and high schools throughout the state used CoderZ, a cloud-based coding platform to compete in over 80 different and challenging robotics missions. In addition to winning prizes for inclusiveness, faculty participation and diversity, the top schools competed in a grand finale competition for the best middle school, best high school and a grand prize called the Governor’s Award, which included a trophy and a $2,000 grant (Gallery).

“The NH DOE has an inspiring vision of preparing its students – not just for the current 21st century – but for the 22nd century,” said Ido Yerushalmi, CEO of Intelitek. “As part of that goal, they are continually looking for ways to engage students in rigorous, relevant and integrated learning STEM experiences, including computer science. The first competition demonstrated that CRCC is a great way to motivate students and expose them to STEM – kids were even logging in to our software platform from home – and we are delighted to be helping support their vision.”

The NH CRCC grand finale round will take place in the week of December 3rd at one of the state’s universities.

For more information on CRCC competitions go http://iscefoundation.org/nh-crcc/ or contact Joshua Schuler, Director of CRCC at ISCEF at jschuler@iscefoundation.org.

About CRCC

The first-of-its-kind Cyber Robotics Coding Competition (CRCC) was created by ISCEF and is supported by Intelitek and Oracle Academy. The online competition is designed to be interactive and exciting as participants learn how robots work and expand their knowledge of STEM careers. Competitors undertake their missions on Intelitek’s CoderZ Cyber Robotics Learning Environment, a cloud-based platform featuring a graphical simulation of LEGO robotics kits. The innovative, online platform has a coding interface where users between 6th and 12th grade can activate a virtual robot, or “cyber-robot,” and watch the results in a real-time simulation.

Students and teachers need no prior coding or robotics knowledge. The events include professional development and training for teachers and boot camp activities in which students learn and practice intensively from any Chrome computer browser. The missions are self-directed, and individual students can progress at their own pace. In the West Virginia event, students went from boot camp activities to a Week of Code event that was held in the first part of May and featured 21 challenges.

Competitions range in size from 20 to hundreds of schools and can be held over several weeks or at a one-day event. The finals can be a weeklong online competition and/or a face-to-face codeathon. An entire school can participate in a competition, and no special hardware is required. Participation is supported by sponsorships.

Parties interested in organizing Cyber Robotics Competitions for their school, district or state can contact ISCEF at info@iscefoundation.org.

About Intelitek

Intelitek has been transforming education and bringing robotics into classrooms across the globe through comprehensive technology learning solutions for more than 30 years. The Company’s innovative tools and technologies empower instructors and inspire students to improve the world around them. Intelitek’s sustainable support and professional development ensure the continued success of educational programs. By helping deliver the competencies needed for in-demand careers, Intelitek is producing results for students, teachers, nations, and economies.

About Oracle Academy

As Oracle’s flagship philanthropic educational program, Oracle Academy advances computer science education globally to drive knowledge, innovation, skills development, and diversity in technology fields, offering a free and complete portfolio of software, curriculum, hosted technology, faculty trainings, support, and certification resources. Supporting more than 3.5 million students annually in 120 countries, the program works with public and private partners to provide the tools educators need to engage, inspire and prepare students to become innovators and leaders of the future. Through Oracle Academy, students receive hands-on experience with the latest technologies, helping to make them college and career ready in the era of big data, cloud computing, the Internet of Things, and beyond. Please visit us at academy.oracle.com

# # #


How to start a virtual coding boot camp in five easy steps

By Meredith Hoover – Originally posted in eschoolnews

coding

We’re building a love for STEM with virtual robotics and coding camps that get students excited; here are 5 steps to get your school going in the right direction

It never ceases to amaze me when I see a middle school student excelling at virtual robot simulations, a seventh grader using computer code to solve a STEM problem, or an eighth-grade robotics team brainstorming ideas and then developing a full-blown operating robot. Even these tiniest victories go a long way, with students getting hands-on with advanced technologies and then taking that experience to college and/or out into the workforce.

Challenged by budgetary constraints, time limitations, and the wide selection of new classroom technology that’s being thrown at them, K-12 districts aren’t in the best position to set up onsite robotics and coding classes for their students. To overcome these challenges, several West Virginia schools are leveraging a technology platform that’s completely online, and that’s helped them bring the fascinating world of robots to a wider band of students.

Here’s how you can do it too.

1. Find an internal champion to lead the cause. To think beyond basic K-12 curriculum and truly prepare students for today’s work world, you need a champion to get behind the cause. We found ours in Donna Burge-Tetrick, superintendent of Nicholas County (WV) Schools. She secured a grant from the West Virginia Department of Education to provide a robotics instructor to support teachers in robotics implementation. She has also continued to fund and support all aspects of our program, which is now growing steadily.

2. Pick products that complements your school’s current resources. We’re using CoderZ by Intelitek, a platform that is completely online with virtual robot simulations, thus reducing the need for robotics kits and pieces. This has helped us cut equipment expenses to a minimum and, even better, our teachers need no specialized training to teach robotics classes, which cuts the costs even more. This is particularly beneficial for districts that have been unable to establish or expand their own robotics programs.

3. Get teachers hands-on and on-board early. One of my biggest challenges is getting teachers on board, comfortable, and willing to take on the challenge of robotics and coding instruction. The program we selected is easy for teachers to put into practice because they don’t need any additional resources or expensive robots to implement it in their classrooms. I’ve used it with both middle schools in our county and not only did they both participate, but they also both went to the Cyber Robotics Coding Competition (CRCC) finals.

After the event, I spoke with the teachers and heard positive feedback from them. Now, they’re talking about getting robotics/coding classes for sixth grade for the upcoming school year. The CRCC helped pave the way for that because it was such a positive experience; teachers could see the success and wanted more.

4. Weave robotics and coding right into the school day. This not only levels the playing field for all students—including those who may not have Internet access at home—but it also encourages collaboration among students and creates an atmosphere of accountability. For example, students have dedicated class time to work on the coding/robotics program and are also given the links to access information if they want to continue working at home. And while in-class robotics is still a fairly new concept, it’s a great tool for overcoming truancy issues and for getting students to like school again. (We’re offering it at our Alternative Learning Center next year, in fact.)

5. Foster a love of STEM across the board. As technology continues to make its way into the workforce in all fields, being tech savvy and able to understand code are becoming “must haves” for graduates. Knowing this, teachers should be talking to students about potential careers that involve STEM, creating project-based experiences for them, integrating robotics into their standards-based lessons, and fostering a love of STEM for both girls and boys.

Our new online program has helped us achieve these goals, and now we have 4-H clubs across the county picking up robotics and offering it to their young members. It’s all about fostering the engineering and scientific fields, developing students’ abilities, and stoking their interest in these opportunities.

With more K-12 schools rising up to meet the STEM challenge, it’s a great time for all of us to embrace coding competitions, virtual robotics platforms, and other tools that are out there for the asking. The more we can do on this front, the more we can prepare students for success in school, in the workforce, and in life.


5 modern education myths debunked

By Ido Yerushalmi – Originally posted in eschoolnews

education-myths-500x400
Education 4.0 can have a profound impact on how instructors teach real-world skills, but these five myths are still holding them back from fully leveraging this new age of instruction

In the industrial setting, Industry 4.0 is a term that analysts use to describe the automation and data exchange that are used in manufacturing technologies, and this involves modern concepts like the Internet of Things (IoT), cloud computing, and other innovations. Cumulatively, these technologies are changing the face of manufacturing.

Much like a manufacturing firm needs a flexible production line in order to adapt to changes in demand and customer preferences, education must also be tailor-made in a way that truly prepares students for success. In order to effectively implement Education 4.0, these five myths will have to be debunked:

Myth #1: Students are just “empty vessels.”
During the second industrial revolution, many believed that a student’s brain is similar to a piece of raw material that is assembled from scratch into a perfect product. In fact, the brain was referred to as an empty vessel, a blank slate that teachers poured knowledge into. We assumed that students lacked knowledge, and the teacher filled their brains with knowledge—building the same knowledge structure for all students (i.e., constructivism).

But this isn’t true. Students have prior knowledge that is accumulated differently by each student. Knowledge is not created like an assembly-line product. Students must be encouraged to experiment and take on real-world problem solving to create more knowledge and understanding for themselves and then to reflect on and talk about their activities.

Myth #2: Students are passive recipients of information. 
Ten to 15 years ago, it wasn’t uncommon for a classroom of students to be sitting quietly, listening to a teacher lecture on a specific topic. Taking notes on that topic from a whiteboard or overhead projector, students were literally passive recipients of information (which they were later tested on).

In the Education 4.0 approach, the student transforms from being a passive recipient of information to an active participant in a personal learning process. Always guided by the teacher, students should construct their knowledge actively rather than just mechanically ingesting knowledge from the teacher or other online resources.

Myth #3: The definition of “basic knowledge” is the same as it always was.
There was once an approach that claimed that students should be given “basic knowledge” to use to build additional knowledge. The problem is that the definition of basic knowledge has never been updated and, as a result, is now irrelevant. Take math, for example. Elementary school students are still not allowed to use a calculator to work out simple sums, despite the fact that they all have access to calculators on their mobile devices.

Imagine taking this idea and extrapolating it into other areas. One example could be telling people they can’t use a cellular phone until they have used a landline for at least six years. It would be ridiculous, right? Well, the same goes for education: Education 4.0 realizes the basis for basic knowledge itself has changed.

Myth #4: Computers interfere with thinking. 
Educational systems assume computers interfere with their ability to encourage thinking. The truth is, students do not need to be trained to solve derivatives and integrals because computers can be programmed to do it much more efficiently than any student ever could. Not having to calculate should be seen as a strength because it saves time that could be used during math classes to discuss the practical applications that math can solve.

Similarly, traveling by cars or planes saves time and allows people to explore more distant places on earth. After all, no one is suggesting that we walk or take boats now that we have trains and planes to use as more efficient and effective means of travel.

Myth #5: Learning is an individual exercise. 
During most learning sessions, students were required to sit quietly in class, have no interaction with their peers, and listen to the single source of knowledge: the teacher. Because Education 4.0 involves collaboration with peers, guests, teachers, and administrators, the related environments foster discussion and teamwork.

By encouraging high levels of collaboration, open communication, and strong connections among students, teachers can more effectively prepare students for success in college, the workforce, and life as a whole.


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