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Tech for the Holidays Part 1: Creating a Family Technology Agreement

December 19, 2014
Are you one of the 34% of American adults who bought technology tools on Black Friday or during Thanksgiving Weekend?  If you are, chances are good you were shopping for a tablet or computer, according to a survey on CNET. And if you’re a parent who plans to give that new tech toy to your child, or allow your children to use it, you probably have some questions.  What are the best apps for kids? How can I help my child use technology for both learning and fun?  How can I keep my child from being glued to a screen and ignoring Grandma during Christmas dinner? We at the Smarter Schools...

Supporting Student Choice Through Technology

December 16, 2014
What do we know about how children learn? We know that they need to experience a concept many times to remember it—some say seven times. We know that active engagement—hands-on learning—is superior to “sit and get” experiences. We know that when students have positive emotional connections to the experience, they are more likely to remember it, and that negative emotions produce stress-induced chemicals that interfere with the brain’s ability to remember. The importance of personal choice cannot be underestimated. When a child chooses an experience again and again out of interest—whether...

Hour of Code Engages Students in Computer Science

December 12, 2014
With the launch of Code.org’s Hour of Code 2014 this week, events at the White House and at schools across the country have highlighted the increasing importance of technology. How important is coding? Well, important enough for President Obama to encourage kids to pursue technology and computer science by kicking off Hour of Code 2014.  The president hosted middle-school students from the South Seventeenth Street School in Newark, New Jersey at the White House, where the students worked through some of the tutorials from Code.org.  As part of the awareness effort, the president himself...

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