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Technology in the Classroom

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  • How to Discuss Vaccines in a Classroom

    In light of the measles outbreak in California and the Southwest, are you wondering what role, if any, schools can play in teaching students about vaccines?  Here are a few resources including lesson plans about the science of vaccines, infectious diseases, and modeling an outbreak.


  • Kenwood Students Steal the Show at Board Meeting

    So, it’s been two years since MSTE started working with Champaign Unit 4 Schools, Computer Science, Library Science, some local entrepreneurs as part of a group that is now known CTRL-Shift.  Monday night, October 27, was one of the great pay-off moments for CTRL-Shift. A group of Kenwood Elementary School students stood before the Unit 4 School Board and shared their computational thinking skills. They used the interactive whiteboard, their Chromebooks, and good ‘ole pencil and paper to show computer science - unplugged and on the computer. There were plenty of “oh”s and “ah”s. And it may be the first time that anyone has described a school board meeting as “fun!”

  • Computing in the Elementary School

    MSTE has an important anniversary coming up. Not just that we have been around for 20 years, but also the 2-year anniversary of a meeting with local business leaders and with the administration of Champaign Unit School District #4. 

  • The SRI Report on Khan Academy

    Love it or hate it, Khan Academy gets a lot of press.  SRI conducted a report on the implementation and usage of Khan Academy at nine school sites over the course of two years.  This 82-page report tells me this - some of the videos are helpful to some of the students some of the time.  It is not the panacea for all educational ills.  (It also reassures me that Khan Academy has shifted its goals and intentions - to serve as practice, rather than as a means of introducing new concepts to students, which has been my largest concern about the company since a principal first asked for my opinion of the Physics videos three years ago).

    Dan Meyer, a prolific and thoughtful math ed blogger, wrote a thorough summary of the report which you can read here at his blog, dy/dan.  He focuses primarily on the concerns and questions the report raises about Khan Academy's efficacy and usage.  To be fair, you can read about the benefits of using Khan Academy in the K-12 classroom at their blog.