July 07, 2015

What Is The Best Positive Reinforcement For Young Students?

ISTE Montage

The Internet of Things in K-12 Education, Guaranteed Applause Lines, and Other Learnings From ISTE 2015

As explained by teacher and closing ISTE 2015 keynote speaker Josh Stumpenhorst, good grades and teacher praise are not the powerful motivators they once were. If you can’t guess what drives students today, the answer is at the bottom of this blog. Here’s a big hint: it has to do with social media.

An important message Stumpenhorst delivered to teachers is to stop complaining about the constraints or “the boxes” and aggressively work within them. The boxes are actually pretty big. He tossed out a number of creative ideas and resources to teachers including @Pernilleripp’s Global Read Aloud, @crafty184’s prosthetic hands maker project, and @wmchamberlain’s comments4kids project. In closing, he had everyone in the audience send themselves an email via Futureme.org, to be delivered after school starts up in the fall; as a reminder of the great lessons they learned and urging them to take action.

There were two guaranteed applause lines at ISTE 2015 and with teachers in general these days. Just say you hate testing and teachers everywhere will cheer you. (Taking Stumpenhorst’s more proactive stragegy to heart, I’d urge teachers to push for more formative assessment approaches, as a path toward avoiding the need for summative assessments.) The other, almost surprising applause line given that the conference is called International Society for Technology in Education 2015 is, “it’s not about the technology.” This may be reflective of a sense of competition against technology, rather than working with technology. To clarify, Stumpenhorst showed the following summary.

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In addition to improving collaboration and bringing educational subjects alive through multimedia and growing use of 3D representations, technology is finding new, innovative ways to foster creativity in younger children. As the adult world awakens to the power and innovation of the Internet of Things, it has already finding its way into K-12 education. These are some of the Internet of Things, robotics, and maker-movement related products on display in the expo center and in sessions at ISTE 2015: @littleBits, @dexterind, @MobileRobotsInc, @LEGO_Education, @sparkfun, and @birdbraintech. Note to schools: better be sure your Wi-Fi is ready to handle all these new loads.Vinnie Vrotny, an award-winning director of technology at the Kinkaid School in Houston, spoke to the Tuesday keynote audience about Friedrich Fröbel, the inventor of Kindergarten. Back in 1840, Fröbel encouraged the use of educational toys known as Froebel Gifts. The original set of gifts included physical objects: balls, blocks, and sticks for children to use in the kindergarten. Vrotny suggests extending that set with:

  • Gift 21 – circuits
  • Gift 22 – computational thinking
  • Gift 23 – eTextiles
  • Gift 24 – reverse engineering; tools and soldering irons

 

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littleBits displayed their kits, bits, and bytes for building and coding all sorts of Internet of Things devices.

zSpace demonstrated an augmented reality system that brings 3d objects right out of the screen.

zSpace demonstrated an augmented reality system that brings 3d objects right out of the screen.

ISTE actively encourages start-ups to contribute to K-12 education in innovative ways. This pavilion displayed some of the latest start-up K-12 technology.

ISTE actively encourages start-ups to contribute to K-12 education in innovative ways. This pavilion displayed some of the latest start-up K-12 technology.

Stories of EdTech Innovation
The US Department of Education was on hand during the Connected Educator session and called attention to 70 stories of innovation at k-12 districts across the country, involving personalized learning, 1:1 initiatives, connectivity, community engagement, and accessibility. Planning for CEM 2015 is now well underway. One of the activities that originated with CEM was the FutureReady program, as a way prepare school districts for the new technology resources becoming available through the E-rate program.

Have you guessed what the most motivating feedback to students in the social era is? Josh Stumpenhorst encourages his students to post their project results on social media. He has found there is now no stronger positive feedback than Likes, Retweets, Favs, Views, and Forwards.

About The Contributor:
Bob NilssonDirector of Vertical Solutions Marketing

Bob Nilsson is the director of vertical solutions marketing at Extreme Networks. In this role, Mr. Nilsson leads the Extreme Networks strategy and programs for vertical markets including Healthcare, Higher Education, K-12 Education, Federal Government, and Hospitality. He has over 30 years of experience in marketing IT systems to Global 1000 companies worldwide. Before joining Extreme Networks Bob was VP Marketing at Clear Methods. Prior to that Bob held senior marketing positions at Digital Equipment and HP. Bob holds an SB degree in EE from MIT and MBA from Columbia Business School.

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