Mark Your Calendar- Free Presentation on Maker Tools!

 

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In a few short weeks, I’ll be presenting some of my favorite tools for a free presentation from School Library Journal. Register for the event here.

I’m focusing my 15 minutes on entry level coding for making games or VR/AR experiences, sites for tinkering with code (aka computational tinkering), and then talking about some of my new favorite maker tools to mash up with cardboard. Join me, Jaime Donally from #globalmakerday, and Jessica Lindl the Global Head of Education from Unity, to find some of your new favorite tools and resources for your classroom, library, or makerspace!

FROM SLJ:

robotics and makerspaces.pngSummary:  
Our popular series returns with all-new presentations, from the latest trends in maker spaces  and virtual reality to a fresh look at how coding should be taught. Led by top practitioners in the field, these one-hour free programs will offer practical insight into these hot topics in tech, with implications for schools and libraries.

 

Session 1: Robotics, Maker Spaces, and Mixed Reality, Oh, My!
A fast-paced, practical share of the hottest tech trends in the classroom and library, and how to implement them. Panelists will tip you on creative ideas in DIY electronics, student-created augmented reality, maker activities, and more.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM ET / 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM PT

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Holiday (or anytime) Gift Ideas for Cool Kids

 

Colleengraves.org (12)

It’s the tech shopping time of year, so I thought I’d share some holiday gift ideas for the cool kids in your life. I’ve had personal experience with everything on this list except the last item! Let me know if you have any favorites you would add in the comments.

Chibitronics Love to Code Interactive Binder

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Picture from Amazon

This microcontroller from Chibitronics and Jie Qi is super accessible since it can be programmed with MakeCode AND uses the audiojack to send programs from your device to the controller. It’s a game changer! With the addition of this supercool interactive binder, your cool kids can learn to craft paper circuits, write code, and program those paper circuits alongside some wonderfully illustrated characters by K-Fai Steele. My full review on this starter kit is coming soon!

chibibook

Picture from Amazon

Scratch Coding Cards – Only $10 bucks on Amazon right now!

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Yes, you can download and print these cards from Scratch.mit.edu, but this deck is durable and super fun for kids interested in Scratch. In fact, I bought these for my 8 YO last year! I’ve given these cards out as gifts for other cool kids too. Scratch is a hit with kids age 6 and up. (And don’t worry, your young ones can still start coding with Scratch Jr. It is a hit with kids under 8.)

Micro:bit

Organizing my #Microbit sets this am. #makerlibrarian #makered #photostoragehack

A post shared by colleengraves.org (@makerteacherlibrarian) on

Micro:bit is another entry level microcontroller that can be programmed with Makecode! It’s super easy to use, fun, and kids love the scrolling LEDs on the front and the ability to program music (but a separate speaker component will have to be bought a la cart!) It is programmed through a USB, so a computer is needed, but it can be used with a Chromebook. (In fact, I prefer having my students program Micro:bit on the Chromebook since they can then save their programs easily in Google Drive.)

microbit

Picture from Amazon

Kano Computing System (without monitor) Kano Complete System (with monitor)

I bought my 8 YO the Kano system in 2015  when she was 6 and she STILL loves it!  Plus, Kano has done some great upgrades in the last two years. It’s a great first computer that will focus your kid on creating fun stuff, rather than just surfing the web. (But as a warning: I never did let mine connect to Wifi full time because of the Youtube app.)

Makey Makey paired with our #evilmakeybook and the Inventor Booster Kit

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I know I’m biased on this one, but if your cool kid doesn’t already have a Makey Makey, this would be a great pairing for getting started! Throw in our #evilmakeybook, and the Inventor Booster kit and mischief is sure to be managed.

Lilypad Sewable Electronics Kit

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If you know someone who wants to start sewing circuits, this is a great kit to get started. Since I recently reviewed this, see the full review and projects I made with it here.

Cozmo Robot by Anki

And last but not least! Something just for fun! I don’t have a Cosmo Robot by Anki (YET!), but this little AI driven robot looks pretty amazing. I’m not sure how educational it is, but it looks like a great robot toy for the 8-14 year old set.

This review talked me into getting one this holiday season!

If you are looking for some books for your cool kids, check out my post on coding books  and I hope to add a post just on my favorite books soon!