Since the early 1980s with the appearance of desktop computers in schools, questions about their presence in classrooms have been debated. Access to, use of, and results from new technologies have been central issues for a motley coalition of high-tech vendors, technophile educators, and policymakers eager to satisfy parents and voters who want schools to be technologically up-to-date with other institutions. And this coalition has surely been successful in increasing teacher and student access to desktop computers, then laptops, and now tablets and smartphones.
First, a quick run through the initial goals and current ones in putting new technologies into the hands of teachers and students. Then a crisp look at access, use, and results of the cornucopia of devices in schools.
By the mid-1980s, there were clear goals and a strong rationale for investing in buying loads of hardware and software and wiring buildings . Those goals were straightforward…
I have been learning about computers and technology for about 30 years or more. NASA, National Geographic, NEA, NSTA and the National Center for SuperComputing. Conferences, workshops, and meetings. It is a moving target. This blog is inspired by ex-students and CIrcl.
There is always more to learn, share and explore. Here is what might be of interest to you.
Here is some of the future of learning in a connected world.
Is your local school up to the challenge?Are you providing the real professional development for teachers?
SuperComputing and Computational Thinking (What do you know about it?)
In education, computational thinking (CT) is a set of problem-solving methods that involve expressing problems and their solutions in ways that a computer could execute..
Sounds and looks complicated? It is not. Digital Promise simplifies it like this.
But how do “code,” “computer science,” and, “computational thinking,” fit together? What is motivating their introduction into schools, and how might they change education?( read this report)
In a computational world, what is important to know and know how to do? Please download and read the report and share it.
Digital Promise says:
What is computational thinking?
Computational thinking skills are versatile approaches to problem solving that include:
Gathering and organizing data to investigate questions and communicate findings
Expressing procedures as algorithms (that is, a series of logical, precise, repeatable steps that delivers an expected result) to reliably create and analyze processes
Creating computational models that use data and algorithms to simulate complex systems
Using and comparing computational models to develop new insights about a subject
We see these practices of computational thinking ,benefitting cutting-edge research and everyday life.
For example, when a hurricane is approaching, a meteorologist on TV may use a computational model to demonstrate the various paths that the storm may take as any number of interdependent variables change.
An astrophysicist may similarly use computational thinking practices to develop simulations and new theories about the collisions of black holes.
Digital Promise shows us great images to understand the methodology.
There are great online resources, that are free that demonstrate how these skills are used.
The Science of Where
The Science of Where – Unlock Data’s Full Potential
Will.i.am Sparks Mapping with GIS in L.A. Magnet Academy
What is Science On a Sphere®?
Science On a Sphere® (SOS) displays global data the way it should be viewed – on a sphere! It is a room sized, global display system that uses custom software, computers, and video projectors to display planetary visualizations (and much more!) onto a large sphere, analogous to a giant animated globe.
In education, the acronym STEM stands for the disciplines of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. STEM education, then, is the learning of these STEMsubjects through an integrated approach; one that offers hands-on and relevant learning experiences.
Students and robots intermingle at the Hirshhorn ARTLAB+
ArtLab is giving young people opportunities to explore science, technology, and art with help from innovative artificial intelligence (AI) robots.
Sometimes , the beginning of this learning path is coding!!!
We can find many ways to lean to do coding. Code.org has programs in many languages.
But don’t just do two weeks of coding. It’s something you can continue to learn and do projects in.
If you’re just getting started on your coding journey, here are ten tips and resources to set you off on the right foot.
Grab Some Free Programming Books.
Take a Coding Course. …
Use Free Online Training Sites. …
Try a Kids App. …
Start Small (and Be Patient) …
Choose the Right Language. …
Figure Out Why You Want to Learn to Code. …
Stay tuned for part two.
Code.org® is a nonprofit dedicated to expanding access to computer science in schools and increasing participation by women and underrepresented minorities. Our vision is that every student in every school has the opportunity to learn computer science, just like biology, chemistry or algebra. Code.org provides the leading curriculum for K-12 computer science in the largest school districts in the United States and Code.org also organizes the annual Hour of Code campaign which has engaged 15% of all students in the world. Code.org is supported by generous donors including Amazon, Facebook, Google, the Infosys Foundation, Microsoft, and many more.
I am glad I am mentoring teachers for technology use with a solution for their technology problems. The online course that I decided to take after reading posts on the ECTC Journal was a wrong turn that I took recently. I went in unprepared to be found wanting.
A journal for educational technology & change has great articles and so I was convinced I needed to make sure my technology was up to date.
Because I am not currently taking a course and did not go to ISTE, I decided to re-up my skills by taking the Certification Course for the National Geographic. It’s new, it’s different and I have been working with the National Geographic for a long time. Who could have predicted that I would be found wanting? But let me explain. There is a new technical divide and I could not qualify.
Here is the course National Geographic Educator Certification and it is a good one. You meet international people and explorers and you have a group of people who support you in your work. I am working in a community based organization with nothing but my laptop and tools and my intent was to start new technologies and inspire kids with all of the resources that National Geographic has to offer. I ran into a technical divide.
Who knew that some of the course was misleading?I do videos of field trips on the way back from the field trips. I used Google Glass to make a video for a school in Russia when I was working in exchange. So listening to the cohorts and viewing the expectations, I surely did not worry. They passed off the video as a minor kind of thing. But what they referenced as tools to work with . ouch!!!
Here is what they said…
Bringing it All Together: Teaching About the World
“At National Geographic, we believe that a well-rounded education provides young people with the knowledge of how the human and natural worlds work at local, regional, and global scales. This type of education also teaches young people to use different perspectives to understand the world.”
So I jumped at it. The course was beautiful until I got to the Capstone part. If there had been a real person or a time when you were face to face with a mentor I would not have failed. I believed them when they said that creating a video was not a big deal. It was a big deal. It was a painful learning process which I learned. Relearned , relearned, relearned..until I got tired.
They said “ We know that for many of you this will be your first experience creating, editing, and sharing your work in video format. Not to worry: most certified educators made their first movie in this course! We want the certification experience to challenge and push you, and the capstone video is a compelling way to tell your story. At National Geographic we have a long history of storytelling through a variety of media, and we are excited to welcome you into the National Geographic family through this valued tradition. Just like you ask your students every day to learn something new and take risks, we hope this helps you go further in your own work as an educator, storyteller, learner, change maker, and explorer. They estimated nine hours of work/ I don’t think so.
Nowhere did it say that the tools that they suggested would cost if you published them. I worked on a Powtoon for my submission ( Free)well free until you wanted to download it. A matter of money. And the tool was not thoroughly vetted . On one browser it had voice over, on another different qualities for color , and there was always the subtle suggestion that for a fiver, they would do it for you. IMovie is excellent except it kept going dark. Why? I did not have time to find out.
When you have spent hours learning to do something and you have to pay to use it and you did not expect to.. that’s a bummer. I spent about a hundred dollars trying to make a Powtoon video. I actually made a pretty good one but I could not regulate the sound and the instructor complained.
I did not expect that. I expected a guiding question to help me know what was wrong.
So I chose another one that was suggested. Many programs, after you create have , had a paywall. ARRGH!! $210.00 and we have a Movavi Video.
Here is what I said…
I was pretty sure of my use of technology before this course. With the video I was a basket case. I had gotten used to making animated sharings and small movies on Google pictures. I struggled with the video. Why? I guess I did not know the components of what. The instructions were clear, but inside some of the offered programs were paywalls and valuable time was wasted. The video I submitted was probably not my best. I had a beautiful one on Powtoon but the sound was so loud I could not share it. I had no way , except to pay some more to get that adjusted. I used every program they listed in the course to find one that was comfortable. I did not have IT support. I wanted it to be me based, or teacher based like we often are across the digital divide. That did not work.
I stumbled through several programs and really liked a few, but paused when the paywall came up and I knew that it would be published since it was “free” One of my baby steps in creating a video is sadly available.
Things I did not do that would have made it better. I should have changed to the PC when I could not right click instead of asking what was wrong. I should have upgraded my browsers and I did. I loved the IMovie. It was awesome. But since I have toys, IPad, Mac, IPhone before this course, I used them very separately for the most part. I learned the value of integrating them into a system. I actually completed a video using IMovie, but I kept getting a dark screen from time to time. Technology mistakes gave me and everyone around me a headache. I had a friend who is the ultimate in tech support but I felt that I should be able to do it without cheating.
There were ideas offered but I saw those before I went down the video trail. MP4? I think I suggested a boot camp for video but as in education, each person has their own store and set of tools, and know how and individualized learning even with stumbles was invaluable. The journey to completion or acceptance of a certain system is personal. It helps a lot if an IT professional is in person.
I have never so believed in ISTE or GenYES.
My students did outstanding work from understanding what our sources of water are our watershed, to understanding what an estuary was , to creating a watershed runoff model, to understanding global water needs and how to be a citizen scientist.
Not bad for a community activist trying to make a difference. Amount of technology where I work? Zero. At the aquarium,in ecosystems and exhibits.
How do I know they understand run off? We made a model city and polluted it and collected the water for evaluation. See above.
We learned about the Global Impact of Water. We loved this book and the online video.
The Water Princess – YouTube
How do I know that they understand shorelines and estuary?
Where did I learn my teaching techniques, well working for the National Geographic KidsNetwork.
The Smithsonian Environmental Research Center was outstanding .
Here is what we did…
This program was adapted for a range of ages. It focused on science as narrative, and a collection of facts, procedures, and observations that lead to understanding the world. The guiding question of the trip was, “How do scientists tell the story of clean water, and how do people fit into that story.” We focused on science as fact based, though hands-on inquiry at each station.
Plankton/ Microscopes Students began with a short introduction about the difference between clean water, dirty water, and treated water. They then discovered how plankton plays a role in clean and dirty water, specifically related to humans. Students were given a plankton sample and filamentous algae from the Bay, and then were asked to sort phytoplankton and zooplankton.
Oysters and Model Oyster Reef Sorting Students began by exploring the different types of bivalves that live in the Bay, and then learned about how oysters live together and their biological function. They then attempted to build a model oyster reef to determine its habitat structure and then sort through a model reef that has been colonized by fish and invertebrates from the Bay. They sorted the organisms and learned about the role that oysters play in clean water and Bay habitat.
Seining Students began by discussing how researchers might study nearshore organisms, and learn how SERC researchers use seining nets to catch fish and invertebrates. They will discuss the term “biodiversity” and how biodiversity might be an indicator of water’s health.
They then collected data by donning waders and use seining nets to sample the populations. Students concluded with a short discussion about their findings and what they might mean.
Watersheds Students explored how a watershed works through narrative and a 3D watershed model. They then demonstrated how material gets into and is carried through a watershed. After this they discussed how the properties of water can be described, and then demonstrated by using a secchi disc and sounding lead as well as a hydrometer.
Blue Crabs At this station students were introduced to the anatomy and biology of blue crabs. They learned about their natural history, from what they eat to when and where they migrate. Students then visited with a live blue crab and studied its anatomy and movement up close. They then finished with a short discussion about blue crab research here at SERC and look at crab pots with excluders. I had cooked crabs on ice for them to take home to eat.Eat a crab lab if you will.
Science should be inclusive, not exclusive.
I believe in the seven E’s .There are seven stages which include elicit, engage, explore, explain, elaborate, evaluate and extend.
I signed up for a two day Hand on Plants Workshop at the National Botanical Gardens. What a great experience it was!! I am grateful for having been a part of it. The workshop was sponsored by the Friends of the U.S. Botanical Gardens.
The history is fascinating , the HOPS lessons awesome in scope and sequence.
I am late posting about it because I have been reading about , the U.S. Exploring Expedition(also known as the Ex. Ex. or the Wilkes Expedition) would explore and map the Pacific, Antarctica, and the northwest coast of the United States. A tremendous feat of navigation, the expedition broadened knowledge of uncharted areas of the world and helped expand American commerce, industry, and scientific knowledge. I am late posting about it because I have been reading all of the books I can about this voyage.
Some of the plants in the National Botanical Garden are in the collection. I wondered why there is no movie or much of a mention to this voyage which rivals Captain Cook’s voyage. As I read I guess there was strife, and some unhappy headlines. But, it is a part of history.
You need to know about it. I am still reading about it.
by Nathaniel Philbrick
They called it the U.S. Ex. Ex., or simply the Ex. Ex., shorthand for the United States South Seas Exploring Expedition of 1838-1842. It was an unprecedented naval operation, especially for a nation with a navy that was less than half the size of Great Britian’s. For the young republic of the United States, it was a bold, some said foolhardy undertaking, consisting of six sailing vessels and 346 men, including a team of nine scientists and artists, making it one of the largest voyages of discovery in the history of Western exploration. Here is the map.
Some scholars have talked to me about literary references that profile this journey. I would love to create lesson plans for it, ESRI style, I love the geography of this voyage.
With the U.S. Ex. Ex., America hoped to plant its flag in the world. Literally broadening the nation’s horizons, the Expedition’s ships would cover the Pacific Ocean from top to bottom and bring the United States international renown for its scientific endeavors as well as its bravado. European expeditions-most notably the three voyages of the legendary navigator James Cook in the eighteenth century-had served both the cause of science and empire, providing new lands with which to augment their countries’ already far-flung possessions around the world.
The United States, on the other hand, had more than enough unexplored territory within its own borders. Commerce, not colonies, was what the U.S. was after. Besides establishing a stronger diplomatic presence throughout the Pacific, the Expedition sought to provide much-needed charts to American whalers, sealers, and China traders. Decades before America surveyed and mapped its own interior, this government-sponsored voyage of discovery would enable a new, determined nation to take its first tentative steps toward becoming an economic world power.
But there was yet another reason for America to launch an expedition. Although most of the oceans of the world had already been thoroughly explored, there remained a region that had so far resisted scientific inquiry: the ice-studded mystery at the bottom of the world. Cook had ventured below the Antarctic Circle and found nothing but snow and ice. Given the dangerous conditions and the slender prospect of significant results, further exploration hardly seemed warranted. But by 1838 there was renewed interest in the high southern latitudes. What had once been regarded as a forbidding wasteland was now one of the few places left where a discovery of Cook-like proportions might still be possible. With the U.S. Ex. Ex., America belatedly joined an international rivalry to discover and explore the last unknown portions of the planet.
The Expedition was to attempt two forays south-one from Cape Horn, the other from Sydney, Australia, during the relatively warm months of January, February, and March. The time in between was to be spent surveying the islands of the South Pacific-particularly the little-known Fiji Group. The Expedition’s other priority was the Pacific Northwest. In the years since Lewis and Clark had ventured to the mouth of the Columbia River, the British and their Hudson’s Bay Company had come to dominate what was known as the Oregon territory. In hopes of laying the basis for the government’s future claim to the region, the Ex. Ex. was to complete the first American survey of the Columbia and would continue down the coast to California’s San Francisco Bay, then still a part of Mexico. By the conclusion of the voyage-after stops at Manila, Singapore, and the Cape of Good Hope-the Expedition would become the last all-sail naval squadron to circumnavigate the world.
It deserves its own movie. There were deaths.
Indeed, the ethnographic collection of the U.S. Ex. Ex.-including war clubs from Fiji, feathered baskets from California, exquisitely carved rattles from Oregon, fishhooks from Samoa, and flax baskets from New Zealand-is now thought to be, according to Smithsonian anthropologist Adrienne Kaeppler, the largest ever made by a single sailing expedition.
I learned about it at the National Botanical Gardens, but wait, there is more.
“Andes near Alparmarca, Peru: Sketched from an Elevation of 16,000 Feet”. The Wilkes Expedition played a major role in the development of 19th-century science, particularly in the growth of the American scientific establishment. Many of the species and other items found by the expedition helped form the basis of collections at the new Smithsonian Institution.  With the help of the expedition’s scientists, derisively called “clam diggers” and “bug catchers” by navy crew members, 280 islands, mostly in the Pacific, were explored, and over 800 miles of Oregonwere mapped. Of no less importance, over 60,000 plant and bird specimens were collected. A staggering amount of data and specimens were collected during the expedition, including the seeds of 648 species, which were later traded, planted, and sent throughout the country. Dried specimens were sent to the National Herbarium, now a part of the Smithsonian Institution. There were also 254 live plants, which mostly came from the home stretch of the journey, that were placed in a newly constructed greenhouse in 1850, which later became the United States Botanic Garden.
The National Botanical Gardens are the legacy piece of the exploration.
We teachers were treated to lessons and resources.
I will feature some of the workshop photos….
This was a life changing experience. I know about plants, I thought. Also funny, I generally go to the Botanical Gardens in DC well, at Christmas or when there is an orchid show. But I was curious about the program as it was advertised for a summer professional development event. I thought I knew a lot. SIGH .
Well, it’s ok to find out that there is much more to learn. I was taking this course to be able to knowledgeably guide students through my favorite place in DC. I found that I did not even know the grounds. I knew the inside of the building well and the various collections but hang on and I will share what I learned after I introduce it to you. I just wanted to be able to guide students passively through it for field trips and anchor learning.
The gorgeous U.S. Botanic Garden conservatory presents botanical variety, from the desert to the tropics, along a series of calm and gently meandering paths. A particular waterfall and garden display the flora of the dinosaur age. Seasonal displays include Christmas greens and poinsettias in December and January, chrysanthemums in autumn and blooming flowers at Easter. A part of the United States Botanic Garden (USBG), the National Garden, was opened in October 2006 and includes the carefully-designed Butterfly Garden.
2019 HOPS Teacher Institute
Fifteen teachers were selected to attend the 2019 HOPS Teacher Institute. Teachers immersed ourselves themselves in the National Garden and experienced the study of 16 modules over the course of two days.
All of us, we teachers successfully completed the Institute ,and received a HOPS box which contains the equipment to carry out these hands-on experiments back in our classrooms 14 professional learning units.
The training occured outdoors.
Outdoors?At the National Botanical Gardens. I had never done anything outdoors there,nor had I any idea that there was a network of gardens to learn in and to observe.It was a treat to see the outdoor part of the garden.
We chose different paths to do our research. Such a beautiful place to learn.
We spread out in the garden and worked to get our results.
On Day One we covered 8 modules. We learned all about water, its importance to plants and plants’ importance to water, the importance of water to all life and the current health of our local bodies of water.
We used microscopes,and tested water for temperature.Outside are gardens and pathways and a bubbling stream where we worked to learn using our tools. What a beautiful setting.
We tested for PH and dissolved oxygen.
learned about watersheds, and build a watershed and water filter.
In the afternoon we learned all about how plants work and photosynthesis.
Participants will perform plant cuttings and see how oxygen leaves the plant and how plants take in our carbon dioxide, learn that sugar really does happen in the leaf using refractometers, create art using the power of the sun and make seed balls.
Day Two explored nature as art in the morning. Participants will have a chance to settle into the quiet of the National Garden and watercolor, use compasses to make sundials and microscopically explore the tiniest of plants.Can you say Stomata? We dissected flowers and learn how pollination works while we keep our eyes out for the many pollinators in the Garden. There were many but they seemed too busy to sting or even be curious about us.
In the afternoon is when we learned using investigations in which we explore seed dispersal,did pollen identification using microscopes, learned that nectar differs from flower to flower, and that different flowers have different pollinators, and that soil is not dirt.
We learned about pollution and runoff in our watershed.
Here are the references to programs for schools, and field trips.
Do you know about this part of the Smithsonian?SERC ? You should!! The Smithsonian Environmental Research Center is near Annapolis, Maryland.
We had a great field trip with kids from the neighborhood of James Creek Southwest DC that was funded by the SWNA Youth Activities Task Force. I can still hear them asking as we left the center , “Can we come back again?”
They had an all day learning adventure!! Leaving ,they had homework.
Students were clutching the cooked crab I had prepared for their at home” Eat-a-Crab” sharing with family. Some homework!!
But let me explain the day!!
I prepared in the usual way with paper resources ,pencils,and maps and folders. I am a STEM advocate but I did not know what the children knew of water study.
I love the inquiry approach to learning and TPack. I was taking an online course from the National Geographic and this was a part of my “Capstone” lesson. My teaching skills and ideas are supported and enhanced by the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center program. No teacher’s closet ,or even the Internet can match the vast resources in this learning space. So well thought out and planned.
We live in Washington, D.C. The Potomac and the Anacostia are two rivers that are a part of the Chesapeake Bay watershed!! We were going to learn about rivers to the sea!!Estuaries. You may want to check the video there.
The staff met us and engaged us as Otters and Eagles in groups.The learning was on from the first moment. My group went to learn about oysters and the oyster reef.
This program can be adapted for a range of ages. It focused on science as narrative, and a collection of facts, procedures, and observations that lead to understanding the world. The guiding question of the trip was, “How do scientists tell the story of clean water, and how do people fit into that story.” We focused on science as fact based, though hands-on inquiry at each station. . Oysters and Model Oyster Reef Sorting
Students began by exploring the different types of bivalves that live in the Bay, and then learn about how oysters live together and their biological function. They attempted to build a model oyster reef to determine its habitat structure and then sort through a model reef that has been colonized by fish and invertebrates from the Bay. They then sorted the organisms and learn about the role that oysters play in clean water and Bay habitat. pictures here ( a video)I had never done this lesson on the pier.
Students began by discussing how researchers might study nearshore organisms, and learn how SERC researchers use seining nets to catch fish and invertebrates. They learned the term “biodiversity” and how biodiversity might be an indicator of water’s health. They then collected data by donning waders and use seining nets to sample the populations. Students had a short discussion about their findings and what they might mean. They loved this lesson.
Blue Crabs At this station students were introduced to the anatomy and biology of blue crabs. First, they were asked to draw a blue crab. Then they learned in various stations.
They learned about the natural history of a crabs life, from what they eat to when and where they migrate. Students then visited with live blue crabs and studied their anatomy and movement up close.
Need more?Inquiry-based science is sometimes conflated with “hands-on” science. While we know that actively engaging children with “hands-on” science is important, it isn’t enough. Inquiry-based science employs the diverse practices scientists use to study the natural world. A well-designed, inquiry-based curriculum is appropriate for all ages of learners and effectively teaches science content while developing scientific habits of mind at the same time.
SERC Science Saturdays
Join SERC for explorations of research with our Science Saturdays.Bring the family for a day of hands-on activities alongside Smithsonian scientists!
Saturday, June 22, 2019 10am-1pm Learn about marine biodiversity with marine biologists.
Saturday, Aug. 24, 2019 10am-1pm Discover how the atmosphere interacts with the land and water.
Saturday, Nov. 2, 2019 10am-1pm Learn about microbes that are invisible to the naked eye and how DNA is uncovering some of the Bay’s greatest secrets.
Cost: FREE and open to all Location: SERC campus. We’ll show you where to park when you get here. Directions can be found on our website. Bring: No food will be available for purchase, but you are welcome to bring your own lunch or snacks.
We hope to see you all there!
If you have any questions please contact Karen McDonald at email@example.com or (443) 482-2216.
I love to organize field trips to museums. I learned a lot in regular museums.
Museums have all of the resources, and experts in a central place. Schools are different in organization , content, and resources.Experts sometimes.
Museums can rightfully say, resources are us No teacher’s closet or technology can compete.Museums have exhibits and interactive areas. Some have movies as well.Exciting things happen in museums.Here is a relative staging the Lion King at the National History Museum. Museums often are rented out for important meetings as a beautiful venue for a group. My relatives presented the Lion King with the Howard University Choir.
HOW DO YOU START?
To connect children and parents who have no experience with museums there are a few books that might be an introduction, but I usually find something that the children like and we go and explore , The Museum by Susan Verde and Peter Reynolds.My favorite is The Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Frankweiler.Then, there is Museum Trip by Barbara Leman.
“Through digitization, the Smithsonian seeks to broaden access to its treasures, safeguard them for future generations, speed research, add meaning, encourage collaboration and integrate its holdings across museums and programs, and on platforms where our audiences engage with them.”
1.The Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access
To understand the needs of teachers, students, and museum educators, the Center spent more than a decade in active experimentation and research, culminating in the launch of this new online platform—the Smithsonian Learning Lab. Since its launch in 2016, museum and classroom educators have used the Lab’s tools to create thousands of new examples—ranging from experiments to models—for using Smithsonian resources for learning.
2.”The Smithsonian Learning Lab is about discovery, creation, and sharing.”
“The Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access created the Smithsonian Learning Lab to inspire the discovery and creative use of its rich digital materials—more than a million images, recordings, and texts. It is easy to find something of interest because search results display pictures rather than lists. Whether you’ve found what you were looking for or just discovered something new, it’s easy to personalize it. Add your own notes and tags, incorporate discussion questions, and save and share. The Learning Lab makes it simple.”
Traveling the world, seeking out museums has been my quest. But now you can have a museum in your pocket.You have a museum in your pocket with a cell phone of a certain quality.
Going to a museum can be an amazing learning experience, but why limit yourself to the few museums in your area? With these apps, games, and websites, kids can engage with interactive experiences from some of the best museums all over the world. From finding their classic art twin on Google Arts & Culture to playing dinosaur trivia from the American Museum of Natural History, kids can find tons of hidden gems on this list.
The Smithsonian offers eleven museums and galleries on the National Mall and six other museums and the National Zoo in the greater National Capital Area. In New York City, we invite you to tour two museums in historic settings. Here is their message in a video.
Not near a Smithsonian museum? Look for exhibitions and affiliate museums in your community.Or look online for ways to interact with the Smithsonian.
In a look back many of us have discovered that a whole generation of people have been excluded from a personal use of technology. Everyone was not born digital or included in learning how to use technology for personal use.
Computers for Seniors Kicks Off
BY VIC SUTTON, CHAIR, SWNA TASK FORCE ON WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT & ADULT EDUCATION
Computer for Kids classes have been taking place at the James Creek computer lab for years now,using desktop computers. They started in 2007, as an initiative by Thelma Jones, who chairs the Youth Activities Task Force of the Southwest Neighborhood Assembly (SWNA).
The classes are taught by Gerald Brown and Jenelle Leonard, with support from Jones, Cheryl Moore, Bonnie Sutton and the author. Students learn keyboarding skills, and then some basic uses of the computers. If they attend regularly, they get to take the computers home when they graduate.
At one point Christine Spencer, president of the Resident Council at James Creek, observed “computers for kids is all very well, but what about computers for seniors?”
She had a point. The SWNA Task Force on Workforce Development and Adult Education took heed, and looked into how to organize computer training classes for seniors.
The Task Force is currently running two series’ of eight weekly classes. One is at Syphax Gardens, for seniors from Syphax and from James Creek, which started on April 16. The other is at River Park, for AARP members. This class started on May 3.
There are ten seniors in each class.
The seniors’ classes are taught by Jenelle Leonard, with technical support from Perry Klein and Jamal Jones.
They commence with an introduction to the notebook computer—starting from basics, like how to plug it in and turn it on and off—and then going on to using Windows 10 and the basics of applications like Microsoft Word.
The classes have had terrific support. Rhonda Hamilton, President of the Syphax Gardens Resident Council, is hosting the classes at Syphax Gardens, and Betty Jean Tolbert Jones, President of the South- west AARP chapter, has helped to set up the classes at River Park.
Klein, who chairs the SWNA Technology Task Force, received a donation of 50 notebook computers from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, which Neo Morake has been refurbishing. Jamal Jones has been setting up the notebooks at both of the classes, bringing a hotspot so that participants can access the Internet. SWNA’s Computers for Seniors Class also received a 2019 Education Award from the Southwest Waterfront Chapter of the AARP in support of the classes.
After four classes the participants get to take the notebook computers home, to be able to practice what they have been learning, and after the full series of eight classes they get to keep them.
*The class at Syphax had a lively introduction to ways of accessing their favorite musicians, or videos on YouTube, one student however, accessed videos for making chocolate cake. She liked seeing other people making her favorite dessert. At the end of the class , everyone was still engaged in exploring YouTube for whatever purpose they desired. All lamented that there was only one more class to go.