The Creativity Revolution , Some of Us were Integrating Art into Science Long Ago

Teachers and professors on the tour

A lot of people who never entered a classroom that I used to teach in, began to chastise me about inserting art into my curriculum. When I stopped laughing, because my side hurt, I started to tell them that the insertion of art, and STEM is how I start to teach.

What is Black History

This student is searching for home, which for her is South Africa

The Winds of Politics changes education. Sadly it can keep creativity out.
NCLB, etc.

Initially .for a long time I was privileged to be a teacher of the gifted. Because I am of color, I always added a few more students to my class who were minority, immigrant or special ed. Why? Think about it. Never did I want to walk through a class of 75 kids in a team when I only had 15 students. Never did I want to exclude minority kids.

Some of my best students were the children who were given to me who were not considered to be G and T. So what you need to know is that innovation, creativity and problem solving can be taught to all. Technology allows us to do many things, but the powers in education do not let most teachers develop their skills in personalizing education.The way in which I teach cannot be done in many cases because it is complicated. It depends on a belief in a teacher and staff development.

What was funny was that teachers always gave me the children they thought were a problem, in fact most people considered gifted and talented students to be a problem because they were innovative, curious, asking questions and wanting to fly through the work.

Thinking about Ancient Egypt

I have turned my room into Ancient Egypt.. with mummies and inscribed walls.This was a beautiful room, with books , movies , digital information on Egypt. There was at one time a web site entitled Little Horus.. and I had learned to make papyrus, 

Once in a while we were a space station with the wonderful posters and artifacts from space and science fiction, We used visualization and modeling and wonderful information from supercomputing in the humanities.




Engineering, Geography, World Cultures

I read about Egypt as a child.There was a man with a red Fez who told me stories of Ancient Egypt who lived on my block.He was a black man from Egypt who told us about the country.

I read the accounts of the finds of Sir Howard Carter. I read these books and more.I saw the exhibit in Washington of King Tuts treasures and kept the catalogue for a very long time.There was a book of the Dead, This book told people dead people , who were buried with it, how to get to the kingdom of Osiris.
THere was a store called Ancient Discoveries in Alexandria , Virginia I learned a lot there, and then later in life I visited Egypt.I found things there to teach with.


I used ESS Structures for the engineering and a book given to me during Engineering week for the lessons.
We built a lot of things, using different materials, and tested structure.

THere are many books that we, the students and I read, some of which are copied here.
by David Macaulay ( ISBN 0-590-99518-9, Trumpet)
This is one of my favorite books for teaching about Egypt.

This book takes an impressive look at what many consider to be among the most awesome of man’s creations-the pyramids of Egypt. Macaulay, through word and blackline drawings, shows Egyptian life and how the pyramids were built. He also talks about the way that Egyptians were readied for the next life. This is a wonderful book about the architecture of the pyramids. THe illustrations are great and simply tell the story.ˆ

The Great Pyramid by Elizabeth Mann
This picture book contains a story within a story as it tells about the building of the great pyramid. While reading about King Khufu and his life, one, also learns why he wanted to build a pyramid, and how the pyramid was constructed. Great detail is given as to the Egyptian life style, including the life of the farmers, who became slaves while building the great pyramid. Beautiful illustrations help capture the essence of this time in history. This is a great book to read to the class, as well as have available for students to enjoy on their own. ˆ

Pyramids by Anne Millard ISBN #0-590-63247-7 (Scholastic)
Ever since ancient times the pyramid as a structural shape has captured out imaginations and played a meaningful and fascinating part in civilized societies. From the ziggurats of Babylon and the Valley of the Kings in ancient Egypt to the towering monuments built by the Aztecs and Maya in Central America, Pyramids examines the mythology and the history of these massive and intriguing creations. ˆ

The Egyptian News by Scott Steedman
This is an over-sized book that is written like a newspaper, telling about the life in Ancient Egypt. The articles are fun and informative, and written as though the events were just happening. Events such as “HYSOS HAMMERED”, “BOY-KING DIES”, “THE LONGEST BOAT IN OUR COUNTRY”, which tells of Pharaoh Khufu’s famous funerary boat. There are clever advertisements, a fitness quiz, a Who’s Who list of the famous men, The Top Gods, and how to mummify your body. There is a great gossip section telling about the latest banquet, what was eaten, and who was there. A great book to share while studying this fun time in history. It is fun to see a book that teaches facts in such a fun way. One forgets they are learning while enjoying the articles. ˆ
Hieroglyphs from A to Z by Peter Der Manuelian (ISBN 0-590-40008-8, Scholastic)

Hieroglyphs are drawings of ancient symbols found on Egyptian tombs and temple walls. On each page of this book there are hieroglyphs and information about Egyptian culture. The narrative is written in rhyme. Using a stencil of the hieroglyphs, you can learn how to write secret messages with Egyptian symbols.
*This book comes with a stencil of hieroglyphs. ˆ

Mummies, Tombs, and Treasure by Lila Perl ( ISBN 0-590-96226-4, Scholastic)
What happens to people after they die? The Egyptians thought if they mummified a dead person, his spirit would live forever. At first nature did the job; the desert sun dried and preserved bodies buried in shallow sandpit graves. Mummifying methods became more elaborate with time, as did after-life dwelling places. Eventually, the Egyptians built the largest known tombs-the pyramids-in which wealthy Egyptians were buried with food, household items, and treasure. The ancient Egyptian way of death has left us a rich legacy of information about a way of life of which there is no other record. Lila Perl’s thoroughly documented account is as fascinating as it is revealing. ˆ

But to have a good read, there are books of the discoveries of Sir Howard Carter, or reports about Howard Carter.
This is a book I read over and over.
There was also some book that shared how to make a mummy.
I was fascinated. THen there was a laser disc program about the examination of a mummy.I always wanted to know how they extracted the brain of the mummy through the nose.
I think I could have been an archaeologist if I had more knowledge in my early life of how to follow that career
Here is an online sharing about Sir Howard Carter.

I learned to make Koshari, and an Egyptian breakfast, but food was not the subject of my teaching .. the art teacher
and I had students making personal names in Egyptian symbols, and we learned a little astronomy, so different than American teaching of the night skies. Online there is a “Windows to the Universe” There are three levels of astronomy and culture on this site.

Technology? Web site

Little Horus was the first Egyptian website especially designed for children. The website consisted of over 700 pages of information and illustrations that address children between the ages 6 to 15 in both Arabic and English. Little Horus provides a comprehensive journey that transcends Egypt’s 7000 years of civilization into an educational and cultural experience for children, adults, educators and professionals. Not only this, but Little Horus also offered children games, fun and entertainment to suit all ages. The site offered a variety of portals that provide a contemporary view of Egypt through Pharonic, Coptic, Greek and Modern civilizations. Teachers and students from several countries use the site as an educational reference material.

Little Horus received both national and international recognition for its excellence and commitment to edutainment within the Arab region. The continued success of Little Horus resulted in prestigious awards and received the 1st place in the Cable & Wireless Childnet International Award, the best Achiever of the Internet Society of Egypt (ISE) 1999 Annual Award, and was published in Bill Gates book as one of the best sites for children but sadly, it is no longer on the Internet.

Most of the time I used museums and places of hands on as well, but this post is not about me, I am sharing ideas from International Art, and some words to the wise from friends of mine who are scientists.

Let me give you one other example.


Rainforests, Reefs, and Jungles

When I taught Rainforests, I used resources from the National Geographic ( Started with the journey of a bar of chocolate), Earthwatch, The Jason Project. As a teacher I could Mix and match and use ( laser disks provided by the Lucas Foundation) we could create our own little stories.

Games became a focus. Do you remember Amazon Trail? the Voyage of the Mimi had its own games too. Navigation, Map Making.

Oh how we loved their focused programs, and Dr. Robert Ballard’s sharing of field trips into jungle environments. As a teacher of a group of National Geographic teachers I had access to the tapes of programs developed by George Stuart, on the Maya. Those tapes were archaeology, science, culture, history, astronomy and so much more and games.

The collective name for those was the “Voyage of the Mimi“.Here is the video, which then starred Ben Affleck.

Let me give you one other example.

Rainforests, Reefs, and Jungles

When I taught Rainforests, I used resources from the National Geographic ( Started with the journey of a bar of chocolate), Earthwatch, The Jason Project. As a teacher I could Mix and match and use ( laser disks provided by the Lucas Foundation) we could create our own little stories. The Jason Project is powerfully innovative.

Games became a focus. Do you remember Amazon Trail? the Voyage of the Mimi had its own games too. Navigation, Map Making.

Oh how we loved their focused programs, and Dr. Robert Ballard’s sharing of field trips into jungle environments. As a teacher of a group of National Geographic teachers I had access to the tapes of programs developed by George Stuart, on the Maya. Those tapes were archaeology, science, culture, history, astronomy and so much more and games.

The collective name for those was the “Voyage of the Mimi”.Here is the video, which then starred Ben Affleck.

Vinton Cerf says in a Magazine, Child Art, January -March 2014,

There are ways of collaborating on the Net Now that would allow multiple people to create works of art together. Those works of art may be in the virtual space. They could also be in the real world-suppose you created something that a three dimensional
printer could print. Collaboration is one thing .”

Vinton Cerf says in a Magazine, Child Art, January -March 2014,

There are ways of collaborating on the Net Now that would allow multiple people to create works of art together. Those works of art may be in the virtual space. They could also be in the real world-suppose you created something that a three dimensional
printer could print. Collaboration is one thing .”

He further says, “Another possibility is melding so many different modalities through one medium. I can send and receive imagery, sound and I have the opportunity to manipulate the perimeters of images, sound and other properties of something I’m working with.”

Most teachers don’t get a chance to do this type of innovation , based on the models of teaching and learning that have been presented to them in their educational landscape. To tell the truth, I was asked to leave a school, because the principal wanted me to teach only out of the book, and to prepare only for testing. I found a principal, Camay Murphy, who went on the learning journeys with me and took the rest of the staff. We won many prizes. But, as successful as I was, I could not find a home for creativity, innovation and new learning landscapes.

So I consult , write and dream.monday 050

About Being the Best Teacher You Can Be…. Choose NASA .. the educational resources are great! You will leave dullness behind!!

5206_137672091326_268879_nI love teaching.

How can you fulfill this ? I am a Challenger Center Fellow and a Christa McAuliffe Educator. I went to minority schools. I did not have science in the elementary school. But I had NASA. Courses and workshops. So wonderful.

There are people who have given me immense gifts in the way of mentoring.NASA gave me the universe and project based learning  and the ideas about ecology. I loved learning and helping teachers to learn within the educational groups of NASA. The learning started with projects and went on to large and interesting project based learning, some of these are old, Moon Base America, The Challenger Center Initiative and the online NASA resources. I loved most the programs on Mars. I also use museums to teach with. They have a bigger budget than I have.

What an investment in teachers! You can find resources here. If you ever do any of the projects and are truly interested, there is much, much more and it is not at costs.

The Challenger Center is a little different but the project based learning is outstanding. You need not go to the Challenger Center, but it would be for kids, a life changing experience. There are lots of teachers who have been prohibited from this type of learning called project based learning  because it is not regurgitative test measured information. Project based learning? I loved wearing an astronaut suit and sharing information with students. I felt as if I was sharing , teaching and giving information to the children that was awesome. Here are some teacher resources. Now there is a different way of being involved.

Challenger Center for Space Science Education offers dynamic, hands-on exploration and discovery opportunities to students around the world. These programs equip students with the knowledge, confidence, and skills that will help better our national social and economic well-being. But the center also offers courses and learning experiences for teachers. There is support and there are resources. There is a cost to some programs.

Our <a href="/teacher_resources/nitrogen_main.html">Traveling Nitrogen Game</a> makes a fun activity for students to learn about the <a href="/earth/Life/nitrogen_cycle.html">nitrogen cycle</a>.  The activity includes a student worksheet ("Traveling Nitrogen Passport"), 11 reservoir signs, and stamps.  The activity is available in our <a href="/php/teacher_resources/activity.php#8">Classroom Activities section</a>, including a free html version, and a pdf version free for  <a href="/new_membership_services.html">Windows to the Universe subscribers</a>.  The Traveling Nitrogen Game Kit is available in our <a href="/store/home.php">online store</a>, including laminated signs and a set of 11 dice.<p><small><em></em></small></p>

A unique and proven teaching model – Challenger Learning Centers – gives students the chance to become astronauts and engineers and solve real-world problems as they share the thrill of discovery on missions through the Solar System. Using space simulation and role-playing strategies, students bring their classroom studies to life and cultivate the skills needed for future success. Learning Centers reach into communities around the globe, engaging more than 400,000 middle school-age students and 40,000 educators each year.

Challenger Center’s teaching model is an effective approach to strengthen knowledge and interest in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). The McLain 2011 report examined two decades of evaluations from students who experienced a Challenger Learning Center mission, and the findings indicate overall positive gains by students. The study also recognized the psychological nature of career-choice, decision-making embedded in Challenger Center’s model. It found the hands-on simulation experiences are important contributors to that process, perhaps more than any other single experience that might be remembered as extraordinary in a young person’s exposure to STEM. In some cases it is a hard sell to the administrators. They often do not understand this kind of project or are worried about NCLB stats and so well, you are not allowed to do this project based learning. Not on the test they say. In this project you develop sophisticated knowledge that the general public may not know.

We in a 5th grade classroom, knew about the Horsehead Nebulae before the public saw it months later. It helps to talk to astronauts and scientist who care about their subjects.Horsehead Nebula

An assortment of containers and science equipment on a table
The STS-118 crew transported plant growth chambers, seeds and watering devices like these to the space station for an in-orbit experiment.


With these kinds of experiences, the imagination of children and critical thinking skills are challenged. It is not just the technology, it is the creation of the learning landscape to enhance learning.

It enhances discovery through simulation and exploration of new concepts

Explore this NASA program it is free.. and excellent..

Artists concept of 2 people sitting in a spacecraft on Mars

We connect individuals to new people and ideas and expand content beyond what was previously available.

It promotes equity by providing a diverse array of resources and experiences to those who might not otherwise be able to afford them.

It allows teachers to adapt to and to accommodate different learning styles through modularized , self -paced , just in time learning and non threatening learning

I was challenged to learn new science to be able to teach it well. It was supported with great curriculum and posters and resources.There is also this website

Windows to the Universe  What is different about this web site is that it is on three different levels and it is rich in resources.

If your principal will not let you teach during the school day. Do this.. it is fun!!!

Vic and I took this course, it is great!
Cut a pound cake in half, and what do you have? It is still pound cake, but in two pieces instead of one. What if you keep slicing and dicing the pound cake all the way down to single crumbs? No matter how many times the pound cake is cut, it’s still pound cake.

Three training participants look at materials about the solar systemAfterschool Universe training sessions are offered throughout the year at locations across the United States. Image Credit: NASA

What does pound cake have to do with the universe? Just like the chemical elements that are the building blocks for all the matter in the universe, pound cake retains its identity no matter how many times it’s divided. Pound cake also plays a key role in an activity that’s part of Afterschool Universe, a NASA-sponsored astronomy program for middle school students.

Afterschool Universe is targeted for settings outside the normal school day. The program consists of 12 standalone sessions in which students explore basic astronomy concepts.

“We saw a need for the program because existing astronomy education materials covering such topics were mostly aimed at high school students. Middle school students were fascinated by these concepts but had few options to learn more about them,” said Anita Krishnamurthi, the program’s project lead. “There’s a great potential to engage students and adults in astronomy in the afterschool setting.”

Each session usually begins with a brief introductory discussion facilitated by the program leader, followed by a hands-on activity in which students participate individually or in groups. A session typically runs about 45-60 minutes and culminates with a wrap-up discussion focusing on what was learned through the activity.

In most cases, program leaders must undergo training before they can run the program or train others to do so. Information sessions and training workshops are offered at various locations across the country, including at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.

Four training participants look at a light through cardboard tubesHands-on activities play a role in each of the 12 Afterschool Universe sessions. Image Credit: NASA

Upon completion of training, program leaders receive a NASA certificate, a comprehensive program manual, downloadable files, worksheets and evaluation forms, posters, and a kit of materials that are only available from specialized suppliers. Program leaders are responsible for obtaining the basic materials needed to implement the program. NASA encourages leaders to partner with a local scientist.

The manual provides background information and detailed descriptions of how to conduct each session, including listings of objectives, concepts addressed and materials needed. No activities require use of a computer, though the manual gives suggestions for optional Web-based activities.

Afterschool Universe, funded entirely by several grants for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate including the Chandra Mission, was developed by the education and public outreach team in the Astrophysics Science Division at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.

Related Resources
Afterschool Universe   → 
Beyond Einstein   → 
Imagine the Universe   → 


Mobile Devices, and Learning, a Cure for the Digital Divide?

I was first intrigued with mobile learning on a flight to Aukland, New Zealand. The small child across the aisle from me, clutched his device for every waking hour of the flight. I could not see what was on the device, I know it was an Apple IPhone. I was too polite to ask what it was that he was using on the phone… In countless planes, trains and even in an automobile, the problem of boredom seemed to be reduced. The mobile device seems to have solved those types of problems. To think of the power of Mobile look at this infographic . It is a good digital display of what is happening.

Some information on the trends  about mobile devices. And here is an infographic on the state of digital education. You won’t believe your eyes.

The Horizon Report and other futuring reports include the use of mobile devices.

It won't replace you, it will enhance the learning environment!

Mobile Devices

At a visit to the National Geographic I had to pay attention to the device that was questioning me about my geographic knowledge. The device was counting answers and giving instantaneous feedback.

But are what mobile devices are  allowed in schools? Are the powerful intersections of visualization, powerful content and models being kept away from the classroom? STEM resources are mostly available in imagery, visualization , modeling and embedded assessment, online.

In her Mindshift Blog, Tina Barsegihan states:

One of the most exciting things about living in the digital age is witnessing huge cultural changes occur in real time.

We’re at just that point now with mobile learning. Whether it’s on an e-reader, a tablet, or a cell phone, there’s great excitement — though not a lot of research yet — around the potential of how these devices can strengthen learning.

“There are frontiers that we’re just beginning to learn how to reach.”

“What if your mobile device had a sixth sense?” asked Harvard professor Chris Dede, who’s researching the diverse dimensions of mobile learning, at the recent ISTE conference.

When most of us consider education, we think of learning happening in isolated places — schools. But mobile devices are upending that assumption. With innovations like augmented reality, different kinds of information and experiences can be superimposed onto the real world, complementing and adding another dimension to “formal” learning institutions.

Pilot programs are springing up all over the country (more on those soon), as educators and researchers determine what kind of learning can happen best with mobile devices.

“We know from generations of work that devices are catalysts,” Dede said. “The device never produces learning, but when coupled with changes in content, new forms of assessment, linking people together, that’s what enables learning.”

Chis Dede talks about mobile learning : ” Learning a variety of content and skills anytime, anyplace wit a small device light enough to be carried in one hand.” Chis Dede, Timothy E. Wirth Professor in Learning Technologies, Harvard University

Jason Ohler.” Virtual learning and the availability of digital content have changed to offer more methods of student engagement, increased customization of learning objects, open resources, and personalized education..

Imaging the Universe, You can't do that with a book

Learning using visual Imagery

Digital citizenship is impossible until we help students live one life instead two. Right now they live two—a digitally unplugged life at school and digitally deluged life outside school. Having them bring their devices to school is a great first step in creating a reality-based environment for the discussion of digital citizenship. But what do we do about those students who have nothing to bring?posted by Jason Ohler
May 19, 2011

” Learning in the 21st Century, Taking it Mobile“ was a conference I attended about a year ago.. We know that the policy, process and technology infrastructures that are adopted over the next few years will shape education for decades. We also know that the lack of broadband is a problem in many places in the US. We have been talking about 21stCentury adaptations and transformation for many years. It is still a goal. . Many think the devices will change the learning landscape and equalize access.


There is a dark side of the digital divide without broadband. Everyone assumes that people can access high powered sites. The FCC is busy working to create broadband for all but the realization of this will probably be a long time in coming. The sad part of this is the lack of classroom access in some parts of the US. We are told the new E-rate will help to solve this, but it is a BIG problem. Sometimes the people who need access most are out of sight , out of mind.

We had a big discussion on the District of Columbia schools and what the teachers were or were not accomplishing, but no one questioned their lack of technology support in training, in devices, and in content integration. Quietly, the discussions are going on in various school systems, but there is no conclusion as to what really works. 

Teaching online , anywhere anytime, Henry Neeman does outreach to all from Oklahoma

Reaching out to involve students and faculty in Supercomputing

As mobile devices become ubiquitous, students are using then to facilitate learning and enhance productivity in and out of school.  There are roadblocks, but the most difficult to solve is the disconnect of access. After that, there is the concerns about cyberbullying and creating a platform of use that is reflective of the purposes of the task in education.

At the conference we mulled over these questions and they stay with me still.

The Digital Divide is always a question.

What do mobile wireless devices contribute as a platform for bringing education innovation and best practices to scale?

What do mobile wireless devices contribute as an enabler of innovative powerful methods for teaching and learning?

How can we complement the current educational infrastructure( computers, wires) with the emerging wireless mobiles, cloud based infrastructure? What are key challenges in financing, implementation and policy?

How can we plan to accommodate the rapid evolution of mobile devices?

How would you answer these questions?

Moblie Device at Blue Waters Kiosk at NSF Expo ExhibitMobile Devices capture the attention of students. who have never seen or used these devices before. This is outreach for the Teragrid.

Research, 2010 and Our Future, Students Speak Up about Their Vision for 21st Century Learning


The Internet is an astonishing source of educational resources: Lesson plans, classroom-product reviews, and even psychological support for those dark days when your students (or your coworkers) are straining your mental balance are only a Google search away. The trick, however, is getting that pipeline of online information flowing throughout your school, including directly into classroom PCs. Computers are often centralized in a media center, building codes can be prohibitive for setting up a broadband feed, and most schools are short-changed when it comes necessary tech support.

Here is a recipe for wireless access for those on the digital dirt road or for the understanding of those who did not get to attend the conference from the George Lucas Educational Foundation that is a how to.. The project is entitled the Digital Generation.

Welcome to the Digital Generation

What Devices?

There are a lot of devices that can be included in this discussion. The ones I know are,mobile and associated technologies, smart phones, IPod, IPhones, Netbooks, digital clickers, chargers and battery packs ,mobile interactive whiteboards.

Wireless to the Rescue

Taking it Mobile

Access to smartphones has more than tripled among high school students since 2006, according to a survey report from Project Tomorrow®, a national education nonprofit organization, and Blackboard Inc.

The report ,Learning in the 21st Century: Taking it Mobile!shows that students now view the inability to use their own devices in school, such as cell phones, smart phones, MP3 players, laptops or net books, as the primary barrier to a successful digital education. The various reports can be found here.

Can we Change the Digital Divide with Mobile Devices?

The FCC Chairman indicated in his discussions early in the year that Digital Tools may be the solution to the digital divide

Mobile Divide…. What Can we Learn about Making a Difference with Mobile Technology?

Philosophy of the Mobile Divide In the US

Mobile Digital Divide– According to a new study on U.S. consumers and mobile from the Pew Research Center, an unprecedented 60% of adults in the U.S. access go online wirelessly, whether by laptop or cell phone. Two factors are driving this trend, and shaking up any preconceived notions about America’s digital divide.

Finding #1:“Cell phone ownership is higher among African-Americans and Latinos than among whites (87% vs. 80%) and minority cell phone owners take advantage of a much greater range of their phones’ features compared with white mobile phone users. In total, 64% of African-Americans access the internet from a laptop or mobile phone, a seven-point increase from the 57% who did so at a similar point in 2009.”

Finding #2: “Young adults (those ages 18-29) are also avid users of mobile data applications, but older adults are gaining fast. Compared with 2009, cell phone owners ages 30-49 are significantly more likely to use their mobile device to send text messages, access the internet, take pictures, record videos, use email or instant messaging, and play music.”

What’s driving more Blacks and Hispanics, and older adults, to mobile?

According to Pew spokesman Aaron W. Smith, increased mobile web usage is driven by two key factors: age and economics. A younger demo with an annual income of $30,000 or less a year has jumped in usage, and African-Americans and Hispanics are younger and have less money than the general white population.

Mobile is thus bridging the digital gap between the traditional distinction of haves and have-nots, and while it’s a positive trend, it’s still a gap between those with cellphone-only access and those with computers as well.

About 18% of African-Americans use a cellphone as their sole device for Internet access compared to about 10% of whites. That said, laptop ownership has risen from 34% in 2009 to a current 51% among African-Americans.

Overall, 59% of Americans now access the Internet through mobile devices as opposed to 51% a year ago. So mobile may prove to be the ultimate equalizer, at least on the digital playing field.

Other interesting facts from the study reveal that Americans are using their mobile devices to (as ranked by Pew’s latest stats vs. April 2009)

The most interesting discussions are about the way in which wireless can be deployed. Bring your own wireless, netbooks using the cloud, and a variety of ways to solve the digital divide were proposed.

This from Mindshift

Bring-your-own-device classrooms. Since most kids these days already have access to a mobile device, schools are seizing the opportunity to turn these gadgets from distractions into learning tools by incorporating these devices into classroom lessons and projects. From mobile phones to laptop computers, teachers and students are increasingly bringing technology to the classroom, and in many school districts, it’s being put to good use.Numerous studies have highlighted the benefits of one-to-one computing programs in raising test scores and increasing college attendance, but with many districts strapped for cash and unable to provide devices for each student, this isn’t always a possibility. The solution may be found in asking students to bring their own devices to class, cutting back on the number of mobile devices the school needs to provide while still enhancing the learning experience.

What have mobile devices go to do with STEM and changing education in America?

Eliot Soloway ”

Are cellphones and other mobile devices powerful learning tools or intolerable classroom distractions?

For Elliot Soloway, the answer is a no-brainer. Cellphones, hand-held gaming gadgets, and netbooks—all relatively cheap, seemingly ever-present mobile devices used (and often abused) by today’s teenagers—can engage middle and high school students in learning inside and outside of school, he and other advocates of mobile learning say.”

STEM Applications you can’t replicate by talking or lecturing.

Windows to the Universe  ,Windows to the Universe explores the Earth, planets of our solar system, and the universe. It includes images, animations, and data sets, and information about books .

The Exploratorium,The Exploratorium isn’t just a museum; it’s an ongoing exploration of science, art, and human perception—a vast collection of online interactives, web features, activitiesprograms, and events that feed your curiosity.

Project Lead the Way

The PLTW Innovation Zone (aka the classroom) is an engaging and thought-provoking place, where students develop critical thinking skills through hands-on project-based learning, preparing them to take on real-world challenges. Students will have the opportunity to create, design and build things like robots and cars, applying what they are learning in math and science to the world’s grand challenges.

The PLTW program is designed to serve middle school and high school students of diverse backgrounds from those already interested in STEM-related fields to those who are more inspired by the application of STEM than they are by traditional math and science courses.

Whyville ,
What does it take to build a sustainable, green energy community? 8th Graders are showing us how using WhyPower, an interactive learning game within the largest interactive learning world, WhyVille. Here is an interactive game.

Energy Game:  WHYPOWER

Whyville is a thriving community with its own economy, newspaper, government and much more.  It now has its own power grid!  As part of the WhyCareers program, we are “electrifying” Whyville with a power grid that uses traditional and renewable energy sources.  Students will manage the power grid to select the right mix of coal, natural gas, nuclear, hydroelectric, solar and wind energy. They will build homes in Whyville!  They will observe and measure power use in Whyville, and form good energy behaviors and habits. Finally, they will explore the math, science and career topics related to energy.  Just like in real life, success in Whyville is not pre-programmed!  Students skill, initiative, creativity and teamwork determines the rewards they receive and the “virtual money” they earn in WhyPower.
Whyville. Run a city using energy reources.

National Geographic FieldScope is a web-based mapping, analysis, and collaboration tool designed to support geographic investigations and engage students as citizen scientists investigating real-world issues – both in the classroom and in outdoor education settings. FieldScope enhances student scientific investigations by providing rich geographic context – through maps, mapping activities, and a rich community where student fieldwork and data is integrated with that of peers and professionals, adding analysis opportunities and meaning to student investigations.

NG FieldScope

  • uses cutting-edge technology to make interactive mapping and geospatial data analysis tools accessible to students via the web in an intuitive package that is free and does not require software installation.
  • enables students and classrooms to upload their own field data – including quantitative measurements, field notes, and media, such as photos – and to see it in relation to data from peers and professional scientists.
  • fosters collaborative sharing and analysis of data among the FieldScope community and beyond.

National Geographic is partnering with groups – across a range of scientific disciplines – that are interested in exploring how FieldScope can better support student geographic learning and outdoor investigations.

FieldScope Projects

Chesapeake Bay Chesapeake Bay FieldScope Project is a “citizen science” initiative in which students investigate water quality issues on local and regional scales and collaborate with students across the Bay to analyze data and take action. Chesapeake Bay FieldScope is a project of National Geographic’s Education Programs in collaboration with theChesapeake Bay Foundation and the NOAA Chesapeake Bay Office.

Online Labs

Resource from the Federal Trade Commission kids learn critical thinking skills and apply them to understanding advertising.

It is an on line game.

Digital Citizenship

Living Life Online   there is a book available from the FTC that accompanies this project as a digital citizenship iniative. Bulk orders are available at

Julia Barnathan (standing), curriculum developer for Northwestern’s Office of STEM Education Partnerships, assists a student with a lesson in radiation that uses iLabs to access a geiger counter at the University of Queensland, Australia.
CREDIT: Amanda Morris, Office for Research, Northwestern University