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EdTech Action Network

Today I ran across this wonderful site, EdTech Action Network, that is working to remind our leaders of the importance of educational technology. They have posted the following letter on the front page of their site. You can help out by signing the petition for giving our kids a 21st century education. Please take a minute (that is truly all it takes) to sign this petition. I am assuming that if you are reading a technology in education blog such as this one that you have discovered the importance of technology in education. I love the motto on the EdTech Action Network’s site “Children + Technology = America’s Future” I couldn’t agree more! “Dear Next President, We believe that it is critical that our next President make ensuring our nation’s K-12 students receive a 21st Century Education a top priority. Recent data shows that the stakes for our students acquiring 21st Century technology skills and knowledge have never been higher in terms of their own and our nation’s economic prosperity. For instance: The Department of Labor reports that out of 55 industries, education is last in its use of technology. In the majority of schools, teachers and students cannot maximize the potential of technology. By 2010, if current trends continue, more than 90 percent of all scientists and engineers will be living in Asia. Since the 1960s, the demand for skills has changed significantly – the demand for routine manual task skills have decreased, while the demand for non-routine interactive task skills have increased significantly. Our children not only deserve but require an American education that harnesses the power of technology to individualize learning, one that ensures that they are prepared to compete academically for top grades and globally for the best paying jobs. In our estimation, a 21st Century Education should include the following elements: Every student learning in an environment that reflects the technology replete world in which we live, including ready access to sophisticated computing devices, instructionally sound digital content that facilitates self-paced learning, and broadband-level bandwidth necessary to support cutting-edge digital applications and services. Every teacher possessing the technology tools and skills necessary to use technology in the classroom and to integrate technology and digital resources seamlessly into classroom learning. Every parent utilizing technology to monitor student academic progress, communicate with educators regarding academic matters, and access online and digital resources to assist their children’s studies. We call on the next President, in partnership with Congress, to take these bold steps to ensure a 21st Century Education, including: Supporting access for all students to technology and the Internet. Increasing federal funding for education technology through the Department of Education’s budget. Preserving the E-Rate and providing robust bandwith in all classrooms to allow students and educators to use the cutting-edge digital applications and services. Incorporating technology literacy and facility into state teacher standards, teacher training, and professional development. Encouraging student technology literacy by the eighth grade.” Click here to sign the petition nowOh by the way, they have a great url: onegiantleapforkids.org– how fun is that?!

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Hooda Math: math fact practice that feels like fun

Posted by admin | Posted in Fun & Games, Knowledge (remember), Math, Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, Secondary Elementary, Websites | Posted on 09-06-2014

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Hooda Math: Practice math facts and have fun

Flappy factors: learn math playing games

What it is:  Hooda Math is a fantastic collection of math games that give students the opportunity for math fact practice while having fun. The games are based on other addicting games like Flappy Birds and 2048. Instead of just playing the games to see how far they can get, students also get some built-in fact practice. For example, in Flappy Factors, students maneuver a bird through a maze of pipes. Each pipe has an integer on it, students must fly through the correct factor of a target multiple that is given. Students must avoid the pipe with the incorrect integer. As students advance through the game, a progress report is generated that can be emailed to a teacher or a parent. The Hooda Math site has been created for a variety of platforms…perfect for a BYOD classroom!

How to use Hooda Math in your classroom: Hooda Math is organized by category types: Mobile games, Shopkeeper games, Geometry games, Logic games, Number games, Physics Games, Growing games, Building games, and Escape games. The games can also be organized by grade level, subject, or category. There are over 500 games in all, ensuring something for everyone in kindergarten through high school.

Students at Anastasis LOVE mobile games. When Flappy Birds came out, they were often spending hours (truly!) playing these games in their free time. Hooda Math games are a great way for students to practice math facts and skills while they are playing. Math becomes significantly less challenging when facts become second nature. Hooda Math games are a great way for students to practice their math facts without hours of flash cards. Math practice becomes fun and the challenge is not just in figuring out the trick to the game, it is also unlocking the building blocks of math.

When I taught a computer class, I often had students lament that they would NEVER be able to learn to touch type. I often asked these students, “do you play video games? Do you have to look at the controller when you play to see what to press next?” They always answered, “No! I would lose if I had to look at the controller.” I would follow-up by asking them how they memorized what to do to the controller to win. Light. Bulb. Moment. The same is true for these math games. Students can play these games like they would other popular games, if they know their math facts, they are more likely to “live” longer and win the game.

I learned my math facts when my third grade teacher made up rhymes and a Chinese jumprope game where you had to know your facts to stay “in.” We learned our multiplication tables in no time! (If anyone knows this game, I would LOVE to remember how to play it, leave the link/directions in a comment below.) I suspect that Hooda Math games could have the same outcomes for your students. When the facts are the key to winning, there is a different motivation to know them (beyond just completing the worksheet/test).

In a one to one device environment, students can play the games that build skills where they need them. Students can play at their own level. In the one or two computer classroom, use Hooda Math as a math center rotation. Students can travel from center to center in small groups and take turns playing the games that meet their individual needs.

Be sure to pass on Hooda Math to your student’s families. It is a great way to practice at home and over summer break.

Tips: Don’t forget to have your students send you the progress report at the end. This helps you keep track of their progress without the need for worksheets.

Are you using Hooda Math in your classroom? Leave a comment below and share the ways that you use it with students!

Rodan + Fields Consultant

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