The year 2019 brought us so many blog topics — from the disturbing Momo Challenge that ended up being a hoax to the College Admissions Scandal and so much more. The blog team at Oak Knoll looked back at the top posts that resonated with our loyal readers to bring you this roundup of the top 10 blog posts of 2019.
In today’s world, children are inundated and, often, overwhelmed with smart devices such as iPads, smartphones and even 'Alexa.' By encouraging students to learn how to program code on these devices, we are really teaching children how to be in control, rather than letting the devices control them.
Another memo to Santa was left on the Helpdesk printer this year. It seems Toy Town Industries is vying for Santa's business ahead of Black Friday again. We don't know why Santa's memos keep getting redirected to Oak Knoll, but we would be remiss if we did not share the scoop on this year's hottest educational toys as our very own 2019 Tech Gift Guide for Kids in time for Black Friday!
Modern classrooms are awash in technology. From devices to 3D printers to robotics, there seems to be no end to the different activities that engage our students. Although it appears it is the gadgets and gizmos that have our students’ attention, it is more likely the way teachers are choosing to employ the various technologies. Instead of simple lessons or projects, many teachers use the concept of gamification to get students learning on a deeper level.
Over the last week, you have probably seen some reference to the “Momo Challenge,” hidden messages in Youtube videos, and calls for technology companies to police their systems to protect kids. You have probably also seen a number of reports of things being a hoax that should be ignored. As always, the truth lies somewhere in between, and we wanted to help you sort things out along with give you some practical advice on how to deal with these types of reports in the future.
Do you like challenges? More specifically, do you like geographic challenges?Then I think you would be interested in learning about #MysterySkype. Why the hashtag? #MysterySkype is a Twitter hashtag that teachers have been using to set up connections between their classes. The challenge is for students to guess the location of the other class by asking yes or no geographic questions. There are also spin-offs to #MysterySkype such as #MysteryAnimal and #MysteryNumber. Anything can become a mystery — how about a #MysteryElement from the periodic table?
As I write this blog, we are midway through celebrating 2018 Computer Science Education Week. Nationally there are workshops, webinars, coding challenges, and all kinds of events geared at getting kids interested in computer science and computational thinking. Many articles have been written about the need to get the next generation of students interested in computer science as they will be competing with robots and artificial intelligence for jobs, and that without understanding computing this next generation will fall behind. We are all searching for that one activity that will set off the light bulb for our students, granting them access to a new world of understanding.
Every so often, it’s interesting to see another perspective. We are pretty sure that this response that the technology department received was not intended to be a "REPLY-ALL," but it sure does provide a lot of insight for the coming holiday season. We will be using our @OKSTECH twitter account to follow companies and retweet deals as we get them, so stay tuned.
During the fall season, many people like to settle into the cooler weather by getting into the Halloween spirit. This may mean watching scary movies, going to haunted houses and hayrides, or dressing up in spooky costumes. But there is something else lurking all year ‘round that may scare you: cybersecurity. We’ve all read horror stories of people losing information, devices or, even their identities. With October being National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, it’s a good time to remember that there are many things we can do to protect ourselves and belay those fears. This month serves as a reminder that there are ways to stay safe and private when working online.
One of the hardest things in parenting is helping kids stay focused while doing homework because of all the internal distractions, like dread of working on certain tasks, or the desire to check in with friends, and the many external technological distractions that live right on the same device they are using for homework. In a study by research psychologist, Larry Rosen, he found that “students studied less than 6 minutes before switching to technological distractors.” In this same research, he found that students who had study strategies were able to stay on task longer.