Before the global coronavirus pandemic came into play earlier this year, parents everywhere were guided by experts to set limits on their child’s screen time each day. However, in a rare twist of fate, COVID-19 stay-at-home orders meant that children and parents were left scrambling with no choice but to rely on virtual technology even more to attend work and school from home every day.
As we continue to weather the storm of the novel COVID-19 virus weaving its way throughout the world, millions of children everywhere are hunkered down at home, at their computers, attending their “virtual school day” – as they navigate this new reality.
If your kids have an internet connection, they are likely using TikTok. It's a free, engaging, short-form video-sharing app geared toward teenagers that allows users to express themselves with filters, music and other features. Users can watch and record videos of themselves lip-syncing to music as well as create short, shareable videos so they can interact with friends through likes, comments, songs and livestream.
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.