A month ago I wrote a post about ClassConnect a cloud based service that allow teachers to build, organize, store and share lessons with other educators. I promised to bring you some updates and I am pleased to announce that ClassConnect has left the Imagine K-12 incubator and its now Claco.
The premise remains the same, to help educators work collaboratively with other professionals from around the world. I have been BETA testing it, and I love what they have done since we talked and how it has developed. The new version of the service allows storage, and easy access, to any website, video, files and more from a single location. There is also an option to align resources with the newly introduced Common Core curriculum.
Besides the ability to store any resources, one might need for a class they have added a social component that allows sharing content on Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter. One can also add notes to binders, create folders within them, drag & drop resources and even add embed code for multimedia content (think PBS, Khan Academy, YouTube, ect…) that plays from the binder with no ads. This last one is a great idea for Flipped Classroom, Project Based Learning or Professional Development with other educators. Claco is also behind the #UnitedWeTeach movement on Twitter, so be sure to follow their hashtag.
The service is Free, and will always remain Free according to Eric Simons, Claco’s CEO and Founder. To learn more about Claco or to request a BETA invite please visit http://www.claco.com/ or show them some love on Twitter @TeamClaco Don’t forget to like this on Facebook and continue to share, learn and collaborate with others.
Nick D’Aloisio is a British-Australian computer programmer and entrepreneur that has got a lot of attention for two things, the creation of Summly, and the fact he is only 16. He has already been hailed as the next Steve Jobs by some. I sometimes question that kind of endorsement but I think the kid can deliver. After watching him being interviewed by GigaOM in London, I was blown away at his confidence, and business savvy at such a young age. If you wonder how long, before Google or another tech giant (of the fruit variety) buys him out you’ll have to wait a while. He says he want to stay in school, and continue to work on building his app. Here is the interview “Why Summly’s 16 year old CEO wants to stay in school” and the video for his app. Enjoy it!
Girls Who Code is a new movement working to educate, inspire and equip 13- to 17-year-old girls with the skills and resources to pursue opportunities in technology and engineering. Their idea is similar to Code Club which I posted about couple of days ago except their efforts are geared specifically towards teenage girls. “The numbers speak for themselves. By 2018, there will be 1.4 million computer science-related job openings, yet U.S. universities are expected to produce enough computer science graduates to fill just 29% of these jobs. And while 57% of bachelor’s degrees are obtained by women, less than 14% of computer science degrees are awarded to women.” Please visit their website www.girlswhocode.com and follow them on Twitter @GirlsWhoCode to help spread the word about their efforts.
This morning while doing my daily brain workout, I came across this story. After reading it I though about how much effort is being put into promoting the Flipped Classroom concept as an alternative teaching method. I was then thinking we should do the same to promote teaching innovation and reward teachers who come up with great ideas.
That brings me to Mr. Josh Hoekstra, a history teacher at Rosemount High, a school in the suburbs of Minneapolis who came up with a great idea. He basically takes the kids love of sports and turn it into History Madness, a bracket style competition that fosters learning history, develops critical thinking skills, and promote collaboration amongst his students. He was featured in a CNN article yesterday, and is now selling a Teach with Tournaments book to teach others his methods.
Our friends over across the pond on that huge island people call the UK have come up with a pretty cool idea. I am always fascinated at all of the opportunities that are available for children these days, and this is one of those. The basic premise for Code Club is that any kid can learn how to be a coder and that coding could be a fun activity. What caught my eye was their YouTube promotional video with the likes of Niklas Zennström (founder of Skype), Joanna Shields (former Bebo, CEO and now EMEA vice-president at Facebook) and Sir Timothy John “Tim” Berners-Lee (father of the Internet) among other notable high tech entrepreneurs. Watch the video and see for yourself our future leaders in action during a job interview.