iSchool pilot program in Idaho using iPads

Paul Elementary School in Idoha is the pilot school in a test by iSchool Campus, which deploys iPads to all teachers and students (there are also more traditional Mac desktops used as part of this system).  Lots of schools are incorporating iPads into their curriculum, though I’m not sure any have done so quite to this extent.  The feedback from teachers at the school sounds really great, though promotional videos like this usually are. 😉  Check out the video below.

(via Appleinsider)

Lego Mindstorms EV3

GyroBoyLego is releasing its third iteration of the popular Mindstorms robotic construction platform, called Mindstorms EV3.  If you don’t know what Mindstorms is…well it’s more than I can get into in a simple blog post here.  It’s basically a fantastic way to teach kids about robotics.

Read this article at GeekDad for a rundown on what’s new in EV3.  Pretty much what you expect…newer, better, with smartphone integration.  While this latest release is targeted towards educational users, I expect this to appear on many kids’ Christmas lists later this year (and probably on some parents’ lists, too…).

Mindstorms EV3 should be shipping in the second half of this year.

GoldieBlox: The Engineering Toy for Girls

There’s a great project on Kickstarter right now called GoldieBlox, and it, quite simply is a toy for girls age 5-9 designed to help them develop an interest in engineering and solving problems.  I love it, and hope they succeed in getting fully funded on Kickstarter so this can be brought to market.  Check it out here.

iBook Author

Well, Apple has done it again.  Today, some people would say they made it easier to put textbooks onto an iPad.  I say those people are not seeing the full picture.  What Apple has done is to modify the textbook and classroom model that has been essentially unchanged for hundreds of years.  They’ve adapted that model to today’s technology, in a way that facilitates creation, access, and usage of this new medium.  After poking around it a bit and getting a closer look, I’m convinced that this new approach is far superior to the traditional teaching method.

The question now is, will it be adopted?  A resounding ‘yes’, if you ask me.  The ONLY downside I see is the cost to equip each gradeschool student with an iPad.  However, even before this new textbook concept, some public schools have already been doing just that (like Manitou Springs in Colorado).  Even in times of decreasing school funding, the schools are being challenged to be more innovative, more resourceful, more efficient, and more effective…and this presents a very compelling argument for them.

What a fantastic age we live in.

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