Tech Ed 4 Kids Partners with Parents, Students, and Teachers to Measurably Propel Student Achievement in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math

The Domestic Musician

The Domestic Musician! Research has shown that music, art, and math are all linked skills. Jessica Peresta from The Domestic Musician believes that music is one of the fundamental classes for students.  She has a bachelor's degree in music education and a strong...
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Drive Through Safari – Rockhome Gardens

While visiting home we decided to check out the drive through safari. I've done one with my middle son before, and we have driven through a park with Buffalo by Murray here in Kentucky also - but this one has taken over a park our family visited many times years ago....
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Facebook Cloning… Is that friend request really You????

Facebook cloning involves someone making a copy of your facebook account and then sending friend requests to your friends. For someone with a devious purpose in mind - whether it's to bully your children, or spam your friends, it's a really quick and easy way for...
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Rainbows – The science

Make our own Rainbow: Place a mirror in a glass or water at an angle. Turn off the lights (pitch dark) Shine a flashlight toward the mirror Adjust to make a rainbow appear!  (You may need to adjust the angle of the mirror)   The Science Behind:  A rainbow is an...
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Chronos Bomb Game

For the holidays my little one wanted a game advertised on TV, Chronos Bomb. I haven't seen it advertised since, but the commercial made it look like fun.  The game includes a timer built in, with gyros....  The gyro is attached to wires on clamped that are attached...
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Bullying and Coding

I have all boys who do like computer programming.  My oldest is now a computer programmer and going back to school soon for a PhD in Computer Science and my middle son thought majoring in Physics is writing computer games all the time. While in grade school the kids...
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Facebook

Facebook is really becoming a site for adults as much or more so than kids.  It serves as a place to post what is going on with your day, interact with friends, get advice from your friends and family, share what's up with your day and interact.  You have a main news...
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Smart Tvs

We have a smart tv in our living room... actually we have a Kindle Fire, a Roku, an Apple TV, and a few other things.  The smart tv though is one of my favorites.  It is all built into the tv, meaning one remote.  Around our house remotes are lost easily and then we...
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10 Facebook Groups for Science

Tech Ed has a Facebook Page, where we can share information with everyone, but many organizations also have facebook groups to interact. Groups allow people to ask questions, get answers, search, and interact. In groups you can meet people that are having similar...
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Minecraft EDU

Kids love Minecraft!  My kids love Minecraft! Microsoft has now come up with an educational version of Minecraft just for schools to link learning to the game kids love. Minecraft: Education Edition is available for purchase by schools, libraries, museums, and...
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Eclipse Coming Up

August 21st there will be an eclipse!  This one is pretty rare.  The moon will pass between the Earth and the Sun.  (The sun is a lot larger than the moon, but the moon is a lot closer).  The eclipse is only visible from a certain path and in the US that happens to...
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Alexa in our House?

Personally I love Alexa - I ask her what the forecast is, what temperature it is, to set the temperature in rooms, and to turn off and on lights! It works great for lights that are in the corners of the room behind the chairs and impossible to reach.  The Alexa has a...
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Lumi Drone

One of the items we decided our youngest would love to try was the Lumi drone!  It's by Wowee, a great kid friendly, easy to use company. We gave it a try and right after charging it was simple to fly.  We actually have only flown it in the house even.  The only thing...
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Cozmo the robot!

The robot Cozmo showed up for Christmas at our house!  Cozmo is set up to learn as you play with him.  I did find that I have to hook my phone to the Cozmo wireless network each time we want to play with Cozmo - which is not the easiest and not really something my...
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Robots for Christmas

There are a million types of robots available for the holidays!  My son has decided robots are fun!   Last year we got the Meccanoid robot.  It took us two days to put it together.  - Ours is the one that is the same size as my eight year old.  Now there are a lot of...
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Lowe’s Build and Grow

There are tons of great activities you can find and sign up for online.  One that is free is Lowe's Build and Grow!  It's usually held the first Saturday of each month and is free! We decided to give it a try this month and got to make Christmas Ornaments.  My little...
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Let’s Build a Gingerbread House….

This year we decided to get a gingerbread house...  for Halloween.  We just now finally got around to making it.  Our included green icing - which wasn't especially soft anymore, candy corn, and Scooby doo!  Most kits include the icing, gingerbread, and some candy and...
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Trip to Virginia

While in Virginia we thought we would see a few things. First I searched the internet for things to do with kids in the Charlottesville, VA area. We were going for a physics conference and only going to be there for a couple days at most.   It just happened to be the...
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Partly Off Topic – Political…..

It always amazes me how much our kids pick up from adults.... and explaining things going on around us is tough.  I believe strongly in letting my kids decide, but I'm sure our decisions bleed over too....  We try in everything to look up and have sources.  This was a...
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Videos and Fun!

A fun thing my little one and I have done that I've found he enjoys is making videos of things we have gotten to review.  I like to post reviews of items I've gotten on Amazon to let people know what I think of them.... (the ball below isn't this one, but it is the...
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Bullying and Coding

I have all boys who do like computer programming.  My oldest is now a computer programmer and going back to school soon for a PhD in Computer Science and my middle son thought majoring in Physics is writing computer games all the time. While in grade school the kids were involved in programming robots and competing in robotics tournaments – FIRST LEGO League.

I started programming in high school when my aunt and grandmother got me a Commodore 64.  The school had a TRS 80 and my senior year I was able to take a class in basic to go with what I was doing at home.  The TRS 80 was a little different than my C64.  The TRS 80s were hooked together in a change with the operating system coming from one main computer in the middle. I still remember one day when the whole system locked up and the teacher wasn’t in the room.  I said, hey we can just pull out the disk and reboot not knowing that that every computer would need to be restarted – they were all hooked together!  I finally learned how a dumb terminal worked.

There was one computer that had modem. The internet wasn’t the way it is now and bulletin board systems were the way to connect. One computer would connect at a time through a dial up modem – the BBS was on an Apple IIe computer.  You could connect and leave message, kind of like a forum is now.  Then hang up and later you would connect again to see if you had any messages.  Our sign in was our phone number (it’s funny the things I remember)…. mine on my C64 operated at 800 bps.  You could read the screen as it scrolled in new information.  With the Apple IIe break keys you could even get out to the system.  There was a code to page the operator too.  The operator was a college student at the local community college and we would spend some time talking to the magical person once in a while also.

In class we would learn the BASIC language with the TRS80.  I remember writing a program to put up a picture of a house with snow falling on the screen.  Each pixel had to be turned off and on individually, so to set the screen up we used graph paper.  Anymore everything is WYSIWYG.  At the time though I loved that class. I went on to write a program in my first year of college for a small business to use as an inventory program on the C64.  My first paid job on the computer and it was C64 in BASIC (1986)!

I still remember in High School at my senior prom being embarrassed though by the insulting speech that made it sound like I was only doing programming because of a boy in the class and was following around after him.  At that time hardly anyone else had a computer…. I went on to be a computer programmer and he is now working at another job. It made that prom memorable for all the wrong reasons. Game consoles were the Atari 2600 and ET, space invaders, and Pacman were big games at the time…. Think monochrome screens.  Not every boy or girl needs to learn to program, but every boy and girl needs to be allowed the opportunity to learn if they are inclined.  They also deserve to not be discouraged.  

Think of how often you hear or have even seen on TV the idea that math is tough.   Math and Computer people are strange.  I noticed a shirt I’m a Nerd.  I thought the shirt was cool, but I remember nerds and geeks having a bad connotation.  Anyone remember Revenge of the Nerds?  How back thinking instead of Danica McKellar  –    from Wonder Years!  Danica McKellar not only is a really cool TV star, mom, but also a Math star!  She has a channel on Nerdist with “Math Bites”, her new book is “Goodnight Math”, and her previous book including things like “Kiss my Math”.  She’s a great roll model for young girls.  Encourage don’t Discourage!

 

Girls Who Write Code

Facebook

Facebook is really becoming a site for adults as much or more so than kids.  It serves as a place to post what is going on with your day, interact with friends, get advice from your friends and family, share what’s up with your day and interact.  You have a main news feed that lets you see what is going on with everyone, groups that let you interact, and pages that let you see what businesses and groups have posted.

Within your news feed you see things your friends have let you see.  You can set any post you would like to share to a privacy allowing them to be seen by yourself only, friends, friends except acquaintances, or a custom list.    Users can also set the privacy for their friends list and several other parts of their account.  My suggestion is to set your friends list to be viewed either by friends only or to private (only me).  Accounts are being cloned daily and the accounts then use public friends lists to get access to everyone you know.

Groups have three types: secret, closed, or open.

  • Open allow everyone to see everything posted.  Personally i stay away from open groups most of the time.
  • Closed allow people to see that the group exists, but not what’s posted unless they join.
  • Secret means a member has to be added by a current member.

Pages also have types, but are usually associated with a business or an organization.

I belong to several groups, groups for moms, groups for crafts, groups for buying at a discount, and more.  Some groups have rules that allow everyone to speak freely and others ask that people follow certain rules.  Some have the group posts set to be moderating – waiting to be approved until they are checked out by a moderator.

The group sanctimommies is completely based on the premise of moms posting information about their kids and life and other moms telling them what they are doing wrong.  Other groups are there to make other moms feel better!  I belong to a group that has a drawing every three months shuffling names and then each mom trades off gifts twice a month.  The swap is anonymous, with a big reveal at the end of each quarter.

I

 

 

Smart Tvs

We have a smart tv in our living room… actually we have a Kindle Fire, a Roku, an Apple TV, and a few other things.  The smart tv though is one of my favorites.  It is all built into the tv, meaning one remote.  Around our house remotes are lost easily and then we have to play the game where we pull out the couch and look under everything.  It gets really tough when the remote is lost inside the couch!

Our smart tv let us pull up Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, Netflix and more.  Besides the videos to let me get a break, there are also lots of great educational shows… some aren’t even made as educational but can be made into educational with the right spin.  Take the movie Shaun the Sheep.  My son loved that movie when we watched it last week.  Normally I wouldn’t say this was an educational move, but besides the discussion about farming, sheep sheering, what the dogs are used for on a farm and why the rooster crows in the morning – there is also the fact that the movie is clay-motion.

The movie has no spoken parts and is made up with clay characters that are moved a little at a time and then pieced together with individual pictures.  That’s a lot of pictures.  There can be math involved besides the experience of planning and making your own stop motion movie.  I’ve seen this type of movie done also with Legos.  If you search stop motion Lego movies you will find lots of tries from kids (and adults) that have decided to give it a try.

When it’s Legos they actually are nicknamed Brikfilms.  Tutorials are available all over the web on how to make your own movie!

We love turning the shows we watch into educational opportunities for our kids.  When my little one really finds the show interesting and funny it makes it all the better.  Our smart tv makes it a little easier to keep everything in one place.   – I do like our Apple TV which will let me put my phone onto the TV and can play from iTunes which the smart TV doesn’t… but the Smart TV is just one tool that makes life easier.

10 Facebook Groups for Science

Tech Ed has a Facebook Page, where we can share information with everyone, but many organizations also have facebook groups to interact. Groups allow people to ask questions, get answers, search, and interact. In groups you can meet people that are having similar issues, the same interests, or even just want to talk and interact on the same subjects as you as well as find answers to questions. Facebook groups frequently can be a quick way to get an answer to a question. I don’t belong to all of the groups below (I do belong to some of them), but there are a huge number of groups available on every topic. I’ve seen questions on everything from drones to chemical reactions. Some of the groups veer off and discuss topics such as science in the schools, myths that are being spread (see the recent flat Earth statements), and even discussions on why people home school.

Facebook Groups:

1.Science Snippets
https://www.facebook.com/groups/scisnippets/?ref=br_rs
A place to learn about science, physics, biology, chemistry and more in an easily digestible form.

Members are welcome to post science-related posts but if a post is found to be scientifically questionable it may be removed by a mod.

2.Homeschool Lapbooks
https://www.facebook.com/groups/58709496909/
This is a group focused on Lapbooking! We will learn, chat, and share about lapbooking ideas. This group is owned and operated by Cyndi Kinney from Knowledge Box Central. While we welcome information about lapbooks we ask that you not advertise on our page. If there is a product you carry that meets the needs of someone posting in our group, please feel free to share it with them.

3.Parents Who Science:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/parentswhoscience/?ref=br_rs
Welcome to Parents Who Science, an evidence-based group for discussion of all matters relating to being a parent.

4.Homeschool Curriculum Marketplace
https://www.facebook.com/groups/Homeschool.Curriulum.Marketplace/

5. Secular Homeschool Families
https://www.facebook.com/groups/Secular.Homeschool.Families/

6.Homeschooling with Netflix
https://www.facebook.com/groups/153434258146309/

There is nothing easier than sitting the kids in front of Netflix to get a break for a few minutes to take a shower or fix dinner. It turns out you can watch educational shows there too!

7.Virtual Homeschool Group
https://www.facebook.com/groups/141433042565491/
Tips for homeschooling, including information to help answer questions on math and science that are over our heads.

8.Secular Homeschool Curiculum
https://www.facebook.com/groups/SecularHomeschoolCurriculum/
This includes things for sale, but it also includes tips. I just noticed parents suggesting to other parents to make your own labels for the bones of a skeleton to learn the parts of the body (bones wise).

9.These two have really cool 3D Printer projects! Make your own keychain, phone case, or even a replacement door bell button (yep, that’s what I did!)
3D Printer
https://www.facebook.com/groups/266274396842958/

3D Printer DIY
https://www.facebook.com/groups/266274396842958/

10. Everything is Science
https://www.facebook.com/groups/EverythingIsScience/?ref=br_rs
We discuss only science here. But everything is science, yay!

There are also lots of great groups on every subject you can imagine! robots, 3d printers, drones, math and more!

Minecraft EDU

Kids love Minecraft!  My kids love Minecraft!

Microsoft has now come up with an educational version of Minecraft just for schools to link learning to the game kids love. Minecraft: Education Edition is available for purchase by schools, libraries, museums, and participants in nationally recognized homeschool organizations.  Teachers have to use their school accounts to verify their status, but then can sign up for information.  There are lesson plans, environments and tons of other resources.  I found it especially interesting that they have a set of lesson plans for ‘learning’ empathy.  As a parent of an ASD kid, this seems like a useful skill for kids to learn.  There are boolean logic, urban planning and more as other plans.

What a great way to get kids excited about learning, but playing a game that they enjoy!

Eclipse Coming Up

August 21st there will be an eclipse!  This one is pretty rare.  The moon will pass between the Earth and the Sun.  (The sun is a lot larger than the moon, but the moon is a lot closer).  The eclipse is only visible from a certain path and in the US that happens to include where I am located!  (If not cloudy that day)   Many of the locations are having special events.  If you are interested check the universities near you – if you are in the path.  The path will go through Yellowstone National Park, and many others – including parts of Kentucky where I live.

To view the sun, even during an eclipse you need special glasses.  During an eclipse looking at the sun or taking pictures of it can ruin your eyes or camera.  There are special filters for cameras and special glasses available for your eyes. If you search Amazon, you can find a whole list of glasses available. We have ours already!

You can also make a pinhole camera to see the eclipse. = http://www.wikihow.com/Make-a-Pinhole-Camera  The eclipse seems a long way away, but the hotels in all the locations in the path are already all booked up.

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About Me

I am a SAHM/WAHM of three boys ranging in age from 8 to 23. We are working on saving enough for college at the same time as taking care of the kids at home. I author a few blogs, including http://teched4kids.com. I have in the past taught computer information technology classes for the local university and taught workshops for kid's in technology education besides being the Kentucky State FIRST LEGO League Championship Coordinator from 2005 to 2008. I now work as a computer consultant, run a handmade home business, and am available for workshops. Life here is always an adventure!
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