The annual Texas Computer Education Association (TCEA) Convention is coming up next week, and we can’t wait to chat with educators about how you’re integrating technology into your classrooms.
It’s clear that tech-forward classrooms are foundational to preparing kids to be successful in the future of work. After all, we don’t know what the jobs of tomorrow will be, but we do know that building engineering design skills and cultivating innovation from a young age will be essential to student success.
littleBits makes it easy for teachers to be on the front lines instructing the next generation of problem solvers on these skills. Through littleBits and other technology implementations, kids learn problem solving, creative thinking, collaboration, curiosity, and how to deal with failure.
What’s Stopping Educators from Bringing Tech into the Classroom?
Not every educator has the capacity to integrate technology into their classroom. Here are the top three reasons that educators are not implementing technology in the classroom:
Fear. Implementing new technology can be frightening — especially since so many teachers believe that they lack the ability to create tech-integrated lessons. This is partly because many teachers haven’t been taught tech topics in a way they feel they can replicate. If teachers themselves have never used these tools in their free time, and schools haven’t used these in professional development, the tools will always seem strange.
The good news is that many tech implementations are way easier than you think. littleBits is a great example.
The best way to get started with Bits is to start playing with them! Connect a blue power Bit to a pink input Bit (like a button, a pressure sensor, or an accelerometer), and then add a green output Bit (like a buzzer or a light). You’ve created a circuit, and the foundation you need to start planning lessons!
Even better, littleBits educational kits include customizable lesson plans, activities, video tutorials, an invention guide, in-class invention tools and resources, online professional development, and much more.
“Something I love about littleBits, and the reason we have our littleBits bar as a ‘fixed’ station [in our library makerspace], is that they have a LOW BARRIER OF ENTRY, meaning that any of our students can sit down and use them, regardless of their proficiency level or academic status. littleBits take concepts that can be quite complex to understand and make them ACCESSIBLE AND ATTAINABLE FOR ALL OF OUR STUDENTS in a hands-on way.”
Laura Fleming, Library Media Specialist New Milford School District, NJ
Testing. When there are inconsistencies between teaching methods and assessment methods, educators find themselves having to “teach to the test” to ensure that their students are successful in the ways they are being measured. A barrier to entry in adopting tech in the classroom is that assessment is often based on memorization and book learning.
What many teachers don’t understand is that effective technology lessons stick with students even beyond testing and assessment. A lesson well-taught is a lesson learned forever. Not only that, but tools like littleBits are aligned with NGSS and CSTA standards, so you can rest-assured that kids are learning what they need to know.
Budget. With recent budget cuts, schools aren’t investing in technology — it’s as simple (and as complicated) as that.
The littleBits team can walk you through various options for funding of STEM-related projects and resources—from federal and local grants to crowdfunding and corporate sponsorships. We can share online tools that list funding sources, discuss best practices for applying for grants, and share advice from littleBits customers who successfully fundraised and now have littleBits programs in place for their students.
Come see us in Booth 1539 at TCEA to learn more! We want to help you get technology in your classroom.