Wacom for education Interactive classroom

Wacom delivers products that let teachers and students communicate visually, share new ideas and concepts in real-time, and collaborate. Wacom’s superior digital pen-input products help teachers and students communicate and share ideas more effectively through handwritten drawings, diagrams, annotations and notes – even while using computers and mobile devices. Wacom products can be used in a variety of educational settings – presenting in a traditional classroom, using a flipped classroom model, conducting remote learning or tutoring session, or having students work on a group project. Our interactive pen displays, Intuos tablets and Bamboo stylus help transform and maximize today’s digital learning environment.

Schools from elementary school to higher education are incorporating different teaching styles and environments to fit the needs of students. An important focus to all of these is greater student engagement and participation. Wacom products support active learning, letting teachers and students communicate visually, share new ideas and concepts in real-time, and collaborate.

Wacom’s interactive pen displays let you write directly on your screen – on top of any digital content you have – just like pen on paper. It doesn’t get any easier or more intuitive. Our Intuos tablets immediately provide handwritten input to any PC or Mac. And our family of Bamboo stylus products provides comfort and greater control when writing on iPads or Window or Android tablets.

Vegas Pro is Must Have Video Editing Software

.I have been using VEGAS 15 Suite now for several weeks and having spent the last few years using various iterations of VEGAS software I am very familiar with it so felt comfortable jumping straight in but I was also very keen to find out if the numerous requests on the forum had been addressed or if any suggestions made there had transitioned to the product.

When I first opened the software, I was presented with a new, yet familiar interface, MAGIX had to make this product their own and the interface was an obvious place to start but I was very pleased that they didn’t try to reinvent the wheel. The colour scheme is generally darker by default, something I prefer as it’s easier on the eyes and each of the colourful icons is exactly where it should be. I will come on to customisation later but you really can make VEGAS 15 YOUR editor.

For example, the trimmer is available on a tab next to the preview but it’s not a feature I use, I prefer to edit directly in the timeline, so I have my workspace set up so that my preview is displayed on a separate monitor to my right, my media and FX are on a third screen on my left which gives me a huge workspace for the timeline and this way I have a sense of the video as a whole. If this doesn’t suit you, customise your own workspace. Another example of customisation is on the video track header. It’s now much cleaner by default however, there is a drop-down that will allow you to edit the visible buttons, even the scribble strip is hidden until you click on it. This is done on a track by track basis too which means that the entire header section looks clean with only what you need visible until you decide otherwise. I really like this change.

Basic functions like importing media are identical, however, when you put a clip on the timeline you now get a heading over each one. It might not seem like an impactful difference but this one little change has made it so much easier to work with multiple files and cuts that I suspect over time, I will save hours of searching. The familiar Pan and Crop and FX icons appear as default but here too there is also and a little drop-down menu that contains access to and options to display Generated media, Active take information, Playback Rate, Freeze Frame at Cursor and Selectively Paste event attributes. If you use these functions regularly, having the ability to edit the visible button set so they are visible at the top of a clip is a clever idea and will be a great time saver.

Technology is Changing Education

Just as technology has revolutionized other industries, it has the power to transform education. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. Last week, Holly referenced an EdWeek article that identifies reasons educators fail to implement to transformative, student-centered and technology-driven instruction. The article points out one big issue, “Many teachers lack an understanding of how educational technology works.” It is for this reason I want focus on ways that technology can make learning happen in ways that were impossible in the past. The smartphones that many students carry in their pockets are much more powerful than the technology used to send a man to the moon. Students are able to use these devices to access massive amounts of information, connect virtually to anyone on the planet and to create impressive digital products. These are exciting times for education, but it is our challenge to use technology to create engaging, relevant, and personalized learning experiences for students that will equip them for their futures. In my book, Ditch that Textbook, I point out ways that as educators we can use technology to be different, innovative, creative and hands on. While there are so many great online resources, apps, and other tools that we can use to enhance teaching and learning, I want to focus on the use of video. According to Eric Jensen and others, at least 60% of students are visual or visual-kinesthetic learners. Because of this, video can have a huge impact on student learning. The increased interest in flipped instruction over the past few years demonstrates how technology is changing teaching and learning. Swivl is a great tool to have in the classroom for teacher and student use. The Swivl Capture App is free and can be used on iOS and Android device and the Swivl robot works with any smartphone or tablet. Here are three the ways that I see technology used in my classroom that was unable in the past.

  1. Self Reflection is not only important for teachers, but it is also beneficial for students. Teachers might capture instruction and classroom interactions to analyze and identify areas for growth. A student with behavior issues can look back at the video and work with teachers to set goals and adjust his or her conduct. While I use Swivl to capture instruction and reflect on the effectiveness of my lessons, I also allow students to use Swivl to capture their interactions in small groups. This helps them to reflect on their participation and performance in discussions and group activities.
  2. Video Based Assessments are a welcome alternative to paper/pencil tests. In my Spanish classes, I might use Swivl to capture student conversations and discussions or I may ask them to read a passage aloud. These videos allow me to assess more than written concepts. My students don’t feel anxious by having me stand over them. By uploading videos to Swivl Cloud they are accessible on any device with a browser. Students can even record themselves explaining concepts to use to teach others or use video clips within a digital portfolio.
  3. Mystery Skype is a global guessing game for students that encourages critical thinking through in depth questioning and discussion. Swivl makes it easy to connect with other classrooms by placing a tablet into the robot and using dual markers to capture high quality audio.  I use Swivl Live, an alternative for Skype to help my Spanish students learn about other cultures.

To use technology in a dynamic way we have to think outside of the box and change the way we teach. There are so many ways that video can enhance teaching and learning. The Swivl solution is designed to make video capture easy and a seamless process using the Swivl Capture app and Swivl Cloud. I shared three ways that I use Swivl in my classroom and here are a few other examples.

You can find Swivl products on our website here: https://www.genesis-technologies.com/catalogsearch/advanced/result/?manufacturer[]=169

POLAR 3D EDU PROJECT: FRACTAL TREE IN THE FOREST

RECURSION

Good programming languages (like BlocksCAD) support recursive programming. Instead of looping a single set of commands, a recursive module uses replicas of itself as a part of the module definition. Once a module is called, the values of variables are local to that instance of the module. The result is the ability to create complex objects that can’t be made with simple loop instructions.

In celebration of this capability, we’ll create a famous recursive structure, a fractal tree. Fractals are complex structures in which any part of the structure is a replica of the structure as a whole. An entire branch of mathematics (chaos and complexity theory) is devoted to the exploration of these structures.

Consider a tree, for example, branches are similar to each other, but their size changes as smaller branches grow out of larger ones.

A similar pattern is found in ferns where the whole structure is similar to the smaller parts that make up the plant.

I became so engaged by these structures that I wrote a couple of books on the topic back in the 1980’s: Discovering Apple Logo : An Invitation to the Art and Pattern of Nature, Addison Wesley, 1983.

The language I wrote about, Logo, supported recursion so it was a natural choice. Of course, in those days, the graphics were low resolution 2D images on an Apple II computer ― a far cry from what we can do with BlocksCAD and a 3D printer today.

BUILDING OUR TREE

As our tree is being built, the size and length of branches will change, just as they do with real trees. We start by creating a set of global variables used in our structure.

Next we define a recursive module called tree. This module uses three local variables ― the starting branch length and width and the depth (number of levels) of the tree. These three variables will have their local values changed during use of the module. All other variables will keep their global values.

There are two things to notice in this module. First, you’ll see that we don’t use the Centered option for the cylinder. This makes it easy to get all the branches connected. Second, the cylinder is tapered from its previous radius at the bottom to the new one at the top ― just like the branches of many real trees.
Once this module has been created, we can create our final instructions.

When this BlocksCAD program is run, it produces the following tree. I changed the rendering color by clicking on the Render window box with the color swatch and choosing green as the new color since it looks more tree-like. Of course the color of your printed object will be chosen by the filament you use.

Here’s our printed tree.

This tree also looks like a stalk of broccoli. You should do some research to see why this is.

4 Ways to Protect Kids from Cyberbullying with GoGuardian

The beginning of October marks the start of Cyberbullying and Mental Health Awareness month.  At this time, teachers, administrators and school systems are taking time to reflect on the epidemic of cyberbullying, and rethink ways to combat it. Educator Todd Whitaker once said, “The culture of any organization is shaped by the worst behavior the leader is willing to tolerate.” In any organization, including schools, behavior is clearly shaped by culture. Here are a few ways we can all come together to create more inclusive cultures in our classrooms, and better ensure the wellbeing of our students.


Awareness

A first step towards finding solutions for cyberbullying and online harassment is becoming more aware of the problem. Parents, teachers, and other adults who live or work closely with kids should be educated about cyberbullying so they can both assist children who encounter it, and better prevent it from happening. According to a recent survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation, American kids spend 7.5 hours per day in contact with others via electronic devices, and unfortunately, many of these interactions could be categorized as cyberbullying. One only need look at the statistics to understand the breadth of the problem:

  • 1 in 3 young people report having experienced threats online.
  • 4 in 10 teens say they have been cyberbullied more than once.
  • 1 in 5 cyberbullied teens contemplate suicide.
  • 1 in 10 cyberbullied teens attempt suicide.
  • Only 10% of victims inform a parent or adult of their cyberbullying abuse.

While traditional bullying is sometimes easier to observe, online harassment or other cyberbullying incidents are often more difficult to detect. The more aware we are of the problem, the more we can take steps to combat it. For more information on how to define peer victimization and address bullying, check out Connect Safely and StopBullying.gov.

The Upside of Technology

Another powerful recourse when it comes to cyberbullying are alerts. There are several online tools that can alert administrators when students are being victimized online. Alerts can be set up when students access certain language online, whether they are perpetrating it, or being victimized by it. GoGuardian’s Smart Alerts is one such technological tool that can monitor online behavior, and ensure students are engaging in ethical interactions and exercising good digital citizenship. Currently, the majority of the usage for Smart Alerts has been related to self-harm and suicide prevention, but we are currently developing a capability for cyberbullying prevention. Alerts and innovative technologies can help intervene in online bullying, alert the appropriate school stakeholders to take action, and make students more responsible digital citizens in their interactions.

Inclusive Teaching

A key way to protect students from cyberbullying is to create a culture of inclusion in your classroom from the get-go. Cyberbullying and other forms of harassment do not take place in a vacuum. When we condition students to treat each other with respect, and model inclusive behavior, we can replace bad behaviors with good ones. One way to do this is through inclusive teaching. Inclusive teaching and learning means lessons are designed to actively engage, include, and challenge all students. According to Pew Research Center, there will be a 64% increase in minority school-age children projected by 2100. With increasing diversity in our schools, inclusiveness and social cohesion will be more important than ever before. The practice of inclusive teaching can help students broaden their own perspectives and be aware of the perspectives of others, creating a healthier and emotionally safe environment for kids.

Diversity of Content and Ideas

Another way educators can help create an inclusive culture and combat bullying is by including a diversity of content, perspectives and ideas in their curriculum. During lectures or discussions, encourage a variety of opinions. It’s also helpful to include language, socio-cultural contexts, and images that reflect diversity. Help students understand that knowledge is often gained through conversation and collaboration among disparate points of view. By encouraging differences, and including a variety of perspectives, teachers and educators can model inclusive behavior that will then carry over to the culture of the classroom.

By becoming more aware of cyberbullying and mental health, setting up alerts and leveraging technology, as well as creating a culture of inclusion, schools can stem harassment and better protect students’ well-being. This month, it is of particular importance that we all take time to recognize the seriousness of this problem, and find innovative ways to solve for it. Students can’t learn in a stressful environment. By taking the right measures, and creating a more responsive and inclusive culture in the classroom, we can help all students succeed academically as well as thrive socially and emotionally.  And most of all, as leaders in THE education space, we must model the power of standing up for others. As Martin Luther King, Jr. once said,“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

Check out our prices on GoGuardian.

Avid Celebrates Its Customers’ Emmy Wins and Nominations for Their Creative Achievements

Avid customers at the 69th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards trusted industry-leading audio and video tools to create some of the world’s most popular and award-winning programming, including the creative talented professionals behind “Stranger Things”, “The Night Of” and “Westworld”

Avid® (Nasdaq: AVID), a leading global media technology provider for the creation, distribution and monetization of media assets for global media organizations, enterprise users and individual creative professionals, congratulates its customers recognized for their outstanding achievements at the 69th Annual Primetime Creative Arts Emmy® Awards. Presented by the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (NATAS), the awards honor the best in primetime television, including the backstage crafts that are vital to their production.

Customers relied on Avid’s comprehensive tools for media creation powered by MediaCentral®, the industry’s most open, tightly integrated and efficient platform designed for media, to create Emmy Award-winning and nominated productions, including Stranger ThingsWestworldThe Night OfFargo, The Big Bang Theory and many more.

Every nominee in the Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing for a Drama Series category, including winner Dean Zimmerman, ACE, Editor for Stranger Things, used the industry’s foremost editing solution, Avid Media Composer®.

“It’s an honor to win an Emmy award and be a part of such a phenomenal series,” said Zimmerman. “Stranger Things has so many layers and working parts within the storyline, and working with Media Composer has allowed me to be constantly creative and not have to worry about any limitations in the system.”

Andrew Seklir, ACE, Editor, who was nominated for his work on HBO sci-fi hit Westworld, said, “Having experimented with many different non-linear editors over the years, I’ve found that Avid Media Composer remains the most reliable, versatile and comprehensive editing platform available. Media Composer is my editing tool of choice, and the choice of most working professionals, because it gives editors what they need to express maximum creativity, while handling the technical backend seamlessly and reliably.”

Every nominee in the Outstanding Sound Mixing for a Comedy or Drama Series (One Hour) category, including winners Keith Rogers, Scott Weber, Roger Stevenson, Kyle O’Neal, for Westworld—and every nominee for Outstanding Sound Mixing for a Comedy or Drama Series (Half-Hour) and Animation, including winners Andy D’Addario, Gary Gegan, and Marco Fiumara, for Mozart in the Jungle—used Avid Pro Tools®, the industry’s foremost digital audio software, to bring the sounds of the nominated series to life.

“We’re extremely proud of our preeminent client and user community honored for their work at this year’s Emmy awards,” said Avid Chairman and CEO Louis Hernandez, Jr. “The television industry’s top creative professionals trust Avid’s creative tools to bring their vision to every screen consumers use. We congratulate them and look forward to continuing to deliver innovations that help them tell their stories in more powerful ways.”

Check out our discounts on Pro Tools 12 w/ iLok.

Summer Fun with Cubelets!

Michaela Clinton, Camp Director in Denver, worked at camps for 15 years before joining Steve & Kate’s. She was “drawn to the educational philosophy of letting kids express themselves in ways they may have never been able to before.”

At Steve & Kate’s, students design their own summer camp experience. They are given the choice of several different kinds of activities, including sports, cooking, music studio, and robotics. Campers are allowed to pursue whatever interests them at any given moment during the day. As Cubelets encourage discovery through play, they are a natural fit for the open exploration style of learning that is a hallmark of the Steve & Kate’s camp experience.

“We use Cubelets in our Coding and Robotics studio as the robotics component,” Ms. Clinton says. “We have open play time for most of the day, so campers utilize plastic mats on the floor to run their robots in all kinds of shapes and sizes.”

The camp also runs special weeks where the students are challenged to build robots according to a theme. One of the themes, “Spin This,” challenges students to build a robot construction that spins an object or spins itself. The most popular theme, however, is Battle Bots. Campers love adding lots of Drive, Speaker, and Flashlight blocks to their robot creations prior to setting their constructions against one another in battle!

What have leaders at Steve and Kate’s discovered?  Teamwork is one of the most important concepts that campers learn while exploring with Cubelets. Campers also learn about mechanics (or mechanisms), connections, logical thinking, problem solving, and creativity. Collaboration is key with Cubelets, and campers become comfortable with sharing their robot blocks along with their ideas in an innovative setting.

What is Ms. Clinton’s favorite part about watching her campers work with Cubelets?

“When they discover that a change can make things work the way they wanted or in a way they never expected,” she answers. “When they make a new discovery they simply have to show the entire room what they have done. When they’re trying to problem solve and they concentrate really hard, the occasional tongue sticks out.”

Cubelets have had a profound effect on Ms. Clinton’s campers. She says that Cubelets have “opened up the wide world of mechanical potential. It lets them take their creativity into reality and see it unfold before their eyes.”

After a summer spent working with Cubelets and observing how children interact with them, Ms. Clinton has this advice for educators working in camps and similar settings:

“Play with them for several hours first. Set a few goals for what you want to create, then try to see it through. This will help you go through the experience that campers go through. Be ready with some coping skills for kids! Don’t feel like you have to fix their issue right away. Help them understand the limitations and capabilities of each cube and let them find out on their own what will happen. This opens up more possibilities.”

Don’t forget to Check out Cubelets on our website!