Amazon is Creating a Platform to Share Educational Materials

When you are a teacher, or anyone involved in training, you often spend more time creating resources and finding ways to reinforce a message rather than just hammering it home time and time again. In order to help with this Amazon are looking at creating a new site designed around being able to share educational materials around the world.

Amazon Education is still in its early stages but you can now sign up as part of their waitlist for the scheme here. The page states that the “future of education is open”, and with all signs pointing to the scheme working similar to Amazon’s retail site, users will be quickly and comfortably able to share resources around the world.

In recent years companies have made a big push on technologies and Amazon are one of the companies that have pushed the most in this regard. With the Kindle being accepted as a standard for eBooks, being able to share classroom text through kindle’s would save schools hundreds on replacing books and with systems like Whispersync already in place to share materials, Amazon seems keen on getting into the business of educational resource sharing.

Do you think that being able to download and access your textbooks, homework and research topics through a popular platform like Amazon would help schools or would it make them reliant on a technology they have no control over?

Apple Turn Stores into Classroom for a Day

Apple is known for a wide variety of things, from their phones and tablets to their business practices with other companies and their own employees. Craig Federighi, one of Apple’s executives, wants them to be known for something else, something that he hopes will be the start of something amazing. Stating that he wanted to “set off a spark”, Apple is looking to turn their stores around the world into temporary classrooms in order to support the “Hour Of Code” programme worldwide.

The hour of code is designed as an introduction to programming, not only for learning the act of programming but developing the mindset of logically finding a solution to a problem. By supporting the scheme which is known around the world and backed by people such as David Cameron, Bill Gates, Barak Obama and even large companies such as Google, Facebook and Amazon, Apple hope that together the idea of a solitary computer programme could be proved wrong and more can be encouraged to look into the activity.

If you’re interested in the scheme you can find more information here, while the Hour of Code website provides year round tutorials and support for several programming languages.

If you’re not interested, please take a few minutes to watch the video below and consider what you could be capable of.

Australia To Teach Coding From Primary School

Every day we use computers if we use them at our fingers or just by buying something from a store or driving down the road. Technology is a big part of everyone’s lives these days, and this has been recognised by many countries pushing for STEM subjects (Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics) to become a focus in many educations, the latest of which seems to be Australia.

As one of his last acts as Education Minister, Christopher Pyne has given the approval for a new national curriculum which will see subjects like History and Geography replaced with Coding. Australia is seeing a large push towards STEM subjects as its new Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull pushes a focus on innovation and preparing the future generations for the jobs and economies of the future.

Pyne said in a statement that “high-quality school STEM education is critically important for Australia’s Productivity and economy well-being, both now and in the future”.

With big plans such as Summer Schools supporting and teaching STEM to underrepresented groups, the development of the maths curriculum and a new P-TECH style school which will bring together education and industry in hopes of further strengthening students futures in the job market.

Thank you Mashable for the information.

Image courtesy of Gizmondo.

Teaching Resource Site For Minecraft?

Minecraft is a game where very little is ever the same. This means you can build a castle in one map with ease, but in the next building the Starship Enterprise is a lot easier. While attracting to a whole range of audiences, from the young to the creative, Minecraft has developed a large following amongst gamers, but this may soon expand as Microsoft are soon to launch a new website with a different focus.

Minecraft In Education is a plan that hopes to bring the talents that Minecraft reinforces to the classroom, enabling teachers to use the game as a teaching tool.

With the option for schools to purchase licenses for a whole classroom at a reduced price, history lessons could soon take place in Minecraft reconstructions of Egypt, while next door an Electronics class are working together to help fix a circuit. With the option to mod in new features the tool could become limitless, and Microsoft want to reinforce this by giving teachers a place where they can share and discuss their resources, lessons and ideas with others so that everyone can benefit from Minecraft.

Are you a Minecraft player? What do you think about being taught something though Minecraft? Should we be encouraging some of the skills games teach us more often?

Thank you Education Minecraft for the information.

Image courtesy of WallPaperUp.

SevenRE’s Kickstarter Streams Games Across All Your Devices.

Ever wished you could take your rig to work, vacation, lectures, the store, now you can.

SWYO “Stream What You Own”, SevenRE’s latest kick-starter lets you stream games, music and other forms of multimedia from your main PC, to a laptop, desktop, tablet or smartphone. Just install server software and you’re good to go. If you’re thinking this is old news, that’s where you’re wrong. Unlike its competitors SWYO lets you harness the full potential of your rig on an average laptop, desktop, tablet etc., meaning you could beat that boss, meet that deadline and watch that movie anywhere.

SWYO’s browser based architecture removes OS restrictions enabling a cross platform experience, really ends the Mac, Windows, Linux PC wars. Its mobile app allows gaming on the go, harnessing your PC’s performance on your smartphone. A stable connection of (3G/LTE/Wifi) with 6 Mbps+ download is preferred though if you’re on your home network you can smash it.

It features ultra low latency, high quality audio and video streaming at 1080p, a pass the controller option to let friends have a go, a personal cloud for all your goodies and top notch encryption to keep them safe. Multi-Access for remote devices with custom privileges, ideal for online collaboration. The host PC can be powered up remotely eliminating the need for 24hr operation. SWYO caters to everyone from teachers to students, professional to novice, if you wished current cloud and remote support services were better SWYO’s the answer.

Here’s a look at SWYO in action:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qQNA6lvuvo4

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pau1nxcpLLM

Excited yet? There are tons of uses for SWYO, really want to see it take off, if you’re thinking the same head on over to their kick-starter page.

President Obama Writes His First Ever Line of Code

Barack Obama just finished his first ever line of code. The “Coder-in-Chief” wrote a line of Javascript with 20 middle school students as part of the Hour Of Code programme by Code.org.

Code.org and The Hour of Code was set up with the intention of teaching as many people as possible, especially children, how to write code. Code.org has the backing of a host of Silicon Valley luminaries, including Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates. The website features game-like apps that allow kids (and adults) to experience coding visually, before moving onto more challenging tasks.

The site and project is certainly a great initiative – it’s terrible how the use of computers and technology has grown so rapidly, but that so few of us know how to write software. It’s bizarre how computers and computer education was focused more on programming in the 70s and 80s, while today ICT lessons consist of how to use Microsoft Office and little else.

Source: readwrite