Participate in the Hour of Code

Participate in the Hour of Code

62: Participate in the Hour of Code

 

The Hour of Code will be held during the week of 9 – 15 December 2019, BUT you can participate in the activities any time during the year.

The goal is not to learn to code, but to learn what coding is and that coding is fun and creative and anyone can do it.

Visit the Hour of Code website to find a wide range of options of short tutorials that will introduce children to code.

Here are a few you will find on the website that I tried out and enjoyed:

Candy Quest

This uses Tynker. The tutorial explains how to use coding blocks and then you use those blocks to solve each challenge.

Kodable – Build your own Fuzz

Start by creating your creature using code, them you use arrows to choose the path for him to move along. There are arrows that show you what to do the first time and it is all obvious. No reading required

The Little Artist In Your Computer Activity Pack

This is a pdf ie unplugged coding. Listen to our episode explaining what that is. You work through it solving each problem with code.

Code it! – Images and Animations

In this tutorial, you learn how to use code to draw and animate

Dance Party 2019

Use coding blocks to achieve dance moves

Banana Tales: Python Coding Game

This activity uses real Python code. You have to adjust it to solve each puzzle.

Minecraft

Use code to make your character move.

Our show sponsor is offering a Scratch Christmas Contest. Students will get access to basic Scratch tutorials and once they have worked through them will be able to create an interactive Christmas scene. Best submissions will win gift cards.

FundaFunda Academy also has an Intro to Game Programming self-paced unit study that provides a gentle introduction to the world of programming.

Don’t forget to Subscribe to the podcast so you don’t miss future episodes and tell your friends about it.

And be sure to join our Facebook group where we can talk about this together.

If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe to the show and give a rating and maybe even a review!

Contact Meryl via email on meryl@mediaangels.com or connect with her on Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook

 


Thank you to our Sponsor -The Star Movie

 

The Star Is Coming Back To Theaters for a Limited Time!

Experience The Star again December 7 and 8 in select theaters!
Back by popular demand, you and your family can celebrate the true meaning behind the season. Be sure to check out all of the great resources for your family to use this holiday season! There are discussion guides, along with tons of FREE downloadable activities! Don’t wait, get your tickets today!


Participate in the Hour Code #hourofcode #hoc #computereducationweek

Replay: 10 Techie Tools I am grateful for

10 Techie Tools I am Grateful For

This is a replay of episode 9. You can find the show notes here

Techie Tools #homeschooltech #technology #productivity

Online Educational Thanksgiving Activities

Online Educational Thanksgiving Activities

Episode 61: Online Educational Thanksgiving Activities

Here are the online educational Thanksgiving activities mentioned in this episode. Be sure to listen to learn more about each one.

Before you start, spend some time getting to understand what the first Thanksgiving was really like from sources like this one online and the book, Lies my Teacher Told Me.

1. A Virtual Thanksgiving Field Trip

Scholastic has a great website that allows you to take a tour of the Mayflower, cross the ocean on it, and see what life was like then through re-enactments and historical fiction letters.

2.Investigating the First Thanksgiving

Be a detective and investigate the first Thanksgiving in this online Thanksgiving activity. Wampanoag and a colonist
primary sources Read or listen
writing activity

3. Hyperdoc: Why did the Pilgrim and Wampanoag friendship go so wrong?

Hyperdocs lead students through a topic. In this one, they will watch videos, read articles, create a timeline and reflect on what they are learning.

3. Mapping the Thanksgiving Dinner

This is a unique map that shows where your Thanksgiving dinner components are likely to come from!

4. Thanksgiving challenge

Seat the people at this Thanksgiving dinner near things they like – a fun online logic problem.

5. Thanksgiving-themed digital breakouts

To learn more about digital breakouts, listen to episode 14. You can find a variety of free and paid ones on the Teachers Pay Teachers store.

6. Great Thanksgiving Listen

The Great Thanksgiving Listen is an easy way for people of all ages to collect oral histories as you gather with friends and family over the holiday. Download the free StoryCorps App and once the interview is done you can upload it to the Library of Congress!

And for some offline Thanksgiving fun, be sure to grab show sponsor, FundaFunda Academy’s Thanksgiving Draw game. If you listen to the episode you will get a coupon code that will allow you to get it free until the end of November 2019.

Subscribe to the podcast so you don’t miss future episodes.

And be sure to join our Facebook group where we can talk about this together.

If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe to the show and give a rating and maybe even a review!

Contact Meryl via email on meryl@mediaangels.com or connect with her on Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook

Online Educational Thanksgiving Activities #thanksgiving #podcast #homeschooling


Thank you to our Sponsor – A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood Movie!

Tom Hanks portrays Mister Rogers in A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD, a timely story of kindness triumphing over cynicism, based on the true story of a real-life friendship between Fred Rogers and journalist Tom Junod. After a jaded magazine writer (Emmy winner Matthew Rhys) is assigned a profile of Fred Rogers, he overcomes his skepticism, learning about kindness, love and forgiveness from America’s most beloved neighbor.

Teaching kids soft skills for digital communication

Teaching Kids Soft Skills for Digital Communication

Episode 60: Teaching Kids Soft Skills for Digital Communication – interview with Lisa Nehring

Lisa Nehring from True North Homeschool Academy and the Soft Skills 101 podcast is the guest on today’s show. She shares with us some of the soft skills for digital communication we need to teach our children.

Learn more about the importance of soft skills in this article by Lisa Nehring.

Some of the topics covered in this episode that you should be talking to your children about are:

1) checking and responding to emails/messages in a reasonable time frame
2) using good grammar in online communication
3) considering tone in emails, and knowing when to speak to a person rather than use digital communication
4) digital communication lasts forever
5) integrity in online communication

Don’t assume your children understand these things. I encourage you to listen to the full episode to hear all the wisdom Lisa shares with us as we discuss this important topic.

For more on this topic, read Lisa’s blog post on teaching effective online communication.

In this episode we highlight show sponsor, FundaFunda Academy’s, Art of Argument online class for teens. In this class they will learn about logical fallacies and pratice writing argumentative essays.

Subscribe to the podcast so you don’t miss future episodes.

And be sure to join our Facebook group where we can talk about this together.

If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe to the show and give a rating and maybe even a review!

Contact Meryl via email on meryl@mediaangels.com or connect with her on Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook


Thank you to our Sponsor – A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood Movie!

Tom Hanks portrays Mister Rogers in A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD, a timely story of kindness triumphing over cynicism, based on the true story of a real-life friendship between Fred Rogers and journalist Tom Junod. After a jaded magazine writer (Emmy winner Matthew Rhys) is assigned a profile of Fred Rogers, he overcomes his skepticism, learning about kindness, love and forgiveness from America’s most beloved neighbor.

Online Personal Finance games and interactive activities

Online Personal Finance Games and Interactive Activities

Episode 59: Online Personal Finance games and interactive activities

Online personal finance games and interactive activities give teens the opportunity to practice their financial literacy skills. Here are the websites mentioned in this episode:

1. Online Insurance Games

Playinsure.com offers 2 games – one for home insurance and one for auto insurance. For both, you play for 30 virtual days and different events happen each day. Your decisions at the start of the game are important – try to make it through a month and have money in the bank at the end.

2. Stockmarket Simulations

How the Market Works is a free game you play as an individual. The Stock Market Game is played as a team against other schools in your area. It has a small fee associated with it. Both utilize the real prices on the stock market and students get a good idea of what it is like to put savings into stocks.

3. Payback game

The Payback game challenges players to attend university an not get into too much debt – or fail their exams. You learn that it isn’t easy to pay for college!. The game seems simple, but it isn’t easy to win.

4. Budget Challenge

The Budget Challenge costs $25 and students play over a number of weeks. Students compete against other students all over the US and have to manage a budget and pay bills on time during the period. At the start, they have to choose the type of bank account etc they want and these choices impact the rest of the game. It’s a good way to let teens understand what “adulting” is like. Parents will have to sign up as the teacher and that gives them access to teaching resources. Students take quizzes throughout the game which earns them points and checks that they understand the concepts.

These online games and simulations are used in sponsor FundaFunda Academy’s Personal Finance class so if you don’t want to go to the hassle of creating your own curriculum or adding these ideas into a curriculum you purchase, then check out their online class!

Subscribe to the podcast so you don’t miss future episodes.

And be sure to join our Facebook group where we can talk about this together.

If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe to the show and give a rating and maybe even a review!

Contact Meryl via email on meryl@mediaangels.com or connect with her on Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook

Online Personal Finance Games and Interactive Activities #homeschoolpersonalfinance #personalfinancegames #homeschoolpodcast

How to teach your kids to identify fake news

How To Teach your Children to Identify Fake News

Episode 58: How to teach your kids to identify fake news


In this episode, I suggest a number of ways for you to teach your kids to identify fake news.

To start, it would be useful to listen to this Planet Money episode, Finding the Fake News King, in which they trace a piece of fake news back to the person who created it.

The ideas below are all taught in our sponsor, FundaFunda Academy’s Computer Applications class which covers digital literacy as well as computer skills.

These two articles are both good to read:

Quick Ways to Spot Fake News
How to Spot Fake News and Teach Kids to be Media Savvy

The main points in the articles above are:

1. Look for unusual URLs

2. Does it sound too good to be true?

3. Go to the source of questionable articles and see what else they are publishing. Look at their About Me page

4. Do a reverse image search for images used in the article to see their origin

5. Do they cite sources?

6. Grammar and spelling issues

7. How does it make you feel? If you are feeling extreme emotions, good chance it is fake news

If you think it is fake new – how can you check?


1. Visit these websites and check if the article is mentioned there: Snopes, Politifact, FactCheck

2. See if the website is on this list of fake news sites

Resources to teach your children how to identify fake news

  • Sutori has a quiz your children can take to see if they can identify fake news, and then lots of other resources on the topic too.
  • Factitious is a game where you swipe left or right depending on if you think the article is fake or not. There are different levels which makes it great for the whole family.
  • Newsfeed Defenders is a game from iCivics. Students play the role of editor and must decide which article to select for their newspaper each day. It will really get your children thinking. This is appropriate for middle and high school.

Subscribe to the podcast so you don’t miss future episodes.

And be sure to join our Facebook group where we can talk about this together.

If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe to the show and give a rating and maybe even a review!

Contact Meryl via email on meryl@mediaangels.com or connect with her on Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook

How To Teach your Children to Identify Fake News #digitalliteracy #homeschooling #wiredhomeschool

Teaching kids about copyright and plagiarism

Teaching Kids about Copyright and Plagiarism

Episode 57: Teaching Kids about Copyright and Plagiarism

Are you teaching your kids about copyright and plagiarism? Too many students in my online classes are routinely plagiarising and breaking copyright. I don’t think many realize that what they are doing is wrong.

Copyright

Be sure to explain to your children that unless the project they are doing falls into the “fair use” category, they should never assume they can use any photographs, clipart, music etc they find online.

To find material that they can legally use, the easiest thing is to do a Creative Commons Search and specify how they will use the resource.

Plagiarism

Make sure your children understand that at university there will be automatic plagiarism checkers that will assess their assignments. But even without that, it is very easy for someone grading to notice that the language isn’t what a school student would typically use. And a quick “cut and paste” can confirm it.

Teach your children how to take notes from a source. They need to learn to read a passage and then close the book or move to a new tab on their computer. They should be able to think about what they have read, explain it aloud, and then put down the main idea in writing. Jennifer Gonzalez from Cult of Pedagogy has an excellent podcast episode / blog post that includes a lesson plan to help you teach this.

Citations

Be sure to teach your children how to cite their sources. Easybib is a good tool for that. If they use Google Docs they can do the citations right in their document with the built-in tool for that.

Our sponsor, FundaFunda Academy‘s has an online Computer Applications class for 7th – 12th graders. The class teaches about copyright, plagiarism, how to do citations, how to use many digital tools and much more. Take it in 7th or 8th grade to prepare for high school or as an elective credit in high school.

Be sure to join our Facebook group where we carry on the discussion about Homeschooling with Technology.

If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe to the show and give a rating and maybe even a review!

Contact Meryl via email on meryl@mediaangels.com or connect with her on Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook

Teaching Kids about Copyright and Plagiarism #digitalliteracy #wiredhomeschooler #homeschoolpodcast

Learning History through Video Games

Learning History Through Video Games #historygames #homeschooling #podcast

Episode 56:Learning History through Video Games with Charlene Hess

Charlene Hess of Hess Un-Academy joins me in this episode as we talk about learning history through video games. Be sure to visit her Facebook page.

When my children were young we all enjoyed playing Orgeon Trail together. Oregon Trail is seen as the first educational computer game to gain widespread appeal because it was also fun. As they got older the played other video games based in history like Knights and Merchants, Caesar 3, Rome: Total War and Battlefield 1942.

One of the games they played a lot was Civilization. It is a strategy game where you play as different civilizations and try to conquer the world. Be sure to listen to the episode to hear the story of what my one son learned when he played as the Egyptian civilization.

Another game my boys played – and Charlene’s whole family plays, is Age of Empires. Charlene explains how they play it and what benefits they get from playing. You can buy the game on the Steam website.

Charlene has created worksheets that you can use with your children to research each civilization before they play as that civilization.

Show sponsor FundaFunda Academy has a full year Honors US History online class that uses games where appropriate, as well as 2 World War 2 web-based unit studies that incorporate games and fun interactive websites to enhance learning – World War 2 Year by Year and Who’s Who in World War 2.

Be sure to join our Facebook group where we carry on the discussion about Homeschooling with Technology.

If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe to the show and give a rating and maybe even a review!

Contact Meryl via email on meryl@mediaangels.com or connect with her on Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook

Learning History Through Video Games

How much screentime for your children?

How Much Screen Time for Your Children

Episode 55: How much screentime for your children?

My previous episode on Homeschooling Digital Natives gives context to this episode so if you haven’t listened to it yet, you might it helpful as you consider the question, “How much screentime for your children?”

I suggest you look for balance and to help you, here are some things I think you should consider:

1. Too much time on computer screens isn’t good for any of us. This is particularly true at night as it affects sleep. See this article by Beth Napoli aka Techie Homeschool Mom.

2. Too much time spent sitting and doing things online means children aren’t spending that time being active.

3. Tech addiction is a real problem for some children

4. The current generation is the most anxious generation that we know about. This is not only due to tech use, but social media, in particular, can have negative effects on mental health.

5. On the flip side, online gaming can be social time if friends and family are playing together.

6. Children need to learn tech skills to operate in the world.

7. Technology is how your teens will connect with their peers and make plans to do things offline. It is always a way to connect with family members who don’t live in the same area.

8. Technology opens up a huge world for your children. It helps them understand others better as they can learn about people all over the world. They can also find resources to teach them anything they want to learn.

What are your options on how to limit screen time?

Here are some ideas:

  • Put limits on devices
  • Have specific times children can be online, or times they must be offline.
  • Allow them online only after they have finished schoolwork and chores
  • Allow unlimited computer time but only if they are being productive online. This is an idea I read about from Beth Napoli. Read her whole blog post and see what you think.

Whatever you decide to do, talk to your kids about it and explain your reasoning.

I would also suggest you make sure your children are involved in enough activities like 4-H, scouts, sports and community service that they don’t have too much time to be in front of a screen.

Listen to the whole episode as I further develop the ideas I mention above.

Subscribe to the podcast as we will be covering more topics like this in the near future. And be sure to join our Facebook group where we can talk about this together.

Visit our sponsor FundaFunda Academy and take a look at their web-based unit studies.

Contact Meryl via email on meryl@mediaangels.com or connect with her on Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook

How Much Screen Time for Your Children #homeschoolpodcast #screentime #homeschooltechnology

Homeschooling Digital Natives

Homeschooling Digital Natives

Episode 54: Homeschooling Digital Natives

Most of you are digital immigrants homeschooling digital natives.

In 2001 Mark Prensky coined the terms “digital natives” and “digital immigrants”. ‘Digital Native’ is used to describe someone born in the digital era. ‘Digital Immigrant’ is used to describe someone born before the digital era.

This comic created by Adam Ellis shows how digital immigrants can have a skewed view of digital natives.

As digital immigrants, we tend to divide our activities between “online” and “offline” whereas for digital natives the online world is just part of their reality – not something separate.

How does this affect you as a homeschool parent?

1. Literacy must now include Digital Literacy

You need to cover topics like fake news, digital communication skills, digital footprints, online research, copyright, and plagiarism with your children.

2. Tools you teach your children to operate must include digital tools

It’s not enough that your children know how to use a knife, a pair of scissors, the vacuum cleaner, and the microwave. Now they need to know how to create digital graphics, share a document with others, produce videos and make websites.

Listening to this podcast (check out past episodes too) will help you learn how to teach your children many of these skills. In addition, take a look at our sponsor, FundaFunda Academy‘s Computer Applications class which teaches 7th – 12th graders both digital literacy and how to use many digital tools.

3. Teaching Reading, Writing and Math, is not enough

You need to add coding as a basic literacy skill as it will be necessary to understand it, if not use it, in most jobs in the future. Some of our previous episodes cover this topic:

4. Safety must now include online safety

We all know we need to teach our children how to be safe as they move about our physical neighborhoods. But we must also make sure to address online “stranger danger”, how to create strong passwords, and how to identify phishing scams.

5. Mental and Emotional Health as relates to online interactions must be addressed

This means teaching your children not to be a cyberbully and how to deal with cyberbullies. It also means teaching our children not just about alcohol and drug addiction but also about tech addiction. And it means you and your spouse need to think through how much screentime your children should be allowed.

Subscribe to the podcast as we will be covering most of these topics in future episodes.

And be sure to join our Facebook group where we can talk about this together.

If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe to the show and give a rating and maybe even a review!

Contact Meryl via email on meryl@mediaangels.com or connect with her on Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook

Homeschooling Digital Natives $homeschoolpodcast #homeschooling #homeschooltech