Friday, November 30, 2018

An Hour of Coding!

Apple is celebrating Computer Science Education Week from December 3-9 and will be offering FREE coding workshops at their local stores! This is a great opportunity to get jump-started on coding because they will be utilizing a great coding app called Swift Playgrounds. Frankly, learning coding is really like learning a new language. Most people can probably concur that learning a new language is difficult at first. However, Swift Playgrounds really makes it interactive and fun and this is probably one of the most innovative apps I have ever encountered.

Swift Playgrounds can be installed from the App Store.



To make it all even better, this app is free for download! The free workshops Apple will be hosting at their local stores will give you an overview of how to use the application.

To sign up for a free workshop, click here.

Suggested by Win Straube

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Teaching Robots

Starting way back in the day on TV; starting in the late 1940ʻs, there was Kukla Fran and Ollie, and Howdy Doody.  

Later, as we moved into the 1960ʻs: Captain Kangaroo, Mr. Rogers neighborhood, The Electric Company and Sesame Street. Some of these had less education and more entertainment.

But there are exceptions. Some were there to give very young children a bit of a real “leg up” before or in place of Kindergarten and the early grades.

Those were our FIRST “Teaching Robots”. Notably Mr. Rogers Neighborhood, The Electric Company and Sesame Street.

Now we are getting around to more personal Teaching Robots whether in the home or in a more usual classroom environment. 
And not just a flat panel screen monitor. 

Read on. It is only getting better and more widespread as this technology progresses.

The Conversation
Why R2D2 could be your child's teacher sooner than you think
The evidence suggests robots would be great teachers, say Kristyn Sommer and Marie Bodén from Australia's University of Queensland.

Contribution By Bill Martin

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Cheaper, Smarter Ways to Learn

If you have gone through a college education in the United States or in the United Kingdom, there is probably one thing from your college experience that you will definitely remember. The one thing that you will most likely remember is the hundreds of thousands of dollars you paid in taking courses. In fact, you may still be paying for the courses you took 2 decades ago, today! First of all, this post is not contrary to the previous post and does not discourage people to pursue a college education. Like previously stated in the last blog, a college education is the best investment you can make, and even though you may still be paying off your tuition, it was all worth it.

However, taking smart measures to reduce the accumulation of debt while being able to acquire skills is an even better plan. This is where the article by Mashable10 online courses that can teach you something useful for $15 or less, can come in handy. The title is self-explanatory and what this article is representing is that anyone can buy a learning kit online for a price that is much cheaper than a college course.

For example, tuition at a state school such as Penn State is between $891- $1541 (source) per credit! That is actually asinine in comparison to the price of the courses you can find on the internet. You can learn, "HTML 5 from the Ground Up", for only $15, but if you choose to take it at a state university, the cost would easily run into 4 figures!  The link we provide on this post is only ONE example. If there is a particular skill you would like to acquire, a simple Google search may even suffice.

DISCLAIMER: It is important to remember that knowledge and credentials are two different things. Even though some of these online courses are excellent and can help you acquire a particular skill, you may possess the skill, but lack the credentials for it. Before deciding between taking an online course (cheaper) or taking a college course, it is important to evaluate the reasons why you are seeking to acquire this skill. If it is perhaps for a job, an online course may not suffice due to credentials. However, if it is for personal enrichment, then an online course is probably the most economical method. The choice is yours!!!