Pedagogue Blog

9th Grade Apps, Tools, and Resources That We Love

Are you looking for apps, tools, and resources that you can use with your 9th-grade students? If so, we have you covered. Check out our list below. Let us know if there are any that we missed.

7 Speed Reading– This app can help you become a proficient reader in the English language while eliminating old habits that hold you back. With 7 Speed Reading, students can learn to recognize large clusters of words and read without first vocalizing in their heads

StudySync – StudySync offers a comprehensive, technology-driven English Language Arts curriculum for grades 6-12. The curriculum integrates reading and writing with embedded skill lessons to build foundational knowledge and improve critical thinking, comprehension, and inquiry skills. Teachers have the option to use StudySync as a completely digital curriculum or turn to the printable options. With the belief that all students deserve equal access to education, StudySync offers tons of differentiation options for various student needs, including English Language Learner segments, extensive use of video and audio components, and repeated readings. Extended writing projects use explicit instruction along with self, peer, and teacher assessment to encourage deep understanding and future skill application.

Virtual Writing Tutor – This website is a free grammar and essay checker that also proofreads your work. Simply copy and paste your writing into the text box and click a button. Virtual Writing Tutor can also provide word counts, calculate average sentence length, and assess word choice. The website does not automatically correct errors. Instead, students must review a list of suggested errors and make the corrections themselves. This forces students to think about the errors they are making, and over time, can improve their writing. The Virtual Writing Tutor also offers an error correction game for students to practice finding and correcting common English language errors and has a portal for teachers to set up pen pal exchanges.

Grammarly– Grammarly is your personal grammar coach and an automated proofreader that helps students get better in the proper use of grammar and gain confidence in their writing ability. Grammarly helps correct about 10 times more mistakes than common word processors, and it corrects more than 150 types of grammatical errors and does a plagiarism check.

3D Brain– Apps and AXS Biomedical Animation Studiodeveloped 3D Brain for the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory DNA Learning Center. The app provides 29 interactive structures and detailed information about the anatomy and physiology of the brain. It also explains how the brain is affected by mental disorders and brain injury; each detailed structure also includes information on functions, case studies, and links to modern research.

A.D.A.M. Interactive Anatomy– An in-depth digital database of anatomical pictures, featuring over 20,000 anatomical images in different planes of view. Structures can be searched in different languages, including English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Spanish, and many others. Images of different body parts, organs, and systems are available in detailed, colored forms. Images also have relevant and appropriate labeling for easy identification.

Bio Digital Human– Explore the human body in 3-D using the Bio Digital Human platform. Choose from thousands of immersive images to build your personal library. Responsive tools, along with detailed medical explanations, provide a fresh visual perspective for understanding the human body. This platform makes the knowledge of anatomy, physiology, pathophysiology, and management of medical conditions accessible and available.

Bloom by Megalearn– Has your child ever asked why trees produce sweet fruits or how plants give birth? Bloom teaches your child the various methods that plants use to propagate their seed. The game teaches three methods of propagation and the plants that use them. Children also learn plant anatomy, physiology, and the names of common plants. There are no ads or in-app purchases.

InMind– InMind is a short adventurous app with arcade elements developed for Google Cardboard. This app is great for learning about anatomy as brain tissue and neurons looked so real than you can imagine. It enables players to have a lovely adventure into the human brain to look for the neurons that give rise to mental problems. It is free and can be played with any special viewer.

Mr. Body for MERGE Cube– Mr. Body for MERGE Cube will help young children learn about their bodies. With this app, you can observe the heart, brain, lungs, and more as you learn about anatomy. The app includes many facts about each body part, and you can learn their functions. Learn about your body and have fun at the same time with this hologram-esque application.

Sim Cell– Sim Cell is an engaging puzzle game that has you lead a miniature nanobot on an operation to avert a virus incursion. It lets you explore the world of a living cell, and it collects data about the cell’s anatomy and physiology. The accumulated data is then used to suggest solutions to the puzzle and rescue the cell from virus incursion.

The Human Body by Tinybop – The Human Body by Tinybop allows students to explore anatomy and biology through the lens of the human body. With a fully functioning circulatory, respiratory, and digestive system, students can explore the sounds of the heart, the gurgle of the guts, and more. In all, The Human Body by Tinybop covers eight bodily systems: muscular, skeletal, nervous, digestive, circulatory, respiratory, immune, and skin. Students can study interactive organ models, feed the body, watch sound vibrations travel through the ear canal, and learn new vocabulary with in-app text labels. The app also comes with a free handbook for teachers and parents full of discussion questions and additional

The Miracle of Life – Focused on the human life cycle, The Miracle of Life covers fertilization, gestation, and human growth. The app is designed in a narrative format so students can follow the lifecycle as if it was a story. Interactive illustrations, games, and animation clips bring the human life cycle alive and allow students to explore and engage on a deeper level with some of the anatomy aspects such as gestation. The Miracle of Life begins at fertilization and continues through middle age. This app is available in both English and Spanish.

ZygoteBody – ZygoteBody allows for the in-depth study of anatomy in a completely virtual environment. Students can add notes, dissect parts, pin, sketch, and customize scenes to study any part of the body or bodily system. ZygoteBody has advanced navigation and a 3-D library so students can locate and zoom in on any body part quickly and easily. With a premium account, dissections, notes, and pins can be saved for later reference.

IXL Learning– IXL Learning has been proven to be effective in providing comprehensive, curriculum-based math and English language arts content for kindergarten to grade 12. It also provides an immersive learning experience in science, math, language arts, and social studies for K-12. It produces real results, which is why it is trusted by top teachers and presently used by The Elite 100.

Math Ref– To help students learn math and related subjects, this app combines 1,400 equations and formulas. It can be used in physics, chemistry, science, math, and more. There really is no reason to memorize equations nowadays; instead of writing them down or searching for them every time you need them, Math Ref will keep the formulas you need at your fingertips. The app also includes essential tools such as unit converting, triangle solver, and basic calculators to aid you in doing homework problems.

Algebrator– Algebrator is one of the leading math tutoring apps available. Using Algebrator’s step-by-step explanations of the answers to even the most difficult math problems, students can learn to solve homework problems in a way that is easy to understand. Algebrator can be used by parents, adult learners, and homeschoolers to improving their math skills.

First In Math– The First In Math (FIM) online program offers comprehensive content in an engaging format, ranging from single-step addition to complex algebra. The game-style activities ensure that students engage in active practice needed for skill retention; they are motivated using electronic award stickers when they solve questions correctly.

DigitWhiz– This app helps kids from ages eight upward learn basic math and pre-algebra skills. It uses games to teach kids multiplication, division, and integer operation. Kids earn points as they play the game. It also has a multiplayer option where kids can play with other kids from all over the world.

GeoGebra– GeoGebra comes with an easy-to-use interface and many features that help you create, modify, and share math simulations and models. It comes with multiple platforms and dynamic math software that brings together tables, graphing, geometry, algebra, calculus, and statistics in a free easy-to-use package. The app also comes with free and open-source software; it has received many educational software awards in the US and Europe.

PhET Interactive Simulations: Math– This is a math learning tool created by Nobel Laureate Carl Wieman in 2002. It helps students learn advanced math concepts using free, interactive math, and science simulations. PhET Interactive Simulations is a project developed at the University of Colorado Boulder; it interacts with students through responsive, simulated environments in which they learn by exploring.

Khan Academy– Khan Academy has more than 40,000 interactive Common Core-aligned practice questions and above 10,000 videos and explanations in economics, history, math, and more. This is the best study app and tutoring app for students of all ages who are struggling in science and other subjects. You can easily bookmark your best content to “Your List,” which can be used offline when you’re not connected to the Internet.

DigitalEd– Helps online educators in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics to make learning better for students. With Maple™, the world-leading math software from Maplesoft™, providing mathematical back-up, DigitalEd creates an efficient platform for online math-based education.

FlinnSTEM Powered by IMSA Fusion– IMSA Fusion is a complete STEM program that provides additional enrichment to students interested in science and mathematics. The name IMSA Fusion comes from the blending of inquiry-based student content and in-depth teacher content. Instructors who implement this program receive much more than teacher instructions with student pages and a box of supplies; they also receive hours of video-based, on-demand online training that truly sets IMSA Fusion apart from any other solution available. 

Morphi– Morphi is an app that allows you to create 3-D models that can – be printed into real tangible objects. Using visualization, innovation, creativity, prototypes, and education, create your best models today. Morphi can also be used as a starting place to learn any STEAM subject, stop motion animation, product or graphic design, or for Maker education. One version of Morphi is free, and volume purchases are available.

Tutoring/Test Prep Apps, Tools, and Resources That I Would Use If I Were Still in the Classroom

Back in 2001, when I started as a teacher, the technology boom was in its nascent stage. I remember toting a large bag filled with papers home most nights and going to sleep drowning under a vast sea of student homework that needed grading. My classroom was even worse, cluttered with books, manipulatives, globes, maps, and learning stations that left little room for anything else. However, as I write this in 2018, things have changed dramatically. Today’s teachers have edtech in their corners.

Digital teaching and learning tools have streamlined education processes and provide learning experiences that stretch far beyond the materials that were available for me back in 2001. Back in the day, teachers would have to tutor struggling students before or after school. Now, with the advent of artificial intelligence, teachers can use this technology to tutor students during class time. All they need is a tutoring app that uses artificial intelligence, and they are all set. The app will gauge the student’s present level of academic performance, and then present the student with learning experiences and assessments to help them achieve the desired level of academic performance. As a bonus, this technology can also be used to prepare students for classroom level and standardized exams. If I were still in the classroom today, I’d use these tutoring/test prep apps, tools, and resources:

iTalk2Learn– iTalk2Learn is a math tutoring app that uses cutting-edge technology to ensure that students learn more naturally. This app is the result of a three-year collaborative European project to create an open-source intelligent tutoring platform that reinforces math learning for 5- to 11-year-old students. This will enable educators to deliver the correct lesson at the right time.

LearnCube – This is a virtual classroom built for teaching and tutoring online. It helps to eliminate the distance barrier between teacher and students by bringing them together in a virtual classroom. It uses an online interactive whiteboard for teaching; users can draw, annotate, type, and switch to multiple boards while on the platform. The software makes use of high-quality audio and video encoders and compression algorithms for its virtual classes. Since all the content is web-based, there is no need for downloading and learning to use the software. LearnCube also provides the option for users to personalize the classroom.

MATHiaU– MATHiaU is math learning software is offered by Carnegie Learning. It provides college-level math assistance, including one-on-one tutoring. With this app, students take thorough assessments and are given feedback that includes a personalized learning path. MATHiaU provides affordable easy-to-use artificial intelligence based tutoring.

Chegg Tutors: Find tutors in every subject area for both high school and college students by looking at their previous reviews. This allows you to search for the person who is right for you based on your needs and possibly even personality. The best part is that they strive to make it affordable by offering a discounted weekly plan to help keep students on track.

Study Island: Since 2000, Study Island has been used by children in grades K-12 for learning in an entertaining fashion. It is relevant across different subjects including math, reading, writing, science, and social studies. It comes with interactive features and mini-games that aid learning and incentivize progress. This website carries over 1,000 courses made of short, fun videos taught by seasoned educators. The courses vary widely from psychology to calculus, food and nutrition education to PowerPoint lessons. They provide additional learning material for over a million monthly visitors, which include children and adults of all ages and educational status. The College Accelerator membership allows students to watch videos and gather credits that can be transferred to any of the thousands of colleges and universities that participate in the program.

EMsync – This platform helps with tutoring and mentoring of young people to help them succeed in school. This platform is designed to help ignite young people’s potential.

GradeSlam– GradeSlam provides online tutoring service with certified educators delivering interactive academic support to students whenever they think they need it to be successful. The service is unlimited, on request, and available on any device around the clock. The certified educators on this platform point out student’s mistakes during the learning process and guide them on how to avoid those mistakes next time.

Did we miss any?

Academic Enrichment Apps, Tools, and Resources That We Love

Are you looking for academic enrichment apps, tools, and resources that you can use with your students? If so, we have you covered. Check out our list below. Let us know if there are any that we missed.

Enriching Students – This platform helps to identify students’ weaknesses and provides suitable help for them. This tool can be used to schedule personalized enrichment or interventions for all your students. It also helps to track student performance, teacher participation, and the effectiveness of teaching techniques.

FlinnSTEM Powered by IMSA Fusion– IMSA Fusion is a complete STEM program that provides additional enrichment to students interested in science and mathematics. The name IMSA Fusion comes from the blending of inquiry-based student content and in-depth teacher content. Instructors who implement this program receive much more than teacher instructions with student pages and a box of supplies; they also receive hours of video-based, on-demand online training that truly sets IMSA Fusion apart from any other solution available. 

Splash Math – Good for catching up, regular practice, or enrichment, Splash Math uses games and a built-in reward system to make math fun. Real time progress reports are available for teachers and parents to pinpoint areas of concern or celebrate improvements. The app also has an option to email weekly progress reports. With three themes, space, candy, and jungle, Splash Math is customizable to students’ interests and includes all major math skills from Kindergarten through 5th grade.

Renaissance-U – is a blended service that pairs an expert coach with engaging and evolving on-demand content in best practices for Renaissance’s reading, math, and assessment solutions. The expert coach helps plan the implementation for the school year and provides ongoing expertise for conversations around data, implementation roadblocks, and facilitating collaboration among educators in the school. The on-demand content offers a variety of videos, tutorials, and activities that fit the flexibility of an educator’s schedule.

Mangahigh – This is a web-based platform that features a variety of math games and tutorials. It teaches students useful mathematical concepts from counting to algebra. To foster healthy competition, students earn medals, badges, and rewards for their hard work.

Monkey Word School Adventure – The Monkey Word School Adventure app uses six exercises to help children learn the basics of reading using phonics and word groups. The app allows children to enter their names to personalize the jungle-like experience, led by the Word Monkey. The completion of a round is rewarded with animals and plants that children can add to their terrarium. The app supports up to three accounts, so different children can use the same app.

Student Support Time – This is a complete solution for academic intervention and enrichment programs. Student Support Time also provides other tools such as teacher availability, academic resource center, college and career center, and after-school programs. It is easy to use and intuitive.

7 Speed Reading– This app can help you become a proficient reader in the English language while eliminating old habits that hold you back. With 7 Speed Reading, students can learn to recognize large clusters of words and read without first vocalizing in their heads

Assistive Technology Apps, Tools, and Resources That I Would Use If I Were Still in the Classroom

Back in 2001, when I started as a teacher, the technology boom was in its nascent stage. I remember toting a large bag filled with papers home most nights and going to sleep drowning under a vast sea of student homework that needed grading. My classroom was even worse, cluttered with books, manipulatives, globes, maps, and learning stations that left little room for anything else. However, as I write this in 2018, things have changed dramatically. Today’s teachers have edtech in their corners. Digital teaching and learning tools have streamlined education processes and provide learning experiences that stretch far beyond the materials that were available for me back in 2001.

For instance, teachers can use assistive technology to help special needs students succeed in the classroom. Assistive technology allows Down Syndrome students to complete assignments quicker than if they had tried the tasks on their own. Assistive technology can help students with apraxia communicate with pictures, formulate sounds, practice sound production, and improve their communication skills. It can even to help students compensate for their developmental delays. Assistive technology is nothing short of magic. If I were still in the classroom today, I’d use these assistive technology apps, tools, and resources:

Proloquo2Go: Proloquo2Go is an augmentative and alternative communication app that uses symbols to help those who cannot speak for themselves. It uses pictures to help users choose the right words for their unique situation. Adults can easily customize the app for more convenient use.

Articulation Games Assistive Technologies– This app includes four entertaining games with a dynamic way of teaching sound production. The games were assembled by professional speech pathologists, and they contain over 40 phenomes arranged in order of sound placement. The app comes with flashcards and professional sound recordings. Children get rewarded for making progress on the game.

Voice4U: This is an easy-to-use app intended for ELL student, people with communication impairments such as Autism, stroke survivors, and traumatic brain injury victims. The app allows its users to express their ideas, thoughts, and feelings through alternative methods.

Memory Trainer: Because memory is so essential to everything else in the classroom, many teachers choose apps like Memory Trainer to help boost spatial and working memory. This program provides graphical progress so you can see the gains made in spatial and working memory. As an added perk, it also helps to work on focus and concentration.

Citelighter– Citelighter is an assistive research tool that lets you gather facts and materials and arrange them in an orderly fashion. It only takes three easy steps to use Citelighter in your research. Create an account and download the plug-in, begin a project with the toolbar or website, and you are good to go. Citelighter is also handy while you scour the Internet for suitable or appropriate information.

Natural Reader: This is considered to be one of the most powerful text-to-speech apps on today’s market. It can work with several different types of documents including PDFs, Docs, and TXT files. Perhaps the best part is that it reads with your choice from more than fifty natural voices, just as the name implies.

Did we miss any?


Personalized/Adaptive Learning Apps, Tools, and Resources That I Would Use If I Were Still in the Classroom

Back in 2001, when I started as a teacher, the technology boom was in its nascent stage. I remember toting a large bag filled with papers home most nights and going to sleep drowning under a vast sea of student homework that needed grading. My classroom was even worse, cluttered with books, manipulatives, globes, maps, and learning stations that left little room for anything else. However, as I write this in 2018, things have changed dramatically. Today’s teachers have edtech in their corners.

Digital teaching and learning tools have streamlined education processes and provide learning experiences that stretch far beyond the materials that were available for me back in 2001. Back when I was a special education teacher, the only students who had personalized learning plans where special needs students. Individualized Education Plans (IEP’s) were created for them to satisfy the requirements of IDEA (Individuals With Disabilities Acts). They were notoriously time consuming, but we never complained because it was for a good cause.

Nowadays, with the advent of personalized/adaptive learning apps, teachers can create personalized/adaptive learning experiences for all students. If I were still in the classroom today, I’d use these personalized/adaptive learning apps, tools, and resources:

Socrative: Socrative is an easy way for teachers to identify how students are doing clearly. They can assess students or offer them prepared activities to see where they are at currently and help the system make a more personalized plan.

Newsela: Newsela combines major news and research with adaptive reading materials. Split your class up into their appropriate categories and give them an article to read. You can find relevant material for every subject area so you can incorporate literacy across your entire day.

ThinkCERCA: This is a personalized literacy platform that helps teachers convey critical reasoning skills by using argumentative writing. The platform focuses on helping students aged nine to eighteen prepare for life after high school by strengthening their analytical skills in every subject. The platform makes use of standards-aligned close reading and academic writing lessons to teach English language arts, science, social studies, and mathematics.

Cerego – Cerego is a personalized learning platform that helps people learn faster, remember longer, and objectively measure their knowledge using AI-assisted predictive algorithms. It helps organizations improve productivity as employees learn better and are better motivated and more capable. The app uses predictive learning features to deliver individual specific learning materials to its users. Available on Android and iOS devices

Flipick – This app creates a personalized learning experience for every student and helps to develop curricula. It also creates an interactive and collaborative learning environment for learning to take place.

Kytabu – A textbook subscription app developed in Kenya. The app provides access to digitized versions of all Kenyan textbooks from Standard 1 to Form 4 at rates that are affordable for African families. Kytabu uses machine learning to help provide personalized learning for learners. The learners can access educational content that includes books, videos, audios, tests, as well as exams. A great advantage of the app is that it can be used offline. This is a crucial issue in Africa where internet access is limited and often unreliable.

Quizalize: Make your subject matter fun again with the adaptive learning platform offered through Quizalize. Every assessment feels more like a game, giving students the motivation to do their best. It allows you to easily identify where students are struggling so teachers can be better equipped to make a more personalized learning plan or offer more assistance.

Knowre: When it comes to STEM, many students struggle with the math component. Knowre offers an adaptive learning experience that can help bolster a student’s mathematical abilities. They offer supported practice time, fill in the gaps with a personalized review, and offer actionable data to educators.

Scootpad: With Scootpad, students get a comprehensive adaptive learning experience. It starts with practice, allowing Scootpad to meet students where they currently are. It moves on to offer more instructional content, real-time remediation, and assessments.

Freckle Education– Students can easily fall in love with schooling again as this app enables them to work in various subjects at their pace. Teachers can monitor students’ progress across various subjects such as science, social studies, math, and English language arts.

SmartEd: With this tool, you can make relevant changes to textbooks and other learning materials to suit the needs of your students. This platform also allows you to be in direct contact with your students. It uses a game-like approach, which aims to make learning look less imposing.

Did we miss any?

How Covid-19 is Creating a Global Education Crisis

While the novel coronavirus has brought the entire world to a standstill, it’s the education sector that will suffer the most consequences. Almost all across the globe, the closure of schools, and universities, has darkened the clouds over the future of many young and adult students.

But if schools and colleges are allowed to open, the pandemic may continue for years to come. Besides, there are little to no preventative procedures in place to avoid this eventuality. Moreover, we are not even sure if fever detection will suffice, or if more is required to ensure the well being of children.

So, let’s dive into how the COVID pandemic has brought about an educational crisis.

Implications of COVID-19 for K-12

Many of the K-12 students educated from 2020 to 2021 will be missing up to 2 years of foundational academic skills. A lot of these babies will be 8-10 years old before they start to read picture books—what a sobering epiphany.

As per UNESCO, 1.6 billion children in 191 countries have been impacted by COVID-19. Though the closures are in the interest of safeguarding children’s health, it is also a reality that not every kid can learn via remote learning.

Besides this, there are K-12 kids from across various societal strata who are now deprived of nutritional school meals, which are otherwise unaffordable for them. And while there is a need to ensure connectivity, extra attention, and support for their parents, the task is easier said than done.

In the U.S., many schools are starting to reopen, either with an on-time or delayed start to the 2020-2021 school year. Some have decided to go back to all face to face courses, some have embraced a blended approach, and others have decided to start the school year with fully online courses. No matter how they start, most of their students will end up getting left behind.

For the college level students

College students are also negatively impacted by the pandemic. While their classes were shifted online, many were forced to go back home, with little to no internet connectivity. Some had no home to go to.

This fall, many of these students are gearing to go back to college, and just like K-12 schools, Some have decided to go back to all face to face courses, some have embraced a blended approach, and others have decided to start the school year with fully online courses. No matter how they start, most of their students will end up matriculating and then graduating without the skills that they need to succeed in their chosen profession.

Tapping into the power and promise of digital resources

However, hopefully, taken, this could mean that – now is the time to turn challenges into opportunities!

Though governmental and non-governmental bodies will have to strive hard to provide technological access, it may change the education paradigm. Before there was COVID-19, there were still millions of kids, who are deprived of formal education. Yet, the current pandemic has opened a pandora’s box where and shined a spotlight on these “savage inequities.” Many cash strapped schools have been turning to free digital and OER (Open Education Resources) to provide the curriculum and resources that they need to educate their students.

It’s not just the kids but also the teachers who need better training and access to quality materials. But while teachers must be encouraged via incentives, societal honors, and more, they must be selected through a thorough proper vetting process. And they must also be encouraged to continue learning via professional development.

With digital resources and online classes, we can tap into the power and promise of the internet. Who knows, remote learning may also turn out to be a novel medium to strengthen student-teacher interaction.

Concluding thoughts

We have established that the pandemic is creating a global education crisis. The question is, how do we respond to it in a way that will produce positive student outcomes?

I Bet You Didn’t Know This About Your Brain

Developments in neuroscience have significantly changed how we think about the brain. What we have learned in the 21st century about this organ had had incredible implications for education and the inclusion of technology in our instruction.

Educators have had to unlearn some of what they learned about brain theory in light of new developments. As a result, some of our education practices have had to change with them.

Technology alters the brain

Our love for technology has changed the way our brains work. Attention spans have shortened, and heavy tech users seem to be more forgetful than those who only occasionally turn to technology. In addition, we’re witnessing the atrophy of our socialization skills thanks to excessive technology use. Focusing exclusively on technology dehumanizes us.

This revelation requires more novel instructional approaches to learning. Educators must incorporate non-tech activities in less to help the brain rest and recover from excessive technology stimulation. Turn to discussion groups, nature walks, and collaborative activities that require socialization with others. Teachers who include other brain-based strategies are maximizing learning opportunities for their students.

Brain damage doesn’t have to be permanent

Researchers once thought that brain injuries were a permanent condition. In some cases, such as a stroke, they may be. The brain can heal from more minor injuries, however, like concussions. That’s because the brain has plasticity. The neurons firing inside the brain can be reshaped as necessary. These neurons are continually growing, pruning, and adapting themselves. Over time, they either heal or create new neural pathways for thinking, learning, and living. The brain compensates for the damage by working around it.

The implication for learning is enormous. Brain damage does not have to prevent anyone from being a student. Learning is a life-life endeavor, regardless of mishaps along the way. We can change not only how we think, but also the way we think.

Your brain is balanced

We once thought of the brain as two parts. We divided up tasks as left brain-right brain activities. The left brain was analytical and orderly, a quiet organ for lengthy calculations and problem-solving. The right brain was the eternal party room, where creativity experimented with innovation at all hours of the day and night. We even categorized people as left-brain or right-brain thinkers who had a neural preference for everything, including how they organized their closets and went about their work. 

Now we know that the brain works simultaneously in two ways. This flexibility is a balance between order and chaos. The brain relies on mathematical relationships, but it also uses flexible thinking to make inferences, deduce thoughts, and solve problems. This discovery may affect our ability to create authentic artificial intelligence.

The brain is responsive to positive stimuli

And finally, the best thing you can do for your brain (and your mood) is smile. UK researchers discovered that a smile could be just as effective in raising your levels of serotonin as eating 2,000 chocolate bars or getting $25,000.  Smiling improves your mood and your outlook.

That’s something to consider the next time you’re under a lot of stress or working hard on a project.

What’s the Blueprint For a Smart College Campus

In order for college campuses to meet the needs of a changing society in the midst of countless concurrent technological revolutions, it is imperative that the universities of tomorrow boast “smart” campuses. A “smart” college campus needs to put students first and their interconnected learning experiences at the forefront.

In order for a “smart” college campus to stay relevant for upcoming decades and through a host of technological and learning paradigm shifts, the institutional norms of past universities must be left in the past. In their wake, a new type of campus that embraces community and immersive learning spaces will serve a student populace headed into a job market where soft skills are valued first and foremost.

Ending The Classroom In Favor Of More Adept Learning Spaces

The age of the traditional lecture hall has come and passed. The primary heartbeat of a “smart” college campus needs to eschew such an archaic model in favor of learning studios that facilitate group work and a sense of a learning community. 

To complement these learning spaces, comfortable furniture and teachers with adaptable teaching styles are imperative for making it work. We need to make the college of tomorrow inviting to students. In doing so, we can break down the walls that traditional education has built by giving students a safe space to really stretch their intellects.

Furthermore, all of the learning spaces and connected spaces within a “smart” college campus must be networked and connected to the Internet of Things. There is no use shying away from technology and the impact it has and will have on a changing student populace. 

Connecting Your Campus To Connect With Your Students

Every space on a “smart” college campus needs to be an intuitive rethink of the traditional spaces on a college campus. The library can’t simply be a place to check out books anymore.

Rather, a “smart” college campus will have a library that brings all the best elements of a traditional one and adds an interconnected element. Curating infographics, multimedia sources, and even providing a virtual study environment for students to immerse themselves in will be crucial in reimagining what a library could and should be for students of the future.

Even academic offices will need to be rethought in hopes of bringing professors closer to students by cutting down on the red tape that causes dissonance on traditional college campuses. A “smart” college campus will be an empathetic one. It will foster a sense of community among its professors, administrators, and students.

Rather than relying on office buildings, a “smart” college campus will have collaborative workspaces that serve to encourage free thought and discourse.

Concluding Thoughts

The blueprint for a “smart” college campus needs to put away traditional administrative ideals in favor of embracing the changing needs of society. For a college campus to survive and thrive in this new age, we must put archaic structures aside in favor of spaces that encourage active and interconnected modes of learning. 

7 Ways to Measure Student Growth

I define student growth as academic progress that is accomplished over a period, as assessed at the onset and end of a specified time. It can be calculated for countries, states, cities, schools, or students, and many variables and strategies can be used to determine if “growth” has occurred. Sounds easy, right. Not exactly. Many school districts and even state departments of education have difficulty measuring student growth. If you fall into this category, don’t worry, we have your back. In this article, we will discuss seven ways to measure student growth.

The Computer-Adaptive Approach

This approach allows educators to view student growth over a single year, as opposed to multiple years, on the same scale. Computer adaptive assessments will adjust their difficulty based on a student’s performance.

The Student Growth Percentile Approach

This approach compares a student’s growth to students with similar test scores. The benefit of this approach is that it allows us to fairly compare students who start at different levels with similar students.

The Value-Added Approach

This approach measures the teacher’s effectiveness in a given year by comparing the current test scores of their students to the scores of those same students in prior school years. Value-added models are considered fairer than other models since it takes confounding context variables like past performance, student status, or family income status into consideration.

The VAM – Covariate Adjusted Approach

In this approach, student academic growth is calculated by juxtaposing students’ predicted scores with their genuine scores. One of the drawbacks of this approach is that you will need several years of “matched” data for accuracy.

The Gain Score Approach

This approach measures year-to-year change by subtracting the year before an (initial) score from the current year (final) score. The growth of a teacher is averaged and compared to the overall average growth for other teachers. It’s easy to calculate and can be used with local assessments. The issue is that it doesn’t make accommodations for initial achievement levels; it’s just a run of the mill calculation of the change in score for students.

The Effect Size Approach

The effect size approach allows you to compute the amount of the difference between two groups. With this approach, if a teacher gets an effect size of +1.0, their students grew one standard deviation.

The Progress Monitoring Approach

This approach is different from your usual criterion-referenced assessments because they are not normed. They’re easy to administer, and the data can be shown to explain the difference between where the student is performing relative to the expected target or level.

Can you think of any additional ways that we can measure student growth?

Social Networking Apps, Tools, and Resources That We Love

Are you looking for social networking apps, tools, and resources that you can use with your students? If so, we have you covered. Check out our list below. Let us know if there are any that we missed.

Edmodo– While social networking has received its fair share of criticism about the bad influence it tolerates, this app is unlike all that. Edmodo is a powerful tool that can be used to pool the creative thinking of students. It helps them think critically while fostering student-teacher partnerships to create projects.

EduStruct– This platform creates a virtual learning structure for elementary and higher learning institutions. The platform provides a social networking service for schools to create and manage their content to be globally relevant.

Quiz ME Online– QuizMe Online is a social networking website that allows students and teachers to come together to achieve success. The site is built on the belief that when students, teachers, and others with an educational interest come together to accomplish a common goal, each student has a better chance at achieving their resolutions.

Meetup– If you have a hobby or something you would love to share with others, you can use the Meetup app to get the word out. This is the largest group networking app available; all you do is collaborate with other members and meet up face-to-face for discussions or group outings. Whether you love archery, knitting, writing, or collecting rare Star Wars figurines, there may be hundreds of groups in your area just waiting for you to join.

Bookopolis Book Search– This is a social network for young readers with a built-in book discovery feature. Teachers can use this platform to build a society of readers and writers from their classes. Students can partake in book reviews and critical thinking to develop opinion writing. Teachers can track and critique a student’s work. The BookQuest option is useful for finding new book reading suggestions.

eChalk A simple K-12 app platform used to guide and pass out information. It provides an enabling environment for users to have access to an all-in-one learning tool, encouraging teamwork in a professional level. Teachers can use this app to distribute information to parents and the community at large using email and a secured social network.

edWeb– A social network of school administrators, educators, and stakeholders. This is a forum where educators share, learn, and devise new ways to foster better education for students. Educators can join this platform for free, and they can create their network of people with whom they share ideas and innovations. The edWeb network has over 75,000 members and more than online 800 societies.

Mendeley– Mendeley is a social network that allows you to organize your documents, references, research, and papers with a quick click. You can even collaborate with other users through this software, making it your productivity hub.

Ultimate guide for choosing a machine vision lens

Most present day applications use fixed focal length lenses with fixed least community distances (MODs), as these limits all around don’t shift almost anything. Expected for an obvious development, they give an optimal picture. Of course, there are fixed focal length lenses with a focusing unit that allows the MOD worth to be changed insignificantly. In view of the legitimate focal length, these lenses offer a fairly static intensification territory. For more prominent consistent quality, metal lodgings are used, which are by and large used for most machine vision lenses.

Basic considerations in choosing a machine vision lens

There is a prompt association between the sensor used in the camera and the most fitting lens. Limits, for instance, sensor size and pixel size are essential. The lens ought to have the choice to edify the entire surface of the sensor to avoid covering and vignetting. It ought to moreover have the choice to decide the pixel size. The higher the optical objective of a lens, the more unmistakable the plans recreated.

Optical Lenses - DZO - DZO东正光学官网

The optical idea of a lens is directed by the change move work (MTF) which describes the separation as a part of the fineness of the nuances to be recreated. It portrays mathematically the assessment between the separation of nuances at the edges of the article and the distinction of nuances on the image. To ensure the depiction of the nuances of an article and the unambiguous ID of the edges, the detail ought to be copied on around 4 pixels. Thusly, the enhancement required depends upon the essential objective of the thing and the looking at pixel size. The ideal machine vision lens should copy an image that immaculately facilitates with the thing, recalling all nuances and assortments for brightness. All things considered, this is seldom absolutely possible, considering the way that lenses go probably as low-pass channels. The proportion of debilitating of some irregular repeat or detail is gathered the extent that MTF (picture 1), and for any lens there is where the equilibrium is zero. This cutoff is generally insinuated quite far and is for the most part conveyed in line matches per millimeter (lp/mm). Obviously, with the enormous extent of sensor associations and objectives available in machine vision, and the huge number of possible applications, there is furthermore an especially wide choice of lenses, including numerous very specific lenses.

The most ordinarily used machine vision lenses

The most typically used sort of lens for sensors with an objective of not by and large around one megapixel is the far reaching lens with a standard fixed focal length of 4.5 to 100 mm. These lenses are upgraded for vastness focusing and have a MTF of 70 to 90 lp/mm with little bending and vignetting. More restricted focal length lenses all things considered produce “fisheye” twisting pictures.

Exactness lenses, significant standard types of standard lenses, offer ideal audit execution over standard lenses. They are overall open with focal lengths up to 75 mm, MTF more than 120 lp/mm and incredibly low twisting (<0.1%). They are particularly proper for cameras with little pixel sizes or for careful assessment applications.

Full scale lenses are available for little fields of view, about the size of the sensor. Demonstrated the extent that enhancement similar with the camera sensor, they are redesigned for “close-up” focusing. Regardless of the way that they have marvelous MTF credits and immaterial mutilation, they need flexibility since it is past the domain of creative mind to hope to change the opening or working distance.

At the contrary completion of the scale are colossal association lenses, which are required when the sensor estimations outperform those possible with a C-mount lens. They are ordinarily estimated, including different parts, for instance, focus connectors, helical mounts and spacers.

Telecentric lenses are used specifically metrology applications to avoid layered and numerical assortments in pictures. These lenses don’t encounter the evil impacts of mutilation since they collimate the light that enters them. This results in pictures with consistent enhancement, paying little psyche to fight distance, without perspective twisting. Because of the equivalent bar way, the hole at the front of the telecentric lens ought to have basically a comparable distance across as the field of view. lenses for immense fields of view are therefore greater and thusly by and large exorbitant.

New in the field of lenses, electrically adjustable liquid lenses convey many advantages to machine vision. They are made from a petite adaptable polymer film containing an optical liquid that licenses them to change shape (picture 2). An actuator obliged by electrical pulses presses the liquid inside the lens according to an outer viewpoint, changing its shape and allowing exceptionally short response periods of a few milliseconds. They are particularly useful in applications where there is a need to change concentrate quickly, for example while evaluating compartments of different heights on transports. This exceptional standard considers faster and more limited optical structures without complex mechanics. An astonishing MTBF (Mean Time Between Disappointments) of more than one billion improvements is proof of a very long system life, as the modified difference in the lens mitigates various pieces of any turn of events. This optical contraption is a sensible advantage for machine vision, especially for 3D microscopy or observation tasks.

360° lenses – A couple of utilizations require something past a camera. For example, the examination of perplexing things with express shapes requires sees from different places. Therefore, there are novel 360° lenses, which, with the help of a creative party of lenses and mirrors, get the article from all of its highlights in a base number of shots. The top and sides of a thing, the back and inside an unfilled article or one with an opening, different sides: this lens grants to aggregate this heap of points of view in a solitary picture. This development helps various regions, similar to the medication business, the auto business or in the food business, especially for drinks.

For round and empty articles, similar to containers, glasses, batteries or bolts, pericentric lenses are generally proper to get their specificities. Considering the particular method of light pillars through the perspective, light from the piece of the thing closest to the lens falls in the lens of the sensor, while the farther parts are shown on the edges. The top and side appearances of the thing are as such trapped in a singular shot, with the side points of view on the article including the top face in the resulting (picture 3). A common application in the medication and drink industry is the assessment of the neck series of holders and the scrutinizing of Datamatrix codes, which will reliably be examined precisely, paying little notice to its arranging. The more unassuming the estimation of the article, the more critical the stature of the thing that can be surveyed, while slight things can be checked on a greater width. For little articles (up to 7.5 mm in width), the usage of catadioptric lenses is recommended. These objectives are planned to see the sides of the thing with a wide perspective, close 45°, which allows the examination of perplexing article computations with adequate perspective.

An extraordinary extent of lenses for void things has in like manner been planned for the assessment of articles containing openings, melancholies or for holders, allowing the lower part of the thing similarly as its dividers to be seen. Wide point lenses (> 82°), they grant to work with a wide extent of thing breadths and thicknesses. This makes them ideal for evaluating a wide collection of shapes, similar to chambers, cones, openings, bottles or hung articles.

Another optical progression is the multi-see lenses (Polyview), which grant eight special viewpoints as an afterthought and top surfaces of an article meanwhile. The wide perspective (45°) grants the audit of the sides of an article (for instance the line of a screw or a nut). Both the outer surfaces and the upper bits of an article can be gotten meanwhile. The inside bits of a vacant article can moreover be analyzed according to an outside point of view. The depiction of the internal dividers and lower a piece of an unfilled article is also essentially as possible as a joined point of view on the inward and outer dividers of the thing.

For more information, check right now on

How to safely clean the sensor of your DSLR?


We present to you today a really useful tutorial. We will show you how to properly clean your DSLR sensor step by step, in a 100% reliable method that you can apply yourself at home, in just a few minutes. To clean the camera sensor, the most reliable and popular method has been chosen today: dry cleaning. It will allow you to clean the sensor of your device in a minute and a half watch in hand.

Step by step guide: how to clean the sensor?

One of the great fears of both amateur and professional photographer arises when it comes to cleaning the sensor of their SLR camera at home. We know that the sensor is a delicate part of the camera, but there are reliable, risk-free methods that leave our sensor like new in a few minutes and without leaving your home or having to carry your camera. to the technical service.

This is the case with dry cleaning, which does not use any type of liquid whatsoever, therefore without risk. This system is based on brushes with adherent properties that gently remove dirt from the . Let’s see what it is, step by step. Here we show you how to perfectly clean your sensor in three easy steps.

1. How do I know if the sensor is dirty?

The first thing to know is to make sure that the sensor is really dirty and that it needs to be cleaned. How to verify it? It’s easy: take a picture of a completely flat, even surface to identify even the smallest stain.

To take the picture, we recommend that you select the smallest possible aperture on your camera, f / 22 for example, while keeping the ISO sensitivity at a minimum, ISO 100, for example. Take a test shot by shooting a clear sky and focusing at infinity.

2. Unlock the mirror to access the sensor

According to DZOFilm, once you have verified that your sensor needs a good cleaning, it is now time to get down to it. The first thing to do is to remove the lens installed on the camera. Then go into the menu and look in the settings for the one that allows you to unlock the mirror.

All cameras have a function that allows this, with a name specific to each brand. In my case, I just had to activate the latter, then press the shutter for the mirror to rise. And I was able to access the camera’s sensor to clean it up.

Clean the sensor easily and safely

It was easy, wasn’t it? If this tutorial has been useful to you, share it with your fellow photographers so that they in turn can learn how to clean the device of their camera, in a method as reliable as dry cleaning, and very quickly too. If you have any questions or suggestions, or if you use another method to clean your camera’s sensor, please let us know below or on social media.

Keep in mind that this method is effective for clumps of dust and dirt that often appear on the device, but is not recommended for oil stains, for example.

Latest Posts