Professional Learning Partners
One of the Illinois Digital Educator Alliance's goals is to support and provide professional learning opportunities in educational technology. Through our Professional Learning Partnerships, IDEA strives to provide a broad spectrum of needs and interests through conferences, events, organizational collaborations, professional resources, and strategic initiatives that serve to enhance our member’s professional practice. Check out some of the professional development offerings that your IDEA membership brings below.
BirdBrain Technologies cultivates creativity and computational thinking by providing flexible and inspiring products: the Finch Robot and the Hummingbird Robotics Kit. Founded at the CREATE Lab at Carnegie Mellon University in 2010, BirdBrain is a research-based company that promotes gender equality and diversity in engineering and robotics. Our mission is to assist educators interested in bringing computer science and engineering design into any classroom. Find out more at birdbraintechnologies.com.
IDEA alongside the Chicago Zoological Society have partnered together to create some incredibly immersive summer learning experiences for teachers. These hands on, professional development courses are rooted in the NGSS science standards as well as the ISTE standards. Classes are co-taught and immerse teachers in a unique experience in which the Zoo becomes the classroom.
Whether it is STEAM, engineering or connecting with other educators at the CZS Mini Con, this unique experience is one you won't want to miss. Find out more at www.czs.org/teacherclasses.
EVERFI provides engaging digital resources that help teachers equip students with critical life skills by empowering teachers to bring critical skills education into their classrooms so educators can prepare their students to be successful in the real world. Thanks to hundreds of partners who share our mission, EVERFI delivers these resources to K-12 schools and students free of charge. Find out more at everfi.com/k-12.
Makey Makey is an invention kit for the 21st century. Turn everyday objects into touchpads and combine them with the internet. It's a simple Invention Kit for Beginners and Experts doing art, engineering, and everything inbetween. Makey Makey started out as a project that was initiated by two students at MIT Media Lab under the advisorship of Mitch Resnick and is an academic and artistic project. Now it's both a business and a project with thousands of community collaborators, with more joining the ranks of inventors everyday. Find out more at makeymakey.com.
Media Education Lab co-sponsors the Summer Institute in Digital Literacy, the nation's premiere professional learning program in digital literacy. This six-day institute is an intensive, 42-hour summer professional development program that focuses on how literacy is changing as a result of emerging media and technologies. We consider the implications of this cultural and technological shift for teaching and learning. This year's workshop will be held in Chicago. Find out more at www.digiuri.com.
The world needs young innovators. The NextWave STEM experience sparks inspiration and curiosity in students as they explore emerging technologies through hands on learning that integrates STEM into the traditional K—12 classroom.
NextWaveSTEM offers a wide range of courses for grades K—12, from “Coding with Drones” to “Into to 3D Printing”, and much more. Our curriculum is designed to spark students’ critical thinking, creativity, and curiosity by introducing them to coding skills and cutting-edge STEM. Drones, robots, and 3D printers in the classroom allow students to build, code, play, and learn to make important connections to the real world. Find out more at nextwavestem.com.
TechGirlz is a non-profit that organizes hands-on technology workshops and tech camps for middle school girls. We exist to collaborate with communities to provide rigorous, hands-on, and creative educational tech opportunities within a safe, inviting space so that young girls can explore various tech careers and tech pathways while building lifelong confidence in the modern world. Get involved with TechGirlz at techgirlz.org.
Tynker’s award-winning creative computing platform helps children develop computational thinking and programming skills in a fun, intuitive and imaginative way. The platform is used by one in three U.S. K-8 schools and 60 million kids across 150 countries. Global partners include brands such as Apple, Microsoft, Mattel, PBS, Sylvan Learning, and more. Tynker is accessible from any computer with an internet browser, as well as via the Tynker iPad app, and offers both a free and paid subscription option. Find out more at tynker.com.