Editor’s note: Over the last year, we’ve introduced new ways for students to develop important future skills with Chromebook tools, including active listening and creativity. Yesterday at ISTE we announced our latest bundles in this series, curated in collaboration with educators. In this post, we dive into the STEM tools on Chromebooks bundle, designed to help students become makers and inventors. Follow our updates on Twitter, and if you’re at ISTE in San Antonio, visit us at booth #1718 to learn more and demo these tools for yourself.
Students everywhere are exploring important concepts in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), with a level of sophistication that’s rising every year. They’re also developing skills like problem solving and collaboration that they’ll need in higher education and, eventually, in their careers, while being exposed to real-world opportunities to be makers.
“If we want a nation where our future leaders, neighbors and workers have the ability to understand and solve some of the complex challenges of today and tomorrow, building students’ skills, content knowledge and fluency in STEM fields is essential,” the Office of Innovation & Improvement, U.S. Department of Education noted in a statement in January, 2017.
To help school districts provide more STEM opportunities to students, we’re now offering a bundle of STEM tools on Chromebooks, designed to to help students become inventors and makers. These tools are available at a special discounted price and may be purchased alongside Chromebooks or independently from U.S. Chromebooks resellers.
Let’s take a deeper look at the tools in the STEM bundle.
The Dremel 3D40 3D Printer was developed by Bosch, a company that has made reliable tools for builders and hobbyists for over 80 years. About the size of a microwave oven, a 3D printer “prints” solid objects, layer by layer. The 3D40 3D Printer supports design tools such as Tinkercad and BlocksCAD, that help students create three-dimensional versions of just about anything they can dream up.
Michael Miller is a K-5 technology teacher and high-school computer science teacher for Otsego Public Schools in Otsego, MI. “Students are being exposed to technology that’s now used in a lot of fields. Medical, dental, the food industry—they’re all using 3D printers,” he says. “It will definitely make students more future ready.”
Miller uses a 3D40 3D Printer with Chromebooks in his elementary and high school classes. Depending on the class, students use the tools to create anything from a light saber to a miniature model of a Wright brothers’ airplane. From components for robots to mouthpieces for flutes, his students bring a range of personal interests to the design and printing process.
It brings what they imagine in their head into their lives.
Technology teacher, Otsego Public School
Although students often work on individual projects, Miller encourages them to solve problems together as a team. “If they need help, I expect them to look to their neighbor first before coming come to me.” Miller also sees how 3D printing can be a way to engage female students, who are often underrepresented in STEM fields today, as well as students who are less likely to speak up in class. “I had a high school student—a very reserved student—and it helped him feel more ownership in the class. It gave him a greater sense of belonging when he could make something.”
The littleBits Code Kit combines block-based visual coding, powered by Google’s Blockly, with programmable physical “bits” that are electronic color-coded building blocks that snap together with magnets. Using the Code Kit, which is designed to be accessible to a wide range of grades, students have fun building and coding games, all while learning the foundations of computer science. The kit also comes with lessons, video tutorials, getting started guides and other resources for educators and students.
Rob Troke, a computer science teacher at James Denman Middle School in San Francisco recently took a sixth-grade class to I/O Youth at Google’s headquarters in Mountain View, CA. There, his students used the littleBits Code Kit to program light and sound patterns on a physical Bit. They quickly learned about programming logic such as loops and variables.
“I was happy to see how engaged the kids were,” he says. “It maintained their interest the entire hour, whereas with other apps and tools, I’ve seen the novelty wear off after 15 minutes.”
For some students, having a physical object linked to a coding activity helps bring additional context to computer science. It also brings electrical and mechanical engineering, often overlooked subjects in K-12, into the classroom. “Having things to play with, to figure out what they are, what they do, is extremely helpful… it’s like robotics, but without the robot,” Troke says.
Dremel’s 3D40 3D printer and littleBits Code Kit, along with free programs created by Google—like CS First and Applied Digital Skills—help bring STEM concepts to life in creative and tangible ways. To learn more about these and other educational tools, please visit g.co/educhromebookapps, check out the websites, or contact your school’s Chromebook reseller. And follow @GoogleForEdu on Twitter to see all that’s launching at ISTE.
Influencer marketing has become a bit of a buzzword in the marketing industry as of late. Merriam-Webster defines influence as “the power or capacity of causing an effect in indirect ways.” From my perspective, influence, as it relates to marketing, is someone who resonates with an audience, makes an impact and provides value.
A recent study conducted by Content Marketing Institute found marketing campaigns that include influencers show a 10x increase in conversion rates. Think about that in terms of return on investment (ROI). That’s a potential return of over $9 for every dollar invested. Why wouldn’t you make a sound investment like that? And according to McKinsey, those customers who do convert have a tendency to stick around. They’ve reported that influencer campaigns achieve, on average, a 37% increase in retention. The numbers don’t lie. Marketers should explore how to engage influencers throughout the year. In this blog, we’ll examine what it takes to get and influencer engagement strategy started.
What should brands consider when building an influencer engagement strategy?
One mistake I often see marketers make is thinking of influencer engagements as a one and done strategy. However, in a digitally connected world, where individuals are following and engaging with influencers on a daily basis, aligning your brand with those influencers consistently is becoming more important than ever. Let’s dig a little deeper into how to determine the best fit for your brand.
How should brands start to identify influencers?
Once you’ve developed a strategy and identified who you’re looking to build a relationship with, you’ll need to think about how to collaborate with the key stakeholders involved in managing an influencer engagement program. These roles will differ from company to company, but you may want to consider:
According to the report Influencer 2.0: The Future of Influencer Marketing by Traackr and TopRank Marketing, 55% of marketers plan to spend more on influencer marketing next year, and for those companies that already spend more than $250,000 on influencer marketing, that percentage jumps to 67%. But whether you have a big, small, or non-existent budget, it still makes sense to start influencer marketing now.
If you have a team of influencer stakeholders like I listed above, work with them to map out your big initiatives as anchors throughout the year, then craft activities and engagement points across the year. Don’t be afraid to be scrappy! Focus on making sure there is a value exchange and not simply continual asks of your influencers. You will find that as you gain momentum and success you can argue for more resources.
Let’s dig into how to measure the ROI of an influencer marketing campaign. Early stage metrics would include an increase in social media reach and impressions. You can also take a look at mentions, share of voice and new followers during the duration of your campaign. Later stage metrics can include UTM parameters that allow you to keep track of how many users are visiting your website from influencer referrals, and then further down the line convert. Another way to track the effectiveness of an influencer campaign is using a unique discount or coupon codes and then track how many of each are redeemed or submitted.
Ultimately, influencer marketing will boil down to one thing at the end of the day, relationships. Getting the ball rolling can be as simple as reaching out, introducing yourself and your product, meeting them face to face, shaking their hand and chatting about how you can create alignment between your business goals and their goals.
The post How to Tap into the Power of Influencers appeared first on Marketo Marketing Blog – Best Practices and Thought Leadership.
For the next few weeks on the iconic High Line in New York, you can check out hundreds of images submitted by Pixel users from around the world. Together with Refinery29, we’ve created the Meadow, an immersive digital installation that celebrates the creativity of Pixel photographers. Shooting with one of the best smartphone cameras, they’ve captured the incredible images that are featured in the Meadow.
The Meadow is open to the public (for free!) from 11 a.m. until 8 p.m. from now until June 4. If you’re part of the Pixel community, tag your photos with #teampixel—you may have the opportunity to see them on the High Line!
Millions of people use Google+ to connect around the things they’re interested in. To help you sort through the many Collections and Communities where people share, we’ve created a new feature called Topics. With Topics, you’ll see a high-quality stream of Collections, Communities and people related to things we think you’ll be interested in.
Today, there are already hundreds of Topics available in English, Spanish and Portuguese, covering everything from black-and-white photography to hiking and camping. So whether you’ve recently discovered the wonders of woodworking, love gardening, or can’t get enough street photography, there’s a stream of unique and interesting stuff waiting for you on Google+.
To see the recommended Topics, head to your home stream and look for the “Topics to explore” cards. Topics will be rolling out over the next day or so, so don’t worry if you don’t see any suggestions right away.
Hope you enjoy it!