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New technology support STEAM learning

​(StatePoint) With each new school year comes a brand-new set of subjects, books and teachers. It also means new technologies being introduced into the classroom.
  As students head back to school, here is a look at the technologies that will support STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) learning this year.
• Digital Art: Enter some art classes today and you may find a dearth of paints, brushes and charcoal. Today, art students can learn the same painting, drawing and sculpting techniques they previously would have learned using traditional supplies, only with digital tools instead. While the traditional mediums aren’t completely going away any time soon, today’s students can benefit from the versatility that cutting-edge tools supply.
• Visual Science: Whether it’s an anatomical diagram of the human heart or a map of the Milky Way, every science teacher knows that a picture’s worth a thousand words, particularly when it’s a sharp, clear picture. Teachers and students are benefitting from top of the line projection technology in classrooms. The LampFree Projectors from Casio’s Core Series, for example, have the ability to project images and video wirelessly from smart phones, laptop computers and tablets, expanding teachers’ ability to create engaging lesson plans. Additionally, the mercury-free Laser and LED hybrid light source is energy-efficient, reducing power consumption by up to 40 percent, a bonus lesson in environmental stewardship.
• Accessible Computer Science: Certain innovations are helping students go beyond just consuming technology. Apps abound for independent learners, as well as educators, to use in their classrooms to help computer science students of all ages and abilities to hone their coding skills. From straight-forward instructional apps to those that gamify the learning process, young coders-in-training have a wealth of resources.
• Intuitive Music: New technology is rocking the music education boat in an effort to make learning an instrument more intuitive. For example, Casio’s LK-265 is outfitted with such tools as a Key Lighting System, Voice Fingering Guide and Step-up Lesson System, enabling beginners to learn built-in songs at their own pace. Additionally, an LCD display makes mastering music notation and correct hand positioning easy. The keyboards have a Scoring System that evaluates performance.
• In-Depth Math: Today’s students are getting a closer look at the inner workings of mathematics than their predecessors, thanks to new graphing calculators, such as the fx-CG50 PRIZM and fx-CG500, which offer expanded features, including the ability to easily draw three dimensional graphs such as planes, cylinders and spheres, and view them from various angles to better analyze their shapes. A cross-section option and special zoom function allow students to closely examine graphs for in-depth analysis and an improved catalog function means students can use commands more easily and quickly.
     As rapidly emerging technologies innovate education, it’s an exciting time to be a student or teacher.

Six ways to prepare for the new school year
(StatePoint) Want to ensure the transition from summer to school goes smoothly for your family? Check out these six tips.
1. Make a smooth transition. Been sleeping in all summer? Now’s the time to get your body back into the routine of early mornings. Start slowly, setting the alarm earlier until you reach the time you’ll be waking up for the school year. Parents can assist younger kids with this transition.
2. Get the right education tools. From highlighters to USB drives to loose-leaf paper, be sure you have a comprehensive list of all the school supplies and education tools you’ll need for a successful year ahead. As far as tech tools like graphing calculators are concerned, opt for those that are jam packed with all the latest features. For example, the Casio fx-CG50 offers the ability to draw three dimensional graphs, such as planes, cylinders and spheres, and view them from various angles in order to better analyze their shape. It also features a cross-section option and a special zoom function for in-depth analysis.
3. Organize your agenda. Make sure everyone is ready for the busy year ahead. Plan your children’s participation in after school activities. Then, display relevant items on a calendar where the whole family can see it to ensure no one misses a club meeting, rehearsal or team practice.
4. De-stress. The hectic back-to-school season can create tension and stress. Encourage hobbies that help students unwind as the school year gets back into full swing. For beginners of music, check out new tools that can make the learning process fun and easy, such as Casio’s LK-265 keyboard, which features an LCD display that shows both music notation and correct hand positioning.
5. Get healthy. Crowded classrooms are a good place to pick up germs. Keep kids healthy with a daily multivitamin, plenty of fresh fruits and veggies and lots of sleep. Regular exercise is also an immunity booster, so encourage kids to get active.
6. Adapt to new school resources. Families aren’t the only ones getting ready for back to school. Districts are incorporating the latest tech into classroom learning. Such tools include Casio LampFree Projectors, an eco-friendly technology that gives educators the ability to control the projector from a smartphone or tablet, expanding their ability to create and deliver dynamic lesson plans.