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Join the 3D printing revolution

Now your school can join the 3D printing revolution. With the introduction of the Cube 3D printer, this exciting new technology just got even better, and is only £999. The Cube is a great way to enter the world of 3D printing and lets you build high quality plastic models for a fraction of the cost of some systems.

Former White House advisor launches innovative Maths app T

odd Buchholz, the winner of Harvard's annual teaching prize in economics and former Fellow at Cambridge University, has devised Sproglit, a series of apps that transform learning primary maths.

Sproglit might not be the only homework app on the market, but unlike all other maths apps, it does not rely on drilling facts in a way that soon bores young children. Instead it is based on the latest neuroscientific discoveries that reveal children and adults learn best by seeing patterns.

CEO of Sproglit, Todd Buchholz compares it to recognising a ‘STOP’ sign on the road: “Most of us don't actually read the word ‘STOP’ when we see a stop sign; we step on the brake because we've already detected that a red hexagon means "stop." Likewise, children can learn addition, subtraction, multiplication and division by detecting reliable patterns.”

Mr Buchholz is frustrated by the illogical processes currently taught to young maths learners: “When a child is asked to work out 100 - 69, we tell them to get out a pen and paper and start a lengthy process of breaking down the 100, borrowing, et cetera. By the time we’re adults, we’ve figured out that 31 is correspondent to 69: together they make 100. With Sproglit, we’re removing that confusing procedure and bringing children straight into an intuitive way of thinking.”

The prominent US economist was inspired by trips to architectural landmarks in Paris and the US: "I was in Paris, staring at the crossbeams of the Eiffel Tower, and then in New York and Chicago, looking at the Citicorp tower and the Hancock building. They are made up of evenly spaced support structures. I wondered, why can't we create a physical structure, like these buildings, to enable children to visualise the structure of arithmetic with their own eyes?" Sproglit’s patented Maths Arrow is a map of numbers, lined up from 0 to 100 in a unique pattern. Players are tasked with helping the cartoon character Kyle the Kangaroo escape crocodiles on his way home by making intuitive connections between numbers on the map.

The app will be available from the Apple Store from Friday 28th June, costing around £3.50. It has already won prominent fans, including Marty Cooper, inventor of the mobile phone and Leonard Mlodinow, co-author to Stephan Hawking’s The Grand Design.

The Cube will build models up to 140mm3 in size using ABS and PLA plastic, with a choice of 16 different colours, satisfying a whole range of projects. There is no complicated setup involved with the printer designed to work straight out of the box and there is no need for any expensive support contracts. Its WiFi functionality is great for transferring files quickly in a busy classroom environment.

Software to convert 3D CAD files to the Cube’s own format is included and could not be easier to use. A collection of free build files are supplied ready to use, and with a free educational licence of the 3D design package, Cubify Invent, also available, it won’t be long before you and your students are creating unique designs.

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Promethean launches first free multi-device education app


ow can educators capitalize on the flood of mobile devices coming into the classroom?

With the release of CoolStreet, Promethean demonstrates how a connected learning environment can be created in a mixed digital device classroom. The app allows teachers to take advantage of mobile devices, ActivBoards, ActivTables and laptops to complete a simulation that reinforces basic economic principals through practical application. “The future of education is about building communities of knowledge and environments where learning and teaching are flexible and natural. This is precisely what CoolStreet demonstrates,” said Lupita Knittel, Chief Marketing Officer, Promethean. CoolStreet engages secondary-school-age students in a real-world exercise of running a business with the goal to maximize market share and earnings. Players, or students, own pizza shops on the same street and when the game begins, they compete for business against each other during a ‘Pizza Battle.’ The game organizer, or teacher, opens ‘CoolStreet’ for business and play begins.

During the game, players are encouraged to review financial statements, growth charts and operational statistics. With this data, they can make changes to store operations. Each pizza shop is taken “public” and shares of the stock are traded and monitored. Teachers use data captured during the game to reinforce lessons and supplement course content.

CoolStreet is a Windows 8 Store app. It can be downloaded for free in the Windows Store under games or by searching for “CoolStreet”. 20 June 2013

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