The EdTech News for Friday, March 10, 2023: Families Coding, Mindsets Changing, and Edusity is Educating

EdTech News: The latest in online teaching and learning

Families that learn together, code together.

An innovative community computing program called Families Learning Together is an established education project run by Texas State University and taught by student facilitators from the School of Art and Design. The program teaches families and kids to make art and tell stories with “computational thinking” and computer programming.

The maker clubs and workshops, called playshops, are offered at local libraries and schools for families and children.

“The playshops are not classes,” said Dr. Sean Justice, an associate professor in the School of Art and Design. “We provide a space with structure where people can explore computational material and robotics. We answer questions as best we can in an open studio format.”

Founded with an $8,000 grant and using donated, re-purposed computers, the program has been active since 2017. The program varies each semester depending on the university’s ability to hire student facilitators committed to computing studies and the community.

“Students are still getting their bearings [after the COVID-19 pandemic],” Justice said. “The project materials are minimal, but we are trying to look for new ways to find student facilitators.”

Press release:

Procrastination Starts Early

Should you be studying for finals right now? If procrastination is the thief of time. It starts stealing from us much earlier in life than previously believed. A new study says those with a tendency to procrastinate start to show it around age three.

Brock University researchers Taissa Fuke, Ege Kamber and Melissa Alunni, and Caitlin Mahy are co-authors of “The Emergence of Procrastination in Early Childhood: Relations With Executive Control and Future-Oriented Cognition.”

In explaining their findings, the researchers defined the difference between task avoidance and procrastination.

“Task avoidance for adults may be as simple as staying away from a social event we don’t want to go to,” says Ege Kamber, a Ph.D. student. “But in procrastination, we know we have to do this task, even if it’s undesirable, but we put it off.”

In addition, the researchers found that learning how to delay gratification and procrastination involve similar kinds of impulse control.

“The thing about procrastination is that you get an instant reward of not vacuuming the carpet or not doing homework — you get to enjoy the current moment,” she says. “But the task that you will eventually have to do still hangs over your head and tends to create more anxiety over time — you’re effectively punishing your future self with the task and also the prolonged anxiety.”

The paper was published in Developmental Psychology last week.

Press release:

To make schools work, everyone needs a change in mindset

That’s the claim of Making Schools Work, a new book co-written by a team of teachers, administrators, museum educators, and learning scientists. The book proposes an educational theory and implementation strategy for schools focused on a 6 Cs approach to learning. Those 6Cs? Collaboration, communication, content, critical thinking, creative innovation, and confidence.

Published by the University of Delaware Press, the book aligns research in learning sciences with teaching practices. The authors say the book with help educators create learning experiences that are “culturally responsive, inclusive, effective, and fun.”

Press release:

What’s new in the Edusity family?

This week Cudoo paid tribute to disability activist, teaching, and learning legend Judith Heumann, who died on March 4.

Every online instructor needs a variety of assessment methods and tools. Instructional designer and adjunct professor Angela Britcher described options from her research and teaching practice for The Babb Group.

Frustrated job seekers can take comfort in the fact it isn’t them; it’s the bots on the Professor Services blog.

Upon arrival, international students learn they have to improve their English continuously. Edusity offered some tips for both the students and TEFL teachers.

Disclosure notice: The EdTech News is created and distributed by the Edusity family of companies, an EdTech consortium dedicated to removing barriers to education and ensuring access to job skills. Together, the companies offer a full complement of educational development and consulting services. Companies in the consortium include Edusity, The Babb Group, Professor Services, and Cudoo. Compiled from recent press releases, this weekly feature covers the latest news in EdTech, online education, teaching and learning, instructional design, and curriculum development.

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Kate Baggott is Head of Content and Communications for the Edusity family of companies that includes The Babb Group and Professor Services. A digital content veteran, Kate's portfolio can be viewed at
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