Mouse_News

September 11, 2017

Now on Mouse Create: New Courses in Sewable Tech and Digital Portfolios

Welcome back! To help get your year off to a great start, we’ve released some exciting new content on Mouse Create. We think our new courses, refreshed educator supports, and new web tools can help you expand digital learning at your sites in exciting new ways.  

Here’s what’s new on Mouse Create:

Sewable Tech Course:

Sewable Tech is a 9-project, hands-on alternative to traditional circuitry and electronics learning. In this course, students will learn basic electronic engineering concepts by embedding circuitry directly into fabric-- creating soft circuits, fabric switches and wearable sensors. The course culminates in a final project that has learners sew and program mini microcontrollers to help them set and achieve goals.

Why are we excited about Sewable Tech?

Sewable Tech has amazing potential to engage youth of diverse backgrounds in engineering concepts- including those who don’t identify as “tech-savvy.” Sewable circuitry has been shown to improve STEM learning outcomes and participation among all learner populations, and especially young women. We can’t wait to see what it will do for Mouse’s learners!

What new features come with Sewable Tech?

Besides introducing new projects, Sewable Tech also features some brand new teaching and learning supports:

  • We’re introducing in this course (and adding to more courses over the year) a printable Sewable Tech Resource Guide that allows educators and learners to easily refer back to techniques and vocabulary they may have learned in earlier projects.

  • We’ve also begun adding Facilitator Notes throughout steps (not just at the end) and if you take a look at the Project Background of each activity--located at the bottom of each project’s list of steps-- you’ll notice that we’ve added several new sections. We think the addition of these features will make the facilitation of Mouse projects much easier for teachers and learners alike.

What badges can be earned through the Sewable Tech course?

Sewable Tech Badge Sewing Circuits

Find out more about our Sewable Tech course on the Sewable Tech Course Guide.

Digital Portfolios Course:

Accomplishments go far beyond what you see on a school transcript. That's why Mouse teamed up with the DreamYard Project and Parson’s School of Design to develop our new Digital Portfolios course. Using DreamYard and Parsons’ Learning Portfolio Project as a foundation, Mouse’s 6-project course aims to help students design learning portfolios that will embody the full breadth of their interests--whether in school or out. Learners will gain experience in what it takes to document projects, reflect on accomplishments and design high-quality digital portfolios that they can confidently show off to employers or college admissions counselors.  Along the way, they’ll also learn web design skills like information architecture and UX/UI design.

What are digital learning portfolios?

Digital Portfolios are shareable, web-based versions of the traditional portfolio. The DreamYard Project, a leader in the digital portfolio movement, calls them “part of a turning tide in student assessment that focuses on the whole student.” We think the Digital Portfolios course will be a valuable tool for integrating 21st century skills into college/career readiness efforts across all the learning environments of the Mouse network.

What new features come with Digital Portfolios?

Besides getting similarly updated Facilitation Notes and Project Backgrounds as Sewable Tech, we’re excited to offer a new Mouse Create feature as a companion tool to the Digital Portfolios course: the My Work feature. Located on a user’s profile page, the My Work tool allows users to view all the work they’ve submitted to Mouse Create as individual cards which can be tagged, sorted and exported for use in learning portfolios or other project reports. You can learn more about this feature and how to use it by watching this quick tutorial.

What badges can be earned through the Digital Portfolios course?

Find out more about the Digital Portfolio on the Digital Portfolio Course Guide.

We’re really excited about this new content and we hope you are too. If you work on either of these courses this year, please let us know how it goes--we always welcome feedback from our educators. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch with your Mouse contact or email help@mouse.org.

Complimentary Learning Kits

In order to support your efforts to lead these and other Mouse courses, we are excited to announce an exciting opportunity. This school year we are offering a limited number of complimentary Mouse Create Learning Kits.

The Learning Kits will support the following Mouse Create Courses and programs:

  • NEW Sewable Tech (includes materials for 10 students)

  • Circuitry and Electronics (includes materials for 10 students)

  • Green Tech (includes materials for 10 students)

  • Tech Team (includes materials for 25 students & 2 educators running a "Help Desk" style program, includes: Lanyards & IDs, Fixer Flowchart poster, Precision screwdrivers, 5 USB thumb drives)

Descriptions of Mouse Create Courses can be found here.

Due to limited quantities, kits will be awarded based on a first come, first served basis, while supplies last. Interested educators should complete this application.

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