March 2, 2020 -
In my last post I mentioned how excited I was about our new website. It was an absolute labor of love! But, as anyone who has completed a website update knows, it was also a real nightmare. In a re-design you quickly find out that “you don’t know what you don’t know”. Also, you normally find out what you don’t know when it’s a little late. (Hello, urgent team meeting.) All that said, the challenges we faced during the re-design make the new site feel so much more rewarding because I know exactly how much time and energy went into it. And I want to continue to celebrate our newly re-designed website by highlighting a few of my *Spark 101* favorite things.
So, without further ado, here are a few of my favorite features of the new website:
- Search Functionality- We heard from many of our teachers that the search functionality of our old site left something to be desired. It is for that reason we were super intentional in the development of the new search functionality. Users can now search by standard, grade level, topic, subject, title or even company highlighted. Check out the search feature to see how quickly you can find content for your STEM classroom!
- Video QR codes – Our Content Design Lead, Russ, advocated for this feature and even highlights his love for the new QR Code feature in his most recent blog. I now know that the use of QR codes in the classroom are quite popular. But what makes this feature one of my favorite things is that the QR codes allow students to watch the Spark video without ever having to log into the website! I am so excited to give teachers additional ways to use our videos with students. Join Spark 101 to give your students access to STEM resources with the snap of a QR code.
- On-Demand Professional Development- Our Spark 101 team is often invited to provide professional development to teachers throughout the country—which we enjoy. However, Spark 101 was built on the premise that ALL students should have access to the STEM Career Challenges we produce; and we realized that the same should go for our STEM professional development resources. So I am excited that we have expanded this feature to ensure ALL teachers can feel comfortable using our resources. We partnered with ASCD to provide a series of Spark 101 professional development videos. Check out our free, on-demand and quick (each video is only 15-20 minutes) resources now, at the bottom of our “educators” page!