www.definedstem.com ■ Annual building subscription $2,795/ year.
The Defined STEM Web site contains a comprehensive set of K-12 cross-curricular resources and lessons that focus on the skills needed for the 21st Century.
Quality and Effectiveness: Teachers can login to the site and search by keyword or select a performance or literacy-based tasks or a lesson based on Core Curriculum Content Standards (CCCS). Performance tasks follow the Understanding by Design (UbD) Framework as well as the GRASP (Goal, Role, Audience, Situation and Product) Process. Once you select your task category and appropriate grade range, you can then filter your results for the grade level or subject in which you want to concentrate by clicking on one of the tabs across the top of the screen.
Each of the tasks have multimedia resources that can be used by both the students and the teachers to aid in completing the assignments. Performance tasks have the “Big Ideas” and “Essential Questions” clearly represented and the GRASP process is laid out in easy to follow links that take students through each step of the process. From this screen, teachers then have the choice to export the materials to a Adobe .PDF or MS Word file. One really nice feature is that the teachers can edit and customize the assignments and save them for future use.
Sharing the assignments with the students is as easy as distributing a unique hyperlink via email, Web page, Edmodo, or a variety of social media platforms. Teachers can also create a group and other logged in users join via a unique group code. So, disseminating information is easy.
Ease of Use: Defined STEM is very user friendly and has a comprehensive selection of training resources as well as a way to contact technical support. The interface is well designed and intuitive to use. I especially like the section that easily lets you see new content as it is added. Educators can find and distribute UBD performance tasks, literacy tasks or standards based tasks quickly and easily.
Creative Use of Technology: Web-based instruction is what everyone is using for anytime anywhere, any device instruction and Defined STEM has made it easy for educators and students to accomplish. The resources are ready to use but also allow for customization that can be saved, shared and reused.
Suitability for Use in a School Environment: Defined STEM is specifically created for teaching students real world 21st century skills that challenge them by introducing real professionals in the particular field that they are studying allows them to take on the role of that person by completing real-world tasks. This is a great match for education.
Defined STEM can save educators a lot of time and hassle when trying to create cross-curricular, standards-based or UBD STEM projects.
• Ease of use.
• Multimedia, real world hands on tasks.
• Customization of tasks and assessments.
• Easy distribution of assignments.