4 SAM Studio Features to get Excited About!



SAM Studio changes the game for SAM Labs educators as we now offer an all-in-one platform for STEAM and Coding. SAM Studio is a web-based platform that teachers can choose to install on computers for offline use. SAM Studio will enhance and replace both SAM Space and Google Workbench for SAM Labs’ educators and students. From within SAM Studio, teachers can choose to access SAM Space or to access SAM Blockly. SAM Blockly is replacing Google Workbench.


We can’t wait for you to experience both the ease of use and the complexity of code possible in SAM Studio with your students!


Here are 4 Features we are excited to bring to your classroom with the release of SAM Studio!



1. Virtual Blocks


If you’ve had experience using SAM Space you may have noticed and have interacted with our virtual blocks within the app. Virtual blocks are an amazing tool for teachers that haven’t received their blocks yet and still want their students to get a chance to dive into the coding challenges that accompany our STEAM activities and coding lessons.


Virtual blocks allow students to create their code and to watch it come to life on screen. The virtual blocks are also really helpful when you want to assign students an open ended challenge that allows them to create a code using whatever blocks they would like that you might not physically have.



2. Differentiation


If you’ve had experience using SAM Space you may have noticed and have interacted with our virtual blocks within the app. Virtual blocks are an amazing tool for teachers that haven’t received their blocks yet or are waiting for funding and still want their students to get a chance to dive into the coding challenges that accompany our STEAM activities and coding lessons. They are a perfect distance learning solution for students.


Virtual blocks allow students to create their code and to watch it come to life on screen. The virtual blocks are also really helpful when you want to assign students an open ended challenge that allows them to create a code using whatever blocks they would like that you might not physically have.



3. Google Drive & Google Classroom

SAM Studio can be connected to Google Drive! Once you connect to Google Drive all of your work, each project you create, will be saved and stored within your Google Drive. When you open SAM Studio you’ll be given the option to connect to Google Drive. Student work will always be saved thanks to this new feature addition!


Now that we are able to connect SAM Studio to Google Drive, this also makes connecting to Google Classroom a reality! Teachers can now assign work within Google Classroom. If you’ve been using SAM Labs for a while now you may be asking yourself how this is different from what you might have been doing previously.


Maybe in the past you have assigned students our Google Slides presentations or our student handouts that accompany each lesson to students within Google Classroom. This is still possible, but with SAM Studio you have yet another amazing Google Classroom integration! There are two major differences available now within SAM Studio.


The first difference is that you can now create a project from within SAM Studio and then head to Google Classroom to assign that actual assignment to students from within Google Classroom - thanks to the Google Drive integration!


When you assign this project to students from within Google Classroom it will allow your students to actually open up their own SAM Studio copy of what you assigned them. This will be similar to what happens for your students when you assign them their own copy of a Slides presentation.


The second difference is that now students can actually submit their code straight to you! Students don’t have to take a screenshot for you to review, but instead, you now get access to the actual code they created within SAM Studio. With this feature you can now edit their code if you’d like, provide feedback and suggestions so they can improve their code, and also assign a grade within Google Classroom!



4. Integrations


Do you have Vernier? Do you have Sphero Spark Plus? Do you have Parrot Drones?


If you answered yes to having or heard any of the above products, you can now use these products within our SAM Studio app! With this feature in SAM Blockly you can assign students an open ended challenge that allows them to use SAM Labs blocks alongside any of the above products you already have! Now students can get the most out of computational thinking and learning to code by integrating multiple products.


In addition to integrating with Vernier, Sphero Spark Plus, and Parrot Drones SAM Studio also supports Google Sheets and Micro:bit. The Micro:bit is used throughout our Learn to Code activities and curriculum - check them out here.


Conclusion


We hope that you are as excited as we are for the SAM Studio release! These new features available within SAM Studio will allow you to efficiently work with students while engaging them in STEAM activities during distance learning as well as when in the classroom. SAM Studio’s virtual block capabilities for both the STEAM education curriculum and the Learn to Code curriculum add another piece towards SAM Labs educational equity. Computational thinking skills will continue to be at the forefront thanks to the new SAM Studio platform.


Which SAM Studio feature are you most looking forward to?



Reference: https://samlabs.com/us/blog/2020/10/29/4-sam-studio-features-to-get-excited-about


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