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How Educators Can Get Involved

Join us!  If you have any interest in participating in any of the projects below, please contact us at smartspace@niu.edu.



Ways to Get Involved

21st Century Skills
The 21st Century Skills project includes videos that demonstrate examples of how students attain these skills in the classroom. We also have resources to help families continue building these skills with their children.

  • Tell us how you emphasize 21st Century skills in your classroom.
  • Incorporate STEM Read and STEAMspace in your class enable students to collaborate, create, and share projects with one another to build these skills.

ACT Preparation
SmartSpace@NIU is working with Rockford Public Schools to find new and innovative ways to improve students' ACT scores, including online activities. The ACT Prep site provides information about the test, links to free ACT preparation materials, utilizes ACT practice tests, connects with NIU's ACT prep classes, and includes valuable tips from recent high school graduates.

  • Use our resources to help your students prepare for the ACT.
  • Partner with us to provide ACT prep to your students.

Common Core Technology Integration (CCTI) 
SmartSpace@NIU works to equip teachers and teacher candidates with the information and resources needed to implement the Illinois Common Core State Standards while integrating technology into teaching and learning. The CCTI project provides the key ingredients of effective technology integration and multidisciplinary learning in face-to-face, hybrid, and virtual educational settings.  These activities are incorporated into SmartSpace@NIU programming, primarily STEM Read and STEAMspace activities. 

  • Have your students work with STEM Read, STEAMspace, and eTutoring projects to build literacy skills and engage in common core and technology-aligned activities.
  • Tell us how you are integrating the Common Core in your classroom.

eTutoring pairs K-12 students with eTutors to help students receive individualized sessions that focus on literacy skills. eTutors are NIU teacher candidates who are trained to deliver quality tutoring services using innovative technology solutions.

  • Partner with us to provide eTutoring services for your students.
  • Serve as an eTutor to help others.

STEAMspace integrates visual art and technology to meet the Common Core, English Language Arts, and Illinois Social Emotional Learning Standards for K-12 learners. The space is designed to remove the barriers and allow students to become more engaged and reflective on their own literacy skills and social-emotional development. Our goal is to help students build their self-confidence in their writing and multimedia creation abilities as well as their communication with others. Students collaborate in community-based art and literacy projects and can share and discuss their productions with one another.

  • Partner with us to get the Virtual Studio integrated into your classroom.
  • Have your students collaborate with peers to discuss ideas, write together, and create art.

STEM Read chooses science fiction books with a basis in science, technology, engineering, or math. Students read the book and can participate in activities both in-person and online.  Programming online includes discussions, expert videos, interactive games, and creative writing projects to help students improve reading, comprehension, and science literacy skills.

  • Partner with us to integrate STEM Read programming into your classroom.
  • Get involved in our events and have fun!