How can we make school a joyful experience without sacrificing rigor? What's the best way to measure true learning? What's the purpose of school? The founders and teachers at the PlayMaker School, an all-game based school in Los Angeles, are asking those big, hairy questions that all teachers grapple with. At the PlayMaker School, they're trying to find their own answers through their constantly morphing, complex experiment. Here are their thoughts about these issues, in their own words.
Imagine a school where the students’ day revolves around playing games, all day long. Video games, live action role-playing games, board games, building games. At the PlayMaker School in Los Angeles, the school day takes kids from one game activity to the next, as they explore any number of different subjects and ideas, from the … Continue reading A School Day That’s All About Play →
With these words of advice to parents, Harvard President Drew Gilpin Faust surprised the Aspen Ideas Festival: “Make your children interesting!” If that’s the trajectory to “success,” it should make parents, teachers, and schools question whether the current system is helping to foster an interesting life for kids. How to Get Into Harvard
It's easy to get swept up in Chris Emdin's passion for hip hop, for learning, for science, for the success of each and every one of his students. It's this passion he brings to his work, the work he says can "change the world."
Word to the wise: "Catch yourself every time you're systematically mis-predicting who can and who can't do what among your children. We mis-predict among race, gender, socio-economic status, and standardized test. It's not democratic and it's not moving us forward," says Larry Rosenstock, co-founder of High Tech High.
Ali Partovi, co-founder of Code.org, has an ambitious goal: To get public high schools to offer computer programming classes -- not just as an elective, but as a science requirement. "It's absolutely relevant for public education to embrace computer science," he says. "I can't think of any other science that would better prepare you for life in the 21st century."
It's a provocative question, and it may be argued that "choosing" is not exactly the right term. For schools using any online tools -- from Edmodo to any of Google's apps to student information systems, are they risking exposure to a data breach, or is the issue being blown out of proportion? PBS Idea Channel's always-entertaining Mike Rugnetta breaks it down.
"Game-based learning is not gamification!" exclaims Jordan Shapiro, author of FREEPLAY: A Video Game Guide to Maximum Euphoric Bliss. "We don't need gamification if gamification is about competition and commodification of learning," Shapiro says in this talk at the Global Education And Skills Forum in Dubai. But what it can do is introduce systems thinking in a way that allows kids to want to solve problems and master new systems, even if they don't know the first thing about it -- yet.
A Huffington Post article, 10 Reasons Why Handheld Devices Should Be Banned, from a couple of days ago has clearly hit a nerve. The link has spread far and wide, with hundreds of thousands of social media shares. The author links to studies from the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Canadian Society of Pediatrics, Kaiser … Continue reading Should Handheld Devices for Kids Under 12 Be Banned? →
TED-Ed offers dozens of fascinating videos about all kinds of subjects that draw students in. (To learn more about how to use videos in the classroom, check out MindShift’s Teachers’ Ultimate Guide to Videos) This series of videos, called Playing With Language explores issues of language and learning from different perspectives. Here are four from … Continue reading Four Fun Videos That Explore the English Language →