Five Reasons Why Video Games Power Up Learning

By Aran Levasseur The famous videogame designer, Shigeru Miyamoto, known for creating some of the most iconic and successful videogames in history, such as Donkey Kong, Mario Brothers and Legend of Zelda, once said, “Videogames are bad for you? That’s what they said about rock n’ roll.” In retrospect, we know rock ‘n roll’s influence … Continue reading Five Reasons Why Video Games Power Up Learning →

New Educational Apps of the Month

Continuing our Apps of the Month Feature, here’s a round-up of some of our favorite educational apps released or updated over the course of the month, which includes Android, iPhone, and Web applications. If you want to let readers know about your favorite educational app, tell us in the comments. ANSEL & CLAIR’S ADVENTURES IN … Continue reading New Educational Apps of the Month →

Meet Sal Khan: the Seinfeld of the Education Revolution

If you’re curious at all about the future of education, you should know about Salman Khan. He’s the charismatic brainiac who’s created more than 2,000 instructional videos about everything from photosynthesis to the Bay of Pigs invasion. As former New York City schools chancellor Joel Klein recently noted, “Sal Khan has 50 million people on … Continue reading Meet Sal Khan: the Seinfeld of the Education Revolution →

5 Personal Learning Networks (PLNs) for Educators

Professional development and networking are vital in any field, and that’s especially true for educators. Whether it’s coming up with fresh ideas for lesson plans and classroom activities, seeking mentorship and support from veteran educators, or cultivating resources for technology integration or for meeting state standards, teachers need one another’s expertise. That’s why working with … Continue reading 5 Personal Learning Networks (PLNs) for Educators →

A Day in the Life of a Virtual School Student

Florida Virtual School (FLVS) students Christianne and Carylanne Joubert are pretty advanced for their age. Christianne, at 13, is already a published novelist; Carylanne, 14, is about to start 11th grade. The Jouberts would probably succeed at any school they attended, but they attribute a large part of their progress to online learning. (And for … Continue reading A Day in the Life of a Virtual School Student →

Weekly News Roundup

Microsoft announced this week that it has agreed to acquire the popular VOIP service Skype for $8.5 billion. Skype has become an important tool for educators bridging classrooms around the world, and the acquisition may boost Microsoft’s status in the education sector (provided, of course, Skype still works on Apple computers). According to the June … Continue reading Weekly News Roundup →

Weekly News Roundup

The Department of Education in New South Wales, Australia announced this week that it officially supports its teachers’ use of Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites, noting that this will “help improve communication between schools and their communities John Resig, the creator of JQuery, announced this week that he was leaving the Mozilla Foundation … Continue reading Weekly News Roundup →

Can Gamification Boost Independent Learning?

Gamification is one of the new buzzwords in social media circles. It’s the idea that by making non-gaming applications more game-like — by adding points, badges, levels, titles and other game mechanics — these apps become more fun and engaging. The premise behind “gamifying” educational applications and websites is to instigate engagement and collaboration. We … Continue reading Can Gamification Boost Independent Learning? →

Playing Tag or Digital Games? Why Not Both?

Where the Educational Game Industry Went Wrong The spotlight has been shining on media and gaming in the education innovation scene in recent years. And while many tout the virtues of what games and media can teach kids, we know it’s just as important to give kids enough time to play outside. In this essay, … Continue reading Playing Tag or Digital Games? Why Not Both? →

Can Video Games Help Close the Digital Divide?

Applying African-American boys’ passion for sports video games toward building confidence in a learning environment. This fascinating article by Liz Losh on Digital Media & Learning looks at how video games as learning motivator can be a completely different experience for different cultures. A recent report on educational achievement among young black males describes a … Continue reading Can Video Games Help Close the Digital Divide? →

Defining the Differences in Screen Time

Context is as important as content. Time, place and purpose matter. Pushing forward our discussion about the value of games and apps, David Kleeman wrote in response to the article: “Every screen has benefits and cautions, quality content and junk.” In this essay on the Huffington Post, Kleeman, who’s the president of the American Center … Continue reading Defining the Differences in Screen Time →

Screen Time For Kids: Is it Learning or a Brain Drain?

When it comes to video games and apps, what’s a parent to do? On one hand, we’re bombarded with messages about the perils of letting kids play with computer games and gadgets. On the other, we’re seduced by games and apps marketed to us as “educational.” It’s a tricky line to navigate. The spectrum of … Continue reading Screen Time For Kids: Is it Learning or a Brain Drain? →

Future School Day Encourages Exploration

A vision of the school day of the future from Curtis Wong, principal researcher at Microsoft focusing on interaction, media, and visualization technologies. Wong has authored more than 45 patents pending in areas such as interactive television, media browsing, visualization, search, gaming and learning. Wong worked on Project Tuva, which links the lectures of Nobel … Continue reading Future School Day Encourages Exploration →

“Gamified” Textbooks? It’s on the Horizon

From Mashable: A prediction about gaming in education, by Gabe Zicherman author of the upcoming book Gamification by Design (O’Reilly, 2011). I believe we’ll see the first “trans-institution” apps that connect students across different schools. We’ll see the first “gamified” textbooks from publishers while federal and state governments will continue to innovate and support initiatives … Continue reading “Gamified” Textbooks? It’s on the Horizon →