Saturday, May 31, 2008
For middle school students, Medical Mysteries teaches them about infectious diseases. The site is set up as a series of missions that students explore sci fi fashion. Again, pairing with the language arts is a natural. Check the site for details.
Another game, The River City Project, funded through the National Science Foundation, is also aimed at middle schoolers. The fictitious town, River City, is based on “authentic historical, sociological, and geographical conditions,” and is "besieged with health problems. Students work in “research teams ...to understand why residents are becoming ill” and “keep track of clues that hint at causes of illnesses, form and test hypotheses, develop controlled experiments to test their hypotheses, and make recommendations based on the data they collect,” according to the site's designers.
Teachers using gaming technology underscore the need for curricular materials to support the projects. Leslie Miller, of the Center for Technology in Teaching and Learning, has worked with a team of teachers to design packets with learning objectives, glossaries of terms, curricular standard matches, and worksheets for Medical Mysteries.
After checking one or more of the sites, let us know what you see as the potential of online gaming technology to attract students to understand scientific concepts. Do these sites also support inquiry-based learning, considered central to science learning? Do you think gaming technology with catch on not just in the science curriculum but also in other curricular areas? Let us know your thoughts on the potential of gaming technology to complement instructional goals.
First two Images from Ken Eklund’s ScienceMystery.com. Second two images from http://medmyst.rice.edu/ and http://muve.gse.harvard.edu/rivercityproject/ respectively.
Image from the Read/Write/Think site at http://www.readwritethink.org/
Friday, May 30, 2008
image from: www.cs.nyu.edu
National Public Radio
Wondering what podcasts are and how they can enhance learning. The Education Podcast Network is a portal for podcasts created by students K-12. It is worth exploring to see what students in all grades and across the content areas are doing with podcasts in their schools. The National Public Radio site enables you to access quality podcasts to integrate into your teaching. As for Grammar Girl, it is the latest rage and a sure
Images from: caliopolis.classcaster.org and joedale.typepad.com
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
A recently released research report found a positive correlation between students’ reading scores and rewards programs. To read a synopsis of this study, click on the link: http://credo.stanford.edu/downloads/Incentives_Paper.pdf
Also, check my blog post, “Pay for Grades,” published on March 5, 2008.
What are your thoughts on offering students rewards programs such as cash, field trips, tickets to amusement parks, and so forth for doing well on high-stakes tests?
Monday, May 26, 2008
Connecticut’s crusading Attorney General, Richard Blumenthal, is back in the news, this time campaigning for Internet safety. Along with other states’ leaders, Blumenthal pioneered steps to make Facebook and MySpace, the two most popular social networking sites among teens and children, safer.
Safety nets ban sexual predators from the sites and curb cyberbullying through vigilance and deleting inappropriate postings. Steps to improve verification of user’s identity and age will limit young children’s use of specifc features on the sites.
Education Week in its May 8, 2008 issue reports that Facebook has agreed to:
“— Ensure companies offering services on its site comply with its safety and privacy guidelines.
— Keep tobacco and alcohol ads from users too young to purchase those products.
— Remove groups whose comments or images suggest they involve incest, pedophilia, cyberbullying or other inappropriate content.
— Send warning messages when a child is in danger of giving personal information to an unknown adult.
— Review users' profiles when they ask to change their age, ensuring the update is legitimate and not intended to let adults masquerade as children.”
Facebook and States Agree on New Ban (2008, May). Education Week. Retrieved May 26, 2008, from ttp://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2008/05/08/96330ctfacebooksafeguards_ap.html
Image from: firstfriday.wordpress.com
What are your views on imposing legal sanctions and controls over popular social networking sites among the young? Post your comments.
Sunday, May 25, 2008
Friday, May 23, 2008
Image credit and link to article in Linux News: http://www.linuxinsider.com/story/63022.html
Thursday, May 22, 2008
The quoted excerpt below turned up today in the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) online newsletter and is of concern to all of us as we wonder about how digital writing is affecting teens and whether they view writing as essential skills to their future. As teachers, we all need to be concerned about digital technology as well as how receptive teens are to learning the skills of formal writing skills. Take some time to read further. The hyperlinks above will take you directly to the sites to learn more; the first link is to the Pew study report, in pdf format, and the second link is to The Christian Monitor article cited in the NCTE blurb. The hyperlinked texts in the blurb will also take you directly to the two sources. Please remember to post your comments after you review the materials. We want to hear your views as educators.
From In-box: NCTE, May 20, 2008, distributed via the http://www.blogger.com/
"Turn Teen Texting toward Better WritingThe Pew Internet & American Life Project and the College Board report Writing Technology and Teens notes that 85% of teens communicate through digital writing and 86% percent of teens consider formal writing skills essential to future success. In addition, it notes that over half of teenagers from all races and income levels have social networking profiles in places like Facebook and MySpace. The Christian Science Monitor, May 14, 2008."
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Image from: jp2saints.pbwiki.com
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