The Key to #Digital #Learning? Bring It Into the Real World | WIRED #kids #education #museums #interactive



IF YOU WANT to teach your kid about ecology, sustainability, or the future of interactive education, take them to the New York Hall of Science and head for the giant virtual waterfall.

The massive digital faucet feeds the ecosystems of Connected Worlds, a cutting-edge installation that aims to teach youngsters about environmental science by immersing them in it. It’s an interactive simulation big enough to walk around inside—virtual reality that’s not piped into a headset but projected onto a real physical space.

Kids can shape the environment through a clever combination of physical and digital interaction. READ MORE: The Key to Digital Learning? Bring It Into the Real World | WIRED.

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Lessons from the #Digital Classroom | MIT Technology Review #data #education #tech


In four small schools scattered across San Francisco, a data experiment is under way. That is where AltSchool is testing how technology can help teachers maximize their students’ learning. Founded two years ago by Max ­Ventilla, a data expert and former head of personalization at Google, AltSchool runs schools filled with data-gathering technology.

Information is captured from the moment each student arrives at school and checks in on an attendance app. For part of the day, students work independently, using iPads and Chromebooks, on “playlists” of activities that teachers have selected to match their personal goals. Data about each student’s progress is captured for teachers’ later review. Classrooms are recorded, and teachers can flag important moments by pressing a button, as you might TiVo your favorite television show.

The idea is that all the data from this network of schools will be woven into a smart centralized operating system that teachers will be able to use to design effective and personalized instruction. There is even a recommendation engine built in. READ MORE: Educating Data | MIT Technology Review.

North Carolina’s Omar Currie Resigns After Reading Students A Gay Fable | HuffPost #diversity #bannedbooks #books


Wrong on so many levels. North Carolina (and South Carolina if you are aware of today’s news) seem to be having troubles with kindness lately…(my opinion and not passing judgement on every citizen of these states in the USA). 

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — After a third-grader tearfully recounted how another boy had called him “gay” during gym class, teacher Omar Currie chose to raise the issue during story time by reading his students a fable about a prince who falls in love with another prince, ending with a happily-ever-after royal wedding.

That decision in April ignited a public outcry from some parents in the rural hamlet of Efland, North Carolina, resulting in Currie’s resignation this week from a job he loved. The assistant principal who loaned Currie her copy of “King & King” has also resigned, and outraged parents are pressuring administrators at the Orange County Schools to ban the book. READ MORE: North Carolina’s Omar Currie Resigns After Reading Students A Gay Fable | Huffington Post

Also See: North Carolina Teacher Omar Currie Reads His Class Gay Fable After Third-Grader Is Bullied | Huffington Post

MinecraftEdu Takes Hold in Schools | School Library Journal #minecraft #education


There aren’t any express objectives or any real way to win in Minecraft. It’s a “sandbox,” in gaming speak—offering free play without a specific goal and currently used by more than 18.5 million players, with some 20,000 more signing up every day. Users may choose between Creative Mode, in which they can build using unlimited resources by themselves or with friends, with no real danger or enemies, and Survival Mode, where they fend off enemies and other players and fight for resources and space. They can trade items and communicate using a chat bar. Modifications (or mods) can add complexity by creating things like economic systems that let players buy and sell resources from in-game characters using an in-game currency system. These downloadable mods can also add computer science concepts and thousands of additional features.

MINECRAFTEDU

Minecraft’s worlds and possibilities are truly endless—and increasingly, so are its educational adaptations for school use. Available on multiple platforms (Apple, Windows, Linux, PlayStation, Xbox, Raspberry Pi, iOS, Android, Windows Phone), the game’s flexibility and collaborative possibilities make it a favorite among devotees of gamification.

“Minecraft is like LEGOs on steroids,” says Eric Sheninger, a senior fellow at the International Center for Leadership in Education. “Learners of all ages work together to ultimately create a product that has value to them,” he adds. “The simple interface provides students in the classroom with endless possibilities to demonstrate creativity, think critically, communicate, collaborate, and solve problems.” A Swedish student research study also showed that collaboration in Minecraft provided a more immersive problem-solving experience than group LEGO building.

via MinecraftEdu Takes Hold in Schools | School Library Journal.

Versal Helps Teachers Create Interactive Online Lessons, Partners With Wolfram Alpha | TechCrunch



Versal is a service that allows teachers to build and publish interactive online courses, homework assignments and tutorials. The company launched its service out of beta [March 4, 2015], but maybe more importantly, it also announced a partnership with Wolfram Research. Thanks to this deal with Wolfram Research — which includes Stephen Wolfram joining the Versal board of directors — Versal now allows teachers to embed content from Wolfram into their courses.

READ MORE: Versal Helps Teachers Create Interactive Online Lessons, Partners With Wolfram Alpha | TechCrunch

This Throwable Computer Teaches Kids How To Code | Co.Design


This Throwable Computer Teaches Kids How To Code | Co.Design | business + design

Coding is a great skill for kids to learn but it can be a lonely, sedentary endeavor. Hackaball, a new toy created from a partnership between the design agencies MAP and Made By Many, promises to get kids off their butts and playing outside—all while teaching basic coding skills and empowering kids to invent their own kind of play.

READ MORE: This Throwable Computer Teaches Kids How To Code | Co.Design | business + design.

A Typology of Web 2.0 Learning Technologies [Article] | EDUCAUSE.edu


This article presents the outcomes of a typological analysis of Web 2.0 learning technologies. A comprehensive review incorporating over two thousand links led to identification of 212 Web 2.0 technologies that were suitable for learning and teaching purposes. The typological analysis then resulted in 37 types of Web 2.0 technologies that were arranged into 14 clusters. The types of Web 2.0 learning technologies, their descriptions, pedagogical uses and example tools for each category are described, arranged according to the clusters. Results of this study imply that educators typically have a narrow conception of Web 2.0 technologies, and that there is a wide array of Web 2.0 tools as yet to be fully harnessed by learning designers and educational researchers.

READ MORE: A Typology of Web 2.0 Learning Technologies | EDUCAUSE.edu

Are Courses Outdated? MIT Considers Offering ‘Modules’ Instead | The Chronicle of Higher Education


People now buy songs, not albums. They read articles, not newspapers. So why not mix and match learning “modules” rather than lock into 12-week university courses?

READ: Are Courses Outdated? MIT Considers Offering ‘Modules’ Instead | The Chronicle of Higher Education.

20 Things Educators Need To Know About Digital Literacy Skills | InformED


Teaching digital literacy is about more than just integrating technology into lesson plans; it’s about using technology to understand and enhance modern communication, to locate oneself in digital space, to manage knowledge and experience in the Age of Information.

These are vague descriptions, as are most of the descriptions you’ll find of digital literacy in blog posts and journal articles online. What teachers need, more than a fancy synopsis of how digital publication affects the meaning of a text, is a practical and applicable guide to helping students think productively about the digital world.

[These are] the top do’s and don’ts we’ve come across–in research and in our own experience–when it comes to making students digitally literate. The post reviews 5 Teaching Practices That Destroy Digital Literacy (e.g. criticizing digitalk) and 15 Habits to Cultivate in Your Students (e.g. get used to multiple literacies).

READ: 20 Things Educators Need To Know About Digital Literacy Skills | InformED

Apps for Outdoor Learning | The Digital Shift


With spring in the air, students typically clamor to get outside—and teachers would often like to follow. April is an ideal time of year to explore outdoor learning opportunities, and these apps and sites can lead the way. READ MORE: Apps for Outdoor Learning | Cool Tools | The Digital Shift.

I would also recommend the Encyclopedia of Life’s Tools & Resources page for more tools to enhance outdoor educational activities.