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How Gaming Is Changing the Classroom - Education By the time she’s 21 years old, a student will play nearly 10,000 hours of video games. But can kids play their way to learning? An increasing number of educators are recognizing that students aren’t responding to old-school lectures, and they’re looking to engage the gamer generation by bringing gaming into the classroom. Since 2009, an entire school, New York City’s Quest to Learn, has used gaming-based learning principles to help students achieve. While there are plenty of learning games made by educational software companies, savvy educators are going directly to the popular games their students are playing outside of school. Similarly, the Pender County, North Carolina schools are using World of Warcraft to teach language arts to middle schoolers. Why does gaming work so well as a learning tool?

Tech Tip #51: Copy Images From Google Images As a working technology teacher, I get hundreds of questions from parents about their home computers, how to do stuff, how to solve problems. Each Tuesday, I’ll share one of those with you. They’re always brief and always focused. Enjoy! Q: To copy an image from Google Images (or Bing), I right-click on the picture, select copy, then paste it into my document (with right-click, paste). But, It’s hard to move around. A: You’re probably grabbing the thumbnail rather than the real image. …then copy-paste the image that shows up. BTW–don’t copy Google images unless they’re for ‘scholarly purposes’. Questions you want answered? To sign up for Tech Tips delivered to your email, click here. Like this: Like Loading... Two tales of personalization and technology Personalization and technology can be read as a dream or a nightmare — it all depends on who is telling the story. If Bill Gates, Rupert Murdoch, Arne Duncan or Michelle Rhee are perpetrating the plot then personalization is about using technology for union busting, test score analytics and the marketization of our children’s minds. In this story, the poor get a computer, while the rich get a computer and a teacher. Technology is a trojan horse that carries an army of economists and shadow industries who have been stalking public education for a very long time. In this story, technology and personalization isn’t about learning — it’s about money. If Sir Ken Robinson, Alfie Kohn, Linda Darling-Hammond or Diane Ravitch are the narrators, then personalization is about student excitement, creativity, intrinsic motivation, curiosity and citizenship. Personalization and technology can be about collaborating to discover our passions but it can also be about competing over profits. Like this:

Preparing and Supporting Teachers to Integrate Technology in the Classroom « November 18, 2011 by cultureofyes This post also appears in the current edition of the BC College of Teachers TC Magazine (here) Never before have teachers faced challenges such as those created by continually evolving information technologies. Students’ technical expertise must be nurtured and supported by their teachers. Across our province and around the world, educators are wrestling with the implications of personally owned devices, coming to grips with the role for social media in education, and having rich debates on issues that speak to the core values of our system, including safety and equity. Without question, our profession is evolving. As a profession, we need to take a critical look at the structure and content of teacher training programs. I also expect new teachers to enter the profession with a mindset that the digital tools they are using now will likely be different a year from now. And some specifics for teacher training programs?

Nine Neat NASA Resources for Teachers and Students Almost every time I visit NASA's website I find something new and interesting to me. I just did a quick look through my archives and over the last few year I've written about NASA-related topics more than sixty times. Here are nine of those better NASA resources for teachers and students. NASA's Lunar Electric Rover Simulator is a free iOS app that lets you explore the moon. The app is really a game in which players perform tasks to support the activities of a lunar outpost. NASA 360 is a twenty-two episode series of videos about NASA. NASA @ Home and City is a virtual tour of NASA-related science in our homes and cities. Moonbase Alpha is an online game developed by NASA to be played on the Steam online gaming platform. NASA Space Place is a sizable collection of fun projects, games, animations, and lessons about Earth, space, and technology. NASA's eClips videos are arranged by grade level; K-5, 6-8, and 9-12. NASA TV streams many different feeds to the web.

Squrl Launches an iPad App for Video Discovery Squrl is a free service that allows you to create a playlist of videos from sources all over the web. Rather than creating playlists on individual video sites like YouTube and Vimeo, you can create playlists from multiple sources and save them in one place for sharing with others and viewing at your convenience. Squrl has been available as a web application for a while and now they're offering a free iPad app. 10 Ways to Create Comics Online Creating cartoons and comic strips can be a good way to get reluctant writers writing. While creating comics you and your students can work through the elements of fiction in a context that is fun and familiar to them. Witty Comics provides a simple platform that students can use to create two character dialogues. To use Witty Comics students just need to select the pre-drawn background scenes and the pre-drawn characters they want to feature in their comics. Writing the dialogues is the creative element that is left to the students. Artisan Cam is more than just a comic creator, it is a comprehensive collection of online art activities. The Super Hero Squad invites kids to create their own super hero comic strips and comic books. Pixton is a drag-and-drop cartoon creation tool which allows anyone regardless of artistic ability to create comics. Strip Generator allows anyone, even people who claim they can't draw, to create a good-looking black and white comic strip.

Guest Post-1:1 Technology in the Math Classroom To start the year I have a guest post all about 1:1 in the Math Classroom. Enjoy! Perhaps the single subject area that stands to gain the most from the introduction of a 1:1 technology program is math. Expanded Content Differentiation Students in a math classroom without access to 1:1 technology typically follow a textbook in lockstep fashion. A lot of conversation has centered around the idea of “flipping” classroom instruction, allowing students to watch a video lecture as homework so that class time can be devoted to discussion or application of the content being presented. 1:1 technology can certainly permit this, but it can also take it a step further, allowing for classrooms to not only be flipped but also individualized. Preventing Student Misconceptions When students complete practice problems in a typical non-1:1 classroom, they often are asked to complete a large number of problems before receiving feedback on whether or not their work is correct. Freeing the Teacher

December/January Issue of #ProjectPLN This is one of my favorite issues of Project PLN yet. This issue was particularly near and dear to my heart because it was such a revealing activity when I did the exercise with my own students. We asked teachers to engage their students in the question: “What would your dream school look like?” This is an issue not to miss, if you haven’t done an exercise like this with your students all ready, I highly recommend it. To education decision makers: Take note, there is something to be learned from these dreams! An ENORMOUS thank you to @thenerdyteacher, he has totally been picking up my slack this year as I squeak in to be helpful last minute…A.K.A. it has already been taken care of. Project PLN is moving to a bi-monthly posting schedule in 2012 to keep the editors (us) and the contributors (you) sane. We want to know what books/reading has had the most impact for you as an educator.

Technology @ Westside | documenting a Seattle school's experiences with technology What is Britannica Online for Kids? Britannica Online is an interactive, digitized version of the world famous Britannica Encyclopedia! It also includes the Compton’s Encyclopedia and is designed for elementary and middle school student users. This resource is brought to you, FREE of charge, through both the King County Library system and the Seattle Public Library system! How can I access Britannica Online for Kids? Britannica Online is one of the many databases to which the Seattle Public Library (SPL) and King County Public Library (KCLS) subscribes. Seattle Public Library: v Simply follow this link v Scroll down to locate Britannica Online v Click on the Britannica Online heading v Log in with your SPL library card number and PIN number v Start exploring! King County Public Library: v Simply follow this link v Log in with your KCLS library card number and PIN number How do I use Britannica Online for Kids? Britannica Online is simple to use. What can I do with Britannica Online for Kids?

Product Review: MindMaple Brainstorm with MindMaple When the nice people at MindMaple contacted me about reviewing their product, I was intrigued. I like finding tools that enhance education for students and improve a teacher’s ability to communicate ideas. Plus, ‘mind mapping’–a visual approach to thinking and sharing–is quite popular in education so I agreed to take a look. In education, mind mapping is used to organize lesson plans, dig into complicated ideas, and brainstorm. A program called Inspiration is the most popular mind map resource for educators, but I personally couldn’t get comfortable using it. First glance at the MindMaple website, I didn’t see the education connection. I left the website and googled it. One of the links that showed up on Google was a YouTube video. Re-invigorated, I returned to the website and went to the ‘free download’ link. It is easy to use. Here’s a MindMap I created with MindMaple to organize my ideas for a Scratch class I want to teach: Mindmaps can’t be embedded.