Games are being used much more widely in schools than they were when I first started writing about them 2 or 3 years ago. As of fall 2013, 74% of K-8 teachers were using digital games. 55% of these teachers have students playing digital games at least weekly, 9% daily. The games they are using are mostly designed to be educational, with only 5% playing commercial games, and 8% playing hybrids commercial games adapted for education like MincraftEDU or SimCityEdu.These insights come from Joan Ganz Cooney Center at the Sesame Workshop, who recently released a study surveying K-8 teachers in order to understand how they are implementing digital games in their classrooms.It seems the majority of teachers 82% play games in their own free time and that there is a relationship between personal game play and in class game use.Here are four different gamer-teacher profiles that the study identifies.
Seventy-four percent of K-8 teachers in a recent report said they use digital games for instruction, but few teachers reported engaging students with immersive games that offer in-depth exploration and 21st-century skill development.Teachers surveyed for a new report from the Joan Ganz Cooney Center said they believe using digital games in the classroom helps students improve math skills 71 percent, computer/technology content and skills 65 percent, executive function skills 59 percent, and 21st-century skills 52 percent.
A couple of years ago, I developed a kind of self-directed learning model.At the time, I thought of it as a way to support students in understanding how to learn. It was designed to let students identify–on their own–what to learn as the critical core for understanding how to learn, while also requiring them to design when and with and through what means–learning strategies, technology, alone or together, project-based learning vs academic study, etc.Teaching students to think and learn isn’t simple–nor is it a matter of process. This is a concept that can get complicated in a hurry as we run into issues of semantics and form–self-regulated learning vs self-directed learning vs heutagogy, and so on.Beginning with a single student and extending outwards as a matter of interdependence, legacy, and ultimately citizenship is an ambitious and “costly” undertaking. In most public schools, choosing what to learn and why isn’t a big priority. The what is decided by Common Core, the when by curriculum maps and pacing guides–and all of it by anyone but the student. Which kind of makes sense–how can the student choose what to learn when they have no idea what’s out there?
Pipeline to Prison: Special education too often leads to jail for thousands of American children | The Hechinger Report
GRENADA, Miss.— Cody Beck was 12-years -old when he was handcuffed in front of several classmates and put in the back of a police car outside of Grenada Middle School. Cody had lost his temper in an argument with another student, and hit several teachers when they tried to intervene. He was taken to the local youth court, and then sent to a mental health facility two hours away from his home. Twelve days later, the sixth-grader was released from the facility and charged with three counts of assault.
The report, by the Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education and the National Center for Innovation in Education at the University of Kentucky, recommends alternatives to annual standardized tests. It says there should be far more emphasis on ongoing assessments of students as part of regular classroom instruction.Schools should focus more on “formative assessments,” the curriculum-based problems and quizzes that teachers give to students throughout the school year for feedback on how students are doing, in addition to locally developed alternatives to assessments, the report argues. The latter could include science experiments, literary essays, classroom projects and, by the senior year of high school, internship experiences and portfolios that students can present to employers and colleges.
Originally posted on Cloaking Inequity:
The purported benefit of the Common Core State Standards over previous sets of standards is the development of critical thinking skills across all subjects, seen as a key lever for increasing American students’ international competitiveness and ameliorating the country’s lethargic economy and persistently high unemployment rates. This perception is clear in statements made by U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and in articles about the standards (Duncan, 2013; Garland, 2013). Billed as “reflecting the knowledge and skills that our young people need for success in college and careers” (NGA and CCSSO, 2010a). Will a set of standards actually prepare students for life and career?
John Dewey’s vision of reform was a bottom-up approach that focused on the needs of the child and the expertise of the teacher. He warned against a system that relied on a lack of connection between the people in charge of planning for education and the…
View original 1,680 more words
Our higher education system has become our largest provider of job training programs and what that means for students and institutions. I also explain why our current policies for delivering higher education do not work well for matching education and jobs, and explore five policy gaps that are driving the poor results for students and employers. These policy gaps make it too easy for institutions to provide very low-quality career education programs while also making it too difficult for institutions to build the partnerships and programs that will facilitate student transitions to jobs and careers.
The problem is that this abstract memorization and formal-method-based “music” education closely resembles the “math” education that most students receive. Formulas and algorithms are delivered with no context or motivation, with students made to simply memorize and apply them.Part of why many students end up disliking math, or convincing themselves that they are bad at math, comes from this emphasis on formulas and notation and methods at the expense of actually deep understanding of the naturally fascinating things mathematicians explore. It’s understandable that many students and adults get frustrated at memorizing context-free strings of symbols and methods to manipulate them.This goes against what math is really about. The essence of mathematics is recognizing interesting patterns in interesting abstractions of reality and finding properties of those patterns and abstractions. This is inherently a much more creative field than the dry symbol manipulation taught conventionally.
The article For Low Income Kids, Access to Devices Could Be the Equalizer raised the possibility that mobile technology in classrooms could help narrow the digital divide between the nation’s low-income and more affluent students. The article, which included suggestions for educators about how to access devices and what do with them, struck a chord with readers. Many were outraged that some students are missing out on valuable learning resources because of their families’ socio-economic status, while others worried that bringing mobile devices into the classroom – any classroom – invites chaos.
This was an Ignite style session where I expressed my own personal frustration with educational technology at scale and attempted to then offer some redeeming alternatives actively being pursued by others. Below are a few of the slides and roughly what I tried to get across.