Son, before you torture that soldier, consider the Geneva Conventions
Video games present many teachable moments. One father, who designs educational exhibits for museums, was faced with a quandary when his 13 year-old son wanted to play Call of Duty online with his friends. Because the father had worked for military museums before, he knew that the information contained in the game was, for the most part, accurate. His problem was with the general (and possibly gratuitous?) violence found in the game. However, violence was an undeniable part of World War II. Factor in the teamwork aspect of the game and the father knew that this was a great learning opportunity. Instead of banishing the game from the house, the father asked his son to look up the Geneva Conventions and together they discussed the significance of these rules. They made a deal: abide by the Geneva Conventions during game play or else the game is gone. What a nicely thought out plan of action! Props to one cool dad.
iTunesU podcasts > the real thing?
A study by SUNY Fredonia psychology professor, Dani McKinney, found that students who listened to a podcast of a lecture performed better on an exam than students who only attended the actual class. The podcast contained audio and videos, including the powerpoint used in class. The experiment was meant to replicate a missed class so for one day, half of the class (32 of 64) attended while the other half skipped it and instead listened to the podcast. An exam was administered the following week. Those who studied with the podcast scored a C average (71 of 100) while the class lecture group averaged a D. Granted, we could pick this study apart (only one lecture? How were students selected to be in the groups? Where does motivation factor in?) but it does have implications in the impending realm that is “the future of education.” For example, if podcasts are used to supplement (and possibly replace) lectures, think of the different things that professors could be doing with the time saved.
iPhone App-a-DayTouch Poet is sort of like a new version of Magnetic Poetry. It takes words from the works of Shakespeare, Ancient Mariner, Kipling and Poe as well as digg and newsfeeds. Honestly, I'm not sure if I'd recognize a word from one work or another, but it looks like it could help kill some time. Plus, I'm a sucker for apps with clean interfaces and you can't get much cleaner than a brown paper bag as a background. Check it out sometime! Who knows... you might even learn something!