5 years ago
In light of the several talks that we've had recently about scoring essays and other free text response sections on tests, I came across this example of a poorly written essay that could get awarded a top grade from the E.T.S. e-Rater system. The accompanying article notes the following flaws in the technology: 1. The e-Rater cannot deciph...
5 years ago
In 2010, the West Virginia Department of Education began Learn21, a website that offers interactive online games for students from pre-kindergarten to twelfth grade in the following subject areas: math, science, social studies, language arts, wellness, art, music, dance, theatre, agriculture, finance, and engineering. Pros: Teachers can use the games in class, and students can access the website when not in school if they would like to play some more or review a subject. Learn21 offers a wide variety of subject areas for study -- the ...
5 years ago
I've found that whenever I meet someone who owns a tablet, I want to know what usage habits are, and when they see a need for a tablet over a smartphone. The infographics below help to summarize things:
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As we've been working to revamp a couple of existing EdLab projects (Survey Sidekick, Pocket Knowledge), I've been thinking a lot about how people will be using these products and how we should design these tools so that people will prefer to use them over anything else. For example, with Survey Sidekick, I know that I've always preferred to begin the survey brainstorming process in a plain text editor before moving it to the actual creator. What features should Survey Sidekick therefor...
5 years ago
I'm fascinated by games, though I sometimes feel as though I come to them from an outsider perspective — I barely played any while growing up (I didn't encounter a single console until the ripe old age of 25!). I've generally resisted playing any games on my iPhone, and I've tried but failed to see the addictiveness of popular games like Angry Birds, Words with Friends, and Fruit Ninja. But games still hold a special allure, and I love trying to understand why and how people play. In the New York Times article
5 years ago
According to a new report from the Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project and the Imagining the Internet Center at Elon University, Millennials (those born between 1981-2000) will both “benefit and suffer due to their hyperconnected lives.” While a slight majority of respondents felt that the future for the hyperconnected will generally be positive, there are clear worries that this connection will also lead to a thirst for instant gratification and shallow decision-making abilities. I can certa...
5 years ago
Curators at the British Library are in the process of creating an archive to preserve computer game websites and gaming culture. They are specifically interested in collecting resources that "discuss the cultural and societal impact of computer games, for example research on the impact of games on children's development." They are looking for gamers and designers to suggest material they consider worthy of preservation -- what are some seminal ga...
5 years ago
A top high school in London is holding a “failure week” featuring discussions, activities, and workshops discussing coping with failing and the negative effects of never experiencing failure -- in an effort to show that “it is completely acceptable and completely normal not to succeed at times in life.” This brought to my mind our recent EdLab Seminar on SuperFutures — a career planning platform to help teenagers determine a job path and teach real-world skills from real-world industry experts. I'm thinking two things: 1. Shou...
5 years ago
In response to a post written by noted British mathematician Tim Gowers, nearly twenty members of MIT's faculty have signed a pledge to boycott Reed Elsevier (the world's largest scientific journal publisher) and are “refusing to publish, referee, or do editorial work unless they [Elsevier] radically change how they operate.” In addition, an online pledge against Elsevier...
5 years ago
I've been in Dallas, TX for the last few days to serve on the Stonewall Book Awards Committee at the ALA Midwinter conference. In addition to nonfiction and fiction book prizes, the committee selects a winner for the Mike Morgan and Larry Roman Children's & Young Adult Literature Award -- given annually to "English-language children's and young adult books of exceptional merit relating to the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender experience." I'm so happy that after months of confidential reading and discussion, I can finally reveal this year's w...