Video Games

Amplify unveils new digital curriculum

Amplify, the digital education brand owned by News Corp, unveiled its new digital curriculum today at the SXSWedu conference in Austin, TX. They offered me a preview on February 21st. At last year’s conference Amplify announced its own custom-built educational tablet with great fanfare. Since then it’s had a rocky rollout with a recall in […]

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How to shift kids’ screentime toward reading

A new survey from the Joan Ganz Cooney Center shows that for children 2 through 10, less than half of their two-plus hours of daily screentime is spent with any kind of “educational” media, mostly passive videos. As kids get older and start to make more of their own choices, that proportion actually drops. Two […]

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The Top 10 Digital/Edu Stories of 2013

I took over this blog in March 2013 and it’s been an incredibly enjoyable–and educational!–experience so far. Thanks to all of you who have read, linked, and commented on the blog. I hope you’ll stay with us into 2014! At the suggestion of my editors at the Hechinger Report, I’ve compiled a list of the […]

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Is this the worst toy of 2013?

Yesterday, the iPotty, a potty seat that comes with an iPad holder (“Parents can give children a comfortable and fun place to learn to use the potty with the child-friendly iPotty from CTA Digital,” claims the marketing material), was voted the worst toy of 2013 in a parent poll sponsored by the Campaign for a Commercial-Free […]

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CogCubed is a video game you can reach out and touch

A recent paper published in Developmental Science reinforced how tactile experience is important to learning in the developing brain. The experiment looked at how toddlers in a high chair learned the names of novel (edible) substances. Those who were allowed to get their hands dirty, quite literally, exploring the texture of the different samples, picked […]

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Could a video game replace ADD medication?

In America, 6.4 million children have been given diagnoses of attention disorders. That’s 11 percent of the school-age population.  Annual production of Ritalin-like drugs has quadrupled since the 1960s, and millions of children are taking these powerful stimulants every day. Some argue that this “epidemic” is in fact an artifact of a test-driven, high-stakes, high-pressure school […]

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Learning through game-making–what the research says and doesn’t say

When we talk about learning and games, we usually mean students playing games that someone else has made up. But the process of constructing a game has its own potential benefits. Game-making represents an active and creative, rather than more passive, approach to technology. It’s a core practice of constructionism, the learning theory championed at […]

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Restaurants and food trucks: A new approach to blended learning

Scott Beale/Laughing Squid Laura Vanderkam, a bestselling career and business author, has just written Blended Learning: A Wise Giver’s Guide to Supporting Tech-Assisted Teaching.  Published by the Philanthropy Roundtable, the short book is intended as a guide for potential donors. Its publication is a sign of the times, showing the strong and growing interest by philanthropists […]

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Toddlers and touchscreens: Scourge or salvation?

Because of a family vacation next week, I’m looking for some iPad apps in hopes of keeping my 16-month-old daughter entertained on the long flights. So far she’s shown very little interest in screens of any kind. I tried to sit her down to watch “Wonder Pets” the other day for a break when she had […]

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A tale of two summits: Sandbox vs. Education Innovation

I’m neither in Boston nor Arizona this week, but I am using Twitter and blogs to cover two important meetings in the world of K-12 blended learning. Together they give a sense both of the shape of the field and some of the gaps. The Education Innovation Summit at Arizona State University, co-presented by education […]

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