Minecraft is the hot new videogame among teachers and parents. It's considered genuinely educational: Like an infinite set of programmable Lego blocks, it's a way to instill spatial reasoning, math, and logic—the skills beloved by science and technology educators. But from what I've seen, it also teaches something else: good old-fashioned reading and writing.
How does it do this? The secret lies not inside the game itself but in the players' activities outside of it. Minecraft is surrounded by a culture of literacy. The game comes with minimal instructions or tutorials, so new players immediately set about hunting for info on how it works. That means watching YouTube videos of experts at play, of course, but it also means poring over how-to texts at Minecraft wikis and “walk-through” sites, written by gamers for gamers. Or digging into printed manuals like The Ultimate Player's Guide to Minecraft or the official Minecraft Redstone Handbook, some of which are now best sellers.
This is complex, challenging material. I analyzed several chunks of The Ultimate Player's Guide using the Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease scale, and they scored from grade 8 to grade 11. Yet in my neighborhood they're being devoured by kids in the early phases of elementary school. Games, it seems, can motivate kids to read—and to read way above their level.
This is what Constance Steinkuehler, a games researcher at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, discovered. She asked middle and high school students who were struggling readers (one 11th-grade student read at a 6th-grade level) to choose a game topic they were interested in, and then she picked texts from game sites for them to read—some as difficult as first-year-college language. The kids devoured them with no help and nearly perfect accuracy.
Mynextfone Online Learning is Just as Effective as Traditional Education, According to a ...
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The amount learned is somewhat greater than in the traditional lecture-based course.
And that goes for even the least prepared, as reflected by their scores on pretests. Pritchard said improvement levels increased across the board, explaining that, even if a student with a lower initial score ends the online course with what would be equivalent to a failing grade, "that person would nevertheless have made substantial gains in understanding."
Teachers find the most success integrating technology into the classroom when they have clear instructional goals. [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more!
During its earnings call this week, Google announced that it — and its partners — sold a million Chromebooks to schools in the last quarter. Overall PC sales worldwide were about 76 million in the last quarter, so a million Chromebook sales just to the education market is a pretty good number.
Learning in an introductory physics MOOC: All cohorts learn equally, including an on-campus class (Study claims that online learning works, after analysis of campus-based and online versions of an @MIT physics course
A lot of people want to design learning games, aka “serious games.” However, many L&D people have gotten very enthusiastic about the gamification and game-based learning trend without actually being game players themselves.
Katrina Schwartz | May 6, 2014 | 7 Comments In 2006, Sal Khan started making YouTube videos meant to help his nieces with their math homework. Since then, Khan’s video collection has grown into a huge repository of tutorials used in and out of classrooms with a large team working behind the scenes to tailor tools and train teachers. The website now offers 5,500 …