Minecraft; and obsession and an educational tool From this NYT article: "A study by S.R.I. International, a Silicon Valley research group that specializes in technology, found that game-based play could raise cognitive learning for students by as much as 12 percent and improve hand-eye coordination, problem-solving ability and memory."
Creativity becomes an academic discipline This is a well written, comprehensive article from the New York TImes which explains the reasons why a degree in creativity is an important option. It sites many of the colleges where such degrees are available.
How Much Educational Media do You Use in Your Home?
Here is some very interesting data from the Joan Ganz Cooney Center (advancing children's learning in a digital age) on who spends time with media, and how much time is spent. See the helpful charts at the bottom of the article.
The Importance of Spatial Creativity
Tesla, Einstien and Edison had it in spades. What is it and why don't we teach it, or even appreciate it in school much? People who have spatial intelligence are good at visually solving a problem. I think about this every time I have to repair the convoluted mechanisms in the bowels of my dishwasher. There are many pieces that fit together like a puzzle. It's a puzzle that I need to visualize in order to solve.
Apps for Coding
Coding is the new foreign language. Our kids are going to need to know it. Here are some fun ways to get introduced (adults will like them too!)
TED Ed Clubs - from the Ed Dept at TED!
This is a fabulous idea. It marries student interests with presentational literacy. How can we get something like this up and running in our schools? From the post: Through TED-Ed Clubs, students — with the help of an adult facilitator — identify and research the ideas that matter to them most. And while TED-Ed Clubs offer students the opportunity to connect with others who, like them, are unabashedly curious about the world, TED-Ed Clubs are also about presentation literacy.
OpenIdeo - Community Brainstorming
This blog post is a two-for-one! First, Openideo is a really interesting idea for creatively solving problems. It is an online platform that draws on community brainstorming to solve problems together. A very cool idea. The bonus is that the current brainstorming is: How might we encourage young people to cultivate their creative confidence. Read the brief here
How to Build Students' Creative Confidence
This is amazing. I love the idea of setting aside time for students to explore ideas that interest them each week (how about each day?). This is what Google does, and they have some incredible ideas. Other ideas from the article are encouraging "why" questions, teaching that failing is part of learning, collaborating on questions, observations and more.
Girl's Angle- a Math club for girls. Another is a series of great resources for girls!
Alice software! Programming is a motivational way to apply mathematical thinking, problem solving, creativity, persistence and many more fabulous skills. There is a lot of great software and apps for kids (and adults) to enjoy. We were alerted to the Alice project via Ms. Fagen (ECS Lawrence and Pierce). This is from the Alice website: Educational software that teaches students computer programming in a 3D environment. Using an innovative programming environment to support the creation of 3D animations, the Alice Project provides tools and materials for teaching and learning computational thinking, problem solving, and computer programming across a spectrum of ages and grade levels.