Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Teaching gifted students + moving some of my blog posts

Tamara Fisher, a K-12 gifted education specialist offers a Gifted and Talented Education (GT) list which although written from a Montanan perspective, perhaps could resonate well with everyone who recognizes the value of gifted education in the larger scheme of things.

She starts with:
"GT is NOT a reward for kids who behave well in class and turn in perfect work. Rather it IS an academic necessity for children who learn differently. Their learning and abilities are significantly different from the norm. Yes, some gifted kids do behave well and turn in perfect work, but so do many high-achieving, hard-working, teacher-pleaser kids. Gifted kids can also be the ones who act up in class or who don’t turn in ANY work because they’re sick of learning about pronouns for the fifth year in a row when they had it the first time. "
More here. Thanks to Mary Laltoo for the lead to the link.

Incidentally, I've been officially recruited by Tessa as guest blogger at Meta-Mentoring to support her foray back into Gifted Education. (She used to teach in the MAGIS program of the Ateneo de Manila Grade School.)

You may wish to follow my less random thoughts there.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Now let's look at some research on video games

... in the classroom.
"The paper presents a number of examples of the use of such games, and tries to determine likely trends in their use in such an environment. Of significance is an examination of the obstacles that teaching staff encounter in attempting to use such software during lesson times, and how some staff have overcome these obstacles."
This was circa 2003, so handhelds nowadays could swing the results differently.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

This has gotta have some value

... to educational leaders. I hope.

That post is a little dated, but could already be mainstream by now: "School Lesson Plans Use Themes from Latest Pokemon Video Games to Teach Science".

Now I wonder how Nintendogs can fit in the Curriculum. Social Studies?

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Who is your Grandma?

Guess it's never too late to start learning how to play video games!

Letting Go is a Life Skill

Didn't know adults could also get real world lessons from Sesame Street. More about separation lessons here.

Video Games that Make Us Smart

Just parking ideas about a wikibook on the value of video games (like Nintendo DS - anyone familiar with PictoChat?) for learning beyond the classroom. Suddenly, I'm reminded of a line that goes "Let's go get it!" in Timon & Pumba's bug tetris game.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

So I get this 502 error

... then I thought I just needed to clear my computer's cache, cookies, temp internet files, etc. Instinctively, I launched Google search. This is what I got:

502 Error: Gmail Users Cut Off from Their Accounts.

I hope this is not a sign of a meltdown.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Quote of the day

"The Internet does not have a user's manual, so click away."

I searched Google for the author and found nothing, so I'm tempted to claim the quote.

But beyond that, it's more about the inherent difficulty of hand-holding digital immigrants that sometimes becomes a source of frustration when teaching this technology. Meanwhile, the digital natives collaborate and frolic on the web with each other.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Nintendo DS for Learning in Schools

Saw an update on FB about an event called Handheld Learning 2008 where danah boyd, Social Media Scientist, confirmed her attendance. Turns out she's one of the speakers along with John Seely Brown, Radical innovator & former Chief Scientist of Xerox Corp. Turns out, it takes place in London on 13-15 October.

Then I read that "Registrations before July 31st receive a free Nintendo DS and cartridge for use at the conference (and to keep!)." So I thought, "What's with the DS in a conference on learning?" Instinctively, I ran a Google search. And this is what I got.

"Recently, a girl’s junior high school in Tokyo, Japan adopted the Nintendo DS as a means of assisting the teaching of the English Language to their students. Students used the plastic stylus to spell words correctly and were awarded once they completed five levels. The English Language for Japanese program also included video of a teen ordering food in English and dialogue for the students to repeat."
Now I'm wondering about possibilities for Sony PSP.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

GMA SONA 2008 Tag Cloud

Compare this tag cloud with that of version 2007. (billion appears 21 times, hmmm)

created at TagCrowd.com

Here's the full text of version 2008.

Monday, August 04, 2008

This is what I call social drills

It allows kids to battle with other learners worldwide on Maths 101, Maths Mix, Times Tables and Spelling. I hope there are more areas to compete in. It's Web of Verbs says "play, compete, learn".

I like the seeming analogy to boxing where fighters move up and around different "leagues" based on their scores and stats as the mental pugilists gather their trophies. Must be a better way to look for heroes. Watch out for BluePanda888, he's got good keyboard skills. Point your kid's browser to tutpup.com's site.