Jul 21, 2015

MinecraftEdu: Habitat Zoo

Be sure to check out my Youtube channel: http://tinyurl.com/TheEdumicator

Jan 2, 2015

SILLY VIDEO: Minecraft

Creepers > Fractions.

If artistic talent was measured in art work, I'd have a dot-to-dot.
But, I wanted to illustrate the funny side of teaching--you know, to keep from crying.

Jan 1, 2015

SITE: Tackk

Tackk is a simple way to create beautiful pages on the web. It's your very own page, flyer, blog post, or poster. Tackk is a place to connect with friends, share creativity and have conversations. By combining creative moments and social content, we make it easy for users to create and chat about what matters most to them. It’s a fun way to express creativity wherever you are.
A portion of my technology grant proposal explained my plan to incorporate e-notebooks. I will continue to use traditional notebooks--simply because they'll use those from here on out. But I have to try something that will bring back the students. Whether they just don't understand the value or the notes are too unorganized or it's just too much work, many of my fifth graders don't use their notes to help solve problems. They'd rather wing it or expect private tutorials from me. I've used Wix to make pages, but Tackk seems more user-friendly for what I need.

Dec 27, 2014

ARTICLE: Benefits of Gamification

8 Research Findings Supporting the Benefits of Gamification in Education
Kelly Walsh @ emergingedtech.com

There are myriad ways in which "gamification" can play a positive role in the educational setting.

1. Game playing can develop a positive attitude towards mathematics for children.

2. Video games can lessen disruptive behaviors and enhance positive development in ADHD children.

3. Children who construct their own video games experience increased cognitive and social growth.

4. Mature make-believe play provides the most beneficial context for children’s development.

5. Play-based learning increases children’s attention span.

6. Playing scary and violent video games help children master their fears in real life.

7. Chess makes kids smart.

8. Music and movement augment children’s language capabilities during the preschool years. 

Woohoo! I love the idea of gamifying the classroom, but I found that my fifth graders didn't really get into it last year. I can incorporate gaming concepts but that doesn't necessarily engage the students. I need to develop something that works with fifth graders. And, of course, next year, I'll have to revise the entire plan.

ARTICLE: Games Have Impact

Research Shows Games Have Significant Impact on Student Performance
Lee Banville @ gamesandlearning.org

We have an early look at some of the interesting data coming out of a larger report on teacher attitudes around the use of games in the classroom. The numbers hint at wider use of games in the classroom and indicate teachers see the real benefit of games in helping low-performing students.

I agree with those teachers who believe that games benefit the low-performing students. Frankly, it's far too easy for those students to simply check out when the material challenges them. When incorporating games, though, everyone is on equal footing.

ARTICLE: Less-Structured Time

Study: Less-Structured Time Correlates to Kids’ Success
Hannah Goldberg @ time.com

Research found that young children who spend more time engaging in more open-ended, free-flowing activities display higher levels of executive functioning, and vice versa.

Assuming there's causation, what does that mean for the classroom? I don't think it means letting go. It takes a great deal of thought and planning to create a lesson and activity that appears open-ended and free-flowing but satisfies the objective. When a video game is linear, you know that you're in a video game. But when it's open-world, you might forget as you do whatever you want. I don't know what this looks like in the classroom, though.