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Tag: EDUCATION

With Schools Turning to the Web for K-12 Education, Quality is a Concern

Online courses have become an accepted fact of college life. But more and more school districts are turning to Web-based learning for lower grade levels, especially as a way for struggling high school students to make up courses they've failed or missed. The online classes aren't only for those who have fallen behind, though. Due to budget constraints, some schools are using them to offer advan...

Teacher Adapts 'Minecraft' for the Classroom

The cult hit 'Minecraft' stands out from the current crop of video games as perhaps the most malleable, and its latest adaptation is as a classroom aid. Computer teacher Joel Levin at Columbia Grammar and Preparatory School has adapted the game to teach an entire unit to his first and second grade students. Lessons start with Levin explaining the day's goals, but quickly move into the world of ...

Professors May Gain Some Props for Tweeting

LOL captain! My captain! A sociable and "human" Twitter account may be a fast way to inculcate young minds, according to a new study in Learning, Media, and Technology. Hoping to give some advice to the many befuddled professors attempting to craft public social media personae, the study set out to test what impact different types of tweets had on a professor's perceived credibility. Students typi...

Tyler Clementi's Parents Urge Prosecution, But Also Leniency

The parents of Tyler Clementi -- the 18-year-old Rutgers student who committed suicide last year after his classmates secretly recorded and streamed video of him having sex -- said yesterday that they want his former roommate Dharun Ravi's invasion of privacy case prosecuted, though they do not want him to receive "harsh punishment." His parents hope that the invasion of privacy charges will un...

Undergrads Totally Into Virtual Worlds, College Admins Swear

Remember how we thought in the mid-'90s that the 2000s would be all about holographs and virtual worlds? But didn't we collectively agree that virtual reality jumped the shark around the time CNN opened a Second Life news bureau, but apparently academe never signed on. The New York Times has a charming story today on how university professors are using interactive, digital visualizations to tea...

UChicago Student Launches Hookup Site, World Freaks Out

Full disclosure before we move forward with this one: I went to the University of Chicago. For days I have been fielding IMs and staring at Facebook posts about this hookup site brouhaha. If I had my way, I'd perform a partial lobotomy to expunge any knowledge of UChicagoHookups.com. UChicago's unofficial tagline is "where fun comes to die." The site's is "where fun comes to thrive." Even typin...

E-Books May Turn Digital Divide Into a Reading Divide

Due to the rise in popularity of e-books and other digital texts, some worry that the digital divide may soon become a "reading divide." Low-income communities, particularly African American ones, have not only struggled to keep up in a world increasingly reliant on technology, but continue to trail their peers in literacy rates by a significant margin. The author Marita Golden told Reuters, "M...

Google Apps Don't Help Blind Students

The National Federation of the Blind has asked the Justice Department to investigate several universities' implementation of Google e-mail, documents and calendar services, saying that the apps' inability to link up with text-to-speech programs puts the schools in violation of the Americans with Disabilities act. The complaint focuses on two schools -- NYU and Northwestern -- but, given the rap...

Students Face Expulsion For Calling Teacher Pedophile on Facebook

A 13-year old Georgia girl is facing expulsion and relocation to an "alternative school" after she called one of her teachers a pedophile on Facebook. The girl, Alejandra Sosa, and two of her classmates who commented on the post must now go before a disciplinary tribunal for what Chapel Hill Middle School calls a "level one" offense: the worst category of transgression in the student handbook. Sos...

Study: The Most Effective Virtual Teachers Tailor to Your Feedback Style

Here's a shocker: when dealing with a virtual instructor, people prefer an avatar that looks and acts like them. A collaborative study between George Washington University and North Carolina State found that participants reacted more positively to virtual instructors who were the same gender and ethnicity as themselves. Oddly, they found that these factors alone did not improve responses. Gender h...

Researchers Use Cell Phone Videos to Educate in Developing World

Most aid-based initiatives in the developing world have traditionally involved substantial amounts of money and manpower. But a team of researchers from the University of Illinois have come up with a more efficient and cost-effective way to deliver instructional materials to poor countries: animated cell-phone videos. As part of a new project called Scientific Animations Without Borders, the te...

Louisiana Uses Wikipedia as Historical Record for Monument

Much of the world's history may have been written by the victors, but Louisiana's historical record apparently hinges on the whims of lonely computer nerds. Case in point: the State Capitol building in Baton Rouge, where a statue of the state's first governor is accompanied not by an official document or verified biography, but by a printout of the man's Wikipedia page. Yes, a printout -- from ...

Skipping School? Anaheim Truants Tracked via GPS

A school district in Anaheim, California is experimenting with a new system for getting chronically truant students to school, and on time. Seventh and eighth graders in the district with four or more unexcused absences are issued a small GPS device. Every morning, an automated system calls the students to remind them to get to school. Students are then required to use the tracking device to check...

Gates Foundation Bets on Facebook Startup to Keep Kids in School

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation wants to encourage college freshmen to stay in school -- and it's counting on social networking to help. Today, the organization is expected to announce a $2 million investment in a company called Inigral, which sets up school-specific Facebook sites at colleges around the country. Unlike Facebook pages devoted to particular colleges or universities, Inigra...

Txt Msgs Make Kidz Gr8 Spellrz, Study Says

Just because your young daughter types "CU L8R" when she texts her friends doesn't mean she won't be able to spell real words when she grows up. In fact, one new study claims that, contrary to popular belief, texting will actually improve her spelling skills. The study, conducted by researchers at Coventry University, examined 114 9- and 10-year-old children who did not already use cell phones....