Programming robots and learning coding skills in elementary school? The days of the ostracized “computer geek” are over and now we are teaching our children to program at incredibly young ages. [Read more…]
Legos aren’t just great fun–or a great pain, if you step on them during the middle of the night. They’re very educational and popular with children as well. Whether it’s a simple square house or a detailed replica of the city of Gondor, playing with Legos stimulates creativity. Not yet convinced? Take a look at this infographic on The Learning Power of Lego:
(Via Online College)
Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) have taken the world by storm, with people from all sorts of backgrounds taking on the challenge to continue learning in a somewhat formal atmosphere. I say somewhat, because the setup is not exactly your traditional classroom setting. Still, with brand names like Coursera catching the attention of people hungry to learn, there is a lot to be said about entities offering MOOCs for free.
And just when I thought I’ve heard everything about MOOCs, an email popped up in my Inbox, alerting me to the fact that there is a course coming up soon which takes things one step further. Jeremy Short, the Rath Chair in Strategic Management at the Price College of Business (University of Oklahoma), has conducted a study examining the advantages of using graphic novels as instructional materials as opposed to traditional text books.
While I suppose that many of you think that no formal study is needed to come to that conclusion, you also know just how much people today need concrete proof about these theories. Hence, Professor Short’s experiment. His study and its findings will soon be published in Business Communication Quarterly, but I think what you will find more interesting is his upcoming MOOC, which is going to be hosted by The University of Oklahoma.
It’s a serious course – Introduction to Management – but I suppose that we all have to grow up at some point. It’s not unknown for stellar coders and programmers to move on up and become managers eventually, is it? The course will be featuring a graphic novel titled Atlas Black: The Complete Adventure, authored by Prof. Short and his colleagues.
Here’s your chance to learn something new (perhaps) via a format that can be considered innovative. Learn more about the course, the professor, and the graphic novel here. Even if you don’t end up enrolling for the course, you can always refer to it (and the study) when you face the need to further the cause of comic books.
It’s for real, folks. Except that the slots are limited, not to mention that it is only available for fall semester. So basically, it’s too late to try and connive your way back to the venerable college halls.
The fact that one of the most awaited role-playing video games ever (which, according to Steam continues to be one of the most played games) has made it to the world of formal education is still worth talking about, if only because it might just be the harbinger of good news.
Rice University in Houston, Texas garnered some attention from video game enthusiasts by offering a special course titled Scandinavian Fantasy Worlds: Old Norse Sagas and Skyrim.
Also read: Skyrim vs Fallout – Which is better?
Having seen the title, it does make more sense, doesn’t it? After all, the game does involve a lot of books, which you may or may not read. I’d like to think that they contain some elements of Nordic culture. Additionally, one can’t ignore the Nordic aspects of the game. Even if your only experience with Skyrim is vicarious, the storyline, characters, and scenery scream Scandinavian/Nordic. ((Confession: I used to use these two words interchangeably, and apparently, many people do so as well. In Northern Europe, though, there is a distinction between the two.))
The Skyrim course has two goals: ((From Rice University))
- It introduces students to fantasy as both psychological concept and driving force in gamer culture;
Using these paradigms, it considers how and why medieval Scandinavia serves as a locus of modern Anglo-American fantasy.
I don’t know about you, but that is enough to get me hooked. My wish: Coursera or one of the other similar platforms will offer something like this, if they are not already.
Image via Slashgear
Facial recognition software is fascinating. Software, be it on a computer, or as an app on a smartphone which can capture an individual’s likeness and recognize who the individual is, often is expensive, does not work, or the technology is owned by another. Two Cornell undergraduate students, Brian Harding and Cat Jubinski, have just taken the wrap off their project which dispels the aforementioned notions associated with facial recognition systems. [Read more…]
As children, those with children, and star gazers everywhere, a planetarium is a magical place. The theater-style structure concerning all things astronomy and the night sky, typically takes the form of a large, dome-shaped, building with a projector and screen where stars, planets, and other celestial objects are visible, even moving in a realistic fashion to simulate outer space. [Read more…]
If there’s one thing about Star Wars any fan would love to master, it’s the way of the Jedi. Certainly lightsaber techniques would be an amazing skill to acquire, but Jedi mind tricks? No comparison. [Read more…]
In 1926 Dr. Fritz Kahn created a poster of the human bodily functions, Man as Industrial Palace, based on mechanics. Dr. Kahn was famous for using mechanics metaphors to explain the workings of the human body.
Dr. Fritz Kahn (1888-1968) was a gynecologist in Berlin and a world-famous popular science writer who illustrated the form and function of the human body with spectacular, modern man-machine analogies. In the 1920s, his magnum opus, “Das Leben des Menschen” (The Life of Man) – a five-volume series – was renowned as a German accomplishment of global repute. In the 1930s, his books were banned and burned by the Nazis, then edited by Kahn’s publisher and reissued as plagiarisms with a superimposed anti-Semitic chapter.
Last year Henning M. Lederer a Master of Arts graduate has created an animation based on Dr. Khan’s poster of “Man as Industrial Palace”. Dr. Khan’s work has become very popular now a days amongst designers and historians.
I have always had an interest in the World War 2 era in Europe, I excelled at history in high-school thanks to my fascination with that time. And reading about Dr. Khan made me realize I never really thought about the people and their works that where banned by the Nazis.
Henning M. Lederer’s idea of animating Dr. Khan’s work is fascinating and I wonder if there are more works like these that can be animated bringing them to attention again in these modern times. Khan’s and Lederer’s work wouldn’t miss stand in a school class to teach children.
I looked online if the poster is for sale but I can’t find one source that sells the original. The only way to get a poster is by buying the book.
We all have old gadgets lying around the house. Sometimes, we give them as hand me downs to family members or friends but sometimes, we just forget about them. If you are in the UK and you can relate to this, then you should consider getting rid of those gadgets and do something good while you’re at it.
UK charity Computer Aid is looking for people who are willing to donate their old gadgets. They are accepting ANY kind of gadget as long as it is still working. (So yeah, forget about that desktop PC that you’ve chopped into pieces trying to make good use of its parts.)
Computer Aid is an established charity that refurbishes computers and then donates them to those in need – usually in other countries. To date, the charitable organization has given more than 160,000 refurbished computers in 100 countries. You and I may take our computers – and other gadgets – for granted but we have to realize that there are so many other people in various parts of the world who do not have access to technology as we do. School children in many developing countries, for example, are hard pressed to gain access to computers that may be essential to their educational experience.
If you do not feel like just giving away your gadget (SCROOGE!), you may opt to sell it on eBay and give Computer Aid a cut. Does that sound better? Maybe, but your conscience will probably haunt you…
Anyhow, visit Computer Aid’s web site for more details. Come on, you know you want to give.
Games are thought to be big distractions to learning, especially the formal kind. I recall when I was in college, I’d stay up all night playing my favorite adventure and shoot ’em up games. Of course by the time I attend my classes, I’d be a walking zombie, with rarely anything getting through my sleepy brain. I wonder how I ever finished my degree a semester early.
Now word is that some schools are actually using video games as a tool for learning. Not only are they using video games as alternative means of teaching, they are actually using video games almost exclusively in their teaching curriculum.
Popular science writes how students are, for instance, encouraged to alter a game’s parameters in order to achieve the desired outcome, or to work in a social context in order to achieve some collaborative goals.
The Quest to Learn school opened last September in Manhattan, welcoming the first class of sixth-graders who will learn almost entirely through videogame-inspired activities, an educational strategy geared to keep kids engaged and prepare them for high-tech careers.
The goal, of course, is usually to win the game. But it’s in how the technology is used and manipulated that students learn. The video games might touch on knowledge of history, with the students role-playing as spies working against each other’s governments. Or the games might involve physics by requiring the students to move objects through space, given certain parameters. The possible scenarios go on and on.
With video games, learning becomes fun. Kids nowadays are bombarded with different sorts of media, like email, instant messaging, social networks, and video games. Why not explore these applications in order to foster a love for learning? The disadvantage, though, is that this teaching method might put too much focus on the fun aspect of learning, and not the intrinsic value of learning, itself.
Education through video games might be an appropriate methodology for preparing students for skills like programming, design, coding and the like. One concern here is whether this method also works for other real-world applications and professions. How about literacy? How about fundamentals in math?
Media is fast evolving, and along with this, everyone also follows suit. Education is but one of those important aspects of human life that is adapting well to change. Teachers are favoring online collaboration over traditional submission of paper homeworks. Classrooms usually have computers, audio-visual systems and wireless Internet access. Video games might just be the next big thing when it comes to helping impart the value of learning.