Sunday, June 19, 2011

Digital Textbooks - a thing of the present?

Here is an interesting article about digital textbooks. Apparently, Florida has passed a law "requiring all public schools to adopt digital textbooks by the 2015-16 school year and spend 50 percent of their textbook budgets on digital materials". Needless to say, the districts are not jumping for joy at the plan to spend all that money in the midst of budget cuts and crunches! The savings are not going to be apparent up front (are they ever), and who knows how many challenges there will be to the law in the next 3 years (anybody forgotten the class size fiasco?). There are a few examples of digital textbooks working in high schools (the Kindle was highlighted in the article) and it looks like there may be more to come.

The most interesting thing that MAY keep this plan alive is one fact written towards the end of the article - FCAT and end-of-course exams, will go digital by 2015 and they don't want the first time the students see digital content to be on the test that grades the schools!

Planning Instruction using the Video Game Model

Here is a great article that I just found via Twitter. The article was originally published in Edutopia back at the end of May and was written by a woman named Dr. Judy Willis. While it isn't about video games per-say, it does talk about planning instruction in the same fashion as a video game (something all of the students have at least some level of experience at). "The computer game model correlates to using achievable, incremental, challenge, with goal-progress recognition." I agree with Dr. Willis that this manner of instruction could certainly bring about an individualized attack to each child's school work. Check out the article and please post a response or a comment!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Video Games Power Up Learning

"Videogames are emerging as a new gold standard of learning because they effectively integrate many vital learning principles into their design."
This is a sentence that comes from Tina Barseghian in an article she wrote titled "Five Reasons Why Video Games Power Up Learning". You can read the whole article, and the five reasons, by clicking here.
I hope that all of the popular gaming companies get forwarded this article and will improve their R & D in the area of educational games!