The Old Knewton Blog

Posts Tagged ‘Educational technology

Video games and failure-based learning

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I used to teach afterschool in City of New York/Parks & Recreation’s Computer Resource Center program. Kids in the program spent a lot of time playing educational games like Logical Journey Of The Zoombinis and The Incredible Machine.

The kids would literally fight with each other to get to be the first to play these games, with an intensity that surprised me. I mean, the games are fun and everything, but they were nonviolent, with less-than state of the art graphics and no recognizable characters from TV or movies. The educational content was rarely disguised as “fun,” and yet, kids who snoozed through math class were riveted by the exact same content when it was presented in the context of Treasure Mathstorm. Read the rest of this entry »

Should all teachers post their syllabi and curricula online?

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Timothy Burke says in his blog post, “Putting Syllabi Online:”

Since I often put up both drafts of syllabi and completed syllabi for comments, I obviously think it’s a good practice. It’s been nothing but beneficial for me: I’ve gotten great suggestions, interesting critiques, a good feeling for how the syllabus plays with different intellectual communities. So why wouldn’t everyone do this? In fact, why shouldn’t everyone more or less be officially pushed to do it by colleagues or administrations. It’s not just a good thing for the person posting the syllabus, but for students who want an early view of what a course might entail and for larger publics who would like to get a sense of how much work and thought goes into an average course design. Since one of the handicaps academics have in the public sphere at the moment is that there are a number of people who think the work of college teaching consists of walking into a room, letting knowledge spill out of your head, and leaving, it might help if we gave a demonstration of what’s actually involved.

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Written by Knewton

October 22, 2009 at 10:08 PM


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Processing is an open source programming language and environment for people who want to code their own animation, interactions and data visualization. It shows tons of potential for fun, interactive educational and gaming applications. Check out the project gallery to see some examples, ranging from the silly to the sublime. Project initiators Ben Fry and Casey Reas say they made it “to teach fundamentals of computer programming within a visual context and to serve as a software sketchbook and professional production tool. Processing is an alternative to proprietary software tools in the same domain.”

Anthony Mattox has made some particularly compelling artworks with Processing:

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Written by Knewton

October 16, 2009 at 7:55 PM