David Loertscher is an inspiring, brilliant researcher who has written some great books on the learning commons and the evolution of the library. He is an expert. You'll want to join this free interview at 5pm Pacific, 8pm Eastern. Librarians and administrators should attend this session. I've learned so much from David.
Nice article in the New York Times about game based learning. (Hat tip Larry Ferlazzo's Twitter stream.)
"Speaking at the Learning Without Frontiers conference in London last week, he said that computer games stimulate the brain’s reward system to produce dopamine, a chemical “which helps orient our attention and enhances the making of connections between neurons, which is the physical basis for learning.”
Mr. Howard-Jones said that research has shown that the introduction of a chance or game element into any reward system increases dopamine production. “For generations, we educators have done everything we can to maintain a consistent relationship between reward and achievement, but the neuroscience is telling us something different,” he said in an interview."
This Seattle Times Editorial about the state of education in Washington State is one of the most useful I have ever read. It explains the situation with facts,includes useful infographic and summarizes each topic with a practical recommendations.This is a formula I wish we would see more often instead of the emotion-filled fact-absent research-bending opeds that seem to be the norm in most media outlets.
Will raising the dropout rate help? What happens when you have students who are being promoted even though they are not capable? Will this just cost money or will it improve learning?
Here is an article on the Huffington post for those who want to join in the debate. President Obama, in his State of the Union Address, called for every state to require students to stay in school until they turn 18.
Different paradigms in online free learning are evolving and I found this comparison on visualturn between MITx and Udacity to be an interesting one. Sebastian Thrun believes that weeding out students doesn't promote learning and what he's going to do about it.
"Sebastian Thrun recently announced he is leaving Stanford to offer free online courses through a platform called Udacity.com, which also will offer certificates of completion.
Both MITx and Udacity are experiments in offering online learning to large numbers of students for free, along with some kind of “official” recognition of achievement. One way they differ is in their orientation toward student success and completion."
The book is out, so I can share what we did with our book features in the book. The graphic design is amazing (but I am quite partial.) The website will be finished up this week (we had to wait for the final book copy to tweak some things and wanted to release the pages as it launched.)