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Posts tagged education

LeVar Burton discusses Reading Rainbow TV show cancelation, plans for Kickstarter
June 5, 2014 | 12:49 pm

The Reading Rainbow Kickstarter has reached about $3.5 million, and the velocity of increase has slowed considerably. I still think it has the potential to make 10 if it does well over the course of the month, especially when it gets the end-of-Kickstarter boost. But even if it makes its $5 million stretch goal, that will be something. LeVar Burton has been interviewed by Think Progress, and he took the opportunity to dispel a few rumors about why the show was canceled, and discuss how the show originally got started and how the money from the Kickstarter will be...

LeVar Burton launches Reading Rainbow Kickstarter, fully funds in less than twelve hours
May 28, 2014 | 8:55 pm

LeVar_RR_bio.largeTake a look, it’s in a book. The Verge ran a story today that LeVar Burton has launched a $1 million Kickstarter with the goal of bringing Reading Rainbow to the web, to reach kids across the globe. It’s already available for Android and iPad, but not all kids or schools have access to those devices, or the $60 per year the subscription costs. In addition to putting it on the web, Burton wants to create a version for teachers to use in the classroom, and to set up a not-for-profit organization to make it available for free to low-income schools. The...

The education world has gone tablet-crazy!
May 28, 2014 | 3:25 pm

tabletA report crossed my in-box the other day via the usually reliable Teachers with Apps blog. It promised to inform me on 'education trends I need to know about' and said it would highlight data from around the world. Sounds good, right? Well, I'll save you reading the whole thing and sun it up thusly: everybody loves tablets. Americans, Indians, Japanese, Swiss---everybody. They love tablets. They want tablets. Tablets are the future of education. I'm not sure what to make of it. I think there needs to be some maturation of the group management options before that happens. I am still...

Did Michael Gove really veto U.S. literature for UK GCSEs?
May 28, 2014 | 10:25 am

mockingbirdUK Education Secretary Michael Gove is not the most popular man, or even minister, in Britain. Indeed, some openly revile him. But there is still some doubt as to whether he really is guilty of trying to remove some U.S. literary classics from the GCSE English literature syllabus, as the Sunday Times claimed, declaring that: "classic works such as To Kill A Mockingbird are being dropped from English GCSEs because Michael Gove, the education secretary, wants teenagers to focus on works by British writers, it emerged yesterday. As well as the Harper Lee novel, American texts including Of Mice And...

Morning Roundup: Retail may be B&N salvation. The myth that no one buys new writers and more
May 12, 2014 | 9:00 am

B&NTextbook Publisher Backs Down, Won't Force Students to Return Paper Textbook (The Digital Reader) A couple days later Aspen responded to the protests with a clarification. They insist that their attempt to take rights away from students was merely one of the options a student will have for buying the next edition. *** How Do We Address the Continuing Problem of Inadequate and Deceptive Publishing Practices? (The Scholarly Kitchen) For 20 years, scholarly publishing has been responding to what some term “the digital revolution.” Promising an end to scarcity and delays, the technocrats — and I count myself as among these to a point...

Storium enters last day of Kickstarter with educational version fully funded
May 8, 2014 | 4:14 am

storiumfinalIt’s the last day of Storium’s Kickstarter, and at the moment it’s raised over $212,000. This puts it well past the $200,000 goal to create a version specifically tailored for educational uses. At the rate Storium had been picking up new users until the last couple of days, I hadn’t expected it to make it. But it has, and I’m really happy about it. This is a product I’m already using, and that I firmly believe in. A lot of big names have stepped up to offer up worlds to play in. Those include official adaptations of Steve Jackson...

Storium Kickstarter turns writing into a game, seeks to fund educational version
May 2, 2014 | 3:17 am

With under a week left on the Kickstarter, I wanted to go into more detail about Storium, a slick, well-constructed web-based system for moderated play-by-post storytelling gaming that I first mentioned a few days ago. With $129,000 kicked in so far out of a $25,000 goal, it's definitely getting funded. But unlike most Kickstarters, you can actually start using it right now—pledging at least $10 gets you access to the beta, even if you later decide to cancel the pledge. The way it works is that you've got a narrator and several players, and a system of...

Follow-up: Reading A-Z.com. Almost a month later
April 25, 2014 | 4:24 pm

reading a-zI wrote earlier this month about a great reading website I recently subscribed to on behalf of my school. The website has printable ebooks at a variety of levels, some of which include worksheets and bonus content, and I thought it would be a good resource for teachers to use with their students. Almost a month in, how is it going? Great, actually! There have been a few small hiccups and complaints, but I've seen several other teachers besides me printing and using these cute little books. Here are some examples: 1) To level up an accelerated student This has been MY use...

Childwise Report charges top dollar for UK child tablet reading insights
April 24, 2014 | 4:05 pm

Mom and daughter turning page in children's book on iPad 2I have to be grateful for The Bookseller sometimes. For its boycott of Author Solutions advertising. And now for its heroic readiness to fork out £1980 ($3326) for a copy of the CHILDWISE Monitor Report 2013-14 from CHILDWISE,  "leading research specialists on children, young people and their families" with a "panel of over 1000 schools throughout the UK." And this Monitor Report states, according to The Bookseller, that one in five of UK children (going by its sample) read on a tablet. The Monitor Report, "a comprehensive annual report focused on children and young people's media consumption, brand attitudes and key...

UK language learning hits rock bottom
April 21, 2014 | 12:25 pm

With the UK just a few miles away from la belle patrie in places, you'd think that second language acquisition would be a matter of course. A whole second literature, with the heritage of Proust and Baudelaire and a host of other luminaries, let alone the great wine and cuisine, right there on your doorstep, just waiting for you. Should be a no-brainer, right? Well, according to one highly disgruntled language teacher in England writing on Cafe Babel, it's more a matter of no brains. As much among those setting the curricula and overseeing language learning as among the students. And...

Testosterone makes you stupid – if you’re English
April 21, 2014 | 10:25 am

I never thought of stupidity as particularly macho. But then, maybe I've lived outside the UK for too long. Because apparently a lot of British men fit that mold. And I'm rather ashamed to link my own gender to this, but the statistics seem to speak for themselves. Or should I have softened it a bit? Saying, well, if you're male and British there is a greater tendency towards not taking a serious interest in books, rather than making such an emphatic statement? And let British society off the hook? And sidestep that disgraceful conclusion? Because here we have some hard...

Latest UK moral panic warns: Stop infants taking the tablets
April 17, 2014 | 2:25 pm

panic.jpegiPads and tablets now appear set to join ebooks, the Internet, television, bicycles, and other agents of moral decay as hate figures in the latest press-stoked moral panic in the UK. As reported in the UK Daily Telegraph, the Association of Teachers and Lecturers has issued research claiming that tablet addiction has left a generation of manually challenged British children. The Daily Telegraph cites an ATL conference speaker who warns of "increasing numbers of young pupils who can swipe a screen but have little or no manipulative skills to play with building blocks or the like." The ATL will also apparently...