Students Encouraged by Government to Develop Apps

As part of an initiative to get U.S. kids to compete with other nations in math and science, The House of Representatives has passed a resolution that is challenging U.S. students to develop apps for competition.

The Academic Competition Resolution of 2013 explains, “Rapid technological change means the competition will evolve over time and will challenge students in specialized areas of science, technology, engineering and math to ensure maximum participation. Because of the importance of computer science, it would be appropriate to initially challenge students to develop so-called ‘apps’ for mobile, tablet, and computer platforms.’


Reading a Bedtime Story Half Way ‘Round the World

Kindoma Storytime, an iPad app, allows two people to read an e-book together, with both faces and the book appearing on each person’s screen.

Very cool stuff.  Read the NY Times article about it here.

Forget Sarah Marshall…Jason Segel Inks Deal to Write Kid’s Book

The Muppets and How I Met Your Mother star Jason Segel has inked a book deal for a middle-grade fiction series he will write with Kirsten Miller. Random House Children’s Books will publish Nightmares! in fall 2014.

From the press release:

Both scary and funny, NIGHTMARES! is an adventure story about a group of kids who realize it’s up to them to save their town from fear, which has manifested itself in the form of nightmare creatures that have slipped into the everyday world. At its heart, NIGHTMARES! is about kids overcoming their fears … Says Segel, “I couldn’t be more excited that NIGHTMARES! has found a home at Random House. Ultimately, it’s a story about learning that we can accomplish anything, as long as we are brave enough to try. These are the types of stories that always inspired me.”

Pew Study: Educators More Dependent on Mobile Devices Than Ever

According to recent surveys from Pew Research Center, educators are more dependent on mobile devices than ever before: 92% of these teachers say the internet has a “major impact” on their ability to access content, resources, and materials for their teaching 69% say the internet has a “major impact” on their ability to share ideas with other teachers 67% say the internet has a “major impact” on their ability to interact with parents and 57% say it has had such an impact on enabling their interaction with students.

Further, four in ten educators report using e-readers for classroom assignments. Unfortunately, teachers of lower income students are 17% less likely to engage mobile technology in classroom instruction.

First Grader Creates Mobile Video Game

Elementary school student Zora Ball may be one of the younger app developers around. She created a mobile video game and she is only in first grade. She showed off her project at the University of Pennsylvania’s during the university’s “Bootstrap Expo,” a program that teaches kids how to program video game apps using algebra and geometry.  Check out the Philadelphia Tribune article for more.