‘Schoolifying’ Minecraft Without Ruining It

Still from the game Minecraft (Photo courtesy of Martin Gee for NPR)

Teachers are using Minecraft, the popular game that allows players the chance to build a 3-D world out of “blocks,” in every imaginable subject, from literature to social studies to math. Build a 3-D diorama of an archaeological dig; retell a Japanese folktale; test bridge designs in different materials and build video games within the game. Read how teachers and developers are trying to bring Minecraft into classrooms without ruining the fun.
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Teaching Kids Coding, by the Book

Here’s an excerpt from this nice article from NY Times article about the great organization, Girls Who Code:

“One sunny summer morning this month, a group of 20 teenage girls gathered in a conference room in the sleek offices of a tech company in Manhattan. It was their fifth week of coding camp, and they were huddled around laptops, brainstorming designs for their final projects. One group was building a computer game that simulates the experience of going through life with depression and anxiety, while others were drafting plans for websites that track diversity at companies and help connect newly arrived immigrants with local community groups.”

 

How to Spot Fake News (and Teach Kids to be Media-Savvy)

From the Salon post:

“If you get your news online or from social media, this type of headline sounds very familiar. What’s real? What’s fake? What’s satire? Now that anyone with access to a phone or computer can publish information online, it’s getting harder to tell. But as more people go to Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter and other online sources for their news and information, it’s even more crucial that all of us — especially kids — learn to decode what we read online. (Learn more about how kids get their news and how they feel about it in Common Sense Media’s report, News and America’s Kids: How Young People Perceive and Are Impacted by the News.)”

How Silicon Valley Pushed Coding Into American Classrooms

From the NY Times post:

“At a White House gathering of tech titans last week, Timothy D. Cook, the chief executive of Apple, delivered a blunt message to President Trump on how public schools could better serve the nation’s needs. To help solve a “huge deficit in the skills that we need today,” Mr. Cook said, the government should do its part to make sure students learn computer programming.

“Coding,” Mr. Cook told the president, “should be a requirement in every public school.”

The Apple chief’s education mandate was just the latest tech company push for coding courses in schools. But even without Mr. Trump’s support, Silicon Valley is already advancing that agenda — thanks largely to the marketing prowess of Code.org, an industry-backed nonprofit group.”