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Education Blog Roundup

532497422_f925be50c4_oFresh hot blog links to education topics here. These are some of the posts that caught my attention recently – enjoy.

Facebook for Teachers. This article is sad – lots of promise and money invested by people who just don’t get it. One district can not support their own social network – it takes hundreds of thousands of users to make these communities vibrant. How about we look at what is actually happening on Facebook for teachers? I Am Teacher - a Facebook plugin from We Are Teachers – already has almost 10,000 active users and over registered 50,000 users.

Video Games Improve Cognitive Skills. The title says it all. Go read about it on Richard Carey’s blog.

John Rice has a nice summary of Seven Question to Ask Before Using a Video Game in the Classroom. I do disagree with John on two points.

• I don’t believe the majority of teachers want to modify games – even in the commercial game world modding is restricted to small group of devotees.

• I also don’t believe Edugames need to match commercial grade production values. Look no further than the casual games kids are playing on the web by the millions for evidence. Game play trumps graphics (see the Wii too).

Millions for new schools does not improve academic performance. Crap – there goes another excuse for missing AYP. From years of walking into schools (good and bad) my survey-of-one agrees completely with the thesis that the leadership of the Principal is one of the most important characteristics of high performing schools. The money quote is from the former Board President -

“I suspect a lot has to do with the principal – whether the school is together as a unit…I never believed you solved the problems with a better building.”

WTF? Why didn’t you stop this then? If I lived in Milwaukee I’d be voting for a little accountability this fall.

A kid booted from Little League because he is too good? Eduflack has a suitably angry take on this. This story is “man bites dog” rarity – but the overall point is well taken. Punishing gifted kids is how you turn a country dumb.

The Ignite Presentation Method – this is a pretty cool concept. 5 minutes to present your idea and the 20 slides automatically change every 20 seconds. One idea per slide – razor sharp focus on your message. See my post Powerpoint=Billboard on a related topic. Imagine the power of teaching kids to communicate with this level of focus and discipline?