Microsoft seems to believe that their popular open world building game "Minecraft" has a huge potential in education. This belief is apparently fuelled by actual experiences of classroom teachers who have used or are using the game to foster creative thinking and help kids in class learn better through technology.
According to a report in Tech Times, it is because of these experiences that Microsoft is setting up a portal where teachers and educators can share examples of what they are doing in the classroom and how they are using the game as a tool for teaching and learning.
The Microsoft in Education team is going to launch a new forum called Minecraft in Education specifically for this purpose. Elementary school teachers who use the game to teach mathematical concepts such as area, perimeter and volume can post what kind of activities they ask their students to do. Middle school teachers who come up with a more interesting way to teach history or ancient civilizations through the game may also share how they do it. College professors who have explored how groups of students can collaborate on a Minecraft-based project may also have something interesting to post as well. more >>
All Republicans who loathe the Common Core national standards know that some current or potential presidential candidates (Jeb Bush, John Kasich) are great proponents of this centralizing scheme. But Common Core is only one problematic education initiative supported by politicians who ought to know better. Why do Republicans who consider themselves conservative consistently promote education policies that endanger student privacy, increase federal government power, and cement an economic system more reflective of 1930s Europe than free-market America?
Consider the "Student Right to Know Before You Go Act," co-sponsored by Sen. Marco Rubio. This legislation would expand statewide student data systems to track individual students through college and into the workforce. The behemoth data systems would "match individual-level transcript data to post graduation employment and earnings outcomes" – and share it with the U.S. Department of Education (USED). (The data would be "anonymized," of course, to which any IT expert can only chuckle, "Good luck with that.")
The excuse for this data-collection monstrosity – which would overturn a federal ban on such intrusive tracking -- is to hold colleges accountable for producing economic bang for the student's buck. But even if there were no other way to evaluate colleges (and there is), do we really want the government tracking American citizens as they graduate and move through the workforce, keeping tabs on their jobs and salaries? Liberal Arne Duncan wants this, but should conservative Marco Rubio help him achieve it? more >>
Christian basketball star Jeremy Lin of the LA Lakers answered questions about his plans for marriage during a worship service at a Hong Kong university on Sunday where he spoke about the challenges he faced throughout his past basketball season to a student audience of over 1,400 people.
As part of his Asia tour, Lin, 26, spoke at The Chinese University of Hong Kong where he opened up about how his Christian faith helped him through what he described as "possibly the toughest year of my life."
The Taiwanese-American's fans were also allowed to participate in the discussion by asking questions, which one young woman used as an opportunity to inquire about Lin's expectations for marriage and when his nuptials might take place. more >>
A 10-year-old boy in Pakistan was allegedly tortured with a stick by his Islamic school teacher after he refused to do construction work on a mosque in the Punjab province.
The Pakistani news site Dawn.com reported that the boy, named only as Tayyab, who is a student at Jamia Ishadal Quran seminary in the Noorpur village in the town of Pakpattan, was brutally beaten by an Islamic cleric until he passed out on Sunday.
Rozi Khan, Tayyab's father, told local media that he was alerted that his son was being physically assaulted when two of his son's classmates came to him and told him that Tayyab was being held by the cleric. more >>
At seven years old, I learned about the harsh realities of the world. Due to racial prejudice my parents moved the family from South Texas to California. It was difficult leaving family, friends, and a school where I excelled academically. After attending the final months of first grade, my parents were told that I was lacking in educational fundamentals, was not ready to move on to second grade, and would have a difficult repeat of first grade due to the challenging academic standards of the California school systems. My parents were stunned, I ranked at the top of my class in Texas. But the school in California had much higher academic standards
Think about that: I did not have the reading, writing and math skills necessary to start second grade in California. Fortunately, my mother was a high school graduate. She persuaded administrators to provide text books and assignments for a complete summer review of first grade. She spent the summer teaching me - four hours every day in preparation for an opportunity to be retested by school administrators. We were successful. I passed the test and was able to proceed with peers to second grade. She overcame discouragement and disappointment in order to give me an opportunity to stay on course academically for my age. She knew that being held back would be devastating for me.
To this day, I am thankful for the sacrifice of my parents. Mom was not able to work and add to the family finances because of her commitment to teach me. I do not know how many other parents have experienced this shock and disappointment because of varying academic standards. For most parents and families, a summer committed to teaching is not an option. Nevertheless, we celebrated the blessings and favor of God through a difficult academic challenge that paved the way toward achievement of future academic goals. more >>
A third-grade teacher and an assistant principal at a North Carolina elementary school have resigned after facing strong backlash over the teacher's decision to read a book about two gay princes falling in love and getting married aloud to his class without first seeking parental consent.
In April, Omar Currie read the book King & King, a tale about two princes who get married, to his third grade class at Efland-Cheeks Elementary School after one of his students told him about how he was insulted by other kids in the class who called him gay.