Learnamic Blog

This Week's Education Links: Kindergarteners Go to the Moon, EduLARPs, and More

by Joel

Amazon to Provide CS Courses for Underprivileged U.S. Schools - VentureBeat
It's good to see corporations giving something back, and it's good to see computer science training reaching into underprivileged schools - anyone can learn to code, and it's a skill that will definitely be useful for the foreseeable future.

The Arava Kindergarten Flies to the Moon - The Jerusalem Post
Super cute story about a kindergarten class who built a "spaceship" so they could go to the moon.  It is so cool seeing kindergarteners take on huge projects like this.  With this kind of optimism and drive, I'm sure they'll get to the moon someday!

Teaching Children Coding is a Waste of Time, OECD Chief Says - The Telegraph
I can't say I agree with this one, but it is thought-provoking, so I threw it in.  I think his point is valid and what we think of as "coding" will one day not exist, but I think it's much farther out than 10 or even 20 years, and even then it'll still be helpful to understand computers and how they work.  I could be wrong, I suppose, but the practice of programming hasn't really changed much in the past 40 years, so I don't expect it to be revolutionized anytime soon.

How Schools Spark Excitement for Learning with Role-Playing Games - KQED
Interesting take on how to merge live-action role playing (LARP-ing) with teaching to help kids to learn such diverse subjects as psychology, biology, and Latin.

What Teachers Must Know About The Science Of Learning - Forbes
Lately there’s been a push to acquaint educators with “the science of learning.” But only some aspects of that science actually help teachers do their jobs. Others just waste their time.

Decrease Anxiety about Learning English with Mobile Gaming - The Conversation
A cool approach to English language learning, this app is a game that requires multiple players and verbal communication between them in order to accomplish a task.  It could be particularly useful for students who feel anxiety in traditional classroom situations.

Making Practice More Effective With...Brain Zaps? - Quartz
I'm not including this as a recommendation, but more of a curiosity - scientists have been exploring ways to help us learn by stimulating the brain with electrical pulses during practice, and it's showing some positive results.