Technology News Blog (68)
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Students at a Baltimore County high school this fall will explore the area surrounding Mount St. Helens in a vehicle that can morph from an aircraft to a car to a boat to learn about how the environment has changed since the volcano’s 1980 eruption.
But they’ll do it all without ever leaving their Chesapeake High School classroom–they will be using a three-dimensional Virtual Learning Environment developed by the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) with the university’s Center for Technology Education.
A coalition that also included Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, and the University of Baltimore is deploying the environment, which was modeled after a state-of-the-art, 3-D visualization facility at APL that was used for projects by the Department of Defense and NASA. The Virtual Learning Environment is the first of its kind in the nation, said Baltimore County Superintendent Joe Hairston.
David Peloff, program director of emerging technologies at Johns Hopkins’ Center for Technology in Education, said the Virtual Learning Environment grew out of a recently completed federal grant that allowed researchers to look at the ways gaming and simulation technology could be used to help children learn.
"There’s not a lot of research that says this directly improves student achievement. We have a hunch that it does," he said. "But we do know that it improves student involvement. And it [improves] teacher involvement, as well."
Continue reading at www.eschoolnews.com.
Middle and high school students spent a little more than four weeks this summer at McKinley Technical High School in Washington, D.C., developing the programming and modeling for a prototype of an educational computer game called Immune Attack 3.0.
Last year the students used the free educational game to learn, by aiming to make science fun and engaging for students. This year, they’re putting their programming and modeling skills to the test to help the Federation of American Scientists (FAS) update the game.
“Lots of schools are using games to teach their students,” said Rick Kelsey, director of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education at McKinley. “But this year we’re taking it a step further. The new version of the game will be played by students all over the country.”
Continue reading at www.eschoolnews.com.
Ballet, hip-hop and computers wouldn't normally find themselves in the same sentence, let alone an educational program.
But those are just some of the elements that will be in the mix at an arts and technology charter school scheduled to open later this month at a Clearwater church.
Serving children in kindergarten through third grade, the Life Force Arts & Technology Academy will infuse ballet, hip-hop, modern dance, singing, theater and computers into a traditional educational curriculum.
"The twist here is we're going to be using performing arts and technology as a way of communicating with kids,'' said Maurice Mickens, chairman of the school. "The goal is for kids to work one grade above their level within a year.''
Continue reading at www.tampabay.com.
At Empire High School in Vail, Ariz., students use computers provided by the school to get their lessons, do their homework and hear podcasts of their teachers’ science lectures.
Down the road, at Cienega High School, students who own laptops can register for “digital sections” of several English, history and science classes.
And throughout the district, a Beyond Textbooks initiative encourages teachers to create — and share — lessons that incorporate their own PowerPoint presentations, along with videos and research materials they find by sifting through reliable Internet sites.
Textbooks have not gone the way of the scroll yet, but many educators say that it will not be long before they are replaced by digital versions — or supplanted altogether by lessons assembled from the wealth of free courseware, educational games, videos and projects on the Web.
“Kids are wired differently these days,” said Sheryl R. Abshire, chief technology officer for the Calcasieu Parish school system in Lake Charles, La. “They’re digitally nimble. They multitask, transpose and extrapolate. And they think of knowledge as infinite.
“They don’t engage with textbooks that are finite, linear and rote,” Dr. Abshire continued. “Teachers need digital resources to find those documents, those blogs, those wikis that get them beyond the plain vanilla curriculum in the textbooks.”
Continue reading at www.nytimes.com.