Thursday, June 28, 2007

Link: Seattle Public Schools builds social-learning site for its tech-savvy teens

The above link is to an article about L3RN, written by Jessica Blanchard, a reporter from the Seattle Post Intelligence. According to the article, "L3RN is aimed at connecting students and enriching their education. Just as on YouTube, students can view others' work, leave comments and rate the quality of videos and other postings." With L3RN, students can upload assignments from home, and teachers will have the opportunity to collaborate on-line.

For more information about L3RN, visit the L2RN website.

This link was provided by the Technology and Education newsletter from Edutopia.

The Neuroscience of Joyful Education: ASCD article by Judy Willis, teacher and former neurologist

Judy Willis, a former neurologist, currently a middle school teacher, has written an article, "The Neuroscience of Joyful Education". This article can be found in the on-line version of Educational Leadership, Summer 2007, "Educating the Whole Child". It is well worth taking the time to read this article and discuss it with a colleague.

Much has been written about the importance of "brain-based" educational practices, which are much different than "teach to the test" practices that have been encouraged in some of our nation's classrooms. Judy's background as a neurologist gives additional support to the "educating the whole child" approach.

Despite the focus on raising educational outcomes - mostly in the form of test scores - our nation has a high school drop-out rate of about 70%. The "teach to the test" approach might help raise student test scores from one grade to another, but doesn't seem to ensure broader educational outcomes such as high school graduation among a large percentage of our nation's youth.

Resources from Judy's article are worth reviewing:

"Teachers can find valuable background materials and human interest connections in textbooks published in the 1990s, before many publishers dropped such information to make room for practice test questions. The Internet is a source of many teacher-shared lesson plans and links to Web sites that provide resources for student activities and information databases that bring the more fact-heavy lessons to life. These are just a few Web sites that teachers can mine for ideas:

Judy Willis is the author of Research-Based Strategies to Ignite Student Learning: Insights from a Neurologist/Classroom Teacher (ASCD, 2006; and Brain-Friendly Strategies for the Inclusion Classroom (ASCD, 2007;

Judy's website:

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

DimensionM: Evolver Pre-Algebra video game from Tabula Digita

Tabula Digita has created a 3-D first-person videogame to teach pre-algebra concepts. Tabula Digita also offers a 3-D Algebra game, Dimenxian, available for PC's and Macs.

Here's some information from the website:

"DimensionM™is an immersive video game world that engages students in the instruction and learning of mathematics. Pre-algebra and algebra objectives are covered through a series of missions that bring math into a world that today's students understand. Students become so captivated in solving problems that they forget they're learning but they don't forget what they've learned."

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

New and old- RomeReborn, old posts to revisit

I posted a link on my Interactive Multimedia Technology blog to information about Rome Reborn, an interactive 3-D simulation of ancient rome as it exist in 320 A.D. For those of you who work with "at-risk" learners and those with special needs who are visual learners, you'll find that Rome Reborn might be a great way to engage students in learning about world history.

(Rome Reborn would be great on a large interactive touch screen display or table.)

On a different note, I revisited one of my first TechPsych blog posts, Mega List of Resources and References: Technology, Education, Psychology, Prevention and Intervention, and thought I'd update it soon, since I've gathered more great references and resources over the past year. Stay posted!

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Technology in Prevention Blog

I came across the Technology in Prevention blog recently. It is hosted by LaDonna Coy, who is interested in virtual learning and social media focusing on using Web 2.0 technologies for prevention and social change.

Those of you interested in technology's use in prevention should take a look at Ladonna's first post, from December 2005, that addresses issues related to integrating technology into the work of prevention:

Monday, June 04, 2007

Research: Robots to help children form relationships

Here is a link to an article about the IROMEC project at the University of Hertfordshire. IROMEC stands for "Interactive Robotic Social Mediators as Companions"

Here is a quote from the article:

"Over the next three years, IROMEC will investigate how robotic toys can become social mediators encouraging children with disabilities to discover a range of play skills, from solitary to social and cooperative play and provide opportunities for other children and carers/teachers or parents to “join” in."

In my opinion, it might be less expensive to develop social skills interaction applications that incorporate virtual humans, and possibly more effective. For example, the virtual "friend" could reside on a multi-media enabled touch table, such as Microsoft's Surface.

What do you think?