Thursday, March 12, 2015

Worth Reading...

Sharing a few interesting posts from the past few weeks.

1. How Four Women In An RV Plan to Change Young Girls' Lives (Fast Company)- group of Stanford students who intend to travel across the country this summer to interest girls in design, STEM and the maker movement.

After spending a day helping Stanford’s SparkTruck team coach design and maker workshops for elementary school students in San Francisco last October, students Katie Kirsch and Jenna Leonardo felt inspired. They spent the drive back to campus imagining new ways they could bring design thinking—the creative process of understanding needs, identifying a problem and creating new ways to solve it—to young women’s lives. They asked each other an old motivational prompt: "What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail?"

2. New Research on Games and Classroom Practices (Reich)- case studies on the effectiveness of games as an assessment tool

But to have a positive impact on student learning, formative assessment demands information that is both useful and used. Our study documented some of the ways teachers are indeed utilizing games for formative assessment purposes, and the potential value of these uses for these important classroom practices. These case studies explored common features in games that teachers could use for formative assessment. In addition to identifying ways these features are useful to teachers, we also identified many areas for improvement.

3. Slice and Carve: The New Wave of Computer Creativity (NY Time)- how a new wave of machines is bringing precision to the way people make things

4. Noam Chomsky On the Dangers of Standardized Testing
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5. Studio 360- Humza Daes Puts Shame in Your Instagram Game

6. Well-Prepared In Their Own Eyes (Jaschik)- perspective from employers and students on job readiness skills

7. Reinventing High School (Fallows)- see how the CART school in Freson, CA structures learning

I sat with the group while the students talked through progress on their 10-week-long project, the production of a seven-minute video. This year’s theme for the video teams is science fiction. The essential question of their assignment: “How do imagination and technology contribute to our understanding of science, nature, and the human mind? How does the exploration of science and nature encourage us to dream of a better future”?  The soup-to-nuts tasks include writing an original story and script, casting actors, directing, filming, effects, editing, promotion, and presentation. The final package includes a reality-documentary of the entire video production, with its many high points and low points.  A few nights ago, Jim and I watched about half of last year's 22 productions on DVD. The most remarkable part to us were the student-produced documentaries which accompanied each film. The students spoke about how doing this intense work taught them about frustrations, perseverance, teamwork, satisfactions, and a lot of other things we would all like high schoolers to experience.