How making stuff makes science more appealing to kids -- 6-29-11


(My thanks to Mr. Joseph Bywerwalter for this resource)

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Metacognition — from ardentisptyltd blog

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

When working with gifted children it is very important to consider metacognitionThis is awareness of your own thinking.  Metacognition can be taught and the best schools will start to incorporate metacognition from the very earliest levels. They might not call it metacognition but it will encompass self-reflection about learning, about task completion and about motivation.  It can be helpful to consider your own learning style and how difficult it is to work out how you think when you first begin.  Often children may not be aware of how they think but close questioning might assist.

Some metacognitive strategies to consider are…

From DSC:
When motivation is mentioned…does anyone have any good blog postings about how to help a student become motivated if –when they do their self-check on this — they discover or confirm that their motivation is very low for a particular assignment/topic that they are working on?

Addendum on 6/13/11:
I just saw this over the weekend from Steve Hargadon:



John Hunter on the World Peace Game — TED March 2011 — my thanks to Mr. Joseph and Mrs. Kate Byerwalter for this great presentation


TED Talks -- John Hunter presents the World Peace Game -- March 2011

About this talk
John Hunter puts all the problems of the world on a 4’x5′ plywood board — and lets his 4th-graders solve them. At TED2011, he explains how his World Peace Game engages schoolkids, and why the complex lessons it teaches — spontaneous, and always surprising — go further than classroom lectures can.

About John Hunter
Teacher and musician John Hunter is the inventor of the World Peace Game (and the star of the new doc “World Peace and Other 4th-Grade Achievements”).



TEDxNYED -- March 2011


Some presentations:


Will Richardson -TEDxNYED Talk -- 3-5-11

From DSC:
A couple of my take-aways from Will’s presentation:
We need life prep, not test prep.
We need a “different” system vs striving to make the current system “better”.


Also see:


Also see the TEDxNYED Speaker Lineup:

  • Don Buckley, Co-Host
  • Sylvia Martinez, Co-Host
  • Rinat Aruh
  • Steve Bergen
  • Patrick Carman
  • Luyen Chou
  • Brian Crosby
  • Maria Fico and John Ellrodt
  • Lucy Gray
  • Heidi Hayes Jacobs
  • Dennis Littky
  • Morley
  • Stacey Murphy
  • Will Richardson
  • Alan November
  • Gary S. Stager
  • Samona Tait
  • Homa Tavangar


Part 1 of Gospel for Teens -- CBS 60 Minutes

Part I

Part II


Also see:

as well as:


MaMa Foundation for Teens



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Why badges work better than grades

Why badges work better than grades — from Learning, Freedom and the Web by Cathy Davidson


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Game levels and scaffolding–they’re related — from Kaplan EduNeering by Karl Kapp


Salman Khan: Let’s use video to reinvent education — March 2011

Salman Khan talks about how and why he created the remarkable Khan Academy, a carefully structured series of educational videos offering complete curricula in math and, now, other subjects. He shows the power of interactive exercises, and calls for teachers to consider flipping the traditional classroom script — give students video lectures to watch at home, and do “homework” in the classroom with the teacher available to help.


Sal Kahn at TED -- March 2011


From DSC:
Before rushing to a quick take/judgment on this, hear him out. Turning over more control to the students during the relaying of the information makes sense to me. They can pause, rewind, fast forward, etc.  They can re-listen to the lecture again and again, without affecting the flow of a typical face-to-face classroom. Then they come into class and can get help on their homework, instantly and when they need the assistance.

Also see:


@GOOD Asks: How can we lower high school drop out rates?


We’ve covered the drop out epidemic before. In the United States, a kid drops out of high school every 26 seconds. Over the course of a year, that adds up to 1.2 million students. How can we lower this number?


From DSC:
This is unbelievable! Again, I’m reminded of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion — spilling out valuable resources that are going untapped. What a waste of God-given gifts!

  • 40 million American adults did not complete high school.
  • The high school graduate, on average, earns $500,000 more in a lifetime as compared to an individual who did not complete high school.
  • Most high school dropouts (70%) have the intellectual ability to complete the courses needed for high school graduation.
  • Most high school dropouts do not feel a connection between high school courses and future employment.
  • 75% of high school dropouts stated that if they could relive the experience, they would have stayed in high school.
  • 81% of dropouts expressed a need for schooling that connected academics and employment.


Addendum 4/5/11:



What makes a good learning game? Going beyond edutainment — from e-Learning Magazine by Simon Egenfeldt-Nielsen

After developing more than 30 learning games I can safely say that it is definitely not an easy task. Developing good learning games requires constant attention to opposing factors, which only through creativity can truly be made to smoothly work together.

Since the inception of computer games, there has been learning games. In the early years, games were used to demonstrate the potential benefits of computers. Although learning games date back to at least the 1960s, it is still a discipline fraught with challenges [1]. One of the fundamental questions that remain unanswered is: What really makes a good learning game? This simple question is far from trivial as it might be seem upon first sight. The question relates to what we define as a good game and what we define as good learning—none of which have been fully answered.

This article is not be a quick-guide for “how to design” learning games with ideas like points, leveling, power-ups and clear goals. Rather it will present a helicopter view on what often happens when you apply these principles and ignore the fundamental structure of games. You may very well create a learning game that is motivating, and uses level and feedback in some ways, but still fail miserable. This often happens because designers are not conscious of how games are fundamentally structured. They forget games are about “what you do” and not “what you see.” Instructional designers apply game principles but forget to step back and see whether these principles distort the learning experience. Often this happens by failing to integrate game and learning goals, losing sight of the difference between seeing and doing, and accidentally derailing the player away from learning in favor of pure fun. When you use very simple principles from games in your e-learning applications the risk of distortion is less, unlike when designing more complex, game-based learning applications.

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