SURVEY: New Survey Shows Evolving Demographics of Entertainment Software Users

Forty percent of gamers are women according to a new survey released today by the video game industry's trade group, the Entertainment Software Association (ESA). Additional findings in the ESA's annual survey of consumer demographics and usage behaviors indicate that the average age of game players has risen to 35. more»

REPORTS: From the Pew Economic Mobility Project

Here are a set of new reports focused on the details of economic mobility. "Contrary to American beliefs about equality of opportunity, a child’s economic position is heavily influenced by that of his or her parents. Forty-two percent of children born to parents in the bottom fifth of the income distribution remain in the bottom, while 39% born to parents in the top fifth remain at the top,” Julia Issacs , a Brookings Institution fellow, writes in Pew’s latest analysis.more»
Americans have historically shown a unique tolerance to accept high levels of inequality. This springs from an embedded national belief in mobility: a conviction that hard work and honest labor deserve just reward, and a confidence that our society is and should be constructed to provide equality of opportunity, not to guarantee equality of outcomes. But if the ladder of opportunity truly is — or is perceived to be — inaccessible to a great number of Americans, this value system is at risk of crumbling. A discussion that identifies and quantifies the drivers of and obstacles to economic mobility should be a top priority for those interested in preserving and protecting the spirit and reality of the American Dream.

ARTICLE: Building a Nation of Polyglots, Starting With the Very Young

What would happen if we added being fluent in multiple languages to the national learning standards and accountability structures? Many recent immigrants to the U.S. would actually be advantaged -- and rightfully so. It sure would make sense given an increasingly interconnected world. more»

ARTICLE: Secretary Spellings's Remarks at UNESCO General Conference Plenary Debate in Paris, France

Universal primary education by 2015 is a UN Millennium Development Goal. In this article Secretary Spelling argues for constructing systems built on the principles of measurement and accountability. I sure hope that there will be considerable attention being given to providing instructional resources, tending to local educational needs and processes, and utilizing models of diagnostic, low-stakes assessment -- rather than simply layering on high-stakes testing and educator accountability. more»
"Around the globe, we have done a good job of educating children of privilege. Now we must begin the harder work of equipping poor and vulnerable children with the skills they need to succeed. As you know, worldwide, approximately 77 million children do not attend school. More than 771 million adults cannot read. Two-thirds of these adults are women, and 85 percent live in just 35 countries."

ARTICLE: Experimental School Gets Rid of Classes, Teachers

Imagine a school where students select their own learning projects rather than having scheduled classes, where adults serve as guides and critics rather than teachers, where technology is employed as a learning infrastructure, where loners feel comfortable and collaboration is promoted, and where test performances are perfectly fine... more»

PRESS RELEASE: Universities get $7 million for history-education clearinghouse

Stanford University's School of Education and George Mason University have been awarded $7 million by the U.S. Department of Education to establish a virtual "Federal Clearinghouse for History Education" to help teachers become more effective educators and teach K-12 students why history is relevant to their daily lives... more»

ONLINE DEBATE: The Economist Oxford-Style Debate on Effectiveness of Technology in Education

Proposition: The continuing introduction of new technologies and new media adds little to the quality of most education. debate»
Over the last several decades, large investments have been made to equip primary and secondary schools with computers and teacher training. Now it is time to examine whether there has been a sufficient return on this investment. Does technology really offer substantive advantages to students? Does technology accelerate or impede real progress in education? Similarly, does technology serve as a teaching crutch or does it offer the ability to promote sustainable change in the world?s classrooms? And if so, is the technology deployed today being used to best possible advantage? What conditions need to exist in schools for technology to have an impact?

IMAGE OF SCIENCE: Astrophysicist Replaces Supercomputer with Eight PlayStation 3s

Here in the US, we have collectively decided long ago to present the disciplinary work of science as a universalistic methodological apparatus -- packaged in such images as the scientific method, fair tests, experiments. Given that there is no disciplinary unity in method, the gap between the contemporary practice of science and science education continues to expand. This is especially true as we ratchet down to increasingly narrow educational outcomes -- still hopelessly focused on content. Here's a nice image of what the 'practical work' of contemporary science looks like -- it is one of persistent tinkering, customization, finagling of resources, and innovation... more»

VIDEO: A vision of students today [about the world and education]

Here's a short video made by some college students summarizing how they learn, what they need to learn, their goals, hopes, dreams & what kinds of changes they will experience in their lifetime... more»

RESOURCE: Educator orientation island unveiled in Second Life

A new destination in Second Life designed to help quickly orient teachers to the immersive enterprise... more» more» more»

BOOK: The Gestural Origin of Language

The authors of this volume demonstrate that modern language is derived from practical actions and gestures that were increasingly recognized as having the potential to represent, and hence to communicate. In other words, the fundamental ability that allows us to use language is our ability to use pictures or icons, rather than linguistic symbols... more»

STUDY: Young toddlers think in terms of the whole object, not just parts

"This new research shows that as young toddlers learn language, they are more likely to focus on objects rather than parts..." more»

HANDBOOK: The New Handbook of Science and Technology Studies

Science and Technology Studies is a flourishing interdisciplinary field that examines the creation, development, and consequences of science and technology in their cultural, historical, and social contexts. The Handbook of Science and Technology Studies provides a comprehensive and authoritative overview of the field, reviewing current research and major theoretical and methodological approaches and analyzing emergent issues in a form that is accessible to new and established scholars from a range of disciplines. more» more» table of contents»

ARTICLE: Failing Schools Strain to Meet U.S. Standard

"More than 1,000 of California’s 9,500 schools are branded chronic failures, and the numbers are growing. Barring revisions in the law, state officials predict that all 6,063 public schools serving poor students will be declared in need of restructuring by 2014, when the law requires universal proficiency in math and reading.

“What are we supposed to do?” Ms. Paramo asked. “Shut down every school?” more»

REPORT: National Action Plan for STEM Education

The United States possesses the most innovative, technologically capable economy in the world, and yet its science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education system is failing to ensure that all American students receive the skills and knowledge required for success in the 21st century workforce... more»

ARTICLE: Snooze or Lose

Overstimulated, overscheduled kids are getting at least an hour’s less sleep than they need, a deficiency that, new research reveals, has the power to set their cognitive abilities back years... more»

QUOTE: Goethe on How We See and Learn to See

"We don’t know what we see; we see what we know."
- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

STUDY: Ten Myths of Scientific Collaboration

From this book, here are 10 myths of scientific collaboration...

Big Myths...

  • ICTs improve collaboration
  • Larger collaborations are more rigid & hierarchical (No -- on matters pertaining to the generation of scientific research, they are not. Size is less significant than we suspected.)
  • Outcomes of a collaboration determine success.
  • Collaborations are based on Trust. (Trust has no influence on outcomes.)

Other Myths...

  • Co-authorship tells us important things about collaboration
  • We can learn from high energy physics. (Not typical - Physics is only typical of high-energy physics. Not a model.)
  • Collaboration is a necessity
  • Collaborations are formed by people who know each other.
  • Collaborations benefit everyone (e.g., Matthew effect).
  • Benefits of collaboration are greater than the costs. (Believe it -- but it isn’t true.)

BOOK: Structures of Scientific Collaboration

"Collaboration among organizations is rapidly becoming common in scientific research as globalization and new communication technologies make it possible for researchers from different locations and institutions to work together on common projects. These scientific and technological collaborations are part of a general trend toward more fluid, flexible, and temporary organizational arrangements, but they have received very limited scholarly attention..." more»
The authors find that collaborative research depends on both technology and bureaucracy; scientists claim to abhor bureaucracy, but most collaborations use it constructively to achieve their goals. The book analyzes the structural elements of collaboration (among them formation, size and duration, organization, technological practices, and participant experiences) and the relationships among them. The authors find that trust, though viewed as positive, is not necessarily associated with successful projects; indeed, the formal structures of bureaucracy reduce the need for high levels of trust--and make possible the independence so valued by participating scientists.

SPECIAL ISSUE: Social Cognition in SCIENCE

Social cognition is a very active field these days. SCIENCE magazine recently did a series of articles on recent developments... more»