This week in Education News: EdWeek reports on the potential of Minecraft; the Times reports on the opt-out movement; New York magazine explores what happens when we don’t talk about race; EdWeek takes an in-depth look at education in New Orleans ten years after Katrina; and John Spencer recounts his journey through social media.
Minecraft Opens New Doors for Teaching
Minecraft is the second-most played computer game in the Western world, with 36 million playing in Europe and North America alone. While some teachers are wary of bringing such an open-ended game into the classroom, many educators have found ways to use it to teach everything from urban planning to historic preservation. Read more at Edutopia to find ways to use it in your classroom.
Opt-Out Movement Undermines Testing Data in New York
Regardless of where you stand on the opt-out movement — that is, the growing number of parents refusing to allow their children to take the standardized tests in an attempt to render the scores meaningless — it appears that proponents are approaching their goal in New York. The New York Times reports that with 20 percent of students sitting out across the state — and even higher numbers in some districts — the data often cannot be used for any kind of assessment. In areas with high opt-out rates, parents aim to notify teachers early in the school year. If teachers know the test has no bearing on them, they will feel free to forego test-prep curriculum. The movement continues to evolve, but the impact is yet to be understood.
The Drawbacks of Teaching Colorblindness
Here at Channel One, we’ve been following the issues surrounding race in America, including the events in Ferguson, Baltimore and more. These topics touch students’ lives in very direct and personal ways. That’s why we were curious when we saw that New York Magazine explored how people talk — or don’t talk — about racism, and what impact that approach has on children. It might inspire educators to ask themselves, how does our school address race, and is it working?
Education in New Orleans, Ten Years Later
On the tenth anniversary of Katrina, EdWeek has put together a collection of stories chronicling the efforts to improve education for all communities in New Orleans. The series looks at the impact of charter schools taking over, the intersection of culture and academic success, the aftermath of mass firings of teachers city-wide, and more.
The Five Phases of Becoming a Connected Educator
On his site, spencerideas.org, John Spencer explores the five phases he has gone through in getting connected to his community on Twitter. From making himself comfortable in a new environment, to building a community, to collaborating with that community to develop meaningful ideas and projects, Spencer chronicles his journey through the space of social media.
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