education & tech

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Education + Tech

Education & Tech, was created to build hope that education based on social technologies, can transform the new century, and enable abundance not only spiritually but economically. Milton Ramirez, Ed.D. - @tonnet is the founder & editor. He is a teacher, tech blogger, writes on education, and hails this blog from Union, NJ. For further questions, tips or concerns please e-mail him to:miltonramirez [at] educationandtech [dot] com

Teacher + Scholar

If you are a regular to Blog Education & Tech, you shall remember that I am a blogger and I'd written a post about education almost everyday since 2003. Education & Tech provides you with education news, expert tech advice, classroom management ideas, and social media tools for educators, administrators, parents and k-12 students.

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Top Education & Tech: News for Educators 2015

  • Even if you don’t have the skills, you can use a variety of free web-based visual tools for designing eye-popping graphics directly in your browser.

  • This guide makes finding the best apps for the task (and your kids' needs) a total no-brainer.

  • To prove that poverty is the major factor driving America’s meager academic achievement, these three claims need to be established:

    1. Poverty is related to lower levels of student learning.
    2. America’s poor students perform worse than other countries’ poor students.
    3. The poverty rate in the United States is substantially higher than the rates in countries with which it is compared.

  • In many countries, due to poverty, security or cultural factors, male children will be educated while their female siblings will not. And this only one of the reasons.

  • The bill Every Student Succeeds Act hands more powers back to the states, and is the final death knell for the expiring and unloved No Child Left Behind.

  • Head Start, serving more than 1 million children annually, is our nation's biggest early childhood program, and one that focuses exclusively on the most at-risk students. And this is the first time the standards have been revised in 17 years!

  • The less they read, the less capable they are of writing, but also the less sense they have of what a written product is, and what it means to write, and less of sense of what plagiarism is.

  • tags: #educationandtech

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Education & Tech: News for Educators

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Education & Tech: News for Educators 11/23/2015

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

How Google Docs Can Make Learning Fun

Paresh Dhake*

Google Docs can make learning fun
Google is known for its search engine services and other solutions that help businesses and individuals benefit. However, its apps for education have been becoming hugely popular in the recent years and one of the most successful apps that have come up in recent times is Google Docs. There's a lot of ways you can use the app for educational purposes. It's one of the apps that has made its mark in the e-learning industry thanks to the intuitive interface and ease of use combined with the integration with Google Drive. You can easily create new files, edit them on the go and also share with others no matter where you are without having to worry about data loss. Implementing the app into your e-learning strategy can help you benefit greatly and boost the effectiveness of your learning. Let’s take a look at some of the best ways to leverage the free tool.

Store your notes remotely:The integration of Google Apps with Google Docs allows you save your files no matter where you are. As long as you logged in to your Google account you can simply sign in to Google Docs and edit your files. You can use Docs to take notes in the classroom on your tablet or laptop and go home and read them over. Considering Google Apps are available for all platforms you can access them on a range of devices without any difficulties. You never have to worry about losing your files as they will be stored on the cloud and you can also make changes on the go. So even if you lose your physical copies of your learning resources you can simply login to the Google Docs app and access whatever you have lost.

Collaborate with others: One of the things that Google Docs product team targeted when they started out building the app was the collaboration feature. They already have a stiff competition from Microsoft Office suite of products. But it lacked collaboration capability.

You can prepare collaborative projects with your classmates using Google Docs. Collaborative projects allow you to work on the same plan with others without needing to be physically present with your collaborators to complete your research. Completing assignments become a breeze and you can also gain real-time feedback if you connect to your teachers by allowing them to monitor your progress. While collaborating you can also use Google chat to talk to your partners which serves as an invaluable tool when it comes to working as a group. Being able to share your knowledge base with others and gaining from others' knowledge about subjects can be greatly beneficial to your learning.

Mobile learning: Apple iOS and Android device users can easily access their files by downloading the Google Docs app and they can easily learn on the go when they do not have access to tablets and laptops. You can also edit and upload files using a mobile data connection or Wi-Fi whenever you want. One of the best features of the app is that you do not have to be online to use the app. You can simply create or edit files and they will automatically be synced when your phone has internet access.

Create Google Drive Courses: You can also upload your notes and prepare them in a systematic format that resembles a course to help others with their studies and assignments. Publishing your notes can be greatly beneficial to others and you can easily get feedback on your work from others and develop your own content. Listening to opinions of others is the most important objective of doing this; it will lead to conversations and interactions between you and your peers and help you become adept in your subjects. You should consider preparing webinars that include content with graphics and other visuals to make your documents more interesting and engaging. However, you need to be very active and make edits and changes as soon as you receive constructive feedback.

Self-grading quizzes: You can use Google Docs to make self-grading quizzes and exams. Collectively creating quizzes among your peers and using them to self-grade your comfort levels with certain topics can be of great benefit. These simple quizzes can prove to be valuable learning tools for students and should be used as frequently as possible.

Brainstorming sessions: You can use Google Docs simply to share ideas and concepts among your students. Being able to work collaboratively on a single file is one of the biggest advantages of using Google Docs.

Google Docs is one of the best tools for collaborative learning and boosting your productivity in e-learning. Being able to save your files on the go irrespective of which device you use and not having to worry about your notes and other learning resources, can prove to very useful for students.

(*) Paresh Dhake is a long time career advisor and a technology enthusiast. He is busy figuring newer ways to leverage technology in education. He also writes extensively on use of technology in education.

Education & Tech

Education & Tech: News for Educators

  • Learning in most conventional education settings is a passive experience: The students listen. But at the most innovative schools, classes are ‘hands-on,’ and students are creators, not mere consumers. They acquire skills and knowledge while solving a problem, creating a product or generating a new understanding. – Tony Wagner

  • The word engineer comes from the same root as the word ingenuity, and describe someone who uses their ingenuity, their knowledge of science and maths, and their ability to deal with complexity to design solutions to problems.

    It is also acceptable to refer to someone who is in charge of an engine as an engineer, although that use of the word has fallen out of fashion as engines have become simpler to operate.

    tags: #educationandtech

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Education & Tech: News for Educators

The rest of my favorite links are here.

Education & Tech: News for Educators

The rest of my favorite links are here.

Education & Tech: News for Educators

The rest of my favorite links are here.

Education & Tech: News for Educators

The rest of my favorite links are here.

Education & Tech: News for Educators

The rest of my favorite links are here.

Education & Tech: News for Educators

The rest of my favorite links are here.

Education & Tech: News for Educators

The rest of my favorite links are here.

Top Four Mind-Blowing Games on Android You can Play Today

By Vaishnavi Agrawal *

Google's Android phone by Pittaya Sroilong
Ready to drain your battery playing the tappy timewasters? Our list would help you do that. Read our top android game picks

The internet has turned the whole world into an integrated global village. Then comes the Smartphone which have migrated the universe into your hand. These days, you have an app to predict the weather, to do your office work, to even file your taxes besides finding out a route using GRPS.

But what if you are tired doing all those stuff? What if, instead of being workaholic, you’d rather want to waste your time playing games? We understand there's joy in games too and for most of you who is reading this article, games are also a productive way to spend time since it opens up boring minds. Read on as we enlist some of the most popular and trending games on Android.

Disclaimer – A marketplace like Android is so wide and vast that it is almost impossible to enlist the best games out of it. There are board games, word games, shooters games, runners games and etc. So, we have rather enlisted some of them we think are good. Parameters of deciding include popularity level.

Disco Zoo – The name says it all. The creator of Tiny Tower has done it again, now with more goodness. In Disco Zoo, you try to assemble a zoo consisting of pixilated animals. You go on discovering hidden animals, manage and expand your zoo to maximize your earning. The best part? You can throw parties for making thing happening.

How is it educationally useful?

Disco Zoo is an educationally useful application in the fact that it improves your rational thinking. The more aggressively you work around accumulating creatures and make them work for your rewards, it teaches you to tackle challenge-oriented goals.

Marvel Contest of Champions – Warm up your tapping fingers in this one-to-one fighting game that is so simple yet fast-paced. If you are an ardent marvel comic fan, we bet you will love playing this cool time waster.

How is it educationally useful?

Your kids will be more vulnerable to evil sides of a battling games if the games are not constructive and more into battling and fighting. Marvel contest of Champions is different in the fact that it is more about defending yourself and meeting a specific goals. So, more than fighting, you get to learn about self defending skills and understand the value of outperforming opponents – useful in later part of life.

Vector – If you ever liked Mirror’s Edge, we bet you will like this game as well. In it, you will find a silhoutted hero with a nice flair for run in a city. The animations are simply superb and the movements resemble human. Jumping from one rooftop to another with a flair for improved turns is a real fun.

How is it educationally useful?

It improves your eye sight, logical thinking and rational attitude. The game is useful in the fact that it is more about tackling challenges than about running.

Speedy ninja – Swords, fireballs were never so exciting and fun. In Speedy Ninja, you race, battle and defend yourself. Players usually need to utilize their time properly, and use their ideas on the run to defend.

How is it educationally useful?

The move and tricks you use to rescue yourself, helps you in problem-solving. The more you play, more you achieve a useful stature. The challenges are factors to improve your skill.

These are just four games from the most trending games on android. As you get to play these games, you realize how important it is to utilize power.

(*) Vaishnavi Agrawal loves pursuing excellence through writing and have a passion for technology. She has successfully managed and run personal technology magazines and websites. She currently writes for intellipaat.com, a global training company that provides e-learning and professional certification training.

The courses offered by Intellipaat address the unique needs of working professionals. She is based out of Bangalore and has an experience of 5 years in the field of content writing and blogging. Her work has been published on various sites related to Data Science, Hadoop, Big Data, Business Intelligence, Project Management, Cloud Computing, IT, SAP, Project Management and more.


Education & Tech

Education & Tech: News for Educators

The rest of my favorite links are here.

Education & Tech: News for Educators

The rest of my favorite links are here.

Education & Tech: News for Educators

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Here’s How to Effectively Deal With Online Blackmailers

By Jessica Barden*

This is an unfortunate reality that many online blackmailers are active over the internet and threatening people to make money. According to a computer security expert every year a large proportion of internet users especially students become the victim of online blackmailers. Therefore in this article we would discuss some effective tactics that can empower students to effectively deal with online blackmailers. Here’re few effective tactics that you could learn to get secure from online frauds.

Keep Calm

If you have received a message or call from a blackmailer who is threatening you and demanding money, then you must keep calm and develop a plan to deal with him smartly. It is observed that teens who become stressed very quickly not take good decisions. Thus keep yourself and think about the ways by which you can provide a tough time to the blackmailer so that s/he will never commit a crime again. Otherwise you will strengthen the blackmailer to keep on threatening teens to reap more money.

Record Everything

The first step that you will need to take to effectively deal with online blackmailers is to collect evidences against him. Try to keep the screen shots of all the emails, chat messages and anything that s/he sends to you. In addition use a call recorder to record every call as well as voices messages in which the fraud person had spoken to you. By collecting solid evidence you could legally challenge the fraud in the court to put him behind the bar. So stay calm and collect as many evidences as you can to punch the person blackmailing you via a legal process.

Report to Authorities

Once you gather solid evidence then spend some time to figure out concerned authorities that can help you to put blackmailer behind the bar. One of the best ways to figure out departments that take actions against blackmailers is to research online. Internet is the best resource to learn about anything in an easy and speedy manner. By using the power of internet within a minute, you could easily create an extensive list of departments that could help you to punish the blackmailer.

Never Fulfil the Demands Of The Blackmailer

Normally blackmailer demands a hefty amount of money from teens to get out of their life. If the person who is blackmailing you is demanding monetary value or anything else, never fulfil his/her demand as there is no credibility of such type of people. The best solution to get the blackmailing person out of one's life is to report the matter to police. This way you will not only save a hefty amount of your hard earned money but also punish the blackmailing person in the right way to secure others.

Protect Yourself

Consider everything online as a public property and never share your stuff with any strange person. A lot of blackmailers use public chat rooms and dating sites to cheat teenagers. Thus, avoid the use of platforms that can provide you tough time as well as negatively impact on your career. Surely this way you will secure yourself as well as your friends by sharing this post with them.

(*) Jessica Barden is an invited writer to this blog. She loves to serve students at Dissertation Club who need to grow their careers. Nowadays, she is writing advice blogs to facilitate students.

Education & Tech

Tips to Protecting Your Student’s Online Activities

By Jennifer Thayer*
Hectors World Launch - Australian Communications & Media
More and more school districts across the country are starting to provide students with tablets for use in the classroom and for homework assignments. Millions more kids use their own mobile devices to stay in touch with friends via social media. This should come as little surprise, as this new technology offers innumerable benefits over traditional text books and can be a tremendous tool for learning.

Of course, online time can also pose a potential risk if not properly monitored. It's important to note that the Internet, for all its advantages, makes it easier than ever for students and children to access adult material. What can be done to prevent this from occurring while also enabling children to reap the benefits that being online provides?

No single online security solution will solve all of your problems. Whether you are a teacher, parent, or grandparent looking to safeguard children, taking a multi-tiered approach to online security can go a long way towards ensuring that your student, son, or daughter isn't accessing materials that are inappropriate.

Here are some safety measures you may want to consider.

The Technological Solution

One of the easiest and most effective ways to restrict a student's access to inappropriate material is through the device's built-in parental control settings. Most mobile devices include some type of restriction access within the settings. By activating these settings, you can limit access to Web content, applications, camera usage, texting, online app stores and more. You can also deactivate the phone's GPS should you have concerns about other parties tracking the location of your student's device.

The best thing about a phone or tablet's built-in parental control settings is that they're fairly bulletproof. Once activated, they can only be deactivated with the passcode you create. Keep this passcode to yourself, and you alone will have control over the content that is accessed on the device. Though third-party anti-virus and security applications are available, they won't be as effective as the device's internal controls.

Monitoring the Old-fashioned Way

A number of applications are available (such as My Mobile Watchdog) that will allow you to monitor someone else's device from your own. Should you decide to go this route, we encourage you to share this information with your student, son, or daughter. If your student knows that the phone activity is being monitored, he or she is less likely to partake in inappropriate behavior. After all, what would be the upside? Perhaps more importantly, this conversation will enable you to maintain a clear and open relationship. Though no student wants to be spied on, either by a teacher or parent, it is only made worse if it's without their knowledge.

You don't have to resort to such tactics, however. If you're in the classroom, you can simply be active and engaged with the students' mobile device usage. Monitor which websites they're visiting, which applications they're using, and whether or not they're attempting to access things that they shouldn't be. Simply walking around the room may be enough to discourage such behavior. As a parent, it's no less important to monitor your son or daughter's mobile device usage. If you have concerns about what he or she is doing, lay down ground rules.

Making Expectations Clear

Children are curious (and sometimes a bit mischievous). You likely won't be able to completely control what they access using mobile technology on their tablet or smartphone. However, they can also listen. It never hurts to have a conversation with your student about what you expect of him or her in terms of online behavior.

(*)Jennifer Thayer is a long time contributor for Education & Tech.

Education & Tech

Tech Tools That Have Caught Our Attention in 2015

Today's teachers grew up in a world that was still primarily analog. We hand wrote our class notes and assignments, typing them up only when our teachers demanded it (or we wanted to show off). It's understandable then that even the tech savviest and most affectionate among us would still gravitate toward analog tools by default.

Today's kids, however, are not analog kids. Today's students have never lived in a world without email or laptops. Heck, today's K-6 students have never lived in a world without YouTube.

It makes sense, then, that it would be the teachers who need to adapt their styles and tools to the needs and norms of their students. This isn't always easy. We get that. That's why we've put together a list of some awesome tech tools for teachers that have caught our eyes and we think will help you more effectively teach and interact with your students.

Digital Planners

Remember that notebook your school would hand out every fall, with the calendar and the room for class schedules and the pages of blank boxes in which you were supposed to write your homework assignments? Those are still around, but now many of them have digital counterparts. For example, Meridian is launching a new digital version of its planner called Meridian PRIME, which allows students to personalize their schedules while simultaneously making classroom management (like grading, giving/receiving homework assignments, etc) easier for you.

Curation Tools

In your day, you had to make giant collages and tactile representations of content you'd curated around a single theme. That's harder to do in a world that increasingly values being as paperless as possible. Even so, a simple curation tool like Paper.li can be used to create the same digitally-based effect as those collages and boards you used to have to make as a kid. With online curation tools, your kids can create their own newspapers (like what Paper.li offers), etc. Pinterest is another useful tool here, but privacy issues will likely come into play.

Online Collaboration Tools

The group project is a tried and true tradition in the classroom. In the digital age, however, you don't want your students to have to waste time sending files back and forth while they are working together. Google has a suite of tools that are helpful with this like Docs and Hangouts. If you're looking for something more structured (and that will allow you to peek in on and help guide your students' progress), tools like ProofHub and MindMeister are great.

Presentation Tools

Power Point is dead! Long live Power Point! Yes, the widespread use of Power Point has made tools like overhead projectors almost obsolete. Even so, Power Point can only do so much. It's kind of boring. To make your classroom presentations more dynamic, use tools like Emaze or Prezi. These tools help you create presentations that grab attention. Prezi even allows you to move around, zoom, etc., within your presentation which is helpful when you're trying to keep your students' eyes from glazing over.

Social Media

Setting up a classroom-specific social media platform is a godsend for teachers. Students can communicate with each other, ask questions, get help, etc. You can monitor these conversations and participate as needed -answering those questions, adjusting lesson plans when you see that everybody is stuck on something. Edmodo is a great tool for this. It sets up a simple, Facebook-like environment for your classroom, allowing students and you to connect with each other easily and quickly. Schoolology is another great tool, and has the added benefit of giving you a safe space in which to connect with other teachers.

Games

There is still a debate over whether educational games are truly educational or if they are just a market for money grabbers. Like with most other genres w've talked about here, there are going to be games that help your students and games that are little more than distraction. Still, having access to games that help encourage and enhance learning is a great way to connect with your students. FunBrain, MangaHigh, Socrative are all great tools for helping your students learn and allowing you to assess their progress in certain subjects.

More and more the classroom is going digital. Students can even go to school entirely online now, via virtual K-12 schools. Instead of fighting against it, why not embrace all of the digital tools that will help you do your job and make the learning experience richer for your students? And don’t forget, there are also plenty of tools out there that are just for teachers to use as well! Don’t forget about the benefits you'll get from having better connections with your colleagues.

This is a featured post by site supporter Katherine

Education & Tech

Education & Tech: News for Educators

Here some of the most useful and relevant tweets produced during the ISTE 2015.

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5 Sure-Fire Ways to Avoid Scam While Studying Online

By Jessica Barden*

In today's tech driven world, students are consuming online resources to enhance their knowledge and academic performance. A new study showed that more than 80% students engage over the World Wide Web to accomplish their academic activities on time. But there are some scammers active over the internet that tries their best to steal the information of other users through powerful hacking devices and techniques. Therefore in this article we would discuss some effective steps that we could take to conquer online hackers and scammers.

Continual Education by Samuel Yu on Flickr
Here are five sure fire ways to avoid online scam while utilizing online resources for studies.

Protect Your Online Accounts. The very first thing that you will need to make sure to avoid online scam is to create a unique password to secure your credentials. Ensure to create a powerful password with a mixture of capital and small alphabet along with numerical values to confuse the hacker. Keep in mind to create a complex password that can provide a tough time to any hacker who is trying to steal your account. In addition try your best to change your email, social media, as well as bank accounts password regularly to protect yourself from hackers.

Never Enroll In Baseless Online Institution. Due to the rapid advancement in technology especially in the last decade it's become easy for students to enroll in their favorite course via online institution. But the bad news is that many fraudulent providers over the internet are cheating student with fake degrees and diplomas. Therefore, if you’re also planning to enroll in an online institution then you must visit their office before registering in any program. Otherwise you will not only waste ample amount of your money but also negatively impact your career with unrecognized qualification.

Ignore Unknown Emails. A lot of scammers are cheating teenagers by sending them emails that contains mind-blowing deals and prices. Don't open or reply to any email that is sent from any unknown source as it will automatically forward your account details to the scammer that is operating from backhand. Scam emails contain links that redirect user to other websites to steal their valuable information such as your id and password to commit crimes on your personal identification.

Don't Share Your Personal Information. The growing popularity of social media is enabling hackers to steal information of any user. You will be surprised to know that more than 50% accounts are hacked through social media platforms. The main reason why hackers are active over social media is the information users share publically on their profiles. Thus use strict privacy policy setting to secure your precious information from fraudulent peoples.

Speak Up. If you find any scam or in case you had become a victim of any of these, make sure to report it. This is because when people ignore fraudulent activities and don’t report it, they strengthen the scammers and hackers. So, ensure to stand up against fraudulent people and report scam to concerned authorities to make internet a safe place for learning.

(*) Jessica Barden is a lead content creator who is working with a team of in-house writer to facilitate students with essay help. Nowadays, she is writing academic advice blogs to help out students who need academic guidance.

Education & Tech

Education & Tech: News for Educators

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Testing as an Enemy of Learning

Kaitlin Shiner, Port Orchard's Star Student
Classes are about to begin for freshman and I want to share some thoughts, as always arbitrary, on topics that I have observed in my experience in education, which could be useful for those who have kids going to college.

Before delving into this matter, I want you to understand my perception about learning. I don't see learning as going about satisfying curiosity or memorizing names, dates and formulas, but as the ability to do something that previously could not be done. That is, knowledge is know-how.

In this context, learning is the capability to incorporate a chance. When I can perform something new, it opens a series of alternatives that I did not have before, for example, if a kid learns how to swim, now he can go to the beach, party in houses with a pool, go swimming, and so on. Learning is about change; and if one changes, the world and its possibilities also change.

From this perspective, I think there are barriers to learning, and the most important is the test. Although its function is to show evidence of an educational progress, the test by itself has gained significance, powerful, and disturbing social relevance.

For example, when a kid comes back home from school after taking a test, parents ask: what grade did you get?, if he says "100" it's all happiness and reward. The message we send is that his acceptance, in this context, is determined by the grade obtained. But tests are designed to measure learning out of the context for which that learning needs to be used.

What happens if we change the question? Instead of asking, what grade did you get? We ask, what did you learn today? Then we enjoy a moment of happiness from what was learned that day, then the kid will understand that his acceptance comes through what he learned rather than the grade marked on his paper.

As teacher Michael Soskil states, "people always say, 'We need tests because life is full of tests.' That's nonsense. Life isn't full of tests. It's full of assessments."

That small change in our perception of learning modifies the position from where the student is looking up at learning. If recognition comes a grade, he will do everything necessary to obtain it, but grades as an end goal are short-term, fragmented, and subject to comparison and competitiveness; on the contrary, if the focus is on knowledge, this leads to value learning as a continuous and long-term process.

A grade may be valid as long as priority is given to the student's image of himself as an outcome generator and not the grade by itself. The individual's results are achieved based on his potential, and not in comparison with the rest of his classmates.

Education demands urgent reflections, we must educate for a society of uncertainty where production and knowledge management begins to be out of formal logic, we must educate to face the complexity of a democratic society and its diversity, educating for innovation in contexts of high social complexity.

So I think we need to change the discussion of learning from the quantitative to the qualitative scenario.

As teachers we have a challenge and a big responsibility, today more than ever we must be teaching to think, to ask new questions and mainly to teach our kids that they are not simply a grade on a paper.

Want to add to this story? Let us know in comments, subscribe in a reader or send an email to the author at miltonramirez@educationandtech.com . You can share ideas for stories on the Education & Tech.

Milton Ramirez

Education & Tech: News for Educators

The rest of my favorite links are here.

Education & Tech: News for Educators

The rest of my favorite links are here.

The Intersection of Mobile Gaming and Education

By Jennifer Thayer

Worlds of their own - Photo by Simon Blackley
Anyone who owns a smartphone or tablet knows that the mobile game industry is a juggernaut. The amount of titles is seemingly endless, and most people seem to have five, 10, or even 20 games downloaded onto their devices.

The genres that these games cover are just as diverse and prevalent as the titles themselves. This breadth in mobile titles has opened up the gaming community to entirely new demographics.

One area of gaming, though, manages to put up a fight with little fanfare or public adoration. In fact, this one genre that many give so little thought to happens to be one of the industry's most popular – the educational mobile game.

Educational Titles Are Taking Off Like Rocket Ships

Market data shows that the popularity of educational game titles continues to rise with each passing year. Currently a $1.5B market, some experts believe that educational titles will account for approximately $2.3B in revenue by 2017. Mind you, 2017 isn't in some far-off future; quite the contrary, it's right around the corner. That a market could enjoy roughly 60 percent growth in just two years is nothing short of staggering.

But why this surge in popularity? Well, there's no one answer, but two things that helped pave the way: There were the greater accessibility that mobile devices users were able to afford, and the leap in technology that made it possible to put the world at your fingertips.

Smarter Processors Help Drive Smarter Games

Whereas traditional gaming consoles limited access to video games – partly by design, but partly as a result of cost considerations – mobile devices like smartphones and tablets make it possible for anyone and everyone to play video games.

The incredible gaming performance applied to processors of mobile manufacturers is helping drive the development of new games (and yes, this includes educational games). There are literally hundreds and hundreds of educational titles to choose from, and that only counts the games that you have to pay for! In truth, there's no shortage of options for parents and schools who are interested in game-based learning.

Is This Really a Good Thing? Educational Titles Being So Popular?

Inevitably, the question will be asked, Are these games actually effective educational tools? Or are they just wolves in sheep's clothing? In other words, are they educational on the surface, but mindless at their core? Well, to provide a blanket answer to that question would probably be a bit disingenuous – after all, there's bound to be some stinkers in the bunch, right? – but it has been shown conclusively that games can positively affect and benefit learning.

Cognitive games can help improve memory and brain function, and beyond that, games with an educational bent can actually teach. It's important to remember that educational games don't have to be limited to puzzles, math problems, and memory tests.

Education & Tech

Gal(xyz) to Allow Kids Learn Science While They Play

Surely this is not the very first note about games in the classroom you are reading about. As you know, many of the so called learning games are technically sound, but visually unappealing.

Galxyz (Beta) is an intergalactic science adventure free iPad game. The game is based on the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), currently being widely adopted across the United States, as well as a deep partnership with the New York Academy of Sciences.

The World Economic Forum has ranked the United States 52nd in quality of science education, and 5th (and declining) in overall global competitiveness. Yet, as we all know the 21st century will require a workforce with a firm grounding in science thinking and practices.

Storytelling has always been the main vehicle for the transmission of information at all times. Dr. Michael Gazzaniga, a cognitive neuroscientist and the author of Who’s in Charge? Free Will and the Science of the Brain(2011) asserts that narrative gives our memories context and cohesion.

And science is not other thing than facts connected by a context we all share.

Beginning as an alien child from an abandoned, icy planet, students will rise to become intergalactic space adventurers on a quest to defy the wicked King Dullard.

Students start by learning about Science Practices, then go on to Properties of Matter; Chemical Reactions; Interdependencies in Ecosystems, and beyond. They'll be able to discover another 100+ particles, released one by one. Kids can create up to three different users, so everyone gets to play at their own pace!

Digital mobile media is everywhere and students around the world are using it more and more everyday. From smartphones to tablets, from computers to video games, digital media is an ever-present, fully integrated part of our academic lives.

Want to add to this story? Let us know in comments, subscribe in a reader or send an email to the author at miltonramirez@educationandtech.com . You can share ideas for stories on the Education & Tech.

Milton Ramirez
 
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