Pope “Hangout” with Students via Google Video Chat

pope video chatPope Francis hosted his first video chat and took questions from students around the world.

As part of the worldwide initiative to connect with students, the Pope participated in a video chat that promotes development of young students through technology, sports, arts and culture. He answered questions from groups of students from five different schools from around the world: Australia, Israel, Turkey, South Africa and El Salvador. Questions range from world peace, discrimination and the Catholic faith.

The students who participated in the Hangout were indeed lucky enough to be able to spend time and learn from the Pope and have a once in a lifetime experience that they can take with them growing up.

You can watch the full video of the Pope’s Google Hangout here.

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Help me! Baby steps into the Gaming World With Clash of Clans

clan_screenshot_1_600_349_s_c1_center_top_0_0By Allison Zmuda with a lot of help from her daughter Zoe

As I venture into the gaming world with a little bit of prodding from my sensei Marie Alcock, she recommended starting with Clash of Clans. Not wanting to do this on my own, I enlisted my kids to help me learn. Marie said that she wanted me to actively learn, not let my kids do the learning for me. (That’s what happened when I tried and failed to learn Minecraft.)

So, this morning we started our journey. The part that I was fluent in was downloading it from the App Store. After that, totally at a loss. My almost 10 year old daughter was texting her condolences to the loss of her friend’s cat and her friend responded that she was playing Clash of the Clans to make herself feel better...

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Goucher College Allows Video Applications, Without Transcripts or Test Scores

Goucher CollegeHow would you feel about applying to a college without transcripts or test scores?

Goucher College in Baltimore, Maryland is now offering a cool new way of submitting college applications for students seeking admissions. All you need to do is submit a two minute video of yourself to the liberal arts college in Baltimore County that answers a simple question: How do you see yourself at Goucher?

This alternative method hopes to help the college connect with those students who are college material regardless of ACT or SAT admission test results.

“I’m convinced we are leaving talent on the table in this country because the process is so complicated and stressful. I want to level the playing field.” Goucher President José A. Bowen said. Read the full Washington Post article about Goucher...

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Think Three Years!

Think Three YearsPurdue’s students can now have the option to an accelerated study plan in the Brian Lamb School of Education. The creation of three-year program, Think Three Years!, was recently awarded a $500,000 university prize through the Purdue’s university office.

Think Three Years! will be a great opportunity for students interested in general communication, public relations and strategic communication, mass communication, corporate communication, and human relations.

“Our school’s goal is to become the preferred destination for students interested in studying communication,” Marifran Mattson, professor and head of the Brian Lamb School of Communication said.

Interesting, right? Find out more about Think Three Years here.

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Teaching Algebra Straight into Student’s Hearts

AlgebraMath has always been the subject that most students love the least. Topics like Algebra, Trigonometry or Calculus intimidate students because they feel these subjects will not be applied to the world in a meaningful way.

This blog article by Katrina Schwartz of KQED focuses on Algebra and will surely inspire educators to apply interest based learning approach in teaching Algebra. Researchers conducted a study and found out that struggling students improved the most when their interests were taken into consideration. Algebra curriculum were designed based on students interests like music, art, movies, sports and social media. What is more interesting is that even after the study, the students exposed to the interest based learning approach were doing better on difficult problems as well.

H...

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How to Get Students to Work Harder

teacher feedbackStudies constantly show that students who doubted their academic abilities and potential would often have a tendency to fall behind in school, regardless of their personal background or the quality of learning they receive. The researchers continued conducting studies and experiments among students in areas of effective teacher feedback and encouragements. The results are astounding. Students receiving encouraging words like, “I’m giving you these comments because I have very high expectations and I know you can reach them” compared to the usual critical comments like “unclear” or “wrong word choice” would most likely turn in a better essay or homework.

Researchers concluded that students were more motivated to step up academically when they perceive that their teacher’s feedback were ge...

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Are Your Students Engaged? Don’t Be So Sure.

Classroom ConfusionIt’s about time that we reconsider the meaning of student engagement and assess ourselves as educators if we are making it a priority in establishing our relationship with students.

A recent study in Australia tracked students over a 20-year period. Researchers found out that “the more children felt connected to their school community and felt engaged (rather than bored), the greater their likelihood of achieving a higher educational qualification and going on to a professional or managerial career, over and above their academic attainment or socio-economic background.”

But what exactly is student engagement?

We often confuse student engagement when students comply or follow us or worse, if they are having “fun” that led to a number of myths distorting how we act, and what we look for, in ...

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Why Students Should Own Their Educational Data

Todd Rose“We are losing 50, 000 exceptional talents each year.”

This was the startling fact that Todd Rose, who teaches educational neuroscience at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education, shared at a TEDx talk last summer.

Mr. Rose points out that traditional educational systems have been teaching our students on being average because we have been designing learning on average for years. The main goal in fact of learning should be to nurture individual potential. The professor further argues that designing on average destroys talent and hides areas of improvement that educators can actually address.

Mr. Rose believes that technology can help, by giving educators detailed data on students and creating flexible learning environment that nurture individual potential...

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7th Grader Discovers Source Of Mystery Infections

Elan Filler

Elan Filler at the LA County Science and Engineering Fair with her project on Cryptococcus gattii.

A seventh grader, as part of her science fair project, was able to discover the source of a rare fungus, Cryptococcus gattii, which affects HIV/AIDS patients in Southern California for years. Not bad for somebody who just turned 16.

Elan Filler, was just looking for a science fair project that she can showcase in school when she came up with the idea. Previously, scientists had assumed eucalyptus trees were to blame, since they were a home for the fungus in Australia — but no one was ever able to find it in California.

Elan was lucky enough to have a supportive father who was also an infectious disease specialist at the University of California...

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What Do Parents Want in Their Child’s School?

Parent Teacher in SchoolParents, without a doubt, want only the best for their children. As educators, we must understand the concerns of these parents in our school’s ability to meet their child’s academic needs.

A recent study by the The Fordham Institute shows that over a third of the K-12 parents sees their chosen schools as a passage way for their child’s career. The other types of parents expected schools to instill instruction into their child, expose them to cultural diversity or help them get good enough grades to enter a good university, while others wanted to emphasize on the arts and music. What the study simply points out is that parents have different expectations and needs from schools.

Bill Carozza, an elementary school principal for 17 years,  identifies these different kinds of parents in schoo...

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