Links For December 27, 2014

Fun Palaces

Each Fun Palace is unique, self-generating, self-supporting and local. Some may just be moments, some may take over venues for the whole weekend. In the 2014 Fun Palaces weekend there were Fun Palaces in theatres, gardens, tents, woodlands, shops, car parks, schools, libraries, swimming pools, public squares, town halls and dozens of other venues.

Hakuna Matata On A Sunday Afternoon

But it wasn’t until we took our seats in the Lyceum Theatre that I started to realise quite how special an experience this was to be. I looked around as the 2000-seat auditorium began filling with a truly unique audience. All around me were children, teenagers and adults with varying degrees of autism.... And the noise level grew and grew, with the sound of people groaning, screeching, hooting and laughing. To the uninitiated this might have looked daunting, even frightening. But to us, the parents and families of people with autism, this was pure happiness.

Can a Child’s Creativity and Persistence be Assessed by a Game?

“It starts by articulating a competency model,” Shute said. “This is what you want to say about the student at the end of the day in terms of knowledge and skills and dispositions.” Shute and her team designed a game to teach physics, creativity and conscientousness using a method called Evidence Based Design. They figured out what evidence would prove kids were learning in those three areas, designed tasks to evoke that evidence and compared the results to other evaluation methods that have already been validated.

Literacy Apps: Top 50 Apps Rarely Earn High Marks from Reviewers

We were perplexed to find so few of the award-winning apps among the Top 50 educational apps in the app stores during the two months of our sampling. This finding suggests there may be a disconnect between what parents buy for their children and what media products experts think are good for children. These differences may also reflect higher rates of marketing that producers of the most popular apps are doing to promote their products.

App Reviews to Help Choose Ed Tech this Holiday Season

To help, we’ve conducted interviews with founders and developers at some well-known review sites (listed below in alphabetical order) that live, eat, and breathe apps and other ed tech products. This is by no means a complete list of all the resources out there, but we wanted to get a sense of how reviewers choose which apps make the cut. Like the apps themselves, these review sites vary in audience, funding, and philosophy, but they all share the common goal of making the marketplace a little more manageable.

The MindShift Guide to Digital Games and Learning