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Skype game gets kids excited about geography

getsparx:

For teachers looking to inject some excitement into their geography lesson, Skype might be the answer. Silvia Tolisano recently created a game she calls “Mystery Skype Call” that uses the video conferencing tool and some critical thinking to teach students geography in a new and exciting way.

Read more and see a video on the Spark blog…

Tags: /skype /teaching /education /teachers /school /classroom /technology /learning /dml /children /parents /geography /lesson plan Reblogged from: Sparx / Post was created by: getsparx Reblog notes: 8 notes
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Children’s Book for iPad Teaches Acceptance

getsparx:

At first glance, Pop It seems no different from the many other interactive children’s books “popping up” on the market for the iPad. But give the screen a shake and you’ll begin to see the bigger picture. The book features a child going through normal daily activities with his parents. By shaking the iPad, these parents can be changed from a homosexual couple, to a lesbian couple, to a heterosexual couple.

“It’s a metaphor for shaking from one perspective to another,” said artist and author Raghava KK in an interview with Mashable. “The relationship between parent and child does not change if they have two moms, two dads. I’m challenging the concept of family.”

Raghava hopes to use the concept to teach children to be open-minded about a variety of issues, including racial and ethnic biases. Eventually, he would like the project to be open-source and to allow users to create interpretations that address different biases that they deal with in their everyday lives. Continue reading this story on the Spark blog…

Tags: /lgbtq /iPad /e-reader /Apple /children /family /parenting /books /technology /kids /reading Reblogged from: Sparx / Post was created by: getsparx Reblog notes: 12 notes
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getsparx:

Check out these interesting articles on kids and technology!
 Slideshow presents the evolution of kid’s computers (computerworlduk.com)
5 reasons why the iPad was made to keep parents sane (cnn.com)
 10-year-old releases iPhone game with help from Make-a-Wish (geekwire.com)
 The Netflix of baby clothes (plumgear.com)
 Survey proves kids would rather be outside (guardian.co.uk)
 Justin Bieber says, ‘Don’t text and drive’ (mnn.com)
Check out more news on kids and technology on the Spark blog!

getsparx:

Check out these interesting articles on kids and technology!

Slideshow presents the evolution of kid’s computers (computerworlduk.com)

5 reasons why the iPad was made to keep parents sane (cnn.com)

10-year-old releases iPhone game with help from Make-a-Wish (geekwire.com)

The Netflix of baby clothes (plumgear.com)

Survey proves kids would rather be outside (guardian.co.uk)

Justin Bieber says, ‘Don’t text and drive’ (mnn.com)

Check out more news on kids and technology on the Spark blog!

Tags: /kids /parenting /teaching /education /baby /iPad /iPhone /computer /Justin Bieber Reblogged from: Sparx / Post was created by: getsparx Reblog notes: 10 notes
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getsparx:

 
Although women make up nearly half of the world population, their presence in the sciences constitutes a vastly smaller percentage. Today, only twelve percent of engineers are female. Science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM for short) are all fields in which women are under-represented. This is precisely why this year’s Google Science Fair results are so exciting–all three top prizes were awarded to women.
The winning projects put the classic baking soda volcano to shame. Lauren Hodge, winner of the 13-14 age group, tested a variety of marinades and their effects on the carcinogens typically found in grilled chicken. Her findings showed that lemon juice and brown sugar sharply decreased carcinogen levels, while soy sauce actually increased them.
Naomi Shah, winner of the 15-16 age group, performed a study of 103 adult subjects where she was able to link the increase in two environmental pollutants to decreased lung function and asthma symptoms.
The grand prize was awarded to the winner of the 17-18 age group,Shree Bose of Fort Worth, Texas. Bose’s project focused on the chemotherapy drug cisplatin that is commonly taken by women with ovarian cancer. Bose discovered a protein known as AMPK that, when paired with the drug, stops cancer cells from becoming resistant to its effects. Bose shared her feelings in an interview with ABC:

“That perception that women can’t compete in science has been ingrained in this field for so long. It just shows that our world is changing and women are stepping forward in science, and I’m excited to be a small part of that.”

 Read more on the Spark blog…

getsparx:

Although women make up nearly half of the world population, their presence in the sciences constitutes a vastly smaller percentage. Today, only twelve percent of engineers are female. Science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM for short) are all fields in which women are under-represented. This is precisely why this year’s Google Science Fair results are so exciting–all three top prizes were awarded to women.

The winning projects put the classic baking soda volcano to shame. Lauren Hodge, winner of the 13-14 age group, tested a variety of marinades and their effects on the carcinogens typically found in grilled chicken. Her findings showed that lemon juice and brown sugar sharply decreased carcinogen levels, while soy sauce actually increased them.

Naomi Shah, winner of the 15-16 age group, performed a study of 103 adult subjects where she was able to link the increase in two environmental pollutants to decreased lung function and asthma symptoms.

The grand prize was awarded to the winner of the 17-18 age group,Shree Bose of Fort Worth, Texas. Bose’s project focused on the chemotherapy drug cisplatin that is commonly taken by women with ovarian cancer. Bose discovered a protein known as AMPK that, when paired with the drug, stops cancer cells from becoming resistant to its effects. Bose shared her feelings in an interview with ABC:

“That perception that women can’t compete in science has been ingrained in this field for so long. It just shows that our world is changing and women are stepping forward in science, and I’m excited to be a small part of that.”

Read more on the Spark blog…

Tags: /women /science /Google /science fair /education /teaching /learning /cancer /technology /STEM /engineering /feminism /news Reblogged from: Sparx / Post was created by: getsparx Reblog notes: 3 notes
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Weekly News Roundup: July 22

getsparx:

Check out these interesting articles on kids and technology!

—Parents will enjoy these iPhone and iPad apps (Parents.com)

—Mom’s Facebook Community Helps Diagnose Her Ailing Son (Mommyish.com)

—New regulations for food, beverage advertising toward children (Healthkey.com)

—Using touch screens and apps to treat autism (mercurynews.com)

—The Internet Is Making Your Kids Think Differently, Not Less (Mommyish.com)

—Teaching Angry Birds In School (neatorama.com)

—Infographic Shows Top and Bottom States for Science Education (livescience.com)

For the latest on kids and technology, visit the Spark blog!

Tags: /kids /children /parenting /parents /technology /ipad /autism /Facebook /digital media learning /iPhone /iPad /apple /mac /moms /food /advertising /angry birds /education /science /infographic /teacher /teaching /school Reblogged from: Sparx / Post was created by: getsparx Reblog notes: 2 notes
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9 Year Old Designs App for iPhone

getsparx:

When asked to create something, most nine year olds will grab crayons and construction paper. Ding Wen Lim of Singapore is much more likely to sit down at his computer.

The fourth grader started using the computer at age two and has since learned six programming languages. At age nine, he has already completed 20 programming projects. His latest, Doodle Kids, is a free drawing program for use on Apple’s iPhone.

Lim says, “I wrote the program for my younger sisters, who like to draw but I am happy that other people like it.” It seems this propensity for programming runs in the family, as Lim’s father, Lim Thye Chean, also writes iPhone applications.

He says, “He told me it was his wish to learn programming so I decided to teach him the basics. Every evening we check the statistics emailed to us (by iTunes) to see who has more downloads.” Read more on the Spark blog…

Tags: /kids /technology /iPhone /app /apple /children /singapore /digital /programming Reblogged from: Sparx / Post was created by: getsparx Reblog notes: 10 notes
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Story Boxes give children a voice in Pittsburgh

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Story Boxes are popping up all over town—in museums, libraries, and schools. To date, about 130 Story Box units have been produced, and that’s just the beginning. So what exactly are Story Boxes, and what do they mean for children in Pittsburgh?

A Story Box is a 21” x 12” x 4” portable device containing images with “hot spots” that, when pressed, play related audio clips. For example, the “My Favorite Animal” Story Box features photographs of young children with illustrated embellishments to make them look like different animals. By pressing on a child’s photo, the listener can hear audio clips of that child roaring like a tiger, describing a zebra’s fur, or remembering the time they met a unicorn on the beach.

Each Story Box focuses on a specific theme. Story Boxes produced to date have included topics such as:

  • What I Am Thankful For
  • Unique Things I Know How To Do
  • My Favorite Animal
  • Bullying
  • Martin Luther King
  • Personal Narratives
  • Impact Of The Arts
  • Hope For The Coming Year
  • Environmental Documentaries
  • Career Profiles

The devices are funded by Spark and produced by The Saturday Light Brigade. The Saturday Light Brigade (SLB for short) began in 1978 as a weekly public radio program focusing on family and community life. Today, SLB has grown into a non-profit with a permanent home in The Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh. In addition to broadcasting live for six hours every Saturday, SLB also offers technical and self-expression workshops for children and youth from 8 to 18 years of age.

In 2008, SLB began working with the CREATE Lab at Carnegie Mellon on a project called HearMe. HearMe and Story Boxes have a lot in common as they both focus on collecting and distributing children’s stories. In many ways, these projects take the original intent of the SLB radio show and mobilize it. Host and Founder Larry Berger explains:

“When SLB began in 1978, it was reasonable for us to use radio to inform and delight an often-unexpecting audience with children’s stories and ideas.  We designed Story Box technology with hopes of achieving this goal in today’s fragmented media environment and fast-paced world.  As mass media shrinks and user-directed content increases, we wanted a simple way to reach people and, frankly, tempt them to listen to voices of children.”

Read more on the Spark blog…

Tags: /kids /children /technology /learning /teaching /parents /pittsburgh /non-profit /digital med /digital media learning Reblogged from: Sparx / Post was created by: getsparx Reblog notes: 6 notes
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Billboards Give Pittsburgh Youth a Voice

getsparx:

Hear Me, a project of CMU’s CREATE Lab, strives to make the voices of children heard. This summer, they have chosen a larger-than-life medium that they hope will give children one more way to communicate: billboards. So far, 50 billboards have been erected in Allegheny County and the surrounding region. The topics discussed cover everything from cyber-bullying and neighborhood violence to concerns over the environment. One billboard reads, “I still get called names… —- Crystal, 16.” Another reads, “I was scared when I first heard the gunshot… — Sherdina, 12.” The billboards include links that viewers can follow to the Hear Me website where they’ll find audio stories from more than 3,000 students in 25 school districts.

“We assume that children today have plenty of opportunities to make their dreams, fears and hopes known, whether it’s by a mobile phone, computer or just talking,” said Heide Waldbaum, director of Hear Me, “But learning how to express themselves about things that they really care about — and getting adults and people in authority to really listen to them — is difficult for many young people.”

Read more on the Spark blog…

Tags: /PIttsburgh /children /violence /billboard /city /advertising /marketing /parenting /teaching /outreach /non-profit /kids /teens Reblogged from: Sparx / Post was created by: getsparx Reblog notes: 8 notes
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As the Budget Gets Smaller, Class Time Gets Shorter

getsparx:

It’s no secret that state and local budget cuts have been putting pressure on education. A recently published New York Times article discusses one of the many outcomes of this pressure– decreased class time. It seems many institutions are dealing with a smaller budget by creating a shorter school day. “Thousands of school districts across the nation are gutting summer-school programs, cramming classes into four-day weeks or lopping days off the school year.”

This is a surprising development considering our current administration’s stance on education reform. At his 2009 confirmation hearing, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan declared,

“Our school day is too short, our school week is too short, our school year is too short.”

This view is based on several factors, among them our desire to compete with more education-savvy nations who enforce much longer school days. Many educators will also agree that over the summer months, many students forget what they’ve learned and need to be re-instructed come fall.

Read the rest of the story on the Spark blog…

Tags: /education /teachers /teaching /class /learning /school /parenting /government /budget /kids /children Reblogged from: Sparx / Post was created by: getsparx Reblog notes: 2 notes
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