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Category Archives: Broadband

Does all the technological wizardry of the latest gadgets, games and applications inhibit our ability to concentrate? Does all this magical media provide a constant source of distraction that conditions our brains for short attention spans?

Some scholars believe that the ability to focus and concentrate is a strong predictor of success. The ability to attend to a problem, think about complexity, wrestle with potential solutions is fundamental to writing, science, mathematics and life in general.

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In November, a Tennessee elementary school counselor decided to give her students a real-life demonstration of how fast things can spread on the Internet. She got more than she bargained for.

Julie Culp posted a photo on her Facebook, asking people to “like” it to show “how quickly a photo can be seen by lots of people.” It went viral soon after, being reposted by radio personalities and getting press coverage around the world. And it garnered more than 4 million “likes.”

Culp certainly succeeded in illustrating how quickly images can spread.

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By Kat Stewart

Over the last several months, Cable in the Classroom has rolled out InCtrl, a series of standards-based lesson plans that help 4-8 graders learn about digital citizenship. I’m happy to announce the final lesson in the series is available on the Cable in the Classroom website. There are now seven lessons, each covering a specific digital citizenship topic, that help students make thoughtful decisions and be in control online.

All of us at Cable in the Classroom are really proud of InCtrl.

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When we talk to our kids about the Internet and their digital world, have we kept up with the times?  Are we trying to scare them with stories of bad things that can happen or are we teaching them to be good digital citizens who are in control of their digital lives?

The old fear-based approach doesn’t work, and it isn’t supported by the research about online risks, about risk prevention, or about effective teaching and learning.  

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Today’s Google Doodle was in recognition of Jane Addams’ birthday. Addams (1860-1935) was the first American woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize for her work for women’s suffrage and world peace. She was most known for establishing Hull House, the first Settlement House in the US, providing a residence for woman, adult education classes, Kindergarten, and more.

In Addams’ time, information and training were scarce commodities, available in libraries, newspapers, schools and places like Hull House.

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“Are kids technology’s new early adopters?” That provocative question was posed by Dominic Basulto on Big Think.

His curiosity was piqued by innovations in augmented reality created by Disney and Sesame Street that debuted at the International Consumer Electronic Show.

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By Belinha De Abreu

In a recent article, Larry Rosen noted that technology was making kids “driven to distraction.” The buzz of an incoming text or the desire to check Facebook was keeping students from extended concentration and deep thinking. In my own practice, I’ve noticed that it’s getting more difficult to get students to think deeply about an idea. From my perspective students are not routinely asked to do much original thinking. For assignments, they are usually given a topic and then told which technology tool to use, and what the expected result should look like.

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Although you’d never know it from news stories, multiple surveys have showed marked decreases in children’s exposure to violence and abuse, writes David Finkelhor, Director of the Crimes Against Children Research Center at University of New Hampshire on The Huffington Post. A new Bureau of Justice Statistics report is just the latest in a series pointing to favorable trends in child well being.

Dr. Finkelhor coined the term “juvenoia” to describe an exaggerated fear about youth vulnerability to social change and new technologies.

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Presidential elections bring civics education to life, and it’s no surprise that creative educators are finding interesting ways to capitalize on all the media attention surrounding the conventions and campaigns. At Edutopia, Suzie Boss writes about several cool projects.

Campaigns offer all kinds of opportunities for teaching media and information literacy when students analyze and evaluate ads from candidates and interest groups or create their own ads.

Where to start? We’ve collected a bevy of election resources here.

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Education Week calls it a great “Khan troversy.”

Is Khan Academy a ground-breaking innovation or “one of the most dangerous phenomena in education today,” as Karim Kai Ani of Mathalicious put it? Does Khan Academy help kids who would otherwise be lost learn math or does it reflect a focus on discrete tasks and formulae (rather a deeper understanding of mathematics) that is symptomatic of a Silicon Valley approach, as Dan Meyers argues?

The Washington Post’s Answer Sheet Blog is the site of the first debate, between Karim Kai Ani and Sal Khan.

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