Learn English online: How the internet is changing language by Jane O’Brien BBC News Magazine, 12.13.12
O’Brien reports that English will continue to dominate Internet use but because many of the users are non-native speakers, the way English is used is quickly evolving. She cites examples of Spanglish (Spanish + Englihs), Hinglish (Hindi+English) , and Konglish (Korean + English) that are developing forms and vocabularies much in the way pidgins, such as Creole, developed over time.
Federal Effort Aims to Transform Learning Technologies by Sean Cavanagh in Education Week, 1.3.13
The National Science Foundation’s fairly new program, Cyberlearning: Transforming Education, is designed to support research on advanced learning technologies. The purpose is to link scientific theories of learning with technology to “spawn myriad new technologies and ideas, rather than any single product.” Promoting mobile access and integrating a student’s learning experiences through dashboards are just two of the ideas that are being explored.
A Video Game to Improve Your English from Times of Malta.com, 12.30.12
Trace Effects 3D is the latest offering from US Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs to help students learn English and about American culture. The Educational and Cultural Affairs website offers a wide range of materials and resources for students and teachers including webinar series, distance education programs and other interactive features.
I watched the first episode of Trace Effects. It is set up in chapters and looks like a graphic novel. The voices are clear and talk slowly, and there is captioning so learners can read along. Once you finish a chapter there are tasks to perform, which require moving Trace (the main character) and having him interact with other characters.
Professor champions video gaming as valuable teaching tool for parents, teachers by Sarah Auffret from Phys.org, 1.3.13
Prof. Elisabeth Hayes says that video games actually are interactive and social activities that can be tapped into by parents and teachers to help children improve literacy and communication skills as well as develop sophisticated technical skills.
Why STEM education and minority achievement gaps are linked from VOXXI, 1.2.13
STEM – Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics – courses are the ones that many students are likely to pass by, especially if they had an unpleasant experience in one of those courses at an early age. Women and minorities are often steered away from these either by their own negative experiences or due to lack of attention to these issues by educators, despite their being a need for graduates in these areas.
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