1. Weird

    If You Don’t Stay In School In Australia, You Will End Up In A Horror Film And Die

    Educational ads usually say, "stay in school or else you'll be unemployed and sad all the time," though that's also applicable to most university grads I know. In Australia, though, they're not satisfied with vague threats about your career and your future; oh no, they want you to know that if you drop out of school, you will die a horrible death.

    Read on...
  2. Science

    New Study Looks at the Impact of Snow Days on Student Performance

    For a kid (or teacher) in school there is nothing better than a snow day, but educators have been concerned with how an unexpected day off might impact a student's education. A new study examined the impact of snow days on how students learn, and the results are promising for kids who want a day off.

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  3. Tech

    Build Your Own Portable Video Game Machine with the DIY Gamer Kit

    The DIY Gamer Kit tasks you with building your own portable game machine and programming its games. Looking for a fun project that you can get creative with? Have a little geek-in-training who won't stop bugging you for a new console for the holidays? This kit may be the solution you're looking for.

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  4. Tech

    Play-i Toy Robots Teach Young Children Computer Programming Basics [Video]

    Pretty much everyone needs to have at least a basic understanding of computer concepts to function in the modern world. Play-i wants to help your little geek-in-training learn the basics of computer coding by playing with their toy robots Bo and Yana.

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  5. Science

    Natalie Portman Has Serious Science Cred Going into Partnership With Disney to Get Girls Involved With STEM

    Natalie Portman and Marvel have teamed up to offer girls a chance to get involved in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) with the Ultimate Mentor Adventure. Portman is more than just a face on the campaign, she has a legitimate science background and was the coauthor on two papers. We tracked them down. Take a look.

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  6. Science

    No, Kids Who Use iPads Won’t Have Smaller Vocabularies

    A study was done that used MRI scans of the brains of 27 adults to determine that humans learn new words better by hearing them than they do by learning them visually. One of the authors of the study then told the Daily Mail that it means children who use iPads will learn fewer words than previous generations. Nope. It does not.

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  7. Weird

    French Teacher Suspended for Showing Saw to Sixth-Grade Class

    It's that time of year again when kids are starting summer vacation and teachers just couldn't give a damn. Yesterday, we brought you the story of a fourth-grade teacher from Wisconsin who got falling down hammered while chaperoning a class field trip. Today, Europe is getting in on the action as a sixth-grade teacher in France has been suspended for putting on a viewing of Saw for a roomful of 11-year-olds. If he really wanted to watch a Cary Elwes movie that badly, it occurs to us that The Princess Bride might have saved him a lot of trouble. Also, it's a good film, unlike Saw.

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  8. Science

    Arguing Could Lead to Better Science Education

    Sometimes it seems that no matter how well an idea is accepted by the scientific community, there's someone out there not willing to believe it. That's why Jonathan Osborne, professor of education at Stanford University, says we should be teaching students how to argue based on evidence, not just cram facts into their head. The challenge, Osborne says, isn't in getting students to argue -- it's getting teachers on board with teaching "argumentation." Why not just argue with them until they agree?

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  9. Science

    Flies Raised On Booze Need Alcohol To Learn, Just Like College Students

    Fly larvae -- fine, maggots -- that are raised on food spiked with alcohol grow up into flies who can't learn normally without the aid of a little booze juice, marking yet another way in which maggots are pretty much just like college students. A study demonstrating the difficulties maggots experienced while trying to process new information without the aid of a morning beer to take the edge off things appears this week in the journal Current Biology, which reminds us that keg stands are not always recreational choices -- sometimes they are educational tools.

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  10. Science

    Science Says Kids With Educational Toys Become Educated Adults, Loving Parents Not Really a Factor

    A childhood filled with Reader Rabbit and other educational doodads appears to be the key to improved cognitive development later in life. Everything else, including whether your parents were loving or not, has no discernible effect. At least, that's what Martha Farah, Director of the Center for Neuroscience & Society at the University of Pennsylvania, and her colleagues have concluded after a twenty-year study.

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  11. Tech

    How To Use Social Media To Get Better Grades [Infographic]

    When we think of students using social media, it's hard not to imagine the college freshman holed up in the library spending hours on Facebook when they should be studying for exams, but maybe there is a little more value in social media for students than you would think. An interesting infographic by Masters in Education suggests that being involved in social media is actually good for students' grades. However, the graphic doesn't really get into the nuts and bolts of how they established a correlation. Still, some of the claims seem pretty believable, like students using social media to organize themselves into a study group when one wasn't organized by a professor. Even if the social media addict is unlikely to be at the top of the class, it is still good to note that there are positive ways to use social media for educational purposes. It doesn't have to be a brain sucking vortex of wasted time, in fact, it could provide some great new ways for students to learn.

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  12. Tech

    South Korean Schools to Ditch Paper, Go Digital

    The South Korean Ministry of Education is investing a hefty $2.4 billion into making the country's school system completely digital. The plan is to abolish textbooks and replaced them with digital learning materials stored in a centralized database, which students would access with tablet PCs. Of course, there is still much to do before this plan can get off the ground. Digital textbooks still need to be developed, the centralized digital storage system for schools currently does not exist, and many of the schools will need to have WiFi networks installed. There is currently no word on how the tablets will interact with the system, but South Korean reports say that tablets will be provided to low-income school children. Though some digital education pilot programs have been attempted in the U.S. and other countries, few can rival the scope of the South Korean plan. While it will certainly be interesting to watch unfold, an entirely paperless school system will surely stand as a useful test case for other countries to emulate. Perhaps the digital learning revolution will have its start in Seoul. (image and story from The Chosunilbo via Engadget)

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  13. Tech

    Teachers Bring Twitter Into the Classroom, But Does it Work?

    These kids today. Back when I was in school, simply having a cellphone in the school could be enough to land you in hot water. Now, the New York Times is reporting that a growing number of teachers are using Twitter and other digital communication systems as a "back channel" through which students can ask questions and engage in discussions. Educators who have embraced the new approach say that it brings more people into class discussions. From the NYTimes:
    Nicholas Provenzano, an English teacher at Grosse Pointe South High School, outside Detroit, said that in a class of 30, only about 12 usually carried the conversation, but that eight more might pipe up on a backchannel. “Another eight kids entering a discussion is huge,” he noted.
    Some students seem to echo this belief. One 17 year old interviewed by the Times said that he never felt the need to speak up during discussions. He adds that when typing, however, he feel like he can better express himself. Beyond boosting participation, some educators say that modern children respond better to more modern teaching methods. Again, from the Times:
    In Exira, Iowa, Kate Weber uses the technology for short periods almost daily with her fourth graders. “You’d think there’s a lot of distraction, but it’s actually the opposite,” she said. “Kids are much quicker at stuff than we are. They can really multitask. They have hypertext minds.”
    Bold changes to traditional teaching like this are bound to beg the question of whether or not they work.

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  14. Weird

    Armenia Makes Chess a Mandatory School Subject

    Armenia is a country mad for chess, having won a number of world chess competitions in recent years. Now, the country will impart a love of chess to the next generation, committing $1.43 million to an educational program that will see chess taught as a school curriculum subject for children six and above, who will study chess in classrooms for two hours per week. While the country is framing the program in terms of Armenia's world competitiveness in chess, it's fair to expect that there will be broader educational benefits: Education ministry official Arman Aivazian said that chess lessons would "foster schoolchildren's intellectual development" and teach students to "think flexibly and wisely." ( via Neatorama. pic via Shutterstock.)

    Read on...
  15. Entertainment

    Old News of the Day: Comics Help Kids to Love Reading

    Canadian researchers have found that, despite educator worries that comics are "unsuitable reading material... associated with poor quality, cheapness and disposability," young boys who read comics are more likely to read literature in general, and more likely to enjoy reading.

    This should come as news to all the middle school teachers I had who wouldn't let me count Maus or Tintin books on my reading list.

    Read on...
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