Microsoft announced this week that it has agreed to acquire the popular VOIP service Skype for $8.5 billion. Skype has become an important tool for educators bridging classrooms around the world, and the acquisition may boost Microsoft’s status in the education sector (provided, of course, Skype still works on Apple computers).
According to the June issue of Consumer Reports, Facebook has about 7.5 million users below the required minimum age of 13. And 5 million of those users are ten or younger.
While teens and pre-teens may love Facebook, they’re less than enthralled with Foursquare and other location-based check-ins. That’s the findings of a recent survey by Dubit, a youth communications agency, reports Business Insider. According to the survey, 48% of teens have not heard of Foursquare, Facebook Places, or other location services, and 67% of teens who have heard of the services don’t use any of them.
Google has announced the semi-finalists for the Google Science Fair. Voting on these entries runs through May 20.
Inside Higher Ed reports on a new survey by Student Monitor that finds that print textbooks are popular on campuses — far more popular than e-books — due in part to a thriving textbook rental business. 24% of students say they’ve rented at least one textbook this year, up from 12% this time last year. Only 5% say they’ve purchased a digital textbook.
Disney subsidiary Playdom, an online gaming company that makes a number of popular children’s games, has agreed to pay the FTC $3 million over charges that it violated the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) by illegally collecting and then exposing children’s personal data without receiving consent from parents.
At its annual developer conference this week, Google announced a “new kind of computer” — a cloud-based netbook-like laptop based on its new operating system Chrome OS. These Chromebooks will be offered to schools via a $20 per month per student rental program. MindShift raises questions that schools should consider before signing the 3-year contract.
Summer break presents the perfect opportunity for students to dig into games and build skills that’ll reap huge rewards when they return in the fall. Game making can be one of the best ways to get students thinking creatively while cultivating useful technical literacies, and there’s a ton of absorbing tools that students won’t tire of over the long break. Here are three options to choose from depending on the type of technology students have at home.
For educators who are interested in using games for learning — specifically towards developing skills as they relate to the Common Core State Standards — here are five games students can enjoy and that we’ve found sync with standards.
The success and popularity of Minecraft in and out of classrooms is no surprise. It’s one of the best examples of the potential of learning with games because it embraces exploration, discovery, creation, collaboration, and problem-solving while allowing teachers to shepherd play toward any subject area. But Minecraft is not the only game of this kind. Take a look at some of these.