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.
It’s estimated that only about 10 percent of K-12 schools teach computer science. Some companies are trying to fill a void in American public education by teaching kids computer programming basics. The push comes amid projections that there will be far more tech sector jobs than computer science graduates to fill them.
In this demo-filled talk MIT’s Mitch Resnick, one of the main creators of the kids coding program called Scratch, outlines the benefits of teaching kids to code, so they can do more than just “read” new technologies — but also create them. “As kids are creating projects like this, they’re learning to code, but even […]
Skills used for programming could also be used for a wide range of careers, such as constructing meteorological simulations, making financial predictions, or creating personalized online learning curricula.
TB By Sheena Vaidyanathan Deep into the digital age, the need for everyone to understand and learn programming is becoming more and more apparent. Codecademy, Coursera and other education start-ups are stepping in to fill the much-needed gap to teach adults to code. For kids, non-profits like CodeNow are raising funds to run summer programming […]
Flickr: AngryJulieMonday By Heather Chaplin Since MIT’s Lifelong Kindergarten group released Scratch in 2007, kids ages 8 to 13 have built more than 2.2 million animations, games, music, videos and stories using the kid-friendly programming language. Scratch allows kids to snap together graphical blocks of instructions, like Lego bricks, to control sprites—the movable objects that […]