Digital Smarts Blog

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11
Jul

100 Quality Apps

Microsoft has shared a list of 100 mobile applications that make the grade for students and teachers including CK12, which uses various interactive tools to improve math and science instruction, and Didlr, an art and design application that allows kids to create their own artwork. This is great for summer learning, as well.

11
Jul

100 Quality Apps

Microsoft has shared a list of 100 mobile applications that make the grade for students and teachers including CK12, which uses various interactive tools to improve math and science instruction, and Didlr, an art and design application that allows kids to create their own artwork. This is great for summer learning, as well.

10
Jul

What Happens When Schools Try to Filter the Internet

As some schools continue to roll out one-to-one device programs, they also are stepping up their Internet filters to ensure students have restricted access to some sites and inappropriate content. Parents are often the ones driving this movement. In some cases, students are able to quickly get around the filters. Of course, the converse is that teachers say the restrictions are too rigid for sites they'd like to use in class and school librarians have an annual Banned Websites Awareness Day.

10
Jul

What Happens When Schools Try to Filter the Internet

As some schools continue to roll out one-to-one device programs, they also are stepping up their Internet filters to ensure students have restricted access to some sites and inappropriate content. Parents are often the ones driving this movement. In some cases, students are able to quickly get around the filters. Of course, the converse is that teachers say the restrictions are too rigid for sites they'd like to use in class and school librarians have an annual Banned Websites Awareness Day.

9
Jul

Why Are Kids So Tech-Savvy?

After more than 35 years in the educational technology field, the answer to the question of why kids are so tech-savvy became obvious to me fairly early in the game. The lack of fear kids have about technology has always struck me as so refreshing and, back when I was very involved in reviewing kid’s software products, it was always important to have a child try to use software that was up for review because then, you really found out what it could and couldn’t do. A recent study really confirms those observations. The study found that preschoolers are better at operating gadgets than college students -- findings attributed to the way young children approach problem solving. Exploratory learning, characterized by a tendency to test unusual theories, comes naturally to young children, researchers say.

9
Jul

Why Are Kids So Tech-Savvy?

After more than 35 years in the educational technology field, the answer to the question of why kids are so tech-savvy became obvious to me fairly early in the game. The lack of fear kids have about technology has always struck me as so refreshing and, back when I was very involved in reviewing kid’s software products, it was always important to have a child try to use software that was up for review because then, you really found out what it could and couldn’t do. A recent study really confirms those observations. The study found that preschoolers are better at operating gadgets than college students -- findings attributed to the way young children approach problem solving. Exploratory learning, characterized by a tendency to test unusual theories, comes naturally to young children, researchers say.

8
Jul

Cut, Paste and Collate – Not a New Obsession

Cutting, pasting, and collating – those aren’t new tools in the arsenal of human beings’ efforts to keep up with information overload. A fascinating article in the most recent Smithsonian magazine online discusses how, even in the 19th century, people used scrapbooking in a very similar way to try to cope with the radical case of information overload. 

8
Jul

Cut, Paste and Collate – Not a New Obsession

Cutting, pasting, and collating – those aren’t new tools in the arsenal of human beings’ efforts to keep up with information overload. A fascinating article in the most recent Smithsonian magazine online discusses how, even in the 19th century, people used scrapbooking in a very similar way to try to cope with the radical case of information overload. 

7
Jul

Lab Rats for Facebook

Have a Facebook account? Well, welcome to lab rathood. That’s because it was recently revealed that Facebook has allowed researchers, both inside and outside the company, to manipulate users' news feeds to hide good news or bad news to see whether it affected the emotions of those users themselves. In other words, if they hid the parts of Facebook where people share joy with you, where they tell you about happy things, where the griping and grousing is balanced with baby pictures and bright sides, could they make you feel worse? And, guess what? It turned out that is exactly what it did to the aggregate of us. Facebook researchers have apologized, but the revelation has set off a storm of controversy centering on a violation of long-held rules protecting people from becoming test subjects without providing informed consent. But, on a positive side, as social media grows as a means for us to communicate, it will be important to study how media can provide insights into some of the deepest mysteries of human behavior.

7
Jul

Lab Rats for Facebook

Have a Facebook account? Well, welcome to lab rathood. That’s because it was recently revealed that Facebook has allowed researchers, both inside and outside the company, to manipulate users' news feeds to hide good news or bad news to see whether it affected the emotions of those users themselves. In other words, if they hid the parts of Facebook where people share joy with you, where they tell you about happy things, where the griping and grousing is balanced with baby pictures and bright sides, could they make you feel worse? And, guess what? It turned out that is exactly what it did to the aggregate of us. Facebook researchers have apologized, but the revelation has set off a storm of controversy centering on a violation of long-held rules protecting people from becoming test subjects without providing informed consent. But, on a positive side, as social media grows as a means for us to communicate, it will be important to study how media can provide insights into some of the deepest mysteries of human behavior.

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