Sure to spark debate, today’s article in Mashable asks the question: Has technology killed cursive writing? Is penmanship still important in an age where we can efficeintly tap everything out on a keyboard?
According to the article, the nation’s Common Core State Standards took out the requirement for cursive instruction in K through 12 schools. However, it’s up to each individual state to decide whether cursive is important enough to teach its own students. Recently, North Carolina legislators approved a bill to require its students to learn cursive in elementary school, the Winston-Salem Journal reported. North Carolina joins states like California, Massachusetts and Georgia, which have already added a cursive writing requirement.
Some argue that the benefits of cursive handwriting extend beyond faster printing and actually help brain development. Suzanne Asherson, an occupational therapist with the Beverly Hills Unified School District in California, says:
Putting pen to paper stimulates the brain like nothing else, even in this age of e-mails, texts and tweets. In fact, learning to write in cursive is shown to improve brain development in the areas of thinking, language and working memory. Cursive handwriting stimulates brain synapses and synchronicity between the left and right hemispheres, something absent from printing and typing.
What do you think? Are we holding on to an outdated practice for nostalgic purposes or is it a valuable skill that should not be eliminated in schools?
Fotobabble lets users create ʺtalking photosʺ that are completely web-based. Users upload a photo or image, click ʺrecordʺ to record their voices through the computer’s microphone and then click to save and share their new, audio-captioned photos. It’s a great resource for language teachers and ELL teachers.
In QUANDARY, players aged 8-14 shape the future of a new society while learning how to recognize ethical issues and deal with challenging situations in their own lives. Players must make difficult decisions in which there are no clear right or wrong answers but important consequences – to themselves, to others in the colony and to the planet Braxos.
In Code Fred: Survival Mode, you’ll play mini-games to send adrenaline to help Fred run faster, build a blood clot to help heal a wolf bite, prioritize energy intake to the most critical organs, and even fight bacteria invaders after Fred gets sneezed on in the woods.
In STEMware: Zombie Plague, students explore a 3D world where they are responsible for identifying the pathogenic microorganism causing a deadly outbreak and implementing a cure. Embedded assessments allow teachers to track student interactions.
Please share this blog with others who might enjoy these resources.
Edudemic, an educational technology web site, has produced a very nice set of guides for a set of topics in technology and learning for teachers. These can be found at http://www.edudemic.com/guides/
The covered topics in the current collection include:
Copyright and Fair Use
Badges in Education
The Library of Congress
Keeping Students Safe Online
Choosing the Best Digital Content*
Digital Scavenger Hunts
Pinterest in the Classroom
* Please think of Curriki when you are choosing digital content and other OER materials. We have close to 50,000 resources on Curriki!
The guides are no more than few pages in length each, immediately useful and to the point. For example, the Twitter guide has a great list of hashtags you can use in your tweets related to education topics, or just to interpret what others are tweeting. Below is an infographic for popular education-related hashtags.
Edudemic say they plan to provide more guides soon. These 10 guides are definitely worth checking out!
How can we help children keep their minds engaged over the summer break? One of the best ways is by encouraging them to read.
There are a number of summer reading lists which you can find on Curriki. Here we mention a few of those.
Below is a link to a set of eight different reading lists for students in K-12. Each list is well annotated and like a mini book talk – engaging and hooking to even the most reluctant reader. This resource even includes a list for boys who are reluctant readers.
Name: Sam Stier Role: Curricula developer and teacher trainer School: Learning with Nature City, State: Missoula, Montana Number of years teaching: 11
How I use Curriki: I use Curriki to see how others approach teaching a topic, and just to explore what teaching resources are readily available. The breadth, depth, and quality of the materials available are exceptional. Peer review really matters! The search function of the database is also terrific.
Name: Jemma Heliker Role: Middle and High School Language Arts Teacher School: Mastery Charter, Shoemaker Campus City, State: Philadelphia, PA Number of years teaching: 5
How I use Curriki: The resources on Curriki cover every possible subject and area. As a busy teacher, I appreciate the teacher reviews to guide me to outstanding resources. Curriki has definitely improved many of my lessons and units.