What We’re Reading: January 6, 2011

Here are some of the stories and videos that caught our interest this past week – highlights feature the growing movement to include iPads in the classroom and a Q&A with Michael Levine, Cynthia Chiong, and Carly Shuler about the recent report, “Learning: Is There an App for That?” Check back next week for reports from CES 2011, taking place this weekend in Las Vegas.

Study: Doctor Visits Give Opportunity for School Readiness Check-up
EdWeek’s Inside School Research blog looks at the Bellevue Project for Early Language, Literacy, and Education Success and some recent studies of its recent parent-education interventions. The results suggest that because pediatricians have regular contact with young children and their parents during a child’s early years, doctors are uniquely positioned to monitor and “prescribe” reading and parent engagement to help develop a scaffold for early child development. By providing suggestions and feedback on reading and play activities that encourage early literacy, family pediatricians may be able to help disadvantaged parents better prepare their children for school.  (EdWeek)

Math That Moves: Schools Embrace the iPad
The New York Times reports that more schools are incorporating iPads in the classroom — from kindergarten on up. “I think this could very well be the biggest thing to hit school technology since the overhead projector,” says one teacher. Will the iPad prove itself to be a powerful educational tool and more than just a cool — if expensive – new toy? (The New York Times)

Eye Specialists Question Nintendo’s Warning on 3-D Technology and Children

Nintendo recently announced that parents should not allow children under 6 to use the 3-D feature of its new 3DS handheld device because it could harm eye development. Perhaps surprisingly, pediatric opthalmologists disagree and suggest that the warning is not based on scientific evidence. (The New York Times)

Effort to Restore Children’s Play Gains Momentum
The Times also reports on the growing emphasis on allowing children to engage in imaginative play. The movement has focused on the educational value of play, campaigning schools to restore recess and unstructured playtime in early childhood and elementary school curricula, but is increasingly reaching out to parents to emphasize the importance of providing free time and access to space. (The New York Times)

Finding Value in Mobile Learning Apps
MindShift interviews the Cooney Center’s Michael Levine, Cynthia Chiong, and Carly Shuler about some of the results of the recent report, “Learning: Is There an App for That?” in which they highlight the value of mobile learning apps as potential tools for educational engagement. (MindShift)

Mobile Learning Could Be Key in Achievement Gap Equation
A recent study from the Pew Internet and American Life Project that shows that the key to closing the digital divide could be mobile learning. While activists have struggled to get broadband access and desktop computers into under-served communities for years, a better understanding of how communities are using the digital tools they have on hand may provide even access to students on their own ground. (MindShift)

Is Technology Wiring Teens to Have Better Brains?
PBS NewsHour’s Miles O’Brien’s report on multitasking and the brain looks at “digital natives” – adolescents who are constantly juggling homework, games and chatting with friends simultaneously – and asks if and how the technologies they are using are shaping their brains. Dr. Jay Giedd, a neuroscientist at the National Institute of Mental Health, is engaged in a 20-year study to examine the effects of the internet, iPods, and constant connectivity on young minds. (NewsHour)

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