Bookbyte Blog

Archive for the ‘Education’ Category

Turning the Classroom into a Multiplayer Game

Gamfication

Avatars, guilds, quests, XP — sounds like the newest installment of World of Warcraft, but for a growing number of classrooms it’s just another day at school.

Lee Sheldon, a video-game designer and Game Design teacher at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, came up with the idea of “gaming” his lesson plans after becoming bored with the traditional teaching format of: lecture, quiz, grade, repeat. Sheldon knew if he was boring himself, his college students were probably even worse off. That’s when it clicked: he needed to “gamify” the classroom.

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Does Your LinkedIn Profile Look As Good As Your College Application?

linkedin-logo

You know LinkedIn. It’s that social network you meticulously maintain but never look at, unless you’re applying for an internship or get an email because someone endorsed you. It’s the most useful and least fun way to spend your time on social media.

In a new, potentially trend-setting redesign, Cornell University’s graduate school of business management allows applicants to fill in most application information automatically. All the applicant needs to do is connect to his or her LinkedIn profile.

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High School Cancels Summer Reading Over ‘Controversial’ YA Book

lilbrother_doctorowUntil recently, a Florida high school had a summer reading program that had everyone in the school, regardless of grade level, reading the same book. However, the school’s administration canned the program over the content of this year’s book, Little Brother by Cory Doctorow.

The reasoning is a bit odd. The school, or at least, the librarians and English teachers responsible for actually reading the book and writing discussion materials for the students, vetted it and found nothing inappropriate about it. The plug was pulled at the last minute by the school’s principal, who’s reasoning seems to be primarily based on online reviews. Those reviews mentioned that the book had a “positive view of questioning authority” and “lauding hacker culture.” The principal also said that he had received parent complaints about profanity, though the author insists the only profanity is one indirect reference.

(Even if the book was foul-mouthed, let’s all just admit that shielding 14- to 18-year-olds from naughty words is a losing battle. Personally, those were my peak cursing years.)

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The 8 Best Motivational TED Talks for College Students

The following was written by JT Ripton, a writer who has contributed to Teach.com, Apartments.com, CollegeRecruiter.com, and other sites. He can be reached on Twitter at @JTRipton.

The college years are full of tough assignments, hectic schedules, and challenging social situations. It’s easy to shrink back and become overwhelmed in that environment, but that can lead to regret later. Inspiring TED talks are always a good go-to for anyone who needs a bit of thought-provoking insight. The following eight talks are particularly helpful to college students.

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Do College Classes Need Content Warnings?

The ratings reasoning for the long-forgotten, embarassingly '90s film 3 Ninjas Knuckle Up. Somehow, there were four movies in this series. It was a simpler time.

The ratings reasoning for the long-forgotten, embarassingly ’90s film 3 Ninjas Knuckle Up. Somehow, there were four movies in this series. It was a simpler time.

I am not a sensitive person. Maybe I saw too many Schwarzeneggerian shoot-‘em-ups. Maybe I played too many video games. Maybe I listened to too much metal and hip-hop. Or maybe it’s just because I liked to read. After all, Beowulf includes a detailed description of an arm getting torn of its socket at the shoulder, Tess of the D’urbervilles deals with a woman ostracized for becoming pregnant after a rape, and Catcher in the Rye includes a scene where the frequently profane underage protagonist hires a prostitute. And that’s just the books I read for school.

I’d like to propose a new acronym for these moments, whether it’s graphic content in literature, sensitive content in history, or full frontal content in art history: NSFWBSFS (not safe for work, but safe for school). (more…)

The New SAT Sounds a Lot Easier Than the One You Took

cbnew_blue_RGBYou might have heard that the SAT is getting redesigned again. Among other changes, the plan is to shift back to the old 1600 point scale that old farts like me took. (That’s the way it was pre-2005.) It’ll also be the first test available in both print and digital form, a change which seems almost comically overdue. These changes won’t take effect until 2016. (more…)

How Shared Stressing Out Helps You Relax

tired students with tablet pc, books and notebooks

Misery loves company. A new study out of USC argues that stress is reduced when the experience is shared. In other words, complaining about your ridiculous deadlines, unreasonable professors, and brutal workloads with your classmates is actually a valid coping mechanism. (more…)

Write About College & Win Prizes

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Have a passion for writing and want to be featured here in our blog? How about a chance of winning a Kindle Fire?

We’re looking for writers that are passionate about sharing their college experiences by writing exciting content on our blog. We see tremendous value in providing content to college students from college students and we want your help! (more…)

Stop Telling Students How Much More Money They’ll Make With a Degree

I would prefer not to live in a country in which rhetoric about the purpose of college urges kids from privileged backgrounds to be innovators and creators while the poor kids who do very well in school are taught to be educated, capable employees.

This quote comes from  this article, titled “The Danger of Telling Poor Kids That College Is the Key to Social Mobility” by Andrew Simmons. I highly recommend it if you have any interest in educational issues and socioeconomic differences. The whole thing really hits the nail on the head. (more…)

Are Easier Graduation Requirements Dumbing Down College?

iStock_000005373213XSmallA recent article by the independent education journal The Hechinger Report discussed the troubling trend of cutting back on credits and removing core requirements by many major universities. Sometimes it’s because students graduating from those programs are “low-productive.” Sometimes it’s because politicians want to cut back on the tax dollars going to public universities. Sometimes it’s because university administrations want better graduation rates.

The trend has naturally led to some harsh words from the academics whose programs are threatened. Boston College’s Karen Arnold calls colleges of the near future “Walmarts of higher education.” Western Connecticut State University’s Steven Ward calls it “McDonaldization.” Same idea. (more…)

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