Education Week - January 23, 2013 - (Page 8)

8 EDUCATION WEEK n JANUARY 23, 2013 n DIGITAL DIRECTIONS ANGE IS ETIMES CH SOM > Tracking news and ideas in educational technology ng . . . mazi A ® v.2.0 The Premier On-Demand PD Tool for Educators ASCD proudly presents PD In Focus v.2.0. The premier collaborative on-demand PD system for professional learning communities, Children Still Prefer Print Books to E-Books By Catherine Gewertz Children are embracing e-books by the millions, but most say they still would choose the printed version, according to a survey released last week. Scholastic’s biennial survey of 6to 17-year-olds found e-books soaring in popularity: Forty-six percent of the 1,074 children said they had read an e-book, compared with 25 percent who said they had in 2010. The e-book-reading numbers vary by only a few percentage points by gender or age group. But boys were slightly more likely to say that since they started reading e-books, they’re reading more books overall. Half the young people said they’d read more books for fun if they had better access to e-books. And it’s clear that those surveyed are doing the lion’s share of e-book reading at home, rather than in school: Threequarters of the respondents who have read an e-book have done so at home; only one-quarter said they had read an e-book in school. E-books are particularly good when students are traveling or on schools, districts, and states is now better Mainstream Video Games Move Into Ed. and easier to use than ever before! Experience the next generation of PD In Focus today, and you will understand why educators choose PD In Focus to accelerate and continuously motivate their workgroups to implement proven instructional techniques and teaching By Ann Doss Helms strategies developed and presented by the most respected The Charlotte Observer education authorities. NEW! NEW Content, Continuous Updates NEW Custom Channel Creator NEW Group Discussion Boards ENHANCED Assignment Capabilities ENHANCED Reporting Tools NEW My Journal Feature Set FEATURES EASY to Access Web Interface HUNDREDS OF VIDEOS Sorted by Channel CUSTOMIZABLE by PD Need FEATURING ASCD Education Experts 24/7 ACCESS on Most Digital Devices Typical Pricing Below $50 Per User SIGN UP NOW FOR YOUR FREE TRIAL AT ® For questions regarding school or district subscriptions, please contact ASCD Program Director at or call 1.800.933.2723, ext. 5634. PDinfocusEW3/5.indd 1 12/17/12 2:42 PM People who worried that the technology boom would lead to children playing video games in class were right. Around the country, students are playing such games as Minecraft, World of Warcraft, and Angry Birds—and their teachers are encouraging it. “Video games are not the great evil that people make them out to be,” said Trish Cloud, a technology instructor at Torrence Creek Elementary School in Huntersville, N.C., where she created a popular Minecraft club. Ms. Cloud is part of a growing community of educators who love gaming and want to share that passion to help students learn. Those educators say that good video games can help students develop an array of skills, from writing and physics analysis to teamwork and problem-solving. Lucas Gillispie, a former biology teacher in coastal Pender County in North Carolina, is a leader in this national movement. He helped create a language arts curriculum tied to World of Warcraft, and he launched a grant program for local teachers to incorporate Minecraft into their classes. He notes that the fast-paced, globally connected world of digital learning lets educators build new career paths and emerge as leaders, no matter where they work or what their job titles are. And that is exactly the kind of versatility teachers are trying to spark in their students through gaming. But what about parents, who may feel clueless and confused about the value of digital games? Ms. Cloud and Mr. Gillispie say the answer is simple: Play the games with your children. “Just pay attention and be willing to set aside those tired stereotypes,” said Mr. Gillispie, now an instructional technology coordinator for the 8,000-student Pender County schools. “We’ve come a long way since Pac-Man.” But some gaming experts say educators should be cautious when harnessing commercial games for educational purposes. “A commercial game is necessarily designed with entertainment as its primary goal,” said Chris Dede, a professor of learning technologies at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. While commercial games may make it easy for educators to capture students’ attention, he said, “if there’s too much extrinsic motivation”—that is, motivation that does not come from the learning itself but from the game instead—“in the long run, it can send a message that [the learning] is something that you should always be bribed to do, and it’s not worth doing for its own sake.” In addition, games like World of Warcraft require a significant amount of time to learn how to play, which may not be the best use of students’ time, said Mr. Dede. “The results would have to be pretty dramatic for me to say, ‘Wow, this is worth doing.’ I wonder if there wouldn’t be something else ... that could engage the student, maybe not in the same way, but just as much, that would be more closely related to the academic learning,” he said. Fantasy Realm Pender County’s Mr. Gillispie, 37, grew up playing computer games. He enjoys talking with his high school students about gaming, and it was a student who introduced him to online roleplaying games such as World of Warcraft, often known as “WoW.” WoW players create an avatar

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Education Week - January 23, 2013

Education Week - January 23, 2013
Nation, Districts Step Up Safety
Colleges Overproducing Elementary-Level Teachers
INDUSTRY & INNOVATION: Calif. Districts Link To Push Shared Goals
Loss of Veterans Doesn’t Hurt Scores
News in Brief
Report Roundup
FOCUS ON: CHARTER SCHOOLS: Charters Prepare for the Challenges Of Common Core
Civil Rights Groups: Discipline Excessive In Miss. Schools
Children Still Prefer Print Books to E-Books
Mainstream Video Games Move Into Ed.
Blogs of the Week
Obama Presses School Safety, Mental-Health Efforts
State Data: Use With Caution
State Finance Lawsuits Still Roiling Landscape
Stretched Schools Push to Extend Lifespan Of Books
Policy Brief
STATE OF THE STATES: Vt. Governor Launches Four-Point Education Initiative
State of the States
MARTIN CARNOY & RICHARD ROTHSTEIN: International Tests Reveal Surprises at Home and Abroad
DAVID T. CONLEY: What’s in a Name
ALAN C. JONES: Schools for Other People’s Children
TopSchoolJobs Recruitment Marketplace
PETER GIBBON: A Timeless View of Education From 1899

Education Week - January 23, 2013