Wow, October is already here; the school year is flying.
Banned Book Week is kicking off the new month, offering a chance for classroom conversations about freedom of speech and censorship. Last Friday, Edutopia took a quick look at some censored books in a great Five-Minute Film Festival, which rounded up some of the best Banned Book videos from around the Web.
Elsewhere, tech integration made the headlines quite a bit last week -- including a story about the importance of tech learning, a teacher's look at using online discussions, and a list of recent education buzzwords. Here are some of the stories that jumped to the top of the education conversation.
Here, Susan Brooks-Young of THE Journal highlights five Web 2.0 tools that can be used to help students develop higher order thinking skills. The article touches on podcasting, video and audio production, and photography and offers some applicable ideas for every classroom. (THE Journal)
Author and teacher Catlin R. Tucker offers a first-person account of how the Web helped shift discussions in her class. Starting conversations online, Tucker writes, helped engage students, and in turn, made classroom discussions more robust with more students participating. (Education Week)
There was a slew of negative reviews before the Friday opening of "Won't Back Down," a controversial anti-union film funded by conservative billionaire Phillip Anschutz. In this review, author Elizabeth Weitzman makes it clear she won't get into the politics, but notes she's "firmly against heavy-handed lectures disguised as art." The movie's theme of parent trigger laws being the magic fix for U.S. educational woes also didn't resonate with audiences, as the movie took in just $2.6 million. (New York Daily News)
With tech careers expected to boom in the next decade, author and teacher Sheena Vaidyanathan wonders why something like programming isn't being taught to younger students. The article notes two different programs that teach programming, with links to some of the students' projects. Another piece from the New York Times took a look at an initiative from Microsoft that sends its engineers into classrooms to teach programming. (KQED: MindShift)
In Case You Missed It: Other Quick Hits
- Can math problems be written to engage students? A study highlighted in Education Week says yes, showing personalized algebra problems might help interest more students. Another article, from the New York Times, showed examples of real-world algebra lessons that used some of the newspaper's interactive content, including stocks and mortgage calculations. (Ed Week)
- Do you know what an MOOC is? Or what school choice means? Here, CNN showcased five education buzzwords that are bound to come up in conversation this year. (Schools of Thought: CNN)
- Although many companies need employees with social media skills, the majority of colleges and universities still don't offer Facebook 101. In a few cases, though, social media courses have caught on and are valuable for students. (CNN Tech)
Each week, Edutopia curates some of the most interesting education news from around the Web. We'd love your help! Let us know of any must-reads we missed in the comments, or you can contact me on Twitter (@EducationMatt).