MIT’s Mitch Resnick on What ‘Toy Story’ Gets Wrong About the Future of Play

If you’ve ever seen the Toy Story movies, you may remember the neighbor kid, Sid. His room is presented in horror-movie fashion, with dim lighting and discordant music, and the toys are all in pieces, as Sid dismantles them and remakes them in his own crazy way.

To Mitchel Resnick, an MIT Media Lab professor and early pioneer of the maker movement for kids, this Hollywood’s portrayal is problematic, and part of a larger trend toward overly regimenting education these days.

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Peter Thiel May Finally Get His Flying Cars, Thanks to a New Udacity Nanodegree in 2018

Peter Thiel once complained he was promised flying cars, but had to settle for 140 characters instead. Perhaps the Silicon Valley tech billionaire should learn how to build one himself—and sign up for a class from Udacity.At the TechCrunch Disrupt conference this week in San Francisco, the Mountain View, Calif.-based company announced two new “nanodegree” offerings: an introductory program for self-driving cars and, yes, another one for flying cars.

Why the State of Surveillance in Schools Might Lead to the Next Equifax Disaster

Blaine is a student in a suburban town. He wakes up at 7 am and brushes his teeth before wolfing down a bowl of cereal. After putting on his high-top sneakers, he races out the door to the street corner, where he waits for the school bus. As he steps on the yellow ride, Blaine panics. Did he forget his school-issued RFID badge that he has to tap so that the district can have a record of him getting picked up? Whew, it’s at the bottom of his backpack.

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?New Report Spells Out How to Connect 6.5M Students in Schools Without Internet

The digital divide is showing real signs of narrowing—but there are still 6.5 million students in under-connected schools, according to a new report by the nonprofit EducationSuperHighway, which analyzes data from E-rate applications.

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There’s No Such Thing As Being Bad at Math: How Neuroscience Is Changing Attitudes

Imagine a parent telling a child, “I’m just not a reading person.” Sounds odd, doesn’t it? Now reread the same cartoon, substituting “math” for “reading.” Suddenly it doesn’t seem so absurd. But it should!

Minecraft’s New Oregon Trail Experience Has Everything—Even the Dysentery

Remember the Oregon Trail? Of course you do, it’s the game the internet won’t let you forget.Thirty-two years after the first full-color graphic version hit the Apple II, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt—the current owner of the Oregon Trail franchise—is teaming up with Microsoft on a new world that ports many of the landmarks and features of the original game into Minecraft.

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Five Ways to Build Confidence in Reluctant Writers

Lisa DiMichele has taught writing to all kinds of high schoolers—from inclusion students to honors students, from kids struggling to finish a sentence to future Faulkners. But DiMichele, an English teacher at Henry E. Lackey High School in Indian Head, Maryland, had never faced a challenge like the one she walked into this summer—a classroom full of students who had just failed ninth-grade English.Reluctant writers? Some of her students had never finished an essay, let alone crafted sparkling prose.

Edtech CEOs Seek to Change the ‘Adversarial Narrative’ With Public School Teachers

There are not too many education conferences that flip the script and let CEOs grill investors with questions. However, BMO Capital Markets’ 17th Annual Back to School Conference is the kind of event your boss’s boss attends. From bigwig financiers to bankers, along with heads of private and publicly-traded education technology companies, the gathering attracted around 900 attendees last week to share the opportunities and challenges in the industry this year.

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Here Are the 5 Finalists for the $15M XPRIZE Global Learning Challenge

In the course of developing tools to help children in Africa build literacy and numeracy skills, Sooinn Lee learned something herself. “We had a photo function in our tool that lets children take pictures,” she says. “But none of the children had seen a camera before, and had no concept of what to do with the feature. So we took it out.”

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What’s the Difference Between Engineering at a Tech Company Versus a School?

What’s it like for an engineer to dive into education?

Sam Strasser is Chief Information Officer (CIO) at Summit Public Schools in the San Francisco Bay Area. But he also has had a long career working as an engineer at companies including Microsoft and Facebook. At Facebook, he helped develop Summit’s personalized learning platform, which is now used in more than 100 schools throughout the U.S. Strasser spoke with the EdSurge Jobs team about how school looks from an engineer’s point of view.

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