Education Update: 6/17/15

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 6:  Students from the Brooklyn Urban Garden Charter School take part in a meditation session during class Wednesday, May 6, 2015. (Photo by Damon Dahlen, Huffington Post)

NEW YORK, NY – MAY 6: Students from the Brooklyn Urban Garden Charter School take part in a meditation session during class Wednesday, May 6, 2015. (Photo by Damon Dahlen, Huffington Post)

Reading, Writing, Required Silence: How Meditation Is Changing Schools And Students

As part of the school day, students at NYC’s Brooklyn Urban Garden School (BUGS) begin and end their days with Quiet Time, a segment of time devoted to silence and meditation. Adopted since BUGS opened in 2013 and partially funded by David Lynch Foundation for Transcendental Mediation(TM), the charter school employs three full-time staffers to teach the practice of meditation to students ranging in economic backgrounds. The David Lynch Foundation focuses on students facing the most challenging learning environments in middle and high schools, but hopes to spread the practice across the US and internationally.

Turning Digital Games Into a Fun, Physical Learning Experience at School

Game designers are partnering with educators to create digital games that cater to teachers needs and making the games physical. Teachers from Elizabeth Forward Middle School worked with graduates student at the Entertainment Technology Center at Carnegie Mellow University(CMU) to design games for a Situated Media and Learning Lab (SMALLab). The SMALLab  “allows kids to have an embodied learning experience while interacting with different scenarios projected onto the floor.” Teachers are seeing improvements in student performance as the games not only teach challenging subjects but also promote collaborative learning. This unique partnership between CMU graduate students and teachers benefits both parties. As teachers provide feedback for the games, graduate students “get the experience of working with real clients on real problems that will have an impact on education.” View a promotional video for the SMALLab project here.

Big Bird and Cookie Monster Keep Bringing It

After decades and decades of hundreds and hundreds of studies, new research by two economists from Wellesley College has taken yet another look at Sesame Street and its educational value.  Their findings?  Watching Sesame Street not only improves school readiness, but has a positive impact on students “for years to come”.  In this most recent study,  the lasting influence was particularly strong for boys, African Americans and children who grew up in disadvantaged areas. According to these two, the success of “Sesame Street” relies on a “simple formula that wraps education in entertainment, harnessing the power of human narrative.”  For an insider’s take on how Sesame Street can make YOU smarter, you can check out Cookie Monster here.

Education Update is a weekly blog post highlighting recent developments in the world of education. The linked articles and summaries are not endorsements, rather frame points of view to begin conversations about the state of education, trends, and how we as designers can play an active role in shaping schools.

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