How Facebook Killed the Virtual World

Almost all the promise once held by virtual worlds has since been realized by Facebook. For every social interaction, brand engagement or persistent multiplayer social experience that Second Life or World of Warcraft or MTV’s Virtual Lower East Side was supposed to provide, there’s something the same or very similar available on Facebook — probably better, cheaper, and more reliable, and no doubt more accessible. –How Facebook Killed the Virtual…

OUP research reveals children’s imaginative language use

Contrary to concerns that increasing use and popularity of ‘txtspk’ will ruin children’s vocabularies, youngsters demonstrated that they know when it is not appropriate, only including it in their stories when transcribing an imagined text message. The research also found that many of the words contained in children’s stories are repeated from celebrated writers – suggesting a continued love of reading. Words included creatures such as J.K. Rowling’s basilisk and…

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Teaching the Holocaust or slavery: Is role playing effective or fraught with problems?

A middle school teacher in South Carolina has been accused of dragging a student under a table during class, telling the boy “this is what the Nazis do to Jews,” police said Monday. The 12-year-old student said he got up to sharpen a pencil at Bluffton Middle School on Wednesday when Patricia Mulholland grabbed him by his collar and said, “come here, Jew,” police said. The teacher then dragged him…

Updated Journalism Handouts

I updated the journalism portal of my online writing site, and touched up some existing handouts: News Story vs. English Essay Your English instructor carefully reads your essay to evaluate the depth of your knowledge, the breadth of your vocabulary, and the loftiness of your ideas. Joe Sixpack glances quickly at your news story to learn who won the game, or when Route 30 will reopen, or what happened at…

Six Reasons a Non-Computer Nerd Might Want to Learn to Code

Atwood, on his blog Coding Horror, miffed by the “everyone should learn to code” meme, likens coding to plumbing. It’s not for everyone. “Look, I love programming. I also believe programming is important … in the right context, for some people,” he writes. “But so are a lot of skills. I would no more urge everyone to learn programming than I would urge everyone to learn plumbing. That’d be ridiculous,…

Stage Right! Homeschool Musicals

My daughter was recently in the Stage Right! Greensburg homeschool preteen production of Once Upon a Mixed-up Fairy Tale, playing Little Red Riding Hood. Here the girls are singing “Astonishing.” My son played Marshal Cord Elam in the teen production, Oklahoma. He’s wearing the vest and white hat.