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Being a Better Online Reader, Reading Online vs. On Paper, from The @NewYorker

Maria Konnikova at The New Yorker discusses the differences between reading online and reading on paper:

One of her main hypotheses is that the physical presence of a book—its heft, its feel, the weight and order of its pages—may have more than a purely emotional or nostalgic significance. People prefer physical books, not out of old-fashioned attachment but because the nature of the object itself has deeper repercussions for reading and comprehension. “Anecdotally, I’ve heard some say it’s like they haven’t read anything properly if they’ve read it on a Kindle. The reading has left more of an ephemeral experience,” she told me. Her hunch is that the physicality of a printed page may matter for those reading experiences when you need a firmer grounding in the material. The text you read on a Kindle or computer simply doesn’t have the same tangibility.

Read the full article here.

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Rethinking Ed Tech? MIT Blossoms story at Slate

Ed-tech enthusiasts who think they can do an end run around teachers will find that teachers are still the ultimate arbiters of what’s welcome in their classrooms: Witness the interactive “Smart Boards” introduced with such fanfare into America’s schools, now functioning as so many expensive bulletin boards.

Ed-tech proponents who think that technology can “disrupt” or “transform” education on its own would do well to take a lesson from the creators of Blossoms, who call their program’s blend of computers and people a “teaching duet.” Their enthusiasm for the possibilities of technology is matched by an awareness of the limits of human nature.

Read the whole article at Slate.

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Influential Games Forgotten by History – Documentary

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I just finished watching the documentary “5 Genre-Defining Video Games Forgotten by History” produced by Rob “Catsman” Welch of Gentleman’s Lunchtime Association. The 52 minute film takes you into the fascinating history of some of the most popular video game genres. It is quite in depth, and the narration is excellent in writing and performance. One of the most unique aspects of the video is how Welch weaves in some history of programming as it relates to games.

The editing and narration are very professional. As a viewer of both traditional documentary and internet video, I am impressed with the way Welch blends both styles to make something engaging and polished. I enjoyed his humor as well. I thought the gimmick he uses, of pretending to have uncovered the original game in a genre, only to then reveal the actual origins as being much older and in places no one has heard of, became more fun as it became more predictable and was a clever technique to organize the film.

“Games Forgotten by History” is well worth watching for anyone looking for an extremely informative look at video game history, packed with footage of retro game play. You can watch it for free on YouTube at the link below.

Watch “5 Genre-Defining Video Games Forgotten by History”

Violence and Video Games: What’s the Connection?

Excerpt from an excellent post. Definitely worth a read:

“Marathon 2 is typical of the violent games used in research.

There is a possible problem with this design. The researchers concluded that the violent nature of Marathon 2 was to blame for the increase in aggressive thoughts and mood, but it might have been that the complex nature of the controls were too much for new players to feel like they could do what they wanted in the game. This could then lead to frustration and a slightly hostile mood. In research parlance, this difference in the control complexity between the games is known as a “confound” because it offers an alternative explanation for the results.

This is exactly the thought that Andrew Przybylski (pronounced “Shuh-Bill-Skee”) and his colleagues (pronounced “colleagues”) had, and it lead them to an interesting study that was just published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.5 In that study, they wondered how much frustration over one’s inability to master game controls contributed to aggression, as opposed to the violent content of a game.”

Read the full post at Psychology of a Video Games Blog.

How to Add Tons of New Fonts to Google Drive Documents!

This is a very simple, yet awesome discovery I had recently. I love Google Drive and all of the document features. I really think they are on par with Microsoft Office. By default, Google Drive only gives you a few fonts to choose from, but there are many more that can be revealed. Below is my first Ed Tech video tutorial that shows you how to access the other fonts. This should be the first of many more!

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