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Reading for Life: Parents & Cyber Learning, A Virtual Commitment

by Rhonda H. Lauer October 5, 2011
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According to the U.S. Department of Education, online learning is one of the nation’s fastest growing trends. All but two states now offer online courses to at least some students. In most cases, online courses are blended with in-school courses, but twenty-seven states allow students to attend virtual schools full-time. Believe it or not, three states – Alabama, Florida, and Michigan (and soon, perhaps Idaho) – actually require online learning for their students.

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Omit Needless Words

by Jennifer Kobrin July 27, 2011
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Christopher Johnson’s new book, “Microstyle: The Art of Writing Little,” reviewed yesterday in the New York Times, is a “guide to verbal strategies that make very short messages effective, interesting, and memorable.” ‘Big Style,’ (a term the author uses that roughly equates to what my father calls ‘the grammar police’) confounds the set of necessary rules that allow readers to make sense of written language with an insecurity about prescriptive grammatical principles. Traditional style guides are mostly a set of guidelines about not what to do.

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eBooks for Kids

by Julianne Grasso July 6, 2011
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While digital books and the devices to read them have been typically marketed at adults, children’s books are making their way into digital format. Possibilities for sound, animation, and interactivity have made touch-screen devices like the iPad and iPhone particularly engaging for children. I wondered if any of these interactive additions are particularly conducive to enhancing literacy skills. (After all, it may be difficult to justify purchasing an expensive gadget when you could easily get these books for free at your local library).

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Fight Monsters and Learn to Read: Literacy through Video Games

by Julianne Grasso June 2, 2011
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As a member of Generation Y, who came of age immersed in computers, television, and mp3 players, Rhonda Lauer’s recent post about learning with and through media makes total sense to me. I’ve got an audiobook on my iPod, a video game that’s supposed to teach me Japanese, and I watch the Discovery Channel (that counts, right?). I’m certainly not alone, considering the seemingly giant market for “edutainment.”

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Reading for Life: Entertainment Media

by Rhonda H. Lauer May 25, 2011
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Last week I had the opportunity to participate in the Joan Ganz Cooney Center’s 2011 Leadership Forum. This year’s Forum – Learning from Hollywood: Can Entertainment Media Ignite an Education Revolution? – was held in Los Angeles at the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts. Along with other educators, I joined with leaders from the entertainment industry, technology, research, policy, and philanthropy, to explore new ways to support young people’s learning with and through media.

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