While local educators are taking notice of text slang, they aren’t alarmed by its presence.

“You tell them, ‘Look, there’s a context for everything. You don’t walk into my room swearing like you do with your friends. You don’t text in your papers,’” said Kleiner at Chief Umtuch.

On YouTube, “you can get a whole story in six minutes,” he explains. “A book takes so long. I prefer the immediate gratification.

Unchecked use of digital devices, he says, can create a culture in which students are addicted to the virtual world and lost in it.

Growing Up Digital, Wired for Distraction –

Many of us out there know that project-based learning (PBL) inspires students to understand core content knowledge more deeply and gain key skills for success in college and career.

Evidence that PBL Works | Edutopia

Experimental Study of BIE Project-Based Economics Units

Finkelstein, N., Hanson, T., Huang, C.-W., Hirschman, B., and Huang, M. (2010).

A study, conducted by WestEd’s Regional Educational Laboratory West (REL West), addresses the following key research questions:

  • Does PBE increase student content learning, motivation to learn economics, and problem-solving skills?
  • Does PBE increase teacher knowledge in economics and teacher interest in teaching economics?

This federally funded experimental study examined the combined impact of a one-week summer professional development institute and the use of the BIE Project-Based Economics curriculum on the economic knowledge of approximately 7,000 twelfth grade students taught by 76 teachers in 66 high schools. Student outcomes that were studied included scores on the standardized Test of Economic Literacy (TEL), scores on performance assessments of student conceptual understanding. Teacher outcomes included confidence in teaching economics and satisfaction with teaching materials.


Both high school students and their teachers benefit:

  • Students outscored their peers in the control group who received the more typical textbook- and lecture-driven approach.
  • Students also scored higher on measures of problem-solving skills and their application to real-world economic challenges
  • Teachers scored higher in satisfaction with teaching material and methods than those in the control group.

For more info, view the official IES report or the WestEd research site.

Hands-on creation could revitalize STEM learning

Some technology experts, such as MAKE Magazine founder Dale Dougherty and Pixar’s Tony DeRose, are promoting hands-on learning through the practice of making things as a method for revitalizing education, particularly in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math.

DeRose has created a program to involve children in “technologically sophisticated projects,” according to this article, and both DeRose and Dougherty are developing the principles needed to create a curriculum based on the maker ethic. “Exhibition instead of competition. Child-driven. Open-ended. Multidisciplinary,” DeRose said.