Check it out!
I just moved the games on the Thinking Skills Club website to bpuzzle.ca (because of the Brain Puzzles used to track student progress and because I'm in Canada) to make it easier to type into the address bar.
Check it out!
SimCityEdu is a new version of the popular game for schools. Students manipulate variables that affect a city's growth, and see the results of their decisions evolve before their eyes.
Cognitive Scientist Andy Clark suggests in his book, Natural Born Cyborgs, that SimCity may be good for learning about emergent complex systems, including our own brains:
"gently manipulating a few variables, such as zoning and land prices, you may be able to bring about some effect, for example, to encourage the building of a new shopping mall. The domino effects here will surprise you, as new ghettos and high crime areas emerge in its wake. The bigger the city, the more complex the interactions. The skill of “growing” a thriving, happy city is precisely the skill of embracing co-control. It is the skill of respecting the flow, while subtly encouraging the stream in some desired direction.
"StarLogo, SimCity, and its recent companion “The Sims” are designer environments that can help biological brains learn to get to grips with decentralized emergent order. They can help us develop skills for understanding those peculiar kinds of complex systems of which we ourselves are one striking instance. Experience with such tools should be compulsory elements in our educational practice."
My weekly cartoon on Chalkes at Edreach.us. Interesting link re: robograding
The following poem is by a 14 year old girl named Rylie who has synesthesia, a quirk of the brain in which she sees colours attached to numbers and names and also has physical sensations about things like food.
There is research that says we all have this kind of experience as infants or in the womb when the thalamus, the place where information from different senses is processed and sorted in our heads, is being formed, and for some people it continues in various forms throughout their lives.
It can be an advantage (seeing numbers in colours can make them easier to recall) or not (people don't understand you, the sensations can be overpowering sometimes). For more information about synesthesia check Wikipedia.
Rylie VanOrsdol is currently a sophomore in college with a 4.0 and will start college at age 15.
Michael Schneider, says, “Mathematics is a way to read the world of nature and technology around us. If a teacher can convey this, the entire world becomes an exciting textbook.”
Nicely put, but that's a big IF.
Mitch Moldofsky is founder of the Thinking Skills Club, a computer game club that helps develop cognitive functioning for kids. He hold a B.Sc. in Cognitive Science and Psychology from the University of Toronto.