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Games and Education / Games as Education

Last week the New York based Games for Learning Institute, in conjunction with NYU, hosted a lecture by game developer Will Wright. I've been thinking a lot about games and education for our upcoming Future of Persuasion conference, and my ears perked up when I saw that the lecture had been put online, and after watching the hour long video, I was definitely not disappointed.

Scratch and Computational Thinking

I've been thinking a lot about the growth in programming and computational skills that will be required in a world in which Everything is Programmable, and I was really surprised and heartened to see an article by Mitch Resnick et al. about Scratch in this month's Communications of the ACM.

Microsoft and Ghana Ministry of Education sign a Memorandum of Understanding

Microsoft is investing in building ICT capabilities in Ghana. The MoU is an extension of the 2004 relationship between Microsoft and Ghana in which three IT academies were established and 300 teachers within all levels of education were trained.

new friends for China, new U.S.-Sino p2p cooperation

A new kind of American is beginning to engage with China.

Chinese scientists taking kids home for a better education?

Christian Science Monitor had a great piece May 1 on what some call a "reverse brain drain," adding data to the still largely anecdotal trend of U.S.-based Chinese and Indian scientists going home to develop their careers. 

Who's the baddest, Chinese peasants or grads?

Over the past few months I've heard two entirely different points of view about which groups in China are more likely to cause serious problems because of their unemployment.  Will it be educated university graduates, or urban factory workers returning to their villages?  Both groups have high expectations of being able to work and of becoming increasingly prosperous, and both have seen those expectations dashed.

Kaplan's Vision/Manifesto for the Future of Education

Using your hands

Gregg Zachary in last week's New York Times wrote a terrific little piece on "a little-noticed movement in the world of professional design and engineering: a renewed appreciation for manual labor, or innovating with the aid of human hands." I talk about it at some length on my End of Cyberspace blog.

Chinese universities now top the NSF list of institutions sending students to American graduate schools

For decades, American graduate schools have attracted students from all over the world. Over time, of course, the origins of international graduate students has shifted. For years, the NSF Survey of Earned Doctorates has been following where Ph.D. recipients received their undergraduate degrees, and each year it publishes a list showing what universities and colleges graduate the largest number of students going on to get Ph.D.s in the U.S.

The latest survey shows that in 2006, two Chinese universities contributed more Ph.D. students to American graduate programs. This is notable because until now, American universities have dominated (but not monopolized) the top five slots.

Post-scientific society

I've been in Malaysia and Singapore this week, conducting workshops on the future of science and innovation. It's been a very interesting week, talking to scientists in Penang and Kuala Lumpur about the future of science, and what role they see Malaysia playing in that future. The people I've been talking to are pretty convinced that Malaysia, which has a respectable but not world-class scientific community, can evolve into a global player in science in the next couple decades. They don't want to emulate American and European institutions: you won't see multi-billion dollar particle accelerators here any time soon. But they're pretty aware that cloud computing, cheap genomics, and other inexpensive research tools will lower the economic bars to develop world-class competence in some important fields. So I was especially struck by Gregg Zachary's latest column in the New York Times, which asks, "might cheap science from low-wage countries help keep American innovators humming?"

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