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Bringing Gaming to the Classroom

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By Jason Kohn, Contributing Columnist

As I’ve been reading about technology in education, one of the most interesting trends that keeps popping up is gaming. As a casual gamer myself, I’ve heard the arguments about how gaming improves hand-eye coordination and problem solving and all the rest. (In fact I tried many of them with my mom when I was 12 years old)

But the arguments for gaming in education today are far more advanced and compelling than I’ve realized. A lot of very smart people are working on this subject, and a lot of innovative educators are putting it into practice.

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How Community Technology Centers are Aiding the Recovery in Haiti

Angeline, 12, works in the computer lab at the Thomas Food Project in Thomas, Haiti.

Angeline, 12, works in the computer lab at the Thomas Food Project in Thomas, Haiti. She said she wants to be able to write and research because there are a lot of things she wants to know.

I recently had the pleasure of meeting  Neelley Hicks of United Methodist Communications. I was looking for people who work at the intersection of technology and education in developing regions. Her energy, compassion and dedication to this work is quite inspiring. As it turns out, the UMC team was  in Haiti this week and I wanted to provide a brief update of their trip.

The team arrived on Monday and traveled to Thomas, LeVegue, Mizak and Petit Goave through the week. Their objectives were to assess and report on how new technology is changing lives. This is an anniversary trip where they will check in on last year’s programs, and start new ones. The team posted a great summary of this week’s work on their website.

“These centers give people who are otherwise off-the-grid access to information through the Internet that can help them live more productive and economically viable lives,” said the Rev. Larry Hollon, chief executive of United Methodist Communications. “This is a key tool for the church to use for human empowerment.”

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Rewriting the Rules for Public Schools

Jason KohnBy Jason Kohn, Contributing Columnist

As a parent of two elementary-age daughters, I’ve been very happy with my kids’ public school experience. Nevertheless, I’m sure if their teachers could launch a new school with a completely blank slate, there are plenty of things they would do differently.

Well, one group of charter schools called Carpe Diem is actually doing this, rebuilding the classroom from the ground up. Check out this video highlighting a Carpe Diem school in Yuma, Arizona to get a sense of just how different – and interesting – this technology-driven education. Read More »

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Broadband Update: Progress and Prognostication

Howard Baldwin - PhotographBy Howard Baldwin, Contributing Columnist

The beginning of a new year is always time for taking stock and looking forward. In an area as vibrant as broadband telecommunications, there’s plenty to recap from 2012 and look forward to in 2013 – both good and bad.

Similarly, as Broadband Breakfast’s Drew Clark noted in its top-ten-events roundup, the wireless standard LTE became available to some 400 million people between AT&T and Verizon, and Comcast completed the rollout of the next version of its cable modem technology, DOCSIS 3.0, bringing speeds of 100 megabits per second potentially to 52 million subscribers.

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Medic Mobile: Powerful Tools for Local Health Workers

Jason Kohn

By Jason Kohn, Contributing Columnist

I’ve been writing about mobile services in developing countries, and mHealth in particular, for a while now. But recently I had my first opportunity to speak to someone on the ground making it happen: Maeghan Orton of Medic Mobile.

Medic Mobile has a unique model. The company doesn’t focus on one specific mHealth application. Rather, it provides a mobile software and technology platform for putting mHealth tools in the hands of community health workers (CHWs), and lets organizations find innovative ways to use them.

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