No Place To Hide

Mr. Greenwald’s new book

Rhetoric is a powerful tool. Ubiquitously used as an insult, the term “rhetoric” simply translates as the art of effective persuasion. Typically, claims of harmful and misleading rhetoric are found in the ideological realm of politics, where the name of the game is persuasion; however, in some cases, the intended audience can be difficult to sway.

Glenn Greenwald is a journalist (among other professions), who has written for numerous publications, particularly the US version of the Guardian news outlet. He is currently famous (or infamous) for breaking the story on the National Security Agency scandal, wherein fugitive whistleblower Edward Snowden, a former systems administrator for the NSA, divulged information about potentially illegal standards and practices. Since Greenwald’s original exposé in the Guardian US, a deluge of rhetoric has been written, videotaped, published, and shouted on or against Snowden’s behalf.

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Net Neutrality Feedback

Just in case you forgot, Net Neutrality is still an issue.

An organization that rarely has a high approval ratings, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has reinvigorated supporters of Net Neutrality by unleashing a series of guidelines for the Internet. In response, anti-FCC activists let out a giant groan of frustration. If the rules were to be instated, some claim that discrimination based on content, opinion, and commerce would commence, thus signaling the end of Net Neutrality.

Luckily for those of us who enjoy participating in our wildly uninhibited Internet, the FCC has encouraged users to fill out comment forms with their thoughts regarding the Neutrality issue. By clicking this link, you will be able to inform the FCC of your own personal, unbiased, thoughtful opinion.

You may begin typing furiously now.

Making Games: A Different Approach To Learning

Kids shouldn’t sit in front of television screens all day, but they do. Since we can’t get them away from the television set, why not use games as tool for teaching. Using games as an educational tool provides opportunities for deeper learning, such as the increase in memory, performance, social interaction, and classroom engagement. In addition, there is more than one way to teach using games. Mind Shift shares an article about how making games can be used as a form of learning. Game making is one way to create a space where students are empowered to freely experiment with their own way of framing ideas and choosing perspectives.

Gamestar Mechanic is a great example of a game-making tool that can be used for learning. Gamestar Mechanic is a web-based software platform with a drag and drop interface that makes it simple for kids to make their own games. Kids can take the content they have learned and turn it into a game that they can use or other classmates can use. If a child can turn their classroom notes into a fun, engaging and exciting game, this is reassurance that they know the material.

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Source: http://www.chron.com

Gamestar Mechanic continues to grow and is becoming widely used in the classroom. Gamestar Mechanic is currently used in more than 7,000 schools, with over 600,000 youth-created games published and played over 20 million times in 100+ countries.

Game design shows kids that coding is ultimately a semiotic system. Coding has become very popular, and can be challenging to understand and learn. Gamestar Mechanic involves language and can make coding easier for kids. Teachers are encouraged to step away from the traditional methods of pedagogy and bring gaming into the classroom.