Game mods for the elementary crowd
Many gaming-savvy teenagers and adults create modifications, or mods, of the video games that they play. By doing this, they transcend from mere players into virtual world creators. Conceptualizing, designing, building, testing, revising - these are all complex cognitive skills that go far beyond the relatively simplistic skills required by many educational software programs.
So I was delighted to see my 2nd-grade son and 4th-grade daughter breathlessly rush up to me today to show me the levels that they created for their newest Nintendo DS game, Mario vs. Donkey Kong 2: March of the Minis. At ages 7 and 9, they're already engaging in complex world creation on their little Nintendo just like they can with SimCity, The Sims, Zoo Tycoon, and RollerCoaster Tycoon. Best of all, they are finding that creating new worlds may be more fun than just playing the game.
Elementary kids as world builders. Very cool...
[image credit: http://tinyurl.com/282woz]
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Research by neuroscientists at MIT's Picower Institute for Learning and Memory helps explain how the brain regulates arousal.
The big day has come: You are taking your road test to get your driver's license. As you start your mom's car with a stern-faced evaluator in the passenger seat, you know you'll need to be alert but not so excited that you make mistakes. Even if you are simultaneously sleep-deprived and full of nervous energy, you need your brain to moderate your level of arousal so that you do your best.
A disturbing interview given by a KGB defector in 1984 describes America of today and outlines four stages of mass brainwashing used by the KGB.
- Bezmenov described this process as "a great brainwashing" which has four basic stages.
- The first stage is called "demoralization" which takes from 15 to 20 years to achieve.
- According to the former KGB agent, that is the minimum number of years it takes to re-educate one generation of students that is normally exposed to the ideology of its country.
When these companies compete, in the current system, the people lose.
- When a company reaches the top of the ladder, they typically kick it away so that others cannot climb up on it. The aim? So that another company can't compete.
- When this happens in the pharmaceutical world, certain companies stay at the top of the ladder, through broadly-protected patents, at the cost of everyday people benefitting from increased competition.
- Since companies have worked out how to legally game the system, Amin argues we need to get rid of this "one size fits all" system, which treats product innovation — "tweaks" — the same as product invention.
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