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Mandarin Chinese Immersion Program Students Test What They’ve Learned in China

School News Network – Rick Wilson

“Sixth-grader Andy Kuo concedes it took him a few days to realize the language skills he’s learned during the past seven years in Forest Hills Public Schools’ Mandarin Chinese Immersion Program would stand up to a real world test. The 12-year-old was among a group of 32 students, parents and siblings who spent 11 days during spring break in China, visiting tourist attractions like the Great Wall, Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City and the historic city of Xi’an, home of the famed Terracotta Warriors that guard the tomb of China’s first emperor. They also spent time working on their Mandarin and expanding their understanding of calligraphy with students and teachers at a pair of schools in Beijing and another about 90 kilometers outside of town…District officials think the program has been valuable to students preparing for jobs in an international economy, and has them thinking in different ways about the world around them.”(more)

Is EdTech Really Helping Students?

Education World – Navindra Persaud

“It’s been reported that the education technology funding has increased to record numbers and is expected to hit $2 billion. But are students getting the most out of technology in the classroom? Mark Koba of Fortune spoke to some EdTech experts who think that technology still has a way to go before it can be deemed the ultimate solution for students’ learning needs. “Education technology is not yet a proven solution for learning, and limits the experience of education and human interaction,” said Art Langer, academic director and faculty member of the Executive Masters in Technology Management at Columbia University…”(more)

Study: Parents Distractions Lead to Risky Play Behavior

Education News – Grace Smith

“According to materials from the American Academy of Pediatrics, parents who take their children to playgrounds and then pull out their cell phones to make a call or check Facebook run the risk of being distracted from monitoring their children. Annually more than 200,000 children ages 14 and under are treated in emergency rooms as a result of playground-related injuries, says the Consumer Product Safety Commission…two researchers observed caregivers and children at seven New York playgrounds in order to pinpoint the types of distractions…Caregivers were distracted during 74% of the episodes, but most distractions were minimal and for the majority of the time the adult’s attention was focused on the child. Cell phones were not the only cause for distraction. Other distractions included talking with other adults (33% of all distractions); electronic devices (30%); eating, drinking, looking in purse, reading, other activities (37%). “Caregivers in general are doing a fine job supervising their children on the playground. However, increased awareness of limiting electronic distractions and other activities that may interfere with supervision should be considered,” said study author Ruth Milanaik, DO…”(more)

Research Suggests Standing Helps Children Stay on Task

Education World – Nicole Gorman

“According to results from a research project by a Texas A&M University team, children who stand at their desks instead of sitting gain “an extra seven minutes per hour of instruction time,” said an article on TheJournal.com “The preliminary results suggest that students improve their ability to stay on task by 12 percent” when using a standing desk, the article said…And not only did this study find that students using standing desks were more productive and engaged, one of the team members behind the study, Mark Benden, said a previous study he worked on found other benefits to the desks: “He found in previous studies that students who are standing burn 15 percent more calories than those sitting, a count that went up depending on the weight of the child,” according to the article.”(more)

Emoticons on Food Help Students Choose Healthier Meals

Education News – POLYMNIA HADJIPANAYIOTOU

“A study presented at the Pediatric Academic Societies annual meeting in San Diego, CA reveals that smiley faces on product packaging and meal choice prizes could help children choose wholesome, nutritious foods at the school cafeteria. The study suggests that the seemingly simple act of having Green Smiley Faced emoticons on food labels appeals to children urging them to consider a healthier lunch choice at school…The consumption of fruit increased by 20% and the consumption of vegetables by 62%. The most dramatic increase was for low fat milk, which had a consumption increase of 549%. Chocolate milk selection dropped from 86.5% to 44.6% during the five-month period researchers were observing the lunch choices of the students.”(more)