Learning Experience Design, EdTech, Curriculum, Assessment, E-Learning

A Day in the Life of an Illustrator in Educational Publishing

Submitted by Maria Vivas on Fri, 12/19/2014

Meet one of our talented illustrators, Abhishek Gurung.  At a young age, his inclination toward drawing can be traced back to picture books from his childhood and memories of art class. We sat down with him to find out what it is like to apply his creative passions to his artwork.

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STEMtastic! The Science of Band Names

Submitted by Anne Bunce on Tue, 12/02/2014

As a science editor and a resident of Austin, Texas (Live Music Capital of the World!), I hereby suggest these awesome science terms for double duty as band names. I’ve also tossed in my (sometimes silly) thoughts about the type of band/group that would have each name.

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A Day in the Life of a Learning Experience Designer

Submitted by Maria Vivas on Tue, 11/18/2014

Say hello to Rebecca Row, our Manager of Learning Experience Design™!  Rebecca has a strong background in content development, instructional design, and linguistics that she applies to projects in the K–12 space. We sat down with her to get an insider’s perspective on what it’s like to work in such a distinct field.

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Using Data to Inform Your Curriculum Budget

Submitted by Michele Campbell on Wed, 11/12/2014

During the summer, Six Red Marbles launched the initial phase of its new product, Curriculum Insight™. With Curriculum Insight, teachers can anonymously rate and review curriculum materials in minutes. The data collected helps district administrators transform how they manage their curriculum budget.

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The Skinny on #EdChat

Submitted by Six Red Marbles on Fri, 10/31/2014

The team at USC Rossier School of Education, who run the Twitter handle @USCTeacher, recently pulled together a resource guide for one of the most popular hashtags in education, #EdChat. The Essential #EdChat Resource Guide is a quick and simple guide that provides the ins and outs of how to use #EdChat and what it can do for teachers, students, and education. Are you new to Twitter? This guide shows you how to access past #EdChat discussions.

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NGSS and EQuIP: Evolution and Evaluation

Submitted by Marianne Knowles on Fri, 10/17/2014

Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) carry that name for a reason: they are the Next Generation. Like human offspring, the Next Generation may look like their parents or grandparents, but they have new ways of thinking, talking, dressing, and getting things done.

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Why Johnny Can’t Pivot

Submitted by Margaret Weigel on Wed, 10/08/2014

Grit is a buzzword in educational circles right now. MacArthur “Genius Grant” recipient Angela Duckworth’s research focuses on grit as an indicator of school and professional successes throughout life. Students who have lots of grit, a close cousin of self-control, will align themselves toward a goal over a long period of time.

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Independence Day Celebrations in New Delhi

Submitted by Parnashree Devi on Mon, 09/29/2014

I celebrated Independence Day with my colleagues at Six Red Marbles in a unique way. I truly believe that it makes a significant difference when you are joined by a whole new bunch of enthusiasts and like-minded people.

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From the Copy Desk | Grammar: Pet Peeves

Submitted by Kevin Jackson-Mead on Wed, 09/24/2014

Many people who work with language have pet peeves about language usage, those little things that they always spot and that always annoy them. I thought it would be fun to poll some of our English language arts people about their grammar pet peeves.

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New and Lifelong Learning

Submitted by Jennifer Livengood on Thu, 09/04/2014

I had never made a New Year’s resolution until this year. In the beginning of January 2014, I made two resolutions:

1. Learn something new
2. Do activities that help me feel empowered

I left the resolutions quite broad because I believe in lifelong learning and am continually challenging myself. I earned my PhD about seven years ago but always seek out opportunities to enrich my life. After making these resolutions, I found the perfect activity: motorcycle riding!

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Checking the Next Generation Science Standards Crystal Ball

Submitted by Mark Grayson on Wed, 08/27/2014

Nearly three years ago, I presented several blog posts devoted to the potentially transformative nature of the as-of-then-still-under-development Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and the possible pitfalls to the approach being taken in developing and promoting them.

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Writing Your Way Out of a Box

Submitted by Cindy Kane on Fri, 08/22/2014

Writing texts for reading and language arts programs has been described as “writing your way out of a box.” How do you create a text that is just as engaging for students as a trade book or magazine article . . . and also helps them to learn and practice a targeted set of skills? Several of the editors in the Six Red Marbles Humanities Department have written books for children’s trade publishers, and that experience often helps us to get the writers we work with out of that box.

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Laura Dress Judges iGEM High School Jamboree

Submitted by Maria Vivas on Tue, 08/19/2014

Motivating high school students to conduct research in the emerging field of synthetic biology is no easy feat. Yet, the iGEM (International Genetically Engineered Machine) Foundation has accomplished just that.

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How PLAY can help your WORK

Submitted by Marianne Knowles on Tue, 08/12/2014

The company I work for, Six Red Marbles, develops technology-based educational materials for use in schools and other settings. Six Red Marbles has six core principles for developing materials for learners. One of these principles is “play is productive.” In a nutshell, the principle states that learning is a creative adventure, and if learners are having fun being creative then they’re more likely to explore, ask questions, and take productive risks.

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The “Participation Gap” You Haven’t Heard About

Submitted by Margaret Weigel on Thu, 07/31/2014

Harvard professor and researcher Robert Putnam—renown for his ’bowling alone’ thesis of American anomie—has turned his attention in recent years to growing levels of inequality between young people. While his extensive research project on this topic continues, you can get a sense of his preliminary findings from his working paper “Growing Class Gaps in Social Connectedness among American Youth” (2012). This paper focuses on the widening gap between the experiences of middle and upper class youth and their less affluent peers since the 1990s, and how these experiences affect everything from future earnings and levels of educational attainment to social capital, civic engagement, and feelings of self-worth. Spoiler alert: lower class students are not faring so well.

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Leaving Behind “No Child”?

Submitted by Mark Grayson on Mon, 07/28/2014

What is known in polite circles as No Child Left Behind has many roots in Texas. Many recall that this signature accomplishment of George W. Bush’s presidency was based on an expansion of the testing regime he’d promoted in Texas while governor there.
But the history and the connections to Texas go back further, and Texas may just be where to look for clues about the future of national education policy.

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Content and Software: Partners in Education

Submitted by Marianne Knowles on Thu, 07/17/2014

Everyone at Six Red Marbles understands that you need to consider the whole user experience, including content, software, and many other factors, if you’re going to develop a curriculum that engages students and helps them to achieve mastery.

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Put Us to the Test: Testing in the Time of Technology

Submitted by Amy Losi on Tue, 06/17/2014

The new assessments have been surrounded by controversy on several fronts. One has been the support and funding of the Gates foundation. Critics have pointed out that Microsoft stands to gain from the tests’ reliance on technology, a view that has angered Bill Gates. In the June 7th Washington Post, Gates has defended his support of the Common Core by saying, “Education can get better. Some people may not believe that. Education can change . . . I believe in the Common Core because of its substance and what it will do to improve education. And that’s the only reason I believe in the Common Core. . . . This is philanthropy. This is trying to make sure students have the kind of opportunity I had.”

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