MIT STEP offers a teacher licensing program that can be done entirely at MIT or in conjunction with courses at Wellesley College. This program licenses students to teach mathematics or science in grades 5-12. The Scheller Teacher Education Program, offered through the Department of Urban Studies and Planning, prepares MIT students to become teachers who are competent to teach in their field, willing to challenge established norms, able to bridge the boundaries among disciplines, and eager to help students develop the desire to question and explore. Click here for more info on STEP and here for more info on classes.
STEP is actively engaged in many research and development projects, designing and testing new learning technologies for use in formal and informal education. While some projects are in limited testing with partners, others are freely available for all to try and to use (some complete with curriculum and assessment). Find out more about these projects on the projects page.
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NAS Report on Learning Science: Computer Games, Simulations, and Education
The National Academies of Science just released the draft of their report on Learning Science: Computer Games, Simulations, and Education. The short summary, quoting from their website is:
Computer games and simulations are worthy of future investment and investigation as a way to improve science learning, says a new report from the National Research Council. The study committee found promising evidence that simulations can advance conceptual understanding of science, as well as moderate evidence that they can motivate students for science learning. Research on the effectiveness of games designed for science learning is emerging, but remains inconclusive.
The study emerged from a conference last fall, featuring several sponsored papers and presentations by experts, and then several more meetings to try to make sense of it all (which I got to participate in). The study provides a pretty good snapshot on where we are and where we need to go as a field in understanding the learning potential of games and simulations.