Actually, it's called "unschooling," but not many people know what the term means: basically, homeschooling "without the trappings of formal education," LiveScience.com reports, such as textbooks or even traditional subjects covered separately. Subjects that are covered unconventionally, e.g., in World of Warcraft, are "math, reading, sociology, economics, creative writing and communications." Unschoolers such as a mom mentioned in the LiveScience article, Jill Parmer, teach by learning about and fostering the interests of their children. One of Jill's kids' interests is World of Warcraft, so she plays the 10 million+-member game with them and "helps lead a group of homeschool kids and parents in a WoW guild called 'Horde of Unschoolers'." She has watched her 10-year-old "make his own learning connections between WoW and other areas in life," according to LiveScience. "One day he became interested in the mathematical concept of exponential increases after his WoW character encountered a disease cloud." University of Wisconsin researcher Constance Steinkuehler told LiveScience she has seen 8th- and 9th-graders playing WoW go from "barely stringing together two sentences to writing lengthy posts in their group's Web site forum, where they discuss detailed strategies for gearing up their virtual characters and figuring out tough quests." She gets a lot of surprised looks, even from players, when she tells them that "85% of the conversations [in the official WoW forum] showed that players had decent levels of scientific literacy. Players used reasoned arguments, backed up hypotheses and even brought statistics to bear on issues that they faced near the higher levels of the game."
NetFamilyNews – by Anne Collier
- A positive, insightful new book for schools on bullying
- Students called heroes in this 6th-grade class
- In the face of school violence, what do we default to?
- Popularity: The other kind of vulnerability
- FB & Oculus VR: The potential of a virtual-reality platform
- What’s (importantly) different about Snapchat
- We ‘like’ faces in social media: Study
- Yik Yak update: How the app came to geo-fence off US schools
Analysis & News – by Larry Magid
- Facebook’s ‘Nearby Friends’ feature: What you need to know
- Identity theft a problem from cradle to grave — Kids most vulnerable
- How to protect your family from Heartbleed security flaw (slideshow)
- Beware of Heartbleed inspired phishing scams
- Are sites you use vulnerable to Heartbleed security flaw?
- Microsoft ends support of Windows XP: Machines highly vulnerable to security risks
- The evolution of online safety: Lessons learned over 20 years
- Safety through mindfulness: Watch ‘The Science of Character’