Opinion: How schools (even great ones) fail kids with ADHD

There’s a group of students struggling through school rd to navigate that gets little attention in the media or in the debate about how to fix schools: Children with ADHD, the Washington Post reports. ADHD, or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, is a brain condition that makes it especially hard for children to focus and concentrate in school and has a number of other symptoms. It is too often misunderstood by teachers, parents and even the students themselves. According to the Centers for Disease Control, about 9.5% or 5.4 million children 4-17 years of age, had been diagnosed with ADHD, as of 2007. Many others who have the disorder haven’t had the benefit of a diagnosis. Here is a powerful post by David Bernstein, a nonprofit executive who lives in Gaithersburg, Md., writing about the difficulties that his two sons, ages 7 and 15, have confronted in school as a result of ADHD…

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‘Thinkfinity’ completes MarcoPolo’s long journey

MarcoPolo, the free, standards-based curriculum web site for teachers, has had quite a colorful history. Created by the MCI WorldCom Foundation in the late 1990s in conjunction with leading content experts such as National Geographic and the Kennedy Center, it was in danger of folding after WorldCom’s accounting scandal and subsequent bankruptcy filing in 2002–then, remarkably, WorldCom’s creditors and board of directors committed $6 million to save the program. With Verizon’s purchase of WorldCom–then known as MCI Inc.–early last year, the site became the property of the Verizon Foundation. Now, MarcoPolo has merged with the Verizon Literacy Network to become a single digital learning platform called “Thinkfinity,” which Verizon defines as “endless possibilities for learning and infinite intelligence.” The new Thinkfinity contains more than 47,000 educational resources, such as lesson plans and interactive student activities, across seven academic disciplines. Offered in partnership with eight educational organizations, Thinkfinity is commercial free and accessible from any internet-connected computer at no cost. With the help of its partners, Verizon says, it is working to make this resource available on other platforms, too, to support learning in the 21st century.

Virtual reality gives these students a boost in real life

A $1.5 million virtual reality project has improved the test scores of deaf and hearing-impaired students by an average of 35 percent overall, according to the leaders of the Virtual Reality Education for Assisted Learning (VREAL) project funded by the U.S. Department of Education.

When hearing-disabled students start school, they’re already at a disadvantage compared to their hearing peers because they’re usually behind in acquiring language skills.

“They can often be one or two grade levels behind,” said Patti Schofield, a resource teacher at Lake Sybelia Elementary School in Maitland, Fla. “We have to give them a sign vocabulary in addition to writing.” Schofield approached Veridian, a company that does national security work for the U.S. Department of Defense, to see if their virtual reality technology could help hearing disabled students learn.…Read More