Hey teachers, do you have low-performing students, who have trouble paying attention? The solution could be video games.
That’s according to a survey of more than 700 teachers, who use games in the classroom, It was conducted by the Games and Learning Publishing Council. (Potential self-interest noted). Forty-seven percent of teachers said that low-performing students were the main beneficiaries of gaming in the classroom, and 28 percent said students with emotional or behavioral issues benefited most.
Also from the survey of teachers:
- 55 percent use gaming in the classroom at least once a week; 9 percent use it daily.
- 55 percent said the games were most valuable as motivators of low-performing students and special education students.
- 30 percent have students use games individually; 20 percent have kids work in small groups; and 17 percent play as a class.
- Teachers rely most on other teachers for game recommendations.
- Why aren’t more teachers using games? Most cited not enough time. But cost and lack of tech resources were also popular answers.
- The Games and Learning Publishing Council is a coalition of game developers, industry leaders, investors, scholars and education experts focused on expanding game-based learning.
Among those options on both lists is Minecraft, a game that has more than a few teacher devotees. A whole library of Minecraft-based learning games created by enthusiastic educators can be found here.
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The World Cup starts this Thursday, but a match of a different sort is already well under way: the sales competition between Nike and Adidas.
The two companies go at it year after year, but the World Cup is a rare opportunity to market products to the entire world.
In Portland, Oregon, the walls of Tursi Soccer Store are lined with shoes.
“So Nike and Adidas comes here and does this," says Jim Tursi, pointing to the walls of his store. "They come in and actually put all the displays up. We give them half the store each and they get to do what they want with it.”
The store's displays looks like something out of a modern art museum, the lighting just perfect, holding soccer cleats in a sort of suspended animation. One display has a few shoes behind glass and gives off the faint sound of a club beat.
Spring and summer are always busy, Tursi says, but this year’s business is up 30 percent. Not only that, but Nike and Adidas launched a slew of new jerseys, shoes and soccer balls all leading up the start of the World Cup.
“Nike and Adidas has such a hand in everything now. They fight tooth and nail with each other," Tursi says. "It’s very competitive.”
Nike’s soccer business brought in nearly $2 billion in 2013. Adidas didn’t release its figures for 2013, but expects to sell more than $2.7 billion worth of soccer gear this year.
Courtney Brunious, associate director at the University of Southern California's Sports Business Institute, says the World Cup is the perfect place for this turf war.
“It almost stands alone in terms of the ability for brands and sponsors to get out there and reach such a wide group of potential customers,” Brunious says.
But here’s the interesting thing: Adidas has been in the soccer business since 1949. Nike? Only about two decades.
“They’ve since maybe even pulled even, or only slightly behind, Adidas in soccer,” says Paul Swinand, an analyst with Morningstar.
In 2008, Nike purchased Umbro and sold it just a few years later, but not before gutting the company of several multi-million dollar sponsorship deals.
“The sponsorships are really key in the global sales dominance,” Swinand says.
With this move, Nike was able to put its logo on the jerseys of teams like Manchester City and England’s national team, which Swinand argues gave Nike a boost to compete.
“Adidas is very sensitive to somebody encroaching on their brand heritage," he says. "They’ve pushed very hard to maintain the lead.”
But that sales lead for Adidas -- if there is one at all -- may not be forever.
Tursi says for the 18 year-olds and under, Nike dominates his soccer shoe business.
He says Nike is holding off on one final shoe that comes out the first day of the tournament -- the new Superfly.
“We can’t show it get because we’re not allowed to, because it’s all top secret as they do things,” he says.
But that doesn't stop him from showing them off.
Tursi heads into the back room, reaches onto a shelf he grabs a brightly colored soccer cleat. Nike calls the color “Hyper Punch” -- a mix of blinding pink and hunter orange, with the company’s signature swoosh across the top. The cost: $275.
“These will go June 12, all sold out," he says.
In a month, the World Cup will be over. Pretty soon, Tursi says, the buzz will be about whatever Nike and Adidas do next.
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From the Marketplace Datebook, here's a look at what's coming up Wednesday, June 11:
In Washington, we get a look at the nation's balance sheet. The Treasury Department is scheduled to release its monthly statement for May.
A House subcommittee on Communications and Technology holds a hearing on "Media Ownership in the 21st Century."
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee holds a closed hearing on the situation in Ukraine.
And providing more opportunities to get voted off TV, "American Idol" premiered on June 11, 2002.
Wartime rape has often been treated as something that's inevitable. A global summit in London looks for ways to stop the abuses and hold perpetrators responsible for sexual violence in conflict zones.
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There's been a dramatic influx of unaccompanied minors showing up at the border. Dianne Solis of The Dallas Morning News talks about what's behind the numbers.