Feedback From A Computer Reduces Students’ Anxiety About Learning

In April of 2012, Mark D. Shermis, then the dean of the College of Education at the University of Akron, made a striking claim: “Automated essay scoring engines” were capable of evaluating student writing just as well as human readers. Shermis’s research, presented at a meeting of the National Council on Measurement in Education, created a sensation in the world
Read More →

Your Two Kinds Of Memory: Electronic And Organic

A young doctor-in-training examines a new patient. Should she draw information for the diagnosis from her “E-memory”—electronic memory, the kind that’s available on a computer? Or should she dip into her “O-memory”—organic memory, the old-fashioned sort that resides in the brain? Research shows that apprentice doctors are increasingly relying on E-memory, often in the form of a digital resource called
Read More →

A Wonderful New Book: “Powers Of Two”

Today is the publication date of a very special book: Powers of Two: Finding the Essence of Innovation in Creative Pairs. Its author, Joshua Wolf Shenk, is a friend of mine, but I can honestly say that Powers of Two is, objectively speaking, a great read. (Just look, on the book’s Amazon page, at all the writers and reviewers who
Read More →

And The Moral Of The Story Is…Keep It Positive

The slower pace of summer means more time to tell stories to our kids, whether it’s around a campfire or in a car on the long, long trip to our vacation spot. We tell these stories for many reasons: to entertain, to pass the time, to share adventures from our own past. And sometimes we tell stories in order to
Read More →

Want To Get Teens’ Attention? Tell Them They’re Being Manipulated

Many a parent and teacher has despaired over how easily young people’s attention is diverted, especially when they’re online. Stay focused! we urge them. Don’t let yourself get distracted! Our admonitions have little sway against the powerful temptations of the Internet. But there may be a better way to help teenagers resist the web’s lures: let them know that their
Read More →

Are You an Autodidact? Or Do You Need Other People To Learn?

When Bill Gates was still a teenager, he would sneak out of his family’s house before dawn and ride his bike to a building on the campus of the University of Washington. He had discovered that the university’s huge supercomputers were idle between the hours of three and six in the morning, allowing the budding computer enthusiast to teach himself
Read More →

Technology That Understands Its Human Users

MIT BLOSSOMS, one of the most exciting and effective uses of educational technology to help high school students learn math and science, doesn’t boast the latest in artificial intelligence or adaptive algorithms. Its secret weapon is, rather, a canny understanding of human psychology—both students’ and teachers’. Technologically speaking, its basic model could be executed with an old television and VCR.
Read More →

We Tell Kids, “Go To Sleep!” We Need To Tell Them Why.

We tell children why it’s important to eat their vegetables. We tell them why they need to get outside and run around. But how often do we parents tell children why it’s important to sleep? “Time for bed!” is usually the end of it, or maybe “You’ll be tired tomorrow.” No wonder children regard sleep as vaguely punitive, an enforced
Read More →

Bringing The Body To Digital Learning

Today’s educational technology often presents itself as a radical departure from the tired practices of traditional instruction. But in one way, at least, it faithfully follows the conventions of the chalk-and-blackboard era: it addresses itself only to the student’s head, leaving the rest of the body out. Treating mind and body as separate is an old and powerful idea in
Read More →

Why Schools Should Block (Some Of) The Internet

As schools around the country have rolled out one-to-one computer initiatives, handing out tablets and laptops to their students, a sour note has often intruded on the triumphant fanfare heralding these programs. Within days, even hours, of the devices’ distribution, their young users have figured out how to circumvent the filters meant to block access to games, social networking, and
Read More →

Sign up for The Brilliant Report, a monthly newsletter full of the latest findings on how to learn smarter:

Close