Monthly Archives: March 2018

Teens and Cell Phones: The Good, The Bad, The (Not So) Ugly

Debates about teens and cell phones often miss a crucial distinction. Although digital technologies can exacerbate problems for the few adolescents who are already struggling, they can provide real social benefits for the majority who are doing just fine. Continue reading

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Feeling the Possibilities: Virtual Reality and Teaching

Regular readers of this blog know that I like technology, but I’m not easily wowed about its educational uses. From my perspective, many “you just have to try this” technologies fail to produce nearly as much learning as they promise.

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The Mindset Controversy: Is It Time to Give Up?

A recent meta-analysis suggests that minn Continue reading

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The Neuroscience of Intelligence by Richard Haier

The Neuroscience of Intelligence explores intriguing ideas about the neuroscientific and genetic bases of intelligence such as that genes play a more critical role than does environment in determining intelligence, that there are neurological markers of intelligence, and that we

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The Benefits (?) of Interactive Online Science Teaching

Few educational innovations have gotten more hype than online learning, and few have a more checkered track record. For every uplifting story we hear about a Khan Academy success, we get at least one story about massive drop-out rates for

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Alcohol and Learning: Does Drinking Harm Memory?

Back in October, I published one of the blog’s most popular articles: a summary of a study showing that moderate drinking benefits memory. In brief, that study showed that drinking before learning muddled memories. However, moderate alcohol after learning produced a modest

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STOP THE PRESSES: New Evidence Against Adult Neurogenesis

For years, neuroscientists believed that neural growth ended in childhood. In the 1960s, however, researchers found that adults could grow new neurons: an event called “adult neurogenesis.” As of this morning, this new orthodoxy might be switching back to the old one. Continue reading

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Omega 3 Fish Oil Doesn’t Help, but Research Does

Contrary to their previous research, this team in Britain finds that Omega 3 fish oil doesn’t help students’ behavior or academic performance. These results are disappointing, but their willingness to double check their work this way is admirable. Continue reading

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Despite the Skeptics, a Champion of Direct Instruction

In the debates between “progressive” and “traditional” educational theories, few arguments rage hotter than the battle between project based learning and direct instruction. PBL’s proponents take a constructivist perspective. They argue that people learn by building their own meaning from

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