“Soft” vs. “Hard” Skills: Which Create a Stronger Foundation?

As teachers, should we focus on our students’ understanding of course content, or on our students’ development of foundational academic skills? Do they benefit more from learning history (or chemistry or spelling or flute), or from developing the self-discipline (grit,

I’m Not Excited, YOU’RE Excited (OK: I’m Excited)

I’ve been going to Learning and the Brain conferences since 2008, so it takes a lot to for a roster of speakers to WOW me. But this week I’m officially WOWed. Next weekend’s conference looks remarkable. In some cases, I’m

Teachers vs Tech?: The Case for an Ed Tech Revolution by Daisy Christodoulou

The dramatically increased reliance on technology to support students’ learning during the COVID-19 pandemic has brought to light educators’ need to understand how technology can support learning and how educators can make thoughtful decisions around the use of technology in


In the exaggerated stereotype of an obsessively traditional classroom, students sit perfectly silent and perfectly still. They listen, and watch, and do nothing else. Few classrooms truly function that way. But, how far should we go in the other direction?

“Students Switch Their Screens Every 19 Seconds.” Sort Of…

I recently read an arresting claim: when students have web browsers open, they switch their screens — on average — every 19 seconds. Such data boggle the mind with horror. As teachers, we want our students to devote sustained thought

EduTwitter Can Be Great. No, Really…

Twitter has a terrible reputation, and EduTwitter isn’t an exception. The misinformation. The name-calling. The “team” rivalries: all heat and little light. Did I mention the misinformation? You might wonder: why bother? Honestly, I wouldn’t blame you if you didn’t. I

How Can We Help Students Study Better?

This story might sound familiar: You attend a Learning and the Brain conference (like, say, our upcoming conference about Teaching During a Pandemic) and come away with FANTASTIC ideas. You go back to your classrooms — in person, online, asynchronous

Active Learning Online: Five Principles that Make Online Courses Come Alive by Stephen Kosslyn

The COVID-19 global pandemic has spurred a massive and rapid increase in online education. Although it is possible to design effective learning experiences in online classrooms, often online education fails to take advantage of the strengths of recent technologies and

Does Online Learning Work? Framing the Debate to Come…

With news that several very effective vaccines will be increasingly available over the upcoming months, we teachers can now start thinking about “a return to normal”: that is — in person teaching as we (mostly) worked before February of 2020.

Seriously: What Motivates Teachers to Be Funny?

To start 2021 in the right spirit, let’s think about humor in the classroom. It seems that, obviously, humor might be a good classroom strategy. When the lesson slows down, a joke or two might brighten the mood. Once we