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A Scientific American article by Carl Wieman examines how lecture-style classes, the typical structure employed in most university classrooms, may not be the most effective method for teaching, especially when it comes to science and engineering. Instead, research favoured a... View Article

Edtech and Silicon Valley

June 16, 2014 6:00 pm
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Christopher Nyren writes about “The EdTech Failings of Silicon Valley” in an EdReach piece. The article highlights “10 EdTech Startups that Silicon Valley Loved” during the 1997-2001 Internet Bubble: UPromise, Lightspan, Advantage Schools, Saba Software, QuinStreet, ApexLearning, SchoolPop, TrainingNet, Academic Systems,... View Article

A New York Times article by Maria Konnikova cites a series of studies showing separate neural activations associated with printing, cursive (longhand) handwriting vs typing by children (Berninger et al., 2006 Dev Neuropsychol), and greater activation of a “reading circuit” during... View Article

According to a New York Times blog post by Benedict Carey, research at Washington University found that memory champions have better than average retention of memorized material than college students a day after being tested on memorized material: they can... View Article

Why we can’t remember our earliest memories

April 11, 2014 6:00 pm
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According to Bauer and Larkina (2014 Memory), children do retain their earliest memories through age 7, at which point “childhood amnesia” (i.e. the forgetting of memories beyond the normal rate) sets in. In fact, this phenomenon was evident long before... View Article

Discovery Learning is dropping Canadian math scores

March 28, 2014 6:00 pm
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A Globe and Mail editorial describes how Canadian provinces have generally fared worse in PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment) math rankings since 2006, after adopting “discovery learning” – even though a review by Kirschner et al. (2006, Educ Psychol) of a hundred empirical studies found no... View Article

Neuroscience and Education

March 26, 2014 6:00 pm
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Sigman et al. (2014 Nat Neurosci) present cases in which neuroscience, and not only cognitive psychology, could inform education, “ranging from very general physiological aspects of human learning such as nutrition, exercise and sleep, to brain architectures that shape the way we... View Article

Impact of Individual Schools

March 1, 2014 6:00 pm
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Finn et al. (2014 Psychol Sci) conclude from a study of 1,400 Boston-area students that individual schools can account for a large degree of the variation in performance gains on (MCAS) standardized test scores. However, the same school-identity variable accounted for... View Article

Are flipped classrooms the key to better learning?

February 5, 2014 6:00 pm
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In an EdSurge article, author Peter D. Lenn describes how the flipped classroom model was first tried out 40 years ago by the U.S. Army, with success. The author was involved in a lead contractor in that effort, and subsequently in adapting the... View Article

Common Core testing vs York State teachers union

January 27, 2014 6:00 pm
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As reported in a THE Journal article by Dian Schaffhauser, the New York State teachers union has voted to pull out of the Common Core testing. Their complaint seems to center around the rapidity of curriculum changes and insufficient time... View Article

MOOCs worldwide in 2013

December 22, 2013 6:00 pm
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In an EdSurge article, Dhawal Shah provides an analysis of MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) worldwide, as of 2013. As he writes, “The number of courses offered has grown from about 100 MOOCs in 2012 to almost 700 starting in 2013, with... View Article

US PISA 2013

December 18, 2013 6:00 pm
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According to an EdSurge article by Esther Wojcicki, the US spends more per student ($7,743) than other OECD nations, yet has fallen badly in the most recent PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment) test scores, released on December 3, 2013: “US students slipped... View Article

Common Core Stimulus Funding

December 3, 2013 6:00 pm
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In a Huffington Post article, Adrienne Lu reports that the Obama administration has spent “$438 million of economic stimulus funding into developing standardized tests aligned to the Common Core and has strongly encouraged states to adopt “college- and career-ready standards”... View Article

LMS Market Share in 2013

November 9, 2013 6:00 pm
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In an e-Literate post, Phil Hill presents a “State of the Anglosphere’s Higher Education LMS Market” graph, tracking US, UK, Canada and Australia LMS (learning management system) adoption. For 2013, he concludes that the “same players keep growing (primarily Canvas, followed by... View Article

Facial Expression Classifiers

October 28, 2013 6:00 pm
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An MIT Technology Review article by David Talbot concerned facial expression recognition software, including Affectiva’s Affdex software ( The article briefly concerns the application of such technology for education. Two of these studies were from UCSD researchers who founded another facial expression... View Article