Annie Murphy Paul

Should the Difficulty of a School Text Be Tailored to a Student’s Comfort Level? Or Is It Better to Make Them Sweat?

“A man who traveled from Liberia to visit family members in Texas tested positive for Ebola on Tuesday, marking the outbreak’s first diagnosis outside of Africa, health officials said.”

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Could Your Child's Best Tutor Be a Computer?

Human tutors — teachers who work closely with students, one on one — are unrivaled in their ability to promote deep and lasting learning. Education researchers have known this for more than 30 years, but until recently they haven’t paid much attention to one important reason why tutoring is so effective: the management of emotion. Studies show that tutors spend about half their time dealing with pupils’ feelings about what and how they’re learning. Now the designers of computerized tutoring systems are beginning to make sensing and responding to emotions a key part of the process, and they’re finding that users learn more as a result. At the same time, researchers are using the data generated by these programs to make new discoveries about emotion and its central role in learning.

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How to Teach Computer Science Without Touching a Computer

A group of children on a playground, each kid clutching a slip of paper with a number on it, moves along a line drawn in chalk, comparing numbers as they go and sorting themselves into ascending order from one to ten.

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Want Teens to Pay 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 attention is being deliberately manipulated and exploited. If experience with another bad habit—smoking—is any guide, teens’ own desire for self-governance is a force far more compelling than the exhortations of their elders.

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