Ask Dr. Blank: Should Struggling Students Repeat a Grade?

Years ago, it was common practice to hold students back when they were not doing well in school. As more child centered education took hold, this practice was abandoned. In its place came “social promotion” where a child was moved ahead regardless of school performance.  Now, with the current emphasis on “standards,” grade retention has been making a comeback. Educators…

Stanford VR Project Shows Students Oceans of the Future

By Dian Schaffhauser for TheJournal.com A new, free virtual reality program allows users to explore just what happens as climate change kills off coral reefs. The Stanford Ocean Acidification Experience  is a free science education tool that takes students to the bottom of the sea and then fast-forwards their experience to the end of this century, when, as scientists predict, many…

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Want to ‘train your brain’? Forget apps, learn a musical instrument

By Mo Costandi for theguardian.com The multimillion dollar brain training industry is under attack. In October 2014, a group of over 100 eminent neuroscientists and psychologists wrote an open letter warning that “claims promoting brain games are frequently exaggerated and at times misleading”. Earlier this year, industry giant Lumosity was fined $2m , and ordered to refund thousands of customers who…

Ask Dr. Blank: Should Children Be Assessed Individually as They Learn to Read?

What are your thoughts on assessing students’ reading abilities individually? It is essential that each child’s abilities be assessed individually. It saves children who are advanced from being bored by having to redo material they already know and it saves children who are having difficulty from struggling with material beyond their level. The good news is that using computers assessing…