Teaching Kids to Program Computers

teaching kids to program

There has been a lot of press recently about teaching kids to program computers. When taught in schools at all, programming is often treated as a specialized technical skill. It can make an interesting elective, but is really a niche activity that doesn't deserve much time in an already crammed … [Read more...]

Self-Explanation: A Good Reading Strategy for Bad Texts (& Good)

read strategy for science

One of the important cognitive skills we need in our increasingly technology driven world is the ability to learn from hard-to-understand text. Maybe you’re trying to grasp a biology textbook chapter on sexual reproduction. Or perhaps you’re reading articles on the web to figure out how to extend … [Read more...]

Want to Be Smart? First, Know How Little You Know

Want to be smart - explain deeply

We tend to think we understand how things work in much more detail than we actually do. Accepting this can be difficult.You can use it as a first step to deepen your knowledge by improving your metacognition. Metacognition means, in part, to know how much you know about a topic. Scientists … [Read more...]

How to Learn from the Web

Learn from the internet

More and more we reach out to the web to get answers to our questions about the world. When we’re seeking to understand why oil spills, financial crises, and other major events take place, it seems natural to go to the internet for the latest analyses and reporting. The desire to get a grip on the … [Read more...]

Learn to Learn by Embracing Surprise

Surprised person

We humans like to think we understand the world pretty well. It gives us a fair amount of comfort to think our beliefs about how things work are spot on. When our human-made devices, our friends, or other bits of the natural world don’t behave as we anticipate, it’s all too common to write off the … [Read more...]