‘A new obsession’: the people who learned to play instruments during lockdown (The Guardian)

The Guardian: ‘A new obsession’: the people who learned to play instruments during lockdown. “Many people dream of playing the piano or learning the guitar, but what about the Celtic harp? Or the dulcimer? Perhaps the kalimba is more your style. The Guardian has spoken to dozens of people who have used their time in lockdown to fulfil an ambition to make music, with a diverse array of musical instruments being reported.”

New York Times: Learning Apps Have Boomed in the Pandemic. Now Comes the Real Test.

New York Times: Learning Apps Have Boomed in the Pandemic. Now Comes the Real Test.. “Venture and equity financing for education technology start-ups has more than doubled, surging to $12.58 billion worldwide last year from $4.81 billion in 2019, according to a report from CB Insights, a firm that tracks start-ups and venture capital. During the same period, the number of laptops and tablets shipped to primary and secondary schools in the United States nearly doubled to 26.7 million, from 14 million, according to data from Futuresource Consulting, a market research company in Britain.”

Google Blog: New tools make children’s books easier to read

Google Blog: New tools make children’s books easier to read. “As we celebrate National Read Across America Day in the United States, I’m reminded of aspiring readers like my daughter, who experiences both the joys and the challenges of books. Google Play Books recently introduced a set of tools to help new readers and their families enjoy the process of learning how to read.”

Columbus Dispatch: Columbus entrepreneur launches BLCK Talks platform to facilitate Black education

Columbus Dispatch: Columbus entrepreneur launches BLCK Talks platform to facilitate Black education. “Inspired by the Marvel film ‘Black Panther,’ entrepreneur Maurice Womack was motivated to build an educational ecosystem for Black learners. Embracing the mantra ‘knowledge is power,’ Womack, 42, and his wife Erica, 41, developed a communal learning platform called the Wokanda App.”

TechCrunch: BeGreatTV to offer MasterClass-like courses taught by Black and brown innovators

TechCrunch: BeGreatTV to offer MasterClass-like courses taught by Black and brown innovators. “BeGreatTV, an online education platform featuring Black and brown instructors, recently closed a $450K pre-seed round from Stand Together Ventures Lab, Arlan Hamilton, Tiffany Haddish and others. The goal with BeGreatTV is to enable anyone to learn from talented Black and brown innovators and leaders, founder and CEO Cortney Woodruff told TechCrunch.”

BuzzFeed News: A Former Comcast Employee Explains Why Low-Income WiFi Packages Aren’t Helping Students

BuzzFeed News: A Former Comcast Employee Explains Why Low-Income WiFi Packages Aren’t Helping Students. “As remote learning dragged on through 2020, the coronavirus pandemic pitted Comcast against an unlikely opponent: a group of teenagers. Since last spring, Baltimore-based student activists have been waging a campaign for faster internet speeds and arguing that the telecom behemoth’s Wi-Fi offering for low-income households, Internet Essentials, isn’t always fast enough for successful distance learning.”

Never trust a single source: The new rules for learning anything online (Mashable)

Mashable: Never trust a single source: The new rules for learning anything online. “If you’d like to learn more on any topic without getting drunk, or just brush up your research skills before annoying your family again, here’s my advice, drawn from years in the internet trenches in the ongoing war between fact and falsehood. You shouldn’t just take my word for it, of course, so I’ve included links to further reading after each guideline.”

EurekAlert: Two motivational artificial beings are better than one for enhancing learning

EurekAlert: Two motivational artificial beings are better than one for enhancing learning. “Social rewards such as praise are known to enhance various stages of the learning process. Now, researchers from Japan have found that praise delivered by artificial beings such as robots and virtual graphics-based agents can have effects similar to praise delivered by humans, with important practical applications as social services such as education increasingly move to virtual and online platforms.”

ScienceBlog: Why Writing By Hand Makes Kids Smarter

ScienceBlog: Why Writing By Hand Makes Kids Smarter. “Professor Audrey van der Meer at NTNU believes that national guidelines should be put into place to ensure that children receive at least a minimum of handwriting training. Results from several studies have shown that both children and adults learn more and remember better when writing by hand. Now another study confirms the same: choosing handwriting over keyboard use yields the best learning and memory.”

Open Culture: Explore a Digital Archive of Student Notebooks from Around the World (1773-Present)

New-to-me, from Open Culture: Explore a Digital Archive of Student Notebooks from Around the World (1773-Present). “To bring back memories of your schooldays, there’s nothing quite like the sight of your old exercise books. This holds true whether you went to school in Ghana in the 2010s, Italy in the 90s, France in the 80s, China in the 70s, Japan in the 60s, or India in the 50s. All of these examples and many more have come available to view at the Exercise Book Archive, an ‘ever-growing, participatory archive of old exercise books that allows everyone to discover the history, education, and daily life of children and youth of the past.’”

Teaching kids to read during the coronavirus pandemic: 5 questions answered (Phys .org)

Phys .org: Teaching kids to read during the coronavirus pandemic: 5 questions answered. “Keisha Allen and Kindel Nash research how kids learn to read and prepare future teachers at the University of Maryland Baltimore County. They are also raising children of their own. Here, they answer five questions many families and teachers may have about what they are seeing with virtual learning for early childhood education.”