Education Update: 7/15/15

Image Source: A Johnson/NPR; July 10, 2015

Image Source: A Johnson/NPR; July 10, 2015

How Writing Down Specific Goals Can Empower Struggling Students

Jordan Peterson, a psychology professor at the University of Toronto, has found that the act of writing to organize your thoughts and emotions has a positive impact on academic and personal achievements.  Research since the 1980’s has shown that “therapeutic” or “expressive” writing can reduce depression, increase productivity and even cut down on visits to the doctor.”  Peterson’s study demonstrated that student motivation could be boosted through a written exercise of setting goals over a period of time. At risk students showed the biggest improvements.


Image Source: Jordan Wassell,; 07/13/2015

Vortex Robot Offers Palm-Sized Coding, Fun

A new programmable robot, Vortex, was recently launched by DFRobot, a company with a mission to provide toys that will encourage STEM learning for children even at an early age. Vortex comes with a variety of pre-loaded learning games and an application that graphically teaches the fundamentals of programming. DFRobot CEO Ricky Ye commented, “For the most part, toy technology has actually not changed much for decades. We’re challenging this with a smart robot that children can enthusiastically play with, while also learning about programming and robotics.” Many articles have been written about the benefits of adding code to the curriculum for K-12 education. Could this toy be successful at reaching the youngest of potential coders? Check out the kickstarter page to see the toy’s capabilities.

Image Source:;

Image Source: Kelmon,  Jessica,

Singapore’s Math – Coming to America

For many years Singapore’s students have ranked at the top for having the most competitive math and science skills in the world, according to the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study. A recent trend in “Singapore Math” appearing in American schools, educators believe, can bring positive results in the classroom. In Singapore, math is more viewed as a learned skill that is developed over time. Contrarily in the states, we view math as more of an innate ability. Singapore Math also uses visual and audible skills in the curriculum which reinforces the lessons. “For this reason, education experts argue that students learning math in Singapore are less likely to get discouraged when learning difficult problems and give up.”  A study completed in the UK found gains in student math skills after one academic year. Watch this video to see how one school is applying this method.

Education Update is a weekly blog post highlighting recent developments in the world of education. The linked articles and summaries are not endorsements, rather frame points of view to begin conversations about the state of education, trends, and how we as designers can play an active role in shaping schools.

2 responses to “Education Update: 7/15/15

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s