GOOD

Inside the Minds of 11-Year Olds From Around the World

A new documentary probes the special moral clarity of 11-year old children.

Goh, from the film I am Eleven. Photo By Henrik Nordstrom

I Am Eleven, a new documentary by Australian filmmaker Genevieve Bailey, takes us through six years and 15 countries and into the minds of the world’s 11-year-old kids. Somewhere in between childhood wonder and teenage angst, the film’s young subjects, described by the filmmaker as full of “hope, a clarity of expression, and openness,” talk about subjects like global warming and poverty with the kind of earnestness that only children exhibit. The film, in limited release in New York and San Francisco this month, provides unique, vivid, and at times heartbreaking insight into the effects of racial segregation and economic disparity.

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"Wat up wit u": Yep, Texting Is Killing Students' Grammar Skills

Researchers find that the more students text, the more they see texting shortcuts as normal.


"Wat up wit u mom I luv u" says the most recent text from my 11-year-old son. His shorthand, of course, translates to, "What’s up with you, mom? I love you." Like many of us when we text, he isn't taking the time to type out the whole sentence. Every day he and his tween peers zip a dozen similar shorthand text messages back and forth to each other. According to a new study in the journal New Media and Society, the use of these ubiquitous texting shortcuts is negatively altering their ability to identify and use correct grammar.

Researchers gave grammar tests to sixth through eighth graders in Pennsylvania and asked them for information on their texting habits. After crunching the test and texting data they found that the more texts the 10-to-14-year-olds sent, the worse their grammar performance. The problem is the students begin to see their textual adaptations as normal and so have a tough time code switching to more formal way of writing.

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The Five Best Projects from the Gates Foundation's Education Technology Competition

Here are our five favorite projects from the Gates Foundation's education technology grant competition.

On Tuesday the Gates Foundation announced 19 winners of the second phase of its Next Generation Learning Challenges grant competition. The NGLC's priority is using technology to improve college readiness among low-income students, and what makes these new grantees noteworthy is that they're working on targeting the critical seventh- through ninth-grade years—well before students can either drop out or fall too far behind in higher level math and science. Each project is also aligned with the new Common Core Standards, which are all about developing higher-order thinking skills. While all 19 grantees are noteworthy, here are five that really stand out:

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