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Flexible Classrooms: Research Is Scarce, But Promising

Edutopia – Stephen Merrill

“There are plenty of studies that isolate the effects of light, acoustics, or air quality on learning. But the research on flexible classrooms is frustratingly scarce. There are good reasons for the apparent lack of interest. Variables like natural light and acoustics lend themselves to single-factor experiments that can be conducted in a laboratory setting. Give subjects a task to complete in a room with ample windows, for example, and then administer the same test in a room without them.” (more)

Don’t be afraid to take phones off teens, says Eton head

BBC – Katherine Sellgren

“Simon Henderson, head of the private school since 2015, says it is sometimes appropriate to take devices away. Speaking at a Girls’ Day School Trust conference in London, Mr Henderson said Eton now requires its Year 9 boys to hand in their devices at night-time. He said the boys liked the move, as it removed the pressure from them. Asked how schools could help teenagers navigate social media, Mr Henderson told the conference: “It’s a 24/7 culture, but there’s a place for taking phones and things off them.” (more)

Girls more likely to be bullied than boys, English schools survey finds

The Guardian – Richard Adams

“Girls are much more likely than boys to be bullied at school, with almost twice as many on the receiving end of cyberbullying and social exclusion by other pupils, according to a government study. The figures from a survey of 10,000 pupils at schools in England in year 11 – children aged 15 or 16 – revealed a decline in reports of bullying overall and particularly in incidents of violent bullying, which mainly affects boys.” (more)

Fake news harms children’s self-esteem and trust, say MPs

BBC – Judith Burns

“A few weeks ago, Chloe, 13, shared a hoax story about the alleged death of a favourite actor, Sylvester Stallone. “I thought it was real and shared it with family members. A lot of people were quite upset,” she says. When the truth emerged that Sylvester Stallone was alive and well, Chloe says she felt stupid. “I should have looked into it a bit more before posting,” she adds. Chloe is not alone, according to a report from a group of MPs which says that falling for fake news can harm children’s “wellbeing, trust in journalism and democracy itself”. The all-party parliamentary group on literacy heard evidence that fake news could make children more anxious, damage their self-esteem and skew their world view.” (more)

Modern students ‘prefer work to drugs’

BBC – Sean Coughlan

“Students are more likely to want universities to take a tougher line against drugs on campus, rather than a more liberal response, say researchers. The study – from the Higher Education Policy Institute (Hepi) and the University of Buckingham – found 71% of students had not taken illegal drugs. But almost 40% thought their university had a “problem” with drug use. Hepi’s director, Nick Hillman, said students were “more hardworking and less hedonistic” than was realised.” (more)

Can you solve it? World Cup arithmetic

The Guardian – Alex Bellos

“The World Cup is almost upon us, so here’s a puzzle to get you in the mood. England, Tunisia, Belgium and Panama make up Group G. Imagine that once they have all played each other the table looks like this.” (more)