In what could be considered the social media decade, there’s often a conundrum in today’s classrooms: Students need writing and critical thinking skills more than ever, but with the proliferation of social media, formal writing is quickly going the way of cursive--an antiquated practice from generations past.

A few months ago, in “What does science tell us about teaching kids to think,” Daniel Willingham, a University of Virginia psychology professor who studies the application of cognitive psychology to K-12 education, discussed how there is a certain logic to...

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