Free download of “The Class That Can: Coronavirus”

Elementary educators looking for a free resource to teach students about the Coronavirus and COVID-19 will have help from a zany book character named Mrs. Can. Thanks to a grant from Northwestern University and its Center for Food Allergy & Asthma Research, a free download of “The Class That Can: Coronavirus” will be available to teachers nationwide, along with a virtual resource to libraries and school systems by request.

The book features third graders from a fictional “Class That Can” who are learning from home because of the Coronavirus. The students are excited when their teacher, Mrs. Can, introduces them via computer to her friends, Dr. Kenneth Fox and Dr. Ruchi Gupta, both of whom are real-life, seasoned pediatricians.

“Teachers create meaning for students, and this resource can be a powerful part of their toolkit as they boldly innovate in the age of COVID,” says Dr. Fox, a pediatrician for more than 30 years and Chief Health Officer of Chicago Public Schools, the nation’s third-largest school district. “The Class That Can: Coronavirus is written in a fun, honest voice that kids can understand and that our times recommend.”…Read More

Northwestern University Grant Delivers Free COVID-19 Children’s Book

Elementary educators looking for a free resource to teach students about the Coronavirus and COVID-19 will have help from a zany book character named Mrs. Can. Thanks to a grant from Northwestern University and its Center for Food Allergy & Asthma Research, a free download of “The Class That Can: Coronavirus” will be available to teachers nationwide, along with a virtual resource to libraries and school systems by request.

The book features third graders from a fictional “Class That Can” who are learning from home because of the Coronavirus. The students are excited when their teacher, Mrs. Can, introduces them via computer to her friends, Dr. Kenneth Fox and Dr. Ruchi Gupta, both of whom are real-life, seasoned pediatricians.

“Teachers create meaning for students, and this resource can be a powerful part of their toolkit as they boldly innovate in the age of COVID,” says Dr. Fox, a pediatrician for more than 30 years and Chief Health Officer of Chicago Public Schools, the nation’s third-largest school district. “The Class That Can: Coronavirus is written in a fun, honest voice that kids can understand and that our times recommend.”…Read More

Teen depression can be diagnosed with new blood test, Northwestern University says

Northwestern Medicine scientist Eva Redei has developed the first blood test to diagnose major depression in teens — a breakthrough that allows for scientific and objective diagnosis over current subjective methods, the Huffington Post reports. Physicians have relied upon a patient’s ability to recount symptoms, which is tricky among teens who are both highly vulnerable to depression and less able to express their symptoms changes during this age period. The estimated rates of major depressive disorder jump from 2 to 4 percent in pre-adolescent children to 10 to 20 percent by late adolescence. Early onset of major depression in teens has a poorer prognosis than when it starts in adulthood. Untreated teens with this disease experience increases in substance abuse, social maladjustment, physical illness and suicide, according to Redei…

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Study: Students do care about Facebook privacy

Frequent Facebook users are more likely to change their privacy settings.
Frequent Facebook users are more likely to change their privacy settings.

A close look at college students’ reaction to Facebook privacy policies revealed concern about online identities as news outlets pushed the issue to the forefront with increasing coverage in 2009 and 2010, according to a report released this month.

Eszter Hargittai, an associate professor at Northwestern University’s communication studies department, and Danah Boyd, a researcher for Microsoft Research and a fellow at Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society, found that most Facebook members altered their privacy settings in the past year while privacy advocates railed against gaps in the social media site’s identification security.

Hargittai and Boyd based their report on a survey of University of Illinois Chicago students conducted during the 2008-09 academic year and the 2009-10 school year. The researchers had a response rate of 45 percent among more than 1,000 students surveyed. The researchers’ report is published in the journal First Monday.…Read More

Students trust high Google search rankings too much

As seasoned internet veterans know, just because a site shows up high on Google’s search rankings doesn’t mean it’s the most credible source on a topic. But that bit of wisdom apparently has not made it all the way down to the current generation of college students, Ars Technica reports. According to research out of Northwestern University, students barely care about who or what is showing up when they click on that top link—a behavior that undoubtedly affects their quality of research when doing schoolwork. The researchers observed 102 college freshmen performing searches on a computer for specific information. Most students clicked on the first search result no matter what it was, and more than a quarter of respondents said explicitly that they chose it because it was the first result. Only 10 percent of the participants mentioned the author or author’s credentials when performing their research, and according to screen captures of those students, “none actually followed through by verifying either the identification or the qualifications of the authors.” Students did acknowledge that certain web sites—mostly those ending in .gov, .edu—were more credible than others because they weren’t written by “just anybody.” However, some felt the same way about .org sites and were unaware that .org domains could be sold to anyone (and therefore have about the same credibility as any .com out there)…

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Grades don’t drop for college Facebook fiends

According to new research out of Northwestern University, students who use social networking sites don’t seem to suffer academically, Ars Technica reports. In a recent paper titled “Predictors and consequences of differentiated practices on social network sites,” researchers found that heavy use of sites like Facebook and MySpace doesn’t affect college students’ grade point averages. In fact, it’s the usual suspects such as gender, ethnic background, and parental education that appear to have more of a determining factor in GPA than any kind of Facebook addiction. According to the researchers’ data, female students tend to have higher grades than male ones, and white students have higher grades than non-Hispanic African-American students. Students whose parents have college degrees have higher GPAs than those whose parents only have a high school diploma or lower. The researchers then added in data about overall internet use and social networking use, and found that there were no significant differences. “The most prevalent findings… are the persisting differences between respondents with different demographic backgrounds,” reads the paper. Indeed, internet and social network use didn’t affect the difference in GPAs between male and female or white and African American students. However, social network use did eliminate the difference in GPAs between students whose parents had differing levels of higher education. In fact, when controlling for certain demographics, the researchers found a positive relationship between internet use and GPA…

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Study: Facebook isn’t a grade killer

Student researchers have found a variety of ways Facebook affects student grades.
Different studies have found a variety of ways Facebook affects student grades.

Facebook could be a distraction that drags down grade point averages, or a popular online hangout spot that has no impact on college students’ academics — depending on which university study you read.

Students in a University of New Hampshire marketing research course surveyed more than 1,100 fellow students about their use of popular social media web sites such as Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and LinkedIn, and they found “no correlation between the amount of time students spend using social media and their grades.”

The University of New Hampshire findings contrasted with Ohio State University research from last year that suggested Facebook had a significant impact on student performance.…Read More