USA Today, “Kids Learning New Words at Warp Speed”

January 13, 2014

Greg Toppo, “Kids Learning New Words at Warp Speed” (USA Today, Jan. 13, 2014)

A website that teaches kids new words has touched off spirited digital competition among schools from coast to coast. boasts a Web-based dashboard bristling with points, levels, progress bars and achievement bonuses, among other attractions. Students have long competed with one another. […]
Could academics be the new athletic event?
“Competition can kind of ‘up the stakes’ a bit, even if it’s the idea of pride of place or getting a banner,” says Ben Zimmer, the site’s executive producer. “It really does seem to add something.”
Much of the traffic for the competition has come through word-of-mouth among teachers and students, he says. “Everybody can contribute, everybody can compete.” He’s also looking at ways to allow several schools in a single district to compete with one another.

Read the rest here.

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