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Original author: 
Casey Johnston


"I forgot how fun it was to read a school textbook."

j.lee43

There exists a textbook that will report back to your professors about whether you’ve been reading it, according to a report Tuesday from the New York Times. A startup named CourseSmart now offers an education package to schools that allows professors to, among other things, monitor what their students read in course textbooks as well as passages they highlight.

CourseSmart acts as a provider of digital textbooks working with publishers like McGraw-Hill, Pearson, and John Wiley and Sons. The NY Times describes books in use at Texas A&M University, which present an “engagement index” to professors that can be used to evaluate students’ performance in class.

The article cites a couple of examples where professors attribute students’ low grades to the CourseSmart-provided proof that the student never, or rarely, opened their books. The engagement index shows not only what, but when, students are reading, so if they opt not to peruse the textbook until the day or night before a test, the professor will know.

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[RSS Readers: See post to listen to audio]
Here’s the last bit of the end of the year playlists, I’m sure I missed some key players but getting all 60 tracks together felt great. I’d love to see your lists, feel free to post them in the comment section.

60. ADR – Jupiter Rising
59. Samiyam – Pressure
58. The Miracles Club – A New Love
57. Pure X – Twisted Mirror
56. Solar Bears – Cub (Keep Shelly in Athens remix)
55. Silk Flowers – Columns
54. Le Révélateur – Bleu Nuit
53. Light Asylum – Dark Allies
52. Gold Zebra – Love, French, Better
51. Geotic – Beaming Husband

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Designing websites for kids is a fascinating, challenging, rewarding, and exasperating experience: You’re trying to create a digital experience for people who lack the cognitive capacity to understand abstraction; to establish brand loyalty with people who are influenced almost exclusively by their peers; and to communicate subjective value propositions to people who can only see things in black-and-white. Fortunately, it’s possible to create a successful registration process for these folks with an understanding of how their brains work. Debra Levin Gelman explores how to design effective registration forms for kids based on their context, technical skills, and cognitive capabilities.

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