Even Harvard Realizes the Problems of Education Technology

If, as Woody Allen once said, eight percent of life is showing up, then learning computer science at Harvard is not much like life. Last year, David J. Malan, the Gordon McKay Professor of the Practice of Computer Science, told the several hundred students enrolled in CS50, his introductory computer science course, that they didn’t … Continued

Culture

STEM and the Myth of Perfect Gender Parity

Technology is boring and impersonal. I don’t care about the 0’s and 1’s behind the application I’m using; I just care that it gets the job done so that I can focus on things like travel, culture, interactions between states in the foreign policy battlefield, art exhibitions, and brilliant lines in Kevin Williamson’s latest column. … Continued

Culture

Why Aren’t Married Americans Having Sex?

Why are married Americans having less sex? According to a new study from psychologists Jean Twenge, Jean M. Ryne Sherman, and Brooke Wells, the percentage of married folks who are doing something between the sheets besides sleeping and checking their phones has declined significantly in the past fifteen years. In 2000, sixty-one percent of wives … Continued

Culture

Why You Should Stop Using Technology as a Babysitter

The time of year is upon us that working parents dread. Even if you’ve found something to occupy your children for the summer—and many parents struggle to piece together childcare they can afford—there is still a period of weeks between the time that school ends and camp starts. The younger the children, the bigger the … Continued

Parenting

Stop Using Technology to Babysit Your Kids

In a stunning blow for people who use technology as a babysitter for their kids, research is revealing (not surprisingly) that toddlers who are allowed to play with devices and stare at tiny screens are getting less sleep. Researchers at Birkbeck, University of London, concluded that for every four hours a toddler uses a touchscreen … Continued

Parenting

‘Personal Shopper’ Exposes the Ghost in the Smartphone

The past decade of movie-going has witnessed a startling evolution in the passive-aggressive pre-show public service announcement. Those once-gentle reminders to turn off electronic devices during the movie have taken on an almost dictatorial urgency, stentorian voices now commanding the smartphone-armed audience, “DON’T. RUIN. THE MOVIE.” Now, however, even the movies themselves are starting to … Continued

Entertainment, Movies

Death to Self-Service Kiosks!

Waiting in line at the airport was already an unpleasant enough experience, but now airlines want us to do their work for them. Rather than simply hand over our bags and have our tickets handed to us, passengers now must enter all our information on a computer kiosk ourselves. I encountered those stupid machines most … Continued

Culture, Tech

Why We Need a Return to Real Life

It’s time to return to real life. I think we all feel it. Perhaps few acknowledge it because of the consequence implied by the action: get off Facebook, put down the smartphone, and get face-to-face with someone. You can’t curate your existence as you stand in front of someone. “We have become so accustomed to … Continued

Culture, Tech

The Hulford Quads Squad Goals Might Need Improvement

“Hi, we’re the Hulford Quads. We’re in 8th grade. Technology is the only thing that entertains us.” So begins Microsoft’s now ubiquitous commercial for its new tablet. The four adolescent girls, who seem lovely and sweet, tell you about all the features of the new device. But parents should listen closely to the message they … Continued

Culture

We’re Already Turning Our Robot Overlords Into Therapists

  Have you ever woken up in the middle of the night, unable to fall back to sleep and wishing you didn’t need to wake someone else up just so you could talk about your problems? Wish no more: Yesterday, the Casper mattress company unveiled a texting bot that will see you through your dark … Continued

Culture