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Digital divide: Rural broadband in the time of coronavirus


Starr Gilmartin, 63, lives with her husband in Trenton, Maine. She’s a social worker in this rural town of about 1,500 near Bar Harbor. Gilmartin uses telehealth technology to help psychiatrists evaluate their patients. At Northern Light Acadia Hospital, a psychiatric hospital in Bangor about a 35-mile drive from Trenton, she connects by video conference to patients and psychiatrists sometimes based in other parts of the country.

Online schools: Student performance often falls behind regular schools


As states and school districts consider closing public schools amid the coronavirus pandemic, educators are debating moving instruction from classrooms to families’ living rooms via the internet. But setting up online schools wouldn’t be easy and, according to research, moving from the actual classroom to a virtual classroom can hurt student performance.

Covering Black Friday and winter holiday shopping: A research roundup


Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, is widely regarded as the start of the winter holiday shopping season in the United States. Each November, newsrooms gear up to cover this annual rite of retail, dispatching journalists to shopping malls and discount stores in the early morning to report on the frenzied — and sometimes violent — competition for the best deals of the day.

The health effects of screen time on children: A research roundup


This research roundup, originally published in May 2019, has been updated to include a recent systematic review and meta-analysis looking at the effects of screen time on academic performance.

Gone are visions of idyllic childhoods spent frolicking in fields and playing in pastures; for many kids, green grass has been replaced with smartphone screens.