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avatar for Anneli Hershman

Anneli Hershman

Social Machines
Research Assistant
Cambridge, MA, USA
Anneli is a second year PhD student in the Social Machines group working on the Playful Words team to develop child­-driven and machine­-guided technologies that empower children to share their voices with others, while teaching important literacy skills and fostering a love of reading and writing. Anneli’s particular interest is in storytelling and how it can motivate young learners and families by providing self­-expressive, socially collaborative, and playful literacy learning opportunities. To explore this, Anneli works on a project called StoryBlocks, which aims to bring a new level of interactivity into children’s educational media and stories while promoting empathy, social-emotional development, and literacy development through storytelling._x000D_
Anneli received her BA in psychology, focusing on neuroscience, from San Diego State University, and her master’s in child development, focusing on Literacy Learning, from Tufts University. Her work in literacy learning has been motivated by her own experiences with dyslexia. Because of this, she wants to understand how the brain learns to read and design tools to translate that research into practice with high reach and scale for all families. She has had a lot of experience in education, working as a therapist, preschool teacher, literacy instructor, tutor, researcher, online literacy curriculum creator, and designer.