September 7 - September 14, 2014

The first two feature articles this week affirm the importance of person-to-person relationships in human enterprises like education.  This is also the key to fostering a culture that embraces new ideas.   (The New Yorker article is from summer 2013.) These are good reminders of how communities require people working together to succeed and improve.

Also, back to school time has seen a surge in tech articles--not all optimistic, however.   But, in the midst of a spate of articles about the risks of tech and how tech moguls raise their kids in tech free environments, Stanford releases a report on when and how using tech can improve outcomes.  It involves knowing the reason why you are bringing tech into the school environment in the first place.  See this and other (obvious?) useful suggestions for effective technology use, both in the features section and below.

And lastly: Quartz had an interesting article on how engineers have adjusted their work schedule and environment to improve their productivity.  Notably, they describe how communication is "all pull, no push"--you choose communications that reach you.  Could that work for teachers?  Would it create a more focused workplace?

FEATURED ARTICLES

          Friedman on Mentoring and Employer-Driven Education
          New York Times, 9/9/14
          "Graduates who... had a professor or professors 'who cared about them as a 
          person--or had a mentor who encouraged their goals and dreams and/or had 
          an internship where they applied what they were learning--were twice as likely 
          to be engaged with their work and thriving in their overall well-being."

          Why Some Ideas Take A Long Time to Catch On
          New Yorker, 7/29/13
          "We yearn for frictionless, technological solutions.  But people talking to people 
          is still the way that norms and standards change."

          3 Criteria for Using Tech Successfully In Schools
          Stanford, 9/10/14 [Study]
          "'When given access to appropriate technology used in thoughtful ways, all 
          students--regardless of their respective backgrounds--can make substantial gains 
          in learning and technological readiness,' said Darling-Hammond."

          For More Girls in STEM: Change the Feel of STEM Classrooms
          Brilliant Blog, 9/10/14
          "Preliminary results suggest that female students learn better when they are 
          surrounded by female classmates--even virtual ones--and the more women in 
          the room, the better.  Perone's and Friend's findings suggest that the reason behind 
          the success of the Online School for Girls may not be its stated emphasis on 
          teaching girls differently, but simply the fact that its students know that their 
          classmates are girls like them."


ADOLESCENCE

          The End of Adulthood?
          New York Times, 9/11/14

CHARACTER

          How to Assess Student Grit
          Edutopia, 9/11/14

COGNITIVE SCIENCE

          It's Not Just About Grit: Failure Primes the Brain for Learning
          New York Times, 9/4/14

          Walking Benefits Us In So Many Ways
          New Yorker, 9/3/14

          We Continue to Process Stimuli While We Sleep
          NPR, 9/11/14

CREATIVITY

          Glenn Gould and "Flow"
          NPR, 9/10/14

          Five Steps to Push Beyond Conventional Solutions
          99u, 9/11/14

CURRICULUM

          Yet More: Music Training Helps Language Processing, Too.
          NPR, 9/10/14

HIGHER ED

          Which Colleges Are Most Accessible to Low-Income Students?
          New York Times, 9/8/14

          Steven Pinker's Thoughtful, if Provocative, Take on Deresiewicz
          New Republic, 9/4/14

HUMANITIES

          Your Class Can Transcribe Historical Documents for the Smithsonian
          Wall Street Journal, 9/11/14

          Understanding Metaphor.  Scientists Join Writers to Find Out More
          Chronicle of Higher Education, 9/1/14

STEM

          How Languages and Board Games Help Students Learn Math
          Wall Street Journal, 9/9/14

TECH

          How Do We Assess Whether Tech Is Helpful?  Here Are A Few Ways.
          KQED, 9/10/14

          1-to-1 Laptop Programs May Hinder Middle School Kids
          Pacific Standard, 9/5/14

          Why Clay Shirky Prohibits Laptops from His College Classes
          Medium, 9/9/14

          EdX Starts Offering High School Classes
          EdX, 9/10/14

          Khan Academy Starts Offering College Admission Lessons
          Khan Academy, 1/16/14

          Steve Jobs and Other Low Tech Parents of the Bay Area
          New York Times, 9/10/14

WORKPLACE

          An Engineer Flips the Office: No Boss, No Meetings, Shorter Week
          Quartz, 9/6/14

OTHER

          The Onion Ranks Colleges [Humor]
          The Onion, 9/9/14