October 5 - October 12, 2014

Competency-based programs are growing.  If we haven't thought about how to create competency-based opportunities in our schools, we're missing fertile ground for growth, particularly now that the tools for building these programs are increasingly accessible.  See the feature article for a recent reflection on how this plays out in colleges--though the lessons and challenges apply to us all.

Three great articles on innovating in organizations, particularly slow-moving ones.  The feature piece from Misc Magazine offers clear design principles, and the two articles in the Leadership section get practical.

In case you thought 3D printing was just another fad: see the STEM section for more signs of how 3D printing is an entirely new industry, like the internet, like mobile, and others before it.  If we're not exposing kids to this, we're depriving them.

For pedagogy, be sure to check out Barbara Oakley's reflection on how she radically shifted her career, from writer/linguist to engineering PhD--and what it taught her about teaching for mastery.  It's a thoughtful (and well-written) meditation on how we learn, and it proposes that teaching for fluency is more important than teaching for understanding.


          Over 350 Institutions Credit Competency-Based Work.  Do You?
          NPR, 10/7/14
          "In a traditional college degree program, assessments and course requirements are 
          typically decided by individual professors or within a department, which can lead 
          to wide variations in expectations, workload, and grading... Freed of the credit-hour
           constraint, competency-based programs need to be a lot more rigorous and 
          transparent about designing assessments.  Otherwise, they risk turning into 
          diploma mills."

          3 Guides: What Technology Will and Won't Do To Schools
          NAIS, 9/18/14
          "As educators, we increasingly recognize that our institutions are not immune to 
          the technological forces that have influenced almost every other industry that 
          serves us... we are more likely to think that technology means the end of our schools 
          and all the characteristics of them that we hold dear.  This will likely not be the 

          Professional Insight Comes from Mixing Perspectives
          Misc Magazine, 9/10/14
          "Seeing the problem through another discipline’s lenses gives one the permission to 
          think outside the norms and boundaries of one’s own... In most large organizations, 
          this is a fundamental challenge. Coming out of your functional silo to roll up your 
          sleeves with colleagues from another one is often an exercise in defensive posturing, 
          rather than constructive conflict... Organizations that cannot breach the silo walls 
          when necessary are ill-equipped to achieve breakthroughs of any kind whatsoever."

          Mentoring and Deep Learning Lead to Future Work-Life Engagement
          Gallup, 10/7/14
          "Six critical elements... jumped off the pages of our research as being strongly 
          linked to long-term success in work and life after graduation. Three of these 
          elements relate to experiential and deep learning... But the three most potent 
          elements linked to long-term success for college grads relate to emotional support... 
          If graduates strongly agree with these three things, it doubles the odds that they are 
          engaged in their work and thriving in their overall well-being."


          4,000 Person Study Zeroes In On Optimal Sleep for Good Health
          Scientific American, 9/29/14

          Being with Friends Enhances Experiences
          Pacific Standard, 10/6/14


          4 Pieces of Advice From Former Yale Admissions Officer
          Forbes, 9/30/14


          "Move Before You Are Ready" and Other Advice to Act Now
          99u, 10/10/14

          PBS Asks: What is Creativity?  How Can We Be More Creative? [Video]
          YouTube/PBS, 10/3/14


          Ferguson Changed Young Adult Beliefs About Racial Equality
          Pacific Standard, 10/8/14


          How Shakespeare's Verse Works on the Brain
          Nautilus, 10/9/14

          Marshall McLuhan's "Understanding Media" at 50 Years Old
          Pacific Standard, 9/30/14

          Why Historical Perspective is Crucial in Decision-Making
          Aeon, 10/2/14


          A Recap of the Finland-US Education Comparison
          CNN, 10/6/14


          4 Ways to Promote Innovation in Slow-Moving Organizations
          Harvard Business Review, 10/10/14

          How to Calculate Risk When Innovating
          Misc Magazine, 9/16/14


          Learning for Fluency > Learning for Understanding
          Nautilus, 10/2/14


          Apprenticeship: There Really Isn't Any Other Way to Learn to Teach
          New York Times, 10/11/14


          Now You Can Change the Reading Level When Reading the News
          Brilliant Blog, 10/8/14

          Lawyers and Adverbs: A Relationship Built Around Humanity
          Wall Street Journal, 10/7/14

          Turnitin Offers Automated Writing Feedback to Students
          EdSurge, 10/7/14

          Steven Pinker on Good Writing, and Classic Style vs. Plain Style
          Slate, 9/30/14


          3D Printing... Paper Airplane Folder-and-Launchers
          Core77, 10/10/14

          3D Printing... Earthquake-Proof Columns
          Wired, 10/9/14

          3D Printing... Musical Instruments
          Fast Company, 10/7/14


          How the Textbook Industry is Adapting to the Digital Age
          NPR, 10/10/14

          EdX Adds Professional Education
          EdX, 10/1/14

          Walter Isaacson on the Digital Revolution
          Harvard Magazine, 10/1/14

          Microsoft Makes a Holodeck.  Welcome, Augmented Reality
          Fast Company, 10/5/14


          What the New Yorker Learned from 3 Web Redesigns
          Fast Company, 10/6/14


          How Millennials Handle Money Differently Than The Rest Of Us
          Quartz, 10/7/14

          How Comparing Yourself to Others Crushes Confidence
          99u, 10/6/14

          Everyone is Winging It.  Take Confidence in This.
          99u, 10/1/14

          A Business Approach to a Teaching Career
          LinkedIn, 10/6/14

          How to Ask For and Get What You Want
          Medium, 9/9/13