October 26 - November 2, 2014

One of this week's feature articles brings our attention back to vocational training.  This is something we're seeing in many places, particularly in the online space.  The largest MOOC (that you've never heard of), called ALISON, is purely vocational.  EdX has begun offering career-directed courses.  How will this affect non-vocational school programs?  How does preparing students for a job change how we think about teaching?

In the second feature article, competency-based programs are starting to emerge in mainstream higher ed institutions.  What would happen if we changed "Big Ten Schools" to "high schools" and "businesses" to "colleges."  Does the analogy work?  It seems to me that if we're not thinking about competency-based programs we're missing a significant direction in the future of education.

And in creativity: it's always good to keep the mind of a beginner.



          Should We Be Increasing Our Focus on Vocational Prep?
          Marketplace, 10/23/14
          "For years, vocational high schools have been seen as a lesser form of schooling--
          tracking some kids off to work while others were encourages to go on to college 
          and pursue higher income professions.  But things are changing.  At one of those 
          schools--Minuteman Regional High School in Lexington, Massachusetts--students 
          can learn traditional traders like carpentry, plumbing and welding.  They can also 
          learn high tech fields such as video game design, engineering, and biotechnology."

          Some Big Ten Schools Begin Offering Competency-Based Degrees
          Inside Higher Ed, 10/28/14
          "A common thread with the three institutions' experiments is that they seek to focus 
          more on what students know and can do rather than how much time they spend in 
          class. 'They will emerge with proven competencies,' Mitch Daniels, Purdue's 
          president, said last month... 'Businesses will not have to guess whether these 
          students really are ready for the market, ready for their business, ready for the 


          Khan Academy Offers College Advising
          Khan Academy, 10/28/14

          An Alternative to the Common App?
          Chronicle of Higher Education, 10/31/14


          How To Stay Creative As Your Expertise Increases
          Inc, 10/21/14


          Does Learning a Second Language Boost Cognitive Precision?
          Atlantic, 10/17/14

          How 'Intro to Dance' Changed the Life and Career of this CEO
          Fast Company, 10/29/14

          Arts Education Increases Employment, Decreases Dropping Out
          Huffington Post, 10/27/14


          Suspensions and Race in Schools
          Atlantic, 10/26/14

          Do the Structures of School Favor Girls Over Boys?
          Atlantic, 9/18/14

          "Student Diversity at 4,725 Institutions" [Paywall]
          Chronicle of Higher Education, 10/27/14


          In the Digital Age, Some Colleges Are Doubling Down on Humanities
          Huffington Post, 10/31/14

          Young Adult Fiction: Gateway or Quicksand?
          New Yorker, 10/22/14


          Science Leadership Acad. Students Describe Self-Directed Learning
          KQED, 10/29/14

          Wait Time: Lessons from 3rd Grade Apply to All Grades
          Educational Leadership, 11/1/14


          Digital Writing Month Began Yesterday
          Digital Writing Month, 11/1/14


          Static Electricity Is Powerful Enough to Pick Up Heavy Objects
          The Verge, 10/26/14


          More on the Current State of MOOCs
          New York Times, 10/29/14

          Awareness and Understanding About Open Educational Resources
          Campus Technology, 10/29/14


          How TFA Manages Crises
          The Nation, 10/29/14

          When Schools Don't Have a Playground, Kids Don't Learn to Play
          New York Times, 10/27/14