July 26 - August 2, 2015

Most interesting week ever.

Anyone who wants to know what's happening in schools today should have good mastery over the SSATB overview of... what's happening in schools today.  This is a great, detailed summary.  Download the report and read it, or skim it if these schools--and what they do--are familiar to you.

The feature article on code schools is full of remarkable gems: from the percentage of code school students who are female (over a third), to the variety of previously studied subjects, and more. Good stuff happening there.

What do students think about how schools spend money?  Which academic programs have the most contact hours, outside class activity, etc?  The feature on the UK Student Academic Experience Survey is terrific.

And if you haven't seen it yet: don't miss comedians Key & Peele's vision of a teacher version of SportsCenter, called... TeacherCenter.  It's brilliant satire.  The Moment of the Week segment and the ad at the end are just fantastic.

Really enjoy this week: my favorite week since starting this newsletter.

FEATURED ARTICLES

          An Essential Overview Of Current Models Of New Schools
          SSATB, 7/30/15 [Study]
          "Are you counting on your high-achieving student body, challenging curriculum,
          and learning-conducive environment to continue to attract families to your school?
          ...In every case, there is a cheaper, and often more innovative, educational
          alternative out there... We have defined and focused this report on four major
          categories of educational choice options for families: Academically Rigorous
          Schools, Deeper Learning Schools, Personalized Learning Schools, Online Schools."

          What Do Students Think Of Higher Ed Priorities?
          Higher Education Policy Institute, 6/4/15 [Study]
          "The Student Academic Experience Survey was established in 2006 and is now in
          its tenth year.  It has been continuously improved and this year's survey includes
          new questions on how students rate the importance of training for those who teach
          in higher education, on information provided to students and on possible spending
          cuts."

          Picbreeder: Brilliant Insight Into Conditions For Creative Work
          FiveThirtyEight, 7/23/15
          "Although this openness to new ideas might sound like just waiting around for
          serendipity to strike, it's a more deliberate process... Simonton's research has
          similarly shown that the best predictor of creative achievement is an openness
          to experience and cognitive exploration."

          What Happens When Students Identify And Solve School Problems
          ASCD Educational Leadership, 6/1/15
          "The school's principal... challenged a few members of the student council to find
          someone completely different from them--to ensure that the group had broad
          representation--and to bring those students to a series of lunchtime meetings. 
          When the students arrived, [he] distributed copies of the survey and asked them to
          find a problem and come up with a solution... He invited the students to share their
          plan with the rest of the staff, who were equally complimentary.  Everyone
          acknowledged that the students had come up with a plan that was more detailed
          and thoughtful than any plan the adults might have proposed and that it was more
          likely to succeed because it came from the students themselves."

          Code Schools Continue To Explode--And Place Graduates
          New York Times, 7/28/15
          "The graduating classes of these coding schools support the trend.  They will
          graduate about 16,000 students this year, more than double the 6,740 graduates
          last year, according to a survey published by Course Report in June.  The 2015 total
          would be about one-third of the estimated number of computer science graduates
          from American universities."

          Liberal Arts Colleges Begin Developing In-House Startup Incubators
          Forbes, 8/17/15
          "With annual symposiums, mentorship programs and funding competitions,
          Middlebury is one of many small liberal arts colleges reinventing themselves as
          modern-day startup incubators--geared toward for-profit enterprises and non-
          profits alike.  Driven by market demand and the idea of teaching practical skills
          that would create larger impacts outside of traditional liberal arts classrooms, 
          these colleges are encouraging students to pursue entrepreneurship--in particular,
          social entrepreneurship."

          What If Teaching Got The Same Coverage As Sports [Humor/Despair]
          YouTube/Comedy Central, 7/28/15
          "All right, let's take a look at yesterday's high school teacher draft from Radio City
          Music Hall, where Central Rapids High, recipient of the worst test scores last
          semester, made the first pick, that was no surprise to anyone: 'For the first pick,
          Central Rapids High takes calculus teacher Mike Yoast from Tulsa Teachers
          College!' And just like that, you're a millionaire!"


ADOLESCENCE

          "Overloaded And Underprepared": The Latest On High School Stress
          New York Times, 7/29/15

          Stress, Social Media, And Suicide: The Pressure For Perfection
          New York Times, 7/27/15

          Does More Friends Of The Opposite Sex Lead To Worse Grades?
          Priceonomics, 7/30/15

ASSESSMENT

          College Board Tweaks New US History AP In Response To Backlash
          Washington Post, 7/30/15

          Not Sure About The Common Core?  Vox Media Explains.
          Vox, 7/23/15

          George Washington University Drops SAT and ACT Requirement (*)
          New York Times, 7/27/15

CHARACTER

          Commercial Algorithms Get In The Business Of Assessing Character
          New York Times, 7/26/15

COGNITIVE SCIENCE

          Rationalization Reduces Anxiety... And Self Agency
          Pacific Standard, 7/29/15

          The Music You Listen To Is Who You Are
          Quartz, 7/26/15

          Daniel Kahneman Bio-Piece And Interview: Avoid Overconfidence
          Guardian, 7/18/15

          Poverty Linked To Decreased Brain Development
          Scientific American, 7/22/15

CREATIVITY

          Conflict and Resistance Can Be Creative Spurs
          99u, 7/29/15

          More Thoughts On Brainstorming Well
          Inc, 7/27/15

          Focus On Details To Push Creative Thinking
          Pacific Standard, 7/27/15

CURRICULUM

          Those "Useless" Liberal Arts Degrees Are Turning To Gold
          Forbes, 7/29/15

HIGHER ED

          College Doesn't Drive Lifelong Learning.  But Graduate School Does.
          Gallup, 7/28/15

          Only 40 Years Ago, Professors Overwhelmingly Focused On Teaching
          Times Higher Education, 6/25/15

HUMANITIES 

          3 Strategies For Teaching History's Tragedies
          Middle Web, 7/26/15

          Review: Why Did Europe Conquer The World?
          Telegraph, 7/30/15

          On Using Board Games For Teaching History (Meaningfully)
          History Tech, 7/31/15

          Stanford Has An Online Encyclopedia of Philosophy
          Stanford, 8/2/15

          Writers Discuss Who Should Be Kicked Out Of The Literary Canon
          New York Times, 7/28/15

LANGUAGE

          Ugh! Bah. Ay! How Non-Words Span Languages
          Quartz, 7/31/15

          The Emergence Of Brand New Words Can Be Tracked On Twitter
          Quartz, 7/29/15

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

          Context Is Crucial When Coaching (i.e. Video Chat Is Hard)
          Harvard Business Review, 4/20/15

PEDAGOGY

          On Knowing When We Should Stop Talking
          EdWeek, 7/28/15

          "Work That Matters" - Learning In The Real World
          KQED, 4/30/14

          More Board Games In School: Eurogames As A Category
          History Tech, 7/28/15

          No Tests: A Collaborative Learning Model (via a History Teacher)
          EdSurge, 4/30/15

READING/WRITING

          14 Tips On Writing From 14 Famous Writers
          Medium, 7/30/15

          Writing: From The Greek Traders To The Monastic Scribes
          Lapham's Quarterly, 7/29/15

SOCIAL MEDIA

          Does More Facebook Use Lead To More Body Image Issues?
          HealthDay, 7/27/15

STEM

          Terry Tao: MacArthur Winner, Fields Medal.  Life As A Math Genius.
          New York Times, 7/24/15

TECH

          5 Results From Digital Detoxing
          Fast Company, 7/30/15

          Teachers Use Startup Tools In Class: Slack and Trello
          EdSurge, 7/28/15

          Simpler Is Better. The AlphaSmart. An Old Tool Just For Writing.
          Medium, 7/25/15

          Another Summary Of Laptop vs. Longhand Notetaking
          Harvard Business Review, 7/31/15

          Workshop For Using Video Games As Instructional Tool
          KQED, 7/31/15

          The Selfie As Subject Of Academic Study?
          New York Times, 7/31/15

TECH, 3D PRINTING

          3D Printing: A Failure, Or Not Yet Matured?
          Quartz, 7/30/15

          Voxel: A 3D Printer That Prints Circuits
          Quartz, 7/24/15

WORKPLACE

          9 Tips For Happier Vacations
          Fast Company, 7/24/15

OTHER

          "Drinking Highest Among Educated, Upper-Income Americans"
          Gallup, 7/27/15

          Some Of The Many Facets Of Being A Good Teacher
          Edutopia, 7/28/15