November 29 - December 6, 2015

The epistolary conversation between Dominic Randolph (Head of Riverdale Country School) and Max Ventilla (CEO and Founder of AltSchool) explores the tensions at work in school design: two heads grappling with how learning happens, how schools work, and how we can reconcile seemingly binary understandings of old school and new school.

Also this week: how should computer science fit in the curriculum?  Should it be required?  Can it fill a math requirement?

Lots of tech this week as well, including Audrey Watters' first Year in Review post at Hack Education.

Enjoy!

FEATURED ARTICLES

          Coding Is Compulsory In The UK.  Is This The Right Approach?
          Guardian, 12/3/15
          "Last year, Britain became the first G7 country to introduce compulsory
          computer science on the school curriculum for all children aged five to 16.  By the
          age of seven, all children will now be expected to be capable of writing and
          debugging a simple program... Coding lessons in school will not turn every child
          into a programmer.  But the idea behind the new government initiatives is that new
          generations of children will not have to struggle through bootcamps in midlife,
          because those with an aptitude for coding will have discovered it at an early stage.
          And those who are less talented, it is thought, will at least gain an understanding of
          the digital world in which they now live."

          5-Part Conversation Between Riverdale And AltSchool About Old v. New
          Medium, 12/5/15
          "It seems that schools are expected to position themselves as either traditional--
          "chalk and talk," uniforms, a belief in canonical knowledge, a culture of discipline
          and compliance--or progressive--liberal, with more of a constructivist approach to
          teaching and learning, and a focus on the development of the individual building off
          his or her strengths rather than trying to mold children into a certain ideal mix of
          intellectual and personal capacities.  More and more, I find this binary both idiotic
          and not very helpful."

          Justin Reich: Can Tech Solutions Help Those Who Need It Most?
          EdTechResearcher, 12/4/15
          "In most of the research on this topic, affluent students use technology for more
          creative purposes with more adult supervision, while less affluent students use
          technology for repetitive drill and practice without the same level of guidance... It
          doesn't have to be this way."


ASSESSMENT

          On Using Surveys Instead Of Tests To Assess Student Progress
          NPR, 12/2/15

CREATIVITY

          Persistence As A Necessary Component Of Creativity
          Harvard Business Review, 12/1/15

DIVERISTY/INCLUSION

          On Resilience And Race
          New York Times, 12/1/15

LANGUAGE

          Jhumpa Lahiri: Writing In A New Language Changes Who You Are
          New Yorker, 12/7/15

LEADERSHIP

          On Empowering Teachers To Lead In Decision-Making
          Center For Teaching Quality, 11/30/15

PEDAGOGY

          Clarifying What Project-Based Learning Is, And Getting It Right
          KQED, 12/2/15

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

          Suggestions For Gathering Student Feedback
          Teaching Channel, 12/1/15

STEM

          Synthetic Biology For High School Students
          MIT, 12/4/15

          CompSci As Math Requirement: A Way To Diversify The Tech Industry
          SF Gate, 12/2/15

SUSTAINABILITY

          Simple Answers To Questions About Climate Change
          New York Times, 11/28/15

TECH

          Top Ed Tech Trends Of 2015: Zombie Ideas That Refuse To Die
          Hack Education, 12/1/15

WORKPLACE

          Why A Positive Work Culture Makes For Greater Productivity
          Harvard Business Review, 12/1/15

OTHER

          10,000 Hours For Mastery... Or 100 Hours For Superior Competence?
          Coding VC, 11/30/15

          Design Consultancy Explores The Future Of Libraries
          Fast Company, 11/24/15