December 4 - December 11, 2016

The feature post this week on media literacy takes a thoughtful step beyond the now-ubiquitous reminders that students need to learn to evaluate their information sources.  Meaningfully, the article suggests that we push students to ask not only "Is this reliable?" but also: "Do I want this to be true?"  How does our own predisposition influence our assessment?

The two sustainability posts this week are visual feasts of information, beautifully representing America's energy and transportation infrastructure and the history of human population on earth. 

These and more... enjoy!


Embrace Technology's Opportunity; Resist Its Diminishment Of Humanity
Guardian, 12/3/16
"Most of our communication technologies began as substitutes for an impossible activity.  We couldn't always see one another face to face, so the telephone made it possible to keep in touch at a distance... Online communication originated as a substitute for telephonic communication, which was considered, for whatever reasons, too burdensome or inconvenient.  And then texting, which facilitating yet faster and more mobile messaging.  These inventions were not created to be improvements on face-to-face communication, but a declension of acceptable, if diminshed, substitutes for it.  But then a funny thing happened: we began to prefer the diminished substitutes."

A Deeper Look At Fake News: "The Ethics Of Information Literacy"
The Frailest Thing, 12/6/16
"It is one thing to be presented with a set of skills and strategies to make us more discerning and critical.  It is another, more important thing, to care about the truth at all, to care more about the truth than about being right.  In short, the business of teaching media literacy or critical thinking skills amount to a kind of moral education."

'Against Empathy': A Case For Rational Compassion
New York Times, 12/6/16
"It turns out that Mr. Bloom's view is far more nuanced than the provocative declaration above... And he is by no means making the case for heartlessness.  His point, rather, is that empathy is untempered by reason, emanating from the murky bayou of the gut.  He prefers a kind of rational compassion -- a mixture of caring and detached cost-benefit analysis.  His book is a systematic attempt to show why this is so."


The Practical, Political Appropriation Of Having Empathy
New York Times, 11/29/16


Good Advice For Studying For Finals
Faculty Focus, 12/7/16


Is Critical Thinking Transferable, Or Context-Specific Only?
Aeon, 12/5/16


Rich-Poor Achievement Gap Is Closing Faster In US Than Elsewhere
Bloomberg, 12/6/16


Chicago Dedicates $25M Of Endowment To Investing In Startups
University of Chicago, 12/2/16


The Cure For Fake News?  Skills From History Class
Smithsonian, 12/6/16

"Historically Black": Podcast About Objects From The NMAAHC
APM Reports, 9/27/16


PISA 2015 Results Are In, And It's Not Good For The US...
Atlantic, 12/7/16

...But The PISA Scores Might Not Be All Bad For US Schools...
Pacific Standard, 12/8/16

...And US Students Still Report The Highest Confidence In TIMMS
Yong Zhao, 11/30/16


Another Case For Teaching Through Play
ASCD, 11/28/16


Geometer's Sketchpad As Revival Of Hand-Drawn Math? Here's A Look
NAIS, 11/4/16

How To Apply Growth Mindset Principles To A Math Class
KQED, 12/5/16

The Best Science Books Of 2016
Brain Pickings, 12/7/16

Assessing Code Schools
Bloomberg, 12/6/16


A Visualized And Animated History Of World Population
YouTube/American Museum of Natural History, 11/6/16

6 Maps Showing America's Infrastructure (Energy, Transport, More)
Washington Post, 12/1/16


2016 In Review: The Fate Of MOOCs, "Free," And "Open"
Hack Education, 12/7/16

2016 In Review: "The Business Of Education Technology" (Ugh.)
Hack Education, 12/5/16

EdTech Is Not Proven. The Good/Bad Dichotomy Doesn't Help Progress.
University of Gothenburg, 12/5/16

Uh, So, Parents Are Just As Plugged In As Their Kids
Common Sense Media, 12/5/16


Several Sources Of Work/Life Imbalance.  Several Solutions, Too.
Pacific Standard, 12/6/16


Dinosaur Tail With Feathers Found Preserved In Amber
National Geographic, 12/8/16

Elements Of A School Redesign (Funded By AT&T)
EdSurge, 12/7/16