November 27 - December 4, 2016

A full week this week.

Audrey Watters is a brilliant, irreverent writer about education technology. Each year she compiles a list of top trends. Once, she was one of Ed Tech's fiercest advocates. She remains one of its fiercest attendants. In recent years, she has criticized the field of Ed Tech as a failure, and this year, she asks why we keep deluding ourselves with visions of what Ed Tech can do. Inspired by Joan Didion, she calls 2016 a year of wishful (magical) thinking in education. And her summary extends into many of the losses 2016 has brought. Watters' eulogy for the year is a very good read.

The last feature piece on automated math tutoring offers a sharp contrast in outlook and marks some of the incremental change that is being made in the field of Ed Tech.  The article reports on how strategies for teaching a growth mindset can be embedded into math lessons, whether tech focused or not.  The lessons learned by the game designers (and former teachers) in the article for the design of their mobile games are just as useful for classroom teachers in our design of classroom lessons.

These and many (many!) more this week are worthy reads.  Enjoy!



Audrey Watters: 2016 As A Year Of Tragedy And Wishful Thinking
Hack Education, 12/1/16
"Perhaps it's time to ask why--why this is the ritual and the story that education continues to turn to...?  Why are we in this fog of educational make-believe?  Why are we so wrapped up in the magical thinking and wishful thinking of education technology?  What do we hope the practices of ed-tech will deliver, will relieve?  What are we hoping to preserve?  What are we hoping to absolve?  What might we be afraid to admit has died?  Why is wishful thinking, in and through and with education technology, a balm for so many of us?  At what point should we just let go..."

Willingham Reviews Anders Ericsson's Book On Practice & Expertise
Education Next, 12/1/16
"In Ericsson's formulation, deliberate practice has several components: evaluating what needs improvement, selecting one small aspect of the skill to work on, developing a strategy, and then evaluating the results of the revised performance... The mere distinction between experience and deliberate practice can help guide educators in imparting certain skills.  For example, many schools want students to work well with others, so they assign group projects.  But working in a group is simply experience.  If you want students to become better group members, they need to practice being a group member.  They must be explicitly taught how to work in groups, and that's something few schools do."

The Trump Effect: 2,500 Acts Of Hate In Schools, How To Combat Them
Teaching Tolerance, 11/29/16 [Report]
"The results of a survey taken by more than 10,000 educators following Donald's Trump election and a divisive campaign that targeted racial, ethnic, and religious minorities... described an increase in the use of slurs and derogatory language, along with disturbing incidents involving swastikas, Nazi salutes, and Confederate flags.  The report also cited more than 2,500 specific incidents of bigotry and harassment that can be directly traced to election rhetoric, including assaults on both students and teachers and acts of vandalism depicting hate symbols and speech... The report also offers a set of recommendations to help school leaders manage student anxiety and combat hate speech and acts of bias."

Striving For The Promise Of Automated, Personalized (Math) Tutors
Jo Boaler, 11/29/16
"Importantly, they are designing a digital environment that mimics something a teacher can do in a classroom yet many tech products fail to do--provide personalized coaching.  For students who seem to display low confidence, they encourage them by showing them their past successes.  For students who seem to have low self-regulation (e.g. they jumped around and gave up often), they encourage them to reflect and reconsider before they quit a level... For students who seem to display low effort, they appeal to altruistic motivation by changing language from 'show what you can do; try your best" to "help us improve our software by trying your best.'"


On Twitter Today, To Be "Mom" Means To Be Awesome
New York Times, 12/3/16


Stop Rescuing Kids. Let Them Fail. That's When They Learn And Change
Quartz, 10/20/15

On Mindfulness: Sometimes It's Good To Be Elsewhere
New York Times, 11/26/16


What Experiences With Sound Enhance Learning?
KQED, 11/28/16

NPR Runs A Series On Understanding Dyslexia
NPR, 11/28/16


Be Happier: Do One Creative Thing A Day
New York Magazine, 12/1/16

Some Creative Thinking Appears To Center In A Region Of The Brain
Pacific Standard, 11/30/16


America's (Likely) Demographic Changes For The Next 50 Years
Bryan Alexander, 12/1/16

Calls For "Sanctuary Campuses" -- What Does A School Do?
Chronicle of Higher Education, 12/2/16

How To Reduce Bias In Leadership Search Committees
Chronicle of Higher Education, 11/30/16

Teaching Identity Politics By Teaching What We Have In Common
New York Times, 11/18/16


Four Ways For Universities To Cut Costs
Washington Post, 11/25/15


"Integrating Critical Race Theory Into The US History Curriculum"
History Tech, 12/2/16

Cheap And Easy 3D VR, So Students Can Walk/Fly Through The World
History Tech, 12/1/16

Poetry Surges On Twitter In 2016
Wired, 11/22/16


Revisiting The Brain Benefits Of Bilingualism
NPR, 11/29/16

On College Language Requirements: Keep Them, Please
Slate, 11/28/16

Language Evolves. Don't Let (Linguistic) Ideology Hold You Back
Salon, 11/29/16

What Is The Hardest Language? The Economist Explores.
Medium, 12/1/16

34 Surprising Reasons To Learn A 2nd Langauge, Prompted By Research
Custom-Writing, 11/16/16


Justin Reich: 4 Ways To Launch Innovation At Your School
EdWeek, 11/29/16

Kahneman On Decision-Making: How To Remove Noise And Bias
Harvard Business Review, 10/1/16


Teaching Content And Teaching Character Require Different Skills
Hechinger Report, 11/21/16


Telling Stories Is An Essential Skill For Any Profession
Misc Magazine, 11/29/16

Aristotle's Three Modes Of Persuasion: Ethos, Logos, and Pathos
Farnam Street, 11/22/16

Writers Choose Their Favorite Books Of 2016: Adichie, Adiga, And More
Guardian, 11/26/16

NYT Best 10 Books Of 2016
New York Times, 12/1/16


Fail Fast & Often? What About Precision? What About Certainty?
Medium, 11/25/16

No More Than Arithmetic: Early 20th Century Opposition To Math
Atlantic, 1/27/16

Should We Teach Procedural Or Conceptual Math?
HeraldNet, 12/1/16

HS Students Manufacture For $2 The Drug Martin Shkreli Hiked Prices On
Sydney Morning Herald, 11/30/16

On MakerSpaces And Project-Based Learning
NPR, 11/14/16


Some Recommendations To Reduce Social Media Use
Better Humans, 11/14/16

Does Putting Devices In Grayscale Reduce Addiction To Them? [Video]
Atlantic, 4/28/16

Email Is Such A Stressor, 17 Apps Try To Simplify It
Jocelyn K. Glei, 12/1/16

Audrey Watters Warms Up For Her Year-In-Review Series
Hack Education, 11/30/16

A History Of Papyrus
Longreads, 12/1/16

Online Connectedness: Advisor And Researcher Debate The Dis/Advantages
New York Times, 11/28/16


Make Your Day Proactive, Not Reactive
Cal Newport, 11/30/16

"When Finnish Teachers Work In American Schools"
Atlantic, 11/28/16


On The Need For More Simplicity
Aeon, 11/28/16

Is Rationality A Moral Virtue?  (Or Just A Virtue?)
Pacific Standard, 11/29/16

Interview About A Dictionary's Irreverent Twitter Feed
Literary Hub, 11/28/16

Who Still Lives At Home? By Age, Major, State, Income, Degree, And More
Priceonomics, 12/1/16

On The Growing Prevalence Of Having A Side Hustle
Fast Company, 11/30/16

"Beautiful, Stunning" Move Wins World Chess Championship
Slate, 12/1/16