January 29 - February 5, 2017

Three feature articles marking shifts in conceptual understandings of big ideas: in the role of knowledge versus skills, in the creative power of analog versus digital tools, and what we know about willpower.

Lots of writing in education this week on the immigration ban--some of it obsolete already.  Still, several well-regarded outfits have put together ideas for how one might engage these events in class with students.

The two YouTube videos that offer a tour of the full disciplines of math and physics are wonderful summaries of the fields, even if they contain occasional mistakes.

Really interesting (and brief) data on technology adoption.  92% of 18-29 year olds, for example, own a smartphone.  And that's just the beginning.




Maybe Knowledge Is More Important Than Skill After All (cf. Reading)
ASCD Educational Leadership, 2/1/17
"Recent research shows that reading comprehension, deep thinking, and even creativity all rely heavily on prior knowledge.  Although you can find a thousand articles claiming that knowledge is essentially irrelevant nowadays--that mere facts are not worth teaching in the age of Google, when anyone can look up anything at any time--in fact, cognitive scientists now mostly believe that this apparently tidy logic is wrong."

Why Many Artists And Creative Companies Are Going Analog
New York Review of Books, 2/9/17
"Creativity and innovation are driven by imagination, and imagination withers when it is standardized, which is exactly what digital technology requires--codifying everything into 1s and 0s, with the accepted limits of software... Like all respectable commentators, [the author] takes pains to assure us that he's not a Luddite; the correct and responsible deity is Balance, blandest of goddesses.  And it is at least possible that digital technology is reaching a high-water mark and might before long begin to recede to a more manageable level, possible that after our initial intoxication we can come down from our binge and learn to handle this new drink responsibly."

How We Understand Willpower Is Changing Significantly Right Now
Nautilus, 2/2/17
"Emotional self-regulation is a complex function, and as we've long known in psychotherapy, trying to willfully manage your emotional states through brute force alone is bound to fail.  Instead, regulating emotions also includes skills such as shifting attention (distracting yourself), modulating your physiological response (taking deep breaths), being able to tolerate and wait out the negative feelings, and reframing beliefs... A conscientious reframing of a problem in this manner would certainly be an example of willpower, but it would not fall into the conventional understanding of the term.  Rather than relying on an effortful fight against impulses, this kind of willpower has the individual completely reimagine the problem and avoid the need to fight in the first place."


How And When Rituals Can Help
British Psychological Society, 1/25/17

Lessons Learned From Reading Improvement Newsletters
So It Goes, 7/10/16

Auditory Hallucinations Happen, And Are Normal (Mostly)
Nautilus, 1/29/17

Is The Purpose Of Sleep To Forget?
Atlantic, 2/2/17


SAT Data On The Achievement Gap: Breakdown Of Scores
Brookings, 2/1/17

How To Speak With Students About Immigration Orders
Teaching Tolerance, 1/30/17


3 Ways To Engage The Executive Order On Immigration In Class
Facing History And Ourselves, 1/30/17


When Transparency Is Helpful, And When It Is Not
McKinsey, 2/1/17

Principles For Integrating Tech Into The Curriculum
EdSurge, 1/30/17

10 Principles For Modern Schools
Medium, 2/1/17 [Report]

Setting Challenges And Expectations Key To Successful Innovation
Harvard Business Review, 10/17/16


One Professor's Opening Lecture On Critical Thinking
Chronicle Vitae, 2/2/17

3 Theories On What Makes A Good Explanation
Aeon, 2/1/17


A Map Of The Entire Field Of Mathematics [video]
YouTube / Dominic Walliman, 2/1/17

A Map Of The Entire Field Of Physics [video]
YouTube / Dominic Walliman, 11/27/16

On The Relationship Between Spatial Reasoning And Early Math
KQED, 1/29/17


Why Are We Still Using LMSs, And For How Much Longer?
Edutechnica, 1/29/17

Boston Dynamics Makes Another "Nightmare Inducing" Robot
Quartz, 2/1/17

Interactive Fact Sheets On Mobile Tech, Social Media, And Broadband
Pew Research, 1/12/17

US Technology Adoption Data: Smartphones, Tablets, Social Media...
Pew Research, 1/12/17


Can A Messy Office/Desk/Inbox Be A Key To Happiness?
Quartz, 1/31/17


Atul Gawande's Latest: On Incremental Work Over Crisis Work
New Yorker, 1/23/17

A Summary Of The Research On Recess
NPR, 2/1/17 [report]

Time Spent On Social Media Per Year = Time To Read 200 Books
Quartz, 1/29/17

"Art of Darkness" - Examples Of Art Inspired By Darkness
Medium, 1/25/17

Good Early Career Advice.  (Lots Of It.)
Mic, 2/1/17

Relax.  Here's a 3 Hour Video Of A Beach With A Palm Tree
YouTube, 10/25/12