March 12 - March 19, 2017

Lots of great pieces this week!

The article about learning styles reflects a growing understanding that teaching to student "learning styles" (visual, tactile/kinesthetic, audio, etc) does not improve education.  In fact, what other research shows is that teaching to the optimal modality for the given content (not student) does, in fact, improve learning.

Who knew?  A Maine court case hinges on (the absence of) an Oxford Comma.  And it turns out this isn't the first high cost result of the oversight.  I also appreciated the writer's wink by including a three part list in the opening sentence... without an Oxford comma!

Also, the Interactive Map of Education Attainment is spectacular.  Browse the US for a clear visualization of the street density of people with and without degrees live, block by block.



Re-understanding Pedagogy In An Age Of Digital Distraction
Chron. of Higher Ed
"When I walked out of class after discovering Kate's surreptitious phone scanning, the questions I asked myself were about her, or about my ability to control her behavior: Why can't she focus in class?  How can I keep students away from their distracting devices in class? But when I reconsidered the experience through the lens provided by Gazzaley and Rosen, a new set of questions began to emerge: What goal had I established for Kate's learning that day? How had I created an environment that supported her ability to achieve that goal? And perhaps most important -- assuming that the class had a learning goal that mattered for her -- did she know about it?"

"Are Teenagers Replacing Drugs With Smartphones?"
New York Times
"The trend has been building for a decade, with no clear understanding as to why. Some experts theorize that falling cigarette-smoking rates are cutting into a key gateway to drugs, or that antidrug education campaigns, long a largely failed enterprise, have finally taken hold. But researchers are starting to ponder an intriguing question: Are teenagers using drugs less in part because they are constantly stimulated and entertained by their computers and phones?"

"How Diversity Makes Us Smarter"
Scientific American
"It seems obvious that a group of people with diverse individual expertise would be better than a homogenous group at solving complex, non-routine problems. It is less obvious that social diversity should work in the same way--yet the science shows that it does. This is not only because people with different backgrounds bring new information. Simply interacting with individuals who are different forces group members to prepare better, to anticipate alternative viewpoints and to expect that reaching consensus will take effort."

"Should We Lose The Lecture?" Nobel Physics Professor Wants To Know
"Professors retain a central role, but Wieman sees them more like athletic coaches, putting students through strenuous, targeted practice while giving immediate feedback and direction based on performance. By confronting the problems first, the audience is more invested--and prepared--to hear what the professor has to say. 'If you experience the condition of the problem, you'll remember the answer much better,' Schwartz, the Dean of the GSE, says. 'Lectures have it backwards. They basically give you the answer, then you practice it."


Consortium Forming To Replace Tests With Perf. Assessments Somerville Times


Sports Teams Celebrate Pi Day In Nerdy Fashion Washington Post

How Different Forms Of Stretching Help You (Or Don't) New York Times

Short Video On What To Eat Before And After A Workout New York Magazine


A Different Take On The Character Traits Needed To Succeed Inc.


Learning Styles Are A "Neuromyth" Guardian

How One Museum Is Using Neuroscience To Change Its Galleries NYTimes


Creativity Requires Both Alone Time And Together Time Fast Company


Girls, Boys Even In High School STEM Classes, Not In College EdSource


Tips On How To Read To/With Your Children (For Intellectual Empathy) Inc.


There Was A Protest At Middlebury College, Against A Speaker New York Times

...The Injured Professor Publishes First Hand Account... New York Times

...Some Think Colleges Are Failing At Intellectual Preparation... New York Times

...Others Think Outrage Is Sometimes Appropriate... Sean Michael Morris

...Still Others Think 'The Kids Are Right' Slate


Kevin Young Is The New Poetry Editor At The New Yorker New York Times

American Library Association Provides Fake News Resource Round-Up ALA

The CRAAP Test: The ALA's Guide To Assessing News Credibility Huffington Post


Voluntourism: 4 Questions To Ask Before Volunteering Abroad Matador Network


Memoir Of A Lexicographer: Old English And Love Longreads

The Movie "Arrival," Language, And The Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis Smithsonian


How To Improve Productivity At Your Organization Fast Company

Strategic Transformation Necessary For Ongoing Growth Stanford GSB

McKinsey's Quarterly Report: Focus On Digitization Of Industries McKinsey


Oxford Comma: Omitting One Comma Resulted In $10M Court Ruling NYTimes


The Geometry Of Unusual Dice: d12, d20, d4 And More Skulls in the Stars

Beautiful, Helpful, Interactive Visualizations For Teaching Statistics Fast Co.

The Wedge Dowel: Ikea's New Furniture Assembly w/o Tools Or Screws Ikea


A 2 Minute Video About McLuhan's "Medium Is The Message" It's Nice That

In Defense Of Screen Time Bright

Researchers Are Making Computers Out Of DNA Quartz

SNHU Continues To Grow: Online, Competency Based Degrees Inside Higher Ed

3D Printing... A House in 24 Hours! Entrepreneur


People Are Using "Full Screen" Viewing Mode To Improve Focus Fast Company


Brilliant Interactive Map Of Educational Attainment Nationwide TX Christian Univ.