July 2 - July 9, 2017

Some terrific summer reading this week... Yes, lots about summer reading.

The feature article on hard skills and soft skills is a short blog post, but it offers an interesting reframing of these terms in a way moves the conversation forward, I think.

Also, the Oregon Trail feature this week offers a strong case study in leadership.  How do you reimagine something and successfully implement it?  Philip Bouchard, lead designer of the 1985 hit game, shares his story in great, useful, nostalgic detail.

Lastly, the professional development articles this week offer some good options for the coming year.

Enjoy!
Pete




FEATURED ARTICLES

Designer of "Oregon Trail" Describes Origins Of The Game Medium
"I felt that the best way to build an innovative but successful design was to start with an ambitious set of new ideas, and then to gradually build and test these ideas through successive refinement--first by creating a simple prototype, and then by building up the real product one aspect at a time. At each step of the process we should evaluate where we are, compared to where we want to be, and then prioritize what to do next. Some of our cherished ideas would have to be shed along the way, but by constantly prioritizing and improving, we would achieve a successful result in the end."

A New Look At Hard Skills And Soft Skills Harold Jache
"I would now suggest that hard skills are really temporary skills. They come and go according to the economy and the state of technology. Today, we need very few people who know who to shoe a horse. Soft skills are permanent ones."



COGNITIVE SCIENCE

How Forgetting Helps You Learn New York Times

Machines Don't Forget Well, So Making Good A.I. Is Tough Quartz

Cognitive Principles For Presentation Design Fast Company
"We have both a 'ventral' visual system that processes information such as shape and color and a 'dorsal' spatial system that processes things like location and distance. When these two systems are prompted to work in concert--as the animated featured in Prezi prompt them to do--it enhances our memory and comprehension."

How Our Senses Influence Decision Making (Via Marketing) Fast Company
"The study found that ads highlighting more distal sensory experiences like sight and sound lead people to delay purchasing, while those that emphasize more proximal sensory experiences like touch or taste lead to earlier purchases."




CREATIVITY

11 Tough Truths About Creativity The Next Web

Wallace Stevens: The Artist, Reality, And The Need For Imagination Brain Pickings
"[The artist] must be able to abstract himself and also to abstract reality, which he does by placing it in his imagination... It is imperative for him to make a choice, to come to a decision regarding the imagination and reality; and he will find that it is not a choice of one over the other and not a decision that divides them, but something subtler, a recognition that here, too, as between these poles, the universal interdependence exists, and hence his choice and his decision must be that they are equal and inseparable."




DIVERSITY/INCLUSION

Greater Ethnic Diversity Benefits Well Being Of All Students Pacific Standard
"As the ethnic diversity of middle school increased, African-American, Latino, Asian, and white youth all reported feeling safer in school, less lonely, and less likely to be victimized."

Greenblatt, The Merchant Of Venice, And Fighting Xenophobia New Yorker




HIGHER ED

Higher Education: To Produce Citizens Or Scholars? The Way Of Improvement




HUMANITIES

"The Word Choices That Explain Why Jane Austen Endures" New York Times

Who Teaches Social Studies? Here's Some Data. Brookings

Poetry Magazine: The Asian American Poetry Issue Poetry Foundation

Ginsburg's "Howl": The Full Manuscript Online Stanford



PEDAGOGY

Student Describes Experiences With Good & Bad History Classes The High Flyer

A MOOC-Based Framework For Learning How To Learn University of Melbourne
"I've analysed the data from over 100,000 learners on the University of Melbourne's various MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) - every click, tap, swipe they make, every document they consult, and every word they write in chat forums and exercises."




PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Ed Tech Conferences For 2017-18 EdSurge

A Workshop For Better Educating Students About Islam Stanford




READING/WRITING

"Summer Reading For Your Woke Kid" NPR

TED Makes A Summer Reading List From TED Speakers TED

Even Entrepreneurship Magazines Make Summer Reading Lists Inc.

More College Summer Reading Lists New York Times
"Ohio State, the football-mad university of more than 60,000 students, could hardly be more different from Williams College, the prestigious liberal arts school in the Berkshires... But this summer, all of their incoming students received the same reading assignment."




STEM

On The Role Of Speed In Math Problems (Via Hand Spinners) Daniel Willingham




SUSTAINABILITY

Volvo Phases Out Gas-Only Engines New York Times




OTHER

Malala Finished High School Last Week New York Times