October 8 - October 15, 2017

Much to chew on this week: grit, good taste, book releases, and more. And:

On tech: In my mind, the surest sign that the backlash against tech in education had gained momentum was when some of its most fervent supporters became its most fervent critics.  Audrey Watters was the bellwether for me on that one.  Yes, tech still has extraordinary promise and will be an equalizer for many, but the dangers embedded in technology are increasingly clear. This week, the growing backlash against the broader tech sector seems to be hitting a fever pitch as the New York Times published three articles on three consecutive days taking down the industry. But this binary (tech is good, tech is bad) clearly oversimplifies the issue.  From the reading I've seen, the discussions are best when focused on when we manipulate technology to be better humans vs when technology manipulates us.

The piece on fads in education takes a similarly dark stance, but I don't fully agree.  EdX, the nonprofit MOOC provider, appears to be thriving, and I have found it a valuable destination for professional growth. And while it isn't providing a free college education to everyone (as the boosters dreamily imagined), it is spreading opportunity farther than was previously possible.

These and much more--enjoy!



Deep Data & Narrative About The Surge In Adolescent Anxiety New York Times
"The more she looked for explanations, the more she kept returning to two seemingly unrelated trend lines -- depression in teenagers and smartphone adoption. (There is significantly more data about depression than anxiety.) Since 2011, the trend lines increased at essentially the same rate. In her recent book "iGen," and in an article in The Atlantic, Twenge highlights a number of studies exploring the connection between social media and unhappiness. 'The use of social media and smartphones look culpable in teen mental-health issues,' she told me. 'It's enough for an arrest -- and as we get more data, it might be enough for a conviction.'"

"Next Generation Science Standards" - A 3-Part Curriculum Hechinger Report
"This type of project reflects the best intentions of the Next Generation Science Standards, which encourage teachers to enable students to learn science by doing... Each lesson should combine 'practices,' or the behaviors of real scientists and engineers; 'cross cutting concepts,' which clarify connections across science disciplines and help students create a coherent view of the world based on science, and 'disciplinary core ideas,' or the fundamental ideas students must know to understand a given science discipline."


Duckworth's Character Lab Offers Formula For Grit: WOOP Character Lab


Study Links School Start Time, Sleep, And Depression Deccan Chronicle


"Is Good Taste Teachable?" New York Times

School Uses Arts To Drive Student Mastery In Other Subjects Hechinger Report


What Does Inclusion Look Like In The Design World? Design.blog


Sylvia Plath's Letters Have Been Collected And Published New York Times

Read An Excerpt Of Phillip Pullman's New Book "The Book Of Dust" NPR

Toni Morrison Releases New Book: "The Origin Of Others" Pacific Standard

Dartmouth College's Reference Guide On Evaluating Sources Dartmouth
"This guide will help you critically evaluate an article, book, chapter, web page, or other publication and determine its suitability for your purposes."


On The Pervasiveness Of English, And What That Means LA Review of Books


"How To Keep Bias Out Of The Hiring Process" Quartz


"Performance Development" - How Does It Apply To Education? Gallup


Slow Down When You Read On Digital Devices Fast Company

"Future Programmers Need Writing Skills, Too" EdSurge


New York Times Shares Their Internal Social Media Policy New York Times
"In social media posts, our journalists must not express partisan opinions, promote political views, endorse candidates, make offensive comments or do anything else that undercuts The Times's journalistic reputation."


Why Do We Need The Concept Of "Spacetime"? 3 Quarks Daily


NYT Tech Columnist: "Why Tech Is Starting To Make Me Uneasy" NY Times

"Tech Giants, Once Seen As Saviors, Are Now Viewed As Threats" NY Times

"Silicon Valley Is Not Your Friend" NY Times


For The Love Of Graph Paper Quartz

Visualizations Of Nonlinear Story Formats Story Explorer

On Fads In Education Inside Higher Ed
"From transforming all of higher ed to targeted corporate training in five short years. Who could've predicted such a fate? Lots of people, it turns out."