November 5 - November 12, 2017

Creativity, pedagogy, and much more of interest this week:

Artist Austin Kleon has been a favorite of mine since he assembled his book "Steal Like an Artist." This week he appears three times.

The "personalized learning" drum has been beating loudly for a few years now, just long enough for the backlash to gain some steam.  This week features a surge of personalized learning news and criticism.

Lots more to recommend... Enjoy!



Nicholas Carr Reports On How Smartphones Impair Cognition Rough Type
"A 2015 Journal of Experimental Psychology study found that when people's phones beep or buzz while they're in the middle of a challenging task, their focus wavers, and their work gets sloppier -- whether they check the phone or not. Another 2015 study, appearing in the Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, showed that when people hear their phone ring but are unable to answer it, their blood pressure spikes, their pulse quickens, and their problem-solving skills decline."

"10 Things To Know About Getting Into Your Dream College" New York Times
"There's no magic formula for getting into a selective college, but over a decade covering admissions for The Chronicle of Higher Education, I've picked up a thing or two. These takeaways, based on hundreds of interviews with admissions deans over the years, may help you navigate the process."

Is Numeracy Biological Or Cultural? Aeon
"What seems innate and shared between humans and other animals is not this sense that the differences between 2 and 3 and between 152 and 153 are equivalent (a notion central to the concept of humber) but, rather, a distinction based on relative difference, which relates to the ratio of the two quantities. It seems we never lose that instinctive basis for comparison."

Lakeside School Spins Off A Micro-School NAIS
"Much like colleges and universities, costs at independent schools have grown as they provide more services and amenities. Micro-schools seek to trim expenses in ways easier to do as a smaller, nimbler operation. They may rent a storefront, for example, rather than maintain a campus. They can hire fewer faculty who would wear more hats, such as taking on major administrative responsibilities and working longer hours for higher pay. And they can emphasize academics while taking a cafeteria-menu-style approach to other offerings. So, for example, if students are involved in off-campus performing arts or music groups or sports teams, they may prefer not to pay for comprehensive arts and sports programs."


How Gratitude Leads To Living And Aging Well Vimeo/Brain Rules
"Optimistic people live almost eight years longer than the glass-half-empties do."

On Hurrying To Slow Down Austin Kleon
"'Hurry Slowly' has its roots in an old Latin phrase: 'Festina Lente,' or 'Make haste slowly,' or 'more haste, less speed.' (See: the Tortoise and The Hare.)"


Conditions For Sustainable Creativity Medium

"For Better Brainstorming, Tell An Embarrassing Story" Harvard Business Review

Jocelyn Glei Interviews Austin Kleon Hurry Slowly
"The notebook is the place where you figure out what's going on inside you or what's rattling around. And then, the keyboard is the place that you go to tell people about it."


Ivy College Course: No Tech Or Talking... For A Month NHPR
"They have to get permission from their other professors and they can sit in class and discussion sections, but cannot speak or participate in any online materials. It doesn't matter what their other class assignments are, they have to prepare to do it all offline before they go dark for a month."


"How Should High Schools Define Sexes For Transgender Athletes?" NYTimes


Anti-Bias Lessons In Pre-School PBS


"6 Myths About Choosing A College Major" New York Times


3500 Year-Old Grecian Seal Stone Found: Scene From Iliad? New York Times

The Poetry Of Distraction [Longread] Poetry Foundation
"The first poet he quoted, the one he'd memorized as a child and who seemed to him to epitomize the artist who spoke for the value of concentration, was Wordsworth. 'The World Is Too Much With Us,' may, for all I know, have been my introduction to the subject of distraction."


Four High-Level Strategic Tensions At Work In An Organization Harv. Bus. Rev.


Beghetto: "Are We Overplanning Student Learning Experiences?" ASCD

How Three Districts Worked To Implement Personalized Learning Hechinger Rpt

Interactive Stories Of How Schools Are Personalizing Learning EdSurge

"The Case(s) Against Personalized Learning" EdWeek

"Understanding What Doesn't Work In Personalized Learning" Brookings
"Both of the studies mentioned found a negative relationship between students' use of technology in their learning environments, and their feelings of academic engagement or sense of belonging in school."


Austin Kleon: "33 Thoughts On Reading" Austin Kleon


Maybe We Should All Settle Down About The Ills Of Social Media? PsychCentral
"Berryman compares the response or push-back that some people have to social media to a form of 'moral panic' such as that surrounding video games, comic books, and rock music."

Teen Girl Gets Lost In Online Persona As Male Sportswriter DeadSpin
"I wanted to be a sportswriter... but I was young and thought that the only way people would notice me is if I was the stereotypical guy... That slowly led me down a path to some things that I was very uncomfortable doing but didn't even realize were happening."


What Is The Role Of High Production Values In Online Learning? EdSurge

Can We Reconcile "Personalization" with Increased Digitization? Long View on Ed
"Learning analytics platforms appear to displace the embodied expert judgement of the teacher to the disembodied pattern detection of data analytics algorithms.' This platformisation only defers the dreams of emancipatory education, perhaps putting it out of reach permanently."


From "Move Fast And Break Things" To "Move Slow And Build Things" Use Journal


Close Relationships Are Key To Long, Happy Life (That Harvard Study) Inc.

How To Send Emails To "Very Busy People" Medium
"Remember: Can your responses for them. Be ultra-specific in your asks. Do not be a time-suck. Play the long game. Focus on getting a response first before asking for everything that you might want from this person."

"Fantastic Beasts And How To Rank Them" A Surprisingly Long Read New Yorker
"Never mind, for now, whether or not you actually believe in any of these creatures. We are interested here not in whether they are real but in to what extent they seem as if they could be... Perhaps, then, the solution we seek is mathematical: tally up all the fundamental principles violated by a supernatural creature and its powers and--voila, we'll know where it stands in the hierarchy of likelihood.  Call this the parsimony theory of plausibility."