December 3 - December 10, 2017

What do the skeptics say about innovation, about higher ed, about design thinking?  This issue captures several of their voices.  There are nuggets of truth in all three, but of course, their one-sidedness is equally as over-simplistic as that of their opposites, the evangelists.  While the evangelists often only see promise, the skeptics often only see faults. Progress depends on reconciliation of the two.

The Harvard article about single-gender social organizations is fascinating. The university backed away from a ban, which it had previously proposed, and has arrived at a really interesting combination of sanctions and incentives. I wonder about student ability (in any school, secondary or higher ed, not only Harvard) to make the kind of cost-benefit analyses they've landed on, but it seems to balance the past and present in thought-provoking ways.

Also this week: three articles on the benefits of exercise, two surprising articles on the benefits of video games, and much more.




A Literature Review Of Maker-Centered Learning Harvard [Report]
"We offer a strand-by-strand overview of our developing work, and conclude by presenting the 'big take away' from our research and by making suggestions for policymakers, educators, and other stakeholders. Along the way, we identify what we consider to be the most salient benefits of maker-centered learning for young people and introduce some of the key concepts and resources that have emerged from our work... The most salient benefits of maker-centered learning for young people have to do with developing a sense of self and a sense of community."

Ancient Greeks Described Free Speech In Two Different Ways Atlantic
"In ancient Athens, isegoria described the equal right of citizens to participate in public debate in the democratic assembly; parrhesia, the license to say what one pleased, how and when one pleased, and to whom."


Why Admissions Offices Should Be Clearer About Criteria New York Times

Some Colleges Have "Instant Admissions Days" US News & World Reports


E-Cigarettes Grow More And More Common, Camouflaged Boston Globe


Minnesota Adds HS Fitness Programs, Measures Results Star Tribune
"Researchers found that students who were physically fit were much more likely to score better on state standardized tests. They were 27 percent more likely to be proficient in math and 24 percent more likely to be proficient in reading."


Is It Better To Sleep Or To Exercise? (Is There Is An Answer?) New York Times

John Medina: Exercise Is Really Good For Your Brain [video] Vimeo
"Exercisers outperformed couch potatoes in long term memory, reasoning, problem solving, abstract thinking, and more."


A Cynic's View Of Design Thinking Medium


"The Growing Importance Of Social Skills In The Labor Market" NBER
"Labor market rewards to performing routine tasks have fallen, while the returns to workers' ability to cooperate and adapt to changing circumstances have risen."


"Harvard Imposes Single-Gender Social Club Sanctions" Harvard Magazine
"The final clubs in particular are a product of another era, a time when Harvard's student body was all male, culturally homogenous, and overwhelmingly white and affluent. Our student body today is significantly different. While we should respect tradition, it is incumbent on us to organize the institution for the benefit of our current students and those who will follow. least as an initial step, we should proceed in such a way as to give students both choice and agency in bringing about changes to the campus culture."


The Cynic's Read On Higher Ed: Bad Learning, Poor Job Training Atlantic
"I'm cynical about students. The vast majority are philistines. I'm cynical about teachers. They vast majority are uninspiring. I'm cynical about 'deciders'--the school officials who control what students study. The vast majority think they've done their job as long as students comply."


A Skeptic's View Of The Word "Innovation" JPLeary

"What Marketing Can - & Can't - Do For Your School" LinkedIn


"How To Write A Competency" Global Online Academy

Learning Beyond School Walls In A Competency Model Hechinger Report


State Is Sued For Failing To Teach Kids To Read New York Times


Audrey Watters' Critical Look At Technology Platforms Hack Education

"Ambient AI Is About To Devour The Software Industry" MIT Tech. Review

We Can Now 3D Print Computers Made of Bacteria Quartz

Can Video Games Improve Attention And Control In Kids With ADHD Stat News

How Action Video Games Actually Enhance Some Areas Of Cognition NIH
"Moderator analyses indicated that action video game play robustly enhances the domains of top-down attention and spatial cognition, with encouraging signs for perception. Publication bias remains, however, a threat with average effects in the published literature estimated to be 30% larger than in the full literature."


The Sounds Of Nature Make Us Happier, More Relaxed Motherboard

When We Are Productive: By Hour, Day, Month, Season Priceonomics


What One Word Mattered Most In 2017? Public Figures Respond Medium

Wait, What Is this Bitcoin Thing? New York Times