January 21 - January 28, 2018

A deep selection this week:

The opening feature article this week explores how ed reform has been focusing on policy, when the best gains would be made by focusing on supporting what teachers do in the classroom.  My sense is that this is similarly true of some of the discourse around professional development and how schools support teachers.

Also, several good summaries this week: of principles of learning science, of active learning, and of mental models.

Enjoy these, and more!



To Help Teachers In Schools, Try... Helping Teachers In Schools EdExcellence
"A conceptual failure lies at the heart of ed reform's underperformance: the mistaken assumption that education policy, not classroom practice, is the most important lever to pull to drive enduring improvement. But educational failure is not a tale of unaccountable and union protected layabouts refusing to do right by children. More often that not, it's well-intended people trying hard and failing--and not despite their training, but because of it. In short, we have a product and practice failure more than a policy and process failure."

Mitch Resnick: "Screen Time? How About Creativity Time?" Medium
"Rather than trying to minimize screen time, I think parents and teachers should try to maintain creative time. The focus shouldn't be on which technologies children are using, but rather what children are doing with them. Some uses of new technologies foster creative thinking; others restrict it. The same is true for older technologies. Rather than trying to choose between high-tech, low-tech, and no-tech, parents and teachers should be searching for activities that will engage children in creative thinking and creative expression."

"How To Write A Blog Post" Or Just: How To Write Rands In Repose
"Randomly think of a thing. Let it bump around your head a bit. If the bumping gets too loud, start writing the words with the nearest writing device. See how far you get. The more words usually mean a higher degree of personal interest. Stop when it suits you. Wait for time to pass and see if the bumping sound returns. Reread what you've written so far and find if it inspires you. Yes? Write as much as you can. No? Stop writing and wait for more bumping."


Early Studies: E-Cigarettes Likely To Increase Other Tobacco Use In Kids NPR


Some Reflections On Grading For Learning, Not Compliance EdCircuit

State of Microcredentials, 2018, A Conversation EdSurge

Colleges Find Performance Assessments Increasingly Appealing Inside Higher Ed

Japan Is Overhauling Its Centralized University Admission Exam Atlantic
"The country is a noteworthy case study for thinking about the shortcomings of a theoretically meritocratic system in which rote memorization is prized above critical-thinking skills and resilience, oftentimes taking a severe toll on students' mental health."


10 Cornerstones Of Learning Science Competency Works


Is Creativity Under Threat In A Digital Age? (Enh.) Medium


"The Demographics Of Others" - Interactive US Census Data Flowing Data

"Hedge Funds Run By Women Outperform By 20%" Financial News London

Understanding Orientalism: As It Was, As It Remains Literary Hub
"Despite forty years of exegesis and new thinking around postcolonial theory and empire studies, it's as if the machinery of empire continues to cripple our thinking about ourselves as Americans. Every time I speak to Americans, unless they are comprised of people of color, I need to presume that they've heard none of this, that they've been indoctrinated in the same ways that I was."

William Kelley: Forgotten Writer On The White/Black Experience New Yorker
"If 'dem' is a strange book, it is strange in a familiar way. Part Roth, part Swift, part Twain, it is built of satire, farce, and hyperbole, all deployed in the name of moral seriousness."

Millennials: "A Demographic Bridge To America's Diverse Future" Brookings
"The millennial generation, now 44 percent minority, is the most diverse generation in American history. While its lasting legacy is yet to be determined, this generation is set to serve as a social, economic, and political bridge to chronologically successive (and increasingly) racially diverse generations. With an emphasis on its unique racial diversity, this report examines the demographic makeup of millennials for the nation, the 100 largest metropolitan areas, and all 50 states."


Nate Silver: "The Gerrymandering Project" Does The Math FiveThirtyEight
"Redistricting has a huge effect on U.S. politics but is greatly misunderstood. This project uncovers what's really broken, what's not and whether gerrymandering can (or should) be killed."

NYT Video Essay: "Is There Something Wrong With Democracy?" New York Times
"After 200 years of expansion, democracy's growth in the world has stalled. A handful of democracies like Venezuela and Hungary are backsliding into authoritarianism. And even in established Western democracies, voters are losing faith in democratic institutions and norms... Is this all just a blip, or is democracy in real trouble?"


What Do Brain Scans Tell Us About Learning A 2nd Language?" Guardian


Lessons From Using MOOCs To Support Employee Learning/Culture HBR


"10 Key Points About Active Learning" Inside Higher Ed

A Case For Longer Classes: Do 45-Minute Classes "Stall Learning"? Hechinger

Idaho Goes Fully Mastery-Based For Its K-12 Curriculum Idaho Ed News

5 Examples Of Hands-On, Maker Education In Classrooms EdSurge

Five More Tips For Giving Good Feedback Edutopia


The NYTimes Is Looking For Recent Graduates Who Can Write NYTimes

Ways To Make Reading More Appealing To Students KQED

Longread: On The Convergence Of Literary And Scientific Writing New Atlantis
"Precisely defined terms are often superior to poetic images for the purposes of science, but the opposite is true in our own personal experience in the world -- the poetic image, while more vague, is also more meaningful and a better fit for understanding our own inner lives as well as the messy affairs of politics, history, and ethics."

Most Read Books At Every Grade Level [w/Free Login] Renaissance Learning
"See the top books read by 9.4 million K-12 kids based on data from Renaissance Accelerated Reader."


On the Bizarre Relationship Between Magnets And Copper [video] YouTube

What Exactly Is 1 Second? Discover

How To Sing At A Glass And Break It YouTube/Science Girl

Robot Small Enough To Crawl Inside You To Deliver Medicine New York Times
"Researchers in Germany have developed a robot that is about a seventh of an inch long and looks at first like no more than a tiny strip of something rubbery. Then it starts moving... The robot hasn't been tested in humans yet, but the goal is to improve it for medical use -- for instance, delivering drugs to a target within the body."


Preliminary Data On Current LMS Usage e-Literate

State Of MOOCs, 2018 EdSurge

EdX Is Developing An Online MicroBachelors Degree EdSurge
danah boyd On Managing Mobile Devices With Children NewCo Shift

A Really Good Review Of The Laptop Ban Debate KQED


Is The Comic Strip "Nancy" Actually A Work Of Visual Genius? The Comics Journal


A Terrific Poem And Reflection On Work-Life Balance Austin Kleon


Infographic With "12 Ways To Get Smarter" (i.e. Mental Models) Visual Capitalist

An Extraordinary World Map From 1585, Way Ahead Of Its Time Medium

Everything You Wanted To Know About: Index Cards Quartz

Is Self-Esteem The Reason Why We Procrastinate? Medium

On The Joy And Benefits Of Walking Brain Pickings