April 15 - April 22, 2018

Many thought-provoking pieces this week: on pedagogy, on leadership, and more.  Some highlights:

A friend shared Starbucks' response to the incident of racial bias that appeared in one of their stores.  As he noted, their response is a model for an enlightened approach to inclusion.  Their responses to the comments are as, if not more, instructive than the larger actions themselves.

Several interesting articles about the intersection of community and social media.

Also, several years ago, I interviewed a recent college graduate for a teaching position in the English Department, and he had written a critical analysis of a video game--he had close read it like a poem.  Are video games a new form of narrative exposition--or narrative exploration?  See the Edutopia article below.

Lastly, the feature article by Cal Newport, while it is somewhat cold and technical in its language, is extraordinarily important for complex work like teaching. Newport is an evangelist for monotasking, and this is a sharp application of that principle.



danah boyd: Critical Thinking Can't Solve Everything [video] SXSWedu/YouTube
"No matter what worldview or way of knowing someone holds dear, they always believe that they are engaging in critical thinking when they're developing a sense of right and wrong... Much of what they conclude may be rooted in the way of knowing more than any specific source of information. That's true for all of us. If we're not careful, media literacy and critical thinking will simply be deployed in the classroom as an assertion of authority over epistemology. Right now, the conversation about fact-checking has already devolved to suggest that there is only one truth."

More Than Mission And Management, Teachers Need Clear Headspace Cal Newport
"What I mean by my above claim is that knowledge work management cannot stop at the boundary of the black box: providing workers only shared objectives and the tools/information needed to act on these objectives. It must also consider what occurs inside the box -- setting up cultures, workflows, and environments optimized to help the human brain act on these objectives with maximum effectiveness."


Is Juul Vaping No Longer Cool? The Cut

Improving Academic Advising Requires More Than Just Better Data EdSurge

"We know students benefit from dedicated staff and faculty who care about their individual success. We know students benefit from timely and frequent interactions with advisors. We know students need help with goal setting, navigating our complex structures, and reflective practice. We know students come to us with backgrounds, experiences, goals, and identities that are unique to each student and need to be recognized, honored, and celebrated as such. And finally, we know students come to us confused about how their education relates to their future goals, dreams, passions, and career aspirations."


8 Tips For Developing Empathy IdeoU

3 More Ways To Build Empathy ASCD


Does Our Cognition Improve When We Walk And Stand? New York Times

"9 Lessons From Brain Science" (On Page 2) Forbes

School Offers Cognitive Science Sessions For Parents Wicked Local


Rilke On Creativity Brain Pickings
"In the course of creative endeavors, artists and scientists join fragments of knowledge into a new unity of understanding."

Adobe Funds A Study On Creative Problem Solving In Schools Adobe Educate


Does Embedding Computer Science Lessons Increase Student Success? THE Journal


Starbucks Goes All In On Inclusion After Race Incident (See Comments) Facebook
"It's important for all of us to address our biases. That's why we'll be making our education materials available to other companies, for use with their employees and leadership."

"Why Men Quit And Women Don't" New York Times
"Finishing rates varied significantly by gender. For men, the dropout rate was up almost 80 percent from 2017; for women, it was up only about 12 percent. Overall, 5 percent of men dropped out, versus just 3.8 percent of women. The trend was true at the elite level, too."

"What #MeToo Means To Teenagers" New York Times


SNHU Expands Offerings To International Refugee Camps Inside Higher Ed


Can We Read Video Games As Texts? Edutopia

Google Opens Access To 3D Archive Of World Heritage Sites Google


On How Being A Polymath Makes Better Leaders. Some Tips. Medium

50 Questions For Aspiring CEOs McKinsey

"How To Lose Your Best Employees" Harvard Business Review

How One State Assesses School Progress Towards Competency Learning nh.gov


How Post-Exam Reviews Can Enhance Learning Faculty Focus

Two-Stage Exams: Take It Once Solo, Then A 2nd Time In A Group Univ. Brit. Col.
"Our research group has published the results of two studies on two-stage exams. One looks at student retention of content... And the second looks at student experiences."

Direct Instruction May Diminish Curiosity Slate

Making Classwork Personally Relevant Increases Engagement PLOS One
"We found that personal microbiome analysis significantly enhanced the engagement and interest of students while completing the microbiome assignments, the self-reported time students spent researching the microbiome during the two week microbiome unit, and the attitudes of students regarding the course overall."


Amazon Requires Employees To Present Ideas In Writing, Not Slides Quartz

"The great memos are written and re-written, shared with colleagues who are asked to improve the work, set aside for a couple of days, and then edited again with a fresh mind. They simply can't be done in a day or two."


Online Community: Social Poverty In A Time Of Surplus Connection New York Times
"It's not only that heavy social media users are sadder. It's not only that online life seems to heighten painful comparisons and both inflate and threaten the ego. It's that heavy internet users are much less likely to have contact with their proximate neighbors to exchange favors and extend care. There's something big happening to the social structure of neighborhoods."

"What Good Is 'Community' When Someone Else Makes All The Rules?" NY Times


Are Electric Scooters A Sustainable Transportation Solution? New York Times

"UK Sets New Record By Going Without Coal For 55 Hours" CBS News


Is Tech Engagement Necessary To Prepare For An Automated Future? Wharton

"A Beginner's Guide To Taking Great Video On Your Phone" New York Times

AI Makes Paintings That Look Like The Masters Fast Company

Many Insights: "The Future Of Well-Being In A Tech-Saturated World" Pew Research
"Pew Research Center and Elon University's Imagining the Internet Center queried technology experts, scholars and health specialists on this question: Over the next decade, how will changes in digital life impact people's overall well-being physically and mentally? Some 1,150 experts responded in this non-scientific canvassing."


A Stunning Montage Of Aerial Photos Of Human-Made Landscape Geometry Vimeo


A Collection Of Dress Code Blunders By Schools New York Times

"It's not clear whether the rise we're seeing in advocacy around the issue of dress code is because schools are imposing them in more discriminatory ways now than they were before, or whether more students are feeling empowered to speak up and complain about discriminatory dress codes."


Details On The Inner Workings Of A High Performing Charter School Larry Cuban

The Resume: A Brief History, Some Questions, And Possible Futures Quartz

What Does It Mean To Work From First Principles? Farnam Street