August 12 - August 19, 2018

A wonderful week for articles to prompt beginning of year discussions.

What is the literary canon?  What ought it be?  We're in a time of re-evaluation.  Two articles in the Humanities section explore this question.

The tech article on deepfakes, AI's increasing ability to fabricate video of people, points to a future dystopia in which alternate realities increasingly confront us online.  The conclusion of the article -- that the solution lies in good old critical thinking -- is something educators have known for a while.  You can't automate making people better.  It requires time, care, and relationships -- and it starts over with every student. This is the personal, caring work of being a teacher.

See more of this in the importance of presence in Sherry Turkle's feature article.  (But also see the promise of human-tech integration later on.)

And then again: last week, I posted an article that described "Snapchat Dysphoria," a play on words from a disorder described in this week's article describing Snapchat's potential to foster body dysmorphic disorder. The invention of new names is a certain indicator we're wrestling with something new. What does it mean when people are increasingly drawn to -- or duped into -- digital (mis)representations of reality?

There's some uplifting writing, too.  How about the college president who spent two nights in a dormitory during freshman orientation? That's a student-centered approach.

Lots to think on!  Enjoy!



Turkle: Presence Matters. Machines Cannot Provide Artificial Intimacy  New York Times
"Years ago I spoke with a 16-year-old girl who was considering the idea of having a computer companion in the future, and she described the upside to me. It's not that the robot she imagined, a vastly more sophisticated Siri, was so inspiring. It's that she'd already found people to be so disappointing. And now, for the first time, she explained to me, people have options. Back then I thought her comments seemed prescient. Now I find them timely."

How To Craft Your Teaching Job So It Can Be The Best It Can Be For You  ASCD
"We make countless choices to change how we interact with our job. Each of these choices influences how we feel about teaching. Psychologists call these choices 'job crafting.' Job crafting, say psychologists Amy Wresniewski and Jane E. Dutton, is the actions employees take to redesign their work in order to foster engagement, satisfaction, resilience, and thriving. This means being intentional about how we engage with the tasks, people, and purpose that compose our careers."


"About 1 in 4 Young Adults Use Marijuana" Gallup


On The Benefits Of Exercise For Aging Well (Via Karate)  New York Times

"Exercise, participate in mentally challenging activities, and eat a healthful diet. The latest research suggests social connections are important as well."


Five Principles: "The Science Of What Makes People Care"  Stanford Social Innovation Review
"Effective communication is not simply about getting your message out. It requires you to strategically tap into what shapes people's feelings and values. Here we share five principles pulled from social science that will help you connect your work to what people care most about."

"5 Thoughts On Self-Help"  Austin Kleon

"Talking About Failure... Here's How To Do It Right"  New York Times

Exploring Both Sides Of Whether You Should "Follow Your Passion"  Medium

Thoughtfully Challenging (Or Contextualizing) Grit And Growth Mindset  AMLE

A Deck Of Cards With Phrases To Encourage Resilience  Swissmiss


An Interview About How Smell Affects Us  Quartz

"An Underappreciated Key To College Success: Sleep" New York Times


On The Role Of Chores In Early Childhood  New York Times

"Children who help more at home feel a larger sense of obligation and connectedness to their parents, and that connection helps them weather life's stressful moments -- in other words, it helps them be happier."


Frank Bruni On How To Be Intentional In College  New York Times
"I asked Mitchell scholars if there was a department or discipline that they wished they had paid more heed. Science majors mentioned humanities. Humanities majors mentioned computer science and statistics. In retrospect, if not in real time, intellectually curious people appreciate and want the benefits of balance. So incorporate it, to some degree, in your college years."

NYU School Of Medicine Goes Tuition-Free  Chronicle of Higher Education

"Akron Will Phase Out 80 Degree Programs, Open New eSports Facilities"  Chron. of Higher Ed

Alternatives: "How To Get A Degree Without Going To University"  Guardian


A List Of Latin American Texts -- And The Canonical Texts They Can Replace  Remezcla
"Below is a list of nine books that you can read in addition to (or, we don't want to tell you not to do your homework, buuuut...) the canonical texts on your curriculum. And remember, the best part of making your own curriculum is debating and amending it, so have at it in the comments."

Value The Canon, Sure, But Recognize The Strength Of New, Diverse Poetry Forms  Atlantic
"More than a few of this generation's bright lights found poetry first through performance, or come from communities where 'spoken word' and 'poetry' are not separate lanes. Other poets have shown a talent for building an audience in less embodied ways."

"2017 Notable Poetry Books For Children"  NCTE


College President Spends Two Nights In Freshman Dorm During Orientation  Chron. Higher Ed

"One of my senior leaders, the vice president of student affairs, and I had been talking about how to make ourselves much more student-centered in every aspect of the school. He suggested it'd be good and informative for me to spend a couple of nights during orientation week with the freshmen, and it coincided with the fact that this is my first freshman class that I'll be with for the entire year. I immediately thought, 'This is a brilliant idea,' and said yes."

On The Benefits Of Calling Parents When Good Things Happen, Too  ASCD


The Best Teachers Seek Peer Advice. Weaker Teachers Don't.  British Psychological Society

Online Professional Development For Teachers Is Growing  eSchool News


Tips For Encouraging Kids To Read  Quartz
"Parents looking to encourage reading look out for environments that are 'impoverished' -- that is, places where kids might be a bit bored -- and fill those spaces up with books."

Three Reasons To Keep A Diary  Austin Kleon

"Books Are The Only Form Of Physical Media Whose Sales Are Growing"  Strategy-Business

Formatically: A Really, Really, Really Easy To Use Citation Tool  Larry Ferlazzo


A Deep Look At SES Differences In Facebook/Social Media Use  Quartz
"While only one-third of kids from families with higher incomes said they are on Facebook, Pew reported recently, a much larger share of teens from lower-income backgrounds... said that they still use the platform... A 2015 Pew Research Center survey also found that higher-income teens hang out with their close friends in person at a higher rate than kids from low-income households."

More On The Risks Of Snapchat Selfie Filters  Vox
"Edited and filtered photos can exacerbate body dysmorphic disorder, the relentless fixation with a perceived flaw in appearance... 'The pervasiveness of these filtered images can take a toll on one's self-esteem, make one feel inadequate for not looking a certain way in the real world, and may even act as a trigger and lead to body dysmorphic disorder."

On Why Kids Have Finstas And Rinstas (Fake And Real Socia Media Accounts)  Quartz

Tufekci: Five Lessons From The Rise Of Social Media In Political Culture  MIT Tech Review


"There Is No Tech Solution To Deepfakes"  Vice
"The Department of Defense can't save us. Technology won't save us. Being more critically-thinking humans might save us, but that's a system that's lot harder to debug than an AI algorithm."

Some Social Studies Classes Experiment With VR Exploration  The Messenger

"We Are Merging With Robots. That's A Good Thing."  New York Times

"The Best Educational YouTube Channels For Kids"  EdExcellence


Infographic Explanation Of Computational Design  Visual Capitalist


4 Day School Week. 18,000 Student Denver District Drops Mondays  Inc.


David Remnick On Aretha Franklin  New Yorker
"What distinguishes her is not merely the breadth of her catalogue or the cataract force of her vocal instrument; it's her musical intelligence, her way of singing behind the beat, of spraying a wash of notes over a single word or syllable, of constructing, moment by moment, the emotional power of a three-minute song. 'Respect' is as precise an artifact as a Ming vase."

The 2018 Horizon Report Is Out (Higher Ed Edition)...  Educause

...Audrey Watters On The History Of The Horizon Report  Hack Education

"Paradoxes Of Efficiency In Education"  Larry Cuban

"A Running Tally Of Items... Asked For At The Circulation Desk"  Literary Hub