March 10 - March 17, 2019

What a week!  Grit and growth mindset in the classroom re-examined, what social media platforms kids are using, college news (of course), and more.

The feature article on mind-controlled drones is fascinating, but isn't about technology in the end. As the pull quote suggests, it's about self-control and mindfulness... and how that, in a tech-saturated and enhanced future, will be increasingly more important.  The article has more layers than first glance might suggest.

Re: the college admissions scandal.  Clearly it's big news, but it's not really usable news for educators.  I try to include posts that can inform a decision, inspire action, contextualize a practice, or otherwise improve and uplift the work we do in schools.  This one, well, the best headline I saw was something like: "How to ensure your children don't succeed in college and life."  So, instead of a post on the scandal, check out the article on "Snowplow parenting" -- which does relate in the end.

Looking for a good physics/math brainteaser?  Or, interested in seeing what happens when physicists get technical with each other?  Check out the (really interesting) STEM article on Mercury, and then read the comments.

These and many more: enjoy!



“I Moved A Drone With My Mind. Soon Your Students Will Too.” Brookings
"Take a deep breath and try again,” said the young man, encouraging me in true Yoda fashion. “UP, UP, UP,” I thought, fixing my mind on the drove. And, amazingly, up it went. Hovering here and there and lurching around a bit, but most certainly skyward. After 30 seconds of amazing drone control, I’d had enough. I stopped repeating “up” but the drone kept flying. “Close your eyes” said the young man. I did and the drone immediately fell to the table. Afterward, one thing struck me. The future belongs not just to those who can write algorithms but to those who can control their thoughts."

Is Teaching Growth Mindsets Effective?  A Lengthy Exploration.  Aeon
"Recent evidence would suggest that growth mindset interventions are not the elixir of student learning that many of its proponents claim it to be… It is hard to dispute that having a self-belief in their own capacity for change is a positive attribute for students. Paradoxically, however, that aspiration is not well served by direct interventions that try to instill it. Yet creating a culture in which students can believe in the possibility of improving their intelligence through their own purposeful effort is something few would disagree with. Perhaps growth mindset works best as a philosophy and not an intervention."


Your Guide To Really, Really Short Workouts  New York Times
"High-intensity interval training — referred to as H.I.I.T. — is based on the idea that short bursts of strenuous exercise can have a big impact on the body. If moderate exercise — like a 20-minute jog — is good for your heart, lungs and metabolism, H.I.I.T. packs the benefits of that workout and more into a few minutes."


“How Inuit Parents Teach Kids To Control Their Anger"  NPR

Duckworth Reflects On And Contextualizes Grit  Hechinger Report

Know What You Don't Know, And Share It  Character Lab


Some Reminders On How Motivation Works  Harvard GSE

Strong Attendance Certificates Backfire (See: Rewards)  EdWeek


Textbook Choice Alone Does Not Improve Student Outcomes  Harvard 
"At current levels of classroom implementation, we do not see evidence of differences in achievement growth for schools using different elementary math textbooks and curricula. It is possible that, with greater supports for classroom implementation, the advantages of certain texts would emerge, but that remains to be seen."



Why Diverse Teams Are Necessary  Farnam Street
"Diversity is necessary in the workplace to generate creativity and innovation. It’s also necessary to get the job done. Teams with members from different backgrounds can attack problems from all angles and identify more possible solutions than teams whose members think alike."


Trade Schools Are An Increasingly Viable Alternative To College  Popular Mechanics


"A Framework For Teaching American Slavery - From Teaching Tolerance"  History Tech


Low Cost Private Schools Are Growing In The Global South  Bright


How One Company Keeps A Near-100% Employee Retention Rate  Inc.
"We make it part of every manager's responsibility to sit down and have one-to-ones with employees where the manager comes only with questions, and it's the manager's job to empathize and to learn."

How Your Leadership Style Adjusts To A Growing Team  Harvard Business Review


"Movement And Breathing Breaks Help Students Stay Focused On Learning”  KQED

A Teacher Reflects On How Allowing Resubmissions Changed Classroom Culture  EdSurge


Instapoetry (Poetry On Instagram) Continues To Grow -- And Spark Debate  New Statesman
"The quality varies, but there is plenty of comically or offensively banal work to be found on Instagram: genuinely insightful or distinctive work is the exception, not the rule. The same tropes and themes appear again and again: lower-case platitudes in typewriter fonts; earnest insistence of the importance of self-love; writing in the second person; petals, rainbows and coffee stains sneaking on to pages. Most monetise their output by selling merchandise (from Atticus’s wine and Rupi Kaur canvas prints to r.h. Sin’s clothing range) and tour tickets."


"The Hottest Chat App for Teens Is … Google Docs”  Atlantic

You Should Know What TikTok Is (Especially In Elementary And Middle School)  Quartz

Here’s The NYT’s Much Longer Examination Of TikTok  New York Times


The Nearest Planet To Earth Is… Mercury?  Yes.  On Average.  Physics Today
"Mercury is closer to Earth, on average, than Venus is because it orbits the Sun more closely. Further, Mercury is the closest neighbor, on average, to each of the other seven planets in the solar system."

A Deep Look At The Growing Appeal Of AP Computer Science Principles  The 74 Million

The Long History Of Women Writing Code - And How It Changed  New York Times

For Pi Day: Here’s A Reflection On The History And Meaning Of Pi  New York Times

The Fascinating Physics Of Why Microwaved Grapes Explode  New York Times

Five TED Talks On A Theme: Don’t Fear Math  NPR


What Is “Artificial General Intelligence,” The Next Stage Of AI Growth?  1843 Magazine

A Visualization Of Every Minute Of Internet Activity  Visual Capitalist

“Can A Neuroscience Video Game Treat ADHD?”  EdSurge


Some Thoughts On Designing Your Environment For Greater Productivity  Medium


On Snowplow Parenting  New York Times
"Snowplowing has gone so far, they say, that many young people are in crisis, lacking these problem-solving skills and experiencing record rates of anxiety. There are now classes to teach children to practice failing, at college campuses around the country and even for preschoolers."

Should Schools Teach Poker? A Cognitive Science Writer Says Yes  EdSurge

What Wikipedia Can Teach Us About Finding Truth In Polarized Times  Nautlius