April 14 - April 21, 2019

An excellent week!

Athena Summer Fellowship applications are open.

Also, a great week for pedagogy articles, some varying perspectives on lockdown drills, and in the feature section, an interesting study about the benefits of teaching design thinking methods to students.

Lastly, another link to our Hamilton-inspired musical.  It including links to pop/hip-hop remixes of a history discussion class, a physics project-based class, and a pun-filled math class.



April 21, 2019

Dear Readers,

An invitation: Athena is looking for excellent, passionate, and diverse high school humanities teachers for a limited number of Summer Fellowships.  Ideal candidates are English, History, Humanities, or Religion/Philosophy teachers hungry to find and join communities of educators with shared interests, teachers eager to share their best and favorite assignments, classroom activities and discussion questions, teachers excited to offer feedback to help others.

This year, the Athena Summer Fellowship will have three tracks: learners, sharers, and editors.  Learners aim to use Athena primarily to learn and borrow from other teachers’ ideas. This is ideal for new teachers, teachers feeling isolated, or teachers seeking to reinvigorate their practice.  Sharers aim to share their own material on Athena, garner feedback on it, and reshape it as they prepare for another school year. This is ideal for teachers taking on new courses, reshaping old curricula, or searching for new approaches to the classroom.  Editors aim to add their own well-loved lessons to Athena, and are also interested in helping to shape and organize the Athena site itself. This is ideal for teachers who have tried-and-true work to share and who want to help build a collective knowledge base.

Athena Summer Fellowships are not geographically restricted; teachers can participate from any location with reliable internet access.  Fellowships have a flexible weekly schedule (5-7 hours/week) and include a $500 stipend. Here’s what teachers have said about their experience during the past two summers:

  • “I haven’t had a more authentic and rewarding professional development experience as a teacher”
  • “It’s been a great way for me to be thinking about curriculum over the summer… I’ve been much more connected to my teaching… I already have things I’m planning to steal.”
  • “This experience was a great example of how truly constructive criticism can build community and encourage even better work to take place.  I felt validated by my fellow teachers.”
Do you know teachers who might be interested in joining the 2019 Summer Fellowship cohort? Find more information online, download a PDF overview to share, or apply now. Applications close May 13. Responses by May 20.

Please forward this invitation to anyone you think might be a good fit.

Thank you!


April 14 - April 21, 2019


Does Teaching Design Thinking Strategies Durably Improve Performance?  Stanford
"The study, published in the Journal of Learning Sciences on April 15, found that students applied the strategies they had learned to entirely new problems, without prompting, and that they also performed better on projects. Notably, the biggest benefits went to low-achieving students."

Sal Khan: Technological Literacy Is Necessary To Equalize Our World  USA Today
"Free mass public education empowered nearly everyone with the historically scarce skills of reading and numeracy. But in an economy defined by artificial intelligence and robotics, people will need much more than literacy and numeracy."


Test-Optional Admission Policies Are Gaining Momentum  University Business


Worse Than The Absence Of Empathy Might Be Selective Empathy  KQED


The Cognitive Science Of How Misinformation Works  Nieman Lab
"Fake news often relies on misattribution — instances in which we can retrieve things from memory but can’t remember their source."


Going Deeper On What’s Good And Bad About Cultural Appropriation  New York Times

"In the end, determining when cultural appropriation is O.K. can feel as if it requires a delicate calculus, more holistic than binary. It’s understandable that as a result, we’ve landed on treating cultural appropriation as a bad habit to be trained out of us; often it feels easier not to engage at all. But this balancing act is worth performing. Because the bad-habit model is not only exhausting; the result is often that people are so afraid of appearing “bad” that they self-censor good-faith impulses to try something new. Ironically, in doing so, they learn less about other cultures."

Who Owns The Work Created By An AI Taught By One Artist’s Oeuvre?  The Verge


Pre-K For Some Helped Elementary Performance For All  Chalkbeat


Adults Speaking Like Children Is Good For Language  Atlantic


What 11 Universities Learned From Sharing Student Data  Education Dive

Google's Leadership Evaluation Questionnaire  Inc.

"Writing Positive Notes to Kids – Part of our Faculty Meeting”  Connected Principals


A Reflection On The Role Of Video In Teaching  EdSurge

Montessori Education As Primer For Self-Directed Learning  Hechinger Report

One Teachers Story Of Using Hip-Hop To Help Kids Share Themselves  EdSurge

Middle School Teachers: Reading Aloud To Students Is Good At All Ages  School News Network

“Art Can Make Science Easier To Remember”  Science News for Students


Teacher: “Active Shooter Drills In Schools Do More Harm Than Good”  WGBH

"How Effective Are Lockdown Drills?”  NPR


Mathematicians Improve And Perfect Multiplication (Of Huge Numbers)  Quanta
"Four thousand years ago, the Babylonians invented multiplication. Last month, mathematicians perfected it."


"The Last Ripe Hass” - Absurdist Dystopian Climate Change Thriller  Vimeo


“People Wearing AirPods Are Making Things Awkward For Everyone Else”  BuzzFeed

The Founder Of Twitter Doesn’t Use A Computer  Inc.

Maybe The Advantages Of Smartphones Outweigh The Disadvantages?  Inside Higher Ed


Helvetica Gets A Reboot  It's Nice That


Buildings Impact The Learning That Happens Inside Them  EdWeek


Historical Figures With Modern Haircuts. Fascinating.  Digg

Revisiting Maslow’s Hierarchy Of Needs. Is It Right?  Quartz

A Salad-Making Companies Calls Itself A Tech Company. Wait, What?  Inc.

Sharing again: I’m really proud of the cast of our Hamilton-inspired musical. Haven’t seen it yet?  Check it out here. Not up for the whole thing? Jump to the classes section for a pop/hip-hop remix of history class, physics class, or a really pun-filled math class.