March 31 - April 7, 2019

Excellent options this week:

When reading into cognitive science, I encountered the distinction between goal-oriented attention and stimulus-driven attention.  In a digital age, the balance between these two modes has been tipped towards stimuli.  I think of this often in terms of "push notifications" on our phones versus "pulling" information from digital and analog sources.  This week, Austin Kleon describes the same relationship in his post "More Search, Less Feed."

Also of particular interest (in addition to the features) is the reflection on machine learning and the digital humanities.  The author well describes the tension between quantitative disciplines and the humanities, and then meaningfully explores how machine learning is bridging the gap between the two.  Machine learning uses computational methods, but produces results that scientists don't fully understand.

These and other compelling posts... enjoy!



It's The Quality Of Homework, Not The Quantity That Matters  Atlantic
"Research tends to focus on homework’s quantity rather than its quality, because the former is much easier to measure than the latter. While experts generally agree that the substance of an assignment matters greatly (and that a lot of homework is uninspiring busywork), there isn’t a catchall rule for what’s best—the answer is often specific to a certain curriculum or even an individual student. Given that homework’s benefits are so narrowly defined (and even then, contested), it’s a bit surprising that assigning so much of it is often a classroom default, and that more isn’t done to make the homework that is assigned more enriching."

Movement Aids Learning. Here Are Ways To Teach Kinesthetically  Cult of Pedagogy
"The concept of “learning styles” has overwhelmingly been labeled a myth by researchers, so attempting to determine which of your students are kinesthetic learners will not be a good use of your time. What is worth your time is using movement when working with all learners, because plenty of research backs that up."


"Turning The Tide II": How Parents And High Schools Can Reduce Distress In Admissions  Harvard GSE
"[This report] offers guidelines for high schools and parents in promoting ethical character. It also describes how some high schools and colleges are working to promote greater ethical engagement among high school students, level the playing field for economically disadvantaged students, and reduce excessive achievement pressure. The report also includes a pioneering statement from admissions deans seeking to advance Turning the Tide’s goals."



Instead Of Having A Goal, Have A Hypothesis  MIT Sloan Management Review
"Hypotheses force individuals to articulate in advance why they believe a given course of action will succeed. A failure then exposes an incorrect hypothesis — which can more reliably convert into… learning."


Adam Grant: Time Management Is Really Attention Management  New York Times
"If you’re trying to be more productive, don’t analyze how you spend your time. Pay attention to what consumes your attention."


2 Years Later, That Class On "Calling Bullsh*t" Is Thriving  Pacific Standard
"The reason for the class's existence comes down to a simple and somewhat alarming reality: Even the most educated and savvy consumer of information is easily misled in today's complex information ecosystem… By teaching ways to find misinformation in the venues many of us consider pristine realms of expertise—peer-reviewed journals such as Nature, reports by the National Institutes of Health, TED Talks—West and Bergstrom highlight the ultimate paradox of the information age: More and more knowledge is making us less and less reasonable."

Guidelines For A Curriculum That Closes Skills Gaps For Work And Life  THE Journal


A More Comprehensive Report On The Number Of College Closures  e-Literate
"For the first time that I'm aware of, we have visualizations showing combined closures and mergers over time, broken down by sector and degree-type."


English Prof Explores Machine Learning As Tech Intersection With Humanities  Chronicle Of Higher Ed

"It is important for humanists to know how machine learning works, not because we all need to use it, but because it will help us understand why the boundary between quantitative and qualitative reasoning is growing fuzzier. In the past, it was broadly right to assume that numbers couldn’t address the interpretive questions at the center of humanistic disciplines. Math might help scholars reason about literacy rates and book prices, for instance, but it couldn’t reveal much about literary judgment. The rules of that game have genuinely changed. We can see this as a threat, or as a new opening for adventurous questions about the past."

Enter The NYT Student Blackout Poetry Contest By May 9  New York Times


How Debate, Drama, And Extra-Curriculars Can Drive School Change  New York Times


On The Promise Of Teacher Leadership For School Change  Kappan


6 Reasons One-On-One Conferences Help Students  ASCD

5 Elements Of Effective Group Work ("Cooperative Learning")  ASCD


Short Story Vending Machines Now Appearing Around The World  Guardian

"Dispensing one, three and five-minute stories free to passersby at the touch of a button, the vending machines… already feature in locations across France, in Hong Kong and the US."

A Short Reflection On/By Robert Caro, About Writing  Time


On The Relationship Between Proofs, Math, And Storytelling  Hackernoon


"More Search, Less Feed" -- On Being Driven By Goals, Not Stimulus  Austin Kleon

A Comic Strip Approach To How Five "Why"s Get To The Heart Of Things  The Design Team

NYT Fashion Critic Reflects On The History And Future Of Leggings   New York Times

Why And How Hobbies Help You Professionally  JotForm