May 5 - May 12, 2019

An excellent week across a range of topics.  And: only 2 more days to apply for Athena Summer Fellowships.

The feature article on low-stakes, casual acquaintances -- and all that the article details about them -- resonates for me.  I think there's something really important in this article.  Also, it provides a fascinating juxtaposition to the current strain of writing against social media, such as the post further down about digital minimalism and the attention economy.  Perhaps, as ever, it's not a binary good or bad verdict for social networks, but a  how-you-use-it verdict.

The second feature, on the needs of adolescents, not only distills 40 interviews into five key findings, but also digs further into those findings to suggest practical steps to address those needs.  This is a strong act of synthesis that yields more than simple and familiar truisms about how to work with teens.

Many other excellent links, including a fixed link to the Creativity Type test that was included last week.




Athena Summer Fellowship Applications close tomorrow: Monday, 5/13 at 11:59pm ET.

Humanities teachers: Are you in search of feedback on your work?  Are you looking for new ways to approach the topics you're teaching?  Are you hoping to create, revise, or simply stay in touch with your curriculum over the summer, and on a flexible and part-time basis?  If so, check out this two-page summary of the Athena Summer Fellowship, and then apply here.

For more information about Athena, see the video below:



“Why You Need A Network Of Low-Stakes, Casual Friendships”  New York Times
"The more weak ties a person has (neighbors, a barista at the neighborhood coffee shop or fellow members in a spin class), the happier they feel. Maintaining this network of acquaintances also contributes to one’s sense of belonging to a community, researchers found."

40 Interviews, 5 Findings: What Teens Say They Need  ASCD
"I recently interviewed over 40 teens in grades 6 through 12 and asked them, "What do you need from schools to feel supported both academically and socially?" I share their responses, both honest and illuminating, here."


"When Character Is Center Stage, Teens Rise Up”  ASCD
"A compelling curriculum that puts character at the core promotes equity, empowers students through active learning protocols, and studies character through real-world and literary examples. Such curriculum creates opportunities to connect texts to local issues, takes students out into the community, and builds students' capacity to give back to their community."

On Using Mantras In The Modern World  Quartz
"“Right now it’s like this,” works as a mantra… It doesn’t solve any practical problems. But it does get you into the right mental state to contemplate your situation calmly. It helps make you responsive, not reactive."


“Why Your Brain Needs Idle Time”  Medium

“You're Not Getting Enough Sleep — And It's Killing You”  Wired


"Getting Creative Really Does Boost Your Mood”  BBC
"Almost 50,000 people took part in the BBC Arts Great British Creativity Test. It suggested that being creative can help avoid stress, free up mind space and improve self-development, which helps build self-esteem. The findings also said there are emotional benefits from taking part in even a single session of creativity."

What Kind Of Creative Type Are You? Take The Test Here. [Fixed Link]  My Creative Type
[Direct Link]


An Excellent Photo and Text Essay On The Value Of Dance  Stanford


How We Began To Develop A Modern Conception Of History And Time  Aeon


“What You Can (And Can’t) Learn From A Language App”  New York Times


What Is The Chief Of Staff Role (In Tech)? Does It Make Sense In Education?  Medium

Grant Lichtman: Four Issues That School Leaders Think Most About  NAIS

Servant Leadership As The Path To Earning Trust  Inc.

Three Priorities For Becoming A Strategic Leader  MIT Sloan Management Review


"Personalized Learning Wasn’t Invented By Silicon Valley”  Hechinger Report
"In 1907, a teacher from Italy proposed a new vision for the modern classroom… She designed a teaching style intended to identify and cultivate the unique potential, interests and aspirations of each learner. She named it after herself: the Montessori Method."

“Project-Based Learning Boosts Student Engagement, Understanding”  Hechinger Report

A Three Step Model For Critical Thinking  Harvard Business Review


Maybe Storytelling Is Actually Inhibiting Cultural Progress?  Medium
"The progression from a (nearly) innate theory of mind to a fixation on stories — narrative — was made in only a few short steps. We went from explaining how and why we did things in the present, to explaining how and why we did things in the past, to explaining how and why others did things in the present, then the past, and finally to explaining how others did things with, to, against, and for still others."


“Digital Minimalism” And “How To Do Nothing” — On The Attention Economy  New Yorker


How Flocks Of Birds Can Inform Autonomous Vehicles  Stanford
"No one tells birds and other animals how to move together without colliding. Can we examine their behavior to help autonomous vehicles navigate highways and skyways?"

A Program To Connect Local High Tech Workers With HS CS Classes  The 74 Million


Quizbot: The Beginning Of AI Tutors  Stanford
"QuizBot is a new spin on the chatbot formula. It posits factual questions via text, much like a teacher. The student types in answers, asks clarifying questions and requests hints. QuizBot then comprehends and responds conversationally, as if another human is on the other side."

2019 Global Startup Ecosystem Is Its Best And Most Comprehensive Yet  Startup Genome

An Effort To Summarize The Good And Bad Of Education Technology  Brookings


On The Challenges Of Implementing Restorative Justice Models  Hechinger Report

Schools Enlist Students To Work On IT Tech Support  AP News