June 9 - June 16, 2019

An extraordinarily rich week of reading.

Two provocative articles about assessment (one featured), a new curriculum framework by the OECD (with a fresh take on competencies for our current time), two posts about the benefits of modest tech usage in schools (and the risks of heavy tech usage), a pair of posts on how we can best rest during the summer (one for students, one for teachers), and much more.

Happy reading to you as summer warms!



A Deep, Searching Exploration Of The Justice And Merit Of Testing  New York Times
"As a country we have moved past the idea that the basics of a decent life should be hoarded by an aristocracy, a hereditary class with a monopoly on wealth, power and property. Allocating resources on the basis of merit is arguably a better system, or at least, less unjust. Still, it is far from perfect… If we think about cognitive ability testing as a form of lottery, in which the winners are those who possess a certain inherent capacity for processing and analyzing information, without reference to morally salient criteria like goodness, mercy, kindness or courage, we are embarking on a new kind of impoverishment."

McSweeney's Calls For Stories From Young Immigrants (In/From Any Country)  McSweeney's
"What You Need to Know About Me is a new anthology (published by The Hawkins Project, co-founded by Dave Eggers) that highlights the experiences of young people (ages 11-24) who have immigrated from one country to another… Of our contributors, we want to know: How has the experience of migration impacted your life? What have been the gifts and challenges of such a life-changing move? But most of all: What do we need to know about you?"


Can Virtual College Advising Help Rural Students?  Hechinger Report


Alfie Kohn: "Why Can't Everyone Get A's?"  New York Times
"Framing excellence in these competitive terms doesn’t lead to improvements in performance. Indeed, a consistent body of social science research shows that competition tends to hold us back from doing our best. It creates an adversarial mentality that makes productive collaboration less likely, encourages gaming of the system and leads all concerned to focus not on meaningful improvement but on trying to outdo (and perhaps undermine) everyone else."


Principal Learns To Shuffle Dance. Leads Whole School In Exercise [Video]  YouTube


Reflections On Building Confidence  EdSurge


A Reminder Of Four Reliable Pedagogical Design Principles  Cult Of Pedagogy

"Teens Get More Sleep, Feel More Engaged When School Starts Later."  PsychCentral


A Tribute To The Index Card As Creative Tool  Medium

"Writers Are More Prolific When They Cluster"  CityLab


OECD Offers A Fresh Take On Essential Competencies, Focused On Agency  OECD

"When a student holds the learning compass, he or she is exercising agency, the capacity to set a goal, reflect, and act responsibly to effect change, to act rather than be acted upon."

Panelists In Tech Share How The Arts Helped Their Success  EdSurge


Lee Bollinger, 1st Amendment Scholar, Reflects On Free Speech In Universities  Atlantic
"In light of the long evolution of free expression in the United States, we should be careful drawing conclusions based on a handful of sensationalist incidents on campus—incidents sometimes manufactured for their propaganda value. They shed no light on the current reality of university culture."


Was Shakespeare A Woman? Scholars Respond.  Atlantic
"The piece sparked great interest in Bassano’s life and curiosity about women’s literary contributions in Shakespeare’s era, the challenges facing Shakespeare biographers, and feminist themes in the work. It also generated dissent, most notably the argument that the piece did not pay sufficient attention to the scholarly consensus that any case for anyone other than Shakespeare is conjectural."

"Doing History" Is Hard And Requires Specific Skills (cf. Journalism)  Washington Post

A History Of The Novel 1984, And Commentary  Atlantic


"Online Classes Look To Improve Higher Ed Across Africa, But Face Skepticism"  New York Times


Some Efforts To Reconstruct The Sound Of Old English, Even Casual Speech  Open Culture


On Using Silence In Meetings (Making Them More Like Classes)  Harvard Business Review


3 Kinds Of Play, And Their Many Benefits  Harvard GSE


A Visualization Of All Current Spacecraft Explorations  Kottke

Wolfram Language Now Open To Developers, Open Function Design  Stephen Wolfram


Everything You Wanted To Know About: Tiny Houses  Quartz


Modest Computer Use In School Is Good. Heavy Use Correlates With Less Learning  Pacific Standard
"Across most countries, a low to moderate use of school technology was generally associated with better performance, relative to students reporting no computer use at all… But students who reported a high use of school technology trailed behind peers who reported moderate use."

Tablet Use In All Classes Associated With Lower Reading Skills  Hechinger Report
"The study found that the more hours American students spent daily on computers doing English language arts, the lower their reading scores. That was true for both fourth-grade and eighth-grade students and across school poverty levels. Math scores didn’t deteriorate as much as computer usage increased. Previous research has generally shown more promise for education technology in math than in reading."

Audrey Watters Resurfaces (Briefly) After Six Months Writing  Hack Education
"I can promise you, ed-tech is not changing faster than it’s ever changed before. The people who want you to think that are hoping that they can wind you up and spin you ’round and knock you off center so that you’ll be less able to stand firm and resist their “disruption.”"

Mary Meeker's 2019 Internet Trends Report  Bond Partners
"At 3.8B, the number of Internet users comprises more than half the world’s population."

Deepfakes Are Coming. We Can No Longer Believe What We See."  New York Times
"This time we knew the video was fake because we had access to the original. But with future deepfakes, there won’t be any original to compare them to. To know whether a disputed video is real, we’ll need to know who made it."

From Deepfakes To Cheapfakes: Making Disinformation Is Getting Easier  Slate

Feldstein Offers A Meditation On The Evolving LMS Scene (i.e. Canvas)  e-Literate

What Makes Your School Website Great? Results.  Inside Higher Ed


"Psychologists Recommend Children Be Bored In The Summer"  Quartz
"This same theory was put forward in 1930 by philosopher Bertrand Russell, who devoted a chapter of his book ‘The Conquest of Happiness’ to the potential value of boredom. Imagination and capacity to cope with boredom must be learnt as a child."

A Short History Of Ampersands  Quartz
"It began life as a shortcut for scribes and proved just as useful for early typesetters, eventually working its way into the English alphabet as the 27th letter. We collectively dropped it from the ABCs, and the decline of handwriting and manual typesetting made it less useful. But its flexibility and grace have kept it on our business cards and movie posters."

Adversarial Interoperability: One Way To Work With Enemies  Boing Boing

If You're Going To Do Restorative Justice, Do It Right."  EdWeek

4 Tips For Rejuvenating Yourself During The Summer  EdWeek

"The Restaurant Owner Who Asked For 1-Star Yelp Reviews"  The Hustle

An Oral History Of The Fender Stratocaster  Guitar

2019 National Geographic Travel Photo Contest Winners  National Geographic