January 19 - January 26, 2020

Some extraordinary posts this week.

In addition to the feature articles, several remarkable developments stand out:

Read about Textio, the "augmented writing" business tool that allows HR offices to enter just a few words to describe a desired candidate, and the software writes paragraphs to flesh out the idea.  It won't be long before this kind of tool is in the hands of students.  I'm avoiding a value judgment on the prospect of this.

Also, the corporate world is catching on to the importance of diversity in the workplace.  Now Goldman Sachs has signaled that it won't help companies make initial public offerings if their boards don't have a minimal requirement for diversity. 

Last, the juxtaposition between parent perception of teenage gaming and the growing role of gaming in schools and colleges offers a striking look at what it means to live in rapidly changing times.

It's an extraordinary, evolving world and time we are living in.


Peter Nilsson
King's Academy


An Excellent, Short Reflection On How Cognitive Science Can Help Teachers SchoolsWeek
“Cognitive science does not provide a recipe for what teachers should do, but rather should inform their repertoire of approaches. And of course, it forms only one part of teachers’ extensive knowledge and expertise.”

Is The Scientific Community Placing Collaboration Above Darwin’s Natural Selection? Slate
“Put simply, life is beginning to look ever more complex and ever more collaborative. All this has fractured Western biology’s consensus on Darwin. In response to all these new insights, some biologists instinctively defend Darwin, an ingrained impulse from years of championing his work against creationists. Others, like Margulis herself, feel Darwin had something to offer, at least in understanding the animal world, but argue his theories were simplified and elevated to a doctrine in the generations after his passing.”



What Do Parents Think (And Do) About Their Kids’ Video Game Habits? Reuters
“While 71% of parents believe video games may have a positive impact on their teen, many parents also reported that gaming interferes with other aspects of daily life. Almost half of parents say gaming “sometimes” or “frequently” gets in the way of teens’ activities with family, and 46% of parents think gaming takes time away from sleep.”

MIT: Winning Youth Essay On Technology MIT Technology Review
“Don’t tell us technology has ruined our inner lives. Tell us to write a poem. Or make a sketch. Or sew fabric together. Or talk about how social media helps us make sense of the world and those around us. Perhaps social-media selfies aren’t the fullest representations of ourselves. But we’re trying to create an integrated identity. We’re striving not only to be seen, but to see with our own eyes.”


Duckworth: How Attention Is Related To Self Control Character Lab
“Try taking charge of your attention. Avert your gaze from whatever tempts you. Focus instead on whatever makes achieving your goals easier. Your future self will thank you for it.”


“Americans Rank a Google Internship Over A Harvard Degree” Forbes


“Goldman To Refuse IPOs If All Directors Are White, Straight Men” Bloomberg


Does Pop Culture Evolve At The Same Rate As Birds And Bugs? Wired
“For both groups, Leroi’s team calculated a value reflecting the rate of evolutionary change. Their analysis showed the rate over time was similar for both groups. He goes so far as to suggest cultural artifacts can be viewed as organisms: They grow, change, and reproduce.”

How Students Are Participating In The Iowa Caucuses EdWeek

24 Books By Black Authors Coming Out This Winter Essence


“The Key To Improving Refugee Education? It’s Supporting Teachers” Teachers College


Examining The Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis Behavioral Scientist


“What High Performing Workplaces Do Differently” Gallup


George Packer: On Writing And Taking A Stance In 21st Century Atlantic
“My students have come of age during a decade when public discourse means taking a position and sticking with it. The most influential writers are those who create a dazzling moral clarity. Its light is meant to overpower subjects, not illuminate them… The imperative to take a position can be stunting. It makes writers less likely to test their ideas against others who disagree, against personal experience, and against facts… Between my generation and that of my students is an entire cohort of writers in their 30s and 40s. I think they’ve suffered most from the climate I’m describing.”

Textio: Type An Outline; It Turns It Into Paragraphs. Enter The Age Of Augmented Writing GeekWire
“The new feature is a bit like Google’s Smart Compose, which suggests email responses or phrases as you type. But instead of a few words, Textio Flow thinks up whole paragraphs.”

Phonics Is Only One Of Four Foundational Reading Concepts EdWeek


Online Outrage and Call Outs Are Counterproductive Inc.
“Or, to put that into everyday language, shouting at people online causes those that witness the fight to think shouting at people online is more OK. But it also tends to make them feel bad for the person being shouted at. Intense outrage actually makes people sympathize for the recipient of that outrage.”


Exploring Combinations And Permutations Medium

A Pepsi Ad, A Harrier Jet, And How We Don’t Understand Big Numbers Literary Hub
“As humans, we are not good at judging the size of large numbers. And even when we know one is bigger than another, we don’t appreciate the size of the difference… We know a million, a billion, and a trillion are different sizes, but we often don’t appreciate the staggering increases between them. A million seconds from now is just shy of eleven days and fourteen hours. Not so bad. I could wait that long. It’s within two weeks. A billion seconds is over thirty‑one years. A trillion seconds from now is after the year 33,700 CE.”


“20 Incredibly Useful Things You Didn’t Know Google Maps Could Do” Fast Company

High Schools Increasingly Getting Into eSports NPR
“Today, more than 170 colleges and universities participate. And there's money on the table — more than $16 million in college scholarships. Naturally, high schools have followed suit.”


The Physiological Benefits Of A Workplace Filled With Trust Harvard Business Review


I’ve Never Seen A Spreadsheet (Google Sheets) Look So Unlike A Spreadsheet Twitter