Thursday, May 15, 2014

Worth Reading....

Passing along a few interesting reads.

1. The Confidence Gap (Kay and Shipman)Evidence shows that women are less self-assured than men—and that to succeed, confidence matters as much as competence. The article states why and what to do about it.

A growing body of evidence shows just how devastating this lack of confidence can be. Success, it turns out, correlates just as closely with confidence as it does with competence. No wonder that women, despite all our progress, are still woefully underrepresented at the highest levels. All of that is the bad news. The good news is that with work, confidence can be acquired. Which means that the confidence gap, in turn, can be closed.

2. How Failure In the Classroom Is More Instructive Than Success (Sobel)- giving students permission to fail while maintaining a high standard in the classroom

There is a popular meme called "Famous Failures," featuring quotations on overcoming rejection, failure, and loss from Michael Jordan, Steve Jobs, Walt Disney, the Beatles, Oprah, and Albert Einstein. The message is familiar: Abundant success lies on the other end of failure. Could guiding our students through their own failures inspire the next groundbreaking physicist, talk-show star, or iPhone inventor? Possible … but not likely. Even if the results end up being a little less grandiose, I think they are just as important. Learning to fail could help our students become more resilient, self-aware, innovative, and compassionate. Not bad for a bunch of "failures."

3. My First Shot At Perplexity- crafting truly meaningful math activities for primary elementary students
I found myself on Google Earth, using the measuring tool to see how far away my house is from my school in a straight line (I was bored…). It dawned on me that I could measure anything from the perimeter of Fenway Park, to the radius of Madison Square Garden. What if the students were shown a picture of something they knew with lines and no numbers. Could they ask the right questions for us to figure out the area of their school’s gym? How about the handball courts in the back of the school? Why would we need to do this?
4. Inside Google X: The New Bell Labs (WNYC)- look at the conditions Google is creating to spur invention

5. Empathy In Education (Gray)- occasioning empathy in our classrooms

It was a very grim day, when I began to notice the profound lack of empathy in education, particularly in public education. That story can be found here: Educational trauma is a term I coined to capture the lack of empathy I was noticing. It is the inadvertent perpetration and perpetuation of victimization by educational systems against consumers and producers of the system.

6. Made In The Future- explanation of how things will be made

Made in the Future is an effort to capture our musings about what a not-so-distant tomorrow might look like. Our tools—faster, cheaper, and more out of control than ever—have triggered seismic shifts in how we design, manufacture, and distribute. And that has us asking lots of questions: What new tools or technologies will we create? How will they change the way we behave and learn? How will they shape our world?

7. How To Do One thing Really Well (Renwick)- a principal pushes the envelope in his school

While the two of us were becoming more learners than teachers, we also wanted to move our students to become teachers for each other. Our learning environment needed more balance. We kicked off our new week by showing students how to create tutorials using Screencast-o-matic, a free web-based tool.