Monday, February 22, 2016

Worth Reading...

Sharing a few posts from the past couple of weeks.

1. Turning the Tide: Inspiring Concern for Others and the Common Good Through College Admissions- Report making the case that the college admission process can promote that ethical and intellectual engagement are both highly important

How might we construct an admissions process that sends compelling messages that both academic achievement and commitment to others and the common good are highly important? How might we construct a process that motivates young people to contribute to others and their communities in ways that are more authentic and meaningful and that promote in them greater appreciation of and commitment to others, especially those different from them in background and character? How might we increase young people’s understanding of and commitment to the public good? Just as important, how might the admissions process assess young people’s contributions to others and their communities in ways that are more valid and meaningful, especially students varying widely by race, culture and class?

2. Using Snapchat to Develop Empathy in a Technology Driven World (Holland)- using snapchat to tell stories as a way to develop empathy as part of the problem-solving process

Imagine asking students  to watch the Snapchat story featuring the city of the day and respond to the visible thinking routine, "I used to think.... But now I think..." Consider the discussions that could take place as we come to a self-realization about the depth of people around the world and what it means to be a global citizen. That moment of self-assessment, where you realize what you used to think and what you now have learned, truly leaves you feeling more cautious about the biases you develop towards people and places with which you are not familiar.

3. Why Coding is the Vanguard for Modern Learning (Olsen)- learning to code isn’t acquiring skills but rather how coding enables development that is not possible without coding

Code enables us to experiment. To imagine solutions or creations, and then see if we can in fact make them. Code enables us to solve problems that would otherwise be beyond our capacity because they would take far too long, or be difficult not to introduce mistakes. The computer language provides precision and consistency to a level beyond what we can usually do by hand.

4. Welcome to the Postnormal Paradox (Boyd)- thoughts on the changing economy and how what people are investing in is evolving

Through the 20th century, as we shifted from a horse-and-sun-powered agrarian economy to an electricity-and-motor-powered industrial economy to a silicon-based information economy, it was clear that every company had to invest in the new thing that was coming. These were big, expensive investments in buildings and machinery and computer technology. Today, though, value is created far more through new ideas and new ways of interaction. Ideas appear and spread much more quickly, and their worth is much harder to estimate.

5. The Math Class Paradox (Boaler)- how the growth mindset can save math class
Educators know that the most productive math-learning environments are those in which students receive positive messages about their unlimited potential and work on interesting and complex problems; in which they feel free to try ideas, fail, and revise their thinking. Students with a “growth” mindset are those who believe that their ability is not “fixed” and that failure is a natural part of learning. These are the students who perform at higher levels in math and in life. But students don’t get the opportunity to see math as a growth subject if they mainly work on short, closed questions accompanied by frequent tests that communicate to them that math is all about performance and there is no room for failure. When students inevitably struggle, most decide they are not a “math person.” The last decade has seen a nation of children emerge from our schools terrified of failing in math and believing that only some students can be good at it—those who can effortlessly achieve on narrow tests.

6. How Frustration Can Make Us More Creative

7. Team 19: Rapid Innovation in Public Schools