The Educator's Notebook

A weekly collection of education-related news from around the web.

Educator’s Notebook #160 (December 4, 2016)

    • Hack Education
    • 12/01/16

    Perhaps it’s time to ask why – why this is the ritual and the story that education continues to turn to? …Why are we in this fog of educational make-believe? Why are we so wrapped up in the magical thinking and wishful thinking of education technology? What do we hope the practices of ed-tech will deliver, will relieve? What are we hoping to preserve? What are we hoping to absolve? What might we be afraid to admit has died? Why is wishful thinking, in and through and with education technology, a balm for so many of us? At what point should we just let go…

    • Education Next
    • 12/01/16

    In Ericsson’s formulation, deliberate practice has several components: evaluating what needs improvement, selecting one small aspect of the skill to work on, developing a strategy, and then evaluating the results of the revised performance… The mere distinction between experience and deliberate practice can help guide educators in imparting certain skills. For example, many schools want students to work well with others, so they assign group projects. But working in a group is simply experience. If you want students to become better group members, they need to practice being a group member. They must be explicitly taught how to work in groups, and that’s something few schools do.”

    • Jo Boaler
    • 11/29/16

    Importantly, they are designing a digital environment that mimics something a teacher can do in a classroom yet many tech products fail to do – provide personalized coaching. For students who seem to display low confidence, they encourage them by showing them their past successes. For students who seem to have low self-regulation (e.g. they jumped around and gave up often), they encourage them to reflect and reconsider before they quit a level… For students who seem to display low effort, they appeal to altruistic motivation by changing language from “show what you can do; try your best” to “help us improve our software by trying your best.”

    • Teaching Tolerance
    • 11/29/16

    The results of a survey taken by more than 10,000 educators following Donald Trump’s election and a divisive campaign that targeted racial, ethnic and religious minorities… described an increase in the use of slurs and derogatory language, along with disturbing incidents involving swastikas, Nazi salutes and Confederate flags. The report also cited more than 2,500 specific incidents of bigotry and harassment that can be directly traced to election rhetoric, including assaults on both students and teachers and acts of vandalism depicting hate symbols and speech… The report also offers a set of recommendations to help school leaders manage student anxiety and combat hate speech and acts of bias.”


















Every week I send out articles I encounter from around the web. Subject matter ranges from hard knowledge about teaching to research about creativity and cognitive science to stories from other industries that, by analogy, inform what we do as educators. This breadth helps us see our work in new ways.

Readers include teachers, school leaders, university overseers, conference organizers, think tank workers, startup founders, nonprofit leaders, and people who are simply interested in what’s happening in education. They say it helps them keep tabs on what matters most in the conversation surrounding schools, teaching, learning, and more.

Peter Nilsson


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