The Educator's Notebook

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

Educator’s Notebook #209 (November 12, 2017)

    • Rough Type
    • 11/10/17

    A 2015 Journal of Experimental Psychology study found that when people’s phones beep or buzz while they’re in the middle of a challenging task, their focus wavers, and their work gets sloppier — whether they check the phone or not. Another 2015 study, appearing in the Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, showed that when people hear their phone ring but are unable to answer it, their blood pressure spikes, their pulse quickens, and their problem-solving skills decline.”

    • New York Times
    • 11/01/17

    There’s no magic formula for getting into a selective college, but over a decade covering admissions for The Chronicle of Higher Education, I’ve picked up a thing or two. These takeaways, based on hundreds of interviews with admissions deans over the years, may help you navigate the process.”

    • Aeon
    • 10/26/17

    What seems innate and shared between humans and other animals is not this sense that the differences between 2 and 3 and between 152 and 153 are equivalent (a notion central to the concept of number) but, rather, a distinction based on relative difference, which relates to the ratio of the two quantities. It seems we never lose that instinctive basis of comparison.”

    • NAIS
    • 06/06/17

    Much like colleges and universities, costs at independent schools have grown as they provide more services and amenities. Micro-schools seek to trim expenses in ways easier to do as a smaller, nimbler operation. They may rent a storefront, for example, rather than maintain a campus. They can hire fewer faculty who would wear more hats, such as taking on major administrative responsibilities and working longer hours for higher pay. And they can emphasize academics while taking a cafeteria-menu-style approach to other offerings. So, for example, if students are involved in off-campus performing arts or music groups or sports teams, they may prefer not to pay for comprehensive arts and sports programs.”



    • Austin Kleon
    • 11/08/17

    “Hurry slowly” has its roots in an old Latin phrase: “Festina Lente,” or “Make haste slowly,” or “more haste, less speed.” (See: The Tortoise and The Hare.)”

    • Vimeo
    • 11/04/17

    “Optimistic people live almost eight years longer than the glass-half-empties do.”



    • NHPR
    • 11/09/17

    They have to get permission from their other professors and they can sit in class and discussion sections, but cannot speak or participate in any online materials. It doesn't matter what their other class assignments are, they have to prepare to do it all offline before they go dark for a month.”













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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