The Educator's Notebook

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

Educator’s Notebook #310 (October 27, 2019)

    • Freakonomics
    • 10/02/19

    “Most high-school math classes are still preparing students for the Sputnik era. Steve Levitt wants to get rid of the “geometry sandwich” and instead have kids learn what they really need in the modern era: data fluency.”

    • McKinsey
    • 10/01/19

    “To answer the question, “What are the mindsets and practices of excellent CEOs?,” we started with the six main elements of the CEO’s job—elements touched on in virtually all literature about the role: setting the strategy, aligning the organization, leading the top team, working with the board, being the face of the company to external stakeholders, and managing one’s own time and energy. We then broke those down into 18 specific responsibilities that fall exclusively to the CEO.”
















    • New York Times
    • 10/23/19

    “Google said on Wednesday that it had achieved a long-sought breakthrough called “quantum supremacy,” which could allow new kinds of computers to do calculations at speeds that are inconceivable with today’s technology… Scientists likened Google’s announcement to the Wright brothers’ first plane flight in 1903 — proof that something is really possible even though it may be years before it can fulfill its potential.”

    • New York Times
    • 10/22/19
    • New York Times
    • 10/21/19

    “Ordinary computers store data and perform computations as a series of bits that are either 1 or 0. By contrast, a quantum computer uses qubits, which can be 1 and 0 at the same time, at least until they are measured, at which point their states become defined. Eight bits make a byte; the active working memory of a typical smartphone might employ something like 2 gigabytes, or two times 8 billion bits. That’s a lot of information, but it pales in comparison to the information capacity of only a few dozen qubits. Because each qubit represents two states at once, the total number of states doubles with each added qubit. One qubit is two possible numbers, two is four possible numbers, three is eight and so forth. It starts slow but gets huge fast.”

    • Vox
    • 10/08/19

    “As a reporter who covers technology and the future, I constantly hear variations of this line as technologists attempt to apply the theory Charles Darwin made famous in biology to their own work. I’m told that there is a progression of technology, a movement that is bigger than any individual inventor or CEO. They say they are simply caught in a tide, swept along in a current they cannot fight… In fact, our world is shaped by humans who make decisions, and technology companies are no different.”

    • CB Insights
    • 10/01/19




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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