The Educator's Notebook

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

Educator’s Notebook #321 (January 26, 2020)

    • Slate
    • 01/23/20

    “Put simply, life is beginning to look ever more complex and ever more collaborative. All this has fractured Western biology’s consensus on Darwin. In response to all these new insights, some biologists instinctively defend Darwin, an ingrained impulse from years of championing his work against creationists. Others, like Margulis herself, feel Darwin had something to offer, at least in understanding the animal world, but argue his theories were simplified and elevated to a doctrine in the generations after his passing.”

    • SchoolsWeek
    • 01/20/20

    “Cognitive science does not provide a recipe for what teachers should do, but rather should inform their repertoire of approaches. And of course, it forms only one part of teachers’ extensive knowledge and expertise.”


    • Reuters
    • 01/20/20

    “While 71% of parents believe video games may have a positive impact on their teen, many parents also reported that gaming interferes with other aspects of daily life. Almost half of parents say gaming “sometimes” or “frequently” gets in the way of teens’ activities with family, and 46% of parents think gaming takes time away from sleep.”

    • MIT Technology Review
    • 12/21/19

    “Don’t tell us technology has ruined our inner lives. Tell us to write a poem. Or make a sketch. Or sew fabric together. Or talk about how social media helps us make sense of the world and those around us. Perhaps social-media selfies aren’t the fullest representations of ourselves. But we’re trying to create an integrated identity. We’re striving not only to be seen, but to see with our own eyes.”



    • Character Lab
    • 01/19/20

    “Try taking charge of your attention. Avert your gaze from whatever tempts you. Focus instead on whatever makes achieving your goals easier. Your future self will thank you for it.”








    • Atlantic
    • 01/23/20

    “My students have come of age during a decade when public discourse means taking a position and sticking with it. The most influential writers are those who create a dazzling moral clarity. Its light is meant to overpower subjects, not illuminate them… The imperative to take a position can be stunting. It makes writers less likely to test their ideas against others who disagree, against personal experience, and against facts… Between my generation and that of my students is an entire cohort of writers in their 30s and 40s. I think they’ve suffered most from the climate I’m describing.”

    • EdWeek
    • 01/23/20
    • Geekwire
    • 04/23/19

    “The new feature is a bit like Google’s Smart Compose, which suggests email responses or phrases as you type. But instead of a few words, Textio Flow thinks up whole paragraphs.”


    • Inc.
    • 01/24/20

    “Or, to put that into everyday language, shouting at people online causes those that witness the fight to think shouting at people online is more OK. But it also tends to make them feel bad for the person being shouted at. Intense outrage actually makes people sympathize for the recipient of that outrage.”


    • Literary Hub
    • 01/23/20

    “As humans, we are not good at judging the size of large numbers. And even when we know one is bigger than another, we don’t appreciate the size of the difference… We know a million, a billion, and a trillion are different sizes, but we often don’t appreciate the staggering increases between them. A million seconds from now is just shy of eleven days and fourteen hours. Not so bad. I could wait that long. It’s within two weeks. A billion seconds is over thirty‑one years. A trillion seconds from now is after the year 33,700 CE.”

    • Medium
    • 06/15/17





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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