The Educator's Notebook

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

Educator’s Notebook #415 (July 16, 2023)

    • One Useful Thing
    • 07/15/23

    “I can’t claim that this is going to be a complete user guide, but it will serve as a bit of orientation to the current state of AI. I have been putting together a Getting Started Guide to AI for my students (and interested readers) every few months, and each time, it requires major modifications. The last couple of months have been particularly insane.”

    • Psychology Today
    • 07/05/23

    “The contemporary cultural machinery is geared to chase folks out of the middle ground or push experts in one area out of their lane, leading them to confidently pronounce on matters they have no business banging on about. Call it cognitive narcissism. Curious, collaborative inquiry has been abandoned for the brute force of unilateral persuasion. Intellectual humility, instead, courts the kind of nuance that’s often found in the middle ground.”






    • Big Think
    • 06/22/23

    “Thus, while fast, “automatic” thinking is adequate for making decisions about easy tasks, a slower and more effortful mode of cognition, which supports the prolonged integration of relevant information, may be better for solving more difficult problems.”

    • PsyArxiv
    • 01/17/23

    “These findings pose a challenge for theories of learning to explain the odd combination of large variation in student initial performance and striking regularity in student learning rate.”


    • Social Science Research Network
    • 06/12/20

    “In this study, we empirically assess the contributions of inventors and firms for innovation using a 37-year panel of U.S. patenting activity. We estimate that inventors’ human capital is 5-10 times more important than firm capabilities for explaining the variance in inventor output. We then examine matching between inventors and firms and find highly talented inventors are attracted to firms that (i) have weak firm-specific invention capabilities, and (ii) employ other talented inventors.”





    • Larry Cuban
    • 06/16/23

    “Similar claims about new technologies have been made before. Recall that, earlier generations of technophiles claimed that students using graphing calculators in class would transform math instruction (and raise test scores). Calculators surely helped students and teachers but did not alter dominant ways of teaching math.”



    • Guardian
    • 07/07/23

    “If a language offers clues to the culture of its speakers, then the experience of learning Game of Thrones’s High Valyrian on Duolingo conjures visions of a bustling historic civilisation in which owls stalk the skies, magic abounds, and the spectre of death forever haunts the imaginations of the living.”



    • KQED
    • 07/02/23
    • Evidence Based Education
    • 07/01/23
    • Twitter
    • 05/27/23

    “All 63* essays had hallucinated… The biggest takeaway from this was that the students all learned that it isn't fully reliable. Before doing it, many of them were under the impression it was always right. Their feedback largely focused on how shocked they were that it could mislead them. Probably 50% of them were unaware it could do this. All of them expressed fears and concerns about mental atrophy and the possibility for misinformation/fake news. One student was worried that their neural pathways formed from critical thinking would start to degrade or weaken.”



    • New York Times
    • 07/11/23

    “With 100 million people, Threads is quickly surging toward some of Twitter’s last public user numbers. Twitter disclosed it had 237.8 million daily users last July, four months before Mr. Musk bought the company and took it private.”







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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