The Educator's Notebook

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

Educator’s Notebook #422 (September 3, 2023)

    • LA Times
    • 08/31/23

    “In a groundbreaking step, the campus announced Thursday that it will drop admission requirements for calculus, physics and chemistry courses for students who don’t have access to them and offer alternative paths to prove mastery of the material… One of Caltech’s alternative paths is taking Khan Academy‘s free, online classes and scoring 90% or higher on a certification test.”

    • MDRC
    • 06/01/23

    “Reviewed 13 evaluations of comprehensive reform efforts, identified the features of the models evaluated, and categorized them to create a high school reform framework that can be generally applied. The authors hope that school and district leaders can compare their current efforts with the framework to identify how they might refine or augment those efforts.”



    • EdWeek
    • 08/28/23

    “The overall goal is for the seniors to provide guidance to their younger peers about day-to-day stressors and challenges, but also teach the incoming students important academic skills, including study habits and techniques, organization, time management, goal setting, conflict resolution, interview preparation, and notetaking. The curriculum is based on the book “Role Models: Examples of Character and Leadership” by Joseph M. Hoedel”



    • Quartz
    • 08/31/23

    “A new record for the largest audience to attend a women’s sporting event has been set, and it wasn’t a FIFA Women’s World Cup match—it was a college volleyball event in Nebraska… The sold-out match, held in the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s football stadium, brought in 92,003 attendees. The previous world record attendance for a women’s sports event was a UEFA Champions League game between Barcelona and Wolfsburg on April 22, 2022, which drew 91,648 people.”


    • New York Times
    • 08/30/23

    “Allostasis is defined as “stability through change,” elegantly capturing the concept’s double meaning: The way to stay stable through the process of change is by changing, at least to some extent. If you want to hold your footing, you’ve got to keep moving.”

    • Personality and Psychology Bulletin
    • 05/20/18

    “Cross-cultural analyses showed that competent individuals held contingent attitudes and endorsed cynicism only if it was warranted in a given sociocultural environment. Less competent individuals embraced cynicism unconditionally, suggesting that—at low levels of competence—holding a cynical worldview might represent an adaptive default strategy to avoid the potential costs of falling prey to others’ cunning.”



    • Austin Kleon
    • 08/29/23

    “Last week I had the pleasure to chat with art coach Beth Pickens, author of Make Your Art No Matter What and Your Art Will Save Your Life. Beth and I share many of the same core messages, but I come at making art from the inside of being a working artist and Beth comes at it from the outside of working with artists, so she picks up things that I miss.”


    • Stanford Graduate School of Business
    • 08/28/23

    “When people from different backgrounds agree on a common set of metrics and buy into the same market, it allows them to see that everyone is connected and that their trust in the market is reciprocated and reinforced by others.”

    • Stanford
    • 08/28/23

    “Female philosophers, often overlooked from the philosophical canon, are getting long-overdue recognition in a special radio series from “Philosophy Talk,” the nationally syndicated radio program hosted by Stanford scholars.”




    • Uncharted Territories
    • 08/29/23

    “Ukraine is lucky enough to have some of the best land in the world: It’s fertile, with flat plains, sufficient rain, rivers for agriculture and silt, and chernozem, the most fertile soil in the world. It’s perfect for trade, with rivers for north-south exchange, flat steppes for east-west trade, and access to the sea for trade with the Mediterranean and the rest of the world… Why Is Ukraine Not a Global Superpower?”







    • Animated Knots
    • 09/01/23
    • Gallup
    • 08/31/23

    “Americans’ satisfaction with the quality of K-12 education in the U.S. has fallen six percentage points in the past year to match the record-low 36% reading on this measure, which Gallup has tracked for 24 years. In contrast, parents of K-12 students remain largely satisfied with the quality of the education their oldest child is receiving, as 76% say they are “completely” or “somewhat” satisfied, significantly higher than the 67% low on that measure from 2013.”

    • New York Times
    • 08/31/23
    • Tyler Vigen
    • 08/28/23

    “This pedestrian bridge crosses I-494 just west of the Minneapolis Airport. It connects Bloomington to Richfield. I drive under it often and I wondered: why is it there? …I often have curious thoughts like this, but I dismiss most of them because if I answered all of them I would get nothing else done.”

    • Ethan Mollick
    • 08/28/23

    “Dear Parents and Guardians, We hope you had a rejuvenating summer break! As we embark on another exciting academic year, we're thrilled to introduce some groundbreaking, utterly necessary, and slightly confusing -learning platforms to enhance your child's educational experience.”

A.I. Update


    • A.I. Educator
    • 09/02/23
    • Colorado State
    • 08/31/23

    “We hope this collection offers something for teachers with all levels of comfort with technologies—from teachers seasoned with digital writing technologies to teachers approaching the entire domain with trepidation. To that end, we have made the teaching resources in this collection as accessible as possible.”

    • OpenAI
    • 08/31/23

    “We’re sharing a few stories of how educators are using ChatGPT to accelerate student learning and some prompts to help educators get started with the tool. In addition to the examples below, our new FAQ contains additional resources from leading education organizations on how to teach with and about AI, examples of new AI-powered education tools, and answers to frequently asked questions from educators about things like how ChatGPT works, its limitations, the efficacy of AI detectors, and bias.”

    • EdWeek
    • 08/29/23
    • Benedict Evans
    • 08/27/23

    “If you put all the world’s knowledge into an AI model and use it to make something new, who owns that and who gets paid? This is a completely new problem that we’ve been arguing about for 500 years.”

    • Guardian
    • 08/26/23
    • Harvard Graduate School of Education
    • 08/24/23

    “Create a curriculum that is process-oriented, not product-oriented. AI should not be used to replace the “thinking” or ability to recall facts that product-oriented learning often asks of students. Rather, Dede and Cao suggest developing process-oriented learning approaches that encourage students to find answers with their own logic and reasoning. “We need to equip students for a world full of uncertainties and challenges and prepare them to do the complex work of problem-solving,” they write. “Embracing a messy process rather than becoming good at following “cognitive recipes.””

    • Dezeen
    • 08/21/23
    • Education Next
    • 08/08/23

    “It is wise to be skeptical of new technologies that claim to revolutionize learning. In the past, prognosticators have promised that television, the computer, and the Internet, in turn, would transform education. Unfortunately, the heralded revolutions fell short of expectations. There are some early signs, though, that this technological wave might be different in the benefits it brings to students, teachers, and parents. Previous technologies democratized access to content and resources, but AI is democratizing a kind of machine intelligence that can be used to perform a myriad of tasks.”


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


* indicates required