“We spoke to girls from ages 12 to 17 who have participated in programs led by Girls Leadership, a nonprofit that teaches confidence-building and how to use social media responsibly. Here are some of their best pieces of advice for other teens — and what they want adults to know, too.”
“Venet explains that unconditional positive regard is a stance that communicates this message to students: “I care about you. You have value. You don’t have to do anything to prove it to me, and nothing’s going to change my mind.” In her book, she asserts that taking this stance and putting it into practice builds the foundation on which our students can thrive. And the more I learned about it, the more I was sold on its value.”
“I wanted to put a face to the alarming headlines about teens and social media — in particular, girls. And to understand one tension: What happens when girls’ self-confidence, which has been shown to drop right around this age, intersects with the thing that seems to be obviously contributing to their struggle? The long-term effects of social media on the teenage brain have not yet been defined, much less proven — which isn’t to say it’s all bad. But adolescent girls have long struggled with depression and anxiety at disproportionate rates compared with their male peers, a reality that metastasized during the pandemic.
“Historically, the SAT gave students “too much to cover and not enough time to do it,” the College Board’s chief executive officer, David Coleman, told me. But developing a digital version gave them the opportunity to experiment. And the results were so impressive they decided to stick with them. Starting next year, the test is shorter overall, and most importantly, “on average, 97 percent of students complete all questions in a section with up to seven minutes to spare on each section,” Mr. Coleman said. “It’s time we stop confusing quick with smart.””
“Essentially, you enter in a question and a chart is created that shows what supports, opposes, or could go either way in terms of values, rights, and duties. The researchers made clear that the goal was not to help people make decisions, but rather to explore and unpack how ethical choices are made and categorized.”
“My limited reading experience had given me the impression that stories about people of color had to be about being a person of color. I still wasn’t well-read, and in the work I knew by writers of color, questions of identity were central. This was true not just of Lahiri’s stories, but also of the most popular ones by other writers of color.”
“The Bear revolves around a group of people building that much-maligned but essential entity — an institution. They believe in its purpose, and they give themselves to its practices. To watch this poetry of creation in an era dominated by the chaos of critique felt like a spiritual experience. Critique can be productive, or it can be poison. Right now, too many nonprofits are succumbing to the latter.
“He’s not empathetic. He’s not caring. And he’s a jerk because of it; he is not very admirable because of it. But as he would argue, and as the lieutenant you quoted would argue, sometimes people who are caring and emotional, they aren’t going to fire people, they aren’t going to be tough, they aren’t going to be rough, and it may hurt the whole enterprise because they’re so eager to make the people in front of them like them… But you look at a lot of people who have been hardcore—Bill Gates in the early days of Microsoft, Jeff Bezos in the early days of Amazon, Elon Musk—I don’t necessarily admire it, but it is part and parcel of what they were able to do, and it was because they kept the success of the enterprise in view, as opposed to the friendliness and sweetness to the people in front of them.”
“I found that, far from being a natural state of high school, student boredom was driven by key differences in how the two histories were taught. Whereas the Holocaust was taught as a causal story that animated student interest, apartheid was taught primarily through lists (of laws and events).”
“Neuroscientists and psychologists who specialize in the teenage brain put it plainly: Yes, social media is of concern because the rapidly developing adolescent brain may be uniquely vulnerable to what the platforms have to offer. But the science is not nearly as settled as some of the most dire headlines would make it seem.
“Humanity needs a compassionate, factual and fair conversation about how to respond to depopulation and how to share the burdens of creating each future generation. The way to have that conversation is to start paying attention now.”
“Dress codes are a marker of social, national, professional or philosophical commonality. They bespeak shared ideals or training, membership in a group… the Senate is more than just a “workplace.” It represents the highest level of our country’s government, whose actions are watched by and hold consequences for the entire world… Such an august body needs to look the part. A sea of 100 adults all dressed in some kind of instantly recognizable, respectful manner — a suit and tie, a skirt and jacket — creates a unified visual entity. A group in which individuals have agreed to subsume their differences into an overarching, sartorial whole. But as we all know, the Senate has never been more divided. In a body so riven, one of the last symbolic markers of accord is a dress code. Can such a code eliminate the profound differences beneath the surface? Of course not. But it does remind senators and everyone around them (including the general public) of the still-noble goal of consensus.”
“The change… involved directing the Senate’s sergeant-at-arms — whose job, aside from directing security in the chamber, also entails enforcing outfit standards for all who enter it — that the previous policy that all senators must be clad in business attire when on the floor is no longer to be enforced.”
“The Cambridge Handbook of Artificial Intelligence (2014) includes, at different points, three different definitions of AI.”
“The fundamental task of policymakers and education leaders is to ensure that the technology is serving sound instructional practice. As Vicki Phillips, CEO of the National Center on Education and the Economy, wrote, “We should not only think about how technology can assist teachers and learners in improving what they’re doing now, but what it means for ensuring that new ways of teaching and learning flourish alongside the applications of AI.””
“Generative AI can empower people—but only if leaders take a broad view of its capabilities and deeply consider its implications for the organization.”
“Now that it's September, we can put our June hypothesis to the test. And… it checks out perfectly. ChatGPT in blue, Minecraft in red. Kids are doing homework again and ChatGPT search interest is back up.”
“Apple made gadgets cool. Google let me summon far-flung information. Amazon brought hard-to-find books to my doorstep… The Luddites would have had few, if any, problems with all of that. And neither did I… By the 2010s, however, there were plenty of signs of the costs. As Amazon grew, stories emerged about grueling conditions in its warehouses. Google used its monopoly power to strangle competitors’ products. A suicide epidemic swept an iPhone factory… The Luddites would have had a problem with all of that.”
“For 18 different tasks selected to be realistic samples of the kinds of work done at an elite consulting company, consultants using ChatGPT-4 outperformed those who did not, by a lot. On every dimension. Every way we measured performance.”
“One explanation is that we like imperfection. AI may not be foolproof (yet) but it lives in an always-optimizing state that drives it toward a kind of flawlessness—too alien, too artificial—out of reach for us always-flawed humans. And we happen to like flawed humans do stuff: Carlsen and Kasparov, however brilliant, still make mistakes, yet we rather see them play one another than face AlphaZero. We like to see them play well, and play not-so-well, and fail and recover and fight and earn a hard win—that’s attractive; that creates thrill and suspense and expectation for what will happen next.”
“To address the risks of GAI while maximizing its benefit, we propose a flexible framework in which instructors can choose to prohibit, to allow with attribution, or to encourage GAI use. We discuss this framework, taking into consideration academic integrity, accessibility, and privacy concerns; provide examples of how this framework might be broadly relevant to different learning domains; and make recommendations for both faculty and administration.”
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