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Pasi Sahlberg – How GERM is infecting schools around the world

Pasi Sahlberg – How GERM is infecting schools around the world | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it

by Pasi Sahlberg


"One thing that has struck me is how similar education systems are. Curricula are standardized to fit to international student tests; and students around the world study learning materials from global providers. Education reforms in different countries also follow similar patterns. So visible is this common way of improvement that I call it the Global Educational Reform Movement or GERM. It is like an epidemic that spreads and infects education systems through a virus. It travels with pundits, media and politicians. Education systems borrow policies from others and get infected. As a consequence, schools get ill, teachers don’t feel well, and kids learn less.


"GERM infections have various symptoms. The first symptom is more competition within education systems. Many reformers believe that the quality of education improves when schools compete against one another. In order to compete, schools need more autonomy, and with that autonomy comes the demand for accountability. School inspections, standardized testing of students, and evaluating teacher effectiveness are consequences of market-like competition in many school reforms today. Yet when schools compete against one another, they cooperate less."


To read more of this fascinating analysis, click here.


Jim Lerman's insight:


Originally published on June 19, 2012 in the Washington Post, I discovered this piece while dipping into the flow of reaction to the release of the newest PISA results on Dec. 3, 2013. I had not encountered the term "GERM" before (Global Education Reform Movement), but its view of the components that make it up is certainly familiar to many: Competition, School Choice, and Accountability.


Sahlberg elaborates on GERM more fully in an April 2012 post. He lists 5 characteristics common to GERM infection: Standardization, Focus on Core Subjects, Search for Low-Risk Ways to Reach Learning Goals, Use of Corporate Management Models, Test-Based Accountability Policies.


Sahlberg's 2011 book, Finnish Lessons, which tells the story of Finland's remarkable ascent to the top of the testing charts, received widespread critical and popular acclaim both internationally and in his native country.


It comes as no surprise, he is not a proponent of the GERM approach to educational improvement.


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:: The 4th Era ::
Exploration of the new era in human history marked by invention of the Internet
Curated by Jim Lerman
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Introducing this work

Introducing this work | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it

For the purposes of this Scoop.it site, the history of human interaction with information may be divided into 4 eras. The first (spoken) era ended with the invention of writing around 3000-4000 BC. The second era ended with the invention of the printing press in 1440. The third era ended, and the fourth began, with the invention of the Internet (depending how one defines its operational beginning) somewhere between 1969 and 1982. We now exist early, but decidedly, in the fourth era.

 

All readers may not agree with this interpretation of the history of information, especially with the division and numbering of the eras. That is not the main point. Rather, it is that humankind is presently existing in an era distinctly different from the one that preceded it -- that in fact, this new era is accompanied with, and characterized by, a new - and quite different - information landscape. This new Internet information landscape will challenge, disrupt, and overpower the print-oriented one that came before it. It will not completely obliterate that which preceded it, but it will render it to a subsidiary, rather than primary, level of influence.

 

Just as the printing press altered humanity's relationship with information, thereby resulting in massive restructuring of political, religious, economic, social, educational, cultural, scientific, and other realms of life; so too will the advance of digital technology occasion analogous transformations in the corresponding universe of present and future human activity.

 

This site will concern itself primarily with how K-20 education in the US, and the people who comprise its constituencies, may be affected by this transformative movement from one era to the next. All ideas considered here appear, to me at least, to impact the learning enterprise in some way. Accordingly, this work looks at the present and the future through a lens that is predominantly, but far from entirely, a digital one. -JL

 

Opinions expressed, scooped, or copied in this Scoop.it topic are my own and should in no way be understood to reflect those of my employer.

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Margaret Waage's comment, June 20, 2013 7:43 AM
Jim - I like your perspective. Great subject matter here!
Margaret Waage's comment, June 20, 2013 7:46 AM
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Azania Nduli-AmaZulu UbuntuPsychology.ORG's curator insight, July 8, 2013 6:24 PM

Beautiful!

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The rich-poor divide on America’s college campuses is getting wider, fast - The Hechinger Report

The rich-poor divide on America’s college campuses is getting wider, fast - The Hechinger Report | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it

"...rich kids go to elite private and flagship public campuses while poor kids — including those who score higher on standardized tests than their wealthier counterparts — end up at community colleges and regional public universities with much lower success rates, assuming they continue their educations at all. And new federal data analyzed by the Hechinger Report and the Huffington Post show the gap has been widening at a dramatically accelerating rate since the economic downturn began in 2008."

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General Assembly Releases Framework for Reporting Student Outcomes (EdSurge News)

General Assembly Releases Framework for Reporting Student Outcomes (EdSurge News) | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it
When students quit their jobs and put thousands of dollars on the line to attend a coding bootcamp, they want to know their investment will pay off. General Assembly is getting closer to making that promise. Today the New York-based company, which offers in-person and online classes for in-demand skills in fields including web development and user experience, released a public framework for measuring how its students perform in courses and in the job market.

Accelerated learning programs tout high job-placement rates and enviable salaries for their graduates, but there’s little consensus over how they report outcomes figures, leading some to wonder if they’re all they’re cracked up to be. “Measuring What Matters” is an open-source framework that General Assembly developed for itself and other programs to use to calculate graduation and job-placement rates.
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Resettling the First American ‘Climate Refugees’

Resettling the First American ‘Climate Refugees’ | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it
In January, the Department of Housing and Urban Development announced grants totaling $1 billion in 13 states to help communities adapt to climate change, by building stronger levees, dams and drainage systems.

One of those grants, $48 million for Isle de Jean Charles, is something new: the first allocation of federal tax dollars to move an entire community struggling with the impacts of climate change. The divisions the effort has exposed and the logistical and moral dilemmas it has presented point up in microcosm the massive problems the world could face in the coming decades as it confronts a new category of displaced people who have become known as climate refugees.

“We’re going to lose all our heritage, all our culture,” lamented Chief Albert Naquin of the Biloxi-Chitimacha-Choctaw, the tribe to which most Isle de Jean Charles residents belong. “It’s all going to be history.”
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What Would Happen If We Just Gave People Money?

What Would Happen If We Just Gave People Money? | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it

"Daniel Straub remembers the night he got hooked on basic income. He had invited Götz Werner, a billionaire owner of a German drugstore chain, to give an independent talk in Zurich, where Straub was working as a project manager for a think tank. He had read an article about the radical proposal to unconditionally guarantee citizens an income and spent a few years casually researching the idea. Straub had heard Werner was a good speaker on the topic, and that night in 2009 he was indeed excellent at connecting with the audience, a sold-out house of 200. “It was a very intense evening; people were paying attention,” Straub recalled.

"Werner posed a pair of simple questions to the crowd: What do you really want to do with your life? Are you doing what you really want to do? Whatever the answers, he suggested basic income was the means to achieve those goals. The idea is as simple as it is radical: Rather than concern itself with managing myriad social welfare and unemployment insurance programs, the government would instead regularly cut a no-strings-attached check to each citizen. No conditions. No questions. Everyone, rich or poor, employed or out of work would get the same amount of money. This arrangement would provide a path toward a new way of living: If people no longer had to worry about making ends meet, they could pursue the lives they want to live."

Jim Lerman's insight:

I have encountered this proposal on numerous occasions lately. It seems to be growing considerably, and it intrigues me. -JL

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How the World Uses Twitter [Infographic]

How the World Uses Twitter [Infographic] | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it

A staggering 500 million tweets are sent per day, and 80% of active users are on mobile.

Some 302 million people actively use Twitter—in myriad ways. Here are some stats about Twitter use around the globe, according to HubSpot.


Via Lauren Moss
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David W. Deeds's curator insight, May 2, 8:22 PM

Geeky-cool stuff! Thanks to Philippe Trebaul.

donhornsby's curator insight, May 3, 10:48 AM
Interesting infographic...
Craig Broadbent's curator insight, May 3, 8:12 PM
If you are looking to use twitter to drive business then this info is important!
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Review: When the Digital World Is Judging Your Every Thought

Review: When the Digital World Is Judging Your Every Thought | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it
This is a shaggy and quite entertaining novel of ideas. The two most prominent of these are: Why are humans so eager, on sites like Twitter and Facebook, to give away their intellectual property to wealthy white men? And: What has happened to political activism? Do people think typing 140-character morality lectures is pushing society forward?
Jim Lerman's insight:

A fictionalized, blistering indictment of the thumb-driven "activism" of contemporary political discourse.

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Keynote from David Berliner: Myths (and Lies) That Deceive the Public and Harm American Public Education

Keynote from David Berliner: Myths (and Lies) That Deceive the Public and Harm American Public Education | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it

"Notes from David Berliner’s talk here at Central Michigan University with many ideas from his book 50 Myths and Lies That Threaten America’s Public Schools: The Real Crisis in Education.

-What is the greatest invention of America: public schools
-Value added models built on standardized testing are not endorsed by major professional organizations, yet state legislatures still adopt them
-Most of the elements related to achievement related to out-of-school factors
-Every Student Succeeds Act — we cannot guarantee that every child will succeed; this is a way to shift blame to teachers and administrators
-ESSA is an admission of failure — by returning education back to the states"

 

and more

Jim Lerman's insight:

Good summary. Berliner is terrific...still going strong!

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The Minecraft Generation

The Minecraft Generation | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it

description by the NY Times:

 

"The New York Times Magazine today debuted its latest cover story by Clive Thompson featuring an in-depth look at the vast and expanding world ofMinecraft, the computer game that allows players to tinker and program their own worlds out of virtual blocks. “Minecraft is thus an almost perfect game for our current educational moment, in which policy makers are eager to increase kids’ interest in the ‘STEM’ disciplines — science, technology, engineering and match,” Thompson writes.

 

"In a first of its kind, the magazine built its own game within the Minecraft world in collaboration with the popular illustrator Christoph Niemann and the gaming company Hipixel. To play, you’ll need a computer with Minecraft and a child who’s familiar with the game. The game also features instructions to help readers download and play Minecraft."

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The Youth Shall Set you Free: Generational Gerrymandering and the Suppression of the Youth Vote — The Synapse

The Youth Shall Set you Free: Generational Gerrymandering and the Suppression of the Youth Vote - The Synapse - Medium
Jim Lerman's insight:

When I started to read this, I thought, "OK, OK, another self-inflated piece from a local activist who thinks that whatever happens in their place is just the most important thing in the world." 

Man, was I wrong. This is REALLY IMPORTANT, and also very well written, and also captures the essential meanings of the events at hand.

Hollywood, are you paying attention?...and could you please tell this story without distorting it or screwing it up?

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University of Maryland Uses Virtual Reality Lab for Research and Education -- Campus Technology

University of Maryland Uses Virtual Reality Lab for Research and Education -- Campus Technology | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it

"The University of Maryland hosted a demonstration of its new virtual and augmented reality laboratory recently, showing off the lab's potential to support research, education and training in the sciences, engineering, medicine and industry.

"The lab, called the Augmentarium, is housed in a 1,000 square foot facility at the University of Maryland's College Park campus. It opened in December 2014 with the help of more than $1 million in funding, including a $600,000 grant from the National Science Foundation.

"The university is using the Augmentarium for practical purposes such as surgery and medical training. According to information on the Augmentarium's site, the technology enables surgeons "to effectively 'see through' a patient before any incision is made," and helps industrial organizations train technicians to install, calibrate and maintain complex systems in a safe environment."

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Can marrying physical and virtual reality make abstract science more concrete?

Can marrying physical and virtual reality make abstract science more concrete? | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it
Even though new technologies to enhance student learning are constantly cropping up, they aren’t always successful at helping students develop a coherent and holistic understanding of new material. Technological tools often feature more abstract representations of concepts simply because they are intangibly behind the screen. Due to this rift between the physical and the virtual, four researchers set out to find ways to bridge that gap.
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School Climate Improvement Resource Package | Safe Supportive Learning

School Climate Improvement Resource Package | Safe Supportive Learning | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it
Students learn best when they are in environments in which they feel safe, supported, challenged, and accepted. Research shows that when schools and districts focus on improving school climate, students are more likely to engage in the curriculum, develop positive relationships, and demonstrate positive behaviors.

To help schools and districts improve school climate, the National Center on Safe Supportive Learning Environments is in the process of developing the School Climate Improvement Resource Package (Resource Package).  The Resource Package will include a variety of resources to meet a range of needs among stakeholders interested in improving school climate. The first item for release is the Quick Guide (see below).  The other items will be released in the Spring and Summer of 2016.
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Money, Race and Success: How Your School District Compares :: NY Times

Money, Race and Success: How Your School District Compares :: NY Times | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it

Description by Ed Surge:

 

"Does income really impact student achievement? An exhaustive Stanford research project—examining data from 200 million math and reading tests from 2009 to 2012, found that students in the poorest U.S. districts perform, on average, four grade levels below those from the richest districts. Even in wealthier districts like Berkeley, CA, stark achievement gaps exist between white students and their Hispanic and black peers."

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ernestprats's curator insight, Today, 1:37 AM
Es lo que realmente queremos en el futuro? Me parece que algunos sí, y para esto están las reválidas.
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Detroit Has Valley Envy

Detroit Has Valley Envy | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it
The rise of self-driving cars and the sharing economy has Detroit on the defensive. The American auto industry, which long prided itself on following its own path, now realizes it must partner with players in Silicon Valley to remain relevant in a future where cars drive us and we don’t own them. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Chief Executive Officer Sergio Marchionne says he wants to help Apple build a car. Ford has engaged in negotiations with Google that have yet to yield a deal. Ford CEO Mark Fields says the search giant and Apple could be his key rivals in the future. Beyond Lyft, GM has expressed interest in hooking up with Google. The automakers offer their century-old expertise in mass production, but they also want a role in developing driverless technology.
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The Shot Clock — NewCo Shift — Medium

The Shot Clock - NewCo Shift - Medium
We’re once again on a shot clock, and beating it this time will require unprecedented collective action. We face one of the most remarkable challenges ever to face humankind. But at least we’re waking up to reality. More than 70% of Americans now believe that climate change is real, and more than half of the world views the issue as the most serious global threat to humanity. Climate change and income inequality are to Millennials what mutually-assured destruction was for Boomers: defining issues that will drive massive social change. Whether or not you believe in this threat, climate change is now a social and business fact, a force affecting billions of decisions large and small around the world. Consumers are increasingly voting with their conscience, forcing unsustainable businesses to adopt provable, net positive products and processes. When Unilever, Walmart, Pepsi, and scores of others align with the Pope on sustainability, a movement is most certainly afoot.
The question is not whether our society will create a sustainable economic engine, but rather if we can do so in time to beat the shot clock we’ve put ourselves on. I believe we can, and we will. But only if we shift the conversation around business and sustainability from the margins to the center of our public dialog.
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New Report Finds Teens Feel Addicted to Their Phones, Causing Tension at Home | Common Sense Media

New Report Finds Teens Feel Addicted to Their Phones,  Causing Tension at Home | Common Sense Media | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it
A new report issued today by Common Sense Media finds that 50 percent of teens "feel addicted" to mobile devices, and 59 percent of their parents agree that their kids are addicted. Additionally, parents and children are concerned about the effects mobile device use has on their daily lives -- from driving to the dinner table -- with over one-third of the families in the Common Sense poll arguing about it daily.
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How Young People Are Changing Civics, by Any Media Necessary | Educator Innovator

How Young People Are Changing Civics, by Any Media Necessary | Educator Innovator | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it

"...Mohammad’s video, along with stories of other young people “coming out” online as undocumented, are highlighted in an upcoming book, “By Any Media Necessary.” Co-authors and media scholars Henry Jenkins, Sangita Shresthova, Liana Gamber-Thompson, Neta Kligler-Vilenchik, and Arely M. Zimmerman explore how young people like Mohammad use media to participate in the political sphere and speak out about issues that matter to them.

"Political participation is changing, and the authors present multiple examples of young people who aren’t adhering to old definitions. In the past, participation meant volunteering for a campaign, collecting signatures, joining a protest movement, or donating to a candidate. But young people today are harnessing digital and social media tools to get their stories out to the world.


“By Any Media Necessary” will be published this summer [2016].

"The book, according to co-author Gamber-Thompson, is a compilation of several years of writing and research that included talking with hundreds of young people across the country. The project was supported by the MacArthur Foundation and was carried out through the MacArthur Research Network on Youth and Participatory Politics. The authors have created free, online, easy-to-implement workshops and curriculums for educators across disciplines who want to understand how young people are reshaping civic activism."

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Small Change: Why the Revolution Will Not Be Tweeted - The New Yorker

Small Change: Why the Revolution Will Not Be Tweeted - The New Yorker | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it

"The world, we are told, is in the midst of a revolution. The new tools of social media have reinvented social activism. With Facebook and Twitter and the like, the traditional relationship between political authority and popular will has been upended, making it easier for the powerless to collaborate, coördinate, and give voice to their concerns. When ten thousand protesters took to the streets in Moldova in the spring of 2009 to protest against their country’s Communist government, the action was dubbed the Twitter Revolution, because of the means by which the demonstrators had been brought together. A few months after that, when student protests rocked Tehran, the State Department took the unusual step of asking Twitter to suspend scheduled maintenance of its Web site, because the Administration didn’t want such a critical organizing tool out of service at the height of the demonstrations."

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Flaws in Samsung’s ‘Smart’ Home Let Hackers Unlock Doors and Set Off Fire Alarms

Flaws in Samsung’s ‘Smart’ Home Let Hackers Unlock Doors and Set Off Fire Alarms | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it
A SMOKE DETECTOR that sends you a text alert when your house is on fire seems like a good idea. An internet-connected door lock with a PIN that can be programmed from your smartphone sounds convenient, too. But when a piece of malware can trigger that fire alarm at four in the morning or unlock your front door for a stranger, your “smart home” suddenly seems pretty dumb.
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'Don't Wait For An Act Of Congress': Union Chief On Politics And Testing

'Don't Wait For An Act Of Congress': Union Chief On Politics And Testing | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it

"Before we can even be seated in the Midtown cafe where we meet, Lily Eskelsen Garcia has begun her barrage of plainspoken, provocative opinions. A Democratic superdelegate, she's just come from a spot on a morning news show, where, she declared, "Hillary is winning no matter how you look at it."

"Garcia started her education career as a lunch lady. Today, as president of the National Education Association, she represents 3 million classroom teachers, plus support staff like school bus drivers, classroom aides and substitutes. The NEA has 200,000 members who work on university campuses as well, for an overall membership that makes it the largest single organization in the shrinking category of organized labor, once a stalwart of political power within the Democratic Party.

"But "shrinking" doesn't describe Garcia. She firmly declares that the passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act earlier this year, the major federal education overhaul, opens the way for her members, in partnership with parents and other groups, to reinvent education for the better — this time, with an eye toward equity and educating the whole child. "I think the next big thing is doing the opposite of all the bad things," she says."

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Wi-Fi-enabled school buses leave no child offline

Wi-Fi-enabled school buses leave no child offline | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it
The digital divide and lack of reliable Internet access at home can put low-income and rural students at a real disadvantage. So when superintendent Darryl Adams took over one of the poorest school district in the nation, he made it a top priority to help his students get online 24/7. Special correspondent David Nazar of PBS SoCal reports with PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Labs.

Via David W. Deeds
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David W. Deeds's curator insight, April 29, 11:40 PM

Now this is a great idea! 

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How Virtual Reality And Augmented Reality Are Being Used In Education In Spain

How Virtual Reality And Augmented Reality Are Being Used In Education In Spain | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it

"Did you know that an Egyptian temple can be recreated in a 3D environment and that it is possible to walk through it as a true surround environment without leaving the classroom? Or view on your screen a complete Roman house, with all its rooms, and move its figure to see all its views; Watching oneself attired as a Roman centurion, while all the drapery accompanies your movements; moving to anywhere in the world and feel its temperature and odors; stroll along the ocean floor surrounded by cephalopods or watching a complete heart beating in the middle of a classroom... These are just some of the possibilities that technologies offer to the world of education. It has already ceased to be science fiction and is entirely feasible if you have the appropriate devices.

So, we visited David Fayerman, passionate about new technologies applied to education, looking for him to tell us which devices can be used and what uses are they giving them from training companies, institutions, and publishers in Spain. We were received at inMediaStudio, where all these tools are exposed, and he invited us to learn and to use them. Our experience was as follows:"

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Can Virtual Reality Replace Human Interaction?

Can Virtual Reality Replace Human Interaction? | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it
This study suggests the potential of using virtual reality technology with young children in school settings. It provides a new pathway for teachers to engage young learners in developing their abstract thinking skills. For educational technologists, it also provides a good example for designing and developing adaptive virtual reality technologies to foster children’s cognitive learning in a playful way.
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HoloLens comes to NYC

HoloLens comes to NYC | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it
Recently, I had the opportunity to try out HoloLens, Microsoft’s mixed-reality eyewear now in development, which promises to change the way we work and play. My experience began at the Microsoft Store on Fifth Avenue, where the distance between my pupils was measured* and I learned the different gestures I could use to interact with the device.

The HoloLens was surprisingly comfortable. While it could stand to shed some weight (a common problem among these headsets) and have a little more padding between the glass and bridge of the nose, the fit of the headset was otherwise superb. The device is built around a cushioned ring that wraps around the forehead to the back of the crown, allowing you to adjust the tightness with the scroll of a wheel.
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