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By Katrina Schwartz
"Educators are aware that social problems like poverty, unsafe neighborhoods, violence, and family trauma can affect how students learn when they come to school. Though teaching subjects like math and literacy are the biggest part of their job, in many cases they’re also called on to attend to their students’ emotional health as well, incorporating social and emotional skills.
“Science is starting to show that there is a very strong integration between social and emotional skills and learning,” said Vicki Zakrzewski, education director of the Greater Good Science Center at U.C. Berkeley, which studies the psychology, sociology and neuroscience of well-being during a recent Forum radio show. “Some scientists believe that cognitive achievement is 50 percent of the equation and social and emotional skills are the other 50 percent.”
By Anya Kamenetz
"As in past years, the 2013 fellows are weighted severely towards guys--only four women among them. They are a bit more international than they have been previously, with participants from Canada, Britain, India, China, and Singapore. One of them founded India’s answer to Airbnb, another has been doing research at MIT since he was 13, and Maddy Maxey is the Thiel Fellows’ first fashion designer. In addition, two of the fellows are working on education-related projects, which seems to be a personal favorite of Thiel’s. "If you focus on solving your own problems, you know your company will always have at least one customer," Jonathan Cain, president of the Thiel Foundation, told Fast Company. "Since young people are the ones currently suffering through school, they are well-equipped to identify what’s broken in education."
By Brian Stelter
"YouTube this week will announce a plan to let some video makers charge a monthly subscription, according to people with knowledge of the plan.
"The overwhelming majority of videos on YouTube, a unit of Google, will remain free to all, but the plan will let the company’s partners try out a second source of revenue, analogous to the flexible pay walls that some newspapers and magazines have adopted."
By Katy Tur
"The school was plagued by violence and disorder from the start, and by 2010 it was rank in the bottom five of all public schools in the state of Massachusetts.
"That was when Andrew Bott — the sixth principal in seven years — showed up, and everything started to change.
“We got rid of the security guards,” said Bott, who reinvested all the money used for security infrastructure into the arts.
"In a school notorious for its lack of discipline, where backpacks were prohibited for fear the students would use them to carry weapons, Bott’s bold decision to replace the security guards with art teachers was met with skepticism by those who also questioned why he would choose to lead the troubled school.
“A lot of my colleagues really questioned the decision,” he said. “A lot of people actually would say to me, ‘You realize that Orchard Gardens is a career killer? You know, you don't want to go to Orchard Gardens.’”
By Roger Riddell
"There's no shortage of start-ups in the education technology sector these days. Behind every good start-up, however, is an investor with the money and guidance to help turn it into a successful venture. These same investors and their firms can also be an invaluable source of industry information through their social media accounts.
"To help ease the task of figuring out who to follow, we've compiled a list of 10 of the best education technology venture capitalists and firms worth following on Twitter."
By Julia Stiglitz
"Today we are extremely pleased to announce the launch of a teacher professional development category on Coursera. We believe that helping teachers improve their skills is an important contribution that we can make to the education of students everywhere. We are truly excited about the possibilities that having these courses available for free online, to be used independently or in a blended learning capacity, will open up for teachers, schools, and districts.
Jim Lerman's insight:
This looks like it will be very important - free, high-quality, professional development for educators.
Find current list of courses here: https://www.coursera.org/courses?cats=teacherpd
First course starts in June, others are so new they haven't been scheduled yet.
From the website
"A thought-provoking new white paper, ‘The Future of Work’, suggests it could be. Commissioned by Esselte Corporation to mark its 100-year anniversary, the paper looks at the current and future world of work highlighting the key changes both employees and companies are going to have to adapt to.
"Authors, Richard Watson and Andrew Crosthwaite of Futures House Europe, examine some of the key factors driving changes in the way we work and our management cultures and why these effects are accelerating.
“As a result of the internet, new technologies, the huge increase in mobile orhome working, part-time jobs and today’s ‘always on’, 24/7 culture, we found that most people now spend more time working than sleeping. In fact by 2015 around 40% of the total workforce will be mobile. The reason for this is that work is no longer where the office is but for mobile workers it is wherever they are - be that their car, home, coffee shop, the airport, customer site or even on holiday. This is just one area our report identifies as having a massive impact on the way we work;” explains Richard Watson"
Via Raising Modern Learners
By Brian Profitt
"As mobile devices dictate the terms of search and how results are being conveyed to end users, there's another phenomenon that will greatly influence the future of search - very soon, we're going to be swimming in more data than we will know what to do with.
"The rise of the Internet of Things means billions of physical objects will soon generate massive amounts of data 24 hours a day. Not only will this make traditional search methods nearly impossible to use, it will also create an environment where instead of looking for things in the world, those things will be seeking us out to give us all sorts of information that will help us fix, use or buy them."
By Katrina Schwartz
"A group of Harvard education researchers have developed a virtual simulation for “walking in another person’s shoes” to help students relate to one another better. It’s part of a project calledSocial Aspects of Immersive Learning (SAIL) funded by the National Science Foundation. “The ability to accurately read people is really important to make compromises,” said Elisabeth Hahn, a doctoral candidate at the Harvard School of Education in a recent edWeb webinar"
With GeoFlow, you can:
Map Data: Plot more than one million rows of data from an Excel workbook, including the Excel Data Model or PowerPivot, in 3D on Bing maps. Choose from columns, heat maps, and bubble visualizations.Discover Insights: Discover new insights by seeing your data in geographic space and seeing time-stamped data change over time. Annotate or compare data in a few clicks.Share Stories: Capture "scenes" and build cinematic, guided "tours" that can be shared broadly, engaging audiences like never before.
Via siobhan-o-flynn, blogbrevity
First of all, the MOOCs I have worked on have not focused on assessment - they have been courses, yes, with a small number (20 or so) taking them for credit, but the vast majority of participants auditing. So the question of marking term papers never came up. And like you, I would not contemplate multiple-choice exams in humanities and literature courses.
Via Kim Flintoff, Jenny Pesina
"After years of making games to change the world — partnering with organizations like the World Bank, the International Olympic Committee, the American Heart Association, and the New York Public Library — keynote speaker and New York Times bestselling author Jane McGonigal has a new goal: making games to change lives. In this talk, she recounts the personal story of how a game saved her own life — and how it led her to discover the top 5 things that virtually all gamers hope to change about their own lives."
By Catherine Rampell
"Is college worth it? Given the growing price tag and the frequent anecdotes about jobless graduates stuck in their parents’ basements, many have started to question the value of a college degree. But the evidence suggests college graduates have suffered through the recession and lackluster recovery with remarkable resilience."
"The unemployment rate for college graduates in April was a mere 3.9 percent, compared with 7.5 percent for the work force as a whole, according to a Labor Department report released Friday. Even when the jobless rate for college graduates was at its very worst in this business cycle, in November 2010, it was still just 5.1 percent. That is close to the jobless rate the rest of the work force experiences when the economy is good.
"Among all segments of workers sorted by educational attainment, college graduates are the only group that has more people employed today than when the recession started."
By Amy Maturin
"I teach a 1st and 2nd grade multiage class at a small charter school in New Jersey, and for the past two years I have been working with my young students to develop their understandings of the basic principles of GoodWork. The students have been working hard exploring ethics, excellence, and engagement through hands-on activities and class discussions. I start each year with the students by exploring the definitions of the 3 “E’s” through word mapping, looking for examples through children’s literature and narratives written for the toolkit, and ending with activities during which students write their own narratives and role-play that work. Students have benefitted from the activities, participating happily, and their understanding of concepts related to the 3 E’s has evolved since the beginning of the school year. Nonetheless, after reflecting about my experiences at the conference, I began to formulate an idea for another entry point to explore and deepen their connections to the essence of the 3 E’s and being human.
"During his plenary session at the GoodWork Conference, Esa Saarinen (philosopher and professor at Aalto University in Finland) spoke about “Three Human Phenomena”- Being Present, Being-By-Your-Sideness, and Magical Uplift- concepts that were new to me but resonated deeply. In listening to Esa speak and reflecting on this conversation, I started thinking about how these concepts can and should be brought into my classroom and how they fit into our conversation about GoodWork."
By Eric W. Dolan
"On MSNBC Wednesday night, a youth advocate explained how the recent arrest of a 16-year-old girl over a science experiment highlighted the so-called school to prison pipeline.
"Kharry Lazarre-White of The Brotherhood/Sister Sol said the line between a disciplinary infraction and a crime had become blurred in many U.S. schools.
“It’s become blurred, one, because now you have police officers in schools,” he told MSNBC host Chris Hayes. “So, you have police officers responding to issues that used to be that teachers or school safety officers responded to. Secondly, you now see this broad range of issues that would have never been seen as something to arrest a child. We have children expelled for singing too loudly in classes, for running through the hallway, for being late, but one of the most striking aspects of this is that the number one issue that you see leading towards this kind of expulsion is children who are refusing to respond to authority, children who are, quote, being defiant.”
By Bruno Bettelheim
"Children's playthings are not sports and should be deemed their most serious actions," Montaigne wrote. If we wish to understand our child, we need to understand his play. Freud regarded play as the means by which the child accomplishes his first great cultural and psychological achievements; through play he expresses himself. This is true even for an infant whose play consists of nothing more than smiling at his mother, as she smiles at him. Freud also noted how much and how well children express their thoughts and feelings through play. These are sometimes feelings that the child himself would remain ignorant of, or overwhelmed by, if he did not deal with them by acting them out in play fantasy."
By Derek Thompson
"Here's what everybody knows about education in the United States. It's broken. It's failing our poorest students and codding the richest. Americans are falling desperately behind the rest of the developed world.
"But here's what a new study from the Economic Policy Institute tells us about America's education system: Every one of those common assumptions is simplistic, misguided, or downright wrong.
"When you break down student performance by social class, a more complicated, yet more hopeful, picture emerges, highlighted by two pieces of good news. First, our most disadvantaged students have improved their math scores faster than most comparable countries. Second, our most advantaged students are world-class readers."
Description by EdSurge
"MOVING CUP TO LIP: That's the metaphor that Dr. Kenneth Green, founding director of The Campus Computing Project, uses to address the age-old déjà vuquestion: what does it take for technology to really have an effect in education? Hiskeynote presentation at Saylor Foundation's 2013 Digital Education Conference dishes out nuggets of wisdom as he explores how the absence of infrastructure has so far affected acceptance and adoption of MOOCs, digital textbooks, tablets--you name the tech. (Here are the accompanying PDF slides.) Along the way, he's got a few thoughts on why we--and the media--need to seriously refine our consumer-guided expectations for how technology ought to work in schools. Perhaps best of all, he closes with some suggestions we definitely encourage!"
Why the current wave of reforms, with its heavy emphasis on standardized tests, may actually be harming students
By John Tierney
"Fueled in part by growing evidence of the reforms' ill effects and of the reformers' self-interested motives, the counter-movement is rapidly expanding. Here are some reasons why I predict it will continue to gain strength and gradually lead to the undoing of these market-based education reforms."
(Image is of defendents in the Atlanta cheating scandal turning themselves in)
Via Educating Modern Learners
Jim Lerman's insight:
I read the tea leaves and see pretty much the same thing, but that's just my opinion.
By Yaara Lancet
"Part LEGO, part dominoes, part video game; these cubes try to fuse the games my generation enjoyed as kids (e.g., building blocks, puzzles, LEGO, etc.) with today’s video games, creating a video-board game of sorts that’s happening inside several cubes at once. If this is a little hard to grasp, don’t worry, I’ll show you exactly how it works. But are the Sifteo Cubes really all they’re cracked to be, or is this no more than a gimmick?"
Jim Lerman's insight:
A thorough review and description of Sifteo Cubes, and a lukewarm endorsement. If you've been wanting to know more about the Cubes, this is a good place to get an introduction.