Education Evolutions Newsletter #6

Select Readings on Teaching and Learning in the Digital Age

Here are three curated articles about education, technology, and evolutions in teaching.

  • Personalized learning is not the futureProvidence Journal – Professor Renee Hobbs (6 minute read)
    The head of University of Rhode Island’s Media Education Lab calls out her state’s department of education and its new plan to push “personalized learning.” Personalized learning in edtech means different things to different people but often has some kind of adaptive component, which she references in the scenario she presents. This topic is particularly relevant for Massachusetts since there are currently ongoing efforts to advance similar kinds of initiatives. Hobbs raises valid questions about who determines and what kinds of data will be captured, for whose benefit, what the possible ramifications might be, and the possible cost (which may not be entirely monetary).
  • How Clear Expectations Can Inhibit Genuine Thinking in StudentsKQED’s MindShift (8 minute read)
    There is something likely to strike many as eerily familiar in this article, which is an excerpt from a longer book.This piece might get a bit bogged down in theoretical jargon for its length, actually. It might even overcomplicate things. However, author Ron Ritchhart investigates how different kinds of “expectations” influence pedagogy. I would argue that what he is really getting at would be better labeled as “values.” They are some of the strongest influences on teaching, deep-seated and very difficult to change.
  • Would you read what your students write if you weren’t paid to do so?George Couros (3 minute read)
    Former principal George Couros asks some pretty big questions in this short piece. They are the kinds of questions that really provoke reflection. “Do we teach students to write in compelling ways that someone would actually want to read what they write, or do we teach them to write in a way that we can say we have simply taught to the curriculum?” I asked myself this a whole lot as an English teacher but it transcends disciplines.
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