Education Evolutions Newsletter #7

I recently began publishing a newsletter that I have been privately sharing with colleagues. Now I am finally getting around to posting it here. It has been an interesting experience but more on that later.

I will back post the previous issues when I get a chance.

Select Readings on Teaching and Learning in the Digital Age

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

  • Wall Street Firms Make Money From Teachers’ Pensions — And Fund Charter Schools FightInternational Business Times – David Sirota (14 minute read)
    This article incensed me on all kinds of levels but, more than anything, I feel like it is precisely the kind of news that teachers need to know. Of course, it reminds me of the old saying, “By the time you hear about it, it’s too late.” The fact that this end run is even allowed to happen legally is beyond problematic. Regardless of which side anyone is on with regard to question 2, this is ethically disgraceful. Just looking at the graphic that charts all the shady connections makes me nauseous.
  • You Can’t Fix EducationMedium – Hank Green (4 minute read)
    Author John Green’s brother and partner in the Crash Course YouTube channel argues that education is a complex, ultimately human endeavor that defies the hubris of outside efforts to scale, disrupt, or standardize. It is a short but sharp piece that celebrates the power of teachers and students to determine teaching and learning for their own individual contexts. It is a refreshing sentiment in the midst of the cacophony of political and commercial edreform voices.
  • Playing with History: What Sid Meier’s Video Game Empire Got Right and Wrong About ‘Civilization’Longreads – Kanishk Tharoor (21 minute read)
    This is a fascinating look at a video game that has not only been considered a classic of the genre but often considered for educational use. Tharoor considers “Civilization” as a product of the era in which it was conceived and what underlying biases are present, “To suggest otherwise is not only naïve but disrespectful to the power of video games to represent the world in the way that cinema, literature, and other art forms do.” It is also a reminder of just how much theories of history play a part in defining the discipline. For anyone who has played the game, this is kind of a treat.

So what do you think?

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