Select Readings on Teaching and Learning in the Digital Age
Here are five curated articles about education, technology, and evolutions in teaching.
Note: I meant to mention that the article below in last week’s newsletter actually came to me courtesy of a reader which is great. In fact this week, I included another item that a different reader forwarded to me, duly noted this time. Keep things coming, I love adding your contributions. If you have not read it yet, give it a look. It is both entertaining and engaging.
Poet: I can’t answer questions on Texas standardized tests about my own poems – The Answer Sheet @ The Washington Post – Valerie Strauss (14 minute read)
Betsy DeVos, Donald Trump’s education chief, is living proof white people haven’t gotten over Brown v. Board of Education – Salon – Amanda Marcotte (7 minute read)
In light of the DeVos hearings this week, it is hard to avoid including more about her. This is a fascinating opinion piece that traces the legacy of the landmark case to today’s class and race problems persist, especially in urban school systems. I find all this emphasis on “choice” to be extremely disingenuous. Parents have been able to choose private schools over public for quite some time. Who can afford a private school is another matter but Marcotte highlights just how much this rhetoric of choice will ultimately be a ruse that results in even more segregation than we already have. There is not a voucher that is going to cover the difference between the gutted public schools and where Trump or DeVos sent their kids.
Some Colleges Have More Students From the Top 1 Percent Than the Bottom 60. Find Yours. – The Upshot – The New York TImes (9 minute read)
The fact that access to the most elite colleges has not really changed all that much should not seem all that surprising. It mirrors the society and culture at large. At many of the most selective institutions of higher education, including half the Ivy League, the top 1% dominates the student body. Given the rise in tuition costs, schools can easily, even consciously, segregate their student body by socio-economic class even more than the public K12 system, if they choose. What deserves more genuine concern is the impact on social mobility universities can have. Given declining financial support it is hard to see how students from lower incomes have much of a shot attending the most selective institutions and reaping the benefits therein.
How Dropping Screen Time Rules Can Fuel Extraordinary Learning – Medium – Mimi Ito (3 minute read)
There has been a lot of attention paid to the idea of screen time, even in this newsletter, since the American Association of Pediatrics changed their stance on the topic. Mimi Ito is one of the leading scholars on adolescents in the digital age and makes a strong case that the very notion of screen time may have outlived its usefulness. In a world filled with screens, it is increasingly hard to limit exposure. Plus, not all time in front of a screen is equal. Her recommendations are insightful, particularly the list of questions to consider from Blum and Livingstone. This is practical, positive stuff.
CWRU, Cleveland Clinic and Microsoft Transform Learning – YouTube – Case Western Reserve University (3:19 minute view)
Also courtesy of a newsletter reader, here is a video that showcases some awfully cool technology that could serve education in some actually transformative ways. As interesting as the anatomy example might be, I couldn’t help but wonder about possibilities of just how powerful visualizing information three-dimensional holographic ways can be. There have to be so many opportunities that have not even been dreamed of yet. While a few are listed, I am not sure that it even scratches the surface. The bigger problem is likely to be the cost and time associated with developing content like this. It strikes me as something that could take a while but have heavier long-term implications.
Pixar Easter Eggs – Facebook Video – Disney (2:40 minute view)
This one is simply for pure fun. If you are not one of the people who has already added to the 9.5 million views of this video give it a look. If you have children or have just watched a lot of Pixar’s films it is a real treat to see how many little elements linked between films.