How to get kids to read more books — Quartz

Have you ever watched children choosing books at a library or bookstore? They don’t pick books based on title, author, or jacket description the way we adults do. Instead, they spend time exploring each book, opening and paging through it, skimming a page here, looking at a picture there. Then they close it and open the next one.

No amount of game play or virtual-reward system is going to change that shopping dynamic of trying, testing, and browsing for a good fit. Providing appropriate content and frictionless access to a huge selection of books will enable and expand children’s browsing—and this is far more powerful than any external reward system.

Source: How to get kids to read more books — Quartz

The Real Crisis in Education | Angels And Superheroes

As we implement new education legislation, I ask that teachers be treated as the experts we are. That we are not just included in the conversation, but that we are leading it. The data demands it, and our children deserve it.

United States’ schools with fewer than 10% of students living in poverty score higher than any country in the world. … Tragically, schools with 75% or higher poverty rates rank lower in reading scores than any country except Mexico.

Couple this with the 2013 data that indicates that a majority (51%) of public school students live in poverty in this country, and we see the true depth of the actual crisis of poverty, and its impact on education.

We are not in an education crisis. We are in a crisis of poverty that is being exacerbated by the school accountability movement and the testing industry.

Source: The Real Crisis in Education | Angels And Superheroes

News Sources

Which news sources should we believe, when there are so many to choose from, and each one is telling you not to believe another one?

by Vanessa Otero

You have to evaluate media based on something other than the fact that one source told you not to listen to another source.

Remember that journalism is a professional and academic field with a set of agreed-upon standards. People get degrees in it and people who are really good at it get jobs in it at good organizations.

Source: Vanessa Otero

 

We all have to get our information from somewhere. Remember that everyone at least unconsciously has a diagram like this in their mind which they use to evaluate new information based on their past experience with various sources of information. This diagram is not mine. This diagram is probably not yours. But everyone that can see an article’s source and has past experience with that source will have preconceptions about the credibility of the article’s content.

A new study shows how Star Trek jokes and geek culture make women feel unwelcome in computer science — Quartz

Women thrive when classrooms make them feel like they belong.

And as one undergraduate research participant in our lab put it, the current stereotypes of computer scientists is that they are “nerdy guys” who “stay up late coding and drinking energy drinks” and have “no social life.”

This geeky image is at odds with the way that many girls see themselves.

When high school girls see Star Trek posters and video games in a computer science classroom, they opt out of taking the course.

When the classroom is devoid of décor, girls still opt out. It is only when an alternate image of computer science is presented by replacing geeky objects with art and nature posters that girls become as interested as boys.

Source: A new study shows how Star Trek jokes and geek culture make women feel unwelcome in computer science — Quartz

Ease of Online Applications Hurts Low-Income Students – The Atlantic

Students—especially those who are economically disadvantaged—and universities are hurt by how simple it is to apply to schools online.

The concern for colleges is that selectivity and national reach aren’t the only metrics that matter. Just as critical is “yield”—the share of accepted students who actually enroll. It’s what colleges use to project their revenues and manage their finances, and miscalculations can be fatal. Too few students—too low a yield—can spell shortfalls that lead to budget cuts, fewer classes, or even faculty layoffs. … On the other hand, too many enrollments could mean not enough student housing or financial aid.

Most schools, however, are having trouble finding the right students. In fact, despite the online application boom, schools are in crisis around yield. NACAC’s State of College Admission survey found that the average four-year college yield rate was 35.7 percent in 2013—down from 48.7 percent in 2002.

Of course, most students have no idea that this is how colleges are judging them. Some do, however, because they have the means to hire private educational consultants who can explain the rules of the current admissions marketplace. “One way to tell that the market is dysfunctional is if you have to hire a guide,” says Roth, from Stanford.

Source: Ease of Online Applications Hurts Low-Income Students – The Atlantic

Table of Contents — How to Think like a Computer Scientist: Interactive Edition

An interactive version of the How to Think Like a Computer Scientist book

The goal of this book is to teach you to think like a computer scientist. This way of thinking combines some of the best features of mathematics, engineering, and natural science. Like mathematicians, computer scientists use formal languages to denote ideas (specifically computations). Like engineers, they design things, assembling components into systems and evaluating tradeoffs among alternatives. Like scientists, they observe the behavior of complex systems, form hypotheses, and test predictions.

The single most important skill for a computer scientist is problem solving. Problem solving means the ability to formulate problems, think creatively about solutions, and express a solution clearly and accurately. As it turns out, the process of learning to program is an excellent opportunity to practice problem solving skills.

Source: Table of Contents — How to Think like a Computer Scientist: Interactive Edition

Universities need tenure to protect intellectual freedom — Quartz

When researchers get the message that they better not produce data that might offend the powerful, they end up telling us not what is true, but what we want to hear. Policy separates from reality, and we end up with waste and poor outcomes in education, healthcare, economics, and the justice system. Good policy cannot be built on comfortable fantasies.

Source: Universities need tenure to protect intellectual freedom — Quartz

The Math Myth, Bryan Caplan | EconLog | Library of Economics and Liberty

Math Myth Conjecture: If one restricts one’s attention to the hardest cases, namely, graduates of top engineering schools such as MIT, RPI, Cal. Tech., Georgia Tech., etc., then the percent of such individuals holding engineering as opposed to management, financial or other positions, and using more than Excel and eighth grade level mathematics (arithmetic, a little bit of algebra, a little bit of statistics, and a little bit of programming) is less than 25% and possibly less than 10%.

Source: The Math Myth, Bryan Caplan | EconLog | Library of Economics and Liberty

Why Experts Make Bad Teachers

We’d all agree that to teach a subject, you must know the subject. So you’d think that experts would be the best teachers, but they’re not…

In order to teach efficiently, experts try to cut right to the chase. They teach the Abstract Model. Why? Because, they’re trying to save you all the hassle of learning it, “The Hard Way”.

The problem is, as seen by our made up model, without Concrete experiences and many of them, it’s very difficult to understand the model.

Source: Why Experts Make Bad Teachers