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July 7, 2011
The kids who most need summer classes are the least likely to get them.The folks who study student success in the K-12 system routinely report that much of the learning gap between lower-income and higher-income students is a function of summers. The upper-income students have culturally enriched home environments and activities, so the academic backsliding over the summers is minimal. The lower-income kids, on average, get much less enrichment at home, so they backslide over the summers.I’ve never seen a reason to suspect that the dynamic stops at twelfth grade.
July 7, 2011
Dear fellow Late iPhone / Android adopters (e.g. dumb phone owners). And before either of the Windows phone folks, or the remaining (but rapidly defecting) Blackberry devotees, complains - I apologize in advance for my ignorance.Up until last month, I was one of you.For the last few years I told anyone who would listen that "I'll never get an iPhone". I'd whip out my Pantech Breeze, a feature phone that I purchased for its big numbers and lack of features.My reasons for not jumping on the smart phone bandwagon included:
July 7, 2011
As a math geek, I often find myself using math language to describe everyday life. For example, if I don't think that someone is credible, I might say "just take what he has to say and multiply by zero." Of course, multiplying by zero makes the product disappear to zero. I couldn't help but think of this when I learned recently that a big part of my life as a graduate student had, in effect, been multiplied by zero.
July 7, 2011
***Pacazo, a novel by Roy Kesey. Dzanc Books (2011). $15.40 hardcover, $8.79 Kindle.***Today I have the pleasure of posting a review by one friend of a book by another friend. I know: A good day, right?
July 7, 2011
I was reading through a monograph on game design recently, and came across a paragraph quoted from Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi's seminal work, Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience. The topic is sustained human enjoyment, something that game designers need to be able to create. More than just "enjoyment", really -- more like what an athlete feels when (s)he is "in the zone" and performing at a peak level.
July 6, 2011
Back in April, I wrote a bit cantankerously about my doubts that research papers as a genre are a particularly useful vehicle for learning and argued for doing away with the traditional “research paper” – the kind that Richard Larson described as a “non-form of writing.” This genre is primarily a vehicle for students to display knowledge by discussing a number of sources they have chosen on a topic using aca
July 6, 2011
In an effort to crack down on unscrupulous for-profits, the Feds have passed a massive unfunded mandate on community colleges. We’re supposed to report a series of statistics on “gainful employment” certificate programs. The idea is to give prospective students a realistic sense of what they would actually get for their money, were they to enroll. It’s a sort of nutritional labeling for a certain kind of education.But it’s a real pain in the neck here in the trenches. (I know, I know, trenches don’t have necks. Just go with it.)
July 6, 2011
MIT economist David Autor stated in a recent New York Times article about the challenging labor market, “Sending more young Americans to college is not a panacea,” but “not sending them to college would be a disaster.” College degrees guarantee a significant increase in income and a decrease in unemployment for young people. Full time workers with undergraduate degrees make 83% more than workers with only a high school diploma.



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