I’m easing back off a family vacation, during which time you were all posting some fantastic stuff at a fantastic rate:
- The Motion Math team posted a thoughtful behind-the-scenes expo on their latest game, Hungry Guppy.
- New to me: Justin Reich’s Advice for New PhD Students. Huge: “You need to decide early on if you want to keep an academic option open. If you do, you need to devote yourself more or less entirely to academic publishing.”
- PayPal-cofounder Peter Thiel ran a seminar at Stanford last quarter called “Startups,” which I couldn’t find room for in my schedule. Blake Masters summarized each class, though, and not in the usual disjointed live-tweeting style, but with well-edited narratives.
- Chris Hill’s Guide for a Mentor Teacher. Thirty great points.
- This does it. I’m putting a timer on Kate Nowak’s career as a classroom teacher. “I’m just temperamentally someone who enjoys a challenge and quickly tires of an insufficient level of difficulty. I am not that interested in administration, so. Either I will keep comfortably doing the same thing, or I will do otherwise.”
- Chris Lehmann, no Luddite, wrote The Seductive Allure of Edu-Tech Reform. Tom Hoffman, in an uncharacteristic moment of optimism, seems convinced this bubble will burst. “Let’s take for granted that what ed-tech entrepreneurs are shooting for educationally are test score gains. If they’re getting them at any scale, for real, consistently, with at-risk kids, we’d frickin’ know about it, and truly, sales growth would be unstoppable.”
- Scott McLeod has likely seen more reactionary stances against Internet access in schools than anybody, which makes his 26 Internet Safety Talking Points the authoritative piece.
- Patrick Honner uses a New York Regents exam question to illustrate the ways we obscure the ladder of abstraction from our students. “Math teachers end up spending a lot of time training students to make these assumptions, probably without ever really talking explicitly about them. It’s not necessarily bad that we make such assumptions: refining and simplifying problems so they can be more easily analyzed is a crucial part of mathematical modeling and problem solving.”
- I subscribed to Jeff Brenneman as part of Sam Shah’s freshman class of math ed bloggers and was rewarded with his list of advice For the Interns and the First-Years. I’ll sign off on each item, especially in hindsight of having broken each of them.