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Archive for the 'hotlinks' Category

Hot Links

Comments closed here. I'll check in with you over there.

Hot Vacation Links

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.

Hot Links

Amy Gruen's blog is a pile of fun. She's a magpie, looking about her world for odds and ends to bring back to her classroom, then posting pictures and explanation for our benefit. Recommmended.

Bryan Meyer:

You always hear people say, "kids don't like math!" Correction…kids don't like feeling dumb. People don't like feeling dumb.

Dan Goldner:

I’m flabbergasted. I have a number of students—maybe 10? 20?—who determine by division how many bills there are, then figure out by multiplying 60x60x24 how many bills are given away in a day. Fine. But then they start subtracting … after day 1 there are 9,913,600 bills left. After 2 days there are 9,827,200. Almost immediately many students lose interest, but there are a few arithmetic ox that start chugging through it (with calculators, to be sure). 9,740,800. 9,654,400. I watch in disbelief as the markerboards are filled in, line by line. 8,617,600. 8,533,000. After a while I can’t help myself. I casually mention that people sometimes use division to do repeated subtraction, and I countdown from 10 by 2′s and compare to 10/2. They are a little chagrined at not having thought of that, but they try it. Then they face confusion about handling the remainder.

Hot Links

There has been a surplus of interesting, provocative, and useful material running across my desk recently:

  • Christopher Danielson takes a break from his relentless obsession with Hung-Hsi Wu to drop some knowledge on our standards-based grading community. "No, you need to change your thinking about that rubric. That 0-4 grading scale? It’s not made up of numbers, my friend. It’s made up of categories."
  • Zac Shiner and Dave a/k/a Mr. Math Teacher are both graduates of Stanford's teacher education program and both of them are taking on water in their first year teaching, writing thoughtfully on the challenge of being a human being and a math teacher both.
  • Matthew McCrea, David T. Jones, Alex Eckert, and Daniel Schneider are all on my reading list and they all have a special fondness for Khan Academy. As I try to figure out Khan Academy, I find it helpful to read these pieces and ask myself, "What need do these teachers have that Khan Academy serves? Is the need legitimate (skill practice, let's say) or not (classroom management)? Is there a better way to serve that need?"
  • Speaking of Khan Academy, here's how to cheat the badge system. [via @fnoschese]
  • Mike Konczal, whose high-quality economics blogging has already been covered on this blog, ran a script to parse and analyze the data on the We Are 99% Tumblr. Age distribution, keywords, etc. This would not be the worst assignment for a statistics class right now.
  • Best in show goes to Freddie deBoer who writes a piece I commend to the attention of all my techno-utopian blog buddies. In short: the transition from high school to college to career is a status contest for kids. Will Richardson's been ringing this bell for a long while, but where Richardson sees the Internet as our best means for bypassing that contest, deBoer makes a persuasive case that the Internet, for our twentysomethings, is only extending it. Read it twice.
  • I'm off the path now, but deBoer's later piece on the Occupy Wall Street movement is the most interesting I've read.

Comments closed. I'll check in with you at each of the blogs above.

BTW: Matthew McCrea responds. So does Alex Eckert.