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Henry Miller on Reading, Influence, and What's Wrong with Education

Henry Miller on Reading, Influence, and What's Wrong with Education

How Higher Education Uses Social Media [INFOGRAPHIC] Schools are on a short list of organizations that have been notoriously slow to adopt emerging tech. But within the last few years, as social media becomes more integral to students' lives, educational institutions are finally catching on, and catching up. When it comes to higher ed, there are not only opportunities for digital learning, but digital marketing too. Some schools have taken the reigns on both sides, with mixed results. SEE ALSO: 5 Free Homework Management Tools for the Digital Student The infographic below takes a look at how schools have fared with social media over the last few years — what platforms are best, where they've succeeded, and the challenges that lay ahead. Does your alma mater use social media effectively in the classroom and in the recruitment office? Infographic by Image courtesy of iStockphoto, YinYang

The Role of Intuition and Imagination in Scientific Discovery and Creativity: A 1957 Guide by Maria Popova “Those who do not know the torment of the unknown cannot have the joy of discovery.” Last week, we took in some timeless vintage wisdom on the role of serendipity and chance-opportunism in creativity and scientific discovery, culled from the 1957 gem The Art of Scientific Investigation (public library; public domain) by Cambridge University animal pathology professor W. I. B. Today, as promised, we revisit Beveridge’s hefty tome to examine his ideas on the role of intuition and the imagination. Beveridge cites philosopher, psychologist, and educational reformer John Dewey‘s seminal 1933 book, How We Think, outlining Dewey’s model for conscious thinking: First we become aware of the difficulty or problem, which provides the stimulus; then, a suggested solution pops into the conscious mind; finally, a reason evaluates the idea to reject or accept it — if the idea is rejected, the mind goes back to the previous step and repeats. Indeed, Einstein himself put it thusly:

Nikhil Goyal, Teen Author, Shares Thoughts On How To Reform America's School System Fox Business interviewed 17-year-old Nikhil Goyal to get the teen author’s thoughts on how to go about reforming the nation’s school system. Goyal recently wrote a book about the problems with American schools titled “One Size Does Not Fit All: A Student’s Assessment of School,” due out in September. Included in Goyal’s recommendations for how to fix schools is repealing No Child Left Behind, abolishing Race to the Top and “reinventing the teaching profession.” He also takes issue with testing, referring to it as “harmful and inappropriate.” Goyal spoke to the importance of changing the model of the school system, which he claims still resembles the industrial model of the early 20th century, making it the one American institution that hasn’t changed. (Former Republican presidential hopeful Rick Santorum has also deemed the American school system an artifact of the Industrial Revolution.)

10 Rules for Students and Teachers (and Life) by John Cage and Sister Corita Kent by Maria Popova “Nothing is a mistake. There’s no win and no fail, there’s only make.” Buried in various corners of the web is a beautiful and poignant list titled Some Rules for Students and Teachers, attributed to John Cage, who passed away twenty years ago this week. The list, which can be found in Sister Corita’s Learning by Heart: Teachings to Free the Creative Spirit (public library), touches on a number of previously discussed themes and materials, including Bertrand Russell’s 10 commandments of teaching, the importance of embracing uncertainty, the pivotal role of work ethic, the intricate osmosis between intuition and intellect, and the crucial habit of being fully awake to everything. RULE ONE: Find a place you trust, and then try trusting it for awhile.RULE TWO: General duties of a student — pull everything out of your teacher; pull everything out of your fellow students.RULE THREE: General duties of a teacher — pull everything out of your students. Donating = Loving

STEAM Ahead: Merging Arts and Science Education Akua Kouyate, Wolf Trap’s senior director of education (Courtesy of Teddy Wolff) During tough economic times, arts and music programs are often some of the first programs cut in schools. But at Wolf Trap’s Institute for Early Learning Through the Arts , investing in arts education has been a priority for the past 31 years. A study by the National Endowment for the Arts shows that students from lower socio-economic backgrounds who actively participated in the arts tended to score better in science and writing, and were more likely to aspire to college. The study used survey data gathered over 20 years that followed socially and economically disadvantaged students, from kindergarten into their early twenties. At Wolf Trap’s Institute of Education, they are trying something different by incorporating art with math and science. It’s a difficult assertion to make when the U.S. is falling further behind in math and sciences as compared to other countries. Video courtesy of Wolf Trap

Maira Kalman on Identity, Happiness, and Existence by Maria Popova “How are we so optimistic, so careful not to trip and yet do trip, and then get up and say OK?” In this wonderful short video, Maira Kalman — the remarkable artist, prolific author, unmatched storyteller, and one of my favorite hearts and minds in the world — shares some wisdom on identity, happiness, and existence. Watch and take notes. The idea that you’d have to say ‘goodbye’ to all this — even though it’s infuriating and maddening and frightening and horrible, some of the time — is even more infuriating and maddening and horrible: How do you spend this time without perpetually being so broken-hearted about saying the eventual goodbye? I usually say, in the end, okay, it’s love and it’s work — what else could there possibly be? Speaking to the fluidity of character and the myth of fixed personality, Kalman observes: How do you know who you are? Here are some of the beautiful, poignant quotes Kalman reads and shows from her published works. How do you know who you are?

Joel Klein, Sal Khan And Sebastian Thrun On Inventing The Future Of Education, At Disrupt SF Three trailblazing figures in educational technology are showcasing the future of learning at our upcoming annual conference, Disrupt San Francisco. Former New York education Chancellor, Joel Klein, will get into more of the details about the recently announced Amplify project, News Corp’s ambitious venture to create tailored, digital learning for the American education system. Bill Gates’ “favorite teacher”, Sal Khan, who founded the Youtube-based Khan Academy, will speak about his pioneering work in the “flipped classroom” and launch a new feature to his site. And Google fellow and CEO of Udacity, Sebastian Thrun, will discuss how he opened the walled garden of American higher education free of charge to students around the world. These education leaders will join an all-star lineup at Disrupt SF Sept 8-12, including Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, Marc Benioff, Ron Conway, Kevin Rose, Matt Cohler, TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington, Vinod Khosla and many others. In January 2011, Joel I.

Which Is Bigger: A Human Brain Or The Universe? : Krulwich Wonders... This is one of those fun-to-think-about questions. A brain isn't much to look at, after all. It's about the size of your two fists put together, three pounds to hold, but oh my, what it can do. Robert Krulwich/NPR With our brains, we can think backwards, imagine forwards, conjure, create things that don't exist, leap vast distances. ...let's you and I rocket off the Earth and keep going, out past Neptune, then past the nearest star, then on and on across a patch of cold empty space until we reach an interstellar gas cloud glowing pale blue, and when we get there, let's fly to the top, hover near a small baby star softly glowing, and move in closer to see it peeking out from the top of the cloud... Can you see this with me? If a brain can make crazy leaps across the cosmos and bring extra passengers along (like you when you listen to me), then in a metaphorical way, the brain is bigger than what's around it, wrote 19th century poet Emily Dickinson. I like her confidence. That's Silly

Investment in K-12 education innovation is soaring, but it’s not all rosy When it comes to public education, it looks like private investors and entrepreneurs are ready to rally like it’s 1999. After several years of relative drought, K-12 education, which has long been seen as a tough nut to crack for private business, is starting to draw investment at nearly record levels, outpacing higher education financing for the first time in several years. According to GSV Advisors, a Chicago-based investment firm that specializes in education, in 2011, transactions in K-12 education climbed to $389 million, which is up from a low point of $13 million in 2005 and more than three times the investment in the sector in 2010. By comparison, even though online education startups like Coursera, Udacity, 2tor and others have attracted big buzz for major funding rounds, higher education as a whole received about $271 million in financing in 2011, a decline of 13 percent since 2010. Policy changes, ed startup accelerators, technological shifts drive growth

How Duke University Deals With Disruption This post is the latest in the Visionary Leaders: Transforming Business series. Unless I had a top brand, I would hate to run a college today. Colleges and universities are about to meet their disruptive hour. Udacity, launched earlier this year by Sebastian Thrun, is particularly threatening. Question: Would you rather be taught by Sebastian Thrun or the egghead at the local college? To see how incumbent colleges are faring, I recently visited Duke University and talked to Tracy Futhey, its chief information officer, and Tim Walsh, head of finance. Duke’s plan is to save as much infrastructure money as it can by migrating its information technology to the cloud. But even with that, Futhey and Walsh are circumspect.

Kids Go Gaga Over Tablets [INFOGRAPHIC] We know the iPad has become a major hit with adult tech consumers since Steve Jobs first introduced the gadget back in 2010. But did you know tablets have scored big points with kids as well? Humans are becoming familiar with digital technology and devices earlier than ever. In fact, more than half of children between the ages of five and eight have already used tablets to play or learn, according to some research. For kids between the ages of six and 12, the iPad was the most coveted gadget last Christmas. The iPad, especially, is becoming prevalent in American education. All this information comes from creative media agency MDG Advertising, which pulled research from sources, including CNN, The Wall Street Journal, MarketWatch and others to produce the following infographic. How old should kids be before they are allowed to use tablets and other digital gadgets? Thumbnail image courtesy of iStockphoto, LeicaFoto

Science education myths that keep us from fixing the system Photo by Leah Anne Thompson/iStockphoto. Science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education is critical in the high-tech global marketplace that has replaced the industrial economy. Unfortunately, American students perform poorly on international assessments of math and science knowledge. In 2005, Bill Gates said, “When I compare our high schools to what I see when I’m traveling abroad, I am terrified for our workforce of tomorrow.” One challenge to reforming our educational system is that politicians and voters think they know what’s wrong with American schools—after all, they went through the system themselves. But some of those common-sense opinions are simply wrong, and these false assumptions undermine much of the public debate about how to improve education. Here are five of the myths that are making it difficult for us to fix science education. 1. The fact that we score poorly now does not mean that our educational system has deteriorated. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Millennials: They Aren’t So Tech Savvy After All Conventional wisdom has it that kids and young adults now coming of age have been so steeped in everything from video games to social networking that they bring amazing new technology skills to the workforce. The truth may not be so rosy. Even as millennials (those born and raised around the turn of the century) enter college with far more exposure to computer and mobile technology than their parents ever did, professors are increasingly finding that their students' comfort zone is often limited to social media and Internet apps that don’t do much in the way of productivity. One professor at the University of Notre Dame, for example, reports that many of his students don't even know how to navigate menus in productivity applications. Spreadsheets Go Begging In U.S. high schools, students usually get some exposure to word processing and presentation applications, but spreadsheet skills often go untaught. Instead, most Millennials use technology for fun and games. Time to Get Serious?

Is Every Single Subject Taught in High School a Mistake? | Education on GOOD Artificial intelligence theorist and education reformer Roger Schank is no fan of the high school curriculum and he bets America's teens aren't either. Indeed, many kids hate school because what they're learning doesn't seem relevant to real life. Schank, author of Teaching Minds: How Cognitive Science Can Save Our Schools, has penned an op-ed for the Washington Post breaking down the uselessness of every single subject taught in high school. Schank calls chemistry "a complete waste of time" and says no one really needs "to know the elements of the periodic table" or the "formula for salt." Even doctors, says Schank, don't use the chemistry you learn in college. History doesn't fare much better. Biology and English are worth saving if the way they're taught is changed, he says. Similarly, physics would be worthwhile if it wasn't focused on memorizing formulas. Schank believes the solution is for kids to just learn what matters to them. Photo via (cc) Flickr user Orange42