Don’t Help Your Kids With Their Homework

Greater parental involvement in school (serving on committees, checking the kids’ homework) does not correlate with greater academic achievement. I wonder how these findings would relate to homeschooling. The theory was that more active and invested mothers and fathers could help close the test-score gap between middle-class and poor students. Yet until the new study, nobody had used the available data to test the assumption that close relationships between parents…


Letter Grades Deserve an ‘F’

In a points-based grade book, the student at the top, Zoe, might assume she’s doing great, but according to the standards-based grade book, she (and the teacher) can see that Zoe is not proficient in an essential skill she needs to move forward in her writing education. Conversely, Pierce’s points-based grade would be lower than Zoe’s due to that lost homework assignment, but in reality, he is already proficient in…


Stanford to offer new undergraduate majors integrating humanities, computer science

Training humanists who can code like a techie and engineers who can dream like a poet. Well played, Stanford! “We’re also seeing students who want to balance their academic passions with pragmatic considerations about their career development, and this kind of program addresses that need. The intellectual landscape is changing, and the workplace landscape is changing. We’re looking to help cultivate, and provide academic structure for, a new generation of…


Khan Academy Gets Rare Partnership To Close Wealth Gap In College Test Prep

“We think we can make the playing field more level by making the best-in-class tool and making it free. We hope that beyond individual students, these tools become adopted by after-school and college readiness programs.” With a huge influx of donations from Silicon Valley’s most notable philanthropists, Khan Academy quickly evolved from a YouTube lecture series to a full-blown personalized learning platform. When their new prep test software launches in…

Nick Montfort: Exploratory Programming

In exploratory programming, there’s no specification or problem to be solved, but there are things to be discovered. Those programming in an exploratory way could be making art (in a generative mode) or trying to understand a topic or subject through data (in an analytic mode), or perhaps doing something that doesn’t easily fit into either category. I call this “exploratory programming” to distinguish it from other programming practices. If…


What My Classroom Looks Like During Today’s Video Journalism Workshop

Within one minute of being placed into groups, my journalism students are up and out of the classroom. They have one hour to come up with a topic, conduct interviews, and produce a video (with a written intro and outro for the anchor to read) to fill a three-minute hole. We don’t have a full class on video journalism, but in a one-credit workshop class that majors have to take…


Melissa Terras’ Blog: Male, Mad and Muddleheaded: Academics in Children’s Picture Books

Labcoats, suits (but not if you are female!) or safari suits (but not if you are female!) are the academic uniform du jour. The names given to the academics are telling, with the majority being less than complimentary: Professor Dinglebat, Professor P. Brain, Professor Blabbermouth, Professor Bumblebrain, Professor Muddlehead, Professor Hogwash, Professor Bumble, Professor Dumkopf, Professor Nutter, and two different Professor Potts. There is the odd professor with a name…