Weekend reads

1 minute read

What SoTL Research Does and Doesn’t Give Us (Faculty Focus), by Maryellen Weimer. Important reminder that teaching is not a science, and research on teaching and learning can’t give us a sure blueprint for success.

When more information leads to worse performance: Beware throwing in “something fun and totally optional” (Computing Education Research Blog), by Mark Guzdial. Although SoTL research isn’t a recipe for success, it can certainly inform our practice, and this research-to-practice piece shows how. Students tend to perform worse on computational tasks when more information is given, according to some new research; Mark breaks down what this means for teachers. (See also this recent post and its discussion of cognitive load theory.)

How Your Phone Can Help You Set Better Habits (Harvard Business Review), by Alexandra Samuel. The popular idea is that technology is a distractor, but whe used mindfully, mobile digital technology can help us track our behaviors and set better behavioral patterns. It references The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg, which I read recently and liked very much.)

Speaking of technology:

Why Apple’s Education Strategy is Not Based on Reality (9to5mac.com), by Bradley Chambers. You might have heard that Apple held an educational event this past week, focused on education. Like Chambers, I was underwhelmed by it. He makes the excellent point that Apple seems to think that what teachers need is less expensive devices, when in fact what they really need is more time and less stuff to do, and none of what happened last week in Chicago takes anything off the plates of teachers. As a longtime Apple user, it’s sad to see this once-innovative company merely playing catch-up in a market (education) that it used to own, and no longer seems to even understand. Are we watching The Innovator’s Dilemma unfold?

And speaking of the competition: How Chromebooks Became the Go-To Laptops for Security Experts (cnet.com), by Alfred Ng. Summed up in this quoted tweet:

I’m keeping this article to use this fall just in case my university’s IT department gives me any crap about using my Chromebook Pro. (Hi guys!)

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