Harvard EdCast: The Myth of the Digital Native 

Here is a very interesting podcast on the difficulty our students face when trying to differentiate between real or fake new stories. The summary of study can be found here as well.

In our digital world, where anyone with a little know-how can post unverified stories online and frame them as fact, when solid web design can make an advertisement seem like an article, and the question of what is and what is not “fake news” seems to come up on a daily basis, how do young people — “digital natives” — vet all the information in front of them?

“It’s not just the question of real or fake, but it’s the broader question of how do all of us evaluate the information that comes to us via screens,” says Stanford Professor Sam Wineburg, founder of the Stanford History Education Group and lead author of a recent study measuring students’ evaluation of digital content. “The choice before us is more complicated than a simple binary of real or fake. It’s really about asking questions about where all information comes from in the social and political world.”

Source: Harvard EdCast: The Myth of the Digital Native | Harvard Graduate School of Education

Stanford research shows pitfalls of homework

Here is an interesting study done by Stanford on the pitfalls of homework. The most powerful statement for me was how students felt forced to choose doing homework over developing their other talents, passions and skills. Below is an excerpt from the article:

Their study found that too much homework is associated with:

Greater stress: 56 percent of the students considered homework a primary source of stress, according to the survey data. Forty-three percent viewed tests as a primary stressor, while 33 percent put the pressure to get good grades in that category. Less than 1 percent of the students said homework was not a stressor.

Reductions in health: In their open-ended answers, many students said their homework load led to sleep deprivation and other health problems. The researchers asked students whether they experienced health issues such as headaches, exhaustion, sleep deprivation, weight loss and stomach problems.

Less time for friends, family and extracurricular pursuits: Both the survey data and student responses indicate that spending too much time on homework meant that students were “not meeting their developmental needs or cultivating other critical life skills,” according to the researchers. Students were more likely to drop activities, not see friends or family, and not pursue hobbies they enjoy.

Source: Stanford research shows pitfalls of homework

The Ins and Outs of Academic Help Seeking

Here is an article from ASCD Education Update. The author shares ideas on how best to set up our classrooms in ways that effectively encourage and support our students when asking for help. I particularly found her thoughts on how asking for help is a “social minefield” for our students. Below is a short excerpt from the article.

Resist the urge to rescue. Learn how to provide strategies, not solutions, when students ask for help.

You notice a student stumbling through a problem or concept and your first impulse is to “rescue” him. Maybe it’s because he’s frustrated and on the verge of giving up, says ASCD author Robyn Jackson. But “we also rescue kids because it’s the most expedient way to move on to the next kid. Especially when several students are asking for help.”

In a classroom that emphasizes productive struggle, “the biggest thing teachers can do is resist the urge to rescue students,” says Jackson. “When teachers help too much, they reinforce the idea that it’s about getting it right and not about the struggle of learning.” Eventually, students won’t put forth the effort at all because it’s “not being rewarded or emphasized.”

Setting up an environment where students use help effectively requires some finesse. But research points to a few key moves that can turn help seeking from a perceived deficit into a valuable learning strategy.

Source: Education Update:The Ins and Outs of Academic Help Seeking:The Ins and Outs of Academic Help Seeking

10 Habits Worth Starting in the Classroom

A.J. shares some very easy but important habits we should be developing with our students. My two favorites are conversations at the door and define problems. Short, but important read!

When we look at what research says about becoming better at something, two pieces of evidence stand out.

First, we must have clarity on what our goals are, and where we want to go or what we want to become.

Second, it is deliberate practice (combined with feedback loops) that increase the myelin in our brain and in turn help improve performance and growth.

Source: 10 Habits Worth Starting in the Classroom – A.J. JULIANI

Education Research Highlights From 2016 

Here is a look at the research that made an impact in 2016, from growth mindset in science class to effective stress-reduction strategies for teachers and students. Each piece of research has a short summary and a link to the full article.

In 2016, we learned more about how teachers feel about their profession, from the reasons why they started teaching in the first place (#1) to why they leave (#6). We learned that science students do better when teachers share stories about the struggles scientists face instead of portraying them as geniuses (#3). We’re also learning more about why U.S. students are falling behind students in other countries (#12). Here are 15 studies published this year that every educator should know about.

Source: Education Research Highlights From 2016 | Edutopia