Friday, December 05, 2014

Weekly Reader

The Pain of the Watermelon Joke
"AS a child in South Carolina, I spent summers like so many children — sitting on my grandparents’ back porch with my siblings, spitting watermelon seeds into the garden or, even worse, swallowing them and trembling as my older brother and sister spoke of the vine that was probably already growing in my belly.It was the late ’60s and early ’70s, and even though Jim Crow was supposed to be far behind us, we spent our days in the all-black community called Nicholtown in a still segregated South." - Jacqueline Wilson, New York Times Op Ed, 11/28/14

Is it Time to Get Rid of Grades?
"In the past few years since teachers and their principals have been reduced to numbers on a their yearly evaluations there have been many discussions revolving around the idea that educators are more than numbers. It doesn't feel good to get one number that is supposed to represent all of our hard work throughout a year. It feels disingenuous and arbitrary. Unfortunately, for many years before accountability and mandates, students were reduced to numbers and we did not do a lot about it. That is most likely due to the fact that we were reduced to numbers when we were students in school. Numbers have been a part of schooling for many decades." -- Peter DeWitt, Finding Common Ground | Education Week, 12/2/14

Five Reasons to Allow Digital Devices in Your Classroom
"Amidst reports of Steve Jobs and other Silicon Valley CEOs imposing extremely strict technology rules on their children, the debate around technology use in the classroom has caught fire once again. One of the strongest arguments for banning technology in the classroom came earlier this fall, from media pundit Clay Shirky in a piece titled “Why I Just Asked My Students To Put Their Laptops Away.” -- Natascha Chtena, GradHacker | Inside Higher Ed, 11/30/14

Who Will Log You Out When You're Gone?
"I long ago exceeded my capacity to remember passwords, especially for my institutional accounts which require password changes at regular intervals. As a result, I use a password manager to keep up with all my passwords. As it happens, I use 1Password, which syncs everywhere, generates and keeps track of preposterously complex passwords, and keeps other kinds of information, such as credit card numbers, passport information, and more secure yet available. It’s a neat thing." -- Jason B. Jones,  ProfHacker | Chronicle, 12/1/14

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