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Education Reading List

November 13, 2015

This week's edition provides a some great reads, including an inspirational article from a teacher who changed the way she teaches.


— Vicky, Aurelio, Deborah

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Education Reading List Startup Digest is curated by:
Deborah Chang

Deborah Chang - Educator Entrepreneur

Contact Deborah Chang at

Aurelio Jimenez Romero

Aurelio Jimenez Romero

Contact Aurelio Jimenez Romero at

Vicky Guo

Vicky Guo - Tech investor

Contact Vicky Guo at

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Key themes in national educational technology policies

Michael Trucano - World Bank

The World Bank conducted an analysis over 800 policy documents related to the use of information and communication technologies (ICT) in education from countries around the world. Their goal was to understand trends in order to jumpstart conversations such as: "Is this really what's most important? Does this policy rhetoric match our on-the-ground reality? If not: What can or should be done?” They found that top priorities across countries include, but not are limited to: “linking ICT/education policies to other policies,” “ensuring adequate power”, and “identifying ICT literacy / digital competency standards." Click to see more.

All Aboard the LeaderShip

Alfie Kohn - Alfie Kohn's blog

"If you’re going to lead a school or other organization, it might be smart to give some thought to what it means to be a good leader. But that fact doesn’t explain why some schools proudly announce that they train their students— every last one of them — in the art of leadership. What’s up with that?” Ultimately, Alfie Khan finds that as a whole, we’ve leaned to much towards saying that any word, like “leader” or “21st century skills” or “growth mindset” means what we want it to mean instead of using words to critically discuss differences. And that’s a problem.

[long read] The Algorithmic Future of Education

Audrey Watters - Hack Education

A review of the history of education technology will find: "Measurement. Assessment. ‘Outcomes.' Data. Standardization. The monitoring and control of labor. Education technology is, despite many of our hopes for something else, for something truly transformational, often a tool designed to meet administrative goals.” The holy grail of edtech sometimes seems to be a “robot tutor” who “knows” what a student needs automatically based on data — however, can it do this and is it even good for students? Audrey Watters answers “No."

The Increasing Significance of Social Media in the Learner Journey

Doug Belshaw - Doug Belshaw's blog

"The most forward-thinking organisations and institutions are thinking about the ways social media can simultaneously improve the learner journey, reduce teacher workload, and drive down costs.”

Where are there opportunities for social media to make a difference in education?

1. Access to expertise
2. Developing professional networks
3. Teacher automation

When I failed to help Peter I knew I had to change my teaching

Pernille Ripp - The Guardian

"Peter made me realise I had to give the classroom back to my students and make school about them, not me.” One teacher’s story of how she failed to reach Peter through all the things she was told a teacher was supposed to do — homework, punishment, Fs — and it was that failure that led to her to have the courage to change the way she taught. "I had to create a classroom that I would want to be a student in, that I would want my own children to be a part of.” Gone was the homework, the punishment, the grades — so that school can be about the students themselves, and not the teacher.

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