This week in Education news: Nicholas Kristof wonders where students get wisdom anymore; Edutopia rounds up short videos that support conversations around race; EdWeek reports on a study about the education benefits of using Google Docs; a physical therapist in New York creates low-tech solutions for special needs students; and Monica Burns finds the best apps for using Google Cardboard in the classroom.
Op-Ed Asks, Are Colleges Teaching Skills at the Expense of Wisdom?
In The New York Times, Nicholas Kristof opines on the rise of the business and computer science degrees and the decline of liberal arts education. Studies show that the study of literature enables us to better understand each other. This empathy yields wiser decisions when technical choices become a question of ethics. So, what do we lose when certain politicians and business leaders — and in turn parents and students — mistake skilled graduates for truly educated graduates?
Video Playlist Enables Brave, Constructive Discussions about Race
Edutopia put together an amazing collection of short videos about race and prejudice — and there’s something for all ages. Educators can have a positive impact in their classrooms — and communities — by teaching constructive ways to address stereotypes and racism. With Ferguson and other incidents stoking the national conversation around race, students need support to handle a complicated issue that affects all of their lives.
Survey Says, Use of Google Docs Doesn’t Affect Test Scores
EdWeek reports that students who use Google Docs for writing and peer editing don’t score higher on tests because of it. Yet, students in the survey say that they prefer Google Docs to pencil-and-paper or other word-processing software. The study had other key findings that could prove useful for educators in classrooms that use the platform.
Physical Therapist Repurposes Found Objects to Help Special Needs Students
File this one under inspiring and low-tech. The New York Times shares a story about Michael Konstalid, a physical therapist in New York City who repurposes discarded furniture in order to create custom physical therapy equipment. The story is a testament to how valuable innovations might be sitting in the trash pile and that the secret to a student’s success might be a simple adjustment in their environment.
EdTech Trend: Google Cardboard
Our resident EdTech blogger shares apps to use with Google Cardboard to deepen engagement with classroom topics. Students can travel to the Grand Canyon or the Lantern Festival, without leaving their chairs.