I’m starting to think about teaching again. This article makes a lot of sense to me and I will change my grading practices, even though this is aimed at K-12 and I teach grad students. 🏫

The Case Against Zeros in Grading in Middle and High School | Edutopia

Really interesting article from Microsoft about Work in 2021, with tons of data and good charts


Peer Learning

In Trust, safety, and learning at meetings : Conferences That Work, Adrian reminds us of the importance of peer learning 🏫:

Peer learning allows anyone to be a teacher and/or a student, with these roles switching from moment to moment. Potentially, everyone has something to contribute and to learn.

He’s talking about it in the context of Conferences. I’m thinking about this in the context of the classes I teach. I’ve been experimenting with Pair Share breakouts in Zoom this term. Twice I’ve had students do Pair Shares to share their most recent homework assignments with each other. It’s worked extremely well and I’ll definitely do this again next term.

Thinking about Micro.Blog highlights and maintaining a research page

I’ve been using the new highlights interface since MB 2.0 was released. It’s by no means perfect and there are plenty of weird bugs that mean some source pages can be archived and others cannot. But when it works, it’s a delightful way to maintain a “light” research page. For example, I try to stay up to date on research into “Long COVID” because my brother suffers from this illness. At my Long Covid page, I save the stuff that I think I’ll want to look at again, or that I want easy access to so I can share the links with my brother or other family members.

“The new highlights interface in Micro.blog Premium provides an easy way to go from reading and highlighting to publishing your own post.” Micro.blog News - Press Release: Micro.blog 2.0 Makes It Easier to Customize Your Blog

Syllabus design links

Creating a syllabus for a new course: The answer-seeking method – Raul Pacheco-Vega, PhD

Syllabus-writing as storytelling | University Affairs

What brains could teach scientists about the lasting effects of Covid-19

His goal: learning all he can about how SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, affects brain tissue, potentially leading to long-term symptoms of the virus.

“The involvement of the brain is quite extensive,”

No Learning without Risk - First Dose First, and also some Agile

An interesting article making the case that countries should shift their vaccine plans to “First Dose First,” to get the maximum number of people at least partially protected. I’m interested in the Agile concepts that are buried here, such as “the best decisions are based in data and sometimes to get data we have to do an experiment with an uncertain outcome.”

No Learning Without Risk - Marginal REVOLUTION

Put differently shifting away from the default strategy to an alternative such as FDF or fractional dosing might be considered to be “risky”. But in this context, learning requires risk. When learning is desirable, it is also desirable to take on risk. Risk aversion can prevent learning and thus can be dangerous.

Research into Contract Grading

Contract Grading Samples

How I Contract Grade · Ryan Cordell

Sample course explanation Course Assignments

Another one, same teacher Course Assignments

My Current Grading Contract – Teaching with Trust

Intrinsic Motivation

The Wrong Lesson That Almost All Schools Are Teaching – Teaching with Trust

This one especially resonates for me. Could I start off the class with a discussion of intrinsic motivation, then talk about contract grading?

Is the new bookmark/highlight feature a way into a Digital Garden?

I’m very curious about Andy Matuschak and his method of digital gardening. The new MB features around bookmarking and highlighting seem like an easy way of doing this. Here’s just one plant from Andy’s digital garden:

Write about what you read


Our broad approach is an alternating cycle:

Collect passages that seem interesting and thoughts that emerge while reading

Process clusters of those passages and thoughts into lasting notes

NK Jemisin receives MacArthur grant -- and trying out the bookmarks feature

Very excited about NK Jemisin receiving a MacArthur grant. Wondering what this amazing world builder will create.

MacArthur Foundation Announces 21 ‘Genius’ Grant Winners - The New York Times

Ms. Jemisin, 48, said she typically writes under contract, meaning that her books are held to an agreed-upon timeline. But with the financial freedom that the grant offers, she said that she now has the option to forgo those strictures and write on her own schedule.

“I will write my books first and sell them as I feel like selling them,” she said. “It presents me with a lot of freedom.”