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Education

Reading and Restaurants

A new story at the Guardian on how McDonald’s is planning on distributing 15 million children’s books over the next few years through it’s happy meal program. What a great way to make parents forget that the food is terrible — they give us books! Actually, the story made me …

Back to School: What do you do when you come back and your department is gone? Go to computer class of course.

When I returned to school last month, two things had changed noticeably on my campus. First, my department was gone. The department of German literature and culture, in which I had been a professor, was the latest victim in the so-called decline of the humanities. (To be fair, we weren’t …

Flatlining in Class

This graphic should give us as teachers serious pause. It shows how the periods of the lowest nervous activity for students occurred…during class. Ouch. The good news is that “lab” seems to have been far more stimulating. Here is the full paper by Ming-Zher Poh et al.

Readathons

My son’s school is holding its annual Lecturothon today, where every student in the school has to read for five straight hours (I’m guessing there are breaks). They use it to raise money  and to make a statement about the value of sustained reading. He brings a sleeping bag, a …

The Unconscious of Labor

An amazing interview at Spark with Luis von Ahn, inventor of those blurry text boxes that you have to type in to prove you’re a human when you want to fill out a form. Ahn is one of those people whose mind just solves things. So after feeling guilty that …

Et tu, Classics?

Death of the book, death of the humanities, and now, death of the classics. I could have sworn they already died, but alright: Mary Beard has a very thoughtful reflection on the relevance of the classics today in the NY Review of Books. But do we need defenses of things …