Extension schools were the original attempt by higher education to offer a low-cost version for the non-elite. Thanks to a recent push towards online courses, Harvard University’s Extension School now has more students than the rest of Harvard combined. Well, unless you count the students in MOOCs, those free online courses, which are offered through a different division of the university. Let’s face it, the number of different types of degrees you could get from Harvard is getting confusing, and the same could be said for many other universities as well.
[W]hen it comes to the instructors answering students, a clear anomaly came to light. Instructors were 94% more likely to respond to comments made by white male students. Significant evidence supports the presence of such bias in brick-and-mortar education. According to the authors, “boys generally receive more attention and comments from instructors than girls in primary education … There is also evidence that teachers treat Black students more negatively than White students … and reinforce social aspects of behavior for Black girls while highlighting academic behaviors of White girls.” These biases have been documented in all levels of education.
As online learning extends its reach, though, it is starting to run into a major obstacle: There are undeniable advantages, as traditional colleges have long known, to learning in a shared physical space. Recognizing this, some online programs are gradually incorporating elements of the old-school, brick-and-mortar model—just as online retailers such as Bonobos and Warby Parker use relatively small physical outlets to spark sales on their websites and increase customer loyalty. Perhaps the future of higher education sits somewhere between the physical and the digital.
Many parents confess that studying at home has a negative impact on their children’s behavior: they become moody, sad and even, depressed. No wonder! After all, it’s a public school where you make first friendships. Thus, kids who learn at home, go out less often and have fewer possibilities to meet kids in their age, play together, socialize and make friends.
Apple designed a heap of devices over the years specifically for use in the classroom. For generations of American school kids, learning to type, write papers, and research school projects was something you did on a Mac. Not anymore. Today’s classrooms are powered by Chromebooks and, to a lesser extent, Windows laptops. These are sturdy, versatile, and inexpensive machines that have revolutionized how schools incorporate technology into their classrooms. Steve Jobs wanted to put a computer in the hands of every student. But Chromebooks—not Macbooks—have made that vision a reality.
Students, employees, and CEOs alike may wish to maximize their productivity by defining windows of time during which they plan to be separated from their phones, allowing them to accomplish tasks requiring deeper thought. Moreover, asking employees not to use their phones during meetings may not be enough. Our work suggests that having meetings without phones present can be more effective, boosting focus, function, and the ability to come up with creative solutions. More broadly, we can all become more engaged and cognitively adept in our everyday lives simply by putting our smartphones (far) away.
One could also point out, anecdotally, that violent video games are played all over the world, but certain countries like the US have a much higher rate of mass shootings and gun violence compared to places like Japan. Research, including several studies performed at Harvard’s Injury Control Research Center, has found that a country’s gun laws and amount of firearms have a much higher impact on gun violence.
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This section is used to share resources I find interesting. The opinions expressed in this section do not necessarily reflect my views. Most of the highlights are direct quotes from the original sources.