Tuesday, April 30, 2024

woman riding a bicycle

Greetings Starfighters,

I’m sorting through my feelings about kids, social media, smartphones in schools, and dopamine. There’s quite a growing roar online about the time kids spend on social media and the number of notifications they get during the school day. Of course, leading the charge is Jonathan Haidt, who wants you to take away your kid’s phone.

I haven’t read his book yet and likely won’t for some time, but if we’re worried about notifications on phones (you can turn them off, and we can teach kids, and ourselves, responsible usage) and how much time kids are spending on social media and phones, we have more work to do than to take the phones away.

Bans don’t work, and the kids just model what they see adults doing. Also, I remember a time when the old folks said that kids shouldn’t spend all their time playing video games (also getting dopamine hits) or watching TV, and there’s an awful lot of us that turned out just fine.

Quote of the Day

reality is broken quote

“The research proves what gamers already know: within the limits of our own endurance, we would rather work hard than be entertained.” (Jane McGonigal, Reality Is Broken)

Musical Interlude

Yo-Yo Ma has traveled to several national parks, performing in beautiful environments. He performed inside Mammoth Cave last year (I’m still bummed I didn’t get to see the concert), and on Earth Day 2024, he performed in Alaska.

Long Read of the Day

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the pivotal “A Nation At Risk” report, an event that shaped educational discourse in the United States for decades. In a thought-provoking partnership, The 74 has joined forces with Stanford University’s Hoover Institution to launch the “A Nation At Risk +40” research initiative. This collaborative project delves into the wide-ranging impacts of forty years of educational reforms through a series of expert analyses, offering a critical look at how far we have come and the areas where we falter.

Despite the urgent tone of the original 1983 report, which revolutionized educational standards and accountability, it notably omitted discussions on the crucial aspects of funding and budgeting. Here is a chapter from the new research on school finance and education funding priorities.

Final Thoughts

It’s Derby Week here in Kentucky, and I can’t help but wonder what state our public schools would be in if our state leaders were as concerned with education as they are with a horse race.

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