Student coalition combats false virus information | Virtual university aims to create global citizens | Why one school made most homework optional
August 4, 2020
ASCD Global Edition SmartBrief
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Teaching & Learning in a Connected World
Student coalition combats false virus information
An international coalition of hundreds of high-school and college students is working to offer accurate information about the coronavirus and help to disprove some of the false information circulating online. The students, who connected via the social platform Discord, formed the Coronavirus Visualization Team -- a nonprofit organization -- and have released, among other things, a COVID-19 Risk Score Model, which demonstrates the disproportionate effect of the virus on "marginalized and underserved communities."
Full Story: EdSurge (7/31) 
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Minerva Schools, the brainchild of businessman Ben Nelson, is an unconventional, virtual university where students spend their first year in San Francisco and then live and study in a different city around the world for each remaining semester. Instead of standards such as English 101, courses are designed for active learning in areas such as "empirical analyses" and "multimodal communications," and students learn "to become a global citizen," Nelson says.
Full Story: The Guardian (London) (7/30) 
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advanSR leverages gamification to motivate students!
Learning through gamification encourages positive behaviors and provides instant feedback, affirmation, and a proven productive learning environment. Students use a customized avatar to travel through education-focused missions and game levels, encouraging positive behaviors. Preview the app!
Globally Minded Leadership
Why one school made most homework optional
Dar Al Marefa School in Dubai has upended the traditional approach to homework by making the assignments optional for subjects other than reading and math. The move followed a survey showing that parents did not believe homework was improving academic outcomes and was harming overall well-being.
Full Story: TES (UK) (7/31) 
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There are six key ways to help prepare students for an uncertain school year, writes Trenton Goble, a former school principal and current executive at Canvas. In this commentary, he suggests students have a consistent schedule, read and take walks.
Full Story: eSchool News (free registration) (8/3) 
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Getting to September, Part II: The First Four Weeks
As students and teachers prepare to begin the 2020-2021 school year, questions linger. What will instruction look like this year? Will learning be fully online, in person or a mix of both? Tune in August 18th to hear a panel of educators discuss strategies for navigating the first few weeks successfully. Register Now
Education News from Around the World
Global Education Policy & Research
Can a brain scan predict student math success?
Cognitive neuroscientist Daniel Ansari is using brain imaging and behavioral methods to pinpoint the best predictors of K-12 math success. Because poor math skills often correlate to diminished success in life, Ansari wants to develop a screening tool to identify those at risk and connect it to new ways of teaching math.
Full Story: St. Thomas Times-Journal (Ontario) (7/29) 
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Pandemic-related shutdowns and travel restrictions are driving up malnutrition in children, causing wasting, stunted growth and death, United Nations agencies say. World Health Organization head of nutrition for health and development Dr. Francesco Branca says the world will face further societal impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic years from now unless the hunger crisis is addressed.
Full Story: The Associated Press (7/27) 
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New from ASCD
Schools are influential agents of socialization, affecting how we perceive ourselves and others. Educators have a responsibility to model, teach, and create conditions in which each child's gender diversity is accepted and nourished.
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By being more strategic about new teachers' time, schools can stave off burnout. David Rosenberg, a partner at Education Resource Strategies, shares how a "shelter-and-develop" model allows rookie teachers to teach fewer classes and fewer students, while getting the coaching and mentoring support they need to thrive. Read more in Educational Leadership.
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Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success.
Albert Schweitzer,
theologian, organist, writer, humanitarian, philosopher, physician
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