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Seven things research reveals — and doesn’t — about Advanced Placement

The Washington Post – Valerie Strauss

“The Advanced Placement program is engaged in a tenuous balancing act. The program aims to serve more students from marginalized backgrounds whose schooling experiences have exposed them to few rigorous learning opportunities. At the same time, it seeks to engage students in challenging, college-level curricula, thereby enhancing their likelihood of postsecondary success.” (more)

What Makes a Genius? The World’s Greatest Minds Have One Thing in Common

Time – Walter Isaacson

“Being a genius is different than merely being supersmart. Smart people are a dime a dozen, and many of them don’t amount to much. What matters is creativity, the ability to apply imagination to almost any situation. Take Benjamin Franklin. He lacked the analytic processing power of a Hamilton and the philosophical depth of a Madison. Yet with little formal education, Franklin taught himself to become the American Enlightenment’s best inventor, diplomat, scientist, writer and business strategist. He proved, by flying a kite, that lightning is electricity, and he invented a rod to tame it. He devised clean-burning stoves, charts of the Gulf Stream, bifocal glasses, enchanting musical instruments and America’s unique style of homespun humor.”(more)

Billionaires and royals are rushing to teach their kids Mandarin

Business Insider – Abby Jackson

“Learning a second language has been proven to offer a swath of cognitive, health, and educational benefits. It improves brain development, can protect against dementia, and help with attention span. And Mandarin seems to be the hot language at the moment, with some high-profile wealthy families starting to push the language to their kids at a young age.”(more)

It’s Time For A Deeper Conversation About How Schools Use Technology

KQED News Mind/Shift – Katrina Schwartz

“School leaders are bringing technology into classrooms more than ever before, often concerned that without access to the tools of the modern work world students will be unprepared when they leave school. But recent studies about the effect of technology on achievement have shown uninspiring results, reinvigorating the conversation about how technology is used in classrooms. Educators who have been active in this space for many years have long known that technology can be used to connect students to the broader world, give them tools to create new and interesting learning artifacts, and open up a world of digital resources. But, technology can also be used to replicate the activities and tests that have always been used in the classroom. The tension between what technology could do and what it is often used for in classrooms is at the heart of a debate over whether all the money pumped into technology is worth it.”(more)

This simple exercise can teach your kids how to be smart with money

The Week – Sara Lindberg

“The best way parents can help their children develop good financial habits is to lead by example. Growing up the daughter of a banker, my entire life was about teachable moments when it came to money. My brothers and I couldn’t go to the grocery store without some kind of lesson on spending. And many nights at home were spent learning how to save our pennies in hopes that we could turn them into a dime.”(more)