Comment on My Action Items for Diversity by Chen

This is very interesting. It seems that when a culture is very dominant (meaning the population is not culturally diverse), denial of and judgement on anything/anyone that’s different can increase exponentially. According to a theory I heard on NPR the other day, tradition and morality formation gives humans an evolutionary advantage in the following way. Naturally, fear is the most effective modifier of human behavior: you can’t be too risky otherwise you might die in trying new things, which is how fear protects you. However, sometimes fear is not that effective in the sense that you might miss the opportunities to try out new things such as going out with a new date or trying out new food, environment. Therefore, there’s a fine line between being too bold and being a wimp in regarding new things, which is (part of) the basis of tradition/morality. For a culture that has less diverse population, it’s not surprising that, as a whole, the attitude on people behave differently is less welcoming and more judgemental.

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Comment on Like Deer in Headlights by Rudi

Great article! I will say that I too struggle with this idea of whether to have laptops be present in the classroom or not. I struggle because it was only in graduate school did I value typing my notes on my laptop, before then, I was old school and a pen and paper note taker. Now though, I do agree with you, it is up to the student to choose what is best for them.

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Comment on May I have an hour of your time? by A. Nelson

This is one of the most beautiful posts I’ve read. Today is a day when I really needed to think about processes rather than outcomes. And reading this reflection reminded me to breathe and let go of some things. So thank you for sharing this with us. And I’m ever so envious of the students who will be experiencing your diversity statement in the years to come.

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Comment on Diversity – yes . . . Statement – not easy by Sara Lamb Harrell

Hi Kathryn! I can relate to the challenges of writing a statement like this… I am working on one, but I am by no means ready to share it! (Which is why I wrote on multitasking this week! Ha!) You may be critical of yourself because we tend to be harsh on ourselves by nature– but I am impressed, as always, with your ability to articulate your thoughts in such a beautiful way. Your statement was concise and lovely. You point directly to the issues and then offer yourself in a humble way. It is obvious that you love people, that you are an educator, and that you are a philosopher. It is so genuine. I can’t help but admire you more when I read this. Thank you for sharing your work.

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Comment on Successfulness by kgculbertson

There is a line of thinking in educational psychology and in pedagogy studies that teaching students to focus on what they know and do well will be more productive than focusing on correcting errors or deficiencies. In my classrooms, I have often used this line of reasoning with students who tend to dwell on their inabilities rather than capitalize on their strengths.
After reading your post – and about Bezos’ philosophy about focusing on strengths – it reminded me of a man I once heard talk about his learning math conceptually when in middle school. He talked about not having to ‘worry’ about arithmetic and instead focusing on the ‘way’ mathematical concepts worked and how it seemed to liberate everyone from always thinking about how to get the right answer, and instead focus on what understanding the concept(s) could help them do/figure out.
I wonder: if we (humans) had a perception of what access to the technology could help them do better or learn more of, instead of thinking how it could fill their immediate needs for attention and gratification if we could improve productivity overall?
Thanks for the rundown, Sofia. It is illuminating.

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Comment on Avoid Distraction from Electric Devices   by shiqiang225

Digital distractions are like double-edge sword, even myself will constantly check my phone for incoming emails and/or messages. Still, I prefer keeping the classroom setting simple and trying not to use too many technologies except PPT slides, if I’m the instructor. I took the communicating science class, and any digital devices were not allowed. The instructor just let us sit in one circle and talked to us in person without PPT slides. The class environment was quite inviting, and we were all engaged in this class actively throughout the 3 hours.

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Comment on Free Food Anyone? by D.Gupta

I feel you’ve hit the hammer right on the head. I will argue that being engaged with the “outside world” is a great thing, but I feel that a line has to be drawn somewhere. Did we not have distractions before cell phones? We clearly did. Did some of us (including me) not phase out in our classrooms? I definitely did. But I would always constrain myself beyond a certain point. If I phased out in the last class, I would try to make it a point to listen to atleast half of the lecture before I allowed my attention to wander away. Maybe we are simply losing self control.

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