Genetics and academic achievement

This week's must-read stories

By Karina Fuerte

Coursera launches its first affordable Ivy League degree
The online platform announced the launch of the first Ivy League degree on Coursera in partnership with the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Engineering and Applied Science. The MCIT Online is the only Ivy League graduate computer science degree that has absolutely no computer science prerequisites.

Study links genetics with staying in school
A study conducted on more than 1.1 million individuals from 15 different countries identified more than 1,200 genes linked to educational attainment. Although this finding could predict academic success, the effect of the genes found is weak, and the data can not predict educational achievements.

RMIT will issue badges with blockchain technology
Students from the Australian Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology(RMIT) will be able to demonstrate their credentials, skills, and abilities with blockchain technology. In partnership with Credly, RMIT will offer students the opportunity to publish gained credentials in their new "RMIT Creds" portfolio.

It costs billions for girls not to complete secondary education
According to the World Bank, in low-income countries, only one in three girls finishes the first cycle of secondary school. If all the girls in the world complete 12 years of education, the lifetime income of women could increase between 15 billion and 30 billion dollars.

Blended courses and growth mindset to strengthen math teaching
Myths and misinformation undermine the teaching of math. A recent study states that blended learning supported by a growth mindset is an outstanding strategy for preparing math teachers.

A Museum in Your School: an Augmented Reality Learning Experience in Art History
"The silent crisis of the Humanities" is due to several factors, the lack of interest of students in this area of knowledge and its usefulness. Mario Corrales Serrano presents an example of how to apply augmented reality to transform the corridors of your school into a museum.

What we are reading

  • The mysteries of the classroom: What works, what doesn’t and why
    What happens inside the classroom is hard to quantify. (The Washington Post)

  • The 'Overparenting' Crisis In School And At Home
    Have you ever paid your kid for good grades? Have you driven to school to drop off a forgotten assignment? Have you done a college student's laundry? (NPR)

  • To Remember, the Brain Must Actively Forget
    “Forgetting serves as a filter. It filters out the stuff that the brain deems unimportant.” (Quanta Magazine)

  • Colleges May Be Struggling, But Art Schools? Not So Much
    “Artists and designers are happier and have more life satisfaction because they are doing something that they are passionate about, that they love, and oh, by the way, they are also making money.” (Fortune)

  • We Need to Start Educating Students and Hiring Teams About Blockchain. Why That's Crucial. 
    Blockchain's global market is predicted to hit $60.7 billion by 2024. However, rather than forcing students to strictly learn blockchain, universities should create complementary electives. (Entrepreneur)

  • Microcredentials: On the Outside Looking In
    Lifelong learning is the new economic and social reality. Microcredentialing is also a means of bringing working adults who already have college degrees back to campus. (The Evolllution)

  • Why Doctors Should Read Fiction
    A new paper argues that studying literature is good training for medicine. Certain literary exercises can expand doctors’ worldviews and make them more attuned to the dilemmas real patients face. (The Atlantic)

  • The pros and cons of mentoring by Skype
    "I applied for the Springboard programme because it came with a bespoke mentoring system. I liked the fact that it isn’t hierarchical mentoring (...) Instead, it’s a person who is accomplished in their field. (Nature)