Archive for the ‘Doug’s Original Work’ Category

16 Jobs That Will Disappear In The Next 20 Years Due To Artificial Intelligence from Alux.Com

Sunday, September 16th, 2018

16 Jobs That Will Disappear In The Next 20 Years Due To Artificial Intelligence from Alux.Com (@aluxcom) should provide guidance to students and people already in the workforce. If you have one of these jobs, start preparing for something else. If you are still in school, prepare for something else. Watch the original Alux.Com video on YouTube. For each job, I have added my own thoughts and advice based on my daily viewing of Internet resources for this blog.

One study at Oxford found that 45% of all jobs will disappear in the next ten years.

  • For the most part, it’s easy to extrapolate from where we are to where we are going as many of these job loss trends are well underway or available as prototypes. As time marches forward, machines and computer software will be able to do more and more and this isn’t new. Not only will jobs in the US disappear, but many of the jobs that have been sent offshore will return only to be done by machines and/or computers.

Manufacturing Workers

16 Jobs Not to Train for and to Start Retraining If You Are In One

  • 1. Drivers – It looks like it won’t be long before cars and trucks drive themselves. Our 20 million drivers will have to reinvent themselves. There are already self-driving trucks in Nevada and self-driving Uber cars in Pittsburg. This should be a real boon for old people and it should save many lives. Perhaps when I get to the point where my daughter tries to take my car keys away I’ll have a self-driving car.
  • 2. Farmers – Much of what needs to be done is rapidly being automated. Labor intensive jobs are already disappearing. This should reduce our reliance on immigrant labor. Already under 2% of employed people in the US work on farms. Farming also continues to become more hi-tech. On some dairy farms, for example, cows are already milking themselves. If you want to be a farmer, take as many science and engineering courses as you can. You can also expect to work for one of the ten companies that control almost all of the food we eat.
  • 3. Printers and Publishers – This one is well on its way with the growth of Internet publishing. Few publishers have been able to establish a successful paywall in front of their online content. These jobs won’t totally disappear for a while as older people like me still like the experience of holding real books, magazines, and newspapers. There is no laptop screen as big as my physical New York Times.
  • 4. Cashiers – Self-checkout stations are expanding already. At my Walmart, as of today, there are eight along with an equal number of checkouts staff by humans. I prefer self-checkout at grocery stores and places like Walmart as there is usually no waiting. I suspect that as soon as lines show up they will add more and have fewer humans. I’ve used them in restaurants as well and I like this experience. I don’t have to give my credit card to some server I don’t know who takes it someplace where I can’t see it. In the last year, my card was hacked twice in restaurants in New York City for this reason. Fast food restaurants now let you order and pay using your smartphone from the parking lot.
  • 5. Travel Agents – I’ve been doing my own booking online for years. The last time I used a real agent was in 2002. Many of my retired friends sign up for tours where someone does all the planning and makes all the arrangements for at least a bus full or people. I prefer doing it myself as when you go on a tour bus or cruise ship you take the crowd with you.
  • 6. Manufacturing Workers – Now machines build other machines with less human interaction every year. This is not new as car manufacturers have been using robots for decades. This is a slow and steady change unlike some of the others listed here. Many schools are letting students manufacture things with 3D printers. This is one more reason why all students should try to take a few programming courses.
  • 7. Dispatchers – The role of the dispatcher is coordinate people in the field. Technology will soon do this better. You can already call your own cabs and pay with your smartphone. I think we will need people who can maintain and repair vehicles for some time. These jobs have already become more technical as the first thing they do is connect a computer to the vehicle’s computer.
  • Waiting Tables

  • 8. Waiters and Bartenders – This trend has already begun. I’ve been to restaurants where once you are seated you use a tablet at the table to order and pay. We still need humans to do some of the food preparation, but there is no reason why a robot can’t serve the food someday soon.
  • 9. Bank Tellers – ATMs have already cut the number of people doing this job. There are still many transactions that we need tellers for, but efficiency is making them more productive. At my bank, the tellers use a machine to count the money I get when I cash a check.
  • 10. Military Pilots and Soldiers – The military is often the first to adopt new technology. Drones are more accurate and safer, at least for the person piloting the craft. We only have prototypes of robot soldiers at this point, but the idea of a robot soldier engaging bad guys in urban warfare has a lot of appeal. Check out this prototype soldier from Boston Dynamics. We also have robots that help clear IEDs and landmines. As terrorists adapt and evolve, we will need to do the same with increasingly advance technology.
  • 11. Fast Food Workers – This falls in the same category with the waiters and bartenders. According to some thinking, the push for $15/hour pay has pushed automation to be adopted faster. Order taking and paying is easy to automate. The harder part of food preparation will take a bit longer, but it is already underway. The remaining humans will need to be more skilled to troubleshoot the entire process.
  • 12. Telemarketer – This industry has been taken over by online ads. People like me that only have cell phones can block calls, which takes a big piece of the market off the table. Facebook, for example, can test the effectiveness of ads and target them to people who are more likely to respond. I don’t mind seeing this job go as it seems like a crappy job.
  • 13. Accountants and Tax Preparers – Boring and repetitive jobs are ripe for takeover by machines. Most people have simple needs for tax preparation that can easily be met by software. Tax preparation software is already decades old. If you are an accountant or plan to be one, you better be good and expect to only get the tricky nonroutine work. Rich people and large corporations will still need tax preparation people, but they better be really top notch.
  • Stock Traders

  • 14. Stock Traders – Only 10% of stocks traded today are traded by humans. In this world, the bots always win. Most people will still want to talk to a financial advisor who needs to be very knowledgeable and constantly learning. The habits of constant learning and continuous improvement should serve workers well as they try to deal with the ever-changing nature of the job market.
  • 15. Construction Workers – Technology is getting more efficient and fewer specialized workers will be needed at the job site. For example, watch Sam the Bricklaying Robot that can lay bricks better and three times as fast as the fastest human. Sam’s human supervisors will have to understand the entire job and not just be able to lay bricks. This trend probably started with the invention of the wheel or something like that. Automation has also dramatically cut the number of people needed to run mines and oil fields.
  • 16. Movie Stars – Human actors are expensive and moody. Actors will just be generated by computers. The 3D animated movies like Toy Story and others already give us an idea of how movies can be made without actors. Next time you see one of these animated movies be sure to stay for the credits and read about the hundreds of jobs that take the place of a relatively small number of actors. The problem here is when the movie is done, all of those people have to look for their next job. There are a lot of jobs for non-starving artists who are willing to do what the boss wants as opposed to their own thing so don’t hesitate to develop some artistic skill.

Dr. Doug’s General Advice On Preparing For the Future

  • We know that it is very difficult to know what kind of job you are going to be doing even a few years in the future. In the meantime, there are a few things that are clear as far as what you can do to prepare for whatever comes next no matter how old you are.
  • 1) Whatever you do, get good at it. There will be less and less work for people who are mediocre.
  • 2) Become a self-directed learner so you can acquire as much in the way of skill and knowledge as possible on your own. This can start as early as elementary school for some students. Tricky jobs require fast learners who can figure things out as they go. There are tools on the Internet that make learning much more available.
  • 3) Work hard and learn something new and try to improve every day. The future is not likely to belong to the slackers, at least for a while. If we get to the point where machines are doing everything we have to get good at slacking.
  • 4) Consider taking as many science, engineering, and programming courses as possible. In a future featuring more and more robots, you want to be designing, maintaining, or supervising them rather than being replaced by them. Even if you don’t want to get serious about programming, at least learn how to create and maintain an attractive website.
  • 5) Creative people will always be in demand. Some might argue that creativity cannot be taught, but most educators believe that it can be facilitated. If you don’t give students open-ended problems and projects, they won’t be able to exercise their creative ability. Parents can do this too.
  • 6) Artistic skills will be in demand. Everything you see on television, print media, and the Internet was created in part by artists. If you want to go to an art school, make sure it’s one where you will spend most of your time developing your artistic ability rather than taking a bunch of liberal arts courses. Try to take the AP versions in high school so you can avoid them in college. Also, pick a school in a big city where it will be easier to get high quality internships.
  • 7) Develop your network. Most people get their jobs by way of word of mouth. In addition to working hard to become highly skilled and creative, make sure that as many people as possible in addition to family and friends know what you can do. Rather than a resumé, put samples of your best work, whatever it is, on your website.

Some TED Talks on the Topic

  • Jobs of the Future and How We Can Prepare For Them, a TED Talk by Avinash Meetoo. @AvinashMeetoo As robots proliferate, the creative arts will thrive because people will have time on their hands and will be able to create things that entertain. In addition to the creative arts, there will be a high demand for jobs that call for computer science.
  • AI and the Future of Work a TED Talk by Volker Hirsch @vhirsch FoxCon in China is replacing 60,000 workers with robots. This means it’s cheaper to use robots than it is to pay someone $5 a day. Keep in mind that we have had industrial robots for decades. Drones are already delivering pizzas in New Zealand. Large legal firms are using AI to do legal work. Automation will take every job that it can take. Anything that has repetition machines can probably do better. If you are an account or radiologist you should consider retraining. Hoping that change won’t happen is a bad idea.
  • How the Future of Work is Not Jobs a TED Talk by Rudy Karsan @RudyKarsan tells us that people are already creating work and that entrepreneurism will increase in the future. He also makes a pitch for universal minimum income.
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An Emergency Remote Teaching Survey by Dr. Doug Green

Monday, March 30th, 2020


Emergency Remote Learning

  • Due to recent COVID-19 school closings, most teachers are engaged in a massive natural experiment involving online education. It seems that it’s time to put together a survey aimed to find out what teachers are experiencing as they try to carry on instruction online, perhaps for the first time. It would be a real waste if we didn’t try to gather some data from what is going on. We need to find out what works and what doesn’t, what we should continue doing as part of a blended learning effort, and what we need to do so that future remote learning efforts are successful whenever schools are closed for any reason. There is no reason why the next “snow day” should be wasted.

Each District is Different

  • There are thousands of school districts in the US and each district is on their own when it comes to finding out what their teachers, students, and parents are experiencing. The purpose of this effort is to suggest some questions that superintendents might ask in order to see what they can learn from what is going on. If you can think of any other questions that could yield valuable feedback please let me know at Also, feel free to modify, add, or delete any questions. If you do send out a survey of some kind be sure to commit resources to analyze the information you harvest and use your data to make a plan to improve. Good luck. I want to thank the people at The Educause Review for their help with this effort.

My Questions

  • 1. Which of the sites recommended by the district did you use and how successful were they?
  • 2. Which sites have you used that were not suggested by the district?
  • 3. We need feedback from learners. What have your students told you?
  • 4. What did you struggle with most? Do you have any suggestions for how to prevent such struggles?
  • 5. Did you have sufficient support? If not, what was missing?
  • 6. Were there technology resources that you needed that weren’t available? If so, what were they?
  • 7. Are there non-technology resources that you could use that you don’t have?
  • 8. Please summarize any interactions that you may have had with parents since you started teaching remotely.
  • 9. Are there any other comments that you would like to offer.
  • Hodges, Charles; Moore, Stephanie; Lockee, Barb; Trust, Torrey; and Bond, Aaron. The Difference Between Emergency Remote Teaching and Online Learning, Educause Review, March 27, 2020, available online.
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Everything is Illuminated, The story of Big History by Andrew Ross Sorkin

Tuesday, September 16th, 2014

Everything is Illuminated the story of big history by Andrew Ross Sorkin (New York Times Magazine, Sept. 7, 2014) tells the story of how Bill Gates got the idea of bringing a course created by David Christian called Big History to schools in place of existing history courses. While this sounds very cool it is not without controversy. To get an idea of what this is all about, you can watch Christian’s TED Talk, The History of Our World in 18 Minutes.

In the Beginning

  • Big History is unusual in that it does not confine itself to any particular topic, or even a single discipline. It is a synthesis of history, biology, chemistry, astronomy, and other disparate fields that deal with life on Earth. The course is divided into eight thresholds. They are for example: the bing bang, the origin of Homo sapiens, the appearance of agriculture, and forces that shape our modern world. This course is available on DVD as part of the Teaching Company’s Great Courses. After viewing the course, Bill Gates approached Christian telling him that he wanted to introduce this course in high schools all across America. (It is also available online for free. Teachers have to register first and then give course codes to students.)

The Project Launch

  • In 2011, the Big History Project debuted in five high schools. As of this fall (2014) 1,200 schools and 15,000 students are involved. In many places like New York it runs into problems with regulations that require students to take certain specific history course, but states like California allow it to be taken in place of more traditional courses. Christian was teaching history at Macquarie University in Sydney when he started his own form of cross-disciplinary scholarship. The big idea is that everything is connected. As he started to look at the bigger picture of life on Earth, he realized that he needed to go to the starting point, or the beginning of the universe itself.
  • When he started testing his ideas he was delighted by the reaction of the students, and the notion that the course allowed him to address big questions like How did we get here? and Where are we going? that were not possible to ask in a course confined to a silo of content. It also allowed for insights across subjects and wildly ambitions narratives. This is just the opposite of what most students experience in school, which is “one damn course after another” with no connections between the courses.
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Exams Measure What We know, But They’re Also the Best Way to Learn – Article Summary

Monday, September 22nd, 2014

Exams Measure What We know, But They’re Also the Best Way to Learn by Benedict Carey takes a look at how pretests that resemble final exams can improve learning. This is from the New York Times Magazine, September 7, 2014. Click here for the full article. Click below to buy his book.

Benedict J. Carey

  • Benedict is a science reporter for The New York Times who focuses on brain and behavior topics. He writes about neuroscience, psychiatry and neurology, as well as everyday psychology. The territory includes the large and the small, memory molecules and group behavior, narcissism and nostalgia, drug uses and drug addiction. You can email him or reach him on Twitter @bencareynyt.

The Set Up

  • Benedict starts by asking if you would study more effectively if on day one of a difficult course you were presented with the final exam without answers. Certainly you would focus on the key questions and work hard to find high quality answers. This is the idea behind pretesting, one of the most exciting developments in learning-science. A recent study at U.C.L.A. by Elizabeth Ligon Bjork found that pretesting raised performance on finals by an average of 10%. The key idea here is that testing might be the key to studying rather than the other way around. A test is not only a measurement tool, it’s a way of enriching and altering memory.

Test Dread

  • Many of us have had the “bombed test” experience, and most of us have only taken tests that counted at the end of a unit, a semester, or a year. The problem is often due to a misjudgment of the depth of what we know. We simply think we are fluent when we are not, and we assume that further study won’t help. We move on forgetting that we forgot. The best way to overcome this illusion is testing, which also happens to be an effective study technique in its own right. This has been understood for some time as we know it is easier to memorize something if you stop and try to recite it after some initial study rather than studying until you have memorized the entire piece. Recitation is a form of self-examination.
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How to Cheat on State Standardized Tests and Not Get Caught by Dr. Doug Green

Monday, June 1st, 2015

Yesterday this article was posted at Education Week Online. My goal in writing it is to do my small part to take down a test and punish system that just about any educator I know thinks is bad for kids, and by extension our society as a whole. I encourage my readers to look for opportunities to do the same. I hope you enjoy it and please leave a comment if you can. My thanks go out to my editor Starr Sackstein (@mssackstein) for believing in my work and doing such a fine editing job.

How to Cheat on State Standardized Tests and Not Get Caught by Dr. Doug Green

Also, be Sure to Check Out My Recent Book Summaries and Guest Posts.

Ball or Bands: Football vs Music as an Educational and Community Investment by John Gerdy (©2014) uses research to support the notion that due to costs, injuries, its focus on elite male athletes, and a negative impact on school cultures, support for high school football can no longer be defended. He also makes a case for why music and the arts in general need more support.

On Your Mark: Challenging the Conventions of Grading and Reporting by Thomas R. Guskey explains to all teachers why their grading practices are probably wrong for many reasons.

Intelligence and How to Get It: Why Schools and Cultures Count by Richard Nisbett shows how intelligence is mostly determined by one’s environment and provides concrete things that parents and teachers can do to make kids smarter.

Why Would Anyone Let Their Kid Play Football or Anything Else? This is my latest article posted at Ed Week Teacher’s online site yesterday. Thanks to Starr Sackstein for the great edits. @DrDougGreen @mssackstein @EdWeekTeacher

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Smoothie Basics: Adding Nutrition and Taste to Your Diet Now That You Have More Time at Home by Dr. Doug Green

Friday, March 27th, 2020

Smoothie Pic
Smoothie Basics: Add Nutrition and Taste to Your Diet Now That You Have More Time at Home by Dr. Doug Green
With families staying home and preparing more food from scratch, consider making some breakfast smoothies. Kids should like these beverages and it’s easy to involve them in choosing the ingredients and pushing the button. Here is what you need to know.

Start With Your Goals

  • You want something that is highly nutritious and good tasting. There are two basic kinds of smoothies, fruity and savory. I only make the former as the savory ones end up tasting like cold vegetable soup and at worst can seem a bit medicinal.
  • If it’s going to be nutritious, all ingredients should qualify. Ideally, you have one or more from the berry group and at least one from the citrus group. For protein, I use no-fat plain Greek yogurt, but you should experiment with nuts. Walnuts and almonds are the best, but other nuts are fine and may even taste better. Cashews and pistachios work for me. You will also need some liquid as just using fruit and yogurt won’t spin too well and if it did you would have to eat it with a spoon. (Think humus)

Fruit Options

  • I would start with strawberries and blueberries as my berry component. Raspberries and blackberries are fine too as long as your blender can pummel the seeds. For citrus I like oranges. Yes, I know they are a pain to peel but think of it as occupational therapy. Grapefruit is good too as are lemons and limes. If you use lemons and/or limes you may have to compensate by adding something sweet. If you need to add sweetness, try honey or maple syrup as they have as least some marginal nutritive value. You can also use jams or preserves. One of my secret ingredients is lingonberry jam.
  • Just about any fruit works so go with what’s in season. Grapes are good as are apples (skins on no seeds), pears (skins on no seeds), peaches and apricots (skins on no pits), and kiwis (peeled).
  • Another go-to ingredient is pineapple. I buy fresh uncut pineapples and process them myself. See YouTube if you need help. Also, consider more exotic fruits such as mangos or papayas. Don’t forget bananas. They always work well in smoothies and you don’t have to worry if they are a little too ripe. If you like them a little green they will add that taste to the finished product. Be sure to cut all fruit up to the size of a medium strawberry prior to adding it to your blender.

It’s Easy Being Green

  • Just about all nutritionists recommend that leafy vegetables be a steady part of your diet. If you feel you need more than you are getting from your other meals, you can add some to your smoothie. If you add a small amount of greens to a fruit smoothie they will not change the taste much if at all. They will, however, impact the color of the final product depending on how much you use and what you mix them with.
  • The king of smoothy greens is the trendy kale leaf, something that restaurants use to put on plates as an attractive garnish that no one ever ate. Other greens work too so if you have some kicking around for other reasons give them a try. Spinach looks like the second most popular green. One caution, adding greens to fruit-based smoothies can result in a final color that may or may not have great visual appeal. Think brown. It also might produce a drink that is bright green, a can’t miss item for St. Patrick’s day parties.
  • If you search for smoothie recipes online you will find ingredients that go beyond fruit, juice, yogurt, and greens. Avocados are common as are items that will add some heat. Examples include cayenne pepper and jalapeño peppers. I’ve also seen rolled oats, but most things in your pantry are fair game.

Liquid Possibilities

  • You need to add liquid to your smoothies to give them a drinkable consistency, just about any fruit juice will do. My list would include orange, cranberry, grapefruit, pineapple, and lemonade (already sweetened). There are many products on the market today that call themselves “Milk” but clearly do not come from a cow. Many are made from nuts like almonds and cashews. You don’t really milk a nut. You just boil them for a while and put them in a blender. Commercial outfits add other ingredients so check the labels to see what you are getting in terms of nutrition. Nutritionally, they are not a substitute for cow’s milk. You can also get coconut milk, which is easier to understand as it’s simply the liquid inside a coconut.


  • If you want a frozen drink you can add ice, but that might make the drink seem watery. Try freezing small fruits like grapes, blueberries, and small strawberries. Other fruits can be added frozen as well as long you cut them into smaller pieces (grape size) before freezing. You will need a heavy-duty blender for making slushy smoothies. The amount of frozen fruit you need will require some trial and error to get a drink that matches your preferences.

Nutrition Label

Nutrition Data for Any Item

  • There is no dearth of controversy about what you should be eating for optimum health. Plant-based diets are becoming more popular and I have yet to see any smoothie recipes with meat in them. If you use yogurt, however, your smoothie won’t quality as vegan food since yogurt is made from cow’s milk. My goto site for checking the nutritional content of any food is NutritionData.self.Com. You can have it analyze a meal or any single ingredient. If you are looking to add or avoid something in your diet this site will help.

Your Blender

Your Blender

  • If you have an inexpensive blender you can still make smoothies. Just don’t expect it to do as good a job as a more expensive model. It will probably have a problem if you try to put in ice cubes or frozen fruit. When my wife was diagnosed with ALS in 2006, I bought a Blendtec blender as it was powerful enough to blend any food and turn ice cubes into snow. They have competition in the high-end blender market, but I have been extremely satisfied with mine. I had a warranty issue and they made good on it with no problems. If you want a powerful blender they start around $300.
  • There are a number of funny videos on YouTube where Blendtec demonstrates the power of their blender by blending none food items. Here is one where it blends an iPhone. In addition to the smoothie button, it also has buttons for ice cream, frozen yogurt, milkshakes, soups, syrups, fondues, sauces and dips, dressings, batters, and whole juice. I feel like it is smarter than I am, which is a good thing. (I am not being compensated by Blendtec for this post.)

One Sample Recipe

  • As you gain experience you will know how much stuff to add to the blender and how much liquid to add. Blenders have volume marks on the side. If you want a 12 oz. drink, fill it to the 12 oz. mark. (duh) If you make too much you can keep the leftovers to start tomorrow’s batch. If I were to make one now based on what I have, here is what I would throw-in.
  • One serving of yogurt, about half a cup. (I seldom measure anything.)
    Three medium-size strawberries stem included – Think of it as a green leafy vegetable. A decent blender can make them disappear.
    Two hand fulls of blueberries (the ratio of blueberries can impact the color of the finished product. The more you use the less appealing the color might be.)
    One tablespoon of crushed flax seeds (for your omega-3 fatty acids)
    One half of a medium-sized orange. I put the other half in my strawberry box for the next day.
    Enough juice of the day to just cover the above ingredients. (Cranberry? Be sure to get real juice and not some product that contains high fructose corn syrup.)

  • Your blender should have a smoothie setting so put on the lid, hold on to it, consider using ear protection (I do), and let er rip. Smart blenders know when to turn off. From here on it’s trial and error. I have made some I like better than others, but I haven’t made one yet I didn’t drink. Let me know how it goes and be creative.
  • Greger, Michael, and Stone, Gene, 2015. How Not to Die: Discover the Foods Scientifically Proven to Prevent and Reverse Disease, Flatiron Books: New York, NY.
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The Battle for New York Schools: Eva Moskowitz vs. Mayor Bill de Blasio by Daniel Berger

Monday, September 29th, 2014

The Battle for New York Schools: Eva Moskowitz vs. Mayor Bill de Blasio by Daniel Berger portrays the battle between the person who runs the most successful charter school association in New York City and its Mayor. I’m left wondering why the public schools aren’t looking to build on the success of this group of charters that is having amazing success, at least in terms of the standardize tests. Your school might want to see what they are doing.

Daniel Bergner

  • Daniel is a contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine and the author of four books of nonfiction: What Do Women Want?, The Other Side of Desire, In the Land of Magic Soldiers, and God of the Rodeo.  In the Land of Magic Soldiers received an Overseas Press Club Award for international reporting and a Lettre-Ulysses Award for the Art of Reportage and was named a Los Angeles Times Best Book of the Year. God of the Rodeo was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. Daniel’s writing has appeared in the Atlantic, Granta, Harper’s, Mother Jones, Talk, and the New York Times Book Review, and on the op-ed page of the New York Times. His writing is included in The Norton Reader. You can email him at and reach him on Twitter at @bergnerdaniel.

Eva Moskowitz

  • With a degree from the University of Pennsylvania and a PhD in history from Johns Hopkins, Eva founded her first Success Academy in 2006 for kindergarteners and first graders in the Harlem section of New York City. Since then it has grown to the largest charter group in the city with nearly 9,500 students in 24 elementary schools, seven middle schools, and a new high school that opened in August. Most students are black and Latino and poor enough to qualify for subsidized meals. These are the same type of children that the city’s public school have had little success educating.
  • The 2014 results from New York State Tests on English and math place her schools in the top 1% of all the state’s schools in math, and in the top 3% in English. At one school, where 95% of students are black or Latino, 98% scored at or above grade level in math, with 80% receiving the highest of four ratings. You would think the mayor would be thrilled with this performance, but he has chosen to engage Moskowitz in a ferocious political battle. While they are both liberal crusaders, they have profoundly divergent ideas about how the mission should be carried out. De Blasio has moved to block the expansion of the Success Academies, but Moskowitz is using her own political resources to move him out of the way. The outcome of this clash may determine education’s future.
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Can I Get a Tweet For My New Book?

Friday, January 26th, 2018

I love writing, but I’m not crazy about marketing my own work so I could use your help. If you like the Internet resources and book summaries I post, please consider sending out a tweet to promote my new book Teaching Isn’t Rocket Science, It’s Way More Complex: What’s Wrong With Education and How to Fix Some of It. In it, I take on the current reforms and their one-size-fits-all test-based accountability and standards. A lot of what is happening is bad for students and demoralizing for teachers and with your help, we can work to make things better.

Bad tests promote bad teaching and the students who suffer the most are usually those who need personalized instruction the most. We need more arts and exercise, not less. We need to give kids the help they need when they need it and expose all students to exciting hands-on, real-world, lessons and projects. We need to foster creativity and collaboration as we work on forming strong relationships. This is advice from someone who has been in this business since 1969 and who tries to live outside the box. If you are part of this fight, my book is full of ammunition. Thanks for all you do and I’ll see you tomorrow with more free resources.

Here is a sample tweet: Check out “Teaching Isn’t Rocket Science, It’s Way More Complex” by @DrDougGreen Here is a summary

Click here to buy at Amazon. Scroll down for a summary and please share.

    Rocket Science Book

    1. Introduction

  • Teaching is tricky business. If it were as easy as rocket science, which we seem to have figured out, all students would be learning as fast as their individual brains would allow. This implies that they would learn at their own individual pace, which would cause the gaps between the faster learners and the slower learners to gradually increase.
  • Unfortunately, our current set of reforms driven by the corporate/ political complex gives the same tests to students each year based on their born on date, regardless of their ability. It also expects teachers to close the gaps between slow and fast learners. One way to do this is to slow down the fast learners. In this book, Dr. Green explains why the current reforms and out-dated teaching methods need to go and just where we might head.

2. Teaching Isn’t Rocket Science; It’s Way More Complex

  • It’s clear that we understand how rockets work as we have sent them all around the solar system and beyond. The human brain, however, which is the learning playground for students and teachers is much more complex and less understood. Promising ideas in education spread slowly, if at all, because of a resistance to change and federally imposed standardized testing. Thanks to the media, however, the public doesn’t realize this and they think that teachers are generally doing a bad job. They also think that all students should be able to achieve at high levels, which is nonsense. We all know that some students are more capable at cognitive tasks than others.

3. The Pressure On Teachers To Get Good Test Scores Makes It Inevitable They Will Cheat

  • When the government encouraged by business leaders imposes high-states tests on schools, three things can happen. First, some will cheat and many have. Second, most will try to game the system with endless test prep that brings with it a lot of bad teaching practice. Finally, some will just fail. Schools will be closed and careers will be negatively impacted or ended altogether. This chapter documents some of the cheating and explains the different ways that teachers can cheat. It also suggests that teachers work to create engaging lessons and let the tests take care of themselves. If they do, test scores are unlikely to go down and just might go up.

4. Are You Smarter Than Bill Gates?

  • Bill isn’t the only member of the corporate class pushing for test-based accountability, he is just the most famous and has the most wealth to push his ideas. Dr. Green suspects that when Bill wants to cure some disease, he reaches out to experts in the field. When it comes to education, it seems that he thinks he already knows the answers. Meanwhile, it’s hard to find any real expert in the field who thinks the current reforms are a good idea.

5. Failing at the Business of Schools

  • Unlike businesses, schools cannot control their raw materials. They just take the students that their parents drop off. Most are also run from the top by a school board composed of elected volunteers who for the most part lack any serious educational expertise. For these reasons, trying to hold schools to business standards makes no sense. It also makes no sense to hold all schools to the same standard as their raw materials vary.

6. Achievement Gaps and Ethnic Groups

  • When advocates for blacks, Hispanics, and poor kids see that that whites and Asians perform better on standardized tests, they expect schools to work on closing the gaps. Ironically, if schools did a perfect job of letting every student learn as fast as possible, the gaps would increase. Doug maintains that the best way to close the gaps is to slow down the fast learners, which some schools do well. He also points out that the subgroups themselves are arbitrary and don’t make much sense. For example, why are Spanish speakers the only group based on the language they speak when more people speak English and Chinese? People from China and India are very different in appearance and culture, yet they are in the same group.
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Could Las Vegas Have Been Prevented? Easy – by Douglas W. Green, EdD

Thursday, October 5th, 2017

Could Las Vegas Have Been Prevented? Easy – by
Douglas W. Green, EdD explains how to avoid the kind of massacre that took place in Las Vegas.


Same Old Arguments

  • About all I have heard since the Las Vegas massacre is arguments from the left and right about gun control. This is all pretty reflexive and you hear the same stuff after every mass shooting. I’m not saying that the gun control debate shouldn’t go on, but it would be nice if we could also hear a more creative analysis that takes the specifics into consideration.

Hundreds of Sniper Locations

  • This massacre would be easy to prevent without any change in our gun laws. What made this possible was the fact that the concert venue had hundreds of sniper locations above the scene. Last week I saw Paul McCartney at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. There is no way anyone could get a gun in there let alone all the guns the shooter got into his hotel room.
  • The lesson is, don’t set up a concert venue with so many potential sniper points above the concert that can be accessed by someone who doesn’t have to go through concert security. This isn’t difficult, but it’s up to the people who set up these concerts. I suspect the cost of setting up this outdoor concert venue with access to snipers was a lot less than the folks in Brooklyn paid for the billion-dollar Barclays Center. 

Some Outdoor Venues are Safe

  • Last month I attended a Bon Jovi concert down the street at Enjoy Golf Course in Endicott, NY. Like Las Vegas, it was an outdoor venue, but if you wanted to get in and take a seat in one of the high altitude skyboxes that could serve a sniper positions, you needed to get a gun in the door through the metal detectors and you wouldn’t be alone in your skybox.
  • It should be easy to prevent this kind of mayhem if you avoid setting up concert venues that can be targeted by people in neighboring buildings without the ability to prevent people from getting guns to a room with a view of the concert.

How About the Hotel?

  • There are two issues here. The first relates to the two windows that the shooter broke with a hammer prior to the shooting. These are windows like many hotels have that are not designed to be opened by tenants. If they aren’t designed to be opened, there should be some way to know when they are hammered open. This would involve some expense, but if the hotel equipped the windows with sensors, the people at the front desk would know which windows have been breached immediately.
  • The other thing a hotel could do, if not today but probably in the future, is to use their cameras and a bit of artificial intelligence to spot someone coming in multiple times with loads of stuff. The guns and ammo that were brought into the room took several trips. He must have used some large containers that would have been easy to spot via video and/or alert people watching the lobby or the front door.

Housekeeping’s Role

  • Finally, what about the people who were visiting the room on a daily basis? I think hotels should tell their staff to take a look in closets and drawers quickly as they are making the beds. If guests say they don’t want such service, a security staff member should be sent to take a quick look at the room each day. Steven Wynn says that anytime a do not disturb sign is up for 12 hours it is investigated. His housekeeping staff also looks around. See the New York Post for more on this.
  • I send my prayers and sympathy to all of the people impacted by the terrible event. I also think that this particular type of massacre is easy to prevent. If you can, please do so. Also, don’t attend any outdoor events with line of sight to places people can access without going through concert security.
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Data Visualization Resources for Lawrence C. Stedman’s Class at Binghamton University

Tuesday, July 11th, 2017

Today I’m doing a guest presentation at Binghamton University for Lawrence C. Stedman’s Education 680: Principles of Visualization and Data Analysis. In the process of preparing, I created this post, which you will also find linked at the left of my home page.

One Way to Use a Correlation

MLB Correlation
With an r squared of about 0.2, it means that money counts for 20% of the wins. This can make a difference, but not with every team. The teams above the line get more for their money.

Why You Can’t Trust Some Statistics

The Trouble with Averages: The Impact of Major Life Events and Acute Stress May Not Be What You Think – Anthony Mancini, Ph.D.

Coontz, Stephanie, When Numbers Mislead, The New York Times, May 25, 2013.

Orin, Ben. Why Not to Trust Statistics,, July 13, 2016. These simple drawings show you in an easy convincing manner how any statistic can be misleading.

Weinberg, Neil. Stats to Avoid: Batting Average, FanGraphs.Com, February 20, 2015. This is a good example of a poplular use of average that has been recently discredited.

Books That Debunk Current Federally Mandated Testing and Therefore Any Data Visualization Done With Them – Links to my summaries are included.

Zhao, Youg (2016). Counting What Counts: Reframing Education Outcomes – Yong Zhao and friends take on the current system with its focus on standardized tests and their sole focus on cognitive skills. Chapters are devoted to defining a variety of non-cognitive skills that are connected with success in life and the current status of how to assess them. They make a case for a new paradigm that would move the system towards more personalized learning and assessment.

Harris, Phillip, Smith, Bruce M., and Harris Joan (2011). The Myths of Standardized Tests: Why They Don’t Tell You What You Think They Do – This provides great ammunition for anyone who wants to join the fight against the test and punish reforms that schools and students are currently suffering from.

Amrein-Beardsley, Audrey (2014). Rethinking Value-Added Models in Education: Critical Perspective on Tests and Assessment-Based Accountability – This describes and analyzes the imposition of value added test-based evaluation of teachers, the theory behind it, the real-life consequences, and its fundamental flaws.

Kamenetz, Anya (2015). The Test: Why Our Schools Are Obsessed with Standardized Testing – But You Don’t Have to Be – Anya Kamenetz explains in some detail the ten things wrong with state tests along with some history and politics. She goes on to tell educators and parents what they should do to help kids survive the madness. Anyone who dislikes state test should get this book.

Kuhn, John (2013). Test-and-Punish: How the Texas Education Model Gave America Accountability Without Equity – John Kuhn follows the history of the modern education reform movement from its roots in Texas. While the tone is strongly one-sided, John makes a compelling case for reforms that diagnose-and-support and finds a way to finance schools in a more equitable manner. If you haven’t joined his battle, it may be time. 

A Book Explaining Item Response Theory

Partchev, Ivaiol (2014). A visual guide to item response theory, Friedrich-Schiller-Universitat: Jena, Germany. This is pretty nerdy, but it has some graphs that help you understand the concept.

Infographics and Data Visualization Explained

What Is an Infographic? And How Is it Different from a Data Visualization? These visuals are easily confused with other forms, despite having their own unique history, design, and purpose. @vismeapp

Big Data Exploration – This graphic provides a nutshell glimpse of the discipline.

13 Reasons Why Your Brain Craves Infographics – This is brilliant and research-based.

How to Make an Infographic: A Visual Guide for Beginners [Free E-Book] In a world of information overload, the ability to visualize information is more than just a nice-to-have skill — it’s now a necessity.

Ten Expert Tips on How to Choose Color Schemes for Your Infographics – This contains color knowledge that everyone should know.

Examples of Data Visualization from DrDougGreen.Com – Dates are when they were posted.

5/24/17 Which States Have The Smallest Gender Gap In STEM Occupations? Maryland has the smallest STEM gap with 2.1 men for every woman. The state with the largest gap is Utah at 4.5. How is your state doing? @investzen

5/7/17 With This Interactive Font Map, You Have No Excuse For Defaulting To Helvetica On Everything. IDEO’s Font Map, an interactive typography map built using an AI algorithm, however, makes the process of exploration and selection much easier. @IDEO

4/20/17 Gerrymandering is Illegal, but Only Mathematicians Can Prove It. Studying state maps to look for gerrymandering could be a good student project. This is a great infographic. @EricaKlarreich @QuantaMagazine @wired

3/4/17 One Year Of Air Traffic Around The World, Visualized – This interactive map is pretty cool. Click and drag to move the world. @galka_max @Digg

1/13/17 The Sex Ratio of Each State and County in the U.S. This interactive map will tell you what the deal is in your county. Most counties have more females. Can your students explain this data? @overflow_data

11/14/16 However Deep You Think The Ocean Is, It’s Way Deeper Than That. This is an example of how animated video and visualize data. @RealLifeLore1

10/25/16 An Animated Map Of Unemployment In The US From 1990 Until Today – What does this reveal about the subject. This is an example of using the time-lapse technique for data visualization. @flowingdata @Digg

8/5/16 A Breathtaking Timelapse Of The Never-Setting Arctic Sun – This uses time-lapse photography to help visualize a natural phenomenon. @WitekKaszkin @billstankay

8/3/16 Watch as the world’s cities appear one-by-one over 6,000 years. Another example of time-lapse. There is a ton of learning here. It does a great job of showing where civilization started and spread. @galka_max @DrEdwardMooney @jordosh

7/22/17 How Much Space Does $1,500 Rent You in the 30 Most Populous US Cities? This is an extremely cool interactive representation of data. Hover over the tiles and see how much space $1,500 gets you in the 30 most populous US cities. @Balazs_Szekely @RENTCafeApts

First Time Posted 7/11/17

Interactive Map for the August 21, 2017 Solar Eclipse – This may be my all time favorite as it is so informative.

Track National Unemployment, Job Gains and Job Losses

Wage Winners and Losers since 2004 You can enlarge the map and when you roll over a county, it’s data is revealed.

Executive Compensation Graphic – Roll over each dot to see what the CEO makes. There is also a table, which might be easier to comprehend. Always include a table where your audience can see the real data.

An Explanation of How Growth Scores Work

Growth Scores Explained In New York State – Note that when you use percentiles you have a zero sum game as in order for some students to move up the percentile ladder, other students must go down. This means that the average teacher score will not change. Also, note that there are no credits at the end. I suspect that this is the case due to the fact that it was produced by the same people who sell the tests and the value-added model to the state.

Dr. Doug’s 1st Visme Project

It took me just about an hour to learn this product and make this infographic. Consider giving this product a try.

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