What’s Dennis Reading? – 8/27/14

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In praise of laziness
The Economist

Contrary to business tycoons’ beliefs that we are not doing enough, the biggest problem in the business world seems that we are doing too much. There are too many distractions and tasks that keep us from actually being our most productive selves. The Dutch seem to believe that an excess of meetings is the biggest devourer of time: they talk of vergaderziekte, “meeting sickness”. However, a study last year by the McKinsey Global Institute suggests that it is e-mails: it found that highly skilled office workers spend more than a quarter of each working day writing and responding to them.

How colleges are finding tomorrow’s prodigies
by Laura Pappano, The Christian Science Monitor Weekly

Across the country, colleges are experimenting with online learning to see how it might reshape higher education in the future. For now, Massive Open Online Course, or MOOCs, represent an idea that critics say has not done much to help solve the high cost of college. Professors also express their worry that MOOCs will encroach upon in-person teaching and the experience of going to school on a campus. However, the benefits of online learning have proven to be vast, as universities have been afforded the opportunity of finding a new generation of a talented students on a global scale.

Guest submission from Katie Spell Hambrick:

The Opposite of Helicopter Parents
by Jake New, Inside Higher Ed

Helicopter parents, as they are so aptly named, hover above college students that are from more educated and financially secure families. Many first-generation college students, however, are facing an opposite predicament: parents who are watching their college student from a sizable distance. A study published in the Journal of College Student Retention in 2012 found that first-generation college students receive far less emotional, informational and financial support from their parents than continuing-generation students. Those less-supported students also reported having higher levels of stress and anxiety than the few first-generation students who did feel supported by their parents.

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