What I read

Inspired by The Atlantic Wire’s What I Read series that asks interesting people to describe their “media diets,” this page is a quick summary of the sources of news and commentary I encounter on a regular basis.

I post this since being explicit here about what sources I regularly partake in forces me to be more aware of how diverse (or un-diverse) these sources are. I’m a big fan of hearing multiple perspectives on something, but I often find myself inadvertently falling into a filter bubble of my own design.

Every day:

I read Google News several times per day. In addition to the national and international headlines, I also have Google News collect local news as well as any education-related news that has been published that day.

I listen to about 10 minutes of NPR on my commutes to and from work each day (except during the 15-16 school year, when my “commute” involves a peaceful one mile walk across the Charles River.)

At least weekly (and usually lots of times per week):

I’m usually participating in several Coursera courses (and in 15-16, lots of in-person courses).

I use Feedly (in place of Google Reader, may it rest in peace) to collect the the newest work from a wide variety of sources.

There are a number of writers for whom I use Feedly to read everything they post (or least almost everything). For example:

  • Dan Meyer, who currently has the strongest vision for improved math education of anyone I have ever read.
  • Math With Bad Drawings which has great insight on lots of things I like to think about, presented in a particularly engaging way!
  • FiveThirtyEight (everything except the sports stuff).
  • xkcd.

I also have a huge “Sometimes” Feedly which follows posts from ~90 sources on a wide variety of topics that I read when I have extra time. This includes lots of stuff about education, Seth Godin, lots of stuff about economics, Nick Kristof, lots of stuff about community development, Chalkbeat Tennessee, blogs for lots of organizations I like, and lots of other stuff. When this gets to around 200 articles in the queue, I usually mark all as read and start fresh.

I usually keep up pretty well with John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight, usually via clips posted online.

I “like” the Facebook pages of scores of interesting people and organizations (at last check, I was up to about 400, some of which aren’t very active) and I read many articles posted by them and by other Facebook friends each day.

Some notable ones I tend to enjoy the most: Ashoka (and it’s offshoots related to empathy and changemaker education in college and high school), Brain Pickings, I fucking love science, and a WIDE variety of education reform pages (from TFA/Michelle Rhee’s Students First to Sir Ken Robinson to the NEA to a bunch of teachers opposing testing/NCLB/Race to the Top and everything in between). MindShift (by KQED) posts some great innovative education stuff. CityLab from The Atlantic does a good job at pushing me to think about how cities work (and how they can work better).

When I come across an interesting article posted by one of these sources or by another friend, if I don’t have time to read it (or I’m just not in the mood), I save it Pocket to read later. When I have some extra time, I go through my Pocket queue and read articles I have saved.

Also, as I’m reading any article, if I see an interesting link that I want to explore more later, I also immediately save it to Pocket. I usually have about two weeks worth of stuff in Pocket at any given time, so it will usually be about two weeks before I read whatever new things I save there. Interestingly, if I am reading an article and save some links from that article, when I read those links ~two weeks later, it helps me think about that topic again, instead of just forgetting about it after reading the original article two weeks prior. I think this helps me learn and think about things more deeply.

Audio Podcasts (while working out and during long car trips):

Slate Political Gabfest, Freakonomics, This American Life, EconTalk, Intelligence Squared (“Oxford-style debates on America’s shores”), Storycorps, and few other smaller ones.

Recent Books:

The Billionaire Who Wasn’t by Conor O’Clery

Leadership Without Easy Answers by Ronald Heifetz

Nickel and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich


1 Response to What I read

  1. Israel P. says:

    Try following @numberphile. That will lead to a few interesting things. (Also allmyforeparents.blogspot.com )


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