At this time of year, everyone who is teaching is ready for the end of semester (not unlike our students). So rather than write about an elaborate idea or heavy material, I will offer a few items, shorter, a bit easier, yet interesting.
Motivation has long been recognized as an important component of learning, particularly for long-term retention and transferability of knowledge. We are motivated less effectively by grades (i.e. “incentives” in the business context) than by interesting challenges. Of course, our students are conditioned to want the easy path, but they can be reconditioned with the right nudging.
If you just want to take your brain on a vacation and enjoy pure creativity, take a look at the paper sculptures that are showing up in Scotland, anonymously. They are absolutely beautiful. NPR has a nice story and images of this mystery, but the Station Central Blog has better photos.
More ‘heavy stuff’ later! Here’s hoping your grading goes quickly.