LSU Top 5 #25

We’re a quarter of the way to 100!

This is the 25th of our weekly links to the top 5 interesting bits and pieces we’ve found from around the internet.

(Linking doesn’t mean we necessarily agree with these articles!)

Can ‘Mindfulness’ Help You Focus?Time

After just eight 45 minute meditation sessions over two weeks, students did significantly better in the GRE, indicating improved reading comprehension and memory. The researcher, psychologist Jonathan Schooler, said:

 “The present demonstration that mindfulness training improves cognitive function and minimizes mind wandering suggests that enhanced attentional focus may be key to unlocking skills that were, until recently, viewed as immutable.”


Time to stop hooking up. (You know you want to.)The Washington Post

Though campuses in the US are increasingly sexualised and ‘hookup culture’ is becoming more prevalent, students are actually growing weary as the culture leads to expectations of casual sex rather than sexual choice. This article by Donna Freitas is based on eight years of research in the area.

When students are expected to hook up with lots of people, doing so becomes dutiful, not daring. Older ideas of sexual exploration — be it same-sex encounters or one-night stands — have become a basic expectation.

Most of the article’s comments, though, seem doubtful of the article’s thesis.

Why everyone should register a domain nameThe Guardian

Dan Gillmor, technology writer and educator, requires his students register a domain name, saying that control over web-identities is only possible through a self-owned and controlled website and not through free social media websites.

Of course, the students and most of their parents have a presence on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, Tumblr, Flickr and all sorts of other places. The value of conversation and sharing in general is enormous, and these services offer great convenience. But to cede our online presences – in a way, our very identities – to these entities strikes me as a mistake.


No more cheating, students pledgeThanh Nien

For the third week in a row, here’s an article about plagiarism in Vietnam. This time, though, it’s about students challenging a cheating culture and promising not to cheat in an initiative called “Tôi học thật” (I study truthfully). From the article:

Vu Xuan Quang, a student of RMIT Vietnam in Hanoi, said cheating was rampant because many teachers turned a blind eye to it and failed to punish the culprits. He himself would be happier with results that come of his own efforts.


Students will defend need for traditional learningTimes Higher Education

A vice president for the UK’s National Union of Students has warned that students are resistant to online learning unless directly guided to do so by their lecturers and that “students will absolutely defend to the death the lecture”.

“An avalanche? Please. Higher education and the revolution ahead? It sounds terrifying. But the basis of the argument is that students in the future will have no interest in attending formalised education because they can consume content elsewhere, not last online.” Contrary to this, she said, the survey found that students value the sense of community they get from traditional education.

The cost to students of education also seems to make some students resentful of others getting the same education for free when courses are made open:

“A number of the students involved in our research expressed a view that people not registered as students should not have access to educational resources. They felt that making educational resources available to the public was unfair.”

As always in Times Higher Education, there is healthy debate in the comments section.


We love hearing your thoughts on these articles, so feel free to comment below!

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