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Progress and Imagination 

Talk of racism in the U.S. has grown tremendously this year. I feel a key underlying issue of racism itself is a lack of imagination, or effort to use one's imagination in such a context. "Colin Kaepernick (7) and Eric Reid (35) Take a Knee"   Why are some people racist? Do they feel superior to others? …

Posted 19 days ago by

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Notes on “Augmenting Education” 

VR gear at a Facebook event in 2015 I have a recurring vision of a dilapidated 19th century classroom full of children with VR goggles strapped to their heads. It’s worth considering why this could be both a nightmarish vision and a reasonable, near-term goal for anyone who cares about public education... Here is a …

Posted 2 months ago by

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“IX” Design: Designing for Immersive Experience 

I've been thinking about a new "IX" focus for designers and educators: Immersive (I): Multimedia is used to surround participants. Experience (X): Participant experience is organized by a story. How can these dimensions help participants achieve substantial new knowledge (i.e., information, perspectives, and/or values)? Other elements that seem important: Participant interaction is planned. Sequential elements are planned and rehearsed. This might lead to new sub-genres of …

Posted 3 months ago by

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On Moral Leadership 

NYTCREDIT: Chang W. Lee/The New York Times On this day, hundreds of thousands of people are marching together throughout the world to protest Donald Trump's inauguration yesterday. I write in sympathy with these marchers, with the hope of creating more understanding between the 63 million Americans who voted for Trump, and the 66 million who did not. (Yeah, it's …

Posted 9 months ago by

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Skeptically Optimistic 

The hat. The slogan is deeply judgmental yet optimistic: "Make America Great Again." Until now, a week away from the inauguration, I've mostly turned a blind eye to it. But there it is, now firmly lodged in our collective imagination. There is some truth in it. K-12 education education in America isn't "great." But it never …

Posted 9 months ago by

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My 47-Step Plan to Make America Less Bigoted 

But for 79,646 votes cast in those three states,  the next president of the United States. - Philip Bump, The Washington Post So, Hillary lost. We're descending into a dark period of American politics, and you've dedicated your life to education. What can and should you do now? First, read "Now is the time to …

Posted 10 months ago by

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Essential Reading, Re: Democracy 

Working on a collection of articles to read and consider in relation to the coming "Time of Trump."

Posted 10 months ago by

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Making of a Learning Theater 

"Library Orientation" in the Learning Theater, Summer 2016 by Yuntong Man I just had the great fortune of spending two days with Leakey Foundation members exploring the meaning of evolution (and human origins) in relation to the theme of "human survival." It was an amazing experience led by seven thoughtful and well-spoken scientists speaking about diverse topics such as physiology, …

Posted 13 months ago by

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Post-Rock Star Teams 

Valerie Aurora, Mary Gardiner, and Leigh Honeywell have co-authored a great blog post "No more rock stars: how to stop abuse in tech communities". The article is primarily about supporting women, but it's also a great read on making more supportive, collaborative, creative teams. It's probably worth taking another look at Godin's Linchpin with ideas …

Posted 16 months ago by

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The Perfect Team? 

Cross-posted from my EdLab blog: There's a don't-miss read in the Times about teams at work: What Google Learned From Its Quest to Build the Perfect Team I think we aspire to build strong teams across our whole organization, but this is a great reminder about habits and indicators that will help us continue to …

Posted 20 months ago by

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I wanted to be Todd Howard 

When I was 15 years old, I definitely wanted to be Todd Howard: On November 10, Howard’s latest project arrived like a thunderclap: Fallout 4 is the biggest game his team has ever made, a Skyrim-sized post-nuclear world brimming with more than 100,000 lines of spoken dialogue, coupled to a mammoth crafting system fed by all those wasteland odds …

Posted 22 months ago by

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Documentaries in the curriculum 

Someone documenting someone! Jeff Frank's article on expanding the educational significance of documentary film (Frank 2013, detail below) is a thoughtful reflection on how film and education can intersect. Frank is a philosopher interested in better understanding education generally, with a specific interest in literature and other narrative texts (I love that he teaches a …

Posted 29 months ago by

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What’s the future of Twitter? 

Twitter stock has recently suffered as a result of weak earnings (and related confidence), so I've been reflecting on the value I place in it versus Facebook. Everyone's surely different, but I figure one way for me to assess it is to evaluate the differences between the list of my Facebook friends and the accounts …

Posted 30 months ago by

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Learning with Apple Live 

Apple's live events keep evolving, and I would love to be able to use their "live broadcasting" toolkit—essentially turning their website into a media-rich live blog of the event. Here's a screenshot of what today's Apple Watch-focused event looked like:   The key features of this mode of presentation are: Live video of the main presentation—which is …

Posted 31 months ago by

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Techitecture, The Emergence of 

My involvement in Teacher College's Learning Theater project makes me appreciate how fast-evolving audio/video technologies (or better: display/capture/collaboration technologies) challenge traditional architecture. Our project feels like "techitecture"—a combination of technology and architectural design and development. (And I'm curious that, having imagined this fanciful term, I have not found it used before in this way.) The fit and function of …

Posted 32 months ago by

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Storymaker update 

Our video on a recent "maker party" at the Brooklyn Public Library has garnered over 116,000 views to date (with most viewers watching the entire video). Nice work by the EdLab Studios Seen in NY team!

Posted 32 months ago by

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Art as Work: The Article 

Just saw this New York Times article:  It's a little different than my bog's namesake, but not entirely!

Posted 32 months ago by

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Gymnasiums as “Learning Theaters”? 

If you had a high school gymnasium, how would you turn it into a technology-friendly space for teaching, learning, and research? As part of the Gottesman Libraries team, I'm currently involved in developing the concept of a "learning theater" — both programmatically and architecturally. Pulling this concept out of primordial soup of imagination (if such a space already …

Posted 34 months ago by

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What’s Not to Like about Innovation? 

Like creativity, innovation is a diffuse concept that requires a significant amount of rehabilitation to be used in an effective, precise way. The two concepts are indeed often intertwined. But I would want to argue that "innovation" is analogous to corporate personhood—and deserving of the same liberal ire. OK, let me unpack this a …

Posted 35 months ago by

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