Designing Your Life

Submitted by Christopher Gu on Thu, 03/26/2015 - 10:54am.
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A great read from Fast Company about "Designing Your Life," one of the most popular undergraduate courses at Stanford University.


NJ Introduces Student-Police Interaction Bill

Submitted by Malik Muftau on Wed, 03/25/2015 - 8:27pm.
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In a previous blog post, I summarized how majority of students have come in contact with law enforcement officers in some fashion. Most students unfortunately are not able to deal with cops when they are stopped. Some schools in New York have introduced courses to teach students how to deal with cops in order to prevent the situation from escalating. Several cases about confrontations between students and cops have been reported in the news recently. These cases reemphasize the need to teach students more about the role of law enforcement and how to deal with them.

In order to help educate students learn more about law enforcement, a bill has been introduced in New Jersey. The bill requires school districts to teach students, as part of their social studies curriculum, about the role and responsibilities of law enforcement officials as well as an individual's responsibility to comply with the law. I believe this is a great initiative that is geared towards making students understand the role of law enforcement.


Weird Wednesdays

Submitted by Dana Haugh on Wed, 03/25/2015 - 5:05pm.
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This week's Weird Wednesday photo features children swinging on rope ladders in the Horace Mann gym. Notice the formal attire and excellent toe-pointing.

Also, can we just take a moment to applaud that tiny girl on the left? She's climbed higher than I've ever gotten on a rope without knots.. AND she's in a dress. #respect

Here is the larger version!


Taking Technology to New Places

Submitted by Carmen James on Wed, 03/25/2015 - 2:13pm.
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It seems the great promise of technology is how we can most creatively use it and apply. Its not enough to develop something in a vacuum--the innovation occurs when we uncover how a new technology can transform our practices.

This new use for a camera struck me as a great example of a familiar technology tweaked to meet a specific and important need.

In collaboration with the Harvard Innovation Lab, the Explorer was developed. This is "a softball-sized Wi-Fi-enabled throwable camera that can beam panoramic images to a first responder's tablet or phone." Moreover, it has "six cameras as well as an array of LED lights and can take 360-degree panoramas of a space every half second as it travels through the space."

Read more about its many uses here!


#TinyBookTuesday "Twelve Maxims on Swimming"

Submitted by Alexandra Lederman on Tue, 03/24/2015 - 3:13pm.
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Happy #TinyBookTuesday! Today we have Twelve Maxims on Swimming by the author of The Cigar. This tiny book was published in 1833 by Charles Tilt, Fleet Street, London.



Submitted by Kate Meersschaert on Tue, 03/24/2015 - 2:25pm.
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(Image: Screencapture from IDEO U homepage)

IDEO has launched its first online course under their new "IDEO U" series of courses aimed at helping anyone increase their creative prowess (for $399 a course). (Read more in this FastCo. article)

The first course, dubbed "Insights," which is a mix of multimedia content (mainly videos paired with text prompts) covers the following topics and was created to mimic the IDEO team's own well established creative insights process:

  • Observation without judgement
  • Lessons in extremes
  • Interview wisdom
  • Fostering empathy
  • Sharing insights

Most interesting to me is the connection to work EdLab is doing on mSchool and the potential to possibly collaborate with IDEO on this series in the future! For example, one of the organizers of the course describes his overarching hope for the courses in a way that is apropos to the mSchool mission:


When Workplace Learning is TOO Much Learning

Submitted by Kate Meersschaert on Mon, 03/23/2015 - 11:22am.
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(Image source)

As knowledge workers and skilled managers are continually expected to "skill-up" to meet increasing changes in technology, there is also an increase in workplace burnout and dissatisfaction. Or, at least, this is the premise of Harvard Business Review's recent blog piece, "When Learning at Work Becomes Overwhelming." As the author points out:

Many skilled jobs require a considerable amount of learning while doing, but learning requirements have reached unrealistic levels in many roles and work situations today. This phenomenon of “too much to learn” is not only feeding the perception of critical skills shortages in many sectors, but it can also accelerate burnout.


Plant Inspiration

Submitted by Meredith Powers on Mon, 03/23/2015 - 10:54am.
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So far, I'm liking the demo layout for D&R. After last week's presentation from the environment team, I can't stop thinking about plant walls! Here's a few that I've seen around town:

This wall lives at Atrium in Dumbo:

And this wall, located at Colonie in Brooklyn Heights, includes edible herbs mixed into the decorative plants:

(Article featuring more photos here, if you like this look!)


Better Education to Improve Economic Condition

Submitted by Ahmed Bagigah on Sun, 03/22/2015 - 11:25pm.
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According to the annual State of Black America report, the economic condition for African Americans remain in a terrible condition. This reports highlights key issues such education, justice and unemployment. The annual reports also helps officials understand issues dealing with inequality in order to work on policy to close the gaps. One of the major sections of the report focused on how the education system provides unequal opportunities for improvement in different parts of the country. This shows that communities that are struggling with academic results and dropouts should have implement a different strategy or learn from other similar communities that are doing well.


The Ideal Student Athlete

Submitted by Malik Muftau on Sun, 03/22/2015 - 1:12pm.
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Academic scandals involving student athletes is nothing new. The scandal at UNC Chapel Hill, where student athletes reportedly enrolled in fake classes has created a firestorm. However, several schools have indicated that academic scandals should not be generalized because they have measures to prevent academic scandals. It is quite evident that the scandals are overshadowing the concept of the ideal student athlete. The issue of whether "student athletes" really exist has been the center of criticism for some time now.

This article expands on this argument. Several schools ensure that student athletes take their academic work very serious. In order to prevent academic scandals, the athletic department is void of any role in the student academics. For instance, when students are supposed to take exams while they are away for tournaments, academic departments provide proctors. Student athletes are provided with study halls during tournaments, during practice breaks and even before games. Many argue that scandals involving student athletes doesn't change the fact that there are many who combine academics and athletics efficiently.

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