Flawk.to... Next Evolution of Online "Discussion?"

Submitted by Kate Meersschaert on Thu, 03/06/2014 - 11:40am.
Kate Meersschaert's picture

Do you think that Flawk.to could have implications for learning and the future of social Q&A/discussion boards? Has anyone tried this new social platform? I have yet to try the technology myself, but imagine that "fans" could be broadly interpreted? I know we are looking for interesting new forms of "discussion boards" in online communities, e.g. mSchool, etc., and thought I would share!


Museums Trade Data for Membership

Submitted by Kate Meersschaert on Tue, 03/04/2014 - 4:51pm.
Kate Meersschaert's picture

Photo Credit: "Museum Brandhorst" by Digital Cat

In an interesting twist on the classic museum membership model, institutions like the Dallas Museum of Art (featured in this Bloomberg Businessweek article) have offered patrons the option to trade their personal data for a free membership. Additionally, patrons are incentivized to visit more frequently and invite friends via related "perks" programs.

Bloomberg BW explains:

Free membership is available to any DMA visitor willing to enter their name and e-mail address or phone number on iPads that greet them at the entrance. (Admission is now free for everyone, whether or not they join the program.) Members are given a card that they can scan when they enter galleries, earning points toward such perks as free parking and gift shop discounts. They can earn additional points by identifying works of art they like or bringing friends along to the museum.


Library Makerspace @ New Milford H.S.

Submitted by Kate Meersschaert on Fri, 02/28/2014 - 11:00am.
Kate Meersschaert's picture

I don't generally dedicate a whole blog post to a single "big box" news piece, however, this video and short article are worth sharing (though sadly not extractable for Vialogues) in relation to our 4th floor reno plans.

New Milford H.S. Library Media Specialist, Laura Fleming (I will pitch her for a NLT Profile), has created a makerspace within her H.S. library. In the video it is clear that this open-ended "space" has inspired at least a few learners to pursue careers in STEM and spawned many interesting "DIY/Maker" projects (fruit-based video game console etc.).

This particular makerspace is interesting for a few reasons:

1) Costs were lowered by soliciting donated 3D printers & maker materials
2) The space will be completely reconfigured every year
3) Learners can visit at any time and are free to explore at will


Could Slime Mold be the Next Great Data Viz Tool?

Submitted by Kate Meersschaert on Wed, 02/19/2014 - 12:27pm.
Kate Meersschaert's picture

Slime?! Really?! Yes. Researchers interested in transportation efficiency are using a particular species of mold to map the most effective routes between transport hubs. InfoAesthetics.com describes this process read more here:

As the creature uses its tentacles to explore for nearby food sources, and then thins out those part that do not contribute, it is able to find the most effective way of linking together scattered sources of food, or even find the shortest path through a maze.

Do you feel that the highly efficient design of nature and biomimicry-based modeling could hold more insights in other fields such as learning management and social networks?


Explore Entrepreneurship-focused Programming @ Barnard

Submitted by Kate Meersschaert on Mon, 02/17/2014 - 5:10pm.
Kate Meersschaert's picture

The Athena Center at Barnard College is opening-up an assortment of future (free) events to non-Barnard students (Thanks for the heads-up friend of EdLab, @NathalieMolina)! I thought these opportunities might be especially interesting for the EdLab team as we grow and develop our own LaunchPad initiatives to support educational entrepreneurship!

Learn more about these leadership workshops & sign-up:

THIS THURSDAY: Entrepreneurship Primer: From Zero to Startup: What do you need to get through the challenging, but rewarding process of launching and succeeding at a venture? Spoiler alert: you've already got all the skills you need!

Startup Fundamentals - Storytelling (through comedy): The Most Important Skill to Succeed in Business : Who doesn't love the chance to practice incorporating comedy and performance to hold the attention of an audience?


Move Towards Tracking Your Emotional Landscape

Submitted by Kate Meersschaert on Tue, 02/11/2014 - 11:01am.
Kate Meersschaert's picture

In a shift away from simply tracking discrete units, data visualization pioneer Nicholas Felton (@Feltron) has created a new app called, Reporter. This app is designed to randomly poll users throughout the day on everything from, "how many coffees have you had?" and "are you alone?" to deeper emotional states. Information Aesthetics describes this new app on their blog:

The app presents the user with a few randomly timed surveys each day that aim to capture what today's sensors still cannot, such as emotions, 'real' friends, food habits, and much more. The slick interface design with smart auto-fill functionality should allow the survey to be completed within 10 seconds or less. Several generic visualizations allow for immediate exploration of the data.

This move away from simply relying on sensor data, and instead requiring users to stop and quickly analyze their state of being helps to shift data collection from simply gathering quantifiable stats and into the realm of the qualitative. Do you feel that this app will help influence the "quantified living" trend? If so, how? If not, why not?


Dr. Vivienne Ming GroundBREAKERS Interview Mention

Submitted by Kate Meersschaert on Mon, 02/10/2014 - 4:19pm.
Kate Meersschaert's picture

A few weeks ago we had the chance to interview theoretical neuroscientist, Dr. Vivienne L. Ming, for a GroundBREAKERS vialogue and podcast (coming soon!). Dr. Ming had been the subject of a NewLearningTimes.com Profile about five months ago (which she also featured on her site) and she returned to the lab after a visit in the fall, to check-in with us and receive feedback on her upcoming SXSWedu keynote! While we won't be in Austin this year, we felt lucky to have the chance to both share our work and to learn more about hers! Thank you for always supporting our work Dr. Ming! also, thank you to my fearless GroundBREAKERS partner Brian Sweeting!


Tom Krieglstein Blogs re: EdLab

Submitted by Kate Meersschaert on Fri, 02/07/2014 - 6:14pm.
Kate Meersschaert's picture

A few weeks ago, entrepreneur and founder of NY EdTech Meetup, Tom Kriegelstein, came to EdLab to conduct a GroundBREAKERS set of interviews (vialogue embedded below & in our last V-Wins). Tom eloquently summarized his experience with the built/cultural EdLab environment in this post on his blog and I thought I would share it with you now. I really love that Tom sees the EdLab as, "...a third classroom, a third co-working space and a third hack-a-thon." Well said! Thanks for visiting and spreading the word about our work Tom!


Museums, Memory & Eye-tracking Technology

Submitted by Kate Meersschaert on Thu, 01/30/2014 - 10:55am.
Kate Meersschaert's picture

In light of both Dr. Baker's (awesome!!!) EdLab seminar yesterday and our work thinking about the Gottesman Libraries 4th floor renovation, I thought I would share this interesting talk and project hosted by Columbia Global Thought. Focused on a study that used eye-tracking technology to collect visitor experience at the French national museum on the Second World War. The project aims to map the intersection of memory and experience of historic places. I thought this was especially relevant given our desire to experiment with both new technologies on the 4th floor while acknowledging our historic, archival setting.


Welcome back to the EdLab Dr. Ming!

Submitted by Kate Meersschaert on Mon, 01/27/2014 - 12:43pm.
Kate Meersschaert's picture

Today the EdLab will host Dr. Vivienne Ming (for the 2nd time!)! Dr. Ming was featured as a part of the NewLearningTimes.com Profiles stream (read her Profile here) and will participate in our GroundBREAKERS series of video interviews and podcasts during her visit today! (Thanks team video!) Dr. Ming and her wife will be keynote speakers at SXSWedu this year!

This quote from her site (linked above) really stands-out for me regarding her work and focus on human potential:

"It's a philosophy that Vivienne Ming refined as a doctoral student at Carnegie Mellon University. Now the theoretical neuroscientist — involved in research, entrepreneurial technology and philanthropy — has been named one of Inc. Magazine's 10 Women to Watch in Tech in 2013. 'All of my endeavors are motivated by a desire to maximize human potential,' said Ming. 'It's a big dream, better suited to science fiction than the lab or the board room. But CMU inspired me to try anyhow.'" - CMU, "Revolutionary Potential"

XML feed