NL Sector Featured on CUNY Games Site

Submitted by Kate Meersschaert on Fri, 06/27/2014 - 1:56pm.
Kate Meersschaert's picture

We recently wrote an NL Sector for focused on the first CUNY Games Festival held earlier this year. The piece was focused the process of organizing the event, provided a brief overview of gamification field and included an exclusive interview with five CUNY professors. I was thrilled that one of the organizers of the event, Maura Smale, chose to add our piece to the CUNY Games Network site along with the announcement of plans for the next festival. It is really nice that our piece helped the CUNY team to reflect as they prepare for the next event.

What are your thoughts on the gamification and ed gaming movement, are we heading towards a gaming bubble? OR only at the tip of the gamification iceberg? What do you think of the questions I asked the CUNY team? Regardless, Thanks Maura!


Warning, the Sky(net) May NOT Be Falling

Submitted by Kate Meersschaert on Thu, 06/12/2014 - 11:43am.
Kate Meersschaert's picture

Image via Creative Commons: Faces in Places

Recent news that a machine passed the infamous Turing Test sent chills through the spines of singularity supporters the world over. However, the resident robot expert at, Dr. Emma Byrne (Possible Profile?) feels this is premature and merely a sign of the human's shortcoming, and not the machine's Deus ex Machina (Read her piece in here). What are your thoughts? Is artificial intelligence going to surpass and subsume human intelligence?


'Halt & Catch Fire' Offers a Glimpse of the Past/Future

Submitted by Kate Meersschaert on Mon, 06/09/2014 - 4:28pm.
Kate Meersschaert's picture

AMC Takes us on Another Ride through History
Besides a truly catchy title, AMC's latest show, 'Halt and Catch Fire', is poised to provide the world with another TV-based work of "historical fiction" ('Mad Men' was an AMC creation). Based faithfully on the early PC computer days of the 80's in "Silicon Prairie," (there have been multiple prairie-based tech-hubs in the US) the show centers on a group attempting to "reverse engineer an IBM PC" in an office in Texas. Potentially interesting as a showcase of the environment in which the seeds of many modern technologies were planted, the fictional show has taken great pains to maintain (like 'Mad Men') accurate set design, while saying faithful to the cultural/societal zeitgeist of the time.

Is the Show a Glimpse of the Future, via the Past?
As we are able to learn a bit about the historical/social context of the early days of advertising in NYC, from 'Mad Men', will 'Halt' provide a glimpse into another, often overlooked "silicon" age and area of the country? Finally, why is "Silicon Prairie" not as famous or still growing as "Silicon Valley"? What resources were missing? How might a growing tech hub like "Silicon Alley" gain insight into possible pitfalls and avoid the stagnation that hit the "prairie?"


EdLab Seminar/GroundBREAKERS Alums Put on an Amazing Show!

Submitted by Kate Meersschaert on Fri, 06/06/2014 - 9:37am.
Kate Meersschaert's picture

Thanks to Brian Sweeting and his connection to Story Pirates (SP) Artistic Director, Lee Overtree (see his GroundBREAKERS interview below), we had the chance to attend last-night's SP benefit. Held at the Symphony Space theater the evening started with a silent auction and raffle and moved-into a full performance by the SP team.

The performances which famously relied on kid's writing and in the case of last-night's performance, audience participation, were full of heart and humor. For more on the "gold" in SP performances, check-out this Vialogues article on It was a treat to both experience the performance and to have a chance to share EdLab's SP-focused content via Twitter during the performance. For examples of this "native marketing" check-out the embedded tweets below.

Check-out the Story Pirate's EdLab Seminar for more on their innovative educational programming:


Apple Just Cozied-up to the Internet of Things

Submitted by Kate Meersschaert on Mon, 06/02/2014 - 5:13pm.
Kate Meersschaert's picture

During today's WWDC conference Apple announced that their iOS dev kit would now include HomeKit (learn more in this CNet article). This new development will allow for the independent creation of apps to engage with such IOT (internet of things)-based actions like unlocking doors, controlling thermostats (Read more re: Nest) and setting-up environmental "moods" via lighting etc. (read more re: Hue in this blog post).

The article referenced above lays this-out:

Compatible devices are listed as some of the more common automated items that have been released to market thus far including doors, locks, lights, thermostats and security cameras. Other pieces that have been hitting the market more recently were mentioned including smart plugs and switches.


Should Classroom Design Take a Cue from Minimalism?

Submitted by Kate Meersschaert on Tue, 05/27/2014 - 5:35pm.
Kate Meersschaert's picture

Image: Carnegie Mellon University

While searching for tomorrow's High Five for I came-upon an exploration of this study by Carnegie Mellon University researchers (originally published in Psychological Science). The piece points to a correlation between highly decorated classrooms and highly distracted learners (in the primary grades - Kindergarteners were the focus of the study).

From the Medical Xpress article listed above:

They found that children in highly decorated classrooms (bottom image) were more distracted, spent more time off-task and demonstrated smaller learning gains than when the decorations were removed (top image).


Internet Week, Tonight's Outreach Event & Follow-up from Tuesday's Meetup

Submitted by Kate Meersschaert on Thu, 05/22/2014 - 11:26am.
Kate Meersschaert's picture

This is a triple-header outreach blog post 1) To remind us all it is Internet Week 2) to re-share tonight's outreach event 3) to sum-up our experience at Tuesday's #NYEdtech Meetup!

1) Internet Week: We have attended internet week events in the past, including a tour of NYC startup offices and this year the team will participate in #IWNY by attending #IWNYvault (listed below).

2) Tonight a small team of EdLab outreachers will venture to the Empire State Building for "The Value in the Vault" hosted by NYC Media Lab - look-out for live-tweets and a follow-up blog post!

3) Twitter-based thoughts on Tuesday's #NYEdTech Meetup, "Mobile, Mobile Everywhere":


Do Gmail Tabs Negatively Influence Email "Opens?"

Submitted by Kate Meersschaert on Tue, 05/20/2014 - 1:39pm.
Kate Meersschaert's picture

Google introduced "tabs" to their email experience last May. After over a year of data collection, it seems the jury is still out as to whether or not the tab configuration dramatically helps or hurts promotional emails and newsletters sent by marketers. However, here is a bit of research and a debate as to whether or not the tab formula has a significant impact on open rate.

While email open rates are down since the intro of tabs MOST email opens occur on iOS devices that do not display email in tabs (followed by Android device access - see graphic above). Where does this leave us? Tabs might not be so bad after all, and with apps like Unroll.Me and more cropping-up people are getting even better at organizing and sorting email content that isn't coming directly from another contact and it seems tabs might not be the "make or break" factor.


Outreach Event: NY EdTech Meetup @ Knewton: Mobile, Mobile Everywhere 05.20.14

Submitted by Kate Meersschaert on Thu, 05/15/2014 - 11:01am.
Kate Meersschaert's picture

Join me next Tuesday for the newest #NyEdTech Meetup @ Knewton, "Mobile, Mobile Everywhere." There is a fee ($5) associated with the event, so please be sure to check-in with Hui Soo before registering. Finally, here is a description re: the event from their site:

Thinking beyond the hardware, teachers and students are focusing in mobile learning environments. Combined with project-based learning and other integrative pedagogies, mobile tech allows for an expansive engaged classroom experience. How far can students take a project in a short period, and what goes into designing lessons where the outcomes range from the expected to the entrepreneurial?

Event Details:

Tuesday, May 20, 2014
7:00 PM
100 5th Avenue
New York, NY 10011

Price $5 (Please check-in with Hui Soo before registering!)


Say NO to Personalization and Other Email Marketing Research

Submitted by Kate Meersschaert on Wed, 05/14/2014 - 5:48pm.
Kate Meersschaert's picture

As a follow-up to this blog post by Gary, I thought I would share some (relatively) recent research on best practices for sending newsletters and email-based marketing campaigns. I will continue to share research as I dig-it-up for the team to explore. This is by no means a definitive word on newsletter or email marketing behavior and instead, a way to collect and collectively think about prevailing thoughts on best practices as we refine our own approach.

Just Say NO to Personalization
For example, apparently, personalization is less cool and more creepy (original post):

A significant element of email marketing is relationship. Does a recipient trust you? Does a recipient even know who you are? When an email jumps the gun by forcing familiarity too soon, the personalization comes across as skeevy. Intimacy is earned in real life, and it would appear to be the same way with email.

XML feed