A Warehouse for Innovators

Submitted by Gary Natriello on Sun, 01/09/2011 - 11:30am.

Wondering where we might get some cool new materials for our next design event or exhibition? Check out this Fast Company piece on Inventables, an online store of amazing products.

What would you do with sound recording paper or translucent concrete?

Or even transparent aluminum?

Death by Irony?

Submitted by Gary Natriello on Sun, 01/09/2011 - 11:05am.

Just in case you are feeling that we have made enough progress in re-thinking the library for the information age, take a look at Brent Sullivan's Autopsy Report for the Academic Library and the related comments. My take-away from this is that there is a terrific opportunity to re-invent the academic library and its successor. Now, more than ever, there is a need for a thoughtful assemblage of the evolving knowledge resources and tools to support scholarly work, and there is a pressing need to develop a new generation of experts who will bridge the growing gaps between what is available and what is being integrated into scholarly practice.

Huffing and Puffing to Get Started

Submitted by Gary Natriello on Thu, 01/06/2011 - 10:15pm.

Ever wonder how a major internet site gets started? Take a look at what some are calling the original plan for the Huffington Post. The file is part of a piece in Vanity Fair on a dispute regarding the founding of the Huffington Post, but it seems far more interesting in its own right than as part of the dispute.

Twelve Theses on Wikileaks

Submitted by Andrew Mount on Thu, 01/06/2011 - 1:41pm.

With the media storm this produced over the holiday, I'm surprised that there is not more talk about the Wikileaks issue. Geert Lovink and Patrice Reimens put together these 12 Theses. They are more meditative and so worth a read - most of the stuff are simple opinion pieces that are problematic (as always) in their own ways (emblematic of publishers political leanings...)/

Website Story

Submitted by Gonzalo Obelleiro on Thu, 01/06/2011 - 1:40pm.

A while ago I posted on the beautiful and clear ReprintMe. Ankit perspicaciously commented on the great flow of the website. And that's its great strength: the site is structured as a story made up of short paragraphs, punctuated by images, that moves forward at a pleasant pace as one scrolls down. It's a website story.

This is the same strategy folks at 37signals use for their websites, and, differences in media aside, their books follow a similar narrative rhythm.

Nike Better World

Today, I discovered another great example of this strategy for web design: Nike's Better World.

I think this approach would work well for an EdLab website, or even as the logged out home page for tools that need significant introduction to new users, like Vialogues, Pressible and Edfluences.

App Store released for Mac

Submitted by Patrick Carey on Thu, 01/06/2011 - 10:48am.

If you are on a Mac running Snow Leopard you can now update your software to include the App Store for OS X. It's pretty slick and has about 1,000 apps right now, including Angry Birds for the desktop!

Growing Up with Online Games

Submitted by Ching-Fu Lan on Wed, 01/05/2011 - 8:12pm.

On a Saturday evening several weeks ago, as I was working on my dissertation proposal about digital media and civic education, my wife Mei and 6-year-old nephew J had a chance to play Ayiti, a popular online social game about the daily struggles of people living in rural Haiti. I didn’t know exactly how J came into this online game, but he wanted Mei to play with him. Mei knew that it was my research interest, and was excited to tell me that they were going to play the game. At the time I didn’t react passionately to their invitation, partly because I was in the middle of wrapping up a chapter, and also because I was somewhat doubtful about whether J would be interested in that game since I knew it was a difficult game to play as well as lead a rural Haitian family to a happy life throughout a four-year setting in the game. I told them about this, and went back to my writing. In hindsight, I regretted missing one great field observation opportunity about digital media and learning.

Sifteo launches.

Submitted by Patrick Carey on Wed, 01/05/2011 - 9:51am.

Some of you may already be familiar with Sifteo, a project formally called Siftables, which grew from MIT's Media Lab. They have released their frist version and have a pre-order available.

The idea behind Sifteo is to use a series of blocks to create games and learning tools for children, the blocks are tangible media devices which communicate with one another. Children can use these blocks to solve problems or play simple games. While software is certainly king in the ed tech realm I am personally excited by the possibilites of hardware in tandem with great software to create new learning applications.

Maybe the EdLab should order some Sifteos( *hint* *hint*).

Trends in Ed: 01.03.2011-Top 10 Education Stories for 2011

Submitted by George Nantwi on Mon, 01/03/2011 - 6:40pm.

With a new year comes a new set (or for some a continual) of hot topics and debates in education. This Huffington Post piece predicts the top 10 stories in education this year.

1) In a political move and with the ante for the 2012 election set to increase, the Obama administration will lower its tune of educational reform to support (through changes in the proposal) of but not authorization of the Elementary and Secondary Act, which Congress will put off until after the elections

2) The movement by mayors to gain controls of their schools districts will decrease

3) The public and political backlash from Cathie Black’s appointment as New York City’s schools chancellor will prevent the appointment of non-educators to influential administrative posts in education.

4) The parent trigger movement will die and fade quickly.

RSS is dying.

Submitted by Patrick Carey on Mon, 01/03/2011 - 11:32am.

While that title may be a bit dramatic, this article points out the very real danger that RSS as a technology faces. The article outlines how strong a tool RSS can be when implemented well. I agree that the lack of use of RSS has to do with a lack of understanding and implementation rather than it being a bad technology.

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