Paper installation at Bremen University

Submitted by Gonzalo Obelleiro on Mon, 04/18/2011 - 4:10pm.

Paper @ Bremen
Intriguing paper installation functional as a projection screen. See more images here.

Self Powered MP3 player!

Submitted by Julia Martin on Mon, 04/18/2011 - 3:49pm.

Cool expansion of the Freeplay Lifeline Radio, the MP3 player allows for any time playing of education content.

Full Article Here

Speak/Present at TED

Submitted by Angela Lee on Mon, 04/18/2011 - 2:22pm.

TED is opening up speaker positions for 2012. Check out the online application form. TED is working with the theme "Full Spectrum -- the rich use of technologies, formats and styles to make an impact on an audience."

Finalists will give their presentations live in New York on May 24, and the best auditions will be posted on TED.com, shall we encourage our very own leaders of EdLab to apply?

Vialogues's long lost sibling

Submitted by Angela Lee on Mon, 04/18/2011 - 9:41am.

I was searching for candidates for the second phase Vialogues outreach and found its long lost sibling - DIVER . DIVER is a project led by Roy Pea, a Professor of Education and Learning Sciences at Stanford University, Director of The Stanford Center for Innovations in Learning, and has extensive experience in applying video analysis technology to studies in the learning sciences.

After exploring the different functions of Diver, I found it similar in principle to Vialogues , presented in a different manner. Take a look at the DIVER system .

Developing A Question Marketplace for Educators

Submitted by Yudan Li on Sat, 04/16/2011 - 5:21pm.

A few days ago, Hui Soo and I talked about developing question marketplace targeted for educators. As developers, we are constantly using question market applications like Stackoverflow and Quora. These websites provide good features, upon which we just made a study.

The primary components shared by this kind of websites are questions and users. However, the way they are organized is very different between the two websites.

The major difference is in the question of organization. Stackoverflow doesn’t ask users to follow topics while Quora does. In Stackoverflow, users can view question by grouping them by the tag. Stackoverflow does have a powerful categorizing and tagging system. It allows users to view questions in a good number of ways by using combination of tags and ordering by a certain attribute. All these actually allows the questions to be categorized dynamically. In Quora, however, the topic structure is very much like a book content list. The topics and subtopics are already there and won’t change very often. Before users post a question, they will first try to find the right topic. The good thing here is that, they allow a hierarchy of topics. For some generic concept, we do need questions to be organized by multiple layers of subtopics under the concept.

Trends in Ed: Thiel on Ed Bubble

Submitted by Fred Rossoff on Fri, 04/15/2011 - 2:44pm.

This week TechCrunch reported on an interview with Peter Thiel, paypal co-founder and venture capitalist, in which he made a few controversial claims. They open by claiming “this article will piss off a lot of people,” but for me it feels more like a rare whiff of common sense.

Economics & Education: Yglesias' Primer on America's Human Capital Slowdown

Submitted by Skanda Amarnath on Fri, 04/15/2011 - 10:11am.

Matt Yglesias has an excellent primer on America's human capital slowdown

Throughout America's history, there has been a strong trend towards greater human capital investment and America has typically lead in educating its citizens. Yet there has been an obvious slowdown in recent years. The cost of college tuition is only increasing while low-cost for-profit alternatives are riddled with problems. Yglesias points out 4 areas where we could be doing more on education and human capital investment but are not:

1.) Investing in high-quality pre-K education

2.) Attracting skilled migrants

3.) Developing effective job training programs

4.) Better housing policy that leads to less stratification along income lines.

1 & 2 seem like quick fixes honestly. The literature shows how valuable preschool really is; preschool is where the achievement discrepancies begin. On the other hand, it seems like a no-brainer that we ought to attract more skilled workers, regardless of their place of birth.

Where I think Yglesias misses a greater point is on the limits to human capital attainment. Anyone who has studied a little bit on exogenous and endogenous growth theories would be well aware of the differences between human and physical capital. Human capital obviously takes time to acquire and only lasts as long as the person who owns it lives. If we all aimed for 5 PhDs but allotted no time to put those PhDs to productive use, then all of that human capital investment would be for nought.

Going forward, we need to think about how to accelerate human capital acquisition. I think this can be partially achieved through creating more direct pre-professional paths. Undergraduate education inefficiently delivers human capital to young minds in most disciplines (with some notable exceptions in engineering and the hard sciences). But even beyond this one point I grandstand on, we need to start thinking about how to deliver primary and secondary education in less time without sacrificing quality.

Talking Heads and Graphics

Submitted by Gonzalo Obelleiro on Thu, 04/14/2011 - 11:47am.

The Thunberg Brothers of Stockholm-based design and web development agency Bärnt & Ärnst created an interesting video introducing their Webunal. I like the way they use the back wall as a screen to display infographics and screen captures.

Check it out!

Award for Let Freedom Swing

Submitted by George Nantwi on Thu, 04/14/2011 - 10:32am.

The Documentary Group has been awarded the Silver Plaque Educational Program Child Audience for the 2011 Hugo Television Awards for their work on Let Freedom Swing. They were the producers of the three primary documentaries that served as the basis for project as well as the additional videos. The Hugo Television Awards is an annual awards ceremony organized by Cinema/Chicago and the Chicago International Film Festival.

Let Freedom Swing is a curriculum project developed by faculty and graduate students at Teachers College Columbia University that aims to highlight the many connections between jazz and democracy. The EdLab at Teachers College Columbia University created web resources to compliment the curriculum and led the efforts to inform educators and potential users of the resource. The curriculum can be taught and used in a variety of subjects such as US History, Civics, Government, and Social Studies.

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