Here I'd like to discuss a textbook exchange project I've been working on which some of you may be interested in helping develop.
Before I explain the project, I first would like to present some facts:
1. There are approximately 17 Million college students in the U.S.
2. On average, each student pays $898/year for textbooks (CALIRG, 2005)
3. Retail bookstores make a 35.1% profit on the sale of used textbooks, on average (NACS study)
4. 1986-2004: Textbooks rose 186%, or 6% a year
5. 1986-2004: Other prices rose 3% (GAO study)
6. 50% of original price - Typical bookstore buyback price ...
Spurred by the growth of intelligent conflict-resolution games and serious games, "games for change" has evolved into a subgenre within gaming that has garnered the interest from the United Nations and other international bodies for its potential to change attitudes and create dialogue around highly-charged topics.
Popular (and award-winning) examples of games for change include Ayiti- Cost of Life; Darfur is Dying; and PeaceMaker.
Tonight's "Producing Transformational Videogames" panel discussion features leaders in the Games for Change movement, who will demonstrate their work, as well as discuss how G4C producers can join in with a growing community of online, console, and mobile developers for the next generation of progressive videogame creativity.
Asi Burak, executive producer of Games for Change
Eric Zimmerman, founder of GameLab
David Martz, Vice President of Business Development, Muzzy Lane.
Who: Games For Change
What: Producing Transformational Videogames Panel
Where: Theresa Lang Auditorium The New School, NY, NY
Date: Monday, May 3, 2010
Time: TONIGHT! at 7 pm
Cost: Event is free, pre-registration required. Wine and refreshments will be provided.
Games for Change — or G4C — is a community of practice dedicated to using videogames for social change. It is also the name for the non-profit organization which builds a support framework and shared resources for individuals and organizations using digital games for social change. See also, my recent blog post about the G4C to host the 7th Annual Games for Change Festival on May 24-27, 2010 in New York City.
Teachers College's Communication, Computing and Technology in Education (CCTE) Department will host the first in a series of "Eggplant Talks" this coming Thursday, April 29, 2010 at the EGGPLANT Games Research Lab.
This new series offered by the Games Research Lab targets casual game developers "who are interested in the opportunity to build social and networked games in a casual infrastructure — whether Facebook or Flash."
Columbia Professor Bernard Yee, adjunct professor teaching game design to Columbia's Department of Computer Science, will give Thursday's talk entitled, "The Intersection of Social Games, Virtual Worlds and MMOGs." His presentation will answer common developer questions such as: (1) how can developers better introduce game design principles into their projects; and (2) how can developers translate domain-specific concepts for "non-game developer" project managers. Terms like ‘social graphs', ‘status', ‘user-created content', ‘digital goods', and microtransactions' will also be addressed.
Professor Yee is a consultant, journalist and analyst, and has been credited on games developed by the following companies: Harmonix Music Systems, Inc., Sony Online Entertainment, Ion Storm Inc., and Atari.
What: "The Intersection of Social Games, Virtual Worlds and MMOGs" Eggplant Talk presented by Prof. Bernard Yee
When: April 29, 2010, 7:00pm — 9:00pm
Where: The Eggplant Games Lab — Teachers College 50A Thorndike
Cost: Free to attend.
Registration: No need to pre-register, walk ins welcome!
All are encouraged to stay afterwards for light refreshments, a chance to talk with Professor Yee, share ideas with others interested in game design and development, and to explore the work of the EGGPLANT Games Research Lab.
What additional topics would you like to see offered for this Eggplant Talk series? In your personal research, what areas of game design and game development have you found on the forefront of educational advancements?
In a recently published study, Harvard Business School scholars documented the importance of angel investments to the success and survival of entrepreneurial firms. The study delineates the role of angel funding for the growth, survival, and access to follow-on funding of high-growth start-up firms, while providing a quantifiable model for analyzing entrepreneurial finance.
In their paper entitled, "The Consequences of Entrepreneurial Finance: A Regression Discontinuity Analysis", authors William R. Kerr and Josh Lerner of HBS and Antoinette Schoar of MIT used a regression discontinuity approach to conclude that a small change in the collective interest levels of the angels can lead to a discrete change in the probability of funding for otherwise comparable ventures, as well as a strong, positive effect of angel funding on the survival and growth of ventures. The study notes improvement gains typically range between 30 and 50 percent.
(See attached document for full text of the study.)
What does this mean for educational ventures? What measurements do angels use during due diligence to gauge potential return on investment? How can educational innovators access angel-funding to increase their venture performance and secure follow-on funding?
Adrienne, JoAnn and I are attending "Taking The First Step," a panel discussion hosted by Teachers College's Society for Entrepreneurship in Education and sponsored by the EdLab. The panel discussion aims to connect Teachers College students and staff with the nation's top educational entrepreneurs, who will share how they put their cutting edge ideas into action and changed the educational landscape. Here is Adrienne's earlier post on the event.
Three entrepreneurs Dave Levin, Co-founder of KIP...
Know anyone doing exciting things in the field of tactile literacy? If so, this competition is geared towards them! The National Braille Press is sponsoring the Louis Braille Touch of Genius Prize for Innovation.
The cash prize of $20,000 will be granted to the creators of the most innovative educational method; tactile literacy product; or technological advance in the field of tactile literacy. Deadline to apply is May 24, 2010.
According to the competition website, "tactile literacy refers to any product, method, or service that has the effect of increasing access to information through the sense of touch. Braille itself is an example of tactile literacy but eligible innovations are not limited to braille."
Innovations may include the creation of tactile graphics, other tactile reading codes, and any other tactile innovation that promotes literacy. The 2009 Touch of Genius Prize for Innovation was awarded to Jeffrey Killebrew for his submission, "The System for Conceptualizing Spatial Concepts," also known as (SC)2.
Individuals, or groups of individuals, are encouraged to apply. The Touch of Genius Prize for Innovation may be awarded for a completed project or anticipated concept that will improve opportunities for blind people worldwide. Such projects or concepts may include methodology, technology, and/or advancement of tactile literacy.
Application is available here.
In a recent New York Times op-ed piece, David Brooks discussed models of leadership prevalent in today's corporate culture. Among them was the typical "boardroom lion" model, as evidenced in a recent Sunday Times interview, which he characterized as "superconfident, forceful and charismatic... [who] call for relentless transformational change." In sum, boardroom lions are those self-confident leaders with strong personalities, willing to swing for the fences and occasionally strikeout.
In addition, he offered an alternative model of leadership he labeled "the humble hound" model. A metacognitive approach to leadership, the humble hound leader is more modest (and risk-averse) than his counterpart the boardroom lion. This type of leader focuses on identifying and shoring up his own weaknesses, managing his bias for caution, and constructing "thinking teams" to tackle complex problems.
In keeping with the EdLab's recent discussions about organizational ethos and identity, what can we learn from Brooks' alternative model of leadership? Which approach works best for our organization? Are you a lion or a hound? Or neither? Or a mix of both?
Together with the Society for Entrepreneurship and Education, the EdLab is hosting an engaging and informative panel discussion on the initial challenges of starting and expanding educational and entrepreneurial endeavors. This will by a dynamic discussion among the nation's top educational entrepreneurs!
Moderated by Luis Huerta, Associate Professor of Education and Public Policy at Teachers College, the lecture will feature Deborah Devedjian, Founder of Copernicus Learning Ventures, Dave Levin, Co-founder of KIPP and Superintendent of KIPP New York, and Amy Rosen, President and CEO of the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurs.
Title: Taking the First Step Panel Discussion
Date: Monday, April 19, 2010
Time: 6:00pm - 8:00pm
Location: Grace Dodge Hall Room 179, Teachers College
RSVP: Event is free, but you must register with SEAE and print out tickets. Space is limited. Register at: http://seae.eventbrite.com
If you didn't catch it on Comedy Central, below is the clip of Stephen Colbert interviewing David Levin about the KIPP Schools.
Do you have an educational venture or idea that targets underserved or disadvantaged populations? If so, consider applying to The Mind Trust's Education Entrepreneur Fellowship. The Mind Trust, a 501(c)(3) organization, is currently accepting rolling applications and expects to award up to three Fellowships in 2010.
According to The Mind Trust website, "The Fellowship is for people who envision entirely new approaches to the challenges of public education and who possess the entrepreneurial skill necessary to turns their ideas into reality."
During the two-year Fellowship, Fellows receive a full-time salary ($90,000/year), full benefits, a $20,000 start up stipend and the professional support and mentoring necessary to turn a promising idea into a successful educational venture with large-scale, transformational benefits for children in Indianapolis and throughout the nation.
Interesting fact: In 2008, Teachers College alum Dr. Michael Bitz was awarded the first Mind Trust Education Entrepreneur Fellowships for his venture, the Youth Music Exchange. Dr. Bitz was also awarded the Distinguished Alumni Early Career Award from Teachers College in 2005.
What is intellectual property due diligence? Can developing a patent strategy add value to your research and/or product development initiatives? What is a "patent value story" and how can you use it to attract investors?
The above-mentioned questions and more will be discussed during the latest installment of Columbia's Technology Management Seminar Series.
Columbia Technology Ventures and the Columbia Engineering Alumni Association to host the upcoming lecture, "Patent Strategy for Emerging Technologies: Maximizing Business Value."