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I just finished my first day of a 2-day workshop run by Engine — a design group that focuses on service design. What is service design? Good question! It's pretty much as simple as it sounds, design processes applied to designing services. Of course, there's the challenge: services are complex by nature, involving "four P's": People, Places, Processes, and Products (not to be confused with the four P's of marketing). And watch out for wicked problems! I'm participating in this workshop to better understand the work we can do to deliver amazing services throughout the library and lab. I'm joined by designers from large and small companies, across many industries. Today we learned about some very interesting methods and cases. For example: the double diamond design process. I've been reflecting on our own home-grown CSG processes, and how we modify them especially for service design. There have been some interesting discussions of how to involve both key stakeholders and customers throughout various stages of a design process — and the challenges and opportunities at stake. I'll report more on our progress tomorrow.
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As the plot is won't to do, it has THICKENED! I just finished reading this article from search engine watch. The author of this article compares the Google+ real identity to the South Korean effort with similar goals. The important thing here, is she really focuses on the consequences of something describing itself as an "Identity Service" but identified as a social network by it's users. Another important nugget that I wasn't aware of previously is the U.S. government's
Vialogues provides a growing number of UI utilities with each of its new releases. One of the important rules we are following in developing these utilities is modularization. Just as we use Django as backend to ensure apps can be easily reused between websites, we do frontend modularization to ensure utilities can be shared between webpages and websites. In modularizing, we decouple the data and methods of an upcoming functionality from its context page. The utility's definition is enclosed in a javascript class and data is fed from the page to the utility's instances via the constructor'...
The MIT Tech Review recently published a piece on Memrise, a new personal language study solution that uses mnemonic brain hacks to accelerate the learning process. Memrise makes heavy use of cognitive science, game dynamics, and social networking with the hopes of making users' study time more efficient. The software's primary calling card is a cognitive technique called vivid encoding, which demands that each new piece of information presented to a user be associated with some re...
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As we consider features for the mSchool, we might want to think about whether to incorporate some type of backchannel for discussion. A report on a discussion of backchannels from the recent THATCamp highlights some of the issues that builders of backchannels might want to take into account. One important message ...
From the conference and my previous experiences on taking online courses, I came up with an idea about a promising use case of Vialogue. The video+dialogue feature makes Vialogue a perfect platform for online education. The traditional online course system do not have good support for interaction among instructor and students. It is hard for instructors to mention content in the lecture, or for students to ask questions related to a specific topic. With Vialogues, discussions can be associated exactly to a time point in the video. All the above problems are solved. Besides discussion, the i...
After the Edfluences meeting today, I wanted to briefly share two existing online classroom solutions in case any ideas from these could be incorporated into Edfluences or other mSchool projects. The first is Khan Academy , which I am sure most people here are familiar with. They have instructional videos with Q&A comments, a game/level based practice system, and a coaching system where a group of students registers someone as their coach (who can then track the progress of his/her students). The second is Piazzza
The title of the piece in the Times says it all: Armies of Expensive Lawyers Replaced by Cheaper Software or almost all. The article explains how software can now sift through mountains of legal documents to extract key content relevant to court cases. The piece is interesting both for the technical discussion and for the implications for the careers of lawyers. However, ...
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The Chronicle ran an interesting article about a new video book by MIT Press that allows authors to combine text and videos. The book uses the Scalar platform. If you read down, the article also discusses Anthologize. It will be interesting to see how this new format is accepted.
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Check out this story on the Iphone app developed to take the bar codes on books and create citations. Using the isbn numbers from books has certain limitations as the piece explains, but it is important to remember that every item in our library has a unique bar code that we use to track them in Educat. What could we...
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