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A few years ago, I was talking with a friend who attended one of NYC's specialized public high schools, which require an admissions test called the SHSAT. She told me that a lot of the kids she knew hadn't gotten into high school by doing well on the test, but rather had found clever ways to use technology to cheat the system. I remember her saying "It doesn't really matter, it's just the w...
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The Economist as a Counter-Trend: Discussing Print Media I thought this article by Michael Hirschorn in the new issue of The Atlantic was somewhat interesting. He talks about how The Economist has continued to thrive, with an expanding readership, despite the downward spiral of most news magazines. Why the counter-trend? Hirschorn points to the fact that The Economist has always embodied certain characteristics that are now mainstream: an international and interconnected perspective, a focus on high-quality distillations of the world's complex problems, and the appearance of being smart, worthwhile, and full of depth. Now that the qualities of online media have geared readers towards this type of global, snappy content aimed at a highly literate population, The Economist appeals to an even greater audience. Basically, this print publication is riding the waves of a digital trend without transitioning online. Interesting. Is it valuable?
This morning, while making my regular meanders about the internet, I found myself reading this month's trend report from, which delves into the phenomenon of "foreverism." The site, which produces monthly consumer-related trend briefings, explains that, "While the ‘now' has never been more popular, with many consumers still keen on instant gratification, trying to maximize the amount of experiences they can collect in as little time as possible (and with as little budget as possible), there are equally strong forces promoting the ‘forever.'" The report then goes into detail about the ways in which "foreverism" (the technologically-driven focus on what is seemingly endless) is affecting the way that we behave in the world, including our interactions with friends, co-workers, even brands. While the briefing affords a large amount of space to the concept of a "forever" presence online (i.e. social networking profiles and your personal web imprint), "forever" trackability, and "forever" conversation, the topic I found most interesting was that of "forever beta," i.e. the endless and constant process of testing, technology-enabled live feedback, and reaction that has replaced the concept of a defined result. As the report states, "the process is the product."
11 years ago
Hi all, Calli and I put together a survey today as part of a project to develop a new online research tool for college students. We were hoping that those of you in the lab who have experience putting together surveys and performing this type of research might give us some feedback on any questions about the research process you think are missing or any other thoughts you might have. The link to the survey is here: You can click through pages without answering questions or submitting results. Thanks so much!
11 years ago
"Virtual" merit pay? Recently, Kamehameha Schools in Hawaii announced that they were taking the first steps toward a merit pay program for their teaching staff. Initially, however, this new development will consist of an "experimental" pilot phase, in which teachers will be able to track through a virtual system simulations of the performance-driven increases and new incentives they will potentially receive through a real merit pay program. I find this somewhat psychologically interesting. Any thoughts? Also, two events related to ed tech today: --The 2009 Game Education Summit in Pittsburgh (live feeds on their website) --A Congressional hearing on "The Future of Learning: How Technology is Transforming Public Schools" (transcripts on site)
For the fellow word lovers out there, the new online dictionary Wordnik just went into open beta. The tool aims to create a less static dictionary, one that more accurately reflects the current state of the English language. Right now, the site includes some interactive features, allowing users to tag words, record pronunciations, contribute content, and store favorite words. It also provides (in addition to the tried-and-true definition and etymology features) some statistics, examples of words in context, live twitter feeds related to each word, image results from Flickr, anagrams and more. A lot more fun than, I'd say... And if you haven't heard it already, here's the (adorably exuberant) Wordnik creator Erin McKean (former editor of the Oxford American Dictionary) talking about the future of dictionaries at TED:
I know everyone's probably a little tired of the swine flu hype, but here are a few stories about the efforts to use technology in addressing pandemics in schools: Japan pilots program to track student behavior using cell phones. In an effort to gather more information about students who might be at risk in the event of an epidemic, Japan has announced plans to
If anyone's interested, here's another sample blog I've been working on for the Teaching the Levees website: What's the current situation in New Orleans? It seems the news media can't agree. While the Chicago Sun-Times recently published a sunny article describing how recovery money has steeled New Orleans against the recession (leading young, laid-off workers to flock to the area) and the Times-Picayune sugg...
For the past few days, as part of a project to design a new online research tool for students, I've been scouring the web in an effort to survey existing tools and see what's currently out there. I've written up a little report about what I've found, as well as a spreadsheet that lists the existing tools along with their features and my evaluation (both are attached here). Now, I'm looking for some feedback as we try to figure out what the next steps in this process should be. Is a new tool even necessary or valuable? Should we put together focus groups/surveys of students and/or consult existing research? What age groups/stages of the research process should a hypothetical tool address? Are there creative ways to use the information I've collected about existing tools? (Hui Soo was suggesting a series of YouTube videos) If anyone has a few minutes and would like to take a look at the report/spreadsheet and provide some feedback, that would be great. Even if you don't get a chance to read it, any musings on online research in general (especially from a student perspective) are very much appreciated!
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Hi all, I'm (hopefully) going to be blogging for the Teaching the Levees curriculum site, so I'm putting together some sample blogs related to Hurricane Katrina and the recovery effort. I'm posting one below. Please let me know if you have any feedback/suggestions/comments! June 1st marks the beginning of the 2009 hurricane season, again prompting concern as to how the city of New Orleans will fare in the coming summer's weather. In recognition of this fact, the Gulf Coast Civic Works Project (GCCWP) has gathered volunteers from across ...