I vividly recall memories of my mother teaching me a language considered foreign to my native Ghana. I wondered why I had to learn several native languages but my mother constantly reminded me of how important it is to see learning as a path that leads to different avenues of opportunities. With this principle in mind since childhood, I have developed a lifelong interest in learning. I have also discovered that sometimes the best form of learning starts by simply identifying the opportunities around you and using that as a means of growth and development. As an aspiring educator, I am inspired by the work I do, which revolves around innovating new ideas and technology to create a more collaborative and inspiring space for lear...
When Joann was a kid, she was all about nature documentaries. She spent Saturday mornings with Jack Hanna, PBS, and the Discovery Channel. Her most sought-after subject was, for some reason, birds. Any type of bird was her jam: songbirds, wild birds, birds of prey. She frequently checked out a bird documentary from her elementary school library that was unsurprisingly always available. While watching a program one morning, the narrator, in her lilting English accent, informed Joann that the common parakeet may be more special than she thought: they could learn to talk, just like people! Sort of. More like parrots. But worse. And males are better at it. But Joann didn’t know these limitations and so sh...
Kim Kefgen creates and produces new learning projects in The Smith Learning Theater, and leads the services team and education program at the Gottesman Libraries, both at Teachers College. Before coming to TC, she was the Director of the Samberg Institute for Teaching Excellence at Columbia Business School where she worked on teaching and curriculum development, and led the initiative for effective and appropriate adoption of new technologies for successful teaching. She also worked in New York as a professional theater producer, director and stage manager for over fifteen years. As a parent, she is currently a part of her daughter's School Leadership Team and a former PA Executive Board member.
Ms. Kefgen holds a BFA in Theatre from Otterbein College, an M.A. in Higher and Postsecondary Education from Teachers College, and an M.B.A. from Columbia University.
She is an enthusiastic participant in our times.
In Bruegel's painting "Landscape with the Fall ofIcarus", the Greek mythological character flies too close to the sun and
falls to his death, unseen by the inhabitants of the bustling seaside community
into whose harbor he plunges. The painting inspired the poet W.H. Auden to
write about humanity's indifference to suffering:
In Breughel's Icarus, for instance: how
everything turns away
Quite leisurely from the disaster;
the ploughman may
A degree in Anthropology gave me the desire to explore other cultures
outside my own. My post graduate life was mostly been spent abroad,
working and traveling for six years in Asia and the Middle East. Within those six years, I
taught for five of them and I came to realize that video is often
transcendent of language and culture. Video production within my classroom was consistently an intensely creative and productive process
that I and my students always looked forward to. I took those experiences to develop into my Masters thesis at Teachers College and graduated in 2011. Currently, I am at EdLab producing educationally themed videos with an
amazing group of people.
Originally from West Haven, Connecticut, Cinthia Fabian is now a senior at Columbia College majoring in Medicine, Literature, and Society. She delights in traveling to (and disorienting herself in) new cities, a passion that has led her to intern with nonprofit organizations ranging from the YWCA of the City of New York to Mumbai Mobile Creches in Mumbai, India to International Medical Corps in Los Angeles, California. As an Assistant Community Manager for EdLab, she is eager to explore the heretofore unfamiliar 5th floor of Russell Hall and to draw upon her previous communications experience to help strengthen the EdLab community.
I moved to Brooklyn, New York two years ago after graduating from Berklee College of Music, where I studied drum set performance and music business.
I've wanted to work at a library again ever since my experience working for the Berklee Library and Media Center. I love reading, playing and seeing music (of course), biking, cooking, and am always interested in acquiring new skills and hobbies. I'm here helping library patrons by day and out playing shows at night.
Dr. Hughes’ educational research focuses on the intersection of media making and emerging technologies. In philosophy, he studies how conceptions of excellence influence creative practices and artistic traditions. He holds a B.A. (Studio Art) from Dartmouth Co...
I used to make architectural models. It is a small but essential industry that is devoted entirely to making people who cannot read technical drawings understand what the building they depict looks like. I made tiny versions of office buildings, commercial spaces and landscapes. For some reason it is much easier for someone to accept a very small building on a table and project all of their hopes and intentions onto it, than a two-dimensional technical drawing.
My job was not so much to make the most realistic version of a miniature office tower, it was to connect a person to a future reality so that they could make decisions, and for some reason everyone seemed to understand models.
What I found was that those Ah Ha! moments were very satisfying to create. Anyone who’s ever tried to explain a concept knows the distress of being met with glazed or frustrated expressions and, hopefully, the spark o...
Do you know how sometimes the universe puts exactly the right person at exactly the right time in your path? I love those stories. I love watching New Yorkers give directions, they will tell tourists 5 times how to get somewhere, and watch them to make sure they are on the right path. And you never know how a person is going to affect you.
My first job out of college was with a graphics company. They mainly...
“Are you sure we don’t have any secret passageways?” I asked my parents for the hundredth time. When I was young, I spent whole afternoons scouring my house for hidden doorways or hollow walls shielding undiscovered passageways. Wouldn’t it be so cool, I thought, to find a secret space that only I knew about? Wouldn’t it be cool to find an artifact, a journal from a girl my age who lived a hundred years before I was even born? I wanted desperately to discover secrets long forgotten. But I never found a journal like this. Instead, I started writing my own so that one day I could hide it somewhere and a little girl a hundred years later would find it and feel special. I’ve kept a journal ever since.
Born and raised a carioca (original from Rio), I am a brazilian designer, creative technologist and currently interactive designer at the EdLab design team. For the past years I've been working in Rio and New York at creative agencies as a jill of all trades and through my personal work I've been addressing female empowerment as well as working with data, sound and facilitating workshops related to new technologies for the youth.
Andrew Visser is a Welsh born writer-director based in New York and London. He is a Royal Television Society award nominee, and his films have screened at festivals around the world, winning numerous prizes and accolades. As a university lecturer he teaches at one of the longest established film schools in the UK. He has a first class BA in Film and Video from the Surrey Institute of Art & Design and an MFA in Film from Columbia University's School of the Arts.
Sushmita Saha is a graduate of Columbia University Film Program. Her short film Bakri (The Goat) screened at film festivals around the world (Germany, New Delhi, Busan and Iran) and won the IFP audience choice award at Columbia University film festival, 2016. Sushmita teaches filmmaking to elementary school students at the East Village Community School and has served as a mentor at film programs like FOCUS Young Artists' Lab and World Economic Forum Arts Workshop.
In the great expansion of a single life we’ve seen Veronica Black take on many collaborative challenges. As a young rebel she defied standards to encourage colleagues and neighboring community members to rally against harsh muddy sandbox mandates. Though she was condemned to never make mud in the sandbox, this didn’t mean that she couldn’t orchestrate others in a “Bring a Single Cup of Water” drive to create mud in the sandbox. As a motivational leader at a young age, Ms. Black showed that when obstacles stand in her way she calls upon her unwavering creativity to push her commu...
I was raised in between two cultures. My father was born in Panama and grew up in North Carolina. My mother is Chinese and grew up in Taiwan. I’m lucky to have grown up in North Carolina with a large family that I spend a lot of time with. Much of my dad’s side of the family lives in North Carolina, so I see them often. My mom and her sister live in North Carolina and their parents lived with us 6 months out of the year for as long as I can remember. Besides them, I have a lot of family in Taiwan on my mom's side. I noticed the differences in my family's culture early on. Growing up, I was always reading and would bring books to family gatherings. My mom’s side of the family would say “Patrick is so smart and studious” wh...
A Kentucky native, Katherine has a background in documentary video production and photojournalism. She received her M.A. in Media Studies from The New School and is excited to be a part of EdLab's video team.
Hui Soo Chae is Director of Research and Development for the EdLab and the Gottesman Libraries. In that capacity he leads the software development, product development, consulting, publishing and collections initiatives. Dr. Chae has led the development of a number of learning applications, including the Vialogues (www.vialogues.com) video discussion tool. His publishing initiatives have included development of the mobile publishing platform for the New Learning Times (www.newlearningtimes.com).
He has also pioneered an accelerated model to speed the delivery of educational consulting services to diverse clients, including HBO, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Peterson Foundation, and the Rock and Roll Forever Foundation. These engagements have resulted in widely regarded online curriculum resource collections in areas as diverse as democracy (Teaching the Levees) and fiscal responsibility (Understanding Fiscal Responsibility).
Bonjour tous les mondes! My name is Daniel Gardner (Dan, Danny, or D works as well. You can shuffle it to keep it interesting) and I’m an educator in training. Before I came around to embarking on this journey, I worked in solar energy for about a year and a half, after having studied Environmental Technology in college. In between I’ve had a handful of oddjobs in the city, from a stint as a part-time bike messenger, starbucks barista and barnes and noble bookseller. During my time at each, I’ve had various experiences and gained a unique perspective on how this city functions. One thing that has really had an impression on me i...
I learned at a young age that it’s important to play to your audience, even if that audience happens to be pair of poodles, reluctantly sitting in the front row. And thus I began my adventures in storytelling by casting them as the main characters in song parodies and tall tales. Growing up alongside the computer age, I soon graduated from verbal storytel...
Ever since his first interaction with computers and programming through the language 'Logo' in grade 3, he wanted to be a programmer. And once he experienced the magic of interaction design several years into a career of software development, he realized it perfectly brought together everything he loved about technology - the ability to solve a problem.
Sabarish is now an avid user experience designer + user interaction engineer. He has a Master’s degree in Human-Computer Interaction from the University of Michigan, School of Information (Ann Arbor, MI) and a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science & Engineering from Visvesvaraya Technological University (Bangalore, India).
Xiang is a member of the research team at the EdLab. His interests lie mainly in mathematical and statistical modeling of psychological and educational problems. More specifically, Xiang's current research is in Bayesian statistics, measurement theory, educational statistics, machine learning/data mining techniques, and combinatorial algorithms. He believes that quantitative research can make a significant impact on development of educational technology.
Xiang received his undergraduate degree from Maryville College(TN) in mathematics and computer science. He is currently pursing Ph.D. in Psychometrics at Teachers College, Columbia University. Prior to joining the EdLab, Xiang was at The University of Virginia. His previous research experience include Item Response Theory, Generalizability Theory, and Computer Adaptive Testing.
A native Vermonter, Jackie headed to the Great White North to pursue a B.A. in English with a focus on drama/theatre as well as world religions and hispanic studies at McGill University. After completing an Advanced CTESOL training (Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) in San Francisco she soon landed in Queens to begin her four year relationship with the YMCA of Greater New York. Here she played a variety of roles including teaching workforce prep, citizenship skills, and various levels of English to immigrant adults through the New Americans Welcome Center and working as an after school program site coordinator, journalism instructor, teen advisor, and counselor for middle schoolers at the Beacon Center. Today, she functions as a producer for the video team and is in the last thesis semester of her Master of Arts in Media Studies at The New School. Outside the classroom, Jackie has worked on the production team for various clients including the United Wa...
SeungYeon is a postdoctoral researcher in EdLab's Research team. Prior to joining EdLab, she finished her PhD program at University of California, Berkeley, with a concentration on Educational Statistics and Psychometrics. SeungYeon hails from a friendly town of Seoul, Korea, where she completed her MA and BS degrees in Statistics.
Before she moved to the United States, she was a math tutor in Korea for 8 years. That's when she became interested in how statistical techniques can be applied to further students' education. Her current research interests focus on application of statistical models, including psychometric models and machine learning techniques, to improve and enhance students' learning experience and results.
Lauren is a science and tech journalist by day and a Gottesman Library Services Associate by night. She likes to talk about a lot of things, but mostly covers how technology affects our health, behavior, education and culture. She recently attended NYU's Science, Health and Environmental Reporting Program and received a Master's degree in journalism. For fun, she collects comic books and browses digital library archives.
For more than a decade, I performed cabaret, choral, and a cappella music. About two years into the cabarets, I first experienced performance anxiety. My right leg shook uncontrollably from the knee down. It was as if it wasn’t part of me. I firmly anchored my foot and soldiered on. To my surprise, no one was the wiser, but I wondered how I would manage, going forward.
The experience unnerved me. I considered keeping it to myself. Instead, I talked to my peers. At the next show, months later, I steeled myself. Nothing happened. In fact, I never again experienced performance anxiety. I credit that to not having kept my problem a secret.
Simone believes in the power of reinvention.
Simone Schloss graduated from Simmons College in 2017 with an MLIS, and honors from Beta Phi Mu, the International Lib...
Lorraine LaPrade can best be described as a “Jack(ie) of all trades.” She is a newby librarian, performance artist, and self-defense instructor. She holds a M.S. in Library Science from Long Island University, CW Post, and a M.A. in Women’s Studies from Claremont Graduate University.
Alseny is part of the DigiQ team at EdLab. As part of his duties, he is responsible for fulfilling all patron requests through Docdel. Additionally, he works on archiving over 100+ years of Teachers College material to enhance research opportunities for members of the community. He played club soccer at South Bronx United where he captained his team during his last two seasons. He believes that soccer has played a massive role in his progress so far. He's a big fan of a professional soccer player named Francisco Alarcon, who he admires as his idol. Alseny is currently a rising sophomore at Saint Lawrence University. He aspires to study computer science and business.
Samuel Fordjour is a freshman at SUNY Alfred State. After recently graduating from Newvisions For Advanced Math & Science II in 2016, he will pursue radiology in college. At Edlab Teachers College in Columbia University, Samuel is currently an employee working for the summer hoping to achieve and acquire new skill sets for college and future career. Samuel enjoys playing soccer and percussion. During his spare time Samuel enjoys playing video games especially fifa.
Kalliopi Mathios is an EdLab Library Services Associate and assistant branch manager at the Marcy Library in Brooklyn, with an MLIS from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and a BSEd in Elementary Education from Loyola University Chicago. She works with DPLA as a community representative, is an as occasional book reviewer, part-time poet, and art lover.
Srujan is a Software Developer at EdLab, and simultaneously is also an MPA candidate at SIPA, Columbia University. Srujan's interests in EdLab are acting as a bridge between designers and code. He loves finding out about and learning new technology that would perfectly suit the problems at hand.
Prior to EdLab and SIPA, Srujan worked at the Reserve Bank of India as a Policy Researcher and Data Analyst, at a Financial Technology firm as a Quant Developer, and at an Education Technology startup as the Technology Lead. Besides technology, his interests are broad, including Economic Policy, Governance, Public Finance and Development.
Srujan graduated from the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay in 2012, with a Bachelors in Technology. He lived in Hyderabad and Mumbai, India prior to moving to New York.
Samba Doukhansy is a recent graduate of Crotona International High School and will be attending Keuka College next fall. He is currently undecided about a major but is leaning towards computer science. At EdLab, he works with the Digitization Queue team to archive Teachers College’s historical documents to enhance opportunities for staff, students, and faculty research. A big soccer fan, he captained his high school’s boys’ varsity soccer team and plays club for South Bronx United.
When I was 15 years old I checked out a book from a public library for the first time - the Kearney Branch Public Library in Springfield, Missouri. Well, it wasn't the first time I checked out a book, but it was the first time I had done so without my parents driving me to the library. I was in a Steinbeck phase at the time, so I borrowed "Cannery Row" and "The Moon Is Down".
I borrowed these novels from the library because my family was going on a trip to Mississippi to see my grandparents for Christmas and I needed something to do. This was 1995, before the internet and smartphones were ubiquitous. I was a voracious reader in high school and college anyway, all I wanted to read were novels, novels, novels.
Twenty years later, I'm a librarian in New York -- the Acquisitions and Materials Librarian at The Gottesman Library at Teachers College, Columbia University. I maintain the library systems, help troubleshoot access problems, and work on subscriptions and...
Idrissa Bangura is a rising sophomore at Boston College. A native of Sierra Leone, he currently resides in the West Bronx with his family. He is a current member of the Boston College Men's Soccer team. He was part of two South Bronx United player representatives at the National Youth Leadership Institute in Cincinnati early 2010.
He hopes to learn as much as possible this summer at the EdLab in addition to his primary task archiving state curriculum materials from the early 20th century to make them easily accessible online. He aspires to study public policy and philosophy in school and also enjoys social networking.
Usa was born in Thailand. She lived and was educated in Bangkok. After her graduation from Srinakarinwirot University in 1976, she started her first career as a teacher of English at Vajiravudh College in Bangkok. Following this, she earned a Master’s degree in Higher and Adult Continuing Education in 1982 from Teachers College, Columbia University. Usa worked for Mahidol University in Bangkok as an Academic Affairs Officer before she returned to Teachers College and began working full-time at TC Library in 1988. Her responsibilities at TC library included supervising part-time employees at the Circulation & Reference Services and managing Reserve materials for faculty. Her interest and willingness to learn the new things has inspired her to earn two more Master’s degrees while working full-time at Teachers College. The areas of interest and specializations from these two graduate programs are International Educational Development with specialization in TESOL, and Communica...
Looking back, it should have been clear by age four that the lineage of terrible communicators I came from was going to be severely disappointed in me. This was the age at which I asked my parents what caused pregnancy, no one felt comfortable enough to answer, and I then spent every evening of the next three years terrified, praying to God by the light of my turquoise butterfly nightlight that I wouldn’t wake up the next morning pregnant like the Virgin Mary. Eventually my friend Jenna helped me crack the pregnancy mystery, my butterfly night light malfunctioned and started a minor fire in my room, and I realized there were much bigger questions to ask of Catholicism, but the burni...
My current music player has two billion transistors, but my
first music player had just six. It was an early transistor radio that I
received as a gift at seven years old and it became an important part of my
young life. I know that it had six transistors because the number was etched on
the nameplate at a time when the number of transistors was a selling point and
a focus of competition among my friends, some of whom, alas, had seven
These early transistor radios were revolutionary in their
day because they transformed the radio from a family experience organized
around a large radio in a family room into a pocket size personal experience
carried around and turned on at will with music playing through a small speaker
or an even smaller single earphone on a very thin wire. These were just fine
for the crackling AM signals that...
You know what I miss most about childhood? Wasting the entire day playing with Legos. I think my parents were pretty lucky to have a kid who for at least six hours at a time could be completely entertained by meticulously building nonsense and then tearing it down.
Evans Asamoah is currently a senior at Belmont Preparatory Academy. He will be attending SUNY Potsdam this fall. He plans to study biology and eventually enroll in dental school. At EdLab, he works with the Digitization Queue team to archive Teachers College’s historical documents to enhance research opportunities for members of the community. He currently plays club soccer for South Bronx United and plans to play in college as well.
I remember when I was in high school, when I really started thinking about career paths, my mom told me, “whatever you do, don’t go into education.” It’s not that she was anti-education, she was an educator herself. Every day, though, she would come home with a fresh horror story from a technical and alternative high school in rural Oklahoma. I cannot even repeat some of these tales on EdLab, but I can report she is now happily retired. Of course, here I am now, sitting in Teachers College, working in the heart of education. I didn’t listen. Sorry, mom.
Ryan M. Allen is a Content Creator for the EdLab, with a specific focus on writing articles for New Learning Times. He is currently a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of International...
Born in Kunming (the Spring City), China, Zhou joined the EdLab in 2008. He works cross-functionally at the
development and research teams with a variety of roles including software development, educational technology research, and project management. Zhou received his Ed.D. in Instructional Technology and Media from Teachers College. His rich experiences encompass educational technology, instructional design, professional development, software engineering, learning
analytics, and educational games.
My story is about jumping out of your comfort zone. I was born in a small town. It was a lovely town with a slow pace lift style. I was a kid at that time. I feel comfortable staying there. Later, my family moves to Hefei, which is the capital of Anhui Province, and I realize that compared with my hometown, I love the Hefei more. There is more inspiring story happen, and people are more energetic and hard working. I lived in Hefei for 8 Years, I'm familiar with everything in Hefei, and I don't want to leave there. But things change in 2013, the last semester of undergraduate, I found an intern job in Guangzhou, the third largest city in China with more than 20 million population! Although I only lived in Guangzhou for 4 months, I enjoy the time in Guangzhou. The Intern job is incredible, My colleagues are very talented and kind. Some of them are at the same age as me, but already had work experience in several fortune 500 companies!
Allen is Senior Librarian, Library Services. He provides in-class library information sessions, research consultation, and email and in-person reference service, and he's involved in developing research guides specific to the College's departments and programs for the library's website and the Learning at the Library blog. He has a BA and an MA in English literature from Cornell University, and an MS in library service from Columbia University. He is interested in promoting and supporting research mastery (a few steps beyond "information literacy"), and he finds contributing to library users' fluency in the use of rich resources very gratifying.
Lyn Corno is co-editor of Teachers College Record, a peer-reviewed, scholarly journal for the field of education that has presented a variety of theoretical and empirical articles to a wide audience of readers for over a century. She is formerly Professor of Education and Psychology at Teachers College, Columbia University, and remains a member of the Teachers College EdLab, a collective conducting technology-oriented research and design studies under the auspices of the Teachers College, Columbia University. Prior to becoming a faculty member at Teachers College, Lyn served as Assistant Professor of Education and Psychology at the Stanford University School of Education and as a Research Associate at the Southwest Educational Research and Development Laboratory. She has also held a variety of positions, including President of Division 15 of the American Psychological Association, Chair of the Visiting Panel for Research at ETS, and Chair of the Board for the National Society for the...
Iyob Gebremariam is a Software Engineer at EdLab. Originally from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, he holds a BS in Computer Science from Yale University. He has worked as a software engineer in finance and advertising before joining EdLab. Iyob is interested in web technologies, particularly in educational tech, that foster conversation among people from various walks of life. He spends perhaps too much of his free time watching English football (soccer).