Education has been called the ongoing task of our lives, and I’ve always been fascinated by the role writing has to play in this, through the ability to bridge between worlds, personal and social, and to inhabit or conjure a sense of palpable immediacy. It lives, in its voice, on the page. The very concept of education may in itself imply that a spirit of generosity and a vision of common dignity are inseparable from this work.
Before arriving at EdLab I was a book editor at HarperCollins, and an independent researcher for bestselling biographies, business books, and film projects. My dedication to the arts led me to found The Prelude Press, a literary publisher that releases several books and an anthology each year. The thread running through these projects is, I believe, an attraction to the exchange of ideas and to the kinds of communities that such exchange requires and creates. My first modem, some years ago, clocked in at 2400 baud, and as paltry as that may l...
I've always loved learning. The world is such a complex and mysterious place. It brings me such joy to explore, discover, and learn. It's a process that never be complete. If you choose, every moment can be an opportunity to grow. Technology offers so many opportunities to expand the way we learn from VR that allows us to live in different worlds to platforms that make it easier to access information we need. I'm interested in writing and telling stories about how we can use these technologies to increase human potential.
Janne is a german director- cinematographer currently based in Brooklyn, New York. She studied Media Practice at the University of Tuebingen and San Francisco State University before moving to New York City for her Master in Media Studies at the New School as a Fulbright Grantee. Coming from a background in both documentary and narrative film Janne strives to create evocative and emotive imagery organically through composition and lighting – a pursuit of cinematography that is born out of character, story, subtext and genre. Today she functions as a video Producer for EdLab.
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.
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...
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...
Patricia Alejandra Behar is Ph.D. of Computer Science at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil.
Currently is full professor and researcher at the Education School and the Post Graduation Programs in Education and Computer Science in Education at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul.
Since 2000, she is the director of the Digital Technology Nucleous in Education (NUTED), avaliable at http://www.nuted.ufrgs.br.
Her Research Interests are Pedagogical Architectures in Distance Learning, Competences in Distance Education, Development/Implementation of Virtual Learning Environments, Learning Design, Technology in Teaching and Learning, echnology and Literacy, Development of Learning Objects.
She was a supervisor of 26 Master theses, 28 PhD theses and 4 Post-Doctorates.
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!
On an ordinary weekday afternoon, my mother took my sister and me on our weekly visit to the local library to find books on our latest curiosities. For my sister, puzzle and fact books, a stack of picture books, and bridge novels like the Magic Tree House series. For me, anything on the supernatural: reported ghosts and hauntings, urban legends, mysterious sightings of Bigfoot, the Salem witch trials, spellbooks and potions, a few Fear Street novels. My grandfather’s copy of Mysteries of the Unexplained,
JOHN C. HUME. After graduating from Sarah Lawrence College with a concentration in performing arts, John moved to Boston Massachusetts where he worked at both the Rotch Library for Architecture and Urban Planning and the Barker Engineering Library at The Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In 2004, he moved to New York where he decide to pursue his dream of working in professional theater and he held numerous positions at several notable Off Broadway theaters in the intervening years. In the summer of 2014, John returned to his first love, the libraries, and he is thrilled to be part of the services team at The Teachers College Library. As a performer John has appeared in numerous stage productions including: Vera, or The Nihilists (Prince Paul Maraloffski), The Bacchae (Tiresias) and Oscar Wilde’s Salome (Herodias) all with Femme Fatale Theater. He’s also known to New York audiences for his high-octane cabaret shows which have been presented at Feinstein's/54Below, The Duplex, T...
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...
I've always been a workaholic, because for me, living is a full time job. So much happens if you really pay attention. Feeling the brush in my hand that day, skating over the table, erasing everything underneath, I felt like my life was starting over. I felt the words of the poet René Cazelles:
Everything breathes again
The tablecloth is white.
Have you ever noticed the effect of a white kitchen table? People eat differently on it. It's clean, bright, and inviting. At least that's what I saw when I painted my table.
There's just so much of life to see, and if you really look, it all makes a difference. But with only two eyes, two hands, two ears, and one nose, it's so easy to miss the meaning in the million little things. R...
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.
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.
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).
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...
The journey from a two celled organism to a million celled being has been an exciting one, tells me the marvelous, well protected organ in my head. It weighs just five percent of who I am, but makes me who I am. It makes me wonder how this little organ is both created and is creating my behavior, emotion, action, perception and world around me.
As a ten year old when I first heard the word Psychology, the brain said, big word, let’s remember it! As I grew older this big word did appear more frequently. It was part of stories I read. It was part of the friends I made. It even surfaced in the arguments a confused teenager had with herself and the world around. I saw that it provided the opportunity to help others help themselves. It tries to understand everyone and everything around i...
I grew up in a teacher environment - both my grandmother and mom were teachers and everyone kept telling me that when I grow up I will be one as well. Back when I was little, I took as my duty to protest against it and say: “You can be whoever you want, but I won’t be a teacher, I’ll find my own way.”
Time passed by, I finished my undergraduate studies in management and business administration and noticed being drawn more and more to educational environments. During my studies I spent long hours and nights in different theatre spaces - either simply watching performances or volunteering to help out with productions - for me theatre was an entry point to learn about different worlds, different people and different time and space dimensions. I realized that there is more to learning and education than a traditional classroom and, maybe, since it’s that way, I can actually find my place in it.
I spent the next several years producing large-scale confer...
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.
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...
I see myself as a story teller. I have always loved to read, but have become more interested in how stories are told. As an artist, I am constantly pushing the boundaries of communicating ideas in a purely visual way to allow the viewer to author their own story about what they see.
Other than that, I enjoy working with people and solving puzzles, which is why I so enjoy working within a library.
I was very slow at speaking when I was young. Most times conversations had moved to the next topic before words finally got to my mouth. And what’s worse, no matter how hard I tried I’m always very bad at remembering others’ names and faces while I have impressively good memories of everything else, which made conversations even harder for me.
So unlike other kids playing and interacting with each other, I spent most of my childhood painting at different places, sitting for hours and drawing people at hair salons, garages and temples. I was kind of forced to do that practice in the beginning and didn’t enjoy it that much. However, it did teach me how to observe the world, how people are different and have their own different stories. And gradually, it did help me find my own way interacting with others, through those paintings. It helped me build a connection with my “models” . I probably wouldn’t have ...
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...
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).
Jacqueline (Jackie) Heltz is a Vermont-born filmmaker proudly residing in Queens, New York. She studied at McGill University before beginning her graduate studies at The New School in the field of Media Studies. Jackie is a video producer at EdLab where she works with a talented team to produce, film, and edit series related to innovative approaches to education and inspiring educators. She is passionate about issue-driven docs and narratives; hoping her own work serves as a call to action and affects social and legislative change. She recently completed her directorial debut, "Lake Effect," a short documentary exploring the possible connection between neurotoxins in our environment and the onset of sporadic cases of ALS. Jackie also serves as the media chair for the ALS Association Northern New England Chapter.
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.
“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.
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.
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.
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...
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...
When I was young, I spent whole afternoons looking at the world map. With the pencil in my hand, I never tired of drawing the outline of the unknown land and imaging the bottomless pit on the ocean floor or the past civilization lost in the rainforest.
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.
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...
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...
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 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.
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.
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 step gingerly up, wearing an old silk scarf and borrowed bomber. It’s chilly outside and in, and I sense it‘s like learning a whole new language -- an intricate vocabulary of knobs, dials, switches, levers, waiting for command. I shake hands with the instructor and forget my misty breath, tingly fingers, and all those years of studying French. I listen attentively, and together we light up the deck, red and green, to the syncopated spin.
I slip a foot onto the pedal, imagining a straight line from our two passengers, to the tip of the frozen horizon. Within seconds, we are taxiing down the runway -- my hands taut on the wheel, knuckles just about bursting through leather. I spy windsocks in bristling seagrass, and glance aside, picturing Beryl Markham, among other aviatrix icons. Fast forward, and I am grounded in research, exploring virtual reality and flight training with a Teachers College student, an experi...
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).
My first "real" camera was a 1970s Minolta 35mm, well-used by my uncle to document local stories for my family's Eastern Kentucky-based newspaper. Like any good heirloom, memories echoed. I answered, began making my own memories. This was the dawn of my interest in visual media and documentary storytelling. After working in video production and photography for several years in Lexington, Kentucky, I became a "Lex-pat" in 2015, when I moved to NYC to pursue a Masters in Media Studies at The New School. I am now excited to be a part of EdLab's video team.
I wrote and illustrated my first book when I was five years old. “No Socks for Sally” was a four page saga starring my family’s yellow labrador, Sally. The story follows our protagonist, Sally, as she grapples with the tempting allure of snacking on socks and the iron fisted rules imposed by human authority. In a wise effort to quell the conflict between human and dog, our author offers an enlightened alternative to socks: one shakily drawn tennis ball. With the simplicity of this singular illustration the author at once restricts our imagination and simultaneously begs us to look beyond the page, to see a world rife with objects appropriate for canine palates. Just as the plot thickens, the story ends abruptly and illegibly. The author’s failed attempt to spell one crucial word as it sounds leaves us with a mysterious cliffhanger, “Come on Sally, let’s go outside ______.”