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...
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.
Ahmed is currently a senior at Hunter College in New York, where he is pursuing a degree in economics and urban studies. At EdLab, Ahmed works as part of the Digitization Queue (DigiQ) project team. He is responsible for archiving Teachers College’s archival materials and works on generating content and promoting EdLab resources such as Vialogues and New Learning Times (NLT). In the summer of 2014, Ahmed interned at JPMorgan prime brokerage under the stock loan division. At JPMorgan he was responsible for reporting daily profit and loss and assisting with client services. He graduated from Frederick Douglass Academy (FDA) High School, where he was inspired to major in economics after taking AP Economics.
As the former captain of the FDA’s varsity soccer team with a passion for education and development, he sees soccer as a bridge that can connect sports and education, especially among urban youth. He...
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).
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).
Kalliopi Mathios has a BSEd in Elementary Education from Loyola University Chicago with middle school endorsements in history and English. She taught in the Chicagoland area for four years before completing her MLIS at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in 2014. Before joining Teachers College, Kalli worked as a MyLibraryNYC school outreach and supervising librarian, and as a collection development librarian specializing in the curation of K-12 classroom and school libraries. Through previous work with Digital Public Library of America (DPLA), and in collaboration with Brooklyn Public Library's award-winning Teacher Lab, Kalli developed an online module introducing teachers to digital archives, with best practices for classroom use. She has presented at the DPLA national conference as well as the K-12 Archives Education Institute at the National Archives in New York. Currently, she is the Acquisitions and Mat...
Zhicheng is a master student in Computer Science at Columbia University. He is on the track of Computer Vision. He is currently taking a part-time internship in software development team.
He studied education related major during his first year and he planed to be a teacher. But he later changed his major to Electronic Engineering because he can make more impact on education with technology. He learned to develop both hardware and software of Interest of Thing (IoT) devices. During graduate study, he learned Computer Vision in which he can utilize his skill in both software and hardware development.
Using the algorithm in Computer Vision, he has skill to make camera smart and image interesting. For example:
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 was born and raised in Thailand. I grew up in a family that strictly emphasized and passed on an important set of values: generosity, honesty, integrity and kindness
and, more importantly, the value of education because we believe that having these values helps us to improve our lives and it is an investment in our future.
In order to get a better education, I moved from my hometown, Sikiu, in the northeast (Isan), to study in Bangkok, where most of the highest quality educational institutions are located.
After my high school years, I went to Srinakharinwirot University and earned a bachelor's degree in Teaching English. I started my first career as a teacher of English at Vajiravudh College in Bangkok. After three years of teaching students grades 9-12 at Vajiravudh, I realized that te...
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...
Before I started high school I ask myself, “are you planning to go to college after high school ?” My immediate and initial response was “no”. College sounded so far and felt like a dream. Throughout my two years of high school, I seldom thought about college. I just didn’t see the end goal. I wanted to complete high school and figure the rest out. However, like most things in my life, it came back to soccer. I’ve been playing the game ever since I could walk. It has taught me so many life lessons such as collaboration (it is the world’s game), discipline, and commitment, among others. I saw some of my club teammates visiting colleges and excited about the prospect. This, along with conversations with my coaches, parents, and teachers, got me excited about college. I worked harder than ever before to make sure I become the first in my family to finish college. I am currently a freshman at Monroe College on a full scholarship. I am also on the men’s soccer team and majoring in Comput...
Andrew Visser is a Welsh born Video Producer and visual storyteller, based in New York. Having graduated from Columbia University with an MFA in Film, he produces various video and multimedia story content for EdLab and the wider Teachers College community.
His work on Seen In New Yorktells compelling narratives about the myriad of educational opportunities and experiences in New York state. Through the Spotlightseries he explores the ways in which educational leaders engage and utilize innovative teaching methods in a unique, experiential setting.
Will Carington is EdLab’s in-house copy editor. Prior to joining EdLab, he worked at a theater school, as a writer for an education start-up, and as an assistant at a film PR firm. In addition to his work at EdLab, he is a writer and filmmaker. He graduated from NYU in 2012 with a degree in Comparative Literature and is originally from Texas.
Brian Sweeting is the Digital Publishing Manager for New Learning Times and Teachers College Record. He manages a team of writers and editors who create and curate compelling digital content that deepens an understanding of forward-thinking learning, teaching, and research.
He’s always open to swapping reading recommendations on topics like media, AI, design, mindfulness, and LGBTQ issues.
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 ______.”
Devin is a Library Services Associate at EdLab. He is a graduate of the University of Maryland College Park with a BA in English Language and Literature. Realizing a passion for music and the arts Devin began attending Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA in 2009. Shortly after Devin began a professional career playing the guitar in Boston as well as NYC. As his thirst for touring and performing began to dwindle, he started working at TC in the summer of 2016, eager to provide books and research assistance to the future teachers of the world. In his spare time he's still been know to teach children music as well as play some of his own tunes at various Brooklyn establishments.
A good book has always been my refuge. Often times, I’ve found myself connected, transported and replenished by the meaning and inspiration found within books. Books have offered me an endless supply of ideas - each a uniquely carved puzzle piece awaiting to be connected to the next to form a tapestry of ideas.
The cross pollination of ideas across a broad range of sectors in turn fuels innovation. Today one thing is certain-the rate of technological advancements are rapidly shaping how we learn. At EdLab, I’m part of a team of skilled writers and editors that help cover advancements at the intersection of education and technology.
We are helping tell the story of what works in the edtech space to help answer the following questions:
In Indian culture, the importance of education and teachers are emphasized and respect towards them is inculcated in children. As with me, at a young age, I began to respect the value of education and the importance of teachers, who I feel have the ability to impact the lives of their students, even after they grow up. Such impact makes it a vital cog in the overall development of a child and society as a whole
I am a MS in Data Science Candidate at the Data Science Institute at Columbia University. Though with a Computer Science educational background, I am interested in the applications of Data science in the field of Social Sciences, Public policy, Political Sciences and Education. I count teaching as one of my passions.
In my free time I read about current affairs and history and passionately follow cricket.
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...
Melanie is a Publishing and Content Creation Associate at EdLab. She recently graduated with an MA in International Educational Development from Teachers College, where her interdisciplinary interests led to an anthropological study of the use of communication technology for non-formal language and intercultural learning. She has been writing her whole life, but her interest in developing and leveraging educational technology to improve teaching and learning, particularly in the fields of literacy and language education, led her to write at EdLab. The work Melanie does at New Learning Times spotlighting organizations, synthesizing research, and reviewing products specifically for young learnersis an important part of her quest to open doors to teachers, parents, and self-directed learners seeking inventive educational resources.
Prior to joining the EdLab Publishing Team, Melanie taught English and developed curriculum at an institute in Santiago...
Last summer, my husband and I took our weekly walks to our local farmer’s market. When I am not traveling we always include the Farmer’s Market in our Saturday plans. The popularity of Farmer’s Markets in our area speaks to a whole fascinating disruption in how we buy and consume food that adds flavor to local communities, neighborhood interaction, and the joy of city and suburban life.
On this particular Saturday, I was approached by a woman who complimented our family dog and spoke in pleasantries for a few minutes. She then said, “I hope you don’t mind my asking, but I thought it was you. We went to high school together and you started the Save the Children Club. I want you to know that as soon as I started working, I started supporting Save the Children and still do. You really impressed me with that club. Thank you.”
Well, I was impressed. A small act of giving can have wide and long ripple effects in ways far beyond our knowing. The bake sales...
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.
I remember I would be fascinated by those detective story books when I was a little child. The stories of Sherlock Holmes, Hercule Poirot, and Manabu Yukawa were so mesmerizing that I would finish a whole book in hours while crawling on the carpet next to the bed. The joy of solving puzzles along with the detectives in the books and revealing the truth out of chaos and mysteries would let me forget the numbness of my leg and the outside world. It was one of the happiest moments of my childhood.
With the same passion for finding the truth and revealing information, I came to the United States for my higher education in statistics. Education plays an important role in my life. Studying in a different country offered me a whole new perspective to view the world surround me and to think who I really want to be. I want to solve problems and revealing truth from data like a detective but with programming and modeling instead of a magnifying glass and a briar pipe.
Back in 2004, I was the only student in my high school who had the permission to borrow more than one book from my school’s library at a time.
Libraries played an important role in my life, and over time, the definition of this “library” changed in my mind to represent large repositories of knowledge in general. I believe that, with the rapid growth of information technology, traditional libraries need to evolve to embody this more generalized definition. And this implies development of online tools, easy access to information across the globe, and enabling learners to learn smoothly and efficiently.
My role at EdLab, Gottesman Libraries is to enable this transformation through my work in the development and research team.
Abdoulie is a Senior at Wabash College in Indiana, where he is majoring in political science and minoring in religion and architecture. He is also a member of the mens soccer team at Wabash. He aspires to become a diplomat. At Wabash, Abdoulie is member of several student organizations such as the Malcom X Institute of Black Studies, Investment Club, Muslim Student Association, and African Student Association. He has a deep interest in diplomacy, international relations, and politics.
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...
Samba Doukhansy is a Junior at Keuka College in upstate New York. He is majoring in business management and minoring in finance. 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 played club for South Bronx United and is currently a member of the Keuka College mens soccer team.
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.
As a mother, I feel it is important to maintain a strong presence at the schools that my children attend. One of the things I greatly enjoyed at their elementary school was participating in the parent volunteer staffed library. While involved, I read to children, taught sustainability classes, processed books, and shelved - shelved - shelved!
Other than that, I enjoy working with people and solving puzzles, which is why I so enjoy working within a library.
Tolkien on my lap and, I lie barefoot in the big fisherman’s hammock, watching the morning light trickle, loving the way the ripples in the pond play underneath the ash and weeping willow, listening to the wind in the trees. Instead of my book, I read the reflecting leaves that vary in color from the shade to the sun, ponder the years ahead, and think how lucky we are to be back in my mother’s home state so many miles from Chicago. If I cast my eyes far enough, I can just about see dragonflies shimmering above the pink and white lily pads, their fragile wings brightly, steadily beating at speeds that defy the glorious leisure of a Maine summer and sudden passing of my young father.
It’s the beginning of August and school seems as far away as the midnight moon. My three brothers and I hook catfish for breakfast, race bullfrogs at the shore, swing like Tarzan into the leech-y watery deep, cannonball from the dock, skyrocket from construction sand, collect little bund...
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.
Emily is a musician, audio engineer and artist from Orlando, FL. She's spent most of the last decade in Brooklyn, Los Angeles, Boston, Montreal, or on tour. In addition to music making, she loves mixing and mastering audio, baking, shooting film photography, video collaging, graphic designing and painting (when space allows). She's spent time working with books and technology in various retail environments, as well as cataloguing media as a DJ. She's always found comfort in the quiet and inspiring environments of libraries and all of the aforementioned interests and experiences have brought her here to EdLab. Emily is a mother of two cats and she hopes that number grows in the future.
Barry 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's a big fan of the Spanish giants Real Madrid and dreams of experiencing a European match on their home turf. Barry is currently a rising senior at Saint Lawrence University double majoring in Government and French. During his spare time, Barry enjoys listening and making music.
When I was young, I was always told that one has to put in time and effort in order to achieve the desired result. I adhered to this approach throughout my educational and professional journey. I am currently enrolled in the Learning Analytics MS Program at Teachers College as a full-time student as it enables me to fuse my passion for statistics, research, mathematics, technology, and education. I received my Bachelor of Arts degree in Forensic Psychology with a minor in Mathematics from John Jay College of Criminal Justice of CUNY. Furthermore, as an undergraduate student, I was employed as a probability and statistics course support in the Statistics Laboratory at John Jay College. After graduation, I was hired as a professional mathematics and statistics tutor at the Math & Science Resource Center at John Jay College. In both of these departments, I had to explain the material and assignments concisely and tailor my method of explanation and tutoring to the students’ level of co...
One of my earliest memories in life is traveling with my grandmother back in my native Ghana. As a self-made woman who didn’t receive a formal education, she never missed an opportunity to remind me about the importance of learning. She informed me that she “learned” everything she knew about running a business by always listening to others, questioning when she didn’t understand, and helping those in need. Though she passed away over 20 years ago, these principles have stayed with me all these years. It forms the cornerstone of all the work that I do at EdLab and beyond.
As head of recruiting, I am constantly learning new ways to make the process easier for the organization and prospective employees. As a researcher and a member of publishing team, I seek feedback and advice on my work from colleagues to improve my research and writing skills. All of this also requires me to ask tons of questions. The process of learning is a lifelong adventure—an adventure that...
During my high school years at Eagle Academy in the Bronx, becoming a leader was instilled into us since the first day of school. Every action was geared towards us becoming leaders. The goal was to serve as role models for our younger colleagues. We were trained to be confident and voice our opinions. My experience at Eagle Academy was instrumental in bringing me out of my shell. It provided me with the confidence to thrive in any environment. My name is Saleem Sallah and I am currently a sophomore at Monroe College majoring in Computer Information Systems. I was born in Kumasi, Ghana and spent half of my early childhood growing up between Kumasi and The Bronx. At EdLab, I am part of the Digi Q team and charged with digitally archiving Teachers College’s historical materials.
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.
As a master's student in psychology, I'm particularly interested in the tools and techniques that are supporting the mental well-being of students. In response to the epidemic levels of mental health concerns among young people, educators are trying new techniques to nurture the whole child, from social and emotional learning to mindfulness. As much as technology, such as social media, may play a role in the mental health struggles of young people...
On a September night in Atlanta, I was robbed at gunpoint by a handful of Atlanta local teens, the youngest 15 and the oldest 18. They stole my friend’s car, my phone, and my apathy towards education. The experience did not leave me empty or scared but passionate to find a way to serve every student's beaming and sometimes flickering, potential. Since then I have been on a mission to create educational programs and artistic devices that teach students the importance of life skills and pathways to success rather than mere rote memorization.
My robbery experience propelled me to use my knowledge of maker labs and art to facilitate workshops for adolescents to develop programs that revolve around making, creative technologies, and the relationship between inquiry-based projects and career development.
Jessica Blum is a doctoral student in Education Leadership at Teachers College, Columbia University. She joined the EdLab after nine years of rewarding work in alternative education programs in New York and Ohio. A former high school English teacher and K-12 administrator, Jessica is committed to developing innovative teaching tools and strategies, student- and staff-friendly learning environments, and effective professional development for teachers and leaders in at-risk settings. She currently holds a B.A. and M.A. in English Literature.
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 she set forth to teach her quiet, aging, female parakeet to speak like Oprah Winfrey (her favorite person at the time).
Sara is passionate about many things in life, three of them being writing, creating, and educating. As a content creator on the publishing team, she is able to do all three. Her main pursuit at EdLab is to write content for New Learning Times with the goal of informing others on new trends in education and technology. Yet she also helps brainstorm, develop, and create learning events for both her colleagues and the TC community at large. Finally, she aims to educate others in the workspace on topics she is excited about and events she has attended that pertain to EdLab’s mission.
When Sara is not at EdLab, she is generally a couple floors below it in the library, studying for her coursework as a PhD student in the Philosophy and Education program at Teachers College.
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.
Education has been called the ongoing task of our lives, and it seems to me that writing and publishing can play an important role in this, even an enjoyable one, with the ability to bridge between worlds, and to capture a sense of immediacy on the page. Here at the library I’m closely involved with our publications New Learning Times and Teachers College Record as well as related initiatives, such as co-presenting earlier this year at the Library Publishing Forum in Vancouver.
Before starting at EdLab, I attended the Writing MFA program at Columbia, and before that I worked as a book editor, researcher, and publisher. An interest in the exchange of ideas, and in style, and in the kinds of communities this exchange requires and creates, has been my thread through the labyrinth. My work at EdLab has b...
Dominic Wright is currently a freshman at Binghamton University. He plans to eventually major in mechanical engineering and in the near future hopes to become an aeronautical engineer. In order to pursue this career path upon completion of his under-graduate degree he hopes to attend grad school and study in-depth where aerospace technology is concerned. Dominic has also been a player for South Bronx United soccer club. For the past three years he played as a winger, his most recent achievement includes being a part of the 2018/19 premier league winning team. He also plays soccer on the high school level where he has been a part of a City winning team and state runner ups. During high school he was also a part of the National Honors Society. 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.
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 ...
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 grew up in South India in an environment that constantly stressed the importance of strong education. As a bored teenager I became skeptical, listened to heavy metal and my grades slipped (correlation coefficient = who knows?). But toward the end of high school, a chance encounter saw me apply and train as a teaching volunteer at a small local NGO.
A month later, I found myself helping teach underserved children basic English and computer skills.
Three months later, I let slip to my mom about feeling sorry for teachers who had teenage students.
Half a year later, my friends picked up that I was becoming overly informed and defensiv...
As a User Experience Engineer, Sabarish is helping redesign and implement the various digital products of EdLab and the Gottesman Libraries, including the Library website and Library mobile app, PocketKnowledge, the EdLab website, Rhizr, and Vialogues, among others. He is helping unify the look and design of these products to give a consistent experience for our users.
Sabarish 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). He has nearly ten years of technology experience spread across a creative agency, i...
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...
English is my dad’s second language, learned informally through a combination of movie-watching, “Inglés Sin Barreras” VHS tapes, and water cooler conversations at the medical device company where he’s worked since I was born.
Self-conscious over having what he perceived as an inadequate understanding of the English language, my dad would make me comb through his every work presentation, lab report, and email in search of grammatical errors, tonal awkwardness, and really just any indication that he wasn’t as well-educated (though I’m sure he was just as smart!) as his peers. He questioned every edit I made — Why this word and not that one? Why does this require elaboration, and why does this need to be deleted? Is there a more elegant way of saying what I want to say, and what, exactly, makes your proposed phrasing better?
It was in this way that I learned not only how to be an efficient and detail-oriented writer, but also a compassionate commun...
I had a mother who made lists. Didn’t matter whether it was for the grocery store or to insure smooth running for a golf tournament or a set of notes for her boss at the alumni house on campus at the university where she was assistant to the director. There were lists all over our house growing up – on the fridge for us kids, on the counter top for my father, on the table where my mother did crossword puzzles with definitions for new puzzle words.
Small wonder then that I made lists as well – starting in seventh grade, when I went to the dreaded middle school dances – I would list the “to dos” in tiny handwriting by time (2:30 pm – leave school; 2:45 – do homework; 3:30 – take bath; 3:50 – dry hair, etc.) – sometimes by the minute. My mother took a polaroid of one of my lists and hung it on her bulletin board (she was so proud). This carried on through college when I was juggling several extracurricular activities and my social life while trying to graduate with ho...
Matt Taylor is a designer, inventor, teacher, facilitator, sailor and entrepreneur. He has focused a fifty-two year career on the application of architectural design methods to solving complex, systemic problems found at the intersection of physical environments, ecologies, organizational practices and visionary ideas. This work involves business processes, tool-sets and software programs, and includes their expression and utilization in the design, construction and use of virtual and physical environments for collaborative work and sustainable creative living. The components of these environments, and the environments themselves, are designed and built in regards their fit with, and long term impact on, social-economic-ecological systems.
Well, there’s the hazy childhood memory of sitting in the back seat of the car in the library parking lot, nestled between what seemed like stacks of books as tall as me on either side. I remember sunlight and the absence of the outer layers I’d have to wear for three quarters of the year (there’s an aphorism about my corner of Central New York, “There are only two seasons: winter and the fourth of July”), so it must have been summer, and those books were probably propelling me through that year’s summer reading contest. My people hail from warmer climes, and both of my parents teach, so that may have something to do with why that sunny, impromptu book fort stands out among my earliest memories.
There’s meeting, as a fresh college grad, with some of the folks who became my longest, closest friends (also in one case, an enemy) to send books to people in prison. For the rest of our time in that building, our space overlapped with a zine library that has since spawned ...
Dr. Hughes’ educational research focuses on media and social infrastructure. As a philosopher, he writes about how conceptions of excellence influence creative practices and artistic traditions. He holds a B.A....
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...
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 technologies for successful teaching. She also worked in New York as a professional theater producer, director and production manager for over fifteen years. As a parent of a daughter in the NYC public school system, she has served on School Leadership Teams and PA Executive Boards. Ms. Kefgen holds a BFA in Theatre from Otterbein University, 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.
I'm a rising sophomore at Columbia University studying mathematics, physics and computer science. This summer I'm a Data Science Institute Scholar working on the research team at EdLab with Yi Chen. My work is focused on exploring and analyzing possible paths towards an educational search and recommendation system. In particular, I’m looking at how to get useful metadata from existing ezproxy and library sierra records, and more broadly how to build out a knowledge of what content users are accessing based on the subject and relational metadata of that content.
My dad is a long time programmer and I had pretty much unfettered access to computers and the internet from a young age. One would hope that this led me to discover the unbelievable bounty of educational content on the internet - in reality it led to many years of pretty i...
Allen is Senior Librarian, Library Services. He provides in-class (and in-library) library information sessions for a variety of College courses; one-on-one research consultations; and email and in-person reference service. Allen compiles and maintains research guides specific to the College’s departments, programs, and courses; these are posted on the Learning at the Library blog on the Gottesman website.
Allen received a BA and an MA in English literature from Cornell University, and an MS in library Services from Columbia University. He is interested in promoting and supporting research mastery among students and researchers (a few steps beyond “information literacy”), and he finds contributing to library users’ fluency in the use of rich resources very gratifying.
Here is his story:
In graduate school, I gradually realized that the price of being able to immers...
Jacqueline (Jackie) Heltz is a Vermont-born filmmaker proudly residing in Queens, New York. She studied at McGill University before completing her graduate degree in Media Studies at The New School. As an Innovation Fellow at the Gottesman Libraries and five-year-fixture of EdLab’s video team, Jackie has cherished the opportunity to speak to current trends and national conversations through her work; utilizing media in order to address issues that matter like immigration, inclusion, social justice, the environment, and women’s voices. Various web series such as Seen in NY, Learning Theater Spotlights, The Voice, Changemakers, Art at the Library, and Strange Prize produced alongside her talented teammates serve to highlight unique educational opportunities and innovative educators in locations as seemingly distant as the Rikers Island Prison Complex or as close as the college’s very own Smith Learning Theater. Jackie is passionate about issue-driven documentaries and narratives; hopi...
Aoi is a graduate of Wesleyan University, who is currently pursuing a MA in Communication and Education at Teachers College. She is fascinated by the intersection of media, education, and social justice, and as a Publishing and Content Creation Associate at EdLab, she especially enjoys writing about digital activism and ways that technology is making learning more accessible. Prior to coming to EdLab, Aoi worked in a variety of positions in digital strategy, media, and edtech.