Category Archives: education

Learn to Code Already … Rushkoff SxSW vid

I’m a big fan of people knowing how to code. Not in-depth, elaborate knowledge or every sorting algorithm, or alternatives to various ____ transforms, but the ability to handle variables, manage loops, create logic that yields something more quickly and accurately than pen and paper, or spreadsheet. Enough code to work with a dataset, rather […]

New ex. of making behaviors fun

Nifty little exercise where a group of designers turn a train station staircase into a piano keyboard (a la the classic scene from Big) in order to get people to engage in the healthier behavior of taking the stairs rather than the escalator. THey conclude: “Fun can obviously change behavior for the better” and the […]

Supporting the Windmill Project

Just finishing The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind as the author, William Kamkwamba caps off his US speaking tour with a Daily Show interview (tomorrow). With the money he has raised, William has added solar panels to his village, another windmill and has achieved his goal of irrigating the land for a second season of […]

Inspiration: The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind

About 3/4 of the way through The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind (that’s the Amazon link, the author’s site is here). Terrific book on so many levels. In short, it’s the story of a 13 – 14 year Malawian boy (William Kamkwmaba) who, unable to pay tuition for school after a devastating famine (which his […]

OLPC PC Corps and the importance of owning

Stumbled across the OLPCorps on Flickr this morning. The program is pretty awesome: propose a teaching plan for a 9 – 10 week program in any African country if you get accepted, they help you go, hook you up with equipment, and then you participate in a conference about computing, constructivism and your experience. Best […]

Mindstorm Team-Building: Better than climbing walls together

Interesting read in May 2009 issue Servo Magazine, which I got free at Maker Faire about new ways to teach groups. The writer/editor, Bryan Bergeron, teaches a course on technology and the future of healthcare at Harvard Medical School. Each year, a session of the class simulates the creation of a business to give students […]

Visual Thinking & Evolution

Demonstrating the continued importance of visual communication in all fields, we have UC Berkeley helping educators explain “the most misunderstood concept in science”, evolution.  The tool is the evogram, a series of tightly focused evolutionary paths demonstrating the emergence of species and/or features: While the visual execution might be lacking, the structure and mode of […]

The decline of science and the Sears Roebuck Catalog

Excellent talk from the last Maker Faire, by Robert Bruce Thompson, author of an Illustrated Guide to Home Chemistry Experiments, just posted on  The subject is the decline of the home chemistry set in the last 60 years.  The clip starts with Thompson going through page after page of chemistry, biology, hydroponics and other […]

Associative Inspiration at PS 22

Biking past PS 22 in Crown Heights, I saw some cool fence decorations. From a distance, they looked like old guild symbols, and I thought perhaps this was a magnet school around science and technology. On closer inspection, they were much more: twisty lines of metal text suggesting shapes aspiring to be objects that thought […]

The Test: The XO goes live

So, after a decidedly mixed launch, the XO will finally be tested by the audience and in the kind of environment it was designed for. (As opposed to bloggers and podcasters who have iPods, iPhones, XBoxes, two laptops and power towers.) MIT’s Technology Review magazine has a piece about the Peru launch. It might be […]