Ducked and Covered

December 19, 2010

Google Docs Animation

December 18, 2010

Google Fashion Show

December 10, 2010

Google e-Books

December 9, 2010

Procrasination Is…

December 8, 2010

As this year comes to a close, its hard not to realize all the amazing projects I’ve been lucky to be a part of, and continue to be. These past few months I’ve been entirely engrossed in my work, and my passion for open source education.

Soon to be posted is a quick-fire video presentation about open-sourcing education and how it revitalizes the importance of creativity. The fact that the education system itself is failing is not a new concept by any means. But rather than focus on that, I’ve been focusing on the specific issues: that students starting at a young age are bored and unenthusiastic by school, and that students have an average of 10-20 minutes of attention during a traditional lecture-style course.

By categorizing learning into closed systems: that history is only history or math is just math, we’ve forgotten the importance of creativity and the breath of impact it can have. We’ve assumed too much that creativity is only for the arts and that only specific gifted people are creative enough at the arts to be successful. We are taught to ostracize and categorize ourselves in a traditional educational system, that crossover is unnecessary, when in fact it is when opposing fields of study clash that true progress is made.

What has been frustrating is that there is a whole field of research on open source education in a digital landscape and how it will, one day, change our value system, when in fact these things are already occurring. Meanwhile there are the grassroots, loose organizations that are unaware of the academic perspective. We’ve tried top-down overtake of the system and grassroots, and neither have been successful. With luck and a bit of encouragement, it is possible to meet in the middle, thanks to the incredible digital progress that has already been made.

While at Maker Faire in New York this fall, I watched Phil McKinney of HP do a presentation on this topic. His observation was simple and incredibly powerful. He argued that if we focus on teaching critical thinking, that the desire to learn the skills will come. No longer is the world about finding the right answer, but about asking the right questions.

I watched Sir Ken Robinson‘s riveting 2006 TED talk a long time before I was seriously involved in this issue. In the past few months I’ve revisited that talk again and again to remind me why it is important. I hope that you will find the same resonance.

Glitch Alpha

November 23, 2010

Trailer for new browser-based multiplayer game Glitch predicted to launch Spring 2011.

[Via Laughing Squid]

Cloud-Computing Cautions

November 22, 2010

According to Mashable, experts argue that we’ll be working primarily with web and mobile cloud-based applications such as Google Docs or Facebook by 2020, boycotting the majority of desktop software. They argue:

The advantage of instant access to information regardless of device, operating system or location is a huge factor in the dominance of web apps over desktop apps. “The cloud” is accessible from work, from home, from any location with an Internet connection, and increasingly, from our ever-smarter mobile devices.

The term “cloud-computing” has become a vague, all-encompassing definition for the advantages of web 2.0. While it has its obvious advantages, like most technological systems it is important to be cautious. To arguments that we might one day be running soley off the cloud, there is still a long way to go to successfully run large applications on the cloud. While it may get there, there are privacy concerns that would need to be addressed to make it a possibility.

For now, cloud computing provides and excellent backup for files, and sharing. It has been already successful at making it possible to remove the portable USB storage device from daily life. For those of us who are constantly moving and already engrossed in the digital lifestyle, cloud computing in the sense of storage and accessibility means added benefits and ease of life to the everyday.

Incidental Media

November 18, 2010

[via The Jailbreak]