Archive for the ‘Education’ Category

I’ve been fascinated by Sugata Mitra’s self-direct learning methods, which I wrote about here http://bit.ly/OuXgcd and here http://bit.ly/1ddR9Pu. Now, he’s opened his first learning lab in India. More below

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One of my favorite TED videos of all time.


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One of the most celebrated new developments in education technology is the Khan Academy.    Founded by Salman Khan, the Khan Academy offers instructional videos around a variety of topics but is most noted for its math related content.   Key features include powerful dashboards and analytics which let instructors and users monitor performance and identify and reinforce needed focus areas.  Khan’s site has about 2 million visitors a month and in total has offered around 54 million individual lessons.  Khan is now drawing attention from many prominent people in the education, technology, non-profit, and social entrepreneurship sections.  Bill Gates said about Salman Khan “I see Sal Khan as a pioneer in an overall movement to use technology to let more and more people learn things,” says Gates. “It’s the start of a revolution.”  (more…)


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TED is a small nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. They maintain a must visit website featuring inspired talks from leading thought leaders.   Local TED groups (designated by TEDx) organize and hold their own events following the spirit of TED’s mission.   This past weekend, I had the good fortune to attend TEDxBerkeley’s conference– Engaging the World,  at the UC Berkeley campus.

The list of speakers: (more…)

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Recently, I heard a presentation from Miami University Professors Peg Faimon and Glenn Platt about the details of the Armstrong Institute for Interactive Media Studies (AIMS) planned digital innovation campus to be opened in the San Francisco Bay Area.   As an alum of Miami University, a public university in Oxford, Ohio, working in the Bay Area, this is an exciting development and makes me ask the question if this is the model of digital innovation education at undergraduate programs across the US. (more…)

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Given double digit unemployment rates throughout the US and in the Bay Area where I live along with questions about the ability of the US to compete in a global marketplace, continuous learning and retraining at the workplace seems to be essential.   Relatedly, the challenge has been made by leading thinkers in the media and the government urging the US to find new ways to innovate.    Here are two recent tweets that illustrates this challenge and new reality from Bay Area entrepreneurs Dan Martell and Eric Ries and from President Obama during the State of the Union address. (more…)

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JWT Intelligence has put together a fascinating list of 100 Things to Watch in 2011.   Spanning technology, fashion, pop culture, sports, film, environment, it is a pretty comprehensive list, but slanted towards technology related trends.     Slide 9 in the Slideshare presentation below lists all 100 items and each subsequent slide provides specific commentary on each individual item. (more…)

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In Sugata Mitra’s recent TED talk at TED Global 2010, he stated this unfortunate reality about education:

“There are places on Earth, in every country, where, for various reasons, good schools cannot be built and good teachers cannot or do not want to go…”

In my earlier post titled, Is this the Future of Learning in Large Urban Slums, I wrote about Mitra’s research and fascinating conclusions around how children, when exposed to computers without adult guidance, learned on their own.   Very important results, because as Mitra states in the quote above, all around the world there are places where children don’t have access to schools and teachers.  In this video below, Mitra delves more into his research around the world ranging from India to Italy—dramatic cases of children demonstrating quantifiable learning and improvement by simply having access to a computer.  Take a look at the 20 minute video. (more…)

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In Superfreakonomics, their follow-up to the hit book Freakonomics, authors Stephen Dubner and Steve Levitt describe an interesting study by Keith Chen, Associate Professor of Economics at Yale University.  As I wrote about in my review of Superfreakonomics, Chen’s research describes studies where monkeys are taught how to use money.   The monkey’s quickly learned to use money, understood money had value and modified their behavior based on the money’s value.

Chen’s Yale research colleague, Associate Professor of Psychology, Laurie Santos, recently gave a TED talk delving deeper into their economic and psychological study with capuchin monkeys.   The interesting 20 minute lecture by Santos is shown below, followed by my thoughts on the overall lecture. (more…)

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In the past two weeks, I came across two exciting and interesting news headlines, both dealing with technology and research developments in India.  The two headlines:

  1. Using Computers to teach Children with No Teachers
  2. India develops world’s cheapest “Laptop” at $35

Now, the real excitement is how fast these two developments can be combined!  Let me explain.

Using Computers to teach Children with No Teachers

This article discusses 10 years of research performed by Professor Sugata Mitra.  Mitra first introduced children in a Delhi slum to computers in 1999 by embedding a computer in a wall facing the slum. (more…)

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