How a Moveable Space Can Ignite Creativity in the Classroom By Peter Pfau, FAIA One of the most exciting models of learning is “design thinking.” It combines hands on learning (tinkering) with independent problem solving methodologies. This concept is basically the same as the problem solving-based creative process taught in many design disciplines, like architecture, engineering, and game design. The basic steps of design thinking can be characterized as follows: 1.
Why I’m teaching prisoners to code Six years ago, I entered San Quentin State Prison for the first time. I had never been in a prison before, especially one with as ominous a reputation as San Quentin. When I arrived, I was escorted through a series of gates that eventually led to the main courtyard. Hexagons! And other reasons to get excited about math Eduardo Sáenz de Cabezón suspects that when people ask him what’s the use of math, they’re really asking a more pointed question. “They’re asking you, ‘Why did I have to study that bullshit I never used in my life again?’” he says.
How Libraries are Advancing and Inspiring Schools and Communities It’s well known that public libraries are no longer just about the books — even e-books. Many community libraries are receiving 21st century digital-age makeovers: Numerous digital technologies, maker spaces to invite creation, even video production suites and 3-D printers now inhabit many libraries across the country. But a report just released by the Aspen Institute Dialogue on Public Libraries asks us again to reconsider how the library can serve communities in the 21st century. “Rising to the Challenge: Re-Envisioning Public Libraries” aims to “capture the momentum and excitement of the innovations taking place in public libraries across the country, and the impact these are having on communities,” said the group’s director, Amy Garmer. The report asks: With all the new technology and layered networks, what can be done beyond current advancements? Meeting Real-World Needs
Eye phone: How a TED Fellow’s app could help restore sight to millions Andrew Bastawrous shares the idea behind Peek at TED2014. Photo: Ryan Lash/TED Around 39 million people in the world are affected by blindness — 80% of which could be avoided if people had timely access to diagnosis and proper treatment. The problem is that in many developing countries, most eye care providers are in cities, while the majority of patients live in hard-to-reach rural areas. To bridge this gap, London-based opthalmologist Andrew Bastawrous created Peek — an app and adapter that turn a smartphone into a comprehensive, easy-to-use, accurate eye-exam tool. Peek makes eye tests affordable and easy to administer, bypassing the need for expensive, fragile equipment. How a great conversation is like a game of catch Barry Lee When you play catch, you have to do an equal number of catches and throws, right? It’s not possible to play catch with somebody and throw more than you catch, for the most part. Because then you’d just be throwing baseballs at them, which is not nice. This is the exact same ratio as a healthy conversation — you’re going to catch as much as you throw. Which means, obviously, you’re going to talk 50% percent and listen 50% percent — and we don’t generally have that balance in our conversations.
$500 Tesla Model S for kids coming in May - Feb. 16, 2016 Radio Flyer, which makes the famous little red wagons and tricycles, announced on its website that it will soon begin shipping mini Tesla Model S cars for kids for $499 each. Pre-orders are now open and the cars will ship in May. The one-seater cars were created in collaboration with Tesla (TSLA) and are for kids between the ages of three to eight. Announcing our TED Prize 2015 winner: Dave Isay of StoryCorps Dave Isay of StoryCorps is the winner of the 2015 TED Prize. On March 17, he’ll reveal his wish. Photo: StoryCorps “I’m a storyteller.” It’s a sentence that can be found in a wide variety of TED Talks — because, really, it is the heart of what we do. This is why, for the 10th anniversary of the TED Prize in 2015, we are thrilled to award the million-dollar prize to Dave Isay, the founder of StoryCorps.
8 practical ways to help refugees Melissa Fleming of the UN’s Refugee Agency shares some ways to help refugees right now. When half a million refugees showed up in Europe earlier this year, the world began to take notice of a problem that has been steadily growing before our eyes. Ten years ago, 38 million people had been driven from their homes because of war or persecution; right now that number stands at 60 million. About MRC » Mekong River Commission The Mekong River Commission (MRC) is the only inter-governmental agency that works directly with the governments of Cambodia, Lao PDR, Thailand and Viet Nam on their common specific interests—joint management of shared water resources and sustainable development of the Mekong River. As a regional facilitating and advisory body governed by water and environment ministers of the four countries, the MRC aims to ensure that the Mekong water is developed in the most efficient manner that mutually benefits all Member Countries and minimises harmful effects on people and the environment in the Lower Mekong Basin. Serving its member states with technical know-how and basin-wide perspectives, the MRC plays a key role in regional decision-making and the execution of policies in a way that promotes sustainable development and poverty alleviation.
Death and the missing piece of medical school I learned about a lot of things in medical school, but mortality wasn’t one of them. I was given a dry, leathery corpse to dissect in my first term — but that was solely a way to learn about human anatomy. Our textbooks had almost nothing on aging or frailty or dying. How the process unfolds, how people experience the end of their lives and how it affects those around them? That all seemed beside the point. 7 lessons about finding the work you were meant to do Emily Pidgeon Whether it was during a career aptitude test or in a heart-to-heart chat after getting laid off, chances are someone has talked to you about how to “find your calling.” It’s one of those phrases people toss about. But StoryCorps founder Dave Isay takes issue with it … specifically, the verb.
Resources and Downloads to Facilitate Inquiry-Based Learning Discover the Benefits of Inquiry-Based Learning 3 Rules to Spark Learning: Watch a short video to understand how student questions seed real learning. (TED Talks, 2013) Why Curiosity Enhances Learning: Read about a neurological study on how curiosity enhances learning. (Edutopia, 2014) Designing Learning That Matters: Learn about the benefits of inquiry-driven, deep-learning experiences. (Edutopia, 2015) The Research Behind Choice and Inquiry-Based Education: Explore a collection of research and success stories.