Tag TED

“Why do we need to know this?” [Connecting the classroom to the real world]

This past week the rethinkED team participated in a day-long think tank on how to re-invent the American High School, in an effort to develop a proposal for the XQ Super School Project. While I am excited to share some of the ideas we had, today I thought I’d start by thinking about one really powerful idea that kept me thinking long after our session ended:

“Why do we need to know this?”

^ This question is one that often pops up in the classroom. Quite frankly, students often do not see a connection between the abstract and tedious work done in classroom and their lives outside of school, both future and present. This lack of connection is problematic for a number of reasons:

  1. Without this vital connection, we often encounter the “inert knowledge” problem; students learn something but they don’t know how to use it. This relates more broadly to issues of transfer: how can we help students to use something they have learned in one context, at one time, or on one type of task in a different context, time, or on a different task? I am currently taking a course about Transfer of Learning. While transfer is arguably a main goal of education, research has generally found weak support for transfer. Students often do not learn content in ways that facilitate applying knowledge later in life or in different situations (I hope to talk about this more in upcoming weeks!).
  2. A second issue is the lack of value assigned to content learned in school. Without understanding potential applications of a skill, students see little value in learning it in the first place. If I don’t value what I am learning, I am less motivated and engaged.

Connecting classroom and community through project and problem based learning…*

With this in mind, I loved hearing this TED talk by Cesar Harada: How I teach kids to love science. He connects science to real community problems, both local and abroad. From developing an invention to estimate plastic in polluted oceans to analyzing seabed radioactivity near the Fukushima nuclear power plant that was damaged in 2011, Harada’s students work on real and relevant work problems in their science classroom. This sort of problem and project-based experiential learning can help students see the relevance of science education. Furthermore, Harada is cultivating a generation of innovators and problem solvers. His classroom is a workshop. Through rapid prototyping with tools, his students have become scientists and inventors. As he says,

“So citizen scientists, makers, dreamers — we must prepare the next generation that cares about the environment and people, and that can actually do something about it.”

THE POWER OF CONNECTION

By connecting science skills to real-world issues, we can increase the relevance of school education and give our students much needed experience in using skills in a meaningful way. As illustrated by Cesar Harada, connecting schoolwork to real life problems has benefits beyond increasing value and transfer; we can empower students to be innovators and problem solvers.

This process of embedding learning in the community and in real, complex problems is something that we hope to include in our XQ proposal. By providing students with a variety of contexts in which their knowing can be directly applied, we can create a more engaging and useful education that has applicability far beyond the classroom…*

 

[rethinking Purpose & Passion]: multipotentiality vs. one true calling… *

rethinking passion…*

Last year, both Elsa and I wrote about rethinking passion [here and here]. I argued that childhood should be about exploration, rather than passion. I also cited the importance of hard work, setbacks, and struggles in developing passion. Similarly, Elsa spoke of shifting from a “passion” mindset to a “craftman’s” mindset, which she describes as “a relentless focus on activating one’s unique potential by continually pushing to develop one’s skills and acquire new ones” A craftsman mindset involves deliberate practice of valuable skills.

what is purpose?…*

This year, rethinkED…* has been thinking about purpose and how to instill purpose in students. Yet what is purpose? Personally, I argue against the notion of pushing students to define one unified purpose for their lives. Instead, I believe we should cultivate multiple purposes and overall purposefulness in our students. Rather than having just one purpose, do with purpose.

WHAT DO YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU GROW UP?…*

Especially in today’s society, it seems rather rare to have just one passion. With this in mind, I was enthralled by a recent TED talk by Emilie Wapnick, a career coach who speaks to those without “one true calling.” Recollecting the overwhelming anxiety of the question “what do you want to be when you grow up,” she explains that it is not that students have no interest but rather than they sometimes have too many. She says that,

“while this question inspires kids to dream about what they could be, it does not inspire them to dream about all that they could be”

This question is part of the overall societal pressure we place upon children to pick one thing, to choose which of the things that they love and make a career out of it. She continues,

“The notion of the narrowly focused life is highly romanticized in our culture. It’s this idea of destiny or the one true calling, the idea that we each have one great thing we are meant to do during our time on this earth, and you need to figure out what that thing is and devote your life to it.”

However, we leave many, many people out of this narrative. People who do many wonderful things across their lives, who have many things they are curious about and many different things that they want to do. People she calls multipotentialites.

MULTIPOTENTIALITES…*

She defines multipotentialites as those with many pursuits, the modern-day “Renaissance” men (and women). Rather than thinking of this flitting from interest to interest as a limitation, Emilie cites three super powers that multipotentialites can possess:

  1. Idea synthesis- Combining two or more fields and finding something new and exciting at the intersection. Innovation happens at these intersections.
  2. Rapid learning- Multipotentialites are comfortable at being beginners or “accomplished novices”.
  3. Adaptability- With many skills, you can morph into whatever you need to be in a given situation.

She states that there are many complex, multidimensional world problems that need solving right now, and the ideal team for such problems is a specialist and a multipotentialite paired together. She concludes by stating

“…embrace your many passions. Follow your curiosity down those rabbit holes. Explore your intersections. Embracing our inner wiring leads to a happier, more authentic life. And perhaps more importantly — multipotentialites, the world needs us.”

ARGUMENT AGAINST THE MULTIPOTENTIALITE..*

Overall, Emilie does not advocate for one path through life but rather believes that we should support individuals who aim for breadth (multipotentialites) as much as we support individuals who aim for depth (specialists). This fits with the idea of exploration alongside passion.

However, one criticism that could be put upon Emilie’s argument is that most students would rather be multipotentialites, flitting from interest to interest, rather than dig in and put hard work into one specific thing. In terms of grit and deliberate practice, it is far easier to shift gears when something gets hard or tedious. In terms of success, research suggests that being gritty and putting in the work is very important.

Purposeful, gritty pursuit of multiple passions…*

Instead, I would argue that the ideal falls somewhere in the middle. We should encourage students to pursue multiple passions, but we should also discourage students from straying from an interest when it simply becomes too challenging. Further, in order to use the “idea synthesis” superpower, students must actively reflect on the themes and ways in which their various interests connect. I am passionate about education research and studio art. I can cultivate these two passions simultaneously. More importantly, I seek inspiration from my artwork in my research. I seek respite from the intellectual rigor of school in the flow state I get when painting. I integrate the two when I design research studies and develop compelling presentations. My overall philosophy on life, truth, and knowledge is inextricably tied to the meaning I’ve distilled from these pursuits.

Your life does not need to be played on a single instrument. Yet only through hard work will you play any one instrument well. And only through learning how to combine the sounds of each together in harmony can you create a symphony…* 

 

rethinking { stress } to live a healthier life.

THE PRIMAL SCREAM…*

Last night I witnessed Columbia University’s traditional PRIMAL SCREAM. If, like me, you have no idea what I’m talking about, this scream is a tradition with variants at a number of prestigious Universities – including UCLA, Stanford, Harvard, Cornell, U Penn, and Vassar. At midnight of the Sunday of finals week each semester, students open their windows or go outside and SCREAM blood-curdling, horror-movie worthy screams. It is quite the exhilarating and satisfying experience.The tradition is said to help students release their pent up anxiety and stress about exams.

It’s finals week at Columbia so stress levels are high and libraries are packed at all hours of the day and night with students finishing papers and cramming for tests.In fact, this has been an especially stressful year in my life. I’ve been working 60-80 hour weeks with an amount of responsibility on projects that has left me exhausted and anxious more than I’d like to admit. I’ve seen it affect my sleep, diet, and mood in negative ways. Which is why the following TED talk is so important.

RETHINK STRESS…*

As discussed in Kelly McGonigal’s TEDGlobal2013 talk, “How to make stress your friend,” McGonigal explains that despite what we’ve been told, stress is NOT the enemy. In a recent Pew study, results suggested that it is not the experience of stress but instead the belief that stress is bad for your health, that leads to death and other negative health outcomes. In other word, it is not stress itself but rather how you think about it, that leads to poor health.

Changing your attitude towards stress can change your body’s response to it. When we’re stressed we have a clear physiological response: our hearts beat faster, we breathe faster, we sweat. And our minds interpret these as negative signs of anxiety.

McGonigal asks, what if you view these changes as signs that your body is energized and preparing itself for a challenge? In a study at Harvard, researchers found that participants who were trained to rethink their physiological stress responses as helpful rather than a sign of weakness, were less stressed, less anxious, and more confident. More importantly, their blood vessels did NOT constrict. In a typical stress response, our blood vessels constrict which, if chronic, can lead to cardiovascular disease. But these participants’ physiological profiles more closely resembled people experiencing joy or courage.

 

http://ideas.ted.com/embrace-your-stress-a-visual-idea/

 

The Social Side of Stress…*

McGonigal also speaks to the social side of stress, specifically the power of Oxytocin. Oxytocin is a stress hormone that makes you compassionate and caring. It motivates you to seek support, to tell people how you feel, to surround yourself with people who care about you. It is, in essence, a built-in resilience feature for stress. And physiologically, releasing oxytocin and giving into its urges – seeking support and love – is even better for your heart health.

As McGonigal concludes,

Stress gives us access to our hearts. The compassionate heart that finds joy and meaning in connecting with others, and yes, your pounding physical heart, working so hard to give you strength and energy. And when you choose to view stress in this way, you’re not just getting better at stress, you’re actually making a pretty profound statement.You’re saying that you can trust yourself to handle life’s challenges. And you’re remembering that you don’t have to face them alone.

CONCLUSIONS…*

To me, this TED talk gives the PRIMAL SCREAM even more profound meaning. This scream embodies the strength and confidence of the student body to tackle the week ahead. While studying for finals and paper-writing can often feel like isolating and solitary experiences, the unison behind the scream ties students together into a community that can accomplish anything.

So, if you are approaching the next week with anxiety or trepidation, let out a nice long primal scream and change your mindset about stress for a healthier, happier life. Never under-estimate the power of a good rethink…*

 

{ storytelling…* }

Lately I’ve been noticing the power and the artistry behind storytelling. As we’ve blogged about before (here and here), stories can lead to empathy and social activism.  Storytelling can also be a method of self-empowerment. Earlier this year I talked about how  multimedia storytelling can be an amazing tool when put in the hands of our students. For example, Humans of New York is a current phenomenal short-form multimedia story project that both empowers the subjects and increases empathy and connectedness throughout the community.

hony

Storytelling is also an art, and nothing is worse than listening to a 30 minute story that seems to have no arc or theme. There are actual courses in storytelling that one can take in NYC. However, there are so many ways to tell a good story. While storytelling seems to be a human universal, each culture has its own deep-rooted traditions around the art form.

A recent TED blog discusses how stories are told around the world. For example, hawaiian hula dancing is actually done to a song with a story. On my recent trip to Portugal, I heard traditional Fado music, which is a Portuguese musical storytelling form that began in the 1800s and often tells the story of a woman longing for a man out at sea.

Storytelling, particularly the culturally-specific forms, is an amazing way to connect with students. Allowing students to express themselves in a variety of ways — rather than privileging text — is a prime opportunity to increase empowerment and cultural relevance in education.

Empowering and unifying communities through { art } …*

In a recent TEDglobal 2014 talk, artists Jeroen Koolhaas and Dre Urhahn talk about their work painting entire impoverished neighborhoods, from Rio to Philadelphia. They enlist the help of community members, move into the communities, and paint the towns in vibrant beautiful colors, with murals and other interesting pieces. As Koolhas and Urhahn explain, “ in a communal effort, together with the people, you can almost work like in an orchestra, where you can have a hundred instruments playing together to create a symphony.” In the video below, you can see the beautiful symphonies they have created. 

This work reminded me a lot of a suburb I visited once in South Africa. Woodstock is a suburb outside of Cape Town that is transforming into an art haven. Similarly to the stories Koolhaas and Urhahan mention, the murals that are painted in Woodstock have a way of unifying and brightening up a community that is struggling to get on its feet. I went on a tour with one of the men who runs the project, and he explained that many local artists apply to get rights to paint murals in the community. All pictures in this article are ones I took while visiting. Each mural must convey something about South Africa – many speak to the overwhelming love and strength of the community, others make statements about preserving the incredible wildlife native to this country.

As explained more thoroughly in this article, these murals have had a way of rejuvenating the community. From my experience, the contrasts of the murals with the broken down buildings and the surreal backdrop (Cape Town is on the coast, surrounded by mesas and mountains), creates a symphony it and of itself. The experience so closely related to my general experience of South Africa. The article was written in 2011, and from my visit in 2013 I can say that Gordon has definitely attracted more artists to the area.

Oftentimes we let art and culture fall to the wayside while we focus on STEM, but projects like this can remind you of the power and empowering properties of art. Transforming the feeling of a community can do wonders for its children. It can inspire, it can bring joy. It adds a sense of self-identity with the walls and roofs surrounding you. Community projects like this can unify and build connections and help communities to forge ahead and make real progress.

Bringing this back to the classroom, murals and street art can be educational and important even for students in our own schools. I still remember painting murals in the hallways of my elementary school. It was an honor bestowed upon groups of students who presented their ideas to the administration and art teacher. But, more than that, it was a way for us as a community to take ownership over our school. It was a way of making the school building feel a little more like our own. It also was the sort of project that took planning and teamwork, as well as thoughtful consideration of what sorts of murals would be beneficial to our community.

How has street art transformed the world around you? Could it? …* 

{ Going Nowhere } – Pico Iyer on the Importance of Sitting Still… *

Elsa and I have been blogging a lot about travel and all of the things you learn by exploring the world and exploring yourself while out in the world. [See 5 Things I Understood While Walking 500 Miles or Thoughts on Travel – The People and The Lightness] So I found it funny and refreshing to hear this TED talk by Pico Iyer, a travel blogger, about the value in sitting still. He states that in an age of constant movement, nothing is more urgent then the act of going nowhere. I thought it to add the perfect balance to our discussion.

 

Iyer agrees with the value and beauty of travel, but he explains that only through sitting still we can sift through the slideshow of experience. This balance of movement and stillness is a loop that leads to learning. He tell the story of how a trip to North Korea of a only few days gave him sights, but only through sitting still for years after could he turn those into insights. He also sees the value of stillness for improving travel- suggesting that “nowhere is magical, unless you can bring the right eyes to it.” Through stillness, we can develop more attentive and appreciative eyes.

For Iyer, going nowhere means taking a few minutes a day, a day a few, or a few months a year (whichever works best for you) to sit still to find out what moves you, to recall where your happiness lies. It also entails taking retreats from life, turning off our technology, and getting to places of real quiet.

He urges his audience to make more conscious efforts to sit still. I blogged a month or so ago about mindfulness meditation, which is one great technique for approaching some stillness. But rather than focusing on the “now” of experience, Iyer believes in the importance of stillness for reflection on the past and for cultivating a future.

I wholeheartedly agree with this message. I worry that in this world of technology and interconnectedness, I spend my free moments checking email or playing Candy Crush rather than reflecting and being still. Especially in New York City, it is so easy to get swept up in the constant motion and movement – to feel that busyness is a sign of success. Yet our bodies and minds really crave those moments of doing nothing, and in fact need those moments to process, reflect, and to learn.

You can view this inspirational talk below. Let me know what you think!

 

Friday Link Fest…*

Friday Link Fest...* | rethinked.org

 

READ

TED’s Chris Anderson on How to Give a Killer Presentation ~ via Harvard Business Review, published June 2013.

Why Empathy Is The Force That Moves Business Forward ~ via Forbes, published May 30, 2013.

Class of 2013: Start Designing Your Life ~ Ideo’s Tim Brown’s commencement speech at UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Information in 2010. It’s been adapted a bit for length, but his advice to you is the same: start designing your life. via Design Thinking | Thoughts By Tim Brown, published May 21, 2103.

Big Innovations Question the Status Quo. How Do You Ask the Right Questions? ~ via FastCo.Design, published March 17, 2011.

Tina Seelig on The Science of Creativity ~ ‘It’s time to make creative thinking, just like the scientific method, a core part of our education.’ via Fast Company, published April 17, 2013.

35 Scientific Concepts That Will Help You Understand The World ~ via Business Insider, published May 27, 2013.

Transient Advantage ~ via Harvard Business Review, published June 2013.

Seven Paths to a Meaningful Life ~ Adapted from a commencement address Philip G. Zimbardo delivered at the University of Puget Sound earlier this month. via Greater Good Science Center, published May 28, 2013.

Forget Work-Life Balance. The Question is Rest Versus Effort ~ Dan Ariely on why we should rethink…* the calendar. via Big Think, published May 30, 2013.

LOOK

There Are As Many Reasons As The Population Of New York To Use The Dictionary of Numbers ~ The Google Chrome extension Dictionary of Numbers allows users to translate large numbers into human terms. via FastCoCreate, published May 24, 2013.

The Discoveries That Promote Metacognition & Self-Directed Learning ~ via Teach Thought, published May 29, 2013.

Crowdfunded Telescope Lets The Public Explore Space ~ ARKYD is an orbiting space telescope that can be controlled by the public – its primary aim is to make space exploration accessible to anyone who is interested. via PSFK, published May 30, 2013.

‘Warning’ Signs That Encourage You To Do The Opposite ~ The ‘Nature’s Playground’ campaign: To reinvent its reputation, and encourage visitors to enjoy its country houses across east England—national conservation charity National Trust approached UK-based consultancy The Click Design to create physical tongue-in-cheek signage. via Design Taxi, published May 29, 2013.

Lewis and Clark, Meet Foursquare ~ MyReadingMapped makes historic journeys come alive. via Atlantic Cities, published May 29, 2013.

WATCH

Design Thinking & Education: Annette Diefenthaler, IDEO ~ Annette Diefenthaler, a Senior Design Research Specialist & Project Lead at IDEO, discusses creating and launching IDEO’s Design Thinking for Educators Toolkit. via Vialogues, published May 23, 2013.

The Purpose of Philosophy is to Ask the Right Questions ~ Slavoj Žižek on how Philosophy is not here to provide all of the answers. What it can do however, which is more powerful, is ask the right questions. via BigThink, published May 28, 2013.

Take A Secret Look Inside The Cocoon As A Caterpillar Transforms To A Butterfly ~ Using three dimensional X-ray imaging, we can now see the magical process of metamorphosis up close. via FastCoExist, published May 24, 2013.

New playlist: Design giants ~ From graphics to products, check out these 13 TED talks by some of the world’s greatest designers. via TED Blog, published May 28, 2013.

“TED Talks Education” Tonight ( May 7, 2013 ) at 10/9 c on PBS

TED Talk Education  {Screen Shot}

 

Be sure to tune in to PBS at 10/9 c tonight for TED’s first-ever original television broadcast special:

TED Talks Education, hosted by John Legend, premieres May 7, 2013 at 10/9 c on PBS. Public television and TED, the non-profit organization devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading, share a deep commitment to addressing the high school dropout crisis. The TED Talks Education one-hour program brings together a diverse group of teachers and education advocates delivering short, high-impact talks on the theme of teaching and learning. These original TED Talks are given by thought leaders including Geoffrey Canada, Bill Gates, Rita F. Pierson and Sir Ken Robinson. TED Talks Education is part of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting’s American Graduate Initiative

Other notable speakers featured in the one-hour special include: Pearl Arredondo, Founder, San Fernando Institute for Applied Media; Malcolm London, Chicago poet; Ramsey Musallam, Chemistry teacher and blended learning specialist; and one of our favorites…*, grit expert Dr. Angela Lee DuckworthAssistant Professor, Department of Psychology, University of Pennsylvania.

Here is the preview for tonight’s programming:

Watch TED Talks Education Preview on PBS. See more from TED Talks Education.

And for those of you too excited to wait until tonight, here is Rita Pierson’s talk: “Build Relationships With Your Students

Watch Rita Pierson: Build Relationships With Your Students on PBS. See more from TED Talks Education.

 

Enjoy & rethink…*

[H/T] TED Teams Up With PBS on Ideas for Education ~ via New York Times, published May 5, 2013

Friday Link Fest…*

rethinked

*

READ

Skipping Out On College And ‘Hacking Your Education ~ #Knowmad via NPR, published March 5, 2013.

Of Artists and Entrepreneurs: The Second Renaissance is Now ~ via Big Think, published March 7, 2013.

The Benefits of Optimism Are Real ~ via The Atlantic, published March 1, 2013.

The Future Of Education Eliminates The Classroom, Because The World Is Your Class ~ #Knowmad via FastCo.Exist , published March 4, 2013.

What Do You Have in Common with a Low-Income Indian Mother? More Than You Think ~ via GOOD, published March 1, 2013.

Embracing the Shake: Why Limitations Drive Creativity ~ via FastCo.Create, published March 5, 2013

Finding the Just-Right Level of Self-Esteem for a Child ~ via the Wall Street Journal, published February 26, 2013.

How Serious Play Leads To Breakthrough Innovation ~ via FastCo.Design, published March 4, 2013.

 

Friday Link Fest {November 9-16, 2012}

 

ARTICLES

Soft Cars and Living Homes: How Biologically-Based Architecture May be the Key to Greening Our Cities ~ Fascinating interview with with Mitchell Joachim, an associate professor at NYU and Co-President of Terreform ONE, a nonprofit design organization based in Brooklyn that champions green design in urban areas. via The Culture-ist, published November 9, 2012.

3 Big Insights From Today’s Top Design Thinkers ~ A few weeks ago, at the Fast Company offices, we convened an all-star panel of designers and design leaders to talk about the problems that they found most vexing in the past year, and what they were trying to do to solve them. via FastCo.Design, published November 16, 2012

A Design Lens on Education ~ Ideo’s Tim Brown on learning & design thinking. via Design Thinking: Thoughts by Tim Brown, published November 13, 2012

Place Capital: Re-connecting Economy With Community ~ on rethinking…* public spaces. via Projects for Public Place, published October 28, 2012.

Impact 15: 15 Education Innovators ~ These 15 education innovators are harnessing a slew of disruptive technologies to change everything from the way we teach grade school math to how we train the next generation of teachers.via Forbes, published November 8, 2012.

What Schools Can Learn From Google, IDEO, and Pixar  ~  The country’s strongest innovators embrace creativity, play, and collaboration–values that also inform their physical spaces. A community about to build or rehab a school often creates checklists of best practices, looks for furniture that matches its mascot, and orders shiny new lockers to line its corridors. These are all fine steps, but the process of planning and designing a new school requires both looking outward (to the future, to the community, to innovative corporate powerhouses) as well as inward (to the playfulness and creativity that are at the core of learning). via FastCo.Design, published August 26, 2010.

 

TALKS & VIDEOS 

What is psychology? ~ via BigThink, published November 11, 2012.

(via BigThink on YouTube, published October 24, 2012)

 

10 talks about the beauty — and difficulty — of being creative ~ includes: Elizabeth Gilbert: Your elusive creative geniusDavid Kelley: How to build your creative confidenceIsaac Mizrahi on fashion and creativityAmy Tan: Where does creativity hideSteven Johnson: Where good ideas come fromJanet Echelman: Taking imagination seriouslyKirby Ferguson: Embrace the remixMalcolm McLaren: Authentic creativity vs. karaoke cultureTim Brown: Tales of creativity and play; Julie Burstein: Four Lessons on Creativity. via TED, published November 12, 2012.

 

IMAGES

100,000 Stars ~An interactive 3D visualization of the stellar neighborhood, including over 100000 nearby stars. via Chrome Experiments, published November 15, 2012.

Sweet Portraits of Dogs Least Likely to Be Adopted ~The dogs in photographer Lanola Stone’s images — which we first saw in her Behance portfolio — were some of the longest in residence at her local shelter, struggling to find a forever home due to their frequently misunderstood breed, age, and shabby appearance. Stone requested to assist in their adoption process, asking to photograph the “least likely to be adopted” group of pooches. Many of them had been living at the shelter for over six months. She wanted to capture each dog’s unique, loving personality and other quirks in their character to help them get noticed. The dogs pictured in our gallery after the break were eventually adopted thanks to her efforts. via Flavorwire, published November 12, 2012.

Animated El Bocho: Berlin Street Art Comes to Life ~ Berlin based artist Nicolas Molès has created animated work based on local street artist El Bocho’s playful work.These re-imagined pieces – which primarily focus around Bocho’s sweet yet cat hating character Lucy – are interesting in the way they build upon another artists work. Like sampling music to create another song, these images raise the still current question: how much do you need to change an idea to call it your own? As the venerable filmmaker Kirby Ferguson would quickly point out, there’s really nothing to worry about here: everything, after all, is a Remix. via The Visual News, published November 12, 2012.

An Electron Microscope Reveals The Hidden Horrors Of Processed Foods ~  Photographer Caren Alpert wants you to take a good, hard look at what you eat. via FastCo.Design, published November 9, 2012.

Metaphysics of an Urban Landscape: New York City Filled with Shadows ~ Metaphysics of an Urban Landscape is an ongoing series of photographs by Milan-based photographer Gabriele Croppi that features high-contrast, black-and-white photographs of major cities around the world. His images often feature a single subject illuminated by a slice of sunlight in front of a background filled with shadows and negative space. via Peta Pixel, published November 9, 2012.

A Homemade Autochrome Camera Made with Lego, Cardboard, and Duct Tape ~ Photographer Dominique Vankan wanted to play around with the old Autochrome Lumière process from the early 1900s, so he built himself a custom large format camera using LEGO pieces, cardboard, and duct tape. via Peta Pixel, published November 12, 2012.

RESOURCES

Collective Action Toolkit ~ The Collective Action Toolkit (CAT) is a package of resources and activities that enable groups of people anywhere to organize, build trust, and collaboratively create solutions for problems impacting their community. The toolkit provides a dynamic framework that integrates knowledge and action to solve challenges. Designed to harness the benefits of group action and the power of open sharing, the activities draw on each participant’s strengths and perspectives as the group works to accomplish a common goal. via Frog Design, published November 15, 2012.

How to Start Your Own Hackerspace ~ Since a hackerspace is essentially a non-profit meeting place it’s a difficult process to start your own. Adafruit’s guide deals out all the information you’ll need, starting with a quick rundown of what a hackerspace is, and moving on to space requirements, finding locations, members, resources, and everything else. The seven part series is currently only on the second part, but over the next few days you’ll get all the information you need. via Lifehacker, published November 13, 2012.

Great Big Ideas: Free Course Features Top Thinkers Tackling the World’s Most Important Ideas ~ The purpose of The Floating University, according to its site, is to “democratize access to the world’s best thinkers” by providing free, approximately one hour-long courses on a wide range of topics, taught at a university level by experts and professors in the various fields. The inaugural course, the most favored at the three universities, is Great Big Ideas, and it more or less does what it says: tackles some of the largest, most perplexing questions in digestible introductions that also manage to be rigorous, informative, and thought-provoking. via Open Culture, published November 14, 2012.

 

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