January 2013
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Day 18/01/2013

Friday Link Fest {January 11-18, 2013}

Friday Link Fest {January 11-18, 2013} photograph by Elsa Fridman



The 11 Most Generous Designers ~ This is an innovative group (co-curated by Ric Grefé, the executive director of AIGA) who are using design to make the world a better place. Whether creating a compelling graphic to raise money or developing a cause awareness campaign or producing a never-before-seen-product that improves an infant’s livelihood, these creative thinkers are impacting our society in ways that are hard to forget. via FastCo.Exist, published January 14, 2013.

Must-read report on maker-driven education ~ This report is a synthesis of ongoing research, design, and implementation of an approach to education called “connected learning.” It advocates for broadened access to learning that is socially embedded, interest-driven, and oriented toward educational, economic, or political opportunity. Connected learning is realized when a young person is able to pursue a personal interest or passion with the support of friends and caring adults, and is in turn able to link this learning and interest to academic achievement, career success or civic engagement. This model is based on evidence that the most resilient, adaptive, and effective learning involves individual interest as well as social support to overcome adversity and provide recognition. via Boing Boing, published January 16, 2013.

How Are You Using the Collective Action Toolkit? ~ The toolkit is being deployed far more broadly than expected, such as in our new Chinese language edition. People are finding new uses for it, from local education to entrepreneurship in global organizations. And we’ve embarked on our first educational pilot, working with SCAD’s Design for Sustainability program. How did this happen? And in what ways can you use the CAT that you may not have considered? via Frog Design, published January 14, 2013.

Innovation Pessimism: Has the ideas machine broken down? ~ The idea that innovation and new technology have stopped driving growth is getting increasing attention. But it is not well founded. via The Economist, published January 12, 2013.

Should 3-Year-Olds Learn Computer Programming? ~ Can 3-year-olds learn enough computer programming to be able to build their own games or animate a story? That’s the theory behind Scratch Jr, an MIT project set to launch this summer that wants to teach preschoolers creativity, design thinking, and problem-solving through coding. via GOOD, published February 27, 2012.

Sitting Is the Smoking of Our Generation ~And ‘walking meetings’ are the antidote. via Harvard Business Review, published January 14, 2013.

Ideo’s Albert Lee On Innovating Ideas ~ Creativity is only the beginning. Here are proven ways to find, filter, and shape the best thinking–whether it’s yours, your team’s, or your customers’. via Fast Company, published January 15, 2013.


Allen Ginsberg’s Hand-Annotated Photos of the Beat Generation ~ Beginning January 15, New Yorkers can visit NYU’s Grey Art Gallery‘s Beat Memories: The Photographs of Allen Ginsberg to peruse a selection of 110 photos taken (and often captioned by hand) by none other than Allen Ginsberg. From a shot of Jack Kerouac’s muse, Neal Cassady, and “his love of the year” snuggling under a cinema marquee advertising a Brando triple feature to a solemn photo of William S. Burroughs at the Met, the annotated images provide a personal, visual scrapbook of Ginsberg’s life in the 1950s and beyond. via Flavorwire, published January 11, 2013

How To Be A Minimalist, In Design & In Life ~ Comic artist behind Incidental Comics, Grant Snider produces amusing and surprisingly insightful comics on his blog and for many websites across the internet. via Design Taxi, published January 16, 2013.

Complex Natural Spider Webs Preserved on Glass Plates ~ Artist Emil Fiore, also known as Rocky, collects whole spider webs and preserves the natural works of art behind glass. Based in New Jersey, Fiore first learned about catching a web in a children’s craft book and, ever since, the idea has stuck. In his 20’s, he finally started experimenting with web collection. He has used all kinds of sprays and varnishes to master the preservation of each web in its entirety and his hard work has certainly paid off. Spray painted with silver paint and set behind glass, these striking, silky designs are unique and captivating representations of the wonders of nature. via My Modern Met, published January 12, 2013.

Kumbh Mela: The Largest Gathering on Earth ~ Tens of millions of Hindu pilgrims are now descending on Allahabad, India, joining an estimated 8 million already there for the Maha Kumbh Mela. Held every 12 years at one of four places in India, the Kumbh Mela lasts nearly two months and is considered to be an especially auspicious time to bathe in the holy river for purification from sin. via The Atlantic, published January 14, 2013.

World Design Guide ~ World Design Guide is the first ever online guide to the best international architecture and design events. Created and curated by Dezeen, the guide offers a quick way of finding out when and where key fairs, conferences and festivals take place. The first edition of World Design Guide lists events taking place in 2013. In the future we’ll be adding more layers of information and updating our listings.


Susan Cain’s breakthrough research on introversion has been turned into another live animation video series. via The Lavin Agency.

(dwlFilms on YouTube, published November 27, 2012)


‘In the future, design thinking is going to be called emotionalism’ ~ Roger Arquer ~ via Dezeen, published January 14, 2013.

(Roger Arquer at Designed in Hackney Day from Dezeen on Vimeo.)

Concept Turns Video Gaming Into Full-Body Exercise ~ Intellect Motion has introduced the ‘GameCube’, which makes players get physical during video games. via PSFK, published January 15, 2013.

(Alexander Khromenkov on YouTube, published January 1, 2013)

rethinkED Math Workshop: Topics in Teaching Math

On Friday January 11th a group of math teachers and administrators stayed after school, the first week back of school no less, to participate in a math workshop.  The workshop was led and organized by the rethinkED team with a guest presentation from Jed Silverstein, upper school English teacher, a session led by the tech integration team and a sessions designed by the rethinkED team.

The workshops came out of interviews with a handful of the math faculty at Riverdale. Through in-depth interviews, the rethinkED team captured a few themes they then developed drawing on some design thinking techniques. The team shared a list of proposed topics with the math faculty and administrators asking for feedback and to rank the workshops. The top-ranked workshops were chosen based on the math teachers’ feedback.

With the dusk falling, teachers sustained themselves with cheese and wine as they listened to TED talks, participated in debates, and designed prototypes of ideas. Cross-grade and cross-subject collaboration was encouraged.



The first session was called the Creating the You-Can-Do-It Problem.The workshop involved an introductory TED talk, a discovery phase, and ideation and prototype phases with time for reflection. Out of the conversations, teachers brought up the question of transferability of a real life problems into the classroom. At times a real life problem may be difficult to talk about in terms of the specific math terms being developed. On the plus side, real life problems were seen as being high on the the relatability scale–something that greatly increases student engagement. Another issue raised was the engagement and fun of real world problems as being antithetical to the pressure of the college tests and preparation for next year.

The second session involved two workshops, one on Guided Student Teaching, with an intro from Jed Silverstein on some of the work he has done in his humanities classes. Jed often has students teach portions of his humanities classes so that they can learn and ask questions about the material as a teacher might. Well aware of the difference of content between humanities and math, Jed sought to find similarities across disciplines. The other workshop occurring simultaneously was led by the Tech Integration Team, who offered a tour through iPad apps geared towards middle and upper school math courses. A highlight was the ipad version of wolfram alpha which allowed students and teachers to see various different ways of solving a single problem.

The workshop ended on a high note, with buzzing energy past 6 pm on a Friday and plans to implement ideas and keep the conversation going. The rethinkED team will follow-up individually with math teachers, both through interviews and observations. There is talk of organizing a similar workshop in the spring. Stay tuned!

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