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Friday Link Fest…*

Friday Link Fest...* | rethinked.org | Photo by Elsa Fridman

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Accelerating serendipity: Can you make happy accidents happen more often? ~ via Medium, published August 13, 2013.

How We Learn ~ Insights from psychology can make us better readers, writers and thinkers ~ via Scientific American, published August 15, 2013.

Empathy: The Most Important Back-to-School Supply ~ A road map for navigating a course to empathy — suitable for any age. From Ashoka‘s Start Empathy initiative which shares research, case studies and inspirational stories, and is building a network of Changemaker Schools committed to building empathic, encouraging environments at the elementary level. via Edutopia, published August 12, 2013.

How Self-Expiring Medicine Packaging Could Change The World ~ Husband-and-wife doctor/designer team Gautam Goel and Kanupriya Goel want to encapsulate our medicines in strips that change color as they expire, transforming the packaging of dangerously out-of-date medication into a chromatic warning. But will big pharma bring it to market?  via FastCo.Design, published August 12, 2013.

The Decisive Moment and the Brain ~ A look at the science behind conscious and unconscious awareness, and how the brain allows photographers to know things with intuition. via PetaPixel, published August 12, 2013.

The Missing Half of the Education Debate ~ Conversations about college must address more than just cost and access. They must also question assumptions of quality, performance, and relevance. This is uncomfortable and unwelcome ground. But for many students in many places, college is no longer doing well what it was designed to do — and what it was designed to do may no longer be what students most need or what societies most need of them. We need to talk about that too. via Harvard Business Review, published August 13, 2013.

How to Make Online Courses Massively Personal ~ Online learning is a tool, just as the textbook is a tool. The way the teacher and the student use the tool is what really counts. via Scientific American, published August 14, 2013.

Top 5 Tips for Becoming a Successful Entrepreneur ~ “Life is too short to spend your time avoiding failure,” and other tips from Michael Bloomberg based on his experience of building a company from the ground up, leading New York City as mayor, and founding a philanthropic organization. via LinkedIn, published August 14, 2013.

4 Tips To Master Thinking With Both Sides of Your Brain, And Boost Creativity ~ While some people seem to be less adept than others at firing up both burners, making them appear more left-brained than right-brained, most brain scientists agree–and this is what’s exciting–that the ability to shift rapidly between divergent and convergent thinking, which is the key to innovation, can be sharpened and improved. via Fast Company, published August 15, 2013.

Bring Design Thinking to Your Classroom with OpenIDEO ~ In mid-September OpenIDEO will launch a new challenge on nurturing creative confidence in young people – and educators and faculty from around the world are invited to join in.  via OpenIDEO

Games Can Make “Real Life” More Rewarding ~In her 2011 book, Reality is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World, game development expert and author Jane McGonigal describes a number of ways that games can improve our lives by using experience and research to link games with feelings of connectedness, self-worth, fulfillment and happiness. via Edutopia, published August 14, 2013

LOOK

Slick Data Visualization Reveals Scientific Collaborations Taking Place Around the Globe ~ via Open Culture, published August 15, 2013.

In Praise of a Whimsical, Solar-Powered ‘Do-Nothing Machine’ ~ Seven short decades ago, Charles and Ray Eames lent their formidable imaginations to the creation of a machine so non-utilitarian that its pointlessness gave the gadget its name: the Do-Nothing Machine. The Do-Nothing Machine embodies and evokes the spirit of pure, unadulterated originality. Its lack of any specific, hierarchical function or purpose frees it from the burden of meeting expectations, while its intrinsic playfulness subtly challenges other inventors, engineers and designers to step up. via TIME, published August 12, 2013.

40 maps that explain the world ~ Maps can be a remarkably powerful tool for understanding the world and how it works, but they show only what you ask them to. via Washington Post, published August 12, 2013.

Outdoor Funnel Wall Makes Music When Rain Falls ~ Somewhere in the Kunsthof-passage of Dresden, Germany, there’s actually an outdoor building wall that makes music whenever it rains. via Lost At E Minor, published August 12, 2013.

Samsung eco-conscious origami cardboard mono laser printer ~ This printer will make you rethink…* your assumptions of what a printer is. via Designboom, published August 13, 2013.

WATCH

Buildings made from cardboard tubes: A gallery of Shigeru Ban architecture ~ via TED, published August 13, 2013.

Reframing Fear: The Upside of Risk, Failure and Judgment ~ via The Good Life Project, published February 13, 2013.

The First Billboard in the World to Make Drinking Water out of Thin Air ~ What would a great ad for a university of technology be? An ad, that itself, solves a problem through technology. This is exactly what the University of Engineering and Technology of Peru and their ad agency Mayo DraftFCB have done – the first billboard in the world to make drinking water out of thin air and alleviate the lives of Peru’s people. via Big Think, published August 12, 2013.

“Doodling is to make spontaneous marks to help yourself think” ~ Sunni Brown on How Doodling Facilitates Learning…*

In this short engaging TED talk from 2011, co-author of GameStorming: A Playbook for Rule-breakers, Innovators and Changemakers and Bright Spot I.D. founder and creative director, Sunni Brown, urges her audience to rethink…* the value of doodling. Noting that, “there is a powerful cultural norm against doodling in settings in which we’re supposed to learn something,” Brown aims to disrupt the current cultural status of doodling as a childish time waster. Highlighting some of the cognitive benefits of doodling–enhanced focus, creative problem solving and deep information processing–Brown argues “doodling is really to make spontaneous marks to help yourself think,” and, “it is a tool that we need to remember and to relearn.”

{ truths }

“I think that our culture is so intensely focused on verbal information that we’re almost blinded to the value of doodling.”

“Doodling is an incredibly powerful tool and it is a tool that we need to remember and to relearn.”

“People who doodle when they’re exposed to verbal information, retain more of that information than their non-doodling counterparts. We think doodling is something you when you lose focus, but in reality it is a preemptive measure to stop you from losing focus.”

“It [doodling] has a profound effect on creative problem solving and deep information processing. There are four ways that learners intake information so that they can make decisions:

  1. Visual
  2. Auditory
  3. Reading/Writing
  4. Kinesthetic

Now, in order for us to really chew on information and do something with it, we have to engage at least two of these modalities or we have to engage one of those modalities coupled with an emotional experience. The incredible contribution of the doodle is that it engages all four learning modalities simultaneously with the possibility to have an emotional experience.”

“Under no circumstances should doodling be eradicated from a classroom, or a boardroom or even the war room. On the contrary, doodling should be leveraged in precisely those situations where information density is very high and the need for processing that information is very high.”

Sunni Brown: Doodlers, Unite! | via TED.com, published September 2011

Mitch Resnick, Head of MIT’s Lifelong Kindergarten Group, on Coding To Learn…*

Mitch Resnick, head of  the  Lifelong Kindergarten group at MIT’s Media Lab, rethinks and expands the notion of ‘fluency’ in today’s digital landscape. Resnick observes that while young people are very comfortable ‘reading’ new technologies, very few of them have the ability to ‘write’ in new technologies. Resnick makes the claim that computer programming, far from being only useful to those who intend to become computer scientists or programmers, is beneficial to everyone, from young children learning to code using MIT’s Scratch–a programming language that is easy (and enjoyable!) to learn–to Resnick’s own 83 year old mother. Resnick makes a powerful analogy between learning to read which allows one to read to learn and learning to code, which, according to Resnick, allows one to then code to learn: “we become fluent in reading and writing. It’s not something that you’re doing just to become a professional writer, very few people will become professional writers, but it’s useful for everybody to learn how to read and write. Same thing with coding: most people won’t grow up to become professional computer scientists or programmers but those skills of thinking creatively, reasoning systematically, working collaboratively–skills you develop when you code in Scratch–are things that people can use no matter what they’re doing in their work lives. ”

 Enjoy & rethink…*

Reading, Writing, And Programming: Mitch Resnick At TEDXBeaconStreet

(TEDXTalks via YouTube, published January 17, 2013)

 

 Kids should learn programming as well as reading and writing {Boing Boing}

 

On Poetry & Business: Integrative Thinking, Creativity & Empathy

 

Not that I need an excuse to read poetry, but an article published yesterday in the Harvard Business Review, entitled The Benefits of Poetry for Professionals by John Coleman provides a welcome reminder of how ‘useful’ and beneficial reading and writing poems can be. Coleman highlights four virtues related to engaging with poetry:

-poetry teaches us to wrestle with and simplify complexity.

-Poetry can also help users develop a more acute sense of empathy.

-Reading and writing poetry also develops creativity.

-poetry can teach us to infuse life with beauty and meaning

Coleman concludes that “to those open to it, reading and writing poetry can be a valuable component of leadership development”. So without further ado, get your fix of empathy, creativity, beauty and meaning with this glorious poem by Lawrence Ferlinghetti:

CONSTANTLY RISKING ABSURDITY (1958) via PoetryFoundation.org

Constantly risking absurdity
                                             and death
            whenever he performs
                                        above the heads
                                                            of his audience
   the poet like an acrobat
                                 climbs on rime
                                          to a high wire of his own making
and balancing on eyebeams
                                     above a sea of faces
             paces his way
                               to the other side of day
    performing entrechats
                               and sleight-of-foot tricks
and other high theatrics
                               and all without mistaking
                     any thing
                               for what it may not be

 

       For he’s the super realist
                                     who must perforce perceive
                   taut truth
                                 before the taking of each stance or step
in his supposed advance
                                  toward that still higher perch
where Beauty stands and waits
                                     with gravity
                                                to start her death-defying leap

 

      And he
             a little charleychaplin man
                                           who may or may not catch
               her fair eternal form
                                     spreadeagled in the empty air
                  of existence

 

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