robertogreco + flexibility   111

The Educational Tyranny of the Neurotypicals | WIRED
"Ben Draper, who runs the Macomber Center for Self Directed Learning, says that while the center is designed for all types of children, kids whose parents identify them as on the autism spectrum often thrive at the center when they’ve had difficulty in conventional schools. Ben is part of the so-called unschooling movement, which believes that not only should learning be self-directed, in fact we shouldn't even focus on guiding learning. Children will learn in the process of pursuing their passions, the reasoning goes, and so we just need to get out of their way, providing support as needed.

Many, of course, argue that such an approach is much too unstructured and verges on irresponsibility. In retrospect, though, I feel I certainly would have thrived on “unschooling.” In a recent paper, Ben and my colleague Andre Uhl, who first introduced me to unschooling, argue that it not only works for everyone, but that the current educational system, in addition to providing poor learning outcomes, impinges on the rights of children as individuals.

MIT is among a small number of institutions that, in the pre-internet era, provided a place for non-neurotypical types with extraordinary skills to gather and form community and culture. Even MIT, however, is still trying to improve to give these kids the diversity and flexibility they need, especially in our undergraduate program.

I'm not sure how I'd be diagnosed, but I was completely incapable of being traditionally educated. I love to learn, but I go about it almost exclusively through conversations and while working on projects. I somehow kludged together a world view and life with plenty of struggle, but also with many rewards. I recently wrote a PhD dissertation about my theory of the world and how I developed it. Not that anyone should generalize from my experience—one reader of my dissertation said that I’m so unusual, I should be considered a "human sub-species." While I take that as a compliment, I think there are others like me who weren’t as lucky and ended up going through the traditional system and mostly suffering rather than flourishing. In fact, most kids probably aren’t as lucky as me and while some types are more suited for success in the current configuration of society, a huge percentage of kids who fail in the current system have a tremendous amount to contribute that we aren’t tapping into.

In addition to equipping kids for basic literacy and civic engagement, industrial age schools were primarily focused on preparing kids to work in factories or perform repetitive white-collar jobs. It may have made sense to try to convert kids into (smart) robotlike individuals who could solve problems on standardized tests alone with no smartphone or the internet and just a No. 2 pencil. Sifting out non-neurotypical types or trying to remediate them with drugs or institutionalization may have seemed important for our industrial competitiveness. Also, the tools for instruction were also limited by the technology of the times. In a world where real robots are taking over many of those tasks, perhaps we need to embrace neurodiversity and encourage collaborative learning through passion, play, and projects, in other words, to start teaching kids to learn in ways that machines can’t. We can also use modern technology for connected learning that supports diverse interests and abilities and is integrated into our lives and communities of interest.

At the Media Lab, we have a research group called Lifelong Kindergarten, and the head of the group, Mitchel Resnick, recently wrote a book by the same name. The book is about the group’s research on creative learning and the four Ps—Passion, Peers, Projects, and Play. The group believes, as I do, that we learn best when we are pursuing our passion and working with others in a project-based environment with a playful approach. My memory of school was "no cheating,” “do your own work,” "focus on the textbook, not on your hobbies or your projects," and "there’s time to play at recess, be serious and study or you'll be shamed"—exactly the opposite of the four Ps.

Many mental health issues, I believe, are caused by trying to “fix” some type of neurodiversity or by simply being insensitive or inappropriate for the person. Many mental “illnesses” can be “cured” by providing the appropriate interface to learning, living, or interacting for that person focusing on the four Ps. My experience with the educational system, both as its subject and, now, as part of it, is not so unique. I believe, in fact, that at least the one-quarter of people who are diagnosed as somehow non-neurotypical struggle with the structure and the method of modern education. People who are wired differently should be able to think of themselves as the rule, not as an exception."
neurotypicals  neurodiversity  education  schools  schooling  learning  inequality  elitism  meritocracy  power  bias  diversity  autism  psychology  stevesilberman  schooliness  unschooling  deschooling  ronsuskind  mentalhealth  mitchresnick  mit  mitemedialab  medialab  lifelongkindergarten  teaching  howweteach  howwelearn  pedagogy  tyranny  2018  economics  labor  bendraper  flexibility  admissions  colleges  universities  joiito 
november 2018 by robertogreco
My website is a shifting house next to a river of knowledge. What could yours be? – The Creative Independent
"The web is what we make it

While an individual website could be any of those metaphors I mentioned above, I believe the common prevailing metaphor—the internet as cloud—is problematic. The internet is not one all-encompassing, mysterious, and untouchable thing. (In early patent drawings depicting the internet, it appears as related shapes: a blob, brain, or explosion.) These metaphors obfuscate the reality that the internet is made up of individual nodes: individual computers talking to other individual computers.

[image]

The World Wide Web recently turned 29. On the web’s birthday, Tim Berners Lee, its creator, published a letter stating the web’s current state of threat. He says that while it’s called the “World Wide Web,” only about half the world is connected, so we should close this digital divide.

But at the same time, Berners Lee wants to make sure this thing we’re all connecting to is truly working for us, as individuals: “I want to challenge us all to have greater ambitions for the web. I want the web to reflect our hopes and fulfill our dreams, rather than magnify our fears and deepen our divisions.”

[image]

“Metaphor unites reason and imagination,” says George Lakoff and Mark Johnson in their book, Metaphors We Live By (1980). “Metaphors are not merely things to be seen beyond. In fact, one can see beyond them only by using other metaphors. It is as though the ability to comprehend experience through metaphor were a sense, like seeing or touching or hearing, with metaphors providing the only ways to perceive and experience much of the world. Metaphor is as much a part of our functioning as our sense of touch, and as precious.”

Instead of a cloud, let’s use a metaphor that makes the web’s individual, cooperative nodes more visible. This way, we can remember the responsibility we each have in building a better web. The web is a flock of birds or a sea of punctuation marks, each tending or forgetting about their web garden or puddle home with a river of knowledge nearby.

If a website has endless possibilities, and our identities, ideas, and dreams are created and expanded by them, then it’s instrumental that websites progress along with us. It’s especially pressing when forces continue to threaten the web and the internet at large. In an age of information overload and an increasingly commercialized web, artists of all types are the people to help. Artists can think expansively about what a website can be. Each artist should create their own space on the web, for a website is an individual act of collective ambition."
laurelschwulst  knowledge  webdev  webdesign  internet  web  online  2018  websites  design  flexibility  purpose  creativity  learning  howwelearn  accumulation  accretion  making  murmurations  metaphor  clouds  birds  georgelakoff  markjohnson  completeness  unfinished  wonder  fredrogers  storage  archives  html 
may 2018 by robertogreco
Hapticality in the Undercommons, or From Operations Management to Black Ops | Stefano Harney - Academia.edu
"Fanon begins his conclusion by calling for the rejection of what he calls the ‘European model’ in the coming post-colonial world:

When I search for Man in the technique and the style of Europe, I see only a succession of negations of man, and an avalanche of murders.

But what is this European model, what is at the heart of this model, why the negations, the unending blood-soaked dawns? Here is Fanon’s answer:
But let us be clear: what matters is to stop talking about output, and intensification, and the rhythm of work.

The coming post-colonial nations must break not only with the negations of history, culture, and personality wrought by colonialism but with the ‘rhythm of work’ imposed by the European model. And he clarifies:
No, there is no question of a return to Nature. It is simply a very concrete question of not dragging men towards mutilation, of not imposing upon the brain rhythms that very quickly obliterate it and wreck it. The pretext of catching up must not be used to push man around, to tear him away from himself or from his privacy, to break and kill him.

Here is that word ‘rhythm’ again. ‘Rhythms imposed on the brain’ this time, imposed by a drive to ‘catch up.’ Catching up was a phrase much circulated in the takeoff theories of capitalist development pushed by the United States in the Cold War. But, Fanon points out, this catching up institutes a rhythm that ‘breaks’ and ‘kills’ man. This is a rhythm that ‘tears man away from himself’, that ‘obliterates’ and ‘wrecks’ his brain. Fanon uses the metaphor of the ‘caravan’ for a system that tears man away from himself."



"Fanon feared post-colonial nations would keep the regime and merely erect the outside, with flags, anthems, and new ruling classes. Who can say he was wrong? But Fanon’s warning was more than a post-colonial critique of the idea of the outside. It was an analysis of the European model and its tendency towards producing this rhythm without an outside. Indeed Fanon saw the colony as the first social factory, where worker replaces subject in society as a whole. In the colony, in the first social factory any move to other social being was, as it is today, criminal, conspiratorial. The only sound in the social factory is the rhythm of work because that is what takes place in a factory."



"This is our work today. We take inventories of ourselves for components not the whole. We produce lean efforts to transconduct. We look to overcome constraints. We define values through metrics. These are all terms from operations management but they describe work far better than recourse to the discourse of subject formation. Creativity itself, supposedly at the heart of the battle for the subject today, is nothing but what operations management calls variance in the line, a variance that may lead to what is in turn called a kaizen event, an improvement, and is then assimilated back into an even more sophisticated line. Today ours is primarily the labour of adapting and translating, being commensurate and flexible, being a conduit and receptacle, a port for information but also a conductor of information, a wire, a travel plug. We channel affect toward new connections. We do not just keep the flow of meaning, information, attention, taste, desire, and fear moving, we improve this flow continuously. We must remain open and attuned to the rhythm of the line, to its merciless variances in rhythm. This is primarily a neurological labour, a synaptic labour of making contact to keep the line flowing, and creating innovations that help it flow in new directions and at new speeds. The worker operates like a synapse, sparking new lines of assembly in life. And she does so anywhere and everywhere because the rhythm of the line is anywhere and everywhere. The worker extends synaptic rhythms in every direction, every circumstance. With synaptic work, it is access not subjects that the line wants, an access, as Denise Ferreira da Silva reminds us, that was long at the heart of the abuse of the affected ones, the ones who granted access out of love, out of necessity, out of the consent not to be one, even before that granting was abused."
stefanoharney  frantzfanon  labor  work  leisure  blackops  fredmoten  rhythm  deniseferreiradasilva  information  haptics  hapticality  art  academia  flow  athi-patraruga  zarinabhimji  creativity  flexibility  latecapitalism  capitalism  neoliberalism  society  colonialism  colonization  decolonization  nature  undercommons 
december 2017 by robertogreco
Building Flexible Design Systems // Speaker Deck
[via: "I’ve quoted from this deck more than any other this year. “No hypothetical situations” applies to all kinds of problem sets—not just design. https://twitter.com/yeseniaa/status/925840684715782145"
https://twitter.com/tangentialism/status/925842143540805638

"(Also, one reason I love this framing is that it calls implicitly for close listening and observation to unearth hidden problems)"
https://twitter.com/tangentialism/status/925848643550183424 ]
design  webdesign  webdev  yeseniaperez-cruz  listening  obsrvation  systemsthinking  flexibility  systems  layout  scenarios  patterns  christopheralexander  donellameadows  audience  content  modularity  customization  designsystems 
november 2017 by robertogreco
Ephemeral Urbanism: Cities in Constant Flux - YouTube
urbanism  urban  cities  ephemerality  ephemeral  2016  rahulmehrotra  felipevera  henrynbauer  cristianpinoanguita  religion  celebration  transaction  trade  economics  informal  formal  thailand  indi  us  dominicanrepublic  cochella  burningman  fikaburn  southafrica  naturaldisaters  refugees  climatechange  mozambique  haiti  myanmar  landscape  naturalresources  extraction  mining  chile  indonesia  military  afghanistan  refuge  jordan  tanzania  turkey  greece  macedonia  openness  rigidity  urbandesign  urbanplanning  planning  adhoc  slums  saudiarabia  hajj  perú  iraq  flexibility  unfinished  completeness  sustainability  ecology  mobility 
october 2017 by robertogreco
Steady Jobs, With Pay and Hours That Are Anything But - The New York Times
"Mirella Casares has what used to be considered the keystone of economic security: a job. But even a reliable paycheck no longer delivers a reliable income.

Like Ms. Casares, who works at a Victoria’s Secret store in Ocala, Fla., more and more employees across a growing range of industries find the number of hours they work is swinging giddily from week to week — bringing chaos not only to family scheduling, but also to family finances.

And a new wave of research shows that the main culprit is not the so-called gig economy, but shifting pay within the same job.

This volatility helps unravel a persistent puzzle: why a below-average jobless rate — 4.4 percent in April — is still producing an above-average level of economic anxiety. Turbulence has replaced the traditional American narrative of steady financial progress over a lifetime.

Continue reading the main story
“Since the 1970s, steady work that pays a predictable and living wage has become increasingly difficult to find,” said Jonathan Morduch, a director of the U.S. Financial Diaries project, an in-depth study of 235 low- and moderate-income households. “This shift has left many more families vulnerable to income volatility.”

Ever-changing schedules at Victoria’s Secret, for example, make it difficult for Ms. Casares, 27, to find care for her 2-year-old and 6-year-old and to cover the bills. “The lowest hours I’ve gotten is 15 and the highest I’ve gotten is 39,” said Ms. Casares, who started in October, earning $10 an hour. The schedule is usually posted a month in advance, she said, but there are frequently last-minute changes.

Stability is worth a lot to workers. On average, employees are willing to give up a fifth of their weekly wage to avoid a schedule set by an employer on a week’s notice, according to a field experiment where workers were offered a range of alternative hours at different pay levels.

“That is totally the story,” said Mr. Morduch, who watched household incomes in his study rise and fall. “And that instability and insecurity are increasingly a part of middle-class life, too.”

In the course of a year, for example, the monthly income of a California family with one child that Mr. Morduch’s team tracked jumped to $5,279 from as low as $1,175. (Strict ethics protocols prohibit the release of participants’ names.) The husband supplemented his steady $400-a-week salaried construction job with extra remodeling work that could add from $323 to $1,588 a month to his total. His wife picked up from zero to $1,824 a month from babysitting, and from selling jewelry, clothing and flowers.

Monthly expenses can pendulum as much as income, but the two do not necessarily move in tandem. An analysis of 250,000 bank accounts by the JPMorgan Chase Institute, a nonprofit research arm of the bank, found that roughly 80 percent of households had an insufficient cash buffer to manage the mismatch between income and expenses in a given month.

Few people can comfortably ride out the inevitable financial bronco ride. “Only households that earn $105,000 or more a year are secure against the volatility they are exposed to,” said Diana Farrell, the institute’s president and chief executive. “It’s not just about the unemployed or the poor.”

Middle-income households, for example, saw their monthly expenses deviate by nearly $1,300, the equivalent of a month’s rent or mortgage payment. And one uh-oh expense — usually in the form of a medical, tax or car repair bill — can wreck a family’s balance sheet for a year or more.

Even a single month’s volatility can have a cascading effect. One month, a family copes by using the money earmarked for, say, the utility bill to cover the cost of replacing a busted water heater. The next month, it’s the telephone company that goes unpaid as the family struggles to make up the missed utility bill plus late fees and interest — and so on. Emergencies are not the only source of expense spikes. So are bridal showers, Christmas gifts and outgrown winter coats.

May turned out to be an expensive month for Tomika Waggoner, 44, a nursing home aide in Newport, Ky. Her daughter was graduating from high school, and she needed a few hundred dollars to pay for her cap and gown, commencement fees, a prom ticket and a dress."
jobs  flexibility  gigeconomy  precarity  economics  work  2017  income  inequality  unpredictability  stability 
june 2017 by robertogreco
How Will You Redesign Your School Over The Next Six Months?
"I was talking with architects from the AIA’s Committee for Architecture for Education last week, discussing — along with my superintendent — our school system philosophy of the intersection of space design, technology, and pedagogy. And at the end Karina Ruiz — a West Coast school designer — asked,
“But what if educators don’t have a building project right now?”

And I paused. We had been talking about our journey from opening up a few walls to building truly flexible spaces, from offering kids seating and writing choices to a move toward eliminating single-teacher classrooms, but our presentation was, indeed, geared toward building.

“Everybody always has a building project,” I finally said.

Because every school should be changing all the time. And should be changing with a purpose — moving from adult centered teaching spaces to child centered learning spaces — moving from static environments to flexible environments — moving from controlling design to inspiring design.

Every school needs a building project every year, because you don’t need contractors and bulldozers to change a school environment — you just need commitment.

So if you can’t do the expensive stuff — you can still do the effective stuff. So here are four things you can do to change your school’s space.

One: Give your kids the gift of daylight.

Walk into many classrooms and you’ll see the windowsills piled high with stuff — often adult stuff. You also may see shades or blinds pulled down.

Well, in order to maintain healthy attention kids need three things that are often in short supply in schools — fresh air, large muscle movement, and daylight. One of the easiest to fix, in many schools, is daylight.

Open those blinds and shades. If it’s not a lockdown or the sun blazing in full bore, open them and keep them open. Limit anything on the windows that obstructs the view — kids benefit from being able to see where they are on the earth.

Now clear off those windowsills. That’s not a storage spot — it’s a prime place for children. Make it easy to sit there, make it comfortable.

If you just do this in every classroom you will have rebuilt your school. Attention will go up, discipline problems will go down. Guaranteed.

Two: Get rid of teacher desks.

Or at least dramatically shrink the space teachers claim for themselves.

Listen — when I observe a classroom I really don’t look at the teacher, I watch kids, listen to kids, look for the variety of what kids are doing and how they are doing it — but — an opening ‘fail’ is walking into any classroom and seeing a teacher sitting at their teacher desk. Why would any teacher separate themselves from their students like that?

The teacher’s desk is an ugly remnant of a time when uninvolved teachers led ineffective classes, they really need to vanish. But if they cannot vanish completely, they need to become small spots used for effective one-on-one or one-on-two conversations. Storage can be in one modest-size cabinet against a wall.

If you want to increase learning space, you get rid of space used for — well, something else.

Walking a middle school a year ago with the principal we came across one classroom where the teacher had built — essentially — a tiny house, and a tiny house blocking student access to half of the room’s windows. Looking at the ceiling grid I noted that this teacher had carved out an 8x16–128 square foot living room. There was a presidential-size desk, a pseudo oriental rug, book cases, a coffee maker, and all kinds of personal images: 16% of the classroom space was walled off from kids.


That’s extreme but it’s not that unusual, and it needs to stop. Classrooms belong to children.

So get rid of teacher desks. Or at least shrink them and push them completely away from the windows. In every classroom.

Your school will see it’s learning space increase by 10%.

Three: Keep all of your classroom doors open.

Easy, right? No cost, no moving anything. But transformational.

The most obvious way to build transparency and openness into your educational environment is to open classroom doors and create the notion of ‘the commons.’ Opening doors will make your school noisier and more active. It will convert corridors from waste space to instructional space. It will allow kids who need a different kind of space to have it and yet — remain supervised.

Obviously it will do something else. The talk we gave to the architects was titled “Space that forces change — Change that forces space.” Opening doors will make your teachers change what they do. Noisier environments mean that teacher voice must change. You can’t really yell over it, you have to talk under it, and thus move away from mass instruction.

It does one more key thing — it reveals great teaching and encourages teachers who struggle to collaborate with those great teachers.

So make this an absolute rule: classroom doors stay open.

Four: Let kids sit where they want, if they want.

We have this saying, “a kid can’t walk into any classroom, kindergarten through 12th grade, and choose where, how, or if to sit — we aren’t teaching them to make decisions, which means we aren’t teaching them very much at all.”

This is important. The act of controlling seating, like the act of controlling toilet use, or food and drink, is an act which shatters the possibility of real trust between teachers and children. It’s an act which prevents children from learning how to define their own work environment (If you’d like — it’s an act that leads directly to failure in the first year of college.) It’s also an act which makes the classroom a fight, for you have created rules that work against child learning and a rule that makes no sense to kids.

So stop doing it. Eliminate the rule across the school. Focus on comfort and good choices instead of compliance. Use phrases like, “wouldn’t you be more comfortable standing up? [lying down? by the window? sitting in the hall?]” Or even, “is that space working for you?”

Another guarantee — the entire mood of your school will change.

There. Four ‘quick fixes.’ Quick but not easy. Instead of sledge hammers you’ll need full admin support and peer pressure. You’ll want to document and talk about the changes. You’ll need to see where the design needs tweaking. And most of all, you’ll need patience.

Rebuilding a school creates mess at first. Your kids will need time to learn new patterns — and learn how to make good choices. That’s why these are six month construction projects. Three months to plan and get consensus. Three more to make it work."
irasocol  2017  schools  education  change  adaptability  flexibility  schooldesign  sfsh  furniture  doors  desks  light  seating 
may 2017 by robertogreco
Unbroken | Music for Deckchairs
"Fault is the shadow thrown by the magic bean we sell as the means of clambering up to a future in which not everyone can win. This bean is something to do with making an effort, toughing it out, following the rules. Resilience, grit—we peddle all sorts of qualities demanded when the world is harsh. And I think this is why we monitor attendance as a kind of minor virtue, a practice of grit. But when we make showing up compulsory, then we have to have a system of checking it, and penalties, and some means of managing something we call “genuine” adversity, and the whole thing has to be insulated against complaint. (And if you want to know more about how this goes down, this forum is an eye-opener.)

Where I am we have a fixed tolerance for not showing up 20% of the time, which has the rat farming perverse incentive effect of causing every sensible student to calculate that they have two free tutorials they can plan to miss. And I’ve written this all over the place, so just bear with me while I haul out my soapbox one more time: we then ask students to get a GP certificate for every single additional missed class over the two free passes, which means that we are clogging up the waiting rooms and schedules of our overworked public health bulk billed GP clinics in order to sustain a rigid and penalty-driven policy that doesn’t prepare students for their professional futures, while they’re sneezing all over the really sick people around them.

(University business data divisions currently measuring every passing cloud over the campus, why not measure this? How many GP certificates for trivial illness have your attendance policies generated? How much public health time have you wasted pursuing this?)

Just quietly, I take a different approach. We talk about modelling attendance on the professional experience of attending meetings, including client meetings. If you can’t be there, you let people know in advance. If you can’t be there a lot, this will impact on your client’s confidence in you, or your manager’s sense that you are doing a good job. It may come up in performance management. Your co-workers may start to feel that you’re not showing up for them. Opportunities may dry up a bit, if people think of you as someone who won’t make a reliable contribution.

And at work there won’t always be a form, but you will need a form of words. You need to know how to talk about what you’re facing with the relevant people comfortably and in a timely way, ideally not after the fact of the missed project deliverable. If hidden challenges are affecting your participation now, you can expect some of these to show up again when you’re working. University should be the safe space to develop confidence in talking about the situation you’re in, and what helps you manage it most effectively. You need a robust understanding of your rights in law. And, sadly, you also need to understand that sometimes the human response you get will be uninformed, ungenerous or unaware of your rights, and you’ll need either to stand your ground or call for back up.

To me, this is all that’s useful about expecting attendance. It’s an opportunity for us to talk with students about showing up as a choice that may be negotiable if you know how to ask; about presence and absence as ethical practices; and about the hardest conversations about times when you just can’t, and at that point need to accept the kindness that’s shown to you, just as you would show it to others."



"To sustain compassionate workplaces, we’re going to need to do more than dashboard our moods in these simplistic ways and hurry on. We’re going to need to “sit with the rough edges of our journey”, as Kevin Gannon puts it, to understand how we each got here differently, in different states of mind, and to hold each other up with care.

This will take time."
katebowles  via:audreywatters  2017  education  absences  attendance  kindness  grit  seanmichaelmorris  lizmorrish  kevingannon  fault  compulsory  rules  incentives  unintendedconsequences  flexibility  listening  resilience  adversity  compliance  virtue  tolerance  highered  highereducation  colleges  universities  us  conversation  compassion  work 
may 2017 by robertogreco
BBC Radio 4 - FutureProofing, The Future of the Future
"Does the accelerating pace of technology change the way we think about the future?

It's said that science fiction writers now spend more time telling stories about today than about tomorrow, because the potential of existing technology to change our world is so rich that there is no need to imagine the future - it's already here. Does this mean the future is dead? Or that we are experiencing a profound shift in our understanding of what the future means to us, how it arrives, and what forces will shape it?

Presenters Timandra Harkness and Leo Johnson explore how our evolving understanding of time and the potential of technological change are transforming the way we think about the future."
future  2017  mattnovak  sciencefiction  scifi  timandraharkness  leojohnson  time  technology  learning  howwelive  change  1960s  1950s  alexanerrose  prediction  bigdata  stability  flexibility  adaptability  astroteller  googlex  longnow  longnowfoundation  uncertainty  notknowing  simulation  generativedesign  dubai  museumofthefuture  agency  lawrenceorsini  implants  douglascoupland  belllabs  infrastructure  extremepresent  sfsh  classideas  present  past  history  connectivity  internet  web  online  futurism  futures  smartphones  tv  television  refrigeration  seancarroll 
may 2017 by robertogreco
Radical Hope: A Teaching Manifesto – The Tattooed Professor
[Especially for this line: "Teaching is a radical act of hope."]

"Every summer, I take time to reflect on the academic year that was. The classes I taught, the workshops I either facilitated or attended, what I learned from failures and successes in and out of the classroom–when it comes to my teaching, I try to be a critically reflective practitioner. Directing a teaching center on my campus gives me a chance to also ground that reflection in the larger discourse about teaching and learning in higher education.

That discourse often doesn’t give one grounds for optimism; we’re continually reminded of the toll neoliberalism has exacted from higher education. Kansas, Louisiana, Wisconsin, and Illinois are only the most dramatic examples of a larger trend where higher education is a hostage to governing elites’ Randian economic fantasies. The fetishizing of “efficiencies” continues to erode faculty effectiveness, morale, and labor conditions. A narrow and misguided rhetoric of marketability and utility slowly chokes the Humanities. And, like a constant refrain above the din, we’re repeatedly told that students aren’t prepared for college, that technology makes them stupid, that none of them knows how to read or write or declaim or interact or balance a checkbook or do laundry or whatever. It’s easy, then, to slide into a sort of existential despair. Why bother teaching when it doesn’t matter? When no one cares about what you do or why you do it?

And, honestly, that’s where I was earlier this summer. It’s hard enough to cope with the challenges inherent in higher ed; coupled with the greasy dumpster fire that is our state of public affairs at the moment, it seems downright impossible. So I did what comes naturally to a historian–I went to my books, and then I wrote. Reconnecting with some of the books that have shaped me as an educator, and taking the time to write reflectively about where I think I stand, was a reminder that despite all of its problems, higher education is still a place of transformation and possibility. But it remains so only if we continually and intentionally hold it to the standards we know it should meet. And at the heart of that enterprise is what we do in the classroom. It comes down to, as it so often doefists, a conversation about teaching and learning.

In that spirit, I share here the products of my wrestling with angst and dismay, and the renewed drive it ultimately sparked.

This is my Teaching Manifesto.

If I want my students to take risks and not be afraid to fail then I need to take risks and not be afraid to fail.

It is tempting to think that “upholding disciplinary standards” is the only thing standing between us and the collapse of western civilization. It is also comically inaccurate.

Remember what Paolo Freire meant when he criticized the “banking model” of education, and take those insights to heart.

Learning cannot occur without metacognition and reflection. This applies to both us and our students.

Kids These Days are just like Kids in My Day, or Any Other Day, if we choose to remember honestly.

Our students are not us. If we merely teach to how we prefer to learn, we exclude a majority of our students.

I cannot assume my students will be able to do something that they have not been asked to do before coming to my class, and I cannot blame them for struggling with a task that’s new to them–no matter how ingrained that task is for me.

I am not the one to decide if a student is “ready for college.” That’s the student’s decision. If they’re admitted to my university and they’re in my class, I am ethically and morally obligated to give them my best.

They’re not deficiencies, they’re data points for our pedagogical decisions.

Just as students can get better at learning, I can get better at teaching. If I expect it from them, I should expect it from me.

There is a large body of scholarly research on teaching and learning. To not be conversant with at least its major findings is to commit professional malpractice.

If pedagogy and professional development are secondary priorities for you, don’t be surprised when your class is a secondary priority for your students.

It doesn’t matter how much I know if my students aren’t learning; knowledge must be used, not set up on a shelf to be admired but not touched.

Much of what we do in the classroom cannot be quantified.

And yet…“cannot be quantified” is not the same as “cannot be measured.” If we can’t demonstrate student learning, we aren’t doing it right.

Reclaim assessment for what it is meant to do: to show what our students can do as a result our classes. If we don’t tell our stories, someone else will tell them for us.

If universities truly value education, they cannot undercompensate or adjunctify the faculty and seriously claim to adhere to that commitment. As someone in a privileged academic position, I am obligated to speak this truth loudly and often.

Everyone is fighting their own battles, some on multiple fronts. Compassion and flexibility >>> being a hardass

Things whose pedagogical impact is often underestimated: empathy and humor.

Things whose pedagogical impact is often overestimated: shaming and rigidity.

When you say “rigor,” I think of corpses.

“Coverage” for coverage’s sake is where learning goes to die.

No matter what: Teaching is a radical act of hope."
pedagogy  technology  radicalism  teaching  2016  kevingannon  howwetech  why  thewhy  whyweteach  hope  rigor  empathy  humor  shaming  rigidity  flexibility  highered  highereducation  optimism  curriculum  manifestos  learning  metacognition  reflection  professionaldevelopment  content  knowledge  howwelearn  howweteach  via:audreywatters 
july 2016 by robertogreco
Databite No. 76: Neil Selwyn - live stream - YouTube
"Neil Selwyn presents (Dis)Connected Learning: the messy realities of digital schooling: In this Databite, Neil Selwyn will work through some emerging headline findings from a new three year study of digital technology use in Australian high schools. In particular Neil will highlight the ways in which schools’ actual uses of technology often contradict presumptions of ‘connected learning’, ‘digital education’ and the like. Instead Neil will consider ….

• how and why recent innovations such as maker culture, personalised learning and data-driven education are subsumed within more restrictive institutional ‘logics’;

• the tensions of ‘bring your own device’ and other permissive digital learning practices • how alternative and resistant forms of technology use by students tend to mitigate *against* educational engagement and/or learning gains;

• the ways in which digital technologies enhance (rather than disrupt) existing forms of advantage and privilege amongst groups of students;

• how the distributed nature of technology leadership and innovation throughout schools tends to restrict widespread institutional change and reform;

• the ambiguous role that digital technologies play in teachers’ work and the labor of teaching;

• the often surprising ways that technology seems to take hold throughout schools – echoing broader imperatives of accountability, surveillance and control.

The talk will provide plenty of scope to consider how technology use in schools might be ‘otherwise’, and alternate agendas to be pursued by educators, policymakers, technology developers and other stakeholders in the ed-tech space."

[via: "V interesting talk by Neil Selwyn on ed-tech and (dis)connected learning in school"
https://twitter.com/audreywatters/status/718900001271783424 ]

"the grammar of schooling"
neilselwyn  edtech  byod  via:audreywatters  logitics  technology  teaching  learning  howweteacher  power  mobile  phones  ipads  laptops  pedagogy  instruction  resistance  compliance  firewalls  making  makingdo  youth  schools  design  micromanagement  lms  application  sameoldsameold  efficiency  data  privacy  education  howweteach  regimentation  regulation  rules  flexibility  shininess  time  schooliness  assessment  engagement  evidence  resilience  knowledge  schedules  class  leadership  performativity  schooldesign  connectedlearning  surveillance  control  accountability  change  institutions  deschooling  quest2play  relationships  curriculum  monitoring  liberation  dml  liberatorytechnology  society  culture  ethnography  schooling  sorting  discipline  ipad 
april 2016 by robertogreco
Islamic art inspires stretchy, switchable materials - BBC News
"A new set of "metamaterials" has been created based on intricate, repeating patterns found in Islamic art.

Metamaterials are engineered to have properties that don't occur naturally, such as getting wider when stretched instead of just longer and thinner.

These perforated rubber sheets made by a Canadian team do just that - and then remain stable in their expanded state until they are squeezed back again.

Such designs could help make expandable stents or spacecraft components.

"In conventional materials, when you pull in one direction it will contract in other directions," said Dr Ahmad Rafsanjani, from McGill University in Montreal.

"But with 'auxetic' materials, due to their internal architecture, when you pull in one direction they expand in the lateral direction."

He was speaking to journalists at the American Physical Society's March Meeting, where the research will be presented on Wednesday.

Dr Rafsanjani's search for new designs to create such "auxeticity" found inspiration in the stonework of two 1,000-year-old tomb towers in Iran.

"When you look at Islamic motifs, there is a huge library of geometries," he said.

"On the walls of these two towers, you can find about 70 different architectures: tessellations and curlicue patterns."

Two of those patterns in particular yielded an unusual combination of properties, when Dr Rafsanjani recreated them in a simplified form using a laser cutter and rubber sheets. Not only were these sheets auxetic - expanding in all directions when stretched - but they could snap easily back and forth between stretched and unstretched states.

Rotating units

Such "bistability" is unusual in these materials, Dr Rafsanjani explained. Only a few other examples have been described, and they mostly use origami-like folding techniques.

"These designs are easier to fabricate; all you need is a laser cutter. Depending on the resolution of the laser you could downscale your samples, probably to the micro scale.

"Or you could upscale it for larger components like satellites or solar panels."

He and his colleagues also found they could tweak the properties of the sheets by, for example, changing the basis of the patterns from straight lines to curved ones.

At the heart of the materials' reversible change are small sections of the sheet that rotate as the rubber is stretched.

Rotating units like this - highlighted with colours in the images and video above - have formed the basis of many previous auxetic materials. But Dr Rafsanjani's sheets are unique in the way they snap between configurations.

"We wanted to find structures for these rotating auxetic materials, [such] that when we deform it and it expands, it keeps its deformed shape," he said."
2016  art  islam  islamicart  materials  flexibility  ahmadrafsanjani  metamaterials  auxeticity  patterns  bistability 
march 2016 by robertogreco
The Jacob’s Ladder of coding — Medium
"Anecdotes and questions about climbing up and down the ladder of abstraction: Atari, ARM, demoscene, education, creative coding, community, seeking lightness, enlightenment & strange languages"



"With only an hour or two of computer time a week, our learning and progress was largely down to intensive trial & error, daily homework and learning to code and debug with only pencil and paper, whilst trying to be the machine yourself: Playing every step through in our heads (and on paper) over and over until we were confident, the code did as we’d expect, yet, often still failing because of wrong intuitions. Learning this analytical thinking is essential to successful debugging, even today, specifically in languages / environments where no GUI debugger is available. In the late 90s, John Maeda did similar exercises at MIT Media Lab, with students role-playing different parts of a CPU or a whole computer executing a simple process. Later at college, my own CS prof too would often quote Alan Perlis:
“To understand a program you must become both the machine and the program.” — Alan Perlis

Initially we’d only be using the machine largely to just verify our ideas prepared at home (spending the majority of the time typing in/correcting numbers from paper). Through this monastic style of working, we also learned the importance of having the right tools and balance of skills within the group and were responsible to create them ourselves in order to achieve our vision. This important lesson stayed with me throughout (maybe even became) my career so far… Most projects I worked on, especially in the past 15 years, almost exclusively relied on custom-made tooling, which was as much part of the final outcome as the main deliverable to clients. Often times it even was the main deliverable. On the other hand, I’ve also had to learn the hard way that being a largely self-sufficient generalist often is undesired in the modern workplace, which frequently still encourages narrow expertise above all else…

After a few months of convincing my parents to invest all of their saved up and invaluable West-german money to purchase a piece of “Power Without the Price” (a much beloved Atari 800XL) a year before the Wall came down in Berlin, I finally gained daily access to a computer, but was still in a similar situation as before: No more hard west money left to buy a tape nor disk drive from the Intershop, I wasn’t able to save any work (apart from creating paper copies) and so the Atari was largely kept switched on until November 10, 1989, the day after the Berlin Wall was opened and I could buy an XC-12 tape recorder. I too had to choose whether to go the usual route of working with the built-in BASIC language or stick with what I’d learned/taught myself so far, Assembly… In hindsight, am glad I chose the latter, since it proved to be far more useful and transportable knowledge, even today!"



"Lesson learned: Language skills, natural and coded ones, are gateways, opening paths not just for more expression, but also to paths in life.

As is the case today, so it was back then: People tend to organize around specific technological interests, languages and platforms and then stick with them for a long time, for better or worse. Over the years I’ve been part of many such tool-based communities (chronologically: Asm, C, TurboPascal, Director, JS, Flash, Java, Processing, Clojure) and have somewhat turned into a nomad, not being able to ever find a true home in most of them. This might sound judgemental and negative, but really isn’t meant to and these travels through the land of languages and toolkits has given me much food for thought. Having slowly climbed up the ladder of abstraction and spent many years both with low & high level languages, has shown me how much each side of the spectrum can inform and learn from the other (and they really should do more so!). It’s an experience I can highly recommend to anyone attempting to better understand these machines some of us are working with for many hours a day and which impact so much of all our lives. So am extremely grateful to all the kind souls & learning encountered on the way!"



"In the vastly larger open source creative computing demographic of today, the by far biggest groups are tight-knit communities around individual frameworks and languages. There is much these platforms have achieved in terms of output, increasing overall code literacy and turning thousands of people from mere computer users into authors. This is a feat not be underestimated and a Good Thing™! Yet my issue with this siloed general state of affairs is that, apart from a few notable exceptions (especially the more recent arrivals), there’s unfortunately a) not much cross-fertilizing with fundamentally different and/or new ideas in computing going on and b) over time only incremental progress is happening, business as usual, rather than a will to continuously challenge core assumptions among these largest communities about how we talk to machines and how we can do so better. I find it truly sad that many of these popular frameworks rely only on the same old imperative programming language family, philosophy and process, which has been pre-dominant and largely unchanged for the past 30+ years, and their communities also happily avoid or actively reject alternative solutions, which might require fundamental changes to their tools, but which actually could be more suitable and/or powerful to their aims and reach. Some of these platforms have become and act as institutions in their own right and as such also tend to espouse an inward looking approach & philosophy to further cement their status (as owners or pillars?) in their field. This often includes a no-skills-neccessary, we-cater-all-problems promise to their new users, with each community re-inventing the same old wheels in their own image along the way. It’s Not-Invented-Here on a community level: A reliance on insular support ecosystems, libraries & tooling is typical, reducing overall code re-use (at least between communities sharing the same underlying language) and increasing fragmentation. More often than not these platforms equate simplicity with ease (go watch Rich Hickey taking this argument eloquently apart!). The popular prioritization of no pre-requisite knowledge, super shallow learning curves and quick results eventually becomes the main obstacle to later achieve systemic changes, not just in these tools themselves, but also for (creative) coding as discipline at large. Bloatware emerges. Please do forgive if that all sounds harsh, but I simply do believe we can do better!

Every time I talk with others about this topic, I can’t help but think about Snow Crash’s idea of “Language is a virus”. I sometimes do wonder what makes us modern humans, especially those working with computing technology, so fundamentalist and brand-loyal to these often flawed platforms we happen to use? Is it really that we believe there’s no better way? Are we really always only pressed for time? Are we mostly content with Good Enough? Are we just doing what everyone else seems to be doing? Is it status anxiety, a feeling we have to use X to make a living? Are we afraid of unlearning? Is it that learning tech/coding is (still) too hard, too much of an effort, which can only be justified a few times per lifetime? For people who have been in the game long enough and maybe made a name for themselves in their community, is it pride, sentimentality or fear of becoming a complete beginner again? Is it maybe a sign that the way we teach computing and focus on concrete tools too early in order to obtain quick, unrealistically complex results, rather than fundamental (“boring”) knowledge, which is somewhat flawed? Is it our addiction to largely focus on things we can document/celebrate every minor learning step as an achievement in public? This is no stab at educators — much of this systemic behavior is driven by the sheer explosion of (too often similar) choices, demands made by students and policy makers. But I do think we should ask ourselves these questions more often."

[author's tweet: https://twitter.com/toxi/status/676578816572067840 ]
coding  via:tealtan  2015  abstraction  demoscene  education  creativecoding  math  mathematics  howwelearn  typography  design  dennocoil  alanperlis  johnmaeda  criticalthinking  analyticalthinking  basic  programming  assembly  hexcode  georgedyson  computing  computers  atari  amiga  commodore  sinclair  identity  opensource  insularity  simplicity  ease  language  languages  community  communities  processing  flexibility  unschooling  deschooling  pedagogy  teaching  howweteach  understanding  bottomup  topdown  karstenschmidt 
december 2015 by robertogreco
The world wants more 'porous' cities – so why don't we build them? | Cities | The Guardian
"People of all classes, races and religions come and go in intense and complex Nehru Place. But while Delhi’s electronics market is every urbanist’s dream, it is not the sort of space most cities are building"



"Recently I tried to buy an iPhone in Nehru Place, an open-air electronics market in Delhi where goods that “happen to fall off a truck” are sold for 30%, 40% or 70% discounts – whatever cash you have handy. My iPhone turned out to a damaged dud, but I didn’t really care; the experience of going to Nehru Place was eye-opening. It’s a completely porous spot in the city, people of all castes, classes, races and religions coming and going, doing deals or gossiping about the small tech start-ups in the low offices which line the square; you can also worship at a small shrine if you’re so minded, or find a sari, or just lounge about drinking tea.

Nehru Place is every urbanist’s dream: intense, mixed, complex. If it’s the sort of place we want to make, it’s not the sort of space most cities are building. Instead, the dominant forms of urban growth are mono-functional, like shopping centres where you are welcome to shop but there’s no place to pray. These sorts of places tend to be isolated in space, as in the offices “campuses” built on the edge of cities, or towers in a city’s centre which, as in London’s current crop of architectural monsters, are sealed off at the base from their surroundings. It’s not just evil developers who want things this way: according to Setha Low, the most popular form of residential housing, world-wide, is the gated community.

Is it worth trying to turn the dream of the porous city into a pervasive reality? I wondered in Nehru Place about the social side of this question, since Indian cities have been swept from time to time by waves of ethnic and religious violence. Could porous places tamp down that threat, by mixing people together in everyday activities? Evidence from western cities answers both yes and no.

In Dresden, last year’s Pegida demonstrations against the Muslim presence in Germany turned out to be by people who don’t live anywhere near Muslims in the city; indeed, who know no Muslims. There again, in a study of several US cities, the American social scientist Robert Putnam’s researchers found that the farther away white Americans live from African Americans, the more tolerant they become.

Against this latter logic of separation stands Paris. The Islamic banlieus of Paris are separated from the centre by the ceinture, the ever-clogged ring-road around the inner city; so, too, in Brussel’s Molenbeek district, from which many terrorists come, is a disconnected island space. As the sociologist Willlaim Julius Wilson has shown, such physical islands breed an inward-looking mentality in which fantasy about others takes the place of fact bred of actual contact – as true, Wilson argues, of the black ghetto as it is of Christian Pegida.

I am uncomfortable about debates over separation and inclusion which move almost seamlessly to citing violent, extreme behaviour as evidence for or against. Which is why Nehru Place is a better example to think about this issue than Molenbeek. Everyday people are going about their business with others unlike themselves, people they don’t know or perhaps don’t like. There is what might be called the democracy of crime here, as Hindus and Muslims both sell illegal electronics; a wave of violence would clear off customers for both. Getting along in this way isn’t particular to India, or to open-air markets. Numerous studies show that in offices or factories that adults of different religions and races work perfectly well together, and the reason is not far to seek.

Work is not about affirming your identity; it’s about getting things done. The complexity of city life tends, in fact, to breed many identities for its citizens as workers, but also as spectators at sports events, as parents concerned about schooling or patients suffering from NHS cuts. Urban identities are porous in the sense that we are going in and out of lots of different experiences, in different places, with people we don’t know, in the course of a day. When pundits opine on the difficulty of difference, they flatten identity into a single image, just one experience. The modern economy can flatten identity when it sells people on the idea that gated, homogeneous communities are safe, (not true in fact), builds shopping centres only for shopping, or constructs office campuses and towers whose workers are sealed off from the city.

If the public comes to demand it, urbanists can easily design a porous city on the model of Nehru Place; indeed, many of the architects and planners at the Urban Age events now unfolding in London have made proposals to “porosify” the city. Like Nehru Place, these larger visions entail opening up and blurring the edges of spaces so that people are drawn in rather than repulsed; they emphasise true mixed use of public and private functions, schools and clinics amid Tesco or Pret; they explore the making of loose-fit spaces which can shift in shape as people’s lives change.

I don’t believe in design determinism, but I do believe that the physical environment should nurture the complexity of identity. That’s an abstract way to say that we know how to make the porous city; the time has come to make it."
cities  richardsennett  2015  urban  urbanism  porosity  nehruplace  delhi  india  complexity  sethalow  dresden  roberputnam  sociology  paris  brussels  molenbeek  williamjuliuswilson  christianpegida  race  religion  design  urbandesign  london  publicspace  flexibility  change  adaptability  crosspollination  diversity  markets  community 
november 2015 by robertogreco
CURMUDGUCATION: The Graduation Rate
"The problem with the four-year graduation rate is the same as with many other reformy measures-- it can't be easily fixed by legitimate means, it doesn't count circumstances that really are wins (see above examples), and it carries high stakes for the individual schools. Put it all together, and you have a high motivation to fudge, game, and cheat the system.

We really-- REALLY-- need a conversation about why, exactly, we believe that someone who takes five (or even six) years to successfully complete high school is a problem or a failure. Why is it so crucial that students graduate by a certain timetable-- and why is that actually MORE important than whether they graduate with a full education or not?

Let's keep counting the graduates, but let's stop counting the years."
graduationrate  2015  education  highschool  policy  schools  flexibility  petergreene 
june 2015 by robertogreco
Fred Moten - A look at Duke's preeminent poet | The Chronicle
"“It’s very difficult when your role models are Shakespeare and Milton,” he said. “Everyone has to come terms at some point with the fact that you’re not going to live up to that—and then you just keep going or you don’t.” What do you think?

He did, and although he may not be Shakespeare, Moten has had his own bit of success in the contemporary poetry world. Last year, the Poetry Society of America chose him as one of 16 poets honored for an outstanding first book of poetry, and published one of his poems, “Rock the Party, Fuck the Smackdown” in the literary journal A Public Space. PSA Programs Director Rob Caspar said Moten caught the group’s eyes—and ears—with poetry that was experimental and “radically lyric.” What do you think?

“There’s song and voice, at the heart of his work,” Caspar said, “but it’s a new and complex song, and a voice that probes and pushes as much as it celebrates.”What do you think?

As for how he thinks of his own writing, Moten explained to the literary journal Callaloo that he doesn’t see poems as neatly wrapped ideas or images. Instead, he believes that “poetry is what happens…on the outskirts of sense.”What do you think?

This unorthodox approach to writing extends beyond Moten’s own projects, spilling over into his teaching philosophy. In a Fred Moten English class, a standard essay on a piece of literature might be replaced by a sound collage or a piece of creative writing reacting to the reading. It’s an attempt, he said, to get his students to write like they actually want to write—not the way they think they need to for a class. What do you think?

“School makes it so that you write to show evidence of having done some work, so that you can be properly evaluated and tracked,” he said. “To me that degrades writing, so I’m trying to figure out how to detach the importance of writing from these structures of evaluation.” What do you think?

Second year English Ph.D student Damien Adia-Marassa said this means that Moten’s classes are never the same. Last Spring, Marassa worked as a “teaching apprentice” in one of Moten’s undergraduate courses, “Experimental Black Poetry,” for which he said there was never a fixed syllabus. What do you think?

“He just told us the texts he wanted to study and invited us all to participate in thinking about how we might study them,” Marassa said. What do you think?

But is Professor Moten ever worried that students will take advantage of his flexibility with structure and content? What do you think?

Actually, he said, he doesn’t care if students take his courses because they think they will be easy. What do you think?

“I think it’s good to find things in your life that are easy for you,” he said. “If someone signs up for my class because they think it will come naturally to them and it won’t be something they have to agonize over, those are all good things in my book.”What do you think?

In the Spring, Moten will switch gears as a professor, teaching his first creative writing course since arriving at Duke—Introduction to Writing Poetry. But whatever the course title may imply, he won’t be trying to teach his students how to write, he said. Instead, he hops they’ll come away from his class better at noticing the world around them. What do you think?

And he hopes to teach them to that, in order to write, you first have to fiercely love to read. That’s a skill he learned a long time ago, out in the flat Nevada desert, when he first picked up a book of poems and started to read, not knowing where it would take him. "
fredmoten  poetry  writing  teaching  howeteach  classideas  creativewriting  2010  noticing  observation  flexibility  teachingwriting  howweteach  school  education  structure  thinking  howwethink  sense  sensemaking  literature  pedagogy  evaluation  tracking 
may 2015 by robertogreco
PICTURES - marclafia
"With these new works I want to re-imagine, reinvent time, to see it as a physical dimension, to create an object of the image, that doesn't obliterate it, but teases out its trajectories and brings it back from its overexposure in its continual transmission. Of course the image will never exhaust itself in its repetition but become so domesticated that all its initial charge is gone. How then to see these familiar pictures but to rework them and make them new again with other pictures.

With the use of perspective and lenses long before photography, western picture making, not unlike genres of movies were pretty stable. There were the genres of History, Landscape, Portraiture and Still Life. Picture and picture making was regulated by the church then academies and the discourse around them narrow. It was this controlled discourse, this decorum of the picture and its reception that artists worked against that created occasional shocks and outrage.

My first interest was in History paintings but over time it became the history of painting and with that the history of photography, and I suppose a history of image. I had always been taken by Manet's Execution of Maximilian and only learned at the outset of my project that what Manet had created and abandoned as a painting was also an event that was photographed. Manet's cool and dispassionate take on the event contrasted with Goya's painting Third of May and Goya was in conversation with Rubens and Rubens, Leonardo.

Pictures have often, if not always, been about and in conversation with other pictures. This led me to think of pictures in their many modes and many genres across time and to want to create conversations amongst and between them. I began to imagine new images, to see new things, new thoughts often times by simply placing one image on another, or layering images and cutting them out. These new pictures pointed to things sometimes difficult to discern but there was always a something.

Images in their traces, in their histories, carry forward their techniques, their textures, their surfaces and armatures, their politics. They enfold the world they come from and in conversation I imagined they could present new worlds.

Where images once were the preserve of national archives, ubiquitous digital transmission today is global and each of us has become our own archivists. As to what is, and is not in the archives, and there are a host of them, from a wide variety of transnational corporate search engines and social network services, that is something to discuss elsewhere.

To see these images, to sense their thoughts, we have to look at them with other images. we have to engage them in conversation, in the conversation of images.

All images and sounds are code. As code, they are fluid, viral, infectious, malleable, erasable, moving easily in and out of a wide variety of indifferent contexts.

My interest lies less in photographing reality, and instead focuses on portraying the realities of photography and imaging in the regime of the network, as the world is a network of relations and the network is both a camera and archive, an apparatus of image exchange and circulation.

I want to be clear that when I say picture it may be a mathematical formula, a musical score, a line of code, each of them is a picture. Our capacity to produce Pictures is our capacity to think outside and beyond the present, to go backwards and forwards in time."

[via: https://twitter.com/MrZiebarth/status/593488088183283712 ]
marclafia  networks  internet  archives  cameras  pictures  images  imagery  2015  present  past  atemporality  history  conversation  web  online  time  memory  transmission  paintings  code  fluidity  virality  flexibility  erasability  context  exchange  communication  remixing  remixculture  socialmedia  socialnetworking  socialnetworks  arthistory 
april 2015 by robertogreco
The Atlantic Redesigns TheAtlantic.com - The Atlantic
"We've redesigned TheAtlantic.com. What do you think?

From the beginning of the project, we've had the fundamental question in mind of what this site is—which is to say, both what it's become (as regular readers know, a lot's changed here over time) and what we want it to be. Is it the website of a magazine? Is it a news site? Is it, as James Franco possibly once suggested, a blog?

The answers, we recognized, are all in one way or another yes. But we figured we'd try a thought experiment: What if we described TheAtlantic.com as a direct, dynamic, digital extension of our core identity in journalism—as a real-time magazine?

That seemed to us both authentic and aspirational: an idea that captured what The Atlantic has been doing in new media for years and a framework that could bring the right focus to rebuilding TheAtlantic.com now.

So here's what we did:

We created a site that makes a new priority of visual presentation, that offers a cleaner reading experience across digital devices, and that gives us the flexibility we need, both in our articles and on our homepage, to join the speed and urgency of the web with the noise-cutting and impact that have always been central to The Atlantic's ambitions.

The new homepage is composed of full-width modules each representing either one big story or a constellation of connected stories. We can move these modules up or down the page, allowing us, among other freedoms, alternately to lead with the urgency of our news coverage or the impact of a big feature, according to the needs of the moment.

It also allows us to give full play to the same urgency and impact beyond the top of the page. As you return to the site, you'll find different homepage modules in different orders with different kinds of stories in different combinations. What you won't find, we hope, is the impression of diminishing importance as you scroll down.

Neither should you find yourself disoriented. So rather than placing stories arbitrarily adjacent to one another, we're using each of these modules to display a single story or a group of stories that are in some way related. This approach is inspired by the emergent logics of scrolling and swiping in mobile media: The vertical axis of the homepage represents a logic of exploration (scrolling); the horizontal axis, a logic of connection (swiping). A good magazine should, after all, help us keep our bearings.

Our new article pages are likewise more visually engaging and flexible. We're using larger images, and better image integration, with a fuller range of options for bigger feature stories, as well as more controlled templates for quicker hits, which we'll sometimes need as The Atlantic moves fast in trying to make sense of a rapidly changing world.

We've thought about the logics of exploration and connection on the article pages too: Next to our stories (horizontally), you'll find links to related articles; below the stories (vertically), you'll find links to normally unrelated articles, or for that matter photo essays or videos, currently popular on the site.

Maybe most conspicuously, across TheAtlantic.com, we've replaced our old nameplate and navigation bar with a simple new flag bearing our logo, options to subscribe or search the site, and an expandable menu. This treatment is influenced by the way the logo is set on our monthly covers; the minimalistic integration of the subscription, search, and navigation functions is based both on extensive user testing and our guiding dedication to keeping signals high, and noise low, around our brand and our work.

Oh, and the typefaces are new. Hawk-eyed readers will recognize the display and text fonts, both Lyon, as the same ones we use in print."
theatlantic  digital  2015  publications  magazines  news  jounalism  webdev  design  presentation  flexibility  typography  fonts  urgency  impact  reading  howweread  blogs  jjgould  webdesign 
april 2015 by robertogreco
The Future is Learning, But What About Schooling? | Higher Ed Beta @insidehighered
"I am, in short, moving away from my earlier conviction that schooling is learning enacted for public purposes through public institutions, and moving toward a broader vision for learning as a social activity upon which society depends for its future development. I am increasingly aware that the weight of politics and public policy upon the institutions of schooling is making schools less and less likely to be the privileged place where learning occurs in the future.

The future of learning in society is virtually unlimited, at least for the foreseeable future. Learning is the conversion of information into knowledge; information, in the digital age has become a vast sea of ones and zeros; information becomes knowledge by passing through some medium that transforms the ones and zeros into a conceptually organized form.

In the past, we have thought of this transformation as a single authoritative portal, called schooling. The advent of digital culture means that this portal is now one among many possible places, virtual and physical, where information can become knowledge. The type of knowledge and skill required to negotiate this increasingly complex world is completely different from what schools have conventionally done, and schools are institutionally disadvantaged as players in this new world, in large part because of the well-intentioned efforts of school reformers.

While learning has largely escaped the boundaries of institutionalized schooling, educational reformers have for the past thirty years or so deliberately and systematically engaged in public policy choices that make schools less and less capable of responding to the movement of learning into society at large.

Standards and expectations have become more and more literal and highly prescriptive in an age where human beings will be exercising more and more choice over what and how they will learn.

Testing and assessment practices have become more and more conventional and narrow as the range of competencies required to negotiate digital culture has become more complex and highly variegated.

Teacher preparation, hiring, induction, and evaluation practices have become more and more rigid and hierarchical in an age where the teaching function is migrating out into a more individualized and tailored set of learning environments.

We are continuing to invest massively in hard-boundary physical structures in an age where learning is moving into mobile, flexible, and networked relationships. In other words, it would be hard to imagine an institutional structure for learning that is less suited for the future than the heavily institutionalized, hierarchical world that education reformers have constructed."

[via: http://willrichardson.com/post/107596923875/oh-the-irony ]
richardelmore  2015  education  learning  howweteach  unschooling  dechooling  schooliness  edreform  netwrokedlearning  policy  standards  standardization  expectations  evaluation  hierarchy  schooling  decentralization  obsolescence  irrelevance  bureaucracy  knowledge  information  schoolreform  institutions  institutionalization  publicschools  society  scriptedlearning  testing  assessment  hiring  flexibility  mobility  experience  leadership  politics 
february 2015 by robertogreco
What We Can Learn from Homeschooling - Hybrid Pedagogy
"I explain all of this not to suggest that homeschooling creates prodigies. It doesn’t, although some homeschoolers are advanced students. My daughter is a regular, bright kid who is flourishing because she has had the opportunity to follow a personal educational path with guidance and participation from the adults in her life. She has had the opportunity to work several grades ahead in her areas of strength and take her time with math, ultimately winding up ahead there, too. In addition, she has far more options for elective study. When I was in high school, I had to choose between orchestra and chorus. There wasn’t time for both. Using free or low-cost resources, my daughter has been able to pursue subjects that are important to her: art, music, computer programming, creating videos, writing novels, and reading — lots and lots of reading. She earns PE credit by taking karate classes, where she is always working towards the next goal of a tournament or belt test. Offering a selection of electives that aren’t necessarily offered by the school, and allowing students to choose several of them would either be impossible in or highly disruptive to the current system. Most kids in traditional school are riding atop an educational super tanker, huge, powerful, and slow to stop or change course, but because we can work outside that system, we’ve been able to speed around on a jet ski.

Let me clarify that I am not using personal learning to mean “personalized learning,” the theory advocating adaptive learning as a panacea for the efficiency problems seen in educating children. Education is a messy process. Like human history itself, it’s not linear but iterative, and we need to pay attention to where each child is on that somewhat unpredictable journey. I am an educational technology advocate who would agree that adaptive learning software is good (even fun) for learning certain things, and technology, used thoughtfully, is a tremendous tool in the hands of practiced educators. However, I would also assert that personal learning ultimately prioritizes human relationships, both faculty/student and students/peers. As in the case of my daughter’s math class, using telecommuting technologies may simply allow us to extend our network of faculty and peers beyond geographical constraints.

If we build this kind of flexibility with accountability into the curriculum, will teaching look different? Yes, and in many ways it will be more difficult. It will require working one on one with students in a very intense way. The hours may be longer, the scheduling different, and more will be expected in terms of collaboration, preparation, and continuing professional development. Finally, because such highly qualified professionals will require more compensation, they may be working with larger class sizes. That’s not ideal, just realistic. I suggest, though, that being an educator in this sort of environment will also be infinitely more rewarding. When educators become facilitators or even, as Chris Friend and Sean Michael Morris argue, “lab managers,” the student truly moves to the center of his or her own learning. If we prepare them, over time, to take control of that learning, then even when some require additional help, students are more likely to thrive."



"The University of Pennsylvania admissions page welcomes homeschooled applicants as “academically talented and often courageous pioneers who chart non-conventional academic paths.” The University of Arizona has a dedicated recruiter for homeschooled students, just as they do for each county in the state. MIT claims that they have long accepted homeschooled students, who become “successful and vibrant members of our community.” If the point of an education is to foster the kind of “intellectual vitality” noted by Reider in his search for Stanford University applicants, why wouldn’t we take what we’ve learned from homeschooling successes and apply it to the education of all our students? Forget iPads. Students need what homeschooling offers: autonomy, versatility, and freedom — in other words, jet skis."
melanieborrego  education  srg  edg  glvo  unschooling  deschooling  learning  colleges  universities  admissions  2015  chrisfriend  seanmichaelmorris  autonomy  homeschool  versitality  freedom  howwelearn  howweteach  messiness  relationships  personalization  personalizedlearning  personallearning  flexibility  johnholt  stanford  ucriverside  mit  penn  leifnelson  finland 
january 2015 by robertogreco
- Design school X is the genome. It has the...
"“Design school X is the genome.

It has the design to train any kind of educator, an enzyme, to fill a particular need, to be well matched to any particular learner.

When you plug in X for a specific city, a specific set of contexts, that is the equivalent to picking a cell type. The genome swings into action, by activating certain genes, choosing which catalysts to bring into the mix, hiring and training certain educators, and suppressing other genes that are not needed. The right mix of catalysts will make for a healthy, loving cell.

To keep it healthy and loving, the genome is flexible, and can choose which genes to activate or suppress as time passes, even though the genome itself doesn’t change.

The genome can be used to create a distributed system as well, of small storefronts throughout a city, activating genes that encode for catalysts that facilitate communication across the living system. These genes might encode for signaling molecules or hormones, that pass between storefronts, and keep the whole system healthy, as well as antibodies that can be on the lookout for what might be disrupting the health of the whole community.”

— Dr. Anton Krukowski, Scientist, teacher, musian, DSX Catalyst"
designschoolx  schools  schooldesign  2015  davidclifford  antonkrukowski  adaptability  education  lcproject  openstudioproject  teaching  learning  local  networkedlearning  networks  modeling  prototyping  systemsthinking  systems  community  communities  flexibility  enzymes 
january 2015 by robertogreco
DavidJohnstonCEO/DecentralizedApplications · GitHub
"A new model for building successful and massively scalable applications is emerging. Bitcoin led the way with its open-source, peer-to-peer nature, cryptographically-stored records (block chain), and limited number of tokens that power the use of its features. Several applications are adopting the Bitcoin model in order to succeed. BitShares, Mastercoin and Open Garden are just a few of those “decentralized applications” that use a variety of methods to operate. Some use their own block chain (BitShares), some use existing block chains and issue their own tokens (Master Protocol and Mastercoin), and others operate at two layers above an existing block chain and issue their own tokens (OpenGarden).

This paper describes why decentralized applications have the potential to be immensely successful, how the different types of decentralized applications can be classified, and introduces terminology that aims to be accurate and helpful to the community. Finally, this paper postulates that these decentralized applications will some day surpass the world’s largest software corporations in utility, user-base, and network valuation due to their superior incentivization structure, flexibility, transparency, resiliency, and distributed nature."
currencies  decentralization  bitcoin  flexibility  transparency  resiliency  distributed  2014  davidjohnston  samonatyilmaz  jeremykandah  nikosbentenitis  farzadhashemi  rongross  shawnwilkinson  stevenmason 
december 2014 by robertogreco
I Drank a Cup of Hot Coffee That Was Overnighted Across the Country - Robinson Meyer - The Atlantic
"Normcore moves away from a coolness that relies on difference to a post-authenticity coolness that opts in to sameness. But instead of appropriating an aestheticized version of the mainstream, it just cops to the situation at hand. To be truly Normcore, you need to understand that there’s no such thing as normal. […]

Normcore seeks the freedom that comes with non-exclusivity. It finds liberation in being nothing special, and realizes that adaptability leads to belonging."

[quote from: http://khole.net/issues/youth-mode/ ]
k-hole  normcore  liberation  freedom  adaptability  flexibility  nomadism  nomads  appropriation  codeswitching  authenticity  mainstream  exclusivity  youth  generations  internet  specialness  openmindedness 
july 2014 by robertogreco
Why the Landline Telephone Was the Perfect Tool - Suzanne Fischer - The Atlantic
"Illich's achievement was a reframing of human relationships to systems and society, in everyday, accessible language. He advocated for the reintegration of community decisionmaking and personal autonomy into all the systems that had become oppressive: school, work, law, religion, technology, medicine, economics. His ideas were influential for 1970s technologists and the appropriate technology movement -- can they be useful today?

In 1971, Illich published what is still his most famous book, Deschooling Society. He argued that the commodification and specialization of learning had created a harmful education system that had become an end in itself. In other words, "the right to learn is curtailed by the obligation to attend school." For Illich, language often pointed to how toxic ideas had poisoned the ways we relate to each other. "I want to learn," he said, had been transmuted by industrial capitalism into "I want to get an education," transforming a basic human need for learning into something transactional and coercive. He proposed a restructuring of schooling, replacing the manipulative system of qualifications with self-determined, community-supported, hands-on learning. One of his suggestions was for "learning webs," where a computer could help match up learners and those who had knowledge to share. This skillshare model was popular in many radical communities.

With Tools for Conviviality (1973), Illich extended his analysis of education to a broader critique of the technologies of Western capitalism. The major inflection point in the history of technology, he asserts, is when, in the life of each tool or system, the means overtake the ends. "Tools can rule men sooner than they expect; the plow makes man the lord of the garden but also the refugee from the dust bowl." Often this effect is accompanied by the rise in power of a managerial class of experts; Illich saw technocracy as a step toward fascism. Tools for Conviviality points out the ways in which a helpful tool can evolve into a destructive one, and offers suggestions for how communities can escape the trap.

So what makes a tool "convivial?" For Illich, "tools foster conviviality to the extent to which they can be easily used, by anybody, as often or as seldom as desired, for the accomplishment of a purpose chosen by the user." That is, convivial technologies are accessible, flexible, and noncoercive. Many tools are neutral, but some promote conviviality and some choke it off. Hand tools, for Illich, are neutral. Illich offers the telephone as an example of a tool that is "structurally convivial" (remember, this is in the days of the ubiquitous public pay phone): anyone who can afford a coin can use it to say whatever they want. "The telephone lets anybody say what he wants to the person of his choice; he can conduct business, express love, or pick a quarrel. It is impossible for bureaucrats to define what people say to each other on the phone, even though they can interfere with -- or protect -- the privacy of their exchange."

A "manipulatory" tool, on the other hand, blocks off other choices. The automobile and the highway system it spawned are, for Illich, prime examples of this process. Licensure systems that devalue people who have not received them, such as compulsory schooling, are another example. But these kinds of tools, that is, large-scale industrial production, would not be prohibited in a convivial society. "What is fundamental to a convivial society is not the total absence of manipulative institutions and addictive goods and services, but the balance between those tools which create the specific demands they are specialized to satisfy and those complementary, enabling tools which foster self-realization."

To foster convivial tools, Illich proposes a program of research with "two major tasks: to provide guidelines for detecting the incipient stages of murderous logic in a tool; and to devise tools and tool systems that optimize the balance of life, thereby maximizing liberty for all." He also suggests that pioneers of a convivial society work through the legal and political systems and reclaim them for justice. Change is possible, Illich argues. There are decision points. We cannot abdicate our right to self-determination, and to decide how far is far enough. "The crisis I have described," says Illich, "confronts people with a choice between convivial tools and being crushed by machines."

Illich's ideas on technology, like his ideas on schooling, were influential among those who spent the 1970s thinking that we might be on the cusp of another world. Some of those utopians included early computer innovators, who saw the culture of sharing, self-determination, and DIY that they lived as something that should be baked into tools.

Computing pioneer Lee Felsenstein has spoken about the direct influence Tools for Conviviality on his work. For him, Illich's description of radio as a convivial tool in Central America was a model for computer development: "The technology itself was sufficiently inviting and accessible to them that it catalyzed their inherent tendencies to learn. In other words, if you tried to mess around with it, it didn't just burn out right away. The tube might overheat, but it would survive and give you some warning that you had done something wrong. The possible set of interactions, between the person who was trying to discover the secrets of the technology and the technology itself, was quite different from the standard industrial interactive model, which could be summed up as 'If you do the wrong thing, this will break, and God help you.' ... And this showed me the direction to go in. You could do the same thing with computers as far as I was concerned." Felsenstein described the first meeting of the legendary Homebrew Computer Club, where 30 or so people tried to understand the Altair together, as "the moment at which the personal computer became a convivial technology."

In 1978, Valentina Borremans of CIDOC prepared a Reference Guide to Convivial Tools. This guide to resources listed many of the new ideas in 1970s appropriate technology -- food self-sufficiency, earth-friendly home construction, new energy sources. But our contemporary convivial tools are mostly in the realm of communications. At their best, personal computers, the web, mobile technology, the open source movement, and the maker movement are contemporary convivial tools. What other convivial technologies do we use today? What tools do we need to make more convivial? Ivan Illich would exhort us to think carefully about the tools we use and what kind of world they are making."
ivanillich  2012  suzannefischer  technology  technogracy  conviviality  unschooling  deschoooling  education  philosophy  history  society  valentinaborremans  leefelsenstein  telephone  landlines  radio  self-determination  diy  grassroots  democracy  computing  computers  internet  web  tools  justice  flexibility  coercion  schools  schooling  openstudioproject  lcproject  learningwebs  credentials  credentialism  learning  howwelearn  commodification  business  capitalism  toolsforconviviality 
july 2014 by robertogreco
Mark Allen Artist Lecture on Vimeo
"The LA Times writes that Mark Allen is “Nikola Tesla by way of P.T. Barnum, with a dash of ‘The Anarchist Cookbook.’” Come hear a talk by Machine Project founder Mark Allen at the Frank-Ratchye STUDIO for Creative Inquiry: Step right up!

Mark Allen is an artist, educator and curator based in Los Angeles. He is the founder and executive director of Machine Project, a non-profit performance and installation space investigating art, technology, natural history, science, music, literature, and food in an informal storefront in the Echo Park neighborhood of Los Angeles. Machine Project also operates as a loose confederacy of artists producing shows at locations ranging from beaches to museums to parking lots. Under his direction Machine has produced shows with the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Denver, the Contemporary Art Museum St Louis, and the Walker Museum in Minneapolis. He has produced over 500 events in Los Angeles at the Machine Project storefront space, and recently concluded a year long artist residency addressing topics of public engagement at the Hammer Museum.

Machine Project events emphasize intersections between fields and practices, particularly where the arts and sciences meet. In a 2006 LA Weekly article, writer Gendy Alimurung described Machine Project as, “Nikola Tesla by way of P.T. Barnum, with a dash of ‘The Anarchist Cookbook.’ “[2] Machine Project facilitates conversations between poets, technicians, artists, scientists, and obscure hobbyists and supports work that arises out of unusual combinations of interests. Past activities have included urban plant foraging and needlepoint therapy based on classic oil paintings. Machine Project prioritizes accessibility, explicitly courting amateur practitioners and curious locals. Workshops are regularly offered in sewing electronics, soldering, Arduino and Processing for artists.

In addition to weekly events held in the storefront gallery space in Echo Park, Machine Project operates as a gathering place for local and visiting artists to produce shows at various cultural institutions and events in Los Angeles. Frequent collaborators include Brody Condon, Liz Glynn, Kamau Patton, Corey Fogel, Jason Torchinsky, Chris Kallmyer, and Adam Overton. Machine Project has curated performances at the Glow Festival at Santa Monica Pier and at several art museums. Through their Artist in Residence program, Machine Project invites previous collaborators to develop larger projects that generally include a pedagogical element in addition to performances and exhibitions.

This lecture is co-sponsored by the Frank-Ratchye STUDIO for Creative Inquiry and the CMU School of Art."
markallen  collaboration  participatoryart  2013  poetry  art  lcproject  openstudioproject  capitalism  machineproject  events  learning  education  museums  howwelearn  arts  audience  process  howwework  experimentation  gender  curiosity  identity  titles  ambiguity  adaptability  makerspaces  hackerspaces  community  communitycenters  collectives  horizontality  organizations  flexibility  accessibility  humor  riskaversion  risk  institutions  failure  risktaking  curation 
july 2014 by robertogreco
Pasta & Portfolios: Assign tasks, not tools | Principal Interest
"A recent sojourn into the wonderful world of portfolio process design has convinced me that we need to increasingly, in our schools, assign tasks - not tools. Underneath the structures of portfolios (the ‘document’) and student led conferences (the ‘conversation’), we want deep reflection on both learning and self-as-learner, the real purpose.

Any extraneous restriction/imposition, not serving the purpose that supports that reflection forms a superfluous distraction, generating an artificial focus, potentially (but not necessarily) diminishing focus on what really matters the most.

When I make pasta for friends or family, the purpose is to create  an experience – not a dinner set or a specifically shaped piece of flour & egg. If I spent too much time worrying about what bowls someone told me to use or how thick someone told me to make each strand, it could potentially (but not necessarily) detract from the ‘dining experience’ – the real purpose.

It seems that when students are creating that ‘reflective experience’, allowing them to choose their own paths, as much as possible, would allow them to retain a focus on this real purpose.  Choose the bowl yourself - one that suits your purpose. There are lots of bowls out there."
portfolios  teaching  learning  howweteach  howwelearn  containers  bowls  tasks  tools  damianrentoule  reflection  2014  flexibility  purpose  conversation 
may 2014 by robertogreco
The Death of American Universities | Jacobin
"The idea is to divide society into two groups. One group is sometimes called the “plutonomy” (a term used by Citibank when they were advising their investors on where to invest their funds), the top sector of wealth, globally but concentrated mostly in places like the United States. The other group, the rest of the population, is a “precariat,” living a precarious existence.

This idea is sometimes made quite overt. So when Alan Greenspan was testifying before Congress in 1997 on the marvels of the economy he was running, he said straight out that one of the bases for its economic success was imposing what he called “greater worker insecurity.” If workers are more insecure, that’s very “healthy” for the society, because if workers are insecure they won’t ask for wages, they won’t go on strike, they won’t call for benefits; they’ll serve the masters gladly and passively. And that’s optimal for corporations’ economic health.

At the time, everyone regarded Greenspan’s comment as very reasonable, judging by the lack of reaction and the great acclaim he enjoyed. Well, transfer that to the universities: how do you ensure “greater worker insecurity”? Crucially, by not guaranteeing employment, by keeping people hanging on a limb than can be sawed off at any time, so that they’d better shut up, take tiny salaries, and do their work; and if they get the gift of being allowed to serve under miserable conditions for another year, they should welcome it and not ask for any more.

That’s the way you keep societies efficient and healthy from the point of view of the corporations. And as universities move towards a corporate business model, precarity is exactly what is being imposed. And we’ll see more and more of it.

That’s one aspect, but there are other aspects which are also quite familiar from private industry, namely a large increase in layers of administration and bureaucracy. If you have to control people, you have to have an administrative force that does it. So in US industry even more than elsewhere, there’s layer after layer of management — a kind of economic waste, but useful for control and domination."



So the university imposes costs on students and on faculty who are not only untenured but are maintained on a path that guarantees that they will have no security. All of this is perfectly natural within corporate business models. It’s harmful to education, but education is not their goal.

In fact, if you look back farther, it goes even deeper than that. If you go back to the early 1970s when a lot of this began, there was a lot of concern pretty much across the political spectrum over the activism of the 1960s; it’s commonly called “the time of troubles.” It was a “time of troubles” because the country was getting civilized, and that’s dangerous. People were becoming politically engaged and were trying to gain rights for groups that are called “special interests,” like women, working people, farmers, the young, the old, and so on. That led to a serious backlash, which was pretty overt.



And another technique of indoctrination is to cut back faculty-student contact: large classes, temporary teachers who are overburdened, who can barely survive on an adjunct salary. And since you don’t have any job security, you can’t build up a career, you can’t move on and get more. These are all techniques of discipline, indoctrination, and control.



"Even young children are creative, inquisitive, they want to know things, they want to understand things, and unless that’s beaten out of your head it stays with you the rest of your life. If you have opportunities to pursue those commitments and concerns, it’s one of the most satisfying things in life.

That’s true if you’re a research physicist, it’s true if you’re a carpenter; you’re trying to create something of value and deal with a difficult problem and solve it. I think that’s what makes work the kind of thing you want to do; you do it even if you don’t have to do it. In a reasonably functioning university, you find people working all the time because they love it; that’s what they want to do; they’re given the opportunity, they have the resources, they’re encouraged to be free and independent and creative-what’s better? That’s what they love to do. And that, again, can be done at any level.

It’s worth thinking about some of the imaginative and creative educational programs that are being developed at different levels. So, for example, somebody just described to me the other day a program they’re using in high schools, a science program where the students are asked an interesting question: “How can a mosquito fly in the rain?”

That’s a hard question when you think about it. If something hit a human being with the force of a raindrop hitting a mosquito it would absolutely flatten them immediately. So how come the mosquito isn’t crushed instantly? And how can the mosquito keep flying? If you pursue that question — and it’s a pretty hard question — you get into questions of mathematics, physics, and biology, questions that are challenging enough that you want to find an answer to them.

That’s what education should be like at every level, all the way down to kindergarten, literally. There are kindergarten programs in which, say, each child is given a collection of little items: pebbles, shells, seeds, and things like that. Then the class is given the task of finding out which ones are the seeds. It begins with what they call a “scientific conference”: the kids talk to each other and they try to figure out which ones are seeds. And of course, there’s some teacher guidance, but the idea is to have the children think it through.

After a while, they try various experiments and they figure out which ones are the seeds. At that point, each child is given a magnifying glass and, with the teacher’s help, cracks a seed and looks inside and finds the embryo that makes the seed grow. These children learn something-really, not only something about seeds and what makes things grow; but also about how to discover. They’re learning the joy of discovery and creation, and that’s what carries you on independently, outside the classroom, outside the course.

The same goes for all education up through graduate school. In a reasonable graduate seminar, you don’t expect students to copy it down and repeat whatever you say; you expect them to tell you when you’re wrong or to come up with new ideas, to challenge, to pursue some direction that hadn’t been thought of before. That’s what real education is at every level, and that’s what ought to be encouraged. That ought to be the purpose of education. It’s not to pour information into somebody’s head which will then leak out but to enable them to become creative, independent people who can find excitement in discovery and creation and creativity at whatever level or in whatever domain their interests carry them."
2014  1960s  1970s  highered  highereducation  economics  policy  studentdebt  tenure  precarity  pracariat  plutonomy  administrativebloat  control  neoliberalism  indoctrination  power  adjuncts  learing  howwelearn  tcsnmy  lcproject  democracy  openstudioproject  curiosity  inquiry  enlightenment  history  education  howweteach  pedagogy  teaching  learning  flexibility  faculty 
march 2014 by robertogreco
The Fall of Collaboration, The Rise of Cooperation
"Time to Retire Collaboration

The term "collaboration" has been so stretched by its use in dozens of very different apps and disciplines that we should retire the term, and a bunch of the tired thinking that is bound up with it. What does it mean, anyway? "Working together." So let’s just call them "work tools," and if we want to focus on the technology side, "work tech."

Consider the old school notions of business process, where the entire chain of work activities is mapped out by experts looking across many disciplines, with all the rules baked in, and everyone must be taught how to perform their roles and what degree of flex is allowed within the painted lines: that notion is being fractured. Things are changing too fast to devise a collection of end-to-end, top-down, totally designed business processes. Besides, anything that can be programmed is being handed off to algorithms, and the rest is left to humans to invent. Today, people are not blindly following rote instructions, but instead they reapply general principles to specific situations: they are not blindly stamping out license plates, or following a script.

The future of "process" in this new world of work is a general understanding of how work might be passed around, and which applications might be employed at different parts of a value chain. So the process involves people deciding how to do things after looking at guidelines. This decision making may involve tools cobbled together, through connections managed by infrastructure that may work like IFTTT (If This Then That), a service that supports transferring information from one app's API to another’s. In this way a company has structured the first stage of job applications as a file containing a resume being placed in a specific Dropbox folder, which initiates the creation of a task in Trello, and the automatic placement into the company’s Job Applications task list. What happens downstream of that would be up to the person who pulled that task to work on it. So instead of a big, totally defined and inflexible process we see a loose collection of smaller activities cascading along, with the eventual outcome not ordained by well defined rules, but instead determined by the individual decisions of those doing the work.

This change is already showing up in the most advanced technology firms, where lean approaches to software development have reflected back into thinking about lean organizations in general. For example, Asana’s "leanership" has built an organization of peers, not just a flat hierarchy. And similar changes are going on at Yammer, GitHub, Medium and other leading tech firms. That is where we will see the rise of cooperative work tech at the core of the new way of work."
collaboration  cooperation  hierarchies  hierarchy  horizontality  open  stoweboyd  2014  process  tools  ifttt  dropbox  flexibility  autonomy  yammer  github  medium  asana 
march 2014 by robertogreco
The Future of Learning Environments: An Issue That Concerns the Students - Core77
"I have thought long and hard about what is needed as to create the ultimate learning environment, and come to the conclusion that it doesn't exist. The only thing we can do is to create as much of an advantageous basis for space to develop as possible. We can do this by developing a space that works in collaboration with the educators, by hiring teachers who burn for what they do, and to create spaces where students and teachers work together as a team to create a good atmosphere where learning is something that students genuinely want to do.

The school, in terms of both architecture and pedagogy, must take in consideration that people are different and they have different needs to feel good and comfortable, and ultimately fulfil their potential. Only after you have specified the needs and wishes of various individuals can you design a space that even comes close to what can be called "the ultimate learning environment," and this takes time, close collaboration between the various users and partners and the architects and engineers.

One of the things that I personally find to be important throughout the process is to design a solution that not only supports current pedagogy, but also challenges teachers and students to develop it further, and hopefully meets their future needs proactively. This is difficult, of course, since we can't possibly know what the future will bring, but what we can do is study and develop spaces that work in the present so we can stop designing and developing spaces that don't.

So let's collaborate and co-create more, let's take one another seriously when doing so, and let's develop ways of working where we truly understand what the other one is saying, and not just brush opinions under the rug because they aren't expressed in a language we can understand."
schooldesign  moadickmark  lcproject  openstudioproject  education  schools  flexibility  architecture  design  collaboration  cocreation  2014  via:willrichardson 
february 2014 by robertogreco
indy johar founder of HUB westminster on co-working spaces
"designboom visited architect indy johar in london to learn more about his extensive study into socially driven sustainable urban organization. ‘the intersections of culture and technology have contributed to a mindset of ‘own less, use more‘, he explains, ‘and the concept of ‘ecosystems’ fits the contemporary landscape of work much better than the centralized model of decades past’.

‘we’re effectively going to see the corporate model become the uncorporate model,’ johar predicts, with large companies breaking down into separate but interwoven branches for their physical infrastructure, investment, and learning platforms. as a result, there is a pressing need to open up the office, moving away from divided departments and cubicles and towards what he describes as a ‘fluid mix’ wherein executives, startups, suppliers, and talent makers are all part of a larger ecosystem. as a result, there is a pressing need to open up the office, moving away from divided departments and cubicles and towards what he describes as a ‘fluid mix’ wherein executives, startups, suppliers, and talent makers are all part of a larger ecosystem."



"most HUBs are comprised of three types of environments: collaborative, semi-private, and private.all of them are conceptualized as blank canvases — while they provide basic furniture and necessities, the focus of the space is not on superfluous decoration but rather how people fill it and what they do with their time there. hubbers bring all kinds of personal objects and possessions to make their workspace, even in the sprawling open collaborative areas, feel uniquely theirs; and the HUBs feature creative touches inside and out, whether they’re built to resemble a giant red bus as in singapore or highlight their walls with colorful assemblages designating the HUB locations worldwide. microcosms of the work world in themselves — and thus a prevision of grander changes in society and culture — the HUBs are a perfect place to study human behaviour and watch out for the next trends in office furniture."



"the diversity of new needs means that office furniture manufacturers are also for the first time not restricted to international standards and regulations regarding the precise dimensions and production specifications of chairs and desks, permitting an expanded level of creativity and aesthetic vision. but the enduring effects of the new world of work will extend far beyond that. the design of office furniture and environments is equally shaped by changes within office culture and its increasing emphasis on collaboration and communication."

[video also here: https://vimeo.com/83300452 ]
indyjohar  coworking  2014  howwework  lcproject  openstudioproject  sharing  ownershap  hub  community  work  officespaces  offices  interiors  furniture  classroomdesign  design  architecture  organizations  officeculture  flexibility  ecosystems  place  thirdspaces  communitymanagement  uncorporate  infrastructure  platforms 
january 2014 by robertogreco
Architect Peter Zellner's Tijuana Experiment | San Diego | Artbound | KCET
""I went to Mexico trying to figure out how to work differently," he explains. "What I took back was learning to work on the fly and learning to improvise, not entering the discussion with preconceptions about the right solution, and sometimes not even showing up with -- this sounds horrible -- with finished construction drawings. Often we worked out things in the field, making the drawings on site."

This is how Zellner found himself in the field with the stonemason, sketching out a tile pattern for the marble shower. Details and material selections were more collaborative than up north. "Some days there wasn't a right answer," he continues, describing an almost artisanal process. "The question was: What materials are available today, for instance knowing what sort of marble we can source, how can we cut it? When you are working with people with 40 years of stone working experience, they're not scared to not know the answer that day. They worked it out on the spot. I learned something from that sort of approach.""

Zellner's shift from a professional paradigm toward a more ad hoc approach may seem anachronistic in an era when digital tools are defining the cutting edge of architecture and the act of building a has become almost a conservative byproduct. (He teaches at technological powerhouse SCI-Arc, after all.) A long history of artistic and architectural precedents underscores his philosophy. For instance, ZELLNERPLUS has no physical office -- it's a post-studio practice. The trappings of the professional atelier have been traded in for a laptop and mobile devices. Zellner cites minimalist sculptor Tony Smith, who phoned in his early 1960s sculptures as instructions to fabricators, as one inspiration for applying art world methodology to conventional architecture practice. And the influence of the L.A. School -- Gehry, of course, but also Morphosis, Studioworks, and Fredrick Fischer -- is there. Beginning in the late-seventies, those architects found experimentation in everyday materials combined with new formal expressions and spatial relationships.

"Experimentation now is understood as kind of the byproduct of toying with software and fabrication techniques, but I'm less interested in this rarefied concept," Zellner explains. "Today, the venues for experimentation are galleries and museums, books, the Internet, and the academy. However, my understanding is -- at least as far as subjective experimentation in Los Angeles from Schindler to the Case Study architects to the L.A. School goes -- that experimentation occurred at the bequest of the client and with all of the associated work and responsibilities. So there was the degree of possibility that things could and should go wrong. I think an experimental approach to making architecture has to account for and embrace the possibility of chance."

"At Casa Anaya, Zellner points out where experiments in poured concrete worked, where they didn't, and where a window was moved during construction. It's the language of details, of process, of labor. "I've always believed that architecture was bracketed by certain things -- and this sounds so banal -- a site, planning, context, the culture that you work within, a budget that you have to address." he says. "But in today's culture none of this makes architecture radical , right? That is at best a little short sighted but in the larger picture somewhat tragic. Many architects have abandoned an interest in the things that give architecture is power and relevance."

Zellner's approach is not a radicalization of architecture, but a deviation--an attempt to reactivate quotidian practice. By delving back into building, he questions the very notion of experimentation."

[See also: http://www.laimyours.com/52800/zellnerplus-casa-anaya/
http://archinect.com/firms/project/102848/casa-anaya/79381640
http://instagram.com/p/ZohFjMRvYx/
http://instagram.com/p/ZohBWoxvYo/
http://instagram.com/p/Zog6_8RvYg/ ]
tijuana  mexico  architecture  construction  peterzellner  mimizeiger  practice  2013  design  craft  collaboration  sciarc  experimentation  materials  casaanaya  california  losangeles  learning  flexibility 
november 2013 by robertogreco
Writing for Beginners | Nicole Fenton
"Just to be clear, when I say writing, these are the things I’m talking about:

alerts
blog posts
emails
errors
forms
instructions
labels
names
policies
promotions / ads / marketing
strings
tours

Individually, these are all bits of text. Together, they’re your communications and your interface with readers. They make up your voice and tone. They give your product personality."



"Our writing should have that same flexibility and fluidity. We shouldn’t talk about things as if they’re final, as if they live in their own individual universes. And when we put something into the world, we shouldn’t use words like postmortem that make us feel like we’re no longer responsible for those things. Everything we build depends on us. We have to nurture our work and know it’s going to continually change."



"I used to try to write the beginning of something before I knew where we were going as a team. I would try to introduce the ideas I needed to cover and organize them, even though I didn’t fully understand those ideas yet. And that doesn’t give me a lot of room to change my mind, which I do very often.

So now I start in the middle. I get the most basic thing I know down on the page or the whiteboard, and work my way out, showing my client or my friends, whoever that set of beta readers is for the project, and making it better as I go."
nicolefenton  design  writing  curiosity  2013  neoteny  beginner'smind  shoshin  howwewrite  learning  learningallthetime  voice  flexibility  fluidity 
november 2013 by robertogreco
Jazz-Inspired Leadership: Change Observer: Design Observer
"Anticipated, Emergent, and Opportunistic Change

To understand why improvisation is important, consider the three types of organizational change.



Create a Learning Environment

A learning environment is a precondition for improvisation. One company I know of sends employees to visit its global locations, so they can learn from each others’ innovations and practices. “Steal with pride,” it tells them. People informally develop ways of working that could have great value if shared. When managers encourage employees to improve practices on their own, rather than mandate a strict flowchart of activities, they can nurture emergent change. And managers have to be on the lookout for emergent outcomes, and learn how and when to leverage them.

If improvisation is to be encouraged, then senior managers also need to allow some flexibility in budgeting and timetables. Again, small-scale experiments can help by reducing upfront commitments and by helping to define the costs and benefits of a larger-scale roll-out. Just as important, employees’ evaluation criteria should accommodate improvisation. Employees should not be penalized for experimenting — and possibly failing. And they should be rewarded for developing innovative emergent practices in the face of this change. When everyone recognizes that conditions are uncertain and the rules of the game are being created in the playing, plans become effective guidelines rather than rigid prescriptions for action.

The lessons in improvisation contained herein are relevant even when there is no internal ‘change project’ per se. eBay’s evolution from a marketplace for Pez dispensers is a perfect example. When Pierre Omidyar founded eBay in 1995, did his business plan map out how he would create a leading global enterprise in a decade? Hardly. Users of eBay have been improvising and leading the development of eBay ever since. The normal way of doing business at eBay is to seek out emergent change and turn it into new opportunities.

That type of improvisation makes an organization more adaptive when marketplaces shift, technologies develop, companies globalize or the landscape changes in other unexpected ways. And an improvisational approach is best facilitated by combining planning with ongoing experimentation and learning. Budgets, timetables and reward criteria should reinforce the ability of individuals to improvise in a way that allows the organization to keep right on playing amidst change, without missing a beat."
leadership  change  administration  jazz  improvisation  planning  adaptation  uncertainty  flexibility  learning  wandaorlikowski  experimentation  prototyping  risk  risktaking 
july 2013 by robertogreco
Watering the Roots of Knowledge Through Collaborative Learning - Commentary - The Chronicle of Higher Education
"These problematic aspects of the model are symptoms of its first major fault, a violation of the wisdom of Confucius: "Tell me, and I will forget; show me, and I will remember; involve me, and I will understand." I have demonstrated this fault directly. One fall at Columbia University, I had the usual 80-student class of bright, ambitious undergraduates fulfilling their science requirement by taking my lecture course on the solar system. Most attended the lectures, and, mostly, they paid attention (I do not use PowerPoint). They worked through long quantitative problem sets, took biweekly quizzes, and performed well on the midterm and final exams. They then went home for Christmas and on to the spring semester.

The following September, I gathered most of them again and administered a test on some of the material we had covered. I gave the same test to my new class before my first lecture. The results were statistically indistinguishable. So much for pouring knowledge from the full container to the empty ones—it leaks out.

The second major fault of the current educational model is that learning is an isolated activity. Yes, we bring a number of students together to form a "class," but then we do everything possible to isolate students from each other: "No talking in class"; "Please leave two seats between each person for this exam"; "Do all your own work." We desocialize learning, separating it from the periods of normal human interaction we call dorm-room bull sessions.

The third misplaced pillar of educational practice is competition and its accompanying correlate, quantitative measurement. Standardized tests proliferate; grade-point averages are calculated to four significant figures. We pretend that these numbers measure learning and use them to award scholarships, sort professional-school applicants, and, sadly, evaluate self-worth. And we are surprised that cheating—the goal of which is to get a higher score—is widespread. If a group of students works together effectively and efficiently to solve a hard problem, in school this is called cheating. In life, as the British educator Sir Ken Robinson notes, it's called collaboration, a valued asset in most real-world settings."



"General education is often thought of as a means to expose students to a broad range of "essential" knowledge and to provide a historical context for the culture in which they live. These are valid, but insufficient, goals. The purpose of general education should be to produce graduates who are skilled in communication, imbued with quantitative reasoning skills, instinctively collaborative, inherently transdisciplinary in their approach to problems, and engaged in their local and global communities—broadly educated individuals with an informed perspective on the problems of the 21st century and the integrative abilities to solve them."
davidhelfand  questuniversity  2013  via:tealtan  education  design  curriculum  academia  highereducation  highered  tcsnmy  cv  teaching  learning  unschooling  blockprograms  collaboration  deschooling  measurement  standardization  standardizedtesting  standards  social  isolation  comparison  interdisciplinary  crossdisciplinary  crosspollination  coloradocollege  flexibility  depth  depthoverbreadth  generalists  generaleducation  adaptability  shrequest1 
july 2013 by robertogreco
The Lowest Level: Pickup Soccer in America | The Other 87
"Except in soccer, where one of the commonly given reasons for why the U.S. doesn’t produce as many or as high-quality soccer players as other nations is because our kids practice too much, and too early on, as opposed to just going out and playing. We hear of Zidane learning his close control in the housing projects of Marseille, Ronaldo lying to his mother about going to school, of players in Italy, Argentina, or Ghana who wake up and go play with their friends in the street until dinner, or until they’re scooped up and signed to a local club’s youth team by a sharp-eyed scout passing through town, whichever comes first."



"Pickup’s absence underlines its importance. Nearly every coach now realizes that small-sided games — like those you typically have playing pickup — are important because they maximize touches and time spent with the ball for young players. What’s missing when a player participates in small-sided games in practice with his or her teammates is the mystery, the unknown variables that change a game. Pickup is an incredibly useful teaching tool not just because of its numbers, but because of its informality which means coaches — those who might be the pickup advocates — couldn’t create the ideal pickup scenario even if they wanted to. It has to be organic.[1]

That’s because pickup necessitates flexibility. As the cast of characters in your group rotates, you’re finding your way into a new game each time you play. Without a coach, it’s a constant exercise for your personal tactical acumen as you search for where you can be most effective on the field for this game, and for your skill set as you try to adapt to playing there. Even that changes drastically based on who you’re playing with and where they’ve decided they’re going to be most useful."

[via: http://zunguzungu.wordpress.com/2011/04/10/sunday-reading/ ]
pickup  soccer  futbol  sports  improvisation  collaboration  flexibility  squishynotslick  cv  howwelearn  learningbydoing  adultintervention  intervention  2011  ericbetts  unschooling  deschooling  learning  informality  informal  informallearning  self-directedlearning  football 
june 2013 by robertogreco
The Age of the Anti-Logo: Why Museums Are Shedding Their Idenities
"This month, the Whitney Museum… unveiled a newly revamped identity courtesy of Experimental Jetset (and a website designed by Linked by Air), a trio of Dutch designers known for their theory-based work. Experimental Jetset describe their design as a “toolkit,” which is easily adaptable to contexts ranging from buttons to stationary to games. The sparse logomark itself is based on a heavy black Neue Haas Grotesk text, while a system of jagged lines forming a “W” change based on context.

According to the designers, the “responsive W” is meant to fit around news, artwork, and other pieces of content, like a simple black-and-white frame. “One of the main subjects we tried to explore was the notion of a graphic identity that wouldn't consists of a static, single logo,” they told me over email, “but one that would be able to change shape, reacting to ever-changing proportions and surfaces.”



But these days, developing a museum “brand” is a complicated chore. The visual identity of an arts institution has attract visitors and donors, and it also has to say something about the curatorial stance of a museum. That’s a difficult thing to convey in a single shape or form—and many museums, instead, are turning to “flexible” identities.

For example, the Brooklyn Museum of Art adopted a flexible logomark in 2004, designed by 2x4 to “better reflect the visitor-centered goals of the Museum.” Then there’s the Museum of Arts and Design, which adopted a Pentagram-designed customizable logotype in 2008. Perhaps the most famous—and successful—example of a flexible identity is MIT Media Lab’s algorithmic logo, designed by E Roon Kang and Richard The. Sure, Media Lab isn't an arts institution, but the logo set the tone for dozens of identities that came after it. The design is based on three spotlights, which change according to each permutation—there are over 40,000 unique logos available—and it was so successful because it spoke to what makes Media Lab so successful.

The notion of adaptivity and flexibility in graphic design seems to appeal particularly to the art world, which makes a modicum of sense: galleries and modern museums focus on visual culture as it evolves, and their graphic representation should reflect that. But as logos and identities get less specific and more scalable, is something lost in the exchange?

The original purpose of arts organizations like the Whitney was to guide the unwitting public through the currents of contemporary art with an unpretentious, decisive voice. As far as we can intuit anything about a museum from its identity, are we witnessing a curatorial crisis of confidence? Maybe, but maybe not. Either way, it’ll be interesting to see whether this elegant new identity outlasts its predecessor."
whitney  branding  design  museums  identity  art  medialab  mit  experimentaljetset  brooklynmuseumofart  museumofartsanddesign  pentagram  customization  2x4  adaptability  flexibility  graphicdesign  2013  logos  mitmedialab 
june 2013 by robertogreco
The Birth of a New Avant-Barde: La Camera-Stylo by Alexandre Astruc
"(Originally published in "L'Écran française" onMarch 30, 1948, as an article entitled "Du Stylo à la caméra et de la caméra au stylo")"

"That is why I would like to call this new age of cinema the age of camera-stylo (camera-pen). This metaphor has a very precise sense. By it I mean that the cinema will gradually break free from the tyranny of what is visual, from the image for its own sake, from the immediate and concrete demands of the narrative, to become a means of writing just as flexible and subtle as
written language."
camera-stylo  photography  via:laure  writing  expression  communication  flexibility  subtlety 
may 2013 by robertogreco
The Elastic Self
"Ohai! Welcome to my research blog where I archive material about identity making. I'm still working through my theory, but do take a look at An Xiao's lovely article that uses my theory of the Elastic Self to explain the cultural value of social media, such as Tumblr. I gave a talk about the Elastic Self at the first Tumblr Arts Symposium, scrub to 1:11 for my talk. I do a lot of research on Chinese youth, so you'll find lots of info about that topic. The one minute version of Elastic Self so far: The Elastic Self is both the feeling that one's identity is flexible and the action of trying on different identities that are different from a prescribed self. Individuals enact and manifest the Elastic Self in informal spaces that provide social distance from existing social ties and under conditions of relative anonymity, which minimizes social risks. In the presence of unknown others (strangers), individuals feel liberated to try on different identities without pressure to commit to an identity, to take greater risks in expressing ideas or emotions, and to try on selves that are reversible, easy to abandon, and impermanent."

[Kenyatta makes a link from Quinn Norton to Tricia's blog: http://finalbossform.com/post/49785356426/people-dont-go-online-to-become-someone-else ]
[The related post from Quinn: http://www.quinnnorton.com/said/?p=721 ]
triciawang  tumblr  youth  elasticself  china  identity  flexibility  online  adaptability  codeswitching  strangers  trust  socialrisks  quinnnorton  2013  kenyattacheese 
may 2013 by robertogreco
ENCAPSULATED UNIVERSES | Edge.org
"Think about it this way. We have 7,000 languages. Each of these languages encompasses a world-view, encompasses the ideas and predispositions and cognitive tools developed by thousands of years of people in that culture. Each one of those languages offers a whole encapsulated universe. So we have 7,000 parallel universes, some of them are quite similar to one another, and others are a lot more different. The fact that there's this great diversity is a real testament to the flexibility and the ingenuity of the human mind. The fact that we're able to take so many different perspectives and create such an incredibly diverse set of ways of looking at the world, that is something first to be celebrated, but also something to learn from: flexibility and diversity are at the very heart of what makes us human and what makes us so smart. I think the more we understand how people are able to take all these different perspectives, and able to change the way they think, the better we'll understand the nature of being human."
encapsulateduniverses  leraboroditsky  language  languages  perspective  perception  humanmind  humans  lostintranslation  flexibility  diversity  2013  paralleluniverses 
april 2013 by robertogreco
The school as a metaphor for the world - Architecture - Domus
"In Romanina, a recent school by Dutch architect Herman Hertzberger and Marco Scarpinato – AutonomeForme is permeated by flexible spaces, allowing users the freedom to decide how every part of the building is used."

"Giving the users the freedom to decide how every part of the building is used has been — and still is — one of the fundamental values of the Dutch architect's work. Contrary to functional determinism, this process enables users to take over spaces, altering their role from "users" to "inhabitants""

Metaphor rather than the real thing. :(
roleplaying  flexiblespace  flexibility  massimofaiferri  marcoscarpinato  hermanhertzberger  2012  romanina  italy  rome  roma  design  schholdesign  schools  architecture  from delicious
november 2012 by robertogreco
Cluster | City - Design - Innovation » Spatial Agency: a conversation with Tatjana Schneider on architecture as a quietly revolutionary practice
[Way too much to quote. From the beginning…]

"Indeterminacy, I would say, is something that is open to exploring the possibilities of space; something that is unfixed from the start and retains an open position. An indeterminate approach means starting out from an open playing field and making a case for ‘not knowing’, not assuming to know what the outcome might be."

"I don’t understand Paul Feyerabend’s seminal work as proposing a position that is ‘unmethodical’, but as one that critiques a static and uniform notion of science and calls for a certain degree of irrationality. I understand indeterminacy more as a mindset as opposed to an approach."

"Architects have marginalized themselves from these discourses – you might argue that they have never truly been part of them. One thing that certainly doesn’t help in defining a more ‘useful’ position for architects or other spatial practitioners is that architects in particular have been focusing on the building of objects for too long."
spatialproduction  alternative  wealth  user-drivenapproach  openbuilding  opensource  flexibility  participatoryprocess  humanneeds  sarahwigglesworth  jeremytill  jonathancharley  design  architecture  notknowing  unknown  indeterminacy  spatialagency  tatjanaschneider  2011  paulfeyerabend  from delicious
august 2012 by robertogreco
Robin Rendle · Call Me Interactivity
"We are all tempted by inter­ac­tiv­ity; video & audio snip­pets, data charts that can be flicked and pushed, let­ters that can be popped & pinched. But how many of these fea­tures enhance the rela­tion­ship between reader and writer? Due to the con­straints I men­tioned pre­vi­ously, we most likely won’t recog­nise the dig­i­tal book in a decade. This is because they won’t be built in the same way, they won’t be writ­ten in the same way & they won’t be funded & pub­lished in the same way either. These prob­lems, some eco­nomic, some tech­ni­cal, will force us to con­sider alter­na­tive meth­ods of think­ing about con­tent, space, sto­ry­telling & time.

The line that bor­ders pixel & paper has been crossed, bound­aries have been bro­ken, but the hori­zon swells with oppor­tu­nity. And so these uncharted, dig­i­tal spaces demand not only new types of think­ing, pub­lish­ing and design, but also a new form of sto­ry­telling, new kinds of heroes and mon­sters, new worlds to explore…"
technology  mobydick  leonwiedeltier  oliverreichenstein  craigmod  content  flexibility  control  mandybrown  design  ebooks  digitalpublishing  publishing  interactivity  interactive  2012  future  books  robinrendle  epub3  html  html5  moby-dick  from delicious
august 2012 by robertogreco
On Adventure Playgrounds & Mutli-Use Destinations | Project for Public Spaces
"Cities are where us “grown-ups” play at leading meaningful and enjoyable lives, so it may be helpful (if anecdotal) to think of playgrounds as the staging areas for the cities of tomorrow. If we want to live in siloed cities, with offices here, houses there, and all quarters safely demarcated by wide arterial roads, we should probably go right on ahead building playgrounds where the slides and plastic tic-tac-toes cower away from each other. But if we want bustling, creative cities full of the surprise and serendipity that makes urban life so enjoyable, we might want to start thinking about playgrounds as microcosmic multi-use destinations.

I think of my favorite public space now, Washington Square Park, and it reminds me, in a way of that schoolyard playground. There are so many different things happening at any given moment: people are playing music, and games, they’re kissing, chatting, taking photos, sunning, jogging, and watching the world pass by. The magic of that park is in its open-endedness, and its mix of these activities. That’s what a great place looks like.

Shouldn’t our playgrounds be great places, too?"
2012  washingtonsquarepark  safety  urbanism  urban  design  adaptability  flexibility  children  playing  play  open-ended  openendedness  cities  playgrounds  openended 
july 2012 by robertogreco
On leadership and innovation: 'dogma has no place in university culture' | Higher Education Network | Guardian Professional
"The expansion of knowledge and the degree of certainty are inversely proportional. In the measure in which one is educated, the more one knows and discovers, the more one becomes certain of one's lack of knowledge of the universe, which drives one to keep learning. For this reason, intellectual vanity is not an attribute of those who know their limits, but rather of those who pretend to know what they do not know.

Knowledge does not admit vanity or egotism. Participation is the opposite of authoritarianism and to know in order to share and to give honours humankind. Governing universities in the absence of the full participation of the university community and society will inevitably push them towards forms of authoritarianism that are contrary to their spirit and their ethical practice."
management  administration  policy  politics  tcsnmy  edreform  authoritarianism  participation  hierarchy  control  power  egotism  flexibility  ignorance  intellectualvanity  innovation  leadership  certainty  uncertainty  knowledge  ethics  highereducation  highered  2012  miguelangelescotet  from delicious
july 2012 by robertogreco
Collaborative Workspaces: Not All They're Cracked Up to Be - Design - The Atlantic Cities
"Being a part of group is awesome (go team!) but so is individual effort. The uncritical embrace of collaboration above all else can lead, as a social scientist at the SPUR panel remarked, to the reverse of what was intended: group-think, conformity, consensus for the sake of peace-making. Further, the suburban corporate campus, even when it attempts, as Facebook and Google are, to approximate urban environment, can often serve to exacerbate the type of self-reinforcing behaviors Bill Bishop explored a few years ago in his book, The Big Sort: Why the Clustering of Like-Minded America is Tearing Us Apart. Forest City’s Alexa Arena, another participant in the SPUR panel, says that her company’s anthropological research while working on the more iterative workspace model seen in its 5M Project revealed that employees working in these environments found that their best ideas came not while in that bustling, lively office but more likely when they were in their own neighborhoods hanging…"
schooldesign  classroomdesign  2012  variety  adaptability  flexibility  work  attention  furniture  openstudioproject  openstudio  lcproject  tcsnmy  allornothing  unintendedconsequences  brainstorming  collaboration  susancain  extroverts  introverts  howwework  officedesign  architecture  design  workplace  workspace  allisonarieff  groupthink  solitude  productivity  workspaces  from delicious
january 2012 by robertogreco
The Studio-X NY Guide to Liberating New Forms of Conversation - Reading Room - Domus
"Studio-X is a multifunction outpost of Columbia University's Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation in lower Manhattan. Alternately a studio space for several of GSAPP's research groups (including C-Lab, Netlab, Living Architecture Lab and Urban Landscape Lab), exhibition space, and events venue, Studio-X's flexible programming makes it a uniquely unpredictable site where architectural and urban thinkers interact with a curious public. Now exporting its model to other cities around the world where GSAPP has a presence, including Rio de Janeiro, Beijing, and Amman, Studio-X marks its first publication with The Studio-X NY Guide to Liberating New Forms of Conversation. José Esparza talked to the book's editor and Studio-X NY's former programming director Gavin Browning, as well as Glen Cummings and Aliza Dzik of New York design firm MTWTF, who designed the book."
process  competition  hierarchy  typologies  transformation  documentation  tabularasa  blankslate  studio-xny  craigbuckley  markwigley  danielperlin  innovation  creativity  rapidresonse  multidisciplinary  mixed-use  classroomdesign  informality  informal  workshops  studios  schooldesign  learningspaces  glvo  openstudio  columbia  nyc  studio-x  glencummings  gavinbrowning  design  adaptability  flexibility  adaptivespaces  lcproject  interdisciplinary  books  domus  architecture 
january 2012 by robertogreco
Future Friendly
"In today's incredibly exciting yet overwhelming world of connected digital devices, these are the truths we hold to be self-evident:<br />
<br />
Disruption will only accelerate. The quantity and diversity of connected devices—many of which we haven't imagined yet—will explode, as will the quantity and diversity of the people around the world who use them. Our existing standards, workflows, and infrastructure won't hold up. Today's onslaught of devices is already pushing them to the breaking point. They can't withstand what's ahead. Proprietary solutions will dominate at first. Innovation necessarily precedes standardization. Technologists will scramble to these solutions before realizing (yet again) that a standardized platform is needed to maintain sanity. The standards process will be painfully slow. We will struggle with (and eventually agree upon) appropriate standards. During this period, the web will fall even further behind proprietary solutions."
design  technology  future  web  mobile  phones  futurefriendly  webdev  standardization  proprietarysolutions  2011  online  internet  connecteddevices  diversity  flexibility  adaptability  standards  webdesign  from delicious
september 2011 by robertogreco
Thoughts on leadership - IBM100 THINK Forum - Joi Ito's Web
"Leadership today is about empowering those around you share your vision, embrace serendipity, have the courage to take risks and learn from failure rather than be crushed by it. Diversity must be embraced and organizational borders made porous. Assets such as intellectual property and lines of software code must not prevent aggressive agility. Organizations must be willing and able to pivot away from attachment to such assets lest these assets become liabilities holding back innovation and progress.

In this new world, leaders must be courageous, visionary and comfortable in an environment where control and complete knowledge are impossible and their pursuit futile and counterproductive."
joiito  leadership  flexibility  organizations  management  administration  tcsnmy  ip  intellectualproperty  agility  vision  risktaking  failure  innovation  progress  2011  attachment  courage  porous  iteration  planning  unpredictability  uncertainty  from delicious
september 2011 by robertogreco
Thoughts on leadership - IBM100 THINK Forum - Joi Ito's Web
"Leadership today is about empowering those around you share your vision, embrace serendipity, have the courage to take risks and learn from failure rather than be crushed by it. Diversity must be embraced and organizational borders made porous. Assets such as intellectual property and lines of software code must not prevent aggressive agility. Organizations must be willing and able to pivot away from attachment to such assets lest these assets become liabilities holding back innovation and progress.

In this new world, leaders must be courageous, visionary and comfortable in an environment where control and complete knowledge are impossible and their pursuit futile and counterproductive."
joiito  leadership  flexibility  organizations  management  administration  tcsnmy  ip  intellectualproperty  agility  vision  risktaking  failure  innovation  progress  2011  attachment  courage  porous  iteration  planning  unpredictability  uncertainty 
september 2011 by robertogreco
Customized Learning - The Slideshow | Education Rethink
Great set of slides from John T Spencer. Notes are forthcoming, but the slides should speak for themselves. These were for his Reform Symposium presentation in 2011. (I missed it, so I'm glad it put them online.)
johnspencer  teaching  learning  tcsnmy  differentiatedlearning  customization  self-directedlearning  student-centered  studentdirected  pedagogy  unschooling  deschooling  standards  mastery  presentations  classideas  networking  hierarchy  freedom  autonomy  projectbasedlearning  science  socialstudies  reading  writing  flexibility  choice  dialogue  relationships  conversation  assessment  metaphor  ownership  empowerment  fear  dialog  pbl  from delicious
july 2011 by robertogreco
New Ways of Designing the Modern Workspace - NYTimes.com
"Adjustable desks, foldout benches & louvered shades have their place but…furniture is not the problem…But in the same way that bamboo floors, hybrid SUVs and eco-couture haven’t done much to curb carbon emissions, designing (& buying) more stuff for offices, no matter how sleek or sustainable it is, likely won’t help reset the culture of work.

Design itself is the problem because it is being used to solve the wrong ones…has to expand beyond noodling with the cubicle. I’m willing to bet that almost any office worker would happily swap Webcam lighting…for solutions to more pressing work issues like…burnout or fear of losing health coverage…

Two other factors often undervalued (and often ignored) in the workplace? Family and time…

We shouldn’t be rethinking the cubicle or corner office but rather rethinking all aspects of work…"
psychology  work  design  officedesign  allisonarieff  cubicles  classrooms  schooldesign  sustainability  productivity  life  families  parenting  time  workplace  workspace  nathanshedroff  furniture  homes  housing  babysitting  childcare  flexibility  coworking  efficiency  yiconglu  serbanionescu  jimdreilein  justinsmith  theminerandmajorproject  architecture  interiors  interiordesign  environmentaldesign  environment  broodwork  florianidenburg  jingliu  commonground  eames  froebel  kindergarten  andrewberardini  larrysummers  rachelbotsman  creativity  innovation  2011  autonomy  learning  workspaces  classroom  friedrichfroebel  from delicious
july 2011 by robertogreco
The Unselfish Gene - Harvard Business Review
"Executives, like most other people, have long believed that human beings are interested only in advancing their material interests.

However, recent research in evolutionary biology, psychology, sociology, political science, and experimental economics suggests that people behave far less selfishly than most assume. Evolutionary biologists and psychologists have even found neural and, possibly, genetic evidence of a human predisposition to cooperate.

These findings suggest that instead of using controls or carrots and sticks to motivate people, companies should use systems that rely on engagement and a sense of common purpose.

Several levers can help executives build cooperative systems: encouraging communication, ensuring authentic framing, fostering empathy and solidarity, guaranteeing fairness and morality, using rewards and punishments that appeal to intrinsic motivations, relying on reputation and reciprocity, and ensuring flexibility."
business  motivation  intrinsicmotivation  reciprocity  theunselfishgene  cooperation  wikipedia  empathy  solidarity  fairness  morality  human  humanism  tcsnmy  unschooling  deschooling  rewards  punishment  reputation  flexibility  cooperativism  cooperativesystems  engagement  purpose  commonpurpose  evolutionarybiology  biology  psychology  sociology  politicalscience  experimentaleconomics  economics  evolutionarypsychology  yochaibenkler  complexity  simplicity  self-interest  selfishness  behavior  extrinsicmotivation  2011  from delicious
july 2011 by robertogreco
What’s the difference between the ‘Open Classroom’ of the 1970s and ‘Open Space’ learning today? « Anne Knock: Learning everywhere today
"Open classrooms peaked around 1974…conservative backlash…saw a return to the traditional view of schools…pendulum swung, ‘Back to the basics’…

So why will open space learning work today?

…some similarities…an era of unprecedented change, as it was in the 1970s…questioning the practices of what has gone before & reinventing many aspects of society, & this generation [too]…is rewriting the rule-book.

…number of reasons why open space learning in 2011 is not just a passing fad, but marks a significant shift…

Emergence from the industrial era

Design and building innovation

Brain research

But most significantly, technology is the biggest game-changer, & especially the personalised & ubiquitous nature of technology & the ability to access knowledge & connect as far as we can possibly imagine.

This doesn’t mean that this is the way we will stay. The key is flexibility."
2011  1960s  1970s  education  teamteaching  via:cervus  teaching  learning  schooldesign  change  whatsoldisnewagain  openlearning  openclassroom  schoolwithoutwalls  larrycuban  history  lcproject  tcsnmy  technology  ubiquitousconnectivity  brainresearch  flexibility  design  collaboration  coldwar  from delicious
july 2011 by robertogreco
Pasta&Vinegar » An interview with Saskia Sassen about "Smart cities"
"Urbanity is a mutant. And this means it is made and remade along many different concepts/ideas/imaginations across the world. It can happen in sites where we, we of our westernized culture, might not see it… urbanity is made; it is not only beautifully designed urban settings.

In sharp contrast, I think that the model of “intelligent cities” as propounded by technologists, with the telepresence efforts of Cisco Systems a key ingredient, misses this opportunity to urbanize the technologies they mobilize. Secondly, the intelligent city concept if too rigid, becomes a futile effort to eliminate the incompleteness of the city, to get full closure/control. This is a recipe for built-in obsoleteness. Imagine if Rome could not have mutated across the millennia: it would be a dead city now. Third, the planners of intelligent cities, notably Songdo in South Korea actually make these technologies invisible, and hence put them in command rather than in dialogue with users."
nicolasnova  saskiasassen  cities  networkedurbanism  urbancomputing  opensource  unfinished  evolution  rome  songdocity  cisco  china  control  flexibility  design  urbanism  urban  2011  telepresence  organic  urbanity  responsive  from delicious
july 2011 by robertogreco
From Precarity to Precariousness and Back Again | Brett Neilson and Ned Rossiter | Variant 25
"The ongoing tussle between those who cast the creative worker as the precarious labourer par excellence and those who assign this role to the undocumented migrant is one symptom of this divide. Such a debate is certainly worth having, but it also misses the point: that being, to alter the circumstances in which capital meets life. All too often the precarity struggle revolves about the proposition life is work. But the challenge is not to reaffirm the productivism implicit in this realisation but rather to take it as the basis for another life – a life in which contingency and instability are no longer experienced as threats. A life in which, as Goethe wrote in Faust II, many millions can “dwell without security but active and free”."
florianschneider  brettneilson  nedrossiter  leisurearts  work  labor  uncertainty  flexibility  transformation  communication  insecurity  expression  networks  freedom  life  artleisure  from delicious
june 2011 by robertogreco
YouTube - The Old Future of Ed Reform - Final
"This is the final version of my video for Dr. Wesch's Digital Ethnography course at Kansas State University. It addresses the current on-the-cusp-of-revolution state of education today, how education reform movements aren't really anything new, and how previous efforts have failed. It also raises the question of whether the latest revolutionary-minded ferment will pan-out this time around..."
michaelwesch  education  future  progressive  failure  johndewey  revolution  reform  schoolreform  1960s  neilpostman  paulofreire  johnholt  freeschools  schoolwithoutwalls  ivanillich  charlesweingartner  openschools  democraticschools  change  movements  1970s  traditionalschools  2011  utopia  utopianthinking  backtobasics  holisticapproach  holistic  economics  technology  flexibility  whatsoldisnew  whatsoldisnewagain  from delicious
june 2011 by robertogreco
The future is podular « Dachis Group Collaboratory
"Pods don’t answer every business problem. Like any other strategic decision, choice to go podular involves inherent risks & tradeoffs. A podular system is certainly not the most efficient or consistent way to conduct business. There is more redundancy in this kind of system, which usually means greater cost. When units are autonomous, activity will also be more variable, which means it will be less consistent.

The bet you are making with a podular strategy is that the increase in value to customers, paired w/ increased resiliency in your operations, will more than offset the increases in costs. It’s a fundamental tradeoff & thus a design decision: the more flexible and adaptive you are, the less consistent your behavior will be. The benefit, though, is that you unleash people to bring more of their intelligence, passion, creative energy & expertise to their work. If you’re in an industry where these things matter (& who isn’t), then you should take a look at podular design."
management  socialbusiness  hierarchy  mesh  meshnetworks  autonomy  redundancy  motivation  flexibility  tcsnmy  administration  leadership  organization  organizations  passion  creativity  nodes  networks  networkedlearning  networkculture  decisionmaking  connectivism  connections  efficiency  chains  empowerment  democracy  business  dachisgroup  podular  2011  from delicious
may 2011 by robertogreco
Week 16: Busman’s holiday | Urbanscale [Oh, the implications for our education system as well: swarm-like behavior, informal solutions, tech integration, light touch of government…]
"…despite South Africa’s clear desire to benefit from so-called “South-to-South” knowledge transfer, Curitiba- or Bogota-style BRT strategies have proven untenable…more supple solutions have appeared, notably rise of informal transportation sector…

…swarm-like behavior…relatively effortless way in which taxi operators have incorporated tech…endlessly fascinating…But SA government’s pragmatic response to rise of informal transit…particularly clever & inspiring…[explained]…This kind of light touch on part of gov extends at least some basic protections to riders, w/out imposing laggy top-down planning on system as whole.

Pieterse really got me thinking about potential of informal transit for my own city…seems to be one of those areas where architecture of safety regulation, labor laws, & other protective measures we embraced in society—for good & sufficient reason!—also inhibits emergence of more flexible & potentially more effective & sustainable modes of getting around."
adamgreenfield  urbanscale  transit  mobility  informal  lcproject  toapplytoeducation  policy  flexibility  sustainability  southafrica  density  laborlaws  society  startingover  leapfrogging  regulation  diggingoutfromunderweightoflegallayers  safety  2011  technology  informalsystems  grassroots  thecityishereforyoutouse  pragmatism  johannesburg  edgarpieterse  from delicious
april 2011 by robertogreco
Finding Ways for All Kids to Flourish: Search results for gray
"One common approach, reflected in all three of the books mentioned, is to ask open-ended questions when trying to elicit engagement. Ellen Langer demonstrated with her research that directing people to "notice more" when examining something they weren't previously interested in actually got them to take more time, notice more detail and actually report a higher level of positive experience in learning the new information or skill. Todd Kashdan gives many examples where being an open and "curious explorer" helps people combat the anxiety that often holds them back from attaining their goals and achieving meaningful lives. Barbara Fredrickson talks about the power of positive emotions and how being interested in exploring or even amused by something actually broadens your ability to think more creatively and flexibly."
reflection  via:rushtheiceberg  noticing  socraticmethod  teaching  learning  thinking  thisandthat  ambiguity  gray  understanding  creativity  flexibility  books  rightandwrong  criticalthinking  unschooling  deschooling  from delicious
april 2011 by robertogreco
What are the Habits of Mind? | Institute For Habits of Mind
"Habits of Mind are dispositions that are skillfully and mindfully employed by characteristically intelligent, successful people when they are confronted with problems, the solution to which are not immediately apparent.

The Habits of Mind as identified by Costa and Kallick are:

Persisting
Thinking and Communicating with Clarity and Precision
Managing Impulsivity
Gathering Data Through all Senses
Listening with Understanding and Empathy
Creating, imagining and Innovation
Thinking Flexibly
Responding with Wonderment and Awe
Thinking about Thinking (Metacognition)
Taking Responsible Risks
Striving for Accuracy
Finding Humor
Questioning and Posing Problems
Thinking Interdependently
Applying Past Knowledge to New Situations
Remaining Open to Continuous Learning"
thinking  habits  habitsofmind  mind  teaching  tcsnmy  learning  education  lcproject  flexibility  risktaking  humor  creativity  imagination  impulsivity  impulse-control  persistence  clarity  passion  communication  empathy  datamining  wonderment  wonder  wonderdeficit  accuracy  questioning  problemsolving  independence  lifelonglearning  history  from delicious
february 2011 by robertogreco
Don’t leave learning to the young. Older brains can grow, too. - NYTimes.com
"Whether it is by learning a new language, traveling to a new place, developing a passion for beekeeping or simply thinking about an old problem in a new way, all of us can find ways to stimulate our brains to grow, in the coming year and those to follow. Just as physical activity is essential to maintaining a healthy body, challenging one’s brain, keeping it active, engaged, flexible and playful, is not only fun. It is essential to cognitive fitness."
brain  neuroscience  plasticity  oliversacks  learning  openminded  curiosity  adaptability  flexibility  challenge  growth  2011  from delicious
february 2011 by robertogreco
Bilingualism | Hilery Williams
"It seems that in timed problem solving tests, the thought processes of bilingual people move rapidly from one language to another in order to retrieve information. Thus, knowing 2 words for the same concept creates flexibility and, it is claimed, freer thinking. Naturally this requires practice but this research is evidence of the extreme adaptability and plasticity of the brain."

"Other studies have shown that the cognitive benefits of bilingualism are apparent from 2 years of age. It’s not just that the 2 year olds solve problems better, but that they are less distractible than mono-linguists: they are accustomed to listening and adapting to two modes of speech."
language  bilingualism  cognition  cognitive  cognitivedisability  adaptability  plasticity  memory  flexibility  retrieval  problemsolving  information  freethinking  listening  adaptation  distraction  from delicious
february 2011 by robertogreco
Communication Nation: The connected company
"average life expectancy of a human being in 21st century is ~67 years…average life expectancy for a company is…has dropped precipitously, from 75 years (in 1937) to 15 years in a more recent study…

I believe that many of these companies are collapsing under their own weight. As companies grow they invariably increase in complexity, & as things get more complex they become more difficult to control.

…As you triple the number of employees, their productivity drops by half (Chart here).

This “3/2 law” of employee productivity, along with the death rate for large companies, is pretty scary stuff. Surely we can do better?

…secret, I think, lies in understanding the nature of large, complex systems, & letting go of some of our traditional notions of how companies function. [Proceeds to explain]
business  management  collaboration  complexity  organizations  small  scale  flexibility  adaptability  organisms  connectivism  listening  adaptation  space  social  society  cities  urban  urbanism  design  culture  socialbusiness  planning  people  humans  inefficiency  efficiency  division  identity  ecosystems  activelistening  from delicious
february 2011 by robertogreco
Ira David Socol on Teach for America, KIPP Schools, and Reforming Education
"Education ‘as we know it’ is about social reproduction. We are trying to produce students who are “just like the teachers.” And there is a sad feedback loop in this, educators see, in the students who succeed in these reproductive schools, people just like themselves.<br />
But we need to be better than that…because our society needs to change, because it is changing, and schools need to support that.

But it is very hard for teachers to support learning which does not look like their own learning. Very hard. It requires levels of tolerance, of empathy, which are rare. It requires flexibility and a dramatic change in the role of the teacher. And it requires information and communication technologies which can offer pathways that the teacher can not.

It also requires more respect for teachers, more freedom for teachers, and much more support, in terms of ongoing educational opportunities and much better initial teacher training."
education  technology  teaching  learning  reform  irasocol  flexibility  tcsnmy  lcproject  unschooling  deschooling  policy  socialreproduction  empathy  patience  agesegregation  pedagogy  from delicious
february 2011 by robertogreco
SLA, 3i, Finding Common Ground and Looking Backward to Go Forward. - Practical Theory
"In reading those documents, you can see the valiant struggle to create something meaningful and powerful and democratic for students in the school. Kids and teachers made decisions together... classes were purely democratically chosen... students powerfully owned their learning. But I also read some of the same problems that we've seen in varying degrees at SLA. Student motivation to make those decisions or find learning on their own waxed and waned.... figuring out what to do when given ownership and freedom was hard... and maintaining the spirit of the revolution, so to speak, could be exhausting."
education  pedagogy  inspiration  irasocol  inquiry  chrislehmann  alanshapiro  neilpostman  tcsnmy  lcproject  schools  schooldesign  schooling  unschooling  deschooling  democracy  democratic  teaching  learning  teachingasasubversiveactivity  3iprogram  newrochellehighschool  1970s  1980s  policy  cv  fatigue  burnout  criticalthinking  meaning  meaningfulness  empowerment  identity  slowlearning  charlesweingartner  flexibility  respect  curriculum  2011  revolution  from delicious
february 2011 by robertogreco
Why Marketing is Bullshit
"What does it have to do with Marketing? Well the thing is that this kind of success is completely unattainable by any market research techniques. There is NOTHING any Maketing person could have done to create or even predict this. Even if they had a hunch, they would have send out questionnaires and made focus group test to see how much Call of Duty players enjoy philosophy. How much do the target groups for Call of Duty and philosophy overlap?<br />
<br />
Clue train: they don’t! Because target groups are idiotic constructs that utterly fail at describing people. The reason why the Seananners channel works is because it is honest and genuine. Because it doesn’t treat the audience like vending machines. It doesn’t look for the right buttons to press. It treats them like real people. And real people are almost infinitely flexible. Real people can appreciate sick Call of Duty skills and casual philosophy at the same time."
marketing  targetgroups  flexibility  people  society  games  gaming  videogames  honesty  authenticity  from delicious
january 2011 by robertogreco
Chaos Theory at Play in the Middle School: A Redeeming Vision | Santa Fe Leadership Center
"…rarely do I make it to the end of day & look back at a purposeful, sustained march…In spite of ability to adapt to unexpected & turn surprise into teachable moment, teachers…are often uncomfortable w/ change & uncertainty…there may be something inherent about middle schoolers that requires, even dictates, a more flexible, free flowing style of management…There is probably no age group in a greater state of flux & transformation…In some ways, life in MS may mirror…world of quantum physics.…random events that seem to defy pattern & determinism…relationships btwn students, teacher & parents give meaning to our action…in seemingly endless series of encounters…saving grace, redeeming motif that makes it all worth it is the quality of the relationships & one’s ability to alter & affect life in MS by the humanity, kindness & humor one brings to each new crisis/encounter/situation."

[Linkrot workaround: http://santafelead.org/464/ ]
middleschool  cv  teaching  learning  quantumphysics  chaostheory  predictablity  messiness  tomrosenbluth  relationships  tcsnmy  lcproject  slowlearning  slow  flexibility  growth  adolescence  pedagogy  flow  structure  planning  education  unpredictability  humor  grace  kindness  connectivism  connections  from delicious
january 2011 by robertogreco
Digital age leaves myopic Japan facing manufacturing crisis | The Japan Times Online [Why can't they get their five-part series linked together? It's not that difficult.]
"[F]ive-part series exploring how Japan and its East Asian neighbors are separately handling five common issues."

1. Title above: "The priorities for gadget makers today are now quick software design, global module procurement, and the ability to assemble a product in any country where cheap labor is available. This has rapidly eaten into the relative competitiveness of Japan's pyramid-style manufacturing groups, METI said. The pyramid model remains successful in only a handful of fields, most notably automobiles and single-lens reflex cameras, METI said."

2. Japan not alone in demographic conundrum: http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/nn20110103a3.html

3. Emerging carmakers put mainstays in panic: http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/nn20110104a2.html

4. Trade pacts one thing, immigrant labor another: http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/nn20110105f1.html

5. Japan far behind in global language of business: http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/nn20110106f1.html
japan  china  korea  economics  demographics  trends  manufacturing  future  history  growth  aging  cars  language  immigration  migration  hierarchy  flexibility  competitiveness  from delicious
january 2011 by robertogreco
The Play Ethic: Playing well: ten years of The Play Ethic
"wanted a new generation of "soulitarians" to exult in flexibility of new kinds of employment, be excited about transformative power of digitality & networks, recover child-like sense of optimism & creativity…very energies of play - not exclusively our own as a species, but something we uniquely retain right to end of our lives - shows we are a radical animal. Play gives us capacity to flexibly respond to almost any situation our environment throws at us. My aim now is still to explore what an "ethic" for play might be - but one which picks through its wide range of potentiating options, & tries to develop best ones for sustainable society.

…rise of "maker" culture…moved from coding to concrete reality - is an example of a dimension of play that could really help us get beyond a wastefully consumerist society. Makers promote a sociable tinkering, where we use hi-tech to skill ourselves and provide for ourselves more and more, rather than a lazy, brand-directed consumption."

[via: http://magicalnihilism.com/2010/12/31/leg-godt/ ]
play  work  patkane  playethic  makers  doers  hackers  hackerculture  well-being  flexibility  education  unschooling  deschooling  ethics  tcsnmy  learning  sustainability  society  consumerism  consumption  tinkering  glvo  lcproject  teaching  experimentation  joy  janemcgonigal  gamification  hideandseek  happiness  policy  briansutton-smith  competition  gamers  videogames  gaming  games  environment  innovation  invention  narcissism  freedom  openness  from delicious
january 2011 by robertogreco
Hacia una arquitectura de sistemas abiertos y sensibles / Emilio Marin | Plataforma Arquitectura
"La necesidad actual de viviendas tras el terremoto es una oportunidad única para re-pensar la arquitectura. Genera un escenario irrepetible que demanda nuevas respuestas y soluciones.

La arquitectura usualmente responde a problemas concretos con respuestas específicas, únicas e irrepetibles. Los proyectos se configuran como sistemas rígidos y cerrados que difícilmente pueden ser replicados con éxito en otro lugar. Al mismo tiempo, estas soluciones arquitectónicas están vinculadas a una ‘elite’; es una comodidad de lujo específica-individual-artesanal, normalmente a un costo altísimo."
chile  architecture  design  earthquakes  2010  openarchitecture  systems  modular  flexibility  emiliomarín  personalization  from delicious
november 2010 by robertogreco
Shaping The Future of Play | design mind
"Play is our greatest natural resource, so how do we make sure that our kids are playing in the right way?"

"Like De Matteo, all adults ultimately need to re-imagine how we can enable and support these future “change agents.” The answer may lie in four foundational pillars of play: open environments, flexible tools, modifiable rules, and superpowers."
via:cervus  play  gaming  scratch  toys  videogames  superpowers  openenvironments  exploration  creativity  problemsolving  flexibility  flexibletools  modifiablerules  rules  imagination  programming  future  learning  unschooling  deschooling  from delicious
november 2010 by robertogreco
LRB · Slavoj Žižek · Nobody has to be vile
"Being smart means being dynamic and nomadic, and against centralized bureaucracy; believing in dialogue and co-operation as against central authority; in flexibility as against routine; culture and knowledge as against industrial production; in spontaneous interaction as against fixed hierarchy."
zizek  communism  journalism  hierarchy  nomads  nomadic  neo-nomads  bureaucracy  anarchism  flexibility  routine  culture  knowledge  spontaneity  spontaneous  interaction  dialogue  cooperation  decentralization  dialog  from delicious
november 2010 by robertogreco
OK Do | The Archaeology of Mind pt. 2 – Between Realities
"Besides being a child’s work, play can be an adult’s way of life. It is a creative state of mind where one uses the ability to symbolise in order to create something unprecedented. The ability to play doesn’t only lead to artistic masterpieces, but also enhances one’s inner freedom by enabling a rich relationship with life.

A playful state of mind can be seen as a third reality between oneself and the outer world. When playing, one is neither in the real world nor experiencing their inner reality in the purest sense. You draw on the surrounding material environment, but make it yours by altering it for your own purposes…

Play is a potential space – it enhances a creative relationship to one’s surroundings. When playing, it becomes possible to free presentations from their referents and modify them, generating more flexible ways to see the world."
play  space  experience  creativity  reality  symbolism  relationships  patternrecognition  patterns  environment  potentialspace  perspective  flexibility  work  okdo  from delicious
october 2010 by robertogreco
Views: The 20-Something Dilemma - Inside Higher Ed
"rigid scripting of childhood & adolescence has made young Americans risk- & failure-averse. Shying away from endeavors at which they might not do well, they consider pointless anything w/out clear application or defined goal. Consequently, growing numbers of college students focus on higher ed’s vocational value at expense of meaningful personal, experiential, & intellectual exploration. Too many students arrive at college committed to pre-professional program or major they believe will lead directly to employment after graduation; often they are reluctant to investigate unfamiliar or “impractical”, a pejorative typically used to refer to liberal arts…Ironically, in rush to study fields w/ clear career applications, students may be shortchanging themselves. Change now occurs more rapidly than ever before & boundaries separating professional & academic disciplines constantly shift, making flexibility & creativity of thought that a lib arts education fosters a tremendous asset…"

[via: http://ayjay.tumblr.com/post/1375094336/the-rigid-scripting-of-childhood-and-adolescence ]
education  learning  liberalarts  humanities  highered  demographics  childhood  adolescence  unschooling  vocational  training  colleges  universities  whatmatters  flexibility  tcsnmy  riskaversion  risk  failure  risktaking  experience  experiential  experientiallearning  exploration  whatdoiwanttodowithmylife  2010  parenting  youth  life  lcproject  deschooling  from delicious
october 2010 by robertogreco
Can "Massive Personalization" Rebuild Quake-Devastated Chile? | Co.Design
"Chilean architect Emilio Marin has an idea that could restore housing better and faster.

Marin proposes throwing up prefab units that can be stretched, pulled, tweaked, and grouped according to residents’ desires. A notch above mass-produced disaster shelters (see: FEMA trailers), but more homogeneous than customized single-family homes (see here), the houses offer what Marin calls “massive personalization.” You can specify 400-square-foot buildings with standard pitched roofs or triple-roof buildings that are three times as big. (You can also turn them into community centers or more complex structures.) “We believe that qualitative values in architectonic solutions like spatial quality, quality of life, space and cubic meters cannot be reserved only for the elites,” Marin says. Cutting through the archispeak, the suggestion is that both rich and poor should get to determine the parameters of where they live -- quickly and relative to the size of their pocketbooks."
emiliomarin  chil  architecture  prefab  adaptability  flexibility  housing  homes  earthquakes  2010  emiliomarín  chile  personalization  from delicious
august 2010 by robertogreco
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