Working on the Global Learning XPrize was an incredible experience. I love the vision that any child should have access to a world-class education. But to me, having a world-class education is more than just learning to read, write, and do math. A world-class education is not just formal learning, but having world-class toys to play with. I had a fortunate upbringing where I had toys like Lego and K’Nex to build things, computer and video games to explore new worlds, and origami and other crafts to further express my creativity.
At the moment I’m generating the curriculum for the English version of RoboTutor. I had a good opportunity to practice using Linux’s sed command, so I wanted to write about my experience.
Before I get into how the sed command works, I need to give a quick intro for how the RoboTutor curriculum architecture is structured.
For each content area within RoboTutor (math, literacy, and stories), we have a spreadsheet that represents the order of lessons.
Each cell in this spreadsheet represents one lesson. Each lesson points to a JSON file which contains the items that make up that lesson.
Today I began my typical morning run with my Garmin smartwatch attached to my wrist. I ran a few blocks before I decided to try running without it today. What was once an effective means of motivation through reward and self-quantization had become an oppressive burden to the enjoyment of my run. I’ve noticed that when I’m wearing the watch, I pay much attention to how fast I’m running, how fast my heart is beating, and how many miles I’ve gone. Part of my ability to appreciate my surroundings and enjoy my running was lost.
After putting the watch in…
Yesterday I finished the last day of an ab workout schedule provided by this Android app called “Six Pack in 30 days” (I still don’t have a six-pack, those bastards). There are three workout sequences of thirty days each, for a total of 90 days. Each sequence is more difficult than the previous, and the difficulty also escalates within each sequence.
One nice feature of the app is that they show you a calendar with the days you’ve completed. A nicer feature is that there are break days once every four days, and they still fill in the dots for…
This week, after last week’s discussions with the teachers, I decided to redirect the ship towards “mistakes” and growth mindsets. Mistakes as learning opportunities.
Gave a little speech
used the activity listed in the book “Mathematical Mindsets” by Jo Boaler, crinkling up paper (shown below)
Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.
I came into the final week of my summer at TechShop Inventor Camp with a challenge on my plate. The camp was being led by two new instructors whom I sort of knew, but hadn’t yet worked with. Also, the lease on my apartment ended Monday, so I started the week a bit frazzled from hauling boxes and from the usual existential crisis that accompanies moving and being reminded that everything must eventually come to an end.
How can we use the tools already available to us to improve our documentation? There are so many apps out there already that are super fun and useful for captioning and enhancing the photos we take.
The first obvious choice is Snapchat. Everyone loves Snapchat. While I don’t really use it too often to communicate with friends, they have a really user friendly interface for drawing and captioning on your photo. When you take a picture with Snapchat, you don’t have to send it to anyone. …
Today was the second week of TechShop summer camp, and after building some rapport with the teachers during the first week (of different students), I gave a presentation to this week’s kids about documentation and digital portfolios. I presented for about ten minutes to each group, one of 8–11 year olds and one of 12–15 year olds.
I introduced the concept of documenting and creating a digital portfolio to the kids by expressing the below points:
My goal for the first week of TechShop summer camp was to go in with a so-called “minimum viable product” to get kids documenting their work in an easy and minimally invasive way. This was easily achieved with an Android tablet that I lent to kids to take pictures of their work. I went in Thursday to observe how students had progressed in their first day of open build, wherein they were building their own projects.
After helping a student and instructor fix an Arduino circuit, I went around to each kid to ask about their projects, and to find…
This summer I will be doing an independent study that examines how we can help young students improve their metacognition by documenting their making process. It will be a continuation of the work I did with a team last fall for my Learning Media Design course, where we designed a solution for TechShop, a local maker space. I will be working with TechShop again, with students in their summer camp program.
This is an important issue to me, because I want students to be able to develop their own agency and tell their own stories through digital portfolios, which they…