Learning

What if We Treated our Children with the Respect They Deserve?

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If only our country focused on finding the potential in its children, amazing things could happen, as this inspiring article from The New York Times shows. When a committed philanthropist spent a relatively small amount of money, $11 million over 21 years, it completely turned around student educational attainment in a mid-sized predominantly African-American town in Florida. It also had a major positive impact on the community itself. The key was aggressive early-childhood education, along with training for parents.   More

Learning

How Tech Fights Problems Caused by Tech

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We live in a time of increasingly obsessive worry that our lives are being worsened by the tech that surrounds us. We are sacrificing our privacy, we hear, as we dwell online. We don't spend enough time with real people and too much instead in virtual interaction. We suffer from shortening attention spans. And on and on. However, there are likely to be endless ways to employ tech to combat the effects of tech that we decide we really do not like. This article in The Chronicle of Higher Education is about tools to reduce distraction while taking online courses. It points toward what's possible. Careful research on students showed that using software to give them incentives not to stop studying really worked.   More

Learning

Robots for All

(Image via Leesburg Today)

“Most robotics kits are hundreds or even thousands of dollars, so we wanted to give kids who don’t have that kind of money a chance build their own robots,” Ritvik Jayakumar tells Leesburg Today. The really cool part? Jayakumar isn’t a Silicon Valley whiz (yet) or a crowd-funded entrepreneur (yet). He’s one of nine Ashburn, Virginia, middle-school students on “Team Gear UP!” competing at the FIRST Championship taking place this week in St. Louis, Missouri. One of the program’s elements tasked teams to come up with an innovative solution to improve learning around the world, and before the team knew it, the Craft-A-Bot kit was born.   More

Global Tech Learning

Educators Unite to Build Vietnam’s Tech Talent

Vietnamese student learns game design. (Photo courtesy of Everest Education, Ho Chi Minh City)

Vietnam’s tech industry is booming. For growth to continue, however, Vietnam must cultivate an increasingly skilled tech workforce and develop new capabilities in research, problem solving, and client service. But building such capabilities requires a major mindset shift at educational institutions, which typically emphasize rote learning over problem solving. Such a change will also challenge companies that opt for rigid hierarchy over the flatter structures that encourage creativity and initiative. To overcome these challenges, many Vietnamese tech companies are partnering with educators, NGOs, and government agencies. Although some companies still think of Vietnam as simply a place for cheap labor, the forward-thinking ones know the country has deeper potential.   More

Jobs Learning

Augmented Reality: Enabling Learning Through Rich Context

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In his 1992 novel “Snow Crash,” Neal Stephenson envisioned the Metaverse: a three-dimensional manifestation of the Internet in which people interact and collaborate via digitally-constructed avatars. In the decades since, technology has advanced to the point where such a place no longer seems like science fiction. Stephenson’s Metaverse is a virtual reality space, a completely immersive computer-generated experience whose users have minimal ability to interact with the real world. In contrast to this fictional vision is today’s burgeoning field of augmented reality (AR), a technology that superimposes visual information or other data in front of one’s view of the real world.   More

Global Tech Learning

Emerging Market Medical Education Goes Digital

HIV specialists in Vietnam use video conferencing to train local health workers. Photo courtesy of HAIVN.

A shortage of skilled health workers is an acute and ongoing problem in many emerging markets. Weak medical education systems bear a major part of the blame. But a big opportunity for rapid progress has emerged as online medical education becomes increasingly common. Doctors and nurses in even the poorest countries can now get better training.   More

Davos 2015 Learning

Davos 2015: Going to School’s Lisa Heydlauff on Empowering Young Entrepreneurs in India

Going to School CEO Lisa Heydlauff joins Hub Culture at the World Economic Forum Davos 2015. Heydlauff discusses her organization's mission to empower poor children in India with entrepreneurial skills.   More

Davos 2015 Learning

Davos 2015: Codecademy’s Zach Sims on Creating New Jobs

Codecademy's Zach Sims visits Hub Culture at the World Economic Forum Davos 2015. Sims discusses the power of technology to create new jobs and new job categories, and to educate workers for those jobs.   More

Davos 2015 Learning

Davos 2015: Berkeley Psychologist Alison Gopnik on Computer Learning

UC Berkeley Professor of Psychology Alison Gopnik visits Hub Culture at the World Economic Forum Davos 2015. Gopnik explores the idea of computer learning and designing computers to "think" like a child.   More

Davos 2015 Learning

Davos 2015: MIT’s Susan Hockfield on Interactive Open Courseware

MIT President Emerita Susan Hockfield joins Hub Culture at the World Economic Forum Davos 2015. Hockfield shares her thoughts on MIT's interactive open courseware and its partnership with the World Economic Forum.   More

Learning

The Markle Foundation’s Philip Zelikow on Reconfiguring Education for the Digital Age

“Imagine an education system that’s built around unleashing the power of the individual,” says Philip Zelikow, professor of history at the University of Virginia and visiting managing director at the Markle Foundation. Zelikow envisions a new paradigm where someone can get the training and education they need even if it means starting classes in the middle of a traditional semester. Does that mean students will just pop online to get the credits they need? Not necessarily. “The future may be more likely a mixture of online plus people,” says Zelikow, with “navigators” helping to guide students through online options and pair them with real-world tutors.   More

Global Tech Learning

Computer Science in Vietnam: Counting Down to the Hour of Code

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Events surrounding this week's Hour of Code coincide with Computer Science Education week. Vietnam will have 26 different hosts, ranging from universities and high schools to private corporations. However, only two of the participating high schools are local schools under the Department of Education. The remaining are international or private schools. But don’t be too concerned about the lack of participation from public secondary schools. In fact, the rest of the world is really only catching up to Vietnam, whose public schools are known for introducing computer science into the curriculum at a very early age.   More

Jobs Learning Techonomy Events

Can We Train America to Train its Workers?

By 2022 the U.S. is projected to need 1.4 million new programmers, but at the current rate only 400,000 IT grads will emerge to fill them. How America tackles this disparity will help determine its ongoing global competitiveness and the economic success of all Americans. Codecademy has developed innovative training tools, and the White House is turning to this issue with great urgency. In this session from our Sept. 16 Techonomy Detroit conference, Techonomy's David Kirkpatrick talks to Brian Forde of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and Codecademy CEO Zach Sims about how to close the looming skills gap.   More

Learning Mobile

Siri Co-founder: Speech Recognition Ready for Leap Forward

Speech recognition has been around a lot longer than Siri, but Apple’s dulcet-toned digital assistant helped bring the technology to a mass audience, and inspire futuristic visions like the one voiced by Scarlett Johanssen in “Her.” Adam Cheyer, one of the co-founders of Siri (acquired by Apple in 2010), says speech recognition is poised to become more widely used and more sophisticated.   More

Learning Mobile

Siri Co-founder Cheyer on How Change.org Amplifies Voices

Voice-recognition technology helps users interact with their computing devices. But Siri co-founder Adam Cheyer believes that if you recognize people's voices in another sense—when they advocate for change in society—you can help them do something even more important. Cheyer is a software engineer, artificial intelligence expert, and entrepreneur. He’s also a founding member of the social campaign platform Change.org.   More

Learning Manufacturing

Inventing Outside of the Box

Steven Norris, an editor at Gearburn—a Cape Town, South Africa website chronicling "the latest gadget news from around the world"—admits to being endlessly amused by "staggeringly cool technology videos" that reveal how designers transform ugly tech devices into "eye-pleasing shapes." As a favor to those who share his fascination, yesterday Norris shared 13 videos "of incredible inventions that show off their makers' insane intelligence." His picks? We agree they're all staggeringly cool, but suggest that their inventors are likely quite sane geniuses.   More

Learning

A Class Discovery Platform: By Students, for Students

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Today, you can use an app to hail a cab or to have groceries delivered within an hour, but college students still use outdated academic services for even simple tasks like signing up for classes, arranging college housing, and paying tuition. Frustrated with such outmoded tools, three UC Berkeley undergrads created an intuitive application to solve a central academic challenge for students there (and at most schools): finding the classes that best suit them.   More

E-Commerce Learning

Audible Founder Katz on Discovering the Music in Language

Even the head of an audiobook juggernaut has to admit that certain books were meant to be read on the page rather than listened to on headphones. For Audible founder and CEO Donald Katz, that book is “The Sound and the Fury,” which he describes as “one of the most complex and beautifully constructed pieces of literature” and a primer on the “music in language.”   More

E-Commerce Learning

Got Audiobook? Audible CEO Katz on the Rewards of Listening to Literature

Since introducing one of the first digital audio players in 1997, Audible (now owned by Amazon) has become the biggest name in audiobooks. “It really is seen as a service now,” says Audible founder and CEO Donald Katz of the surging audiobook phenomenon. We spoke to Katz at the recent Venture for America Summer Celebration in NYC. He ticked off some of the benefits enjoyed by the growing legions of audiobook consumers: “They get to work smarter than the guy in the next cube; they have storytelling in their lives on a consistent basis.” Most importantly, he said, they’ve found a valuable way to spend the millions of hour per week Americans spend in traffic.   More

Learning

Audible CEO Katz on Why Audiobooks Boost Literacy

Donald Katz, founder and CEO of audiobook pioneer Audible, can go on at length about why listening to books is a virtue for readers and society. That's not surprising, since his company (now owned by Amazon) effectively created the mass listening phenomenon, and dominates it in the U.S. Katz says that by listening to literature, “a lot of people who just don’t have enough time to read now effectively read and ingest beautifully-arranged words.” We spoke with him at the recent Venture for America Summer Celebration in NYC. He argues that audiobooks aren’t just a supplement for adults who are short on time. “A lot of kids are turned on to reading itself or the concept of long, immersive experiences” through audiobooks, he said.   More