Tag Archives: Don Buckley

Pics and notes from the inaugural @EdcampUSA Organizers Summit in PA Apr 30-May 1. #edcamp #edchat


Many thanks to the Kim Sivick (@ksivick), Program Director of the Edcamp Foundation, for inviting me to the inaugural Edcamp Organizers Summit – the first in a series of events where Edcamp organizers will gather, network, share best practices, and be inspired.

Hadley Ferguson (@hadleyjf), Executive Director of the Edcamp Foundation, and @KristenSwanson, Founding Edcamp Board Member, launched the two-day summit with words that made me feel so proud for being a passionate advocate for Edcamp. I especially liked Kristen’s slides stating, “It’s not about events. It’s about empowerment.” and “It’s not about size. It’s about people.” I was so happy to attend the summit and represent EdcampNYC with my friend and co-founder, Ann Oro (@OroAnnM)!

Shannon Montague (@montysays) and @AdamBellow, @EdcampUSA Board members) helped to organize the crowd-sourced conversational topics written on Post-its, and soon after we had an official PHL Summit Session Board schedule of unconference conversations to choose from.

I popped in on a few different sessions while connecting with people I usually interact with online. A particular highlight of the conference was joining the Stop Taking Yourself So Seriously! Let’s Snap, Dub, and Bitmoji! session faciliated by Kristina Peters (@MrsKPeters). Hilarity ensued after a roomful of teachers began to film and share their lipsync videos created in DubSmash. Edcamp gold!

Keynote speakers during the conference included:
Anthony Veneziale, co-founder of Speechless, Improv Thinking: Fostering Creativity and Neuroplasticity who got the whole room to stand and step out of their comfort zone.
Jose Vilson (@TheJLV), Educator, writer, thought leader, and Founder of #educolor which “seeks to elevate the voices of public school advocates of color on educational equity and justice.”
@JamesTSanders of BreakoutEdu which takes an empty box with a bunch of locks and offers teachers a platform to game-ify their classroom.

Look out for announcements from @ksivick and @edcampusa about the upcoming summits: July 25-26 in Atlanta, GAand August 12-13 in Dallas, TX.

 

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Facebook valued at $270 billion? NewsCorp buying MySpace for $580 million was sooo 10 years ago. #edchat

Illustration by Jordan Awan

There’s a terrific piece in the current @NewYorker, Facebook Should Pay All of Us by Tim Wu. In it, Wu writes:

Facebook is […] widely assumed to have more data than anyone else. That data is useful for advertising, which is Facebook’s main source of revenue. But the data is also an asset. The two-hundred-and-seventy-billion-dollar valuation of Facebook, which made a profit of three billion dollars last year, is based on some faith that piling up all of that data has value in and of itself. It’s like a virtual Fort Knox—with a gold mine attached to it. One reason Mark Zuckerberg is so rich is that the stock market assumes that, at some point, he’ll figure out a new way to extract profit from all the data he’s accumulated about us.

…For the most valuable innovation at the heart of Facebook was probably not the social network (Friendster thought of that) so much as the creation of a tool that convinced hundreds of millions of people to hand over so much personal data for so little in return. As such, Facebook is a company fundamentally driven by an arbitrage opportunity—namely, the difference between how much Facebook gets, and what it costs to simply provide people with a place to socialize. That’s an arbitrage system that might evaporate in a world of rational payments. If we were smart about the accounting, we’d be asking Facebook to pay us.

Since NewsCorp bought MySpace for $580 million dollars in 2005, I have had so many conversations with students, parents, teachers, friends, family, and strangers about what I imagined NewsCorp was buying. Data. An ocean of freely shared data about its users from its users: Who are you? Who do you know? What do you do? Specifically, what are your likes and dislikes for bands, songs, cars, jeans, sodas, shampoos, computers, magazines, pizza toppings, television channels, narcotics, candidates, Friends characters? Where do you shop, hang out, watch movies? People freely and willingly uploaded any and all personal information and preferences to MySpace, and NewsCorps hoped to sift through swells of big data for advertising and internet marketing purposes. Six years later, NewsCorps sold MySpace for $35 million dollars in 2011. Ruh roh.

For almost two decades, I’ve working mainly with middle school students and teachers. During my time at The School at Columbia University, Don Buckley (Director of Innovation from 2006-2013) asked Cristina Martinez (our Systems Administrator) to set up an internal social network using Elgg back in like 2007 or 2008. To demonstrate that a social network is EMPTY until people populate it with information, we start every school year with a blank social network after archiving the previous year’s work. I constantly reinforce that everything posted online is either public or less public, so if you want something to be private, you should never upload it. Below are links to some posts I’ve written detailing specific annual curricular projects I’ve led using this in-house space, The Social Network:

  1. Creating social networking profiles with 6th graders:  https://karenblumberg.wordpress.com/2014/12/10/in-6th-grade-life-skills-making-digital-profiles-on-our-in-house-elgg-social-network/
  2. Social networking etiquette and other life lessons:  https://karenblumberg.wordpress.com/2011/10/05/social-networking-etiquette-and-other/
  3. 7th graders creating faux profiles of Great Mathematicians:  https://karenblumberg.wordpress.com/2010/04/15/social-networking-with-great-mathematicians/
  4. 8th graders creating faux profiles of the Founding Fathers:  https://karenblumberg.wordpress.com/2014/10/20/foundingfathers/

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Just visited the inaugural @littleBits retail store with @donbuckley! Here are photos:

The first littleBits store opened today, and I was so excited to visit the space with my former boss and mentor @donbuckley! It’s so well designed! This pop-up store’s location is 355 West Broadway in the SoHo district, and it will operate there for the next 7 months. The actual grand opening will be in mid-August. Read more about the opening here: http://www.psfk.com/2015/07/littlebits-store-retail-electronics.html 

Besides being able to buy pieces in the retail section, there are demo areas peppered with inspiring projects next to correlating paper recipe cards (with starter instructions on one side and a shopping list on the other) and an open lab area in the back where you can work with a littleBits ambassador in a lab coat to build something amazing. There’s a wonderful opportunity to either leave your creation behind or take it with you (and you pay for all the pieces). Either way, there’s a wired photo org area where you can document your masterpiece and share it with the wider littleBits community online.

Creative opportunities abound here! I’m hoping to organize teacher outings to come and play. @AyahBdeir, superstar founder of litteBits, was at the store today and chatted with me and Don for a while. I’ve been a fan of Ayah’s since her TED Fellow days, and it’s been amazing to watch her build her dream company. littleBits’s flourishing business, perpetually expanding product offerings, growing popularity, and spreading community are a joy to observe through their kicking Instagram account. Check it out here: Instagram.com/littleBits

littleBits Store info:
355 West Broadway
New York, NY 10013
917-924-2302 ext 102
Hours: Mon-Fri 11am–7pm, Sat-Sun 10am–7pm

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