As some of you know, shortly after my 22nd birthday, I hopped on a plane to Paris, France to help get my sister settled in for her French immersion/study abroad experience. While I’ve been to a number of diverse cities in the world, the convergence of old and new, especially in terms of art and culture, had me very excited to visit Paris. Perhaps the best part of this trip, not to psyche myself out, is that even if Paris is miserable, I’ll be spending 8 days in Vienna visiting family, which is easily one of my favorite cities, and what often feels like a second home. That being said, here’s what Paris has been like so far:
While being sick and bedridden would drive most people to watch their favorite movies or catch up on the latest TV series on HULU, I most often find myself watching TED talks. As today is one of those days where I’m stuck at home, I wanted to share a great talk by Jason Fried about “Why work doesn’t happen at work.”
Fried’s talk hits home with an idea that many people can probably relate to; there are far too many distractions at work to allow real work to get done. As Fried puts it, “the door to the office is like a CusinArt, shredding your day into a million bits.” He points out that time spent on Facebook and Twitter today are the equivalent of the 15 minute smoking breaks in the 50s, and that it isn’t these distractions that are causing problems at work. Rather, the problems are M&Ms: managers and meetings.
The real distractions at work come from how your day gets fragmented into face-to-face interactions that remove you from your working environment. While this can seem productive at first, work, like sleep, happens in stages, where you have to progress through the early ones to get through the deep ones. If you are interrupted in those early stages, you don’t make it to the deeper, more productive ones. Fried’s talk is quite provocative, and he ultimately suggests a few strategies to make workplaces better.
Check out the full post for 16 minutes of great quotations like: “You can hide instant messages; you can’t hide your manager.”
In the most recent Communication Arts Photo Annual, there were a number of excellence works that caught my eye, yet nothing resonated with me like Alain Desjean‘s work on the “Get Tested” campaign for One Life.
The work speaks for itself, clearly and pointedly stating that “when you sleep with someone, you also sleep with his/her past.” This is something I wish more people would consider when they decide to engage in intimacy with others. You have only one life to live.
Good Magazine recently published an article for their quarterly magazine titled “Young, Educated, and Unemployed” examining the current state of college graduates in today’s job market. Their tagline “The Lost Generation: What it’s like for 20-somethings to go in search of meaningful work – and not find it” resembles a similar sentiment that the New York Times expressed in their article “American Dream Is Elusive for New Generation.” Below, I have shared a bit of the articles as well as my own thoughts on the current recession and how it affects higher education. Continue reading →
In watching videos for this week’s TED Tuesday, a common theme arose between my selections – education as a self-organized and self-sustaining process. Both Professor Sugatra Mitra and TED Curator Chris Anderson touch on these ideas in the videos I’ve posted.
Professor Mitra explains various experiments that he has done around the world as part of his “Hole in the Wall” project, placing computers in public locations and monitoring their use by children as self-teaching tools. He states that “when you have interest, you have education,” and outlines what has become of his project – the development of S.O.L.E.s, or self-organized learning environments. He sees this type of group learning as the key to pushing education in the future, similar to how Anderson credits web videos with the large “Crowd Accelerated Innovation” movement that is taking place in arenas from breakdancing to unicycling.
While I agree with the three parts of Anderson’s formula – a crowd, “light,” and desire – I don’t know that I necessarily see web videos alone taking over the education arena the way that he does. I think that for now, and for at least the next five years, web-based group learning will supplement a lot of traditional education in many developed regions, until we have better ways to learn and interact online. For more of those thoughts, check out PART ONE of “With interest comes education.” See the full post for videos from Professor Mitra and Anderson.