The evolution of education, particularly as filtered through the prism of emerging technology and new media, is something we’re keenly interested in and something of increasing importance to society at large. Now, from authors Douglas Thomas and John Seely Brown comes a powerful and refreshing effort to approach the subject with equal parts insight, imagination and optimism, rather than the techno-dystopian views today’s cultural pundits tend to throw our way.
We’re stuck in a mode where we’re using old systems of understanding learning to try to understand these new forms, and part of the disjoint means that we’re missing some really important and valuable data.” ~ Douglas Thomas
The book touches on a number of critical issues in digital learning, from the role of remix culture to the importance of tinkering and experimentation in creating, not merely acquiring, knowledge. Central to its premise is the idea that play is critical to understanding learning, something we can get behind.
The social web era has introduced new challenges to attribution and citation. In an information system where content discovery is the currency of cool, not crediting your sources is a new form of piracy, plagiarism perpetrated against fellow publishers, driven perhaps by the misguided notion that there somehow isn’t “enough” — enough audience, enough interest, enough status — for everyone. The lack of attribution and source citation across the social web is not only one of our biggest pet peeves, but also one of the most serious issues that journalism has to sort out as it grapples with new publishing platforms. (In fact, we’re working on a forthcoming project in that very vein — stay tuned.)
So we were particularly thrilled to stumble upon this excellent See Something Cite Something flowchart guide to crediting your sources when you “see something cool on the Internet.”
Published just in time for yesterday’s World’s Fair Use Day, the flowchart is a tongue-in-cheek reminder to do the decent thing in what’s actually a very serious issue in publishing and content curation. Massive hat tip to co-creators Rosscott and H. Caldwell Tanner for doing what should’ve been done a long time ago.
A year’s worth of ideas, inspiration and innovation from culture’s collective brain.
It’s that time again, that very special day on which we turn back on the year whose end we celebrate tonight and take a look at the tastiest tidbits of interestingness that made our radar during the 4,500+ hours we poured into Brain Pickings in 2010. (And if you found any of them marginally interesting, stimulating or smile-inducing, please consider supporting us with a marginal donation — it’s what keeps the cogs a-turnin’ here.)
An animated adaptation of Mark Twain’s The War Prayer gave us pause about the state of the world today, more than a century after Twain’s poignant reflection on war and morality. These 7 must-read books by TED speakers became one of our most read articles all year and MoMA’s Paola Antonelli echoed our own philosophy on design and innovation in her metaphor of the “curious octopus.”
Divergent thinking isn’t the same thing as creativity. I define creativity as the process of having original ideas that have value. Divergent thinking isn’t a synonym but is an essential capacity for creativity. It’s the ability to see lots of possible answers to a question, lots of possible ways to interpret a question, to think laterally, to think not just in linear or convergent ways, to see multiple answers, not one.” ~ Sir Ken Robinson
Silk floss tree (Ceiba speciosa), a flowering deciduous tree native to South America's tropical forests
Image by Cedric Pollet
We explored the psychology of choice from five perspectives and rushed to grab Bill Moggridge’s ambitious new book on media innovation, featuring interviews with some some of today’s most celebrated media thought leaders.
We were thrilled that James Burke’s iconic Connections series, a BBC history of innovation, was released online for free. We celebrated Christmas with a fascinating documentary about the history of the holiday and a heart-warming story of humanity amidst war from 1914. We commemorated the 6th anniversary of our favorite author’s death with a trifecta remembrance and took a delightfully dark, beautifully illustrated look at Armageddon.
In 2010, we spent more than 4,500 hours bringing you Brain Pickings. If you found any joy and inspiration here this year, please consider supporting us with a modest donation — it lets us know we’re doing something right and helps pay the bills.
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Brain Pickings has a free weekly interestingness digest. It comes out on Sundays and offers the week's best articles. Here's an example. Like? Sign up.
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