Over the last couple of centuries, data visualisation has developed to the point where it is in everyday use across all walks of life. Many recognise it as an effective tool for both storytelling and analysis, overcoming most language and educational barriers. But why is this?
Nearly three hundred years ago Montesquieu wrote in The Spirit of Laws, “Today, there are three different or contradictory types of education out there: that of our parents, that of our teachers, and that of the world. Everything we are taught in the latter undermines everything we are taught in the first two.”
For the sake of the apprentice, I would like the practice of design and its creative potential to play a central role in breathing new life into the master’s purpose. A driving force in the teaching and understanding of all things, the master enables the apprentice to take ownership of the design field’s breadth and the myriad opportunities available therein. The master fosters broader reflection and helps channel context- and reality-based scenarios.
Left-brained or right-brained? Creativity is way more complex than that.
PBS Digital Studios’ series Off Book provides an insightful, in-depth look at how creativity operates, the misconceptions that surround it still, and the artist’s life struggle to always keep pushing forward. We’re not “naturally” creative, there’s a defined process that encourages idea creation, as Off Book shows us.
An inner city primary is at the heart of a research project on how tablet computers may boost children's learning.
The Lambeth school's head teacher, Kate Atkins, says the aim is to help pupils develop a range of learning strategies.
"Poor learners are often over-confident about the power of their memories and can struggle to find alternative strategies.
"We need to encourage them to think about how they learn and to try something else."
Children at the school are encouraged to reflect on every piece of work or unit of learning.They are asked to think about which bits went well, what they struggled with and what they might need to do to improve when they next revisit the subject.
A key part of this is to ask children how they felt about each piece of work, for example many children find conducting a science experiment exciting and fun but hate having to sit down and write it up afterwards, says Ms Atkins.
"An emotional reaction is a key part of the learning process."
The research project aims to test whether the strategy actually improves pupils' attainment.
The Biomimicry DesignLens is a collection of diagrams that visually represent the foundations of our design approach. It includes the core components of this approach: Essential Elements, Life’s Principles, and Biomimicry Thinking.
Who is the DesignLens for?
Biomimicry and the DesignLens can help you deeply observe the way life works, and provide a framework for using nature’s genius to inform human design.
How to use the Design Lens
The DesignLens is intended to complement your biomimicry practice and education. You can browse the materials on our site, or download the Collateral Folder to print the diagrams or use them in presentations.
In the late 1930s, an ambitious graduate student named Herbert F. Spitzer asked thousands of Iowa sixth graders to read a short article about bamboo – an article he later described as “highly factual, authentic, of the proper difficulty, and similar in type to the material that children read in their regular school work.”
He divided the students into 10 groups and gave them long multiple-choice quizzes (“What usually happens to a bamboo plant after the flowering period?”) at varying intervals. One group, for example, was quizzed immediately after reading the article, then again the next day, and then a final time three weeks later. Another group was quizzed only once, three weeks after reading the article. The students did not know when they would be quizzed, and they did not keep the article, so they had no chance to study on their own.
The results were striking: On tests three or nine weeks later, students performed far better if they had previously been quizzed within 24 hours after first reading the article. When Mr. Spitzer wrote up his work in the Journal of Educational Psychology in 1939, he made a recommendation that might have made millions of students and their teachers groan: “Immediate recall in the form of a test is an effective method of aiding the retention of learning and should, therefore, be employed more frequently in the elementary school.”
Smartphones and laptops mean students on field trips can interact with universities
A postgraduate student is on a field trip to the Orkney Islands collecting data for her PhD in cultural heritage. She checks her RSS feed on her smart phone over breakfast, honing in on the most relevant reports from hundreds of professional journals and blogs that she follows.
Her working day begins with a Skype meeting with supervisors in Leicester and Glasgow. Together they edit an article via Google Docs. She then publishes a blog via Wordpress, which she uses to share and test ideas-in-progress with peers and experts worldwide. Some critically appraise her thoughts, linking their own knowledge and research. She tweets about her blog, asking for ideas.
She shares her data with research team members via data storage Dropbox. She uploads a video of her field excursion to one of the most remote islands on YouTube, alongside other clips she's archiving for her dissertation.
This is a model postgraduate, employing technology to the full, according to Prof Allison Littlejohn, director of the Caledonian Academy at Glasgow Caledonian University.
It was a revolution moving higher education from bricks to clicks… and now it's started to go back to bricks again.
Online university providers, which offered people the chance to study from home, are turning full circle by creating a network of learning centres where students can meet and study together.
Instead of demolishing the dusty old classrooms of academia, the online university revolution is responsible for opening some new ones.
Coursera, a major California-based provider of online courses, is creating an international network of "learning hubs", where students can follow these virtual courses in real-life, bricks and mortar settings.
And there are thousands of meet-ups in cafes and libraries where students get together to talk about their online courses.
When analytic thought, the knife, is applied to experience, something is always killed in the process. That is fairly well understood, at least in the arts... Something is always killed. But what is less noticed in the arts—something is always created too.-Robert M. Pirsig, Zen and the art of Motorcycle Maintenance I teach design process to people with very little experience in design, at a thing we call the Design Gym. The response from our attendees is always very positive.
At Harvard, more people have signed up for Moocs in a single year than have attended the university in its entire 377-year history. That's a great success story in opening up education, but what do you do with all those hungry minds?
Enter the Spoc. And the clue is in the "small, private" part of the name. These courses are still free and delivered through the internet, but access is restricted to much smaller numbers, tens or hundreds, rather than tens of thousands.
It means a selection process for applicants and the capacity for a more customised experience. Looking further down the track, it wouldn't be difficult to imagine fees and course credits.
Harvard and University of California, Berkeley, part of the edX online alliance with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, are among the universities beginning to experiment with this more refined model.
A new report calls for China to be seen as a land of scientific opportunity not a black hole of intellectual theft and cybercrime.
The study is by Nesta, a think tank founded to promote innovation, and it argues that the massive and growing scale of Chinese science means it is simply "too big to ignore"- spending about $500m on research every day and employing a quarter of the world's R&D workforce.
The growth in online learning and the challenges it poses for the world's universities?
Clive Hilton's insight:
Universities who have looked so snootily on the internet for quite a long time are now falling over each other to get their courses online. They are struggling to work out the implications of mass audiences.
The impact of really good lectures delivered by really good lecturers will come as no surprise to anyone who has been to one of those crowded live debates in London or New York, or attended a literary festival.
It's apparent that there is a heartfelt need for people to encounter ideas. Older "students" seem hungrier for this intellectual exposure than people in their youthful university phase.
And the top university lecturers find their internet-accessed popularity exhilarating - a new dimension to their teaching experience. Maybe a lucrative one.
The potential of Moocs is very disruptive for conventional universities and for the people who work for them. Many questions are raised.
Are Moocs democratic or super-elitist? Will they empower a few superstar professors while reducing to insignificances those other teachers whose courses attract only a smattering of followers?
Some universities may close as a result of political and financial change in the sector, suggests a survey of senior leaders.
The study by a management consulting firm predicts further cuts in public funding to universities. Some 60 senior university leaders from across the UK responded to the survey, around a third of the total.
"It is clear that we are witnessing a sea-change in the dynamics of higher education", said co-author Mike Boxall.
Declining government grants, limits on undergraduate numbers, higher student fees and cuts to research funding have resulted in a dramatic shift in priorities for university leaders, argues the report by PA Consulting.
The authors detect signs of a switch among university leaders away from "their historical obsession with outlook for government policy and funding".
Instead the focus is increasingly "the competitive battle for fee-paying students", with a "new imperative" to offer "attractive and rewarding learning experiences", including better student access to academic staff.
Industrial Design content and community site - articles, discussions, interviews and resources.
In the coming week we'll be publishing posts by frog's researchers drawing on their experience of working for commercial and non-commercial clients in some of the less predictable places of the world: Afghanistan; post-revolution Egypt; Rwanda; Burundi; Brazil, Ethiopia; South Sudan; India and China—the list of countries is extensive, the global insights team ratchet up more than 150 projects a year across industries— financial inclusion, healthcare, automotive, fast moving consumer goods.
In this series, the posts are written by Jan Chipchase, Cara Silver and Mark Rolston to coincide with the publication of their new report: In The Hands of God: A Study of Risk and Savings in Afghanistan that explored issues related to the design and adoption of mobile money services. As you might expect from a country at war, Afghanistan is very much an outlier, but as such it can reveal behaviours that are far more difficult to spot elsewhere in much the same way that lead users are different from mainstream users. It's a journey that revealed the best and worst of humanity: from the family bonds, trust, betrayal and even an attempted kidnapping.