Infrequent musings on life happenings & more.
The Lonely Photo Campaign
With the launch of our new app for parents, called Primary, we had to find a way to introduce the app to parents in a way that represented the values of our company. Something unique. Something compelling. Something archetypal. What we arrived at was a lonely photo campaign.
Learning is a Lifestyle
Two years ago, we sat in a room at Zynga as part of the co.lab accelerator program. We asked big, wild, irresponsible questions. The type of questions you ask as you start to dream, and subsequently try to put into action. What resulted was the creation of an app for parents, called Primary.
Education Vs. Edutainment
Somewhere along the way, our culture adopted the idea that learning wasn't fun - that to inspire children, we needed to entertain them. We needed to stimulate their interests and reward them for their efforts. It didn't matter if they accomplished the task, or were even inspired by the activity, just so long as they were happily entertained.
WHY EVERYONE SHOULD JOIN AN ACCELERATOR
As a small, indie, education start-up working out of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, having the opportunity to spend time learning out of the offices of an educational games accelerator based in San Francisco, made quite the impression. In many respects, accelerators are a new type of educational institutional, and this article, we try to extrapolate some of their offerings.
Pioneering a Startup in the Midwest
When faced with an opportunity to grow our educational app company in the heart of Silicon Valley, or try to keep it in our hometown of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, we were confronted with a rather arduous choice. Surprisingly, perhaps, we chose not to uproot and relocate to California. Instead, we opted to try to pioneer on the great plains of the Midwest.
Happy Birthday Maria Montessori
If there is a renewal of Montessori on the horizon, then, we wager that it will not come from an historical appreciation. Instead, it will rise on the backs of a new generation of students. Students who will have found a way to incorporate the lessons of Montessori into their daily lives.
What steve jobs taught me about change
While many things have changed since our original exchange with Steve Jobs, we can still hear his voice: Work hard for the things that matter. Don't settle. Expectations mean everything. Have conviction in your ideas. Do what you love and don't be afraid to make a difference. Change will come, if you listen to the children.
learning to love geography
A handful of prospective Montessori teachers unexpectedly gravitated towards a puzzle map of Europe. We gathered around and slowly, assuredly, we removed the pieces. Once we had sufficiently disorganized them, we tried to return the countries back to their rightful place on the map.
Don't Write Off Cursive
October 1, 2013
Cursive is an art. It’s woven into the very fabric of our constitution. Yet, everywhere we look, it’s literally being written out of existence. Like a sandcastle built at the edge of the sea, with each crashing wave, the strokes of cursive are slowly fading away. We wrote an article for The Atlantic, sharing a few thoughts on why cursive should be saved.
December 13, 2013
With the introduction of a new digital operating system, one that removes ties to the physical world in many ways— everything has changed. This new 'language' is more transparent, noticeably lighter, and seemingly faster. We put together a few thoughts on the implications this may have for thinking of learning in terms of real life experiences.
The Single Most Innovative Concept in Education
May 30, 2013
While adaptive learning is a radical idea, perhaps the single most innovative concept in the history of education, it’s at least 100 years old. Italian physician Maria Montessori pioneered this novel approach to education—an education centered solely on the developmental needs of children.
The Obligation to Write
May 04, 2013
As aspiring writers, we're constantly inquiring into various methods, techniques, and styles. Why did Hemingway stand to write? Is writing in the morning, as Nietzsche confesses, the most efficacious and timely? I think I found some answers in the wonderful interviews with Michel Foucault.
March 8th, 2013
"We Have Decided Not to Die", written, directed and edited by Daniel Askill, is a delightful, sumptuous and surprisingly analeptic short film. It's presented in three brief but interrelated narratives, almost like timed, probiotic doses of inspiration.
February 26, 2013
Silicon Valley is trying to answer the question, "How can we use technology to help us learn?" Of course, this isn't a new question, it's been with us for at least two thousand years. Yet, with groundbreaking advances in hardware and software, we're reaching a new and previously unexplored point of both mobility and scalability.
February 6, 2013
I've been reading a fair amount of interviews with David Hockney. I find them so ripe and resplendent with observations and insights. They're almost like viewing one of his landscapes. As soon as you discover one layer, a color or posture leads you to another previously unexplored depth. There's so much wonder and vastness in his work. It's as if you'll never be able to finish looking, let alone finish the conversation.
February 04, 2013
We had a wonderful conversation with a three year old student about imagination. It went something like this: "We love your new tie-dye shirt. Can you tell us about it?" The boy responded thus, "I made it with my mom." With a grin on his face, he enthusiastically continued, "We colored the world." His mother, looking as proud as a peacock, rejoined, "How about that imagination?"
My first philosophical review. I wrote on John Sallis's Topographies, claiming that he pioneers a Deleuze and Guattarian Aesthetics of the Earth. The article was also published in a favorite journal of mine, The Warwick Journal of Philosophy, in an issue entitled, Sense and NonSense.