If At First You Don’t Succeed – Try, Try Again

Eleanor Kennedy Blog, Iterative Creativity

It’s a proverb made popular in the 1800s, one that can be applied to many of life’s disciplines. But, it has to be noted how fitting it is that the famous saying, which acts as a piece of advice to those facing adversity, was made famous by an educational writer (William Edward Hickson). Iteration is a huge part of a student’s learning experience. It’s foolish to think skills can be perfected and knowledge obtained at first deliverance. Yes, the speed at which knowledge is retained depends on the person. One student might have to recite their multiplication tables twice before they are memorized, while another student recites them five times. But what is important to remember is that each time you make a mistake, you’re a step closer to getting it right. One would suggest this is a startup culture, and perhaps it is. According to Edutopia, many educators that seek to incorporate design thinking and collaborative processes into teaching and learning are looking to the unique culture exemplified by startup companies. They say that by embracing these business models for learning, teachers somewhat become entrepreneurs themselves as they take on a DIY spirit and transform the process of constructing meaning and searching for knowledge. By choosing this startup culture, these educators and their schools are essentially placing a renewed focus on the role of the learner by enabling them to search for solutions to their problems through design activities and iteration. At 30hands, this is preached daily. Failure is a …

Models of Experiential Learning: Entrepreneurship

Eric Braun Blog

When I decided to dive into the world of education several years ago, I spent a lot of time exploring models of great learning. My exploration came through reading articles on pedagogy and research, talking to educators and learners and thinking about my own experiences. Although I had been a very good student in the traditional sense, I realized that what had made the most impact on me was hands-on and experiential learning. Recently, I experienced a few events and activities that I found to be great models of experiential learning. Let’s take a look at one event on Entrepreneurship. The Entrepreneurial Journey Entrepreneurship is all the rage nowadays, but what does it mean at the core? What does it take to be an entrepreneur? What’s the impact if  you happen to be female? These are questions that Nora Poggi sought to uncover as she created her film “She Started It“. The film takes the viewer through the journey of 2 young women starting companies, with some side trips along the way to highlight a few others. In a little over an hour, the viewer gets a good sense of the joy of success and the agony of defeat. We see the hard work, the fear, outside influences, luck and constant change. Having been in this world myself for over 20 years, I am impressed at how much of the journey comes out in one short film. Kudos to Nora and her team! Why is this relevant to the future of education? It …

Rain or Shine, Snow or Sleet – Blended Learning Delivers Every Day

Eric Braun Blog 0 Comments

Who would have thought that blended learning was like the postman? Well, it’s true. Setting up class for blended learning not only help students learn more on a day-to-day basis, but it also keeps them learning and on track during snow and rain a sleet. It’s an accidental benefit of learning for the 21st Century. The promise of 21st Century technology does not mean we have to teach and learn 24 x 7, but it means we can. It means we can fit learning into the day whenever and wherever. It means we can play in the snow and still learn – before and after. My semester started out on slippery ice this year. I teach a weekly 3-hour course on Entrepreneurship at Tufts to highly motivated students, most of whom live on campus. Yet, after the first class session, we skipped 2 weeks before we had another class. Depending on how Mother Nature goes, we may miss another class this week. Am I worried? A bit, but not nearly as much as some of my colleagues who rely purely on teaching in the classroom. Here’s why. Before the semester began, I had my students all register for my course at the 30hands Cloud eClassroom. This got them into the mix of the digital content for the course, the syllabus, the assignments and some discussions. It also set an expectation that students needed to do work regardless of whether we were in class. This was so much more successful than when I …

45.5 Percent: Impoverished Without Education

Student Guest Blog 0 Comments

I was born in Mexico City and lived there until I was seven years old before moving to the United States. My house in Mexico was located in a decently nice area. I went to a Jewish Day School during the day and played soccer in a Jewish Community Center during the afternoons. Despite living in a country that had an astonishing poverty rate of 45.5 percent, my daily routine shielded me from noticing it. The only exposure I had to the devastating poverty were the disheveled homes on the side of the road – homes that were built from almost nothing. Despite my limited exposure to poverty as a child, a recent visit to Mexico opened my eyes. This past year, I was in Mexico visiting my extended family. As we were driving to my grandma’s house, we stopped at a light. I turned to my right and saw a boy that was selling candy bars to cars that were halted by the light. From his stature and clearly malnourished body, he seemed to be eight years old. His deep brown eyes, scarred face, and pre-pubescent moustache suggested he was more like twelve. The child had a look in his brown eyes that suggested a stunted childhood, dwarfed by the need to work to support his family and himself. It weren’t his physical characteristics that really struck me, but rather the object he was carrying on his back. It was noon, on a Wednesday, and this little boy was …

7 Minutes of Cool @MassTLC: Connecting Techies of All Shapes and Sizes

Eric Braun Blog 0 Comments

I headed into Boston bright and early to congregate at the Renaissance Waterfront Hotel at the annual meeting of the Massachusetts Technology Leadership Council (MassTLC). With over 500 attendees, there was lots of opportunity to network. I thrive on networking at innovation-oriented events, because I find it helps me see things from different angles and be more creative. These events are different from the pure networking events where people are just looking to unwind or find a friend. The innovation community helps you think and create, which has been my mantra lately. I decided to try out the 30hands Mobile app in a different way, more from a journalistic perspective. We call 30hands Mobile a “photo storytelling app”, because it lets people organize photos and images into a storyline then record audio on top of the photos. If the storyline doesn’t flow the right way, just drag and drop the thumbnail images around into the desired order. Recorded audio stays with the images as they move around. If you stutter when speaking or just don’t like it, just click record again and record over the previous audio. From the desktop, there’s a preview button (play) that let’s you review the whole story. When you’re ready with it, click the action button in the upper right and publish it as a video presentation to your camera roll or to a 30hands site, if you’ve signed up for one. We’re still working on some more editing features, so I was wondering how …

Seth Godin, Jedi Master of the Connection Economy?

Eric Braun Blog 0 Comments

I just got back from a talk by Seth Godin at Tufts University. As expected, it was inspiring. His core message to students was to get out there and connect. It’s a connection economy. Connect and you get noticed. Do something to help others connect, and we will notice you and care about you. This is essentially a new take on his “permission marketing” concept of past: turn strangers into friends and friends into customers. Today, says Godin, success means being a connector. But the more he talked, the more I felt that he meant more than that. He seems to take Malcolm Gladwell’s tipping point concepts of Connectors, Mavens and Sales People and make them all requirements of a successful entrepreneur. “You have to be all three of these things.” He did not say this in so many words, but he did say, “Pick up the microphone while it’s still available.” This is essentially what a Maven does, right? Speaking out will help you build your network of connections and followers. The more you speak out, the more of a sales person you will become. And of course, it’s all about the 10,000 hours, too. Do it, do it, do it. You will fail, but you will fail less over time. If you’re not doing something that rubs someone the wrong way, you’re probably not pushing yourself, and you will be doomed to a life of mediocrity. As Tufts students, the audience is not prepared for mediocrity, but Seth …