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day 5: encounters

May 16, 2014

lisa hammershaimb

My goal for the rest of May is to get comfortable taking intentional time each day to expose myself to new ideas. These ideas don’t have to have anything to do with graphic design, studio culture, online learning, or what I’m doing in my academic sphere rather just need to be things to expand my own mind, make new mental connections, and help me see the world in new ways. So, for the new little bit I’ll use this space to track cool new stuff I’ve encountered…and I think it’ll be interesting to see what emerges!

What I Read:
Inside the Science that Delivers Feeds

What I Learned/Thought:
“…the model of continually streaming updates has come to define how we consume information. We’ve grown accustomed to a world in which data flows by us, letting us dip into the stream whenever, wherever, and however we want.”

So so true. It’s all feeds now and feeds are how I both waste time and learn vital information. I really like the bite sized aspect where you can learn more if you choose or not, depending on your proclivity. I also like the personalized nature of a feed. It’s not scary that it knows me…it’s convenient. Could learning follow some sort of feed stream? Would it be expecting too much of students? Even more…could instructors trust students enough to learn from a feed?

What I Read:
Book About Water Purification that also Filters Water

What I Learned/Thought:
Woah! So cool and yet another example of how design really can bring good. It’s beautiful but it’s also functional so everyone wins. I’ll admit I have no idea what happens with science or how it all works the re-imagining of what possible excites me. Why can’t a book filter water? Why can’t a book be used for reading and then more? This type of questioning and discovering fascinates me. I think the first thing we always need to do (and the thing we almost never do when we’re stressed or on a deadline or tired) is sit at the beginning of a project and at key points along the way and first ask why and then spend intentional time dreaming up a totally ridiculous, it could never work, type plan…which might actually be just what we need.

What I Read:
Making Google Glass Fashionable

What I Learned/Thought:
Yeah, it’s still weird and until we can get over the cultural idea of wearing Glass I think it will always be odd. That said, if it was accepted and once people were used to it (or if the design could be a bit more like the water filter book and bit less like science fiction, i could see it gaining traction. Would I mind a computer in my thick glasses? Nope…as long as it was inconspicuous. I think the lesson is that cultural acceptance needs to happen first.

What I Read:
This Online Class Helps Real-World Problems

What I Learned/Thought:
“We’re basically using education as a way to promote change and build a better world,” says Ivan Shumkov, the school’s founder.

AHHH!!! Once again architects are doing it right with online education. Even a MOOC! What do they know that we don’t? Even more (like the above thoughts on Google Glass) what has happened in their culture that allows them to embrace this and why has that not happened in graphic design? If anything architecture seems like it should be even harder because it’s physical materials and spaces. Must investigate.

And I want to learn more about this Open Online Academy in NYC. I think if this concept were appropriated for graphic design it could also work well. That said, perhaps graphic design has tended so much to be for commercial purposes so it’s gotten hung up?

I don’t know…But, this is a fabulous concept and I think there is much to consider with it.

What I Read:
5 Bold Predictions for the Future of Higher Ed

What I Learned/Thought:
I’m glad these are the “bold predictions” and not the super lame one! But in all honesty, I didn’t learn much that I didn’t know before. Basically that there are no magic buttons but now we just need to buckle down and get the work done. The future of education is cross-discipline, anti-silo. It will need to factor in competency and skills-based learning as more adults return to school. It will also need to find its own balance between online and face to face. Finally, money, money, money makes the world go round. The only thing bold about these predictions is the title…but it’s good stuff to be reminded of because I’ll admit it’s easy to get myopic and forget the big picture.

Good news is this article did take me to the Magna site which is a pretty interesting training site based in Wisco. (The website is…hahaa…sounds more like a chain of Irish-themed dining set in Texas than a professional development resource but that kind of makes me like it even more. I can just see filling out a PD form and saying, “I had a robust quarter of professional development, logging 20 hours at Magna Pubs.” Awesome.) On another romp through new encounters I want to look more closely at their information and resources.

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