Khan Academy Founder Proposes a New Type of College – Wired Campus – The Chronicle of Higher Education

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Salman Khan’s dream college looks very different from the typical four-year institution.


The founder of Khan Academy, a popular site that offers free online video lectures about a variety of subjects, lays out his thoughts on the future of education in his book, The One World School House: Education Reimagined, released last month. Though most of the work describes Mr. Khan’s experiences with Khan Academy and his suggestions for changing elementary- and secondary-school systems, he does devote a few chapters to higher education.


In a chapter titled “What College Could Be Like,” Mr. Khan conjures an image of a new campus in Silicon Valley where students would spend their days working on internships and projects with mentors, and would continue their education with self-paced learning similar to that of Khan Academy. The students would attend ungraded seminars at night on art and literature, and the faculty would consist of professionals the students would work with as well as traditional professors….

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Twitter Turns the Tale: Andrew Pyper Tweets a Haunting in the Whitehouse

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So what do we know so far?? Well, Canadian novelist Andrew Pyper has just launched Day #1 of a Twitter Tale set in the Whitehouse. Told from the POV of a new nanny Hannah Bly, Pyper takes Henry James’ classic Turn of the Screw for a new spin running live over the next 7 (I think &) days.


Can’t wait to see what he does with this one! Or how late into the night he’s going to tweet! I hope that nanny gets some sleep. Now to see if she’ll tweet back…


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Interview with Christine Vachon, founder of Killer Films, at our Columbia New Media Producing class

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Nov 14, 2012, Rm 511 in Dodge Hall, Columbia University, NYC

Professor Lance Weiler interviews Christine Vachon

Lance: Can you talk a bit about how you balance the director’s creative impulses with your producer’s financial mindset?


Christine: Creative and financial decisions are utterly intertwined. When a director tries to divide them, it has a negative effect on everyone. When you believe everyone is watching your back, it frees you to say what you think. At the end of the day, I know that anything Todd (Haynes) wants to do, I want to do.


Lance: Can you talk about the series? You said you’ve made six films since January. Can you speak to volume?


Christine: Nowadays, we make six movies and we make on six what we used to make on two, so it has turned into a volume business. But you can’t really schedule exactly when you’re going to make a movie. The casting, the locations, the financing and all these aspects need to come together. Suddenly the movie comes to life and you just have to run after it. But they all follow the model of “let’s take them to festivals and sell them.” We look into new ways of distribution, but the investors still want to do it the old way.


Lance: And why is that?…

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Building Storyworlds – the art, craft & biz of storytelling in 21c is an ongoing prototype and story R&D (& e-book) project created by Lance Weiler.

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Building Storyworlds – the art, craft & biz of storytelling in 21c is an ongoing prototype and story R&D (research & development) project created by Lance Weiler. 


The prototyping is centered around a book that was written in tweets. Using the limitations of twitter, each page of the book was written in a 140 characters or less. The 140 theme is then carried further as the book will be released in a 140 copy run. An experiment in scarcity and abundance, each page of the book says “set this book free please retweet.”

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Documentary Object-ivity? | Open Documentary Lab at MIT

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All documentary filmmakers are familiar with the debate over the meaning of objectivity in documentary. What about just the meaning of objects?


One of the big themes at the Mozilla Festival 2012 was physical computing, turning the objects around us into digitally integrated machines, or pulling the world of the web into the physical world.


Another was the move to web-native media-rich storytelling, with tools to push video into the mashable, layered, feature-heavy realm of the internet.


Zooming in and out of sessions, demos, and hack-spaces at MozFest, I wondered: why are we doc makers hurrying to migrate our art form onto the web, when technologists are clamoring to move their art off of it and back into the physical world?


What can documentary learn from physical computing?

The sheer creativity surrounding these projects is stunning. Here are just a few of the object-driven tools and projects I encountered at the festival:


The Mozilla team’s own web browsing cocktail maker. This home-bar-gone-kinetic-sculpture let people “taste the web.” As users browse the web on the connected laptop, the database structures, feeds and other features of the website activate particular bottles. This sets off a slow drip of the user’s unique browsing experiences, translating their time online into a personal browsed beverage….

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A 1945 Essay On Information Overload, Curation, And Open-Access Science | Maria Popova

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Excerpted from article by great curator Maria Popova:

“Tim O’Reilly recently admonished that unless we embrace open access over copyright, we’ll never get science policy right. The sentiment, which I believe applies to more than science, reminded me of an eloquent 1945 essay by Vannevar Bush, titled “As We May Think.”


Much of what Bush discusses presages present conversations about information overload, filtering, and our restless “FOMO” — fear of missing out, for anyone who did miss out on the memetic catchphrase — amidst the incessant influx. Bush worries about the impossibility of ever completely catching up and the unfavorable signal-to-noise ratio.


Bush makes an enormously important — and timely — point about the difference between merely compressing information to store it efficiently and actually making use of it in the way of gleaning knowledge.


To that end, I often think about the architecture of knowledge as a pyramid of sorts — at the base of it, there is all the information available to us; from it, we can generate some form of insight, which we then consolidate into knowledge; at our most optimal, at the top of the pyramid, we’re then able to glean from that knowledge some sort of wisdom about the world.


He stresses, as many of us believe today, that mechanization — or, algorithms in the contemporary equivalent — will never be a proper substitute for human judgment and creative thought in the filtration process.


He presages hypertext, the internet, and even Wikipedia — and, perhaps more importantly, laying out a model for what excellence at the intersection of the editorial and curatorial looks.


Bush nails the value of what we call today, not without resistance, “information curation”:

Bush wrote: “There is a new profession of trail blazers, those who find delight in the task of establishing useful trails through the enormous mass of the common record. The inheritance from the master becomes, not only his additions to the world’s record, but for his disciples the entire scaffolding by which they were erected.”


He concludes by considering the cultural value and urgency, infinitely timelier today than it was in his day, of making our civilization’s “record” — the great wealth of information about how we got to where we are — manageable, digestible, and useful in our quest for knowledge, wisdom, and growth…”


Read full, long and interesting article here:



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How To Integrate and Publish Curated RSS Feeds On Your WordPress Blog

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Robin Good: For content curators who own or manage a WordPress-based website here is a great tutorial on how RSS feeds can be integrated and published directly (parsed) on any given web page. 

Authored by Vladislav Davidzon this excellent tutorial requires some basic technical knowledge on how to operate WordPress variables and functions and it provides precise guidance on how to:

– Utilize the Built-in Parsing Function to Pull RSS Feeds in and Turn their XML code into Content

– Divide Content into the Right Number of Columns for your Website’s Design

– Create a Friendly Display of RSS Content Using WordPress Loop Variables

From the tutorial: “Included only since version 2.7 of the WordPress software, the ability to parse RSS feeds as content and include that information into a template file is relatively new and its parameters are largely unknown even among the more advanced members of the WordPress development community at large.

Luckily, these parameters are easy to learn and customize, and they can turn a simple RSS feed into a great source of extra content and discussion on already-busy WordPress blogs.

Not only can RSS feeds be parsed by WordPress, but they can also be split up into columns and tabs.

This allows for feeds to actually be used as the primary source of content on some WordPress blogs, especially those that consider themselves a mere aggregator of outside content rather than a producer of unique news, reviews, or commentary on any topic.

Very useful. 9/10

Full tutorial:

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