Showing 79 posts tagged culture
Tougher education standards like the Common Core may require a tough love that some parents and educators don’t like.
Microsoft Office is a name tinged with enterprise, effort, availability, access, work, excess, Excel, Word, PowerPoint, and the smell of cold hard sweat as you travail with the spell checker beneath the office’s fluorescent tubes of doom. Or, well, something like that. A part of its recent campaign, Microsoft’s Office 365 tells people to "get things done anywhere, sunrise to sunset." The campaign does all but recommend you work in your sleep. “No need to record your favorite show when you can work on the couch,” it says.
In response, 37Signals, the people behind the popular productivity chatroom Campfire, are appealing to the overworked with its own #WorkCanWait campaign that tells you to step away from the computer. “We don’t think it has to be this way. True work-life balance doesn’t have to be a myth. So here’s our Life 365 idea compared to Office 365.”
Many believe the secret to why some cultures thrive and others disappear may lie in our social networks and our ability to imitate — more important qualities than individual intelligence, according to researchers from the University of British Columbia.
As published by the Proceedings of the Royal Academy: Biological Sciences, investigators show that when people can observe and learn from a wider range of teachers, groups can better maintain technical skills and even increase the group’s average skill over successive generations.
“This is the first study to demonstrate in a laboratory setting what archeologists and evolutionary theorists have long suggested: that there is an important link between a society’s sociality and the sophistication of its technology,” says Muthukrishna, who co-authored the research with UBC Prof. Joseph Henrich.
image via flickr:CC | hanspoldoja
“It’s not a question of whether technology can do it — it can,” said Gerd Leonhard, a Swiss author and futurist. “Now the question is what is our ethics?” It becomes a question of what should or should not be allowed and, eventually, of what is human. Technology will progress to the point where artificial intelligence will eclipse that of its makers. Mr. Leonhard believes this will have enormous impacts on society, and on death. “When you can use social media to such an extent that you can become a super human, and continue a virtual life after you cease to exists, that is not a desirable direction. It’s an aberration,” he said. Mr. Leonhard wonders what will become of a society that never has to learn to say goodbye — where nothing is ever forgotten and nobody ever really disappears. “The next five years are going to bring a lot of possibility, and questions about ethics,” Mr. Leonhard said. “People are not yet arguing whether or not it’s ethical to tweet after I die.” (via How We Die Now: People will be forced to consider their posthumous digital reputations | National Post)
I’ve written a lot about our culture’s obsession with mobile devices and the way that they are transforming human interaction. Today I want to discuss the unnerving expectations we place on one another for an instantaneous response as well as the negative implications behind this way of thinking.
Arizona’s attorney general called the program ”propagandizing and brainwashing.” An administrative law judge ruled that it “promotes racial resentment against ‘Whites,’ and advocates ethnic solidarity of Latinos.”
With that, the Tucson Unified School District’s controversial Mexican-American studies courses shut down in 2011. Yet a University of Arizona study found that the mostly Latino students who took the courses were 46 percent to 150 percent more likely to graduate from high school than those who did not. The study also determined positive effects on math and reading test scores. An independent audit of the curriculum confirmed that taking the courses helped students succeed in school.
Read more. [Image: Dan Koeck/Reuters]
I have an old friend who is remarkably unguarded and open about himself. He’ll tell you just about anything, even things that would make lesser humans wither with embarrassment.
We follow each other on Instagram. He has three kids under the age of four, so naturally, his feed consists mostly of their cute little faces.
Recently, he posted a cute photo of his young ones splashing naked in a kiddie pool. It made me squirm. Not for the image itself—which was as innocent as could be—but because he had an unlocked account. There was a photograph of his naked kids that anybody could access on the Internet. He had, hypothetically, opened up his kids to a globe full of pedophiles.
Or had he?
Read more. [Image: Alexis Madrigal]
A few months ago, Laura U., a typical 16-year-old at an international school in Paris, sat at her computer wishing she looked just like the emaciated women on her Tumblr dashboard. She pined to be mysterious, haunted, fascinating, like the other people her age that she saw in black and white photos with scars along their wrists, from taking razor blades to their skin. She convinced herself that the melancholic quotes she was reading—“Can I just disappear?” or “People who die by suicide don’t want to end their lives, they want to end their pain”—applied to her.
Among Tumblr’s 140+ million blogs, social communities form around specific topics: music, fashion, photography, and also kinds of disorders. Months ago Laura was part of one such community, scrolling through hundreds of photographs on Tumblr that evoke negative emotions through art and call it depression. Black and white photographs of mystical emaciated women who stare off into the distance put psychological torment and beauty on the same page, and quotes like “So it’s okay for you to hurt me, but I can’t hurt myself?” and “I want to die a lovely death,” try to justify self-harm. All this is at the tip of anyone’s fingertips: anyone can search tags like “self-harm,” “depression,” or “sadness,” and find thousands of blogs with a similarly distorted vision of what it means to be depressed.
Read more. [Image: Nikko Russano/Flickr]
October is Bullying Prevention Awareness Month.
Although starting from the ground up is a challenge, it is worth the investment. Bullying prevention holds the opportunity doing something beyond just solving a problem; it can be the portal for igniting the community’s moral purpose for improving the learning environment for all students and staff.
As leaders and learners, we want to set challenging goals — goals that our staff, students, parents and ourselves need to and want to reach. Yet, as proactive leaders, we also realize that goals that can’t be met, benchmarks that are too challenging to be achievable, are demoralizing.
How do you go from goal-leaping to building a culture of benchmark baby-steps?
So how do we get this culture to change? What we have looked at is by asking different questions of not only our IT Departments, but in any area of innovative learning. They are:1. What is best for kids?
2. How does this improve learning?
3. If we were to do _________, what is the balance of risk vs. reward?
4. Is this serving the few or the majority?