My first Google sheets add-on is published! To be totally honest, I made it mainly to see what was involved. I really like the work that Andrew Stillman has been doing with New Visions for Public Schools, including Doctopus and formMule, and I wanted to see if I could do similar things for higher ed or international… Continue reading First add-on published
Author: Finn Smith
Startup Weekend Immigration
I attended (but didn’t participate in) another Startup Weekend this week. This one was focused on immigration. I didn’t really have time to work on this – already had previous commitments. I just stopped by on Friday and Sunday to catch the pitches. To be honest, I was a little underwhelmed. Most
New Favorite App: HelloTalk
I don’t know why I wasn’t using this app before – it’s awesome! I heard about it through a friend who is developing his own language-learning app. Here it is on the Play store and iTunes. If you’ve read this blog
Cool things I’m thinking about
I’ve been away for a while because things have been pretty busy at Educents. We recently finished our seed round and we’ve been growing really quickly. It’s been an awesome experience being part of a successful startup that is focused on trying new things. As account manager, I’ve been talking to new partners every week and… Continue reading Cool things I’m thinking about
Bleg: What’s your favorite educational product?
I’m working for a great edtech company and looking for recommendations on educational products we can promote!
“It’s complicated.” — Bourdain in Iran
Under the bridge. Isfahan. Where men gather to spontaneously sing. #Iran pic.twitter.com/SYUjoTeWhG — Anthony Bourdain (@Bourdain) November 2, 2014 Many thanks to the Persian acquaintance who tipped me off to the latest episode of Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown show. This was his first
Tuesday Tip: Using Git with Google Apps Script
One of the biggest issues with Google Apps Script (GAS) is that it doesn’t have any real version control system. Last month I started using GitHub (through this course on Udacity) and was disappointed to discover that there is no way to directly integrate Git with GAS projects. If you’ve never used Git, it’s an… Continue reading Tuesday Tip: Using Git with Google Apps Script
New job, new activities
Big news: I’m starting a new job this Tuesday. I’ll be joining Educents, an edtech startup in Oakland. Educents is sort of like Groupon for educators, with deals on the materials that teachers and administrators use regularly, at wholesale prices. This is a great move for me, and
Where MOOCs are now
Earlier this week, the New York Times published an interesting piece by Jeffrey Selingo on the current state of MOOCs (“Demystifying the MOOC“). It’s an easy read, and it hits on something that I’ve been thinking myself and hearing from people working in a variety of MOOC organizations around the Bay Area. When MOOCs (massive… Continue reading Where MOOCs are now
What is international edtech?
A few weeks ago, I noticed that EdSurge doesn’t have an international section on the Edtech Index (their listing of edtech-related products in various categories), even though they do post a lot about international education. @finnismundi most of the tools in the Index can be used around the world! What kind of tools would go in… Continue reading What is international edtech?
Clever Responds on Student Privacy
In a sign of how prominent concerns about student privacy have become, the New York Times Opinion section this week featured a collection of viewpoints on the topic from people working in the field (“Protecting Student Privacy in Online Learning“). The most interesting (I think) perspective is from Tyler Bosmeny, co-founder of Clever. I like Clever. They… Continue reading Clever Responds on Student Privacy
The internet of things (and of student data)
This week I attended a panel discussion of the Internet of Things at a design firm in San Francisco. If you haven’t heard of it, the concept refers to the so-called third wave of the internet. The first wave was a mechanism for distributing information, the second was the growth of social media and peer-to-peer… Continue reading The internet of things (and of student data)
Good translations (Wiktionary) and Bad (Google Translate)
Quick note on further encounters with machine translations of non-European languages. I discovered yesterday that the Wiktionary Android app can search for Persian words typed in Latin letters. Obviously, it’s also possible to switch to a Persian keyboard, but it’s easier to quickly type in a word that I’ve heard in my regular alphabet. There’s… Continue reading Good translations (Wiktionary) and Bad (Google Translate)
Tuition freezes in New Jersey
What’s the best way to reduce college costs? Joseph Cryan, who represents New Jersey’s 20th legislative district in the State Assembly, has proposed a bill to freeze tuition and fees for all state residents for nine semesters after their first enrollment. I found out about the bill, A2807, through Inside Higher Ed and was a little surprised… Continue reading Tuition freezes in New Jersey
Startup Weekend: A How-To Guide
As I mentioned yesterday, I had a great experience at Startup Weekend EDU in Oakland. Today, I’d like to share my thoughts on how to make the most of SWEDU and what I admired about the winners, mySidekick. Pitch your idea. Yes, you. Startup Weekend always begins
UBound wins 2nd place at Startup Weekend EDU
#FirstRunnerUp tonight, @uBoundCo making it easy to to college! pic.twitter.com/CkCJHpDbD2 — SWEDU Oakland (@SWEDUOak) September 15, 2014 Great news: my idea, UBound, won second place at Startup Weekend EDU! We also took first place of the votes of other participants. Startup Weekend is a 54-hour business plan competition. Participants show up on a Friday, give… Continue reading UBound wins 2nd place at Startup Weekend EDU
More playing to fight conflict
Thanks again to Asi Burak, co-creator of the PeaceMaker Game and director of Games for Change, who responded to my recent post on in-person and gamified conflict resolution. @finnismundi @SeedsofPeace @GamesforPeace cool but why “unproven”? there is some great literature around it. — Asi Burak (@aburak) September 3, 2014 Asi shared with me research that has been done using… Continue reading More playing to fight conflict
Why such bad translations?
As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I’ve recently restarted studying Persian, a language that I wanted to learn years ago but have let slide. There aren’t a lot of online resources for learning Persian, so I often find that I’m working with examples that are either introductory or a little above my (very basic) level.
We’re number 1! (Well, kind of)
The New York Times Upshot section is at it again with an analysis of economic diversity at top colleges in the United States. They’ve created something they call the College Access Index to measure how successful elite institutions are at enrolling students from different economic backgrounds (“Top Colleges That Enroll Rich, Middle Class and Poor“). Reading it makes… Continue reading We’re number 1! (Well, kind of)
On international understanding
I’ve gotten a lot of great feedback in the last week on things I’ve posted here. Many thanks to Asi Burak for sharing research on PeaceMaker and feedback on what I wrote about in-person and gamified conflict resolution. I’m looking forward to digging into the research this week. For any other readers, if you have suggestions… Continue reading On international understanding