Author Archives: Finn Smith

About Finn Smith

Oregon... some places.... SF. Working in education, technology, and social impact (or some combination of the three).

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 … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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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. … Continue reading

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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. … Continue reading

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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. … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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