Making RSA Style Videos in Schools

ABOVE: The Louisiana Purchase | drawings and voiceover by Kairav Maniar original on YouTube

The best compliment in the world (I believe) is when what you do connects with an eight-year-old.

Even better than that is when said eight-year-old takes technology and makes something that is both very cool and extremely thoughtful!

In this blog post, teacher  describes the nuts and bolts of how to make an RSA Animate style video with your class.

Show this to your favorite educator or student and challenge them to do the same!

Read full details at

(Discovered thanks to Julie Stuart's post on the Facebook Graphic Facilitation Group.)

Reasons We Use Schoology

Evan Barnett, our Alphachimp University Community Manager, won't brag to you about this, but I will—he produced a very cool video that won a contest. Schoology ( is the platform we use for our courses, was running on why it's users chose it as a learning management system (LMS).

Evan's submission won the Employee's Choice Award!

Check it out.

Jorge Cham: Using PhD Comics To Close The Science Gap

So, what is The Science Gap? It is this vast black hole between those people who dedicate a lifetime of research to understanding how the world works... well, and the rest of us, aka. "the general public".

In this 2012 talk at TEDxUCLA, Jorge Cham explore the public perception of scientists and academics, as well as how his collaboration with particle scientist Daniel Whiteson at CERN resulted in a viral video explaining the why and how of hunting for the Hicks Boson.

Jorge Cham is the creator of the online comic strip Piled Higher and Deeper (PHD) as well as the video channel PHD-TV. Born and raised in the Republic of Panama, he obtained his Ph.D. in Robotics from Stanford University and was an Instructor and Research Associate at Caltech before becoming a full-time cartoonist.

More at:

(Thanks to Lynn Kearny for the link!)

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Visual Learning Strategies for Kids

An excerpt from "Thinking Through Art: The Isabella Stewart Gardner School Partnership Program," in which students discuss work from the museum's collection using Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS). VTS is an educational curriculum and teaching method which enables students to develop aesthetic and language literacy and critical thinking skills, while giving teachers a powerful new technique they can utilize throughout their career. Their mission is to foster cognitive growth through interaction with art, and to boost academic achievement in every school where VTS is implemented, facilitating systemic change in how students learn and how teachers teach.

More at

(Thanks to Coniqua Abdul-Malik for the link!)

Sugata Mitra: Build a School in the Cloud

Educational researcher Sugata Mitra is the winner of the 2013 TED Prize. His wish: Build a School in the Cloud, where children can explore and learn from one another. Sugata Mitra believes (and has documented) that when children are given access to technology—no matter where they are in the world—they will figure out how to use it.

His “Hole in the Wall” experiments have shown that, in the absence of supervision or formal teaching, children can teach themselves and each other, if they’re motivated by curiosity and peer interest.

In 1999, Mitra and his colleagues dug a hole in a wall bordering an urban slum in New Delhi, installed an Internet-connected PC, and left it there (with a hidden camera filming the area).

What they saw was kids from the slum playing around with the computer and in the process learning how to use it and how to go online, and then teaching each other.

He also sees that as a global society, we have focused too much on preparing humans to serve as replacement parts for the vast computer built in the 19th century.

“The Victorians were great engineers. They engineered a [schooling] system that was so robust that it's still with us today, continuously producing identical people for a machine that no longer exists.”

However, unlike our ancestors a millenium ago, he feels that educators have forgotten the secret of asking “wondrous questions”. Questions like: What happens with the air we breath? When did the earth begin? What are stars exactly? How can you tell if a speeding asteroid is going to hit Earth?

“It took nature 100 million years to make the ape stand up and become Homo sapiens. It took us only 10,000 to make knowing obsolete.”

When asked such wondrous, open-ended questions, children go on an intellectual adventure, one that is self-motivated and self-organized.

“It's quite fashionable to say that the education system's broken — it's not broken, it's wonderfully constructed. It's just that we don't need it anymore. It's outdated.”

Mitra has an inspiring vision for Self Organized Learning Environments (SOLE), in which the main ingredients are broadband, collaboration and encouragement.

This school would be managed by one granny (for health and safety) but everything in managed, sourced, beamed in, managed and moderated in the cloud.

The main operating principle? Let learning happen. This school would be driven by a curriculum of big questions.

The teacher, in the SOLE sets learning in motion and steps back to watch it happen.

Thanks to the TED community, it looks like Mr. Mitra may get his wish.

RESOURCES: — Self Organized Learning Environment (SOLE) Toolkit >>Sugata Mitra's 2013 TED TalkTED Sugata Mitra: The child-driven education — Learn more about the TED Prize

Connected: Trends in UI, Interaction & Experience Design

Want to glimpse over the horizon at the interconnected world where the boundaries between "device" and "surface" and "service" completely fade away? Watch this short film with designers, researchers and futurists from frog design, Kicker Studio, Twitter, Method, Stamen Design, The School of Visual Arts, Doblin, Malmö University, Nokia, Arduino and Microsoft. Details at

Bloom's Taxonomy & Knowledge Management Tools (Part 2): Tools for Teams

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I am obsessed with getting organized. But I can't seem to do it. Teams are focused on parsing up work, remembering who has to do what by when, but work still seems so fuzzy or chaotic. In this second video of a series, I continue breaking apart one of the most fundamental models of the education world, Bloom's Taxonomy, in an attempt to understand the personal and team-based tools for remembering the Who, What, Where, and When.


What are the top 3 digital and analog tools that you use with teams?

Add your wisdom to the comments below...

NEXT: Part 3 - Applying Knowledge in Teams

Bloom's Taxonomy & Knowledge Management Tools (Part 1)

Bloom's Taxonomy & Knowledge Management

I don't know about you, but I have a hard time remembering stuff. Thank goodness there are a billion-and-a-half books, apps, tools and methods for "helping" me. Here are my top 3 digital tools and top 3 physical tools for remembering stuff. In this first video of a series, I break apart one of the most fundamental models of the education world: Bloom's Taxonomy.

NEXT: Part 2 - Tools for Teams

Stop Stealing Dreams: Seth Godin on Education


"Are we asking our kids how to connect the dots...or collect the dots?"

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Author Seth Godin speaks at TEDxYouth@BFS at the awesome Brooklyn Free School!

We need to ask the question: "What is school for?"

Godin imagines a different set of goals and start a discussion about how we can reach them. One thing is certain: if we keep doing what we've been doing, we're going to keep getting what we've been getting. Our kids are too important to sacrifice to the status quo.

Get Seth Godin's "Stop Stealing Dreams" 30,000 word manifesto [button url="" target="_self" style="red" position="left"]DOWNLOAD[/button]

(via Garr Reynolds at )

Susan Cain on The Power of Quiet | RSA Shorts

The Power of Quiet

The world is full of noise and those that are the loudest are the ones we tend to follow but what about the quiet ones? Author Susan Cain shines a spotlight on introverts and reveals how over time our society has come to look to extroverts as leaders. Not suggesting that one is better than the other, Susan argues that the world needs an equal space between introverts and extroverts; that an innovative, creative world wouldn't be the same without the two coming together.

Speaker: Susan Cain | Artist: Molly Crabapple | Director: Jim Batt | Production Coordinator: Kim Boekbinder