Archive of posts with tag 'education'

Weekend Reading: American-Dream-as-a-Service, Content Marketing, the Fifth Column Reading List, and More

March 20, 2021 • #

👨‍🎓 The American-Dream-as-a-Service

Antonio Garcia-Martinez interviews Austen Allred, founder of Lambda School. Lambda charges no tuition and builds its program on the ISA (income sharing agreement), in which you only pay when you get a salaried position in your field of study.

The cool thing about the incentive alignment is that we’re not going to train you to be a sociologist, because it just doesn’t work. A common critique of the ISA model is: oh, now people aren’t going to study poetry anymore. And my response to that is: yeah, we’re not a university, we’re...

What Universities Do

August 27, 2020 • #

Last week I linked to Mike Munger’s interview on EconTalk where he and Russ Roberts discussed the roles universities play (above and beyond the educational) and the likelihood that these components could be unbundled or disrupted in the post-COVID landscape.


This piece from earlier in the year goes deeper into Munger’s lexicon for separating these roles (using some clever metonyms):

  • The Clock Tower — Even with online courses making asynchronous learning possible, students still...

Weekend Reading: A New Web, Future of Higher Ed, and a Ford Concept Car

August 22, 2020 • #

🔗 A Clean Start for the Web

Tom MacWright with some ideas for cleaning up ever-creeping morass of web technology:

I think this combination would bring speed back, in a huge way. You could get a page on the screen in a fraction of the time of the web. The memory consumption could be tiny. It would be incredibly accessible, by default. You could make great-looking default stylesheets and share alternative user stylesheets. With dramatically limited scope, you could port it to all kinds of devices.

And, maybe most importantly,...

Weekend Reading: Timeful Texts, Sumo Startups, and Canva Backlinks

August 1, 2020 • #

🕰 Timeful Texts

A new piece from Andy Matuschak and Michael Nielsen (beautifully illustrated by Maggie Appleton). Can we make reading a more engaging and interactive learning experience? This builds on previous ideas from the authors on spaced repetition.

🤼‍♂️ Software, Full-Stack, and Sumo Startups

Interesting take from one of Byrne Hobart’s recent newsletters. Contrasting a typical “full-stack” model of company-building and VC funding to a “sumo” model:

The amount of VC funding has been rising steadily, and returns are skewed by a few positive...

Weekend Reading: Optionality, Pangaea, and Regulatory Disappointment

May 16, 2020 • #

⚖️ The Trouble with Optionality

A 2017 commencement address from Mihir Desai, critiquing the phenomenon of infinite optionality and lack of commitment pushed by modern universities:

I’ve lost count of the number of students who, when describing their career goals, talk about their desire to “maximize optionality.” They’re referring to financial instruments known as options that confer the right to do something rather than an obligation to do something. For this reason, options have a “Heads I win, tails I don’t lose” character—what those in finance lovingly describe as a “nonlinear payoff structure.”...

Things That Will Change

March 25, 2020 • #

This is a weird time.

The COVID-19 pandemic is the biggest global event that’s happened in my lifetime. It hasn’t impacted me personally that much (yet), but the financial and public health implications are clearly already disastrous, and bound to get worse.

Most concerning, though, is how little we know today about what’s in store for the rest of 2020 and beyond.

I don’t use this outlet to make predictions, and I’m generally not a fan of trying to call shots on uncertainties. But as an experiment, let’s set down some open-ended questions to revisit in 6 months to see...

Weekend Reading: Brain MRI, Flash Cards, and Movie Maps

July 27, 2019 • #

🧠 7 Tesla MRI of a Human Brain

This is one of the highest resolution scans ever performed on a human brain, at 100 micrometer resolution. Scroll down to see some awesome images.

👨🏻‍🏫 Anki

Anki is an open source framework for creating your own flash cards. A neat system for helping your kids with classwork, or even just testing yourself on topics.

Anyone who needs to remember things in their daily life can benefit from Anki. Since it is content-agnostic and supports images, audio, videos and...

Weekend Reading: Summer Solstice, Zoom Learnings, and TeachOSM

July 6, 2019 • #

📺 5 Learnings from Zoom

Zoom is one of those admirable SaaS companies built on solid product and amazing execution. I love this — not relying on anything sexy or super inventive, just solving a known problem better than everyone else. My favorite bit is their retention; it proves what can be done even in SMB with lock-tight product market fit:

Zoom has 140% net revenue retention. This is similar to RingCentral from our last analysis and other leaders. Zoom also shows that yes, this can be done with smaller customers too, not...

Weekend Reading: Human Leverage, Alan Kay, and Mapping the NBA

May 4, 2019 • #

🏋🏽‍♀️ Finding the Point of Human Leverage

Automation is penetrating every industry, but still heavily reliant on human behavior and feedback to make it effective. In this piece, Benedict Evans talks about identifying the point in a workflow where the optimum point of leverage sits for human interaction:

This means that a lot of the system design is around finding the right points of leverage to apply people to an automated system. Do you capture activity that’s already happening? Google began by using the links that already existed. Do you have...

Flexible Education

February 13, 2019 • #

This is part 2 of a series on learning, education, and what we might do to improve. Read part 1.

In my introduction to this series a couple weeks ago, I posited a few ways we could rethink education. The first idea was about increasing the flexibility of the system to create one more prepared to adapt to changing demand:

Create a system flexible enough to keep up with what markets demand (and I use “market” to mean “any post-education environment”) — our system is too rigid to bend and...

A Series on Learning

January 20, 2019 • #

This is part 1 of a series on learning, education, and what we can do to improve our systems. Read part 2 here.

The most effective learning relies on curiosity, a required characteristic to grow emotionally and intellectually over time. Teaching, on the other hand, is the act of steering this process. The best teaching provides fundamental “first principle” building blocks, lays down a breadcrumb trail, and lets the student discover their own path through trial and error. But we don’t teach children the value of curiosity; we often feel compelled to jump straight to direct information...

Weekend Reading: Mastery Learning, Burundi’s Capital, and SRTM

December 29, 2018 • #

🎓 Mastery Learning and Creative Tasks

Khan Academy’s Andy Matuschak on tasks that require “depth of knowledge” versus those that have higher “transfer demand.” Both can be considered “difficult” in a sense, but teaching techniques to build knowledge need different approaches:

One big implication of mastery learning is that students should have as much opportunity to practice a skill as they’d like. Unlike a class that moves at a fixed pace, a struggling student should always be able to revisit prerequisites, read an alternative explanation, and try some new challenges. These systems...

Weekend Reading: Ubiquitous Computing, Versioning SQL, and Video Game Maps

December 15, 2018 • #

🎙 Computing is Everywhere

A great interview with Bret Victor on the Track Changes podcast. His work has always been an inspiration for how to think about both creating things and teaching people.

📊 Git Your SQL Together

This post from Caitlin Hudon is a great reminder for anyone that works with data. Combining git versioning with your SQL is super helpful for archiving and searching previous analysis queries.

  1. You will always need that query again
  2. Queries are living artifacts that change over time
  3. ...

OpenStreetMap and TeachOSM

November 15, 2018 • #

I’ve hosted many OSM mapathons in the past, and today’s event with AGS and the Geo2050 conference was a huge success. It’s hard to create an engaging, productive environment that’s conducive to new mappers learning about OpenStreetMap. Today’s objective was to highlight how teachers can involve students in active work + contribution in a valuable context.

TeachOSM mapathon

Steve, Richard, and Nuala did all the work, I just showed up to lend advice to folks that had any questions while mapping. The TeachOSM group did an excellent job showing the tasking manager, with...

Promoting GIS at Hunter College

November 14, 2018 • #

As premier sponsors of the American Geographical Society, we try to do our part in promoting geographic literacy, education, and the future of geo sciences.

Hunter College

Part of our efforts this week is participating in the GIS Career Fair at Hunter College in Manhattan. Bill and I were there to showcase how geography fits into our business and talking with students about what it means to build a career centered around GIS and mapping. We talked to dozens of people about all aspects of the industry, with a...

Weekend Reading: Forecasting, Raster CV, Free University Courses

October 27, 2018 • #

🔮 Forecasting at Uber

The scale of the prediction problem Uber has is wild. This is an intro to a series on methods they use for forecasting demand for their marketplace.

🛰 raster-vision

A neat project from the Azavea team for computer vision applications with satellite imagery.

🎓 600 Free Online Courses

A great list from Quartz compiling a bottomless feed of content for self-teachers.

Teaching OpenStreetMap

October 26, 2018 • #

We’re heading up next month to the American Geographical Society’s Geography2050 again this year, which will be my 4th one, and the 5th annual overall. It’s always a great event — a diverse crowd in attendance and a chance to catch up with a lot of old friends.

The last two years the AGS has hosted and led an OpenStreetMap mapathon in conjunction with the event to promote OSM as a tool in education. It’s organized and led by TeachOSM, and they invite 50+ AP Geography teachers from around the country to learn how to...

How the Economic Machine Works

October 6, 2018 • #

Learn the foundations of how an economy works, in only 30 minutes.

This piece from Ray Dalio (hedge fund manager and author of Principles and hedge fund manager) breaks down an entire Econ 101 class in a concise, graphical form. He’s actually an excellent narrator. And knows a thing or two about how markets work.

Recent Links: Playing with Numbers, Logistics Networks, Vancouver Island

September 13, 2017 • #

🎓 Numbers at Play: Dynamic Toys Make the Invisible Visible

Great tools keep up with their users. They operate at the speed of thought, ever shrinking the feedback loop between conceiving of an idea and exploring its consequences.

Tools for thought must support communication not just from the expert to the novice: they should enhance conversation between collaborative peers. They should enact thought at the speed of speech. With tools this fluid, we can reinforce natural dialogue through novel representations without awkward pauses. We can support students in co-constructing meaning as they discuss and resolve their multiple...

A Quick Guide for New Developers

March 18, 2015 • #

This entire post comes with a caveat: I am not a software engineer. I do build a software product, and work with a bunch of people way smarter than me, though. I’m experienced enough to have an opinion on the topic.

I talk to lots of young people looking to get into the software world. Sometimes they want to build mobile apps or create simple tools, and sometimes looking to create entire products. There are a lot of possible places to start. The world is full of blog posts, podcasts, books, and videos that purport to “teach you...

GPS and Commercial Uses

April 17, 2013 • #

I spoke with a graduate class at the University of South Florida about Spatial Networks, the apps we build, and the consulting work we do in geo technology, mapping, and human geography.

Creating New Contributors to OpenStreetMap

January 15, 2013 • #

I wrote a blog post last week about the first few months of usage of Pushpin, the mobile app we built for editing OpenStreetMap data.

As I mentioned in the post, I’m fascinated and excited by how many brand new OpenStreetMap users we’re creating, and how many who never edited before are taking an interest in making contributions. This has been an historic problem for the OpenStreetMap project for years now: How do you convince a casually-interested person to invest the time to learn how to contribute themselves?

There are two...