Rafael Fajardo


Posts tagged with "learning"

Our first week in the wild



So, we launched Hopscotch last week, and it’s been quite a ride since.  It’s been downloaded more than 20,000 times, we cracked the Top 10 iPad Education apps, and were featured in New and Noteworthy on the App Store.  After the initial press we got all sorts of other great coverage on various ed tech blogs. We’ve had folks volunteering to translate it into nine different languages. We’ve had some totally awesome projects sent to us by parents and kids. And perhaps most importantly, we’ve begun our process of refining our feature set based on real data and feedback. 

A lot of people have asked for if/then statements and variables, negative random numbers and collision detection (if one character touches another character, then run a script). A lot of people have also asked for ways to post and share projects. I had been agitating for message passing (notifications) as a way for the different characters to interact with each other—interestingly enough, nearly no one has asked for that.  

Also, not as many people as we expected have asked for more tutorials and hand holding. This is probably because the ones that don’t immediately understand Hopscotch bounce before ever even giving us feedback. This is something we will be working on in the coming months as well.

Our users will be happy to hear that the next release of Hopscotch, which we hope to submit to the app store in the next couple of weeks, will included the ability to pick parameters for random numbers, program random colors, and include a sound event (“When I hear a loud noise”).

Until then, have fun, send us your projects, and make cool stuff!!

all of these things, yes. and message passing too, please!


Colour Theory: A Brief History

These diagrams are 19th and 20th century attempts to systematize colours and describe how the human eye perceives them. In the late 18th century, scholars began to develop colour theory according to the understanding that three primary colours – red, yellow, and blue – could be combined to create all others; these hypotheses would be instrumental in forming early theories of colour vision and the science of perception. Although Sir Isaac Newton and Da Vinci both developed theories of colour, the German poet Goethe organized colours into the “wheel” we know today in his Theory of Colours in 1810. Albert Munsell developed his Color System which was later adopted by the US Bureau of Standards later in the century. Of course, these standards would influence not only contemporary explorations of the science of vision, but the creative disciplines of art and design as well. 

(Images from VintageTreasureShop, Beats925Books, MOMA’s Inside/Out, Postcard Club of NYC, and Imprint)

Erin Saunders

my archive homework: Basic Principles of Design by Manfred Maier, of the Kunstgewerbeschule, Basel Switzerland, 1975.

my archive homework: Basic Principles of Design by Manfred Maier, of the Kunstgewerbeschule, Basel Switzerland, 1975.

Apr 7

Notes for a theory of contemporary education


Very loose ideas floating around my head these days. Even if they are loopy or ridiculous, the seeds of something useful might be in here.Not sure about the mechanistic aspects.

1. We live in a day and age (and in many cases place) in which information is not a scarce resource. Due to the internet and other networked technology we are dealing with a deluge of information ( much of it noise instead of signal.) In many cases that information is ambient…right in front of us, but we don’t notice it.

2. In many cases information is atomized and dispersed, fractured and latent. One goal of contemporary education might be to train people to find what might be useful to them and sequence that information in a way that is meaningful and perhaps even novel.

3. The means to create this sequence might be seen metaphorically as a program. Programs should be consciously examined, modified,and rewritten for different tasks. Before we put input into the program we should develop filters to insure some kind of quality control. Perhaps that can be written into the program…though it might not always be possible.

4. Outputting the sequenced info/data should be in a network that might provide feedback for the effectiveness of the particular output and program. Feedback allows for iterative improvement.





My collaborator has suggested that the cultural semiotics of nerd is not an effective lure, not an attractor, for young latino males (in the US) who might otherwise explore STEM fields. Bill Gates’ financial success is an insufficient model. The age group we are looking at is ten years old. These young latinos are acutely sensitive to signals about what it means to be a man. It is not acceptable to be enthusiastic, to work too hard, these are traits of “uncool”.

My language describing these challenges is still in flux. Malleable.

The context is that we are attempting to discover the efficacy of Making Videogames as an attractor to- and persistence in - STEM fields (and integrated with Art, or STEAM). We have a further goal to diversify the kinds of game-makers, and hence, games made.

Overlooking The Visual reviewed in Design Research News


Kathryn Moore, Overlooking the Visual: Demystifying the Art of
(Abingdon and New York: Routledge, 2010).

Reviewed by Gareth Doherty, Graduate School of Design, Harvard
University, Cambridge, Mass.

In this mesmerising book, Kathryn Moore turns traditional
assumptions about design, and design education, upside down and
inside out. Moore tells us that “a radical redefinition of the
relationship between the senses and intelligence is long overdue”
(1), and not just demolishes existing perceptions, but through
the 254-page book, offers a vision for the re-conceptualization,
and teaching, of design.

Moore tells us it all went wrong with the Enlightenment when an
overt rationalism became dominant, relegating the sensual,
including visual, knowledge to the sidelines (17). “The crux of
the problem,” says Moore, “is that an intractable rationalist
paradigm dominates our thinking to such a degree we no longer
give it much thought” (6). Materiality becomes separated from
intelligence but, Moore argues, to consciously adopt a
specifically sensual approach serves to acknowledge this
difference and reinforce the binary. Influenced by philosophers
such as Gilbert Ryle, Hilary Putnam, and Richard Rorty, Moore
suggests that in order to re-evaluate the way we think about
design, designers need to engage with ideas at all stages of the
design process and that artistic practice needs to engage with
“space, words, shadow, light and form” (9).

We cannot understand theory without practice and vice versa, and
this integration of the theoretical and practical is inherent
within the book itself where copious illustrations and design
projects are as every bit integral to the book’s argument than
the text itself. The sequence of images of a sublime sea remind
us that the sea has smell, color, and memories. Just like the
visual. Part of Moore’s argument is that the visual is not just
about what we see but is itself a political and emotional
construct. Through eight highly engaging chapters, with titles
such as “The sensory interface and other myths and legends,”
“Teaching the unknowable,” and “Objectivity without neutrality,”
Moore outlines a vision for landscape architectural education
with design at its core.

The book is dense and theoretical, but well written and lucid. It
fits within a growing literature on the anthropology of design,
and a movement in design away from the design of objects and
processes to the understanding of context and how and why we
design. Moore has a lot in common with artists like Olafur
Eliasson, who sees the political ramifications of the emotions,
and anthropologists like Albena Yavena, who recently published an
ethnography on the design process of the Office for Metropolitan
Architecture. Not alone does Moore outline the problems with
design education but proposes alternative models. This active
agency of the designer that comes through in the book is part of
the reason this book, or chapters thereof, should be essential
reading for design educators, and students, and indeed for anyone
interested in processes of design.

Kathryn Moore is a Professor at the Birmingham Institute of Art
and Design, Birmingham City University, UK. Moore is past
President of the Landscape Institute, the UK representative of
IFLA, and an experienced educator and practitioner.

(Source: jiscmail.ac.uk)

Sally Fincher on Useless Truths at SIGCSE 2010 « Computing Education Blog

40 New And Useful Adobe Illustrator Tutorials

via: Noupe Design Blog

Oct 6

Technology will change faster than we can teach it. My son studied the popular programming language C++ in his home-school year; that knowledge could be economically useless soon. The accelerating pace of technology means his eventual adult career does not exist yet. Of course it won’t be taught in school. But technological smartness can be. Here is the kind of literacy that we tried to impart:

- The Way We Live Now - Home-Schooling for the Techno-Literate - NYTimes.com via: BoingBoing

Oct 5

Early in my career I wanted to be professional, that was my complete aspiration in my early life because professionals seemed to know everything - not to mention they got paid for it. Later I discovered after working for a while that professionalism itself was a limitation. After all, what professionalism means in most cases is diminishing risks. So if you want to get your car fixed you go to a mechanic who knows how to deal with transmission problems in the same way each time. I suppose if you needed brain surgery you wouldn’t want the doctor to fool around and invent a new way of connecting your nerve endings. Please do it in the way that has worked in the past.
Unfortunately in our field, in the so-called creative – I hate that word because it is misused so often. I also hate the fact that it is used as a noun. Can you imagine calling someone a creative? Anyhow, when you are doing something in a recurring way to diminish risk or doing it in the same way as you have done it before, it is clear why professionalism is not enough. After all, what is required in our field, more than anything else, is the continuous transgression. Professionalism does not allow for that because transgression has to encompass the possibility of failure and if you are professional your instinct is not to fail, it is to repeat success. So professionalism as a lifetime aspiration is a limited goal.

- http://www.miltonglaser.com/pages/milton/essays/es3.html

Jul 1

The really grim news for the MBA, however, is about more than short-term trends. Isn’t it just a little suspicious, after all, that the sector that showed the greatest appetite for MBAs was the most grotesquely mismanaged? In fact, the economic crisis has exposed long-standing flaws not just in the modern approach to business education but in the very idea of business education.

- RIP, MBA | The Big Money


via spytap:seanbonner:tarabrown:7evan:keeptheballrolling:mynameisconnor


via spytap:seanbonner:tarabrown:7evan:keeptheballrolling:mynameisconnor

Adobe flash cs4 basics : 0108 Bone Bind Tools (via oppcell)

Scratch Day

100 Best Photoshop Tutorials From 2009 | Creative Nerds