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May 10, 2011No Comments

How Web video powers global innovation

Great lesson here on the power of Web video in all types of communities worldwide. How being able to watch and share videos with the rest of the world can spur innovation and engagement in people in all types of fields.

This is an excellent TED Talk from Chris Anderson I highly recommend you watch not just to see what online video can do for you and your interests, but to get some ideas on how to take action.

May 4, 2011No Comments

Digital Books & Education

Lately I’ve been watching closely how new digital tools and Apps are shaking the Education field and how they can be used not only to improve the students’ potential for learning, but also making it easier for educators to focus on what they do best, provide this learning.

I plan to expand more on this subject in the coming months, as I get to work closely with leaders in the field who are revolutionizing their classrooms by adding to their student’s learning experiences through the use of innovative ideas and these digital tools.

As a passionate reader and learner myself, I’m also very excited to see that in the connected world we live in, there are some new groundbreaking ideas on how reading a book can be transformed into a more involved and engaging experience. The video below is just a little teaser as to the great potential found in the publishing and education industries.

In this video, software developer Mike Matas demos the first full-length interactive book for the iPad — with clever, swipeable video and graphics and some very cool data visualizations to play with. The book is “Our Choice,” Al Gore’s sequel to “An Inconvenient Truth.”

May 4, 2011No Comments

Technology & Medicine: How far we’ve come

First of all I want to thank all of you for the constant stream of support messages I’ve received over the past few weeks for my family and my father’s upcoming heart surgery. Thank you so much.

It’s no secret that since I first found out about my father’s condition, I’ve been studying and reaching out to some people in the medical community to help me better understand what exactly goes on in coronary artery disease, as well as the surgery involved (in the case of my father, quadruple bypass surgery), and what we can all do to most effectively help him recover and maintain a healthy lifestyle beyond this.

During this process I’ve come across a great deal of information on the advances the healthcare field has made along with technology, and I can’t help but feel the utmost respect for the people behind the remarkable stories and discoveries made over the past few years.

It would be nearly impossible to post here all the great videos and articles out there (and you would be scrolling down for days), so I narrowed it down to just a few of the excellent videos available online from the TEDMED Conferences, which will introduce you to some of the people behind this fascinating world of medical technology, and how they are helping save and improve people’s lives everyday. I hope you enjoy them.

We need to stop disease from divorcing us from our dreams. -Charity Tillemann-Dick

Charity Tillemann-Dick tells a double story of survival: from double lung transplant, and of her spirit, fueled by an unwavering will to sing.


 

Scientific visualization expert Anders Ynnerman shows sophisticated new tools for analyzing data.


 

David Pogue explains how the iPhone might save lives.


 

Dr. Keshavjee mesmerizes as he unveils a breathing lung on stage and describes how this technology is saving lives.


 

Eric Silfen of Philips talks about combining biomedical data in new ways.


 

Eric talks about the frontiers of wireless medicine.


 

Finally, I’d like to leave you with this quote and video from Bill Gates on how vaccines are saving children’s lives:

Big victories like eradicating a disease make us proud of what humans beings are able to do for one another, and that pride inspires us to do even more. -Bill Gates

Bill Gates: Vaccines Save Lives.

May 4, 2011No Comments

The challenge in education

I’ve always been a firm believer in the profound impact education can have in our lives, and how knowledge and our ability -and desire- to learn, is a key motivator in the actions we take everyday to improve the quality of our lives, and of those around us.

Education at all stages of our lives, from our infant years to our wiser years, empowers us to enjoy our life experiences in more detail and with a greater sense of appreciation.

Over the past few days I’ve had the pleasure to learn about the current state of children’s education from an educator whom I deeply admire for her infinite passion and commitment to continuously grow and innovate beyond her classroom. During our conversations it has become clear to me that one important challenge we face today lies in how to transform the way we teach children into a more engaging and interactive experience, and in integrating technology in the classroom in a way that enhances their education and prepares them for the challenges they will face in the coming years.

Our current education system takes many things for granted and there is a great window of opportunity in challenging the way we’re educating our children. A radical point, but one that could open many doors for children, as well as for tech companies around the world that can benefit from getting involved.

Over the past few years the pace at which we’ve innovated in other fields has multiplied, while education -perhaps due to its bureaucracy or simply the complexity in incorporating new initiatives across an entire public system- has not kept up with similar rates of innovation.

However, that is not to say that there is no innovation in Education. On the other hand, it is a space that is becoming busier every day with startups and individuals who are taking on these challenges with powerful and innovating ideas. Here’s a couple of articles listing some of them:

100+ Online Resources That Are Transforming Education

School Tech: 6 Important Lessons From Maine’s Student Laptop Program

The Case for the Virtual Classroom

We just need to connect the dots now. Outside of the public education system there are some great initiatives that can improve education and the experience children have while being educated, and now I can see that there are fresh and motivated minds who are ready to take on the challenge of integrating these initiatives into their classrooms. It’s up to the rest of us (parents and individuals) to create a demand for this change and find ways to support it in any way we can.

Here’s a quote that stands out for me and summarizes the message I’d like to leave you with:

We should be waking them up to what is inside of themselves.

It’s a quote from a talk given at the RSA by Sir Ken Robinson, world-renowned education and creativity expert, that illustrates the link between 3 troubling trends: rising drop-out rates, schools’ dwindling stake in the arts, and ADHD. I highly recommend you watch the entire video below to understand the lesson and power of this quote.

if you enjoyed this video, I encourage you to also watch Sir Ken Robinson presenting at the TED conference last year.



Art & Copy: a film about the advertising industry

I highly recommend you watch the film Art & Copy.

It’s a film that will inspire you and leave you breathless at the same time. Its director Doug Pray does a great job at showing how advertising – done well – can become art, and at catching the essence of the advertising industry from some of the most influential creatives in it, from the early days, to now.

Here’s the synopsis from the website:

“Art & Copy is a powerful new film about advertising and inspiration. Directed by Doug Pray (Surfwise, Scratch, Hype!), it reveals the work and wisdom of some of the most influential advertising creatives of our time – people who’ve profoundly impacted our culture, yet are virtually unknown outside their industry. Exploding forth from advertising’s ‘creative revolution’ of the 1960s, these artists and writers all brought a surprisingly rebellious spirit to their work in a business more often associated with mediocrity or manipulation: George Lois, Mary Wells, Dan Wieden, Lee Clow, Hal Riney and others featured in Art & Copy were responsible for ‘Just Do It,’ ‘I Love NY,’ ‘Where’s the Beef?,’ ‘Got Milk,’ ‘Think Different,’ and brilliant campaigns for everything from cars to presidents. They managed to grab the attention of millions and truly move them. Visually interwoven with their stories, TV satellites are launched, billboards are erected, and the social and cultural impact of their ads are brought to light in this dynamic exploration of art, commerce, and human emotion.”

Have you watched it already? What did you think?