Stories on maker education and innovation 

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The trap of perfectionism

Early this morning, I woke from a nightmare. In the dream, I had landed a job at the university where I had done my PhD research. In this job, I was supposed to be teaching a large (300 students) lecture course in microbiology. This was the course that I had been a teaching assistant in

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7 Blogs to Encourage Young Entrepreneurs

http://www.college-startup.com: Started by Ben Bleikamp, this blog began teaching people how to make money from their dorm room.  Their community of authors now share insight to a broad range of topics of running an Internet based business. http://www.youngentrepreneur.com/blog/ : “Founded in 1999, YoungEntrepreneur.com has become one of the largest online forum communities for entrepreneurs worldwide.” http://youngentrepreneurfoundation.wordpress.com/ : “The NFIB

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“All I Want For Christmas” from @EduVue

The “Hour of code” event to introduce young people to computer science has been very well received by the community.   As time permits, I have been reviewing blog posts and retrospectives on the event. My friends from EduVue provided a nice reflection on the “Hour of code” event at their schools.   It’s exciting

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Creating Interactive Images with SVG

  During a Google Developers Group session on HTML5, Dr. Allen introduced the group to a web technology called Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG). In instructional technology, SVG can be used to create interactive diagrams that respond to mouse clicks and mouse movements. Many information visualization tools utilize SVG to visualize complex data sets. (Check out

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Closing out the term- Reflecting on what worked and what failed miserably

Published on December 9, 2013 by in Uncategorized

Tomorrow is my last exam of the semester. Woohoo! Freedom! I’m not sure who’s more excited, me the professor, or my students. As always, it is a good idea to take some time to reflect and think about what has gone well this term and those things that probably should not be done again. The

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Highlights from NABT

Last week I had the great opportunity to attend the annual conference of the National Association of Biology Teachers in Atlanta. I learned a lot and was pretty overwhelmed by the end of each day. For my next few posts I want to spend a little time sharing some of my highlights from the experience.

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Ownership in education

How do we encourage our students to take ownership of their education? Over and over again I encounter students that want to sit passively in the classroom and receive knowledge. They expect me to tell them what they need to know and then the memorize the bare minimum necessary to pass the course. As soon

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David McCandless: The Beauty of Data Visualization

David McCandless turns complex data sets (like worldwide military spending, media buzz, Facebook status updates) into beautiful, simple diagrams that tease out unseen patterns and connections. Good design, he suggests, is the best way to navigate information glut — and it may just change the way we see the world. This TED talk presents a

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Frustration

Published on October 30, 2013 by in Uncategorized

This morning we had a DNA extraction exercise in my Introductory Biology course. I asked my students where DNA is located in our cells (answer: the nucleus). They stared at me blankly. We are more than halfway through the semester and my students cannot answer that very basic question. Clearly there is something wrong with

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Mind Blowing Creatives and Projects from Atlanta Mini Maker Faire 2013

Creative people enjoy sharing their craft with the community. The Atlanta Mini Maker Faire (AMMF) showcased creatives, craft makers, artists, inventors, and technologists from across Georgia and the US. The outdoor conference blended the best of an arts show and a “hands on” science fair. Sarah and I had the opportunity to take the family

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