A couple days late with this week note. I wrote a good chunk of this over the weekend, but didn't finish editing until I realized I hadn't posted. I backdated the posting date, at any rate.
Another week flying by at MIT. This one was all about trying to settle into a schedule and a bit of structured routine. I find that I do my best work in the early morning; when I can get myself up, my day goes so much better if I hit the ground running and get 3-4 hours of work in before breakfast. This early morning tendency is both a blessing and a curse at MIT. It seems most people tend to wander in mid-morning/lunchtime. This means if I can get into the lab super early, I can get a lot of uninterrupted thinking / making time to myself. For me, the afternoons are great for meetings, meanderings, and brainstorming work when my focused energy is low. Might be a good time to visit the gym, too, for that matter. (I have rented a locker at the MIT gym, but I couldn't actually find it after 20 minutes of searching.)I got into the Tangible Interfaces class offered by Hiroshi Ishii I'm excited about this class as a way to get a little more rigorous with my design thinking. Here's a bit from my application essay:
I'm particularly interested in the process of reading, notetaking, and digesting information for learning and creative endeavors. I use a fountain pen and notebook to take notes, but sometimes I find the experience frustrating as it lacks some affordances of computer text-based capturing. I'd be interested in working in this class to explore alternate modes, materials, and processes that help people collaborate more creatively using paper-centered infrastructure. For example, how can we merge the best features of physical books (ex. heft, spacial encoding of page turns, marginalia, book smells) with the best of eBooks (ex. searching, dynamic text presentation, multimedia) -- With Radical Atoms in the form of e-inks, smart paper, and even robotic origami, I think some innovation is within reach; eBooks among "real books" is an especially poignant topic lately.
On Thursday, there was an NBC summit on Technology in the Classroom; Chelsea Clinton was a co-moderator (ooft. cringe-worthy performance), but the content was largely uninspiring. Yes. We aren't spending enough money on education. Yes. Schools don't evolve fast enough. Yes. Parents should be involved in the learning process. I was hoping to hear some more revolutionary ideas. I should have known better.
This weekend I was at a friend's BBQ and found myself evangelizing the virtue of robot peers in the classroom. I'm swimming in the kool-aid, if nothing else.
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