Tech tips from a fellow Fulbrighter

Feb 04, 2020

Hi everyone! I am a Colombian entrepreneur with experience in digital marketing, looking to create data-driven products. Based on the results of the Fulbrighter Network survey on what you would like to see on this social media platform, I started theis new series of blog posts, in which I will give some tech tips and news. Hopefully most of you will find them useful and will engage you more in the Fulbrighter Network. 

I am a Colombian entrepreneur with experience in digital marketing, looking to create data-driven products

Tips on productivity tools for the non-tech savvy

Communication is one of the most important skills we need to manage to be successful in any field. Nowadays with new tools to communicate popping up every day, it is easy to get lost. For the tech-savvy this could be obvious but for the ones who are not I want to recommend Slack as a channel to communicate with teams. I believe that the Slack option to have channels for different topics of conversations makes the organization of ideas easier, and also helps to keep track of their development.


Guest section

This section is a guest feature from Laurence (w4rner) Warner, who you may recognise from their series “net:work? A Fulbrighter Conversation”, which I have contributed to. Thank you to Laurence for paving the way for Fulbrighter blogging like this! As w4rner, Laurence helps teenagers learn to design & build their own apps through his company agileEducation.

The best teachers are leveraging technology in the classroom; but not in the way you might think.

The best teachers are leveraging technology in the classroom; but not in the way you might think.

Over the past 2 decades, the conventional wisdom about tech in the classroom has been “more is better”. In some ‘enlightened’ schools, every kid was given an iPad; without any precautions against the many distractions (see my research which touches on youth smartphone addiction) and before the teachers knew how to properly regulate their usage.

Now, the adults are realising that they have to work harder to curate play-like experiences IRL for students in order to inspire them to learn

Now, the adults are realising that they have to work harder to curate play-like experiences IRL (In Real Life) for students in order to inspire them to learn. Even in agileEducation classes, where we work with more independent-minded teenagers, at the end of every 20m work sprint, we get our students to put their laptops down and share their progress with the room (this is also when they are suggested to attend to their social distractions).

Especially for younger children, creative approaches are vital. During my Fulbright at U Chicago, I got to meet Dr. Kaitlin Torphy, who leads an education research team 'Teachers in Social Media' down the road at Michigan State, which is innovative not in its use of fancy quant methods, but rather in the non-traditional spaces they research. Through monitoring more niche social media like Pinterest, which led them to a specialised platform for teachers to share creative resource packs called Teachers Pay Teachers, they realised that the majority of teachers are drawing materials and inspiration from the internet, to deliver more creative experiences to the classroom, such as this creative Macbeth card-game for a literature class. This practice is heightened during key periods, such as before test windows.

So, unless the students are learning inherently digital skills - in which case they have to be empowered to surf relatively freely to stand a chance of for example creating their own app - it’s your job as the teacher to do the internet browsing. Just try to stay off Flappy Bird, class is about to start!

Thanks, Laurence! I am pretty sure this will be very useful for the Fulbrighters that are teaching. It would be very interesting to get to know some of their experiences with teaching and tech. I hope I can have more guests that enrich this important subject.


Online courses review

What online courses are you enjoying now, that you would like to recommend?

This week I got to know a new platform call Brilliant. It only took me to see it on one ad to register (it’s the first time I get caught at the first attempt), and I would like to recommend it because it not only makes complex topics easy but also it is fun to learn with it. Either you just are a hobbyist looking to entertain your mind or a student trying to get better at your subjects, this platform will help you. Courses, called quizzes, are classified in math, science and computer science.

What online courses are you enjoying now, that you would like to recommend?


Tech entrepreneurship news

Snapchat recently bought AI Factory in a move clearly intended to keep the leadership in augmented reality and artificial intelligence use on social media. This news comes as no surprise after their announcement in December of their last product “Cameos” which are short videos that use facial recognition, 3D and augmented reality to create a new way to interact.

Do you have any tip you would like to share with the community? Let’s discuss in the comments and give others more tools to improve their productivity!


Other news