I’m back to school. Wow! Now I’m a teacher – and a learner. For a couple of weeks already I teach mathematics and science at a grammar school in Berlin. Frankly, it’s one of the hardest jobs I’ve ever done. What I like about school is learning. What I really dislike is the current role of a teacher as a lonely person. All the jobs I’ve done so far were team events. Being a teacher feels like being a social loner. Well, it’s a highly communicative activity when you teach in the classroom. But as a teacher (at least in my school) you work mostly on your own. Team work seems to be an unknown concept to the school system that I’ve experienced so far.
The key pictured above is necessary to open the windows in the classrooms. I learned that the hard way when most of my students and me myself almost fell asleep due to the lack of oxygen during the first week. But I didn’t have this key. They gave me a lot of keys but not this one to let some air in. I had to buy one at the DIY warehouse nearby. School for me is a complete DIY experience – do it yourself. I think this is a pity and a waste of human time and energy. The whole system could work better if teachers would work together. Teachers would learn more and teach better. And students would profit most. Let’s open the doors and windows to let some air in!
I like typography, science, minimalism and India. A project by Indian graphic designer Kapil Bhagat from Mumbai brings all of that together. The ideas behind his poster series about great scientists and their discoveries are very smart. I like the way Kapil uses typography to visualize complex and yet simple scientific ideas. Enjoy and make sure to check out his tumblr!
Carl made me smile! The Russian Art Collective Faceheads.ru and Carl, their talking piece of cardboard, explain in this little video tutorial how to use random shapes to create an Instant Face Maker. The effect is quite stunning when you move two points wich represent the eyes over your piece of paper: you’ll see more and more faces appear from your random lines. A creative and fun way to play and draw for kids and grown-ups alike.
This sonification of search algorithms by Andrzej Rutkowski made my day. And it helped me to better understand what is going on when a computer does bubble sort, merge sort, etc. Here is what Andrzej says about sonification and I would totally agree that this technique hasn’t been explored to its full potential yet: “I know this work is not novel but I feel it isn’t explored enough. I see future uses of similar techniques in monitoring and debugging, teaching and gaining insight of more complicated algorithms, science and arts.” Thank you CS50x for pointing us to this sonification of search algorithms. A Happy New Year to everybody! And now enjoy the sound!
With the Leap Motion controller, 3D gesture control is on its way to your desktop in the very near future. You can already pre-order one now ($69.99), sales should start this winter.
From 2D to 3D finger control
While touchscreens have brought the ability to directly and intuitively control devices with nuanced finger movements in 2 dimensions, Leap Motion takes this fine-tuned gesture control ability to the next dimension. It will most likely change the way people control their laptops and desktop computers in the near future. You can think of the Leap as a kind of Microsoft’s Kinect controller, but way more accurate. According to the developers the Leap is 200 times more sensitive than existing technologies at a fraction of the price. Watch this stunning video to see the Leap Motion controller in action working smoothly with some well-known applications. I will pre-order my Leap right now.