On May 16th 2011, Washington DC’s Newseum – interactive media museum that instills an appreciation of the importance of a free press and the US’ First Amendment – hosted the Journalists Memorial Rededication honoring the journalists who died covering the news in 2010.

Between 1837 and 2010, 2,084 courageous journalists lost their lives while staying dutiful to their profession – 59 of which died in 2010 – determined to report the truth and inform citizens, regardless of the consequence.


(Cross-posted from Aaron’s blog)

For all the talk about games-based learning and gamification of the classroom, I’m surprised the question of assessment hasn’t come up as often as it should have. If it does come up, it’s usually in the form of using games as assessment (e.g., designing a game that demonstrates your understanding of something). Having worked with some assessment gurus in the past, I’m always pushing myself to rethink assessment and to avoid traditional forms of assessments like the plague, so a few ideas inspired by games have seeped into my head over the years.


Last Wednesday, Ashoka delivered a terrific panel conversation at the World Bank called, Public Goods through Social Enterprises: Creating Hybrid Value Chains. Bill Drayton and Valeria Budinich spearheaded the discussion with their thoughts on the growing impact of hybrid value chains, full economic citizenship, and the inevitability of a changemaker world. I had three take-aways that I will consider under the current framework of technology.


How can digital activists harness new technologies, tools, and platforms to be as effective as possible in their work?

Digital organizing has arguably been at the heart of the recent protests in the Arab world. In the case of Egypt, a successful campaign run by online activists contributed to bringing hundreds of thousands of people to protest and force the resignation of President Mubarak. Clay Shirky, author of Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations, wrote: “We are living in the middle of the largest increase in expressive capability in the history of the human race. More people can communicate more things to more people than has ever been possible in the past, and the size and speed of this increase… makes the change unprecedented.” We can expect that any issue worth demonstrating about in the future will be organized online and its success will weigh heavily on how well the Internet and other technological tools are leveraged.


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Whether you think of HTML as a familiar friend or a terrifying alien monster, we can all agree that sometimes code just takes too much time.  In an attempt to help a friend build her web presence, and my own while I was at it, I worked my way through the abundance of e-Portfolio options.  The benefits of using an e-Portfolio as a personal page are that 1. You can create a portfolio specific to your profession and interests, from academe to graphic design, 2. You don’t have to know how to write html, and 3. You can link all of your social networking and personal sites in one place.   The below options are far from exhaustive and there are many notable examples left of this list. (more…)

This is the second post in a two part series on this topic. The first installment was written by TJ earlier in the week.

The Exchange 2.0 conference at the U.S. Institute of Peace on 4/27 offered a stimulating discussion that centered on using new technologies to further cross-cultural learning. While it was clearly conveyed that face-to-face study abroad programs are one of the best vehicles for promoting cross-cultural understanding, the reality is that many people (especially more disadvantaged students) may never have these opportunities. In an era when American young people need to know more than ever about our world and the people in it, the best estimate is that less than 2 percent of Americans enrolled in higher education participate in study abroad programs. Even then, the majority go to Europe. (more…)

This is part one of a two part series on Exchange 2.0.

Even though I never had the chance to do a study abroad, for ten years of my life I had over 150 international students live in my house, which practically made up for it. They all came to learn English, but after sharing a dinner table, a bathroom, and a TV with them I learned quite a lot about their culture too. My family noticed after a few years that the amount of students that would come from each country would fluctuate depending on their nation’s economic health. Now with highly accessible online interaction, a new type of youth exchange program has formed that isn’t dependent upon travel and accepts exponential amounts of students— it’s called Exchange 2.0.