What we've been reading, week 12

Hello and welcome to the latest edition of 'what we've been reading', bringing you the best education, technology, and maker news.



Empanada synthesizer

Did you know that Vegemite is a great electrical conductor? To celebrate Pi Day last week, Alex Glow created her own synthenada using Vegemite, Adafruit's Circuit Playground Express, an USB-A to Micro-USB Cable, toothpicks and a pie!


We Make The Future: conservation technology

In the latest episode of We Make The Futurewe speak to New Zealand based scientist, Dr Andrew Digby. Andrew works in conservation and uses drones, and several other technologies, to help save endangered native birds such as the kākāpō. Andrew also highlights several project ideas and ways your school can get involved in conservation too.


ANPR: car spy Raspberry Pi

This tutorial by PJ Evans for The MagPi magazine shows how to build a system to detect and alert when a car comes onto the driveway.


How improving student feedback and teaching data science restored our classroom culture

"In switching to inquiry-based instruction, I had pulled myself back and asked my students to step up and take the lead, but I hadn’t given them the skills or strategies to do it successfully."

A geologist turned science teacher decided to switch to inquiry-based instruction from teacher- to learner-driven instruction, but the results of this change weren't as expected.


Reflections on education: forward thinking

We invited Sarah Shaw to talk at our Learning by Making reception in Dubai, hosted by KHDA. Sarah shared her reflections on our current education systems, why she believes life has become the classroom, and the need to see teachers not as knowledge or information providers but as experience curators.


A Harvard professor says half of all colleges won't exist in 10 years

"A degree indicates that you know how to earn a degree; it doesn't necessarily mean you know how to do a job. Applicable knowledge matters. Applicable skills matter. Applicable experience matters."

The Inc article, which cites Harvard Business School professor Clayton Christensen's words, makes some interesting points about the future of the business of higher education.


Laser + mirror + sound

How does sound look like? Steve Mould tries to visualise sound through the vibrations that they make, using a mirror, laser, bluetooth speaker, a bowl and a giant balloon. The result is mesmerising.


An exclusive look at an original iPhone prototype

Apple developed their first iPhone in secret over two and a half years, and for many inside the company, the device had only been known by the codenames M68 and Purple 2. As this article by The Verge explains, many of the engineers working on the original handset didn’t even know what it would eventually look like.

To achieve that level of secrecy, Apple created special prototype development boards that contained nearly all of the iPhone’s parts, spread out across a large circuit board. 


Frozen brush

Frozen brush, a project inspired by Makio135's sketch, makes use of a delaunay algorithm to create crystal-like shapes. To control the design, you just need to click and drag the mouse.


Want to read more? Check our previous ‘best of the web’ reading list.

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