Announcing Makers All 2.0

Finally, the new version of Makers All is up and running! Originally, the project was focused on how to respond to the impact AI and robots may have on jobs. What I eventually realized is that this scope was too broad. For example: I didn’t want to spend a lot of time in arguments over proposals like Universal Basic Income,…

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Undergoing Remodeling

When our flagship report comes out in May, Makers All is going to change its focus. So, we're in the middle of redesigning the site; please pardon the mess!

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Posting More Sporadically Until Report is Finished

I used to blog one substantive piece every week, and I almost never missed a week. That hasn't been happening for the last few months as I've been working on the report. I keep trying to get back to it, and I keep blowing my own deadlines. So, from now until the report is out -- probably mid- to late…

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Citizenship Schools, Part 1: Roots

I've been reading a marvelous book by Katherine Mellen Charron called Freedom's Teacher: The Life of Septima Clark. Described by Martin Luther King, Jr. as "the Mother of the Movement," Septima Clark was the architect and creator of one of the most remarkable inventions of the civil rights movement: Citizenship Schools. To block as many African Americans as possible from…

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What Emerging Tech Coding UX Can Learn From Cookbook Recipes

I have a confession to make: I'm a recovering cookbook addict. I still buy cookbooks, but only two or three times a year (okay, maybe four or five times). While I was a cookbook addict, I acquired a pretty good sized collection. And of all the cookbooks I own, not one of them uses pictures instead of words to describe…

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What Emerging Tech Can Learn From Minecraft

In an interview this week for the report, a designer said that if we are trying to make coding easier, we could learn a thing or two from the game Minecraft. Although there have been some experiments at making programming Minecraft more accessible, it's not the easiest platform to code. And yet Minecraft has almost 75 million monthly players, some…

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When a Picture Is Worth Less Than Words (A Little Geeky)

Two years ago, I was managing a team of developers and analysts who were creating a "metadata driven data warehouse" that would make it easy for our many different types of users to slice and dice their often complex data to satisfy their unique needs. We'd finished the core system, and we were just about to start cranking out a…

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What is User Experience (UX)?

Although there are many ways to describe user experience (UX) design, one of the simplest and best definitions comes from the Nielsen Norman Group, whose founders were pioneers in the UX movement: The first requirement for an exemplary user experience is to meet the exact needs of the customer, without fuss or bother. Next comes simplicity and elegance that produce…

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August Is User Experience (UX) Month!

For the report I'm writing -- on making developing emerging tech accessible to as many people as possible in communities from Compton to Harlan County -- in August I'm going to do a deep dive on the User Experience (UX) of coding. As I learn interesting tidbits, I'm going to blog them. So that means this month's blog posts will…

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1949 NY Ag Extension Services to Today’s Techies: Step Up Your Game

As part of learning more about the history of Agricultural Extension Services, I've been reading Ruby Green Smith's The People's Colleges: A History of the New York State Extension Service in Cornell University and the State, 1876-1948. Cornell University was a leader in Agricultural Extension Services. Although the national program wasn't created until 1914, Cornell University started doing extension work…

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