It’s been a long time since I have not written any post for this blog! Today I am at Escuela de Ingeniería PUC in Santiago de Chile becoming an intrapreneur. Just as Steve Jobs formed a group of people within Apple to develop the Macintosh, “going in essence back to the garage” (Jobs, as told to Newsweek in 1985), we have developed (together with Catalina Cortázar ) the DILAB, Engineering Design Initiative at PUC. This Design-Anthropology lab has been developed in a prestigious school of engineering in Latin America, serving more than 1,000 students a year and connecting with schools and companies all around the world.
The lab is promoting educational content that used to be foreign for the core of engineering in this country. It mainly provides design-anthropology knowledge and tools to engineers engaged in the area of mechanical construction and robotics, as well as to those who are more business oriented. The lab is fostering an alternative pedagogical culture to the one obeying the ‘assembly-line-instruction’ (Rogoff, 2011) typology. This new model coaches critical thinking skills through applied, real-world experiences with organizations where the students become the protagonists. Rather than solving exercises in a vacuum, this gives students a sense of applied reality to their learning. Check out the initiative and our Facebook page.
Pic: Compiled images from experiences at NC State
Having a big interest in education, as a method to achieve transformation, we will impart an innovative course in Santiago de Chile starting in August 2013 at the School of Engineering at PUC. The DI-LAB is a unique course for all engineering and design specialties where the students engage with an American-based company in solving an ill-defined forward thinking “issue”. It works with design-anthropology, negotiation and visual thinking among other lines of thought. The companies that will partner with us entail a wide range of typology, from successful ex-startups to big companies that are leaders in their area. The companies are: Design Central, Teague Associates , Oracle , Ziba and Artefact . If you are an engineering student at PUC you can get more information at www.di-lab.cl . Like us on Facebook in order to get our latest news.
If you are not a student at PUC or you are out of school already, don’t worry, we love open source! We will be posting interesting stuff on the student’s process at the DI-LAB website and on our Facebook page .
This post does not only entail education in Design or Engineering. It touches upon the CoAT program at NC State University, in the US, which is part of the PFL (Preparing Future Leaders) program. The Certificate of Accomplishment in Teaching (CoAT) is an initiative from the graduate school for developing pedagogy skills in graduate students from different disciplinary backgrounds. These g.students will soon become the educators of future professionals. Being close to people (including myself) that came to the US with a focus on improving Latin American education (to achieve equality), this program caught my attention. Furthermore, having experienced it made me a believer that programs like this make a difference and have an impact in an educational environment. This was my experience:
As a Design PhD student and instructor (from 2009-2013), me, and a group of other PhD students, fulfilled a series of workshops focused on higher education instruction. In addition, we were exposed to “actual hours of instruction” where (more…)
Many of the graduate students, as they leave school, they have to leave behind the subscriptions to things like their “Reference Management Software” (End Note, RefX, etc). My advice, after going through my doctoral studies is: DO NOT USE LICENSED BASED REFERENCE MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE! It is most likely that you will end up switching jobs, countries, universities or even migrating from your computer operating system. Even though for some of these licensed software have some web based components, their penetration in particular communities depends if someone is sponsoring the license payment or not.
Even though I started using a licensed software at the beginning of my PhD program at NC State, I opted to try out Mendeley, a web-based reference manager that entails social media tools to connect with other researchers on the web. Mendeley provides you with a desktop tool where you can just drag and drop papers in order to have a copy in your reference manager. It also allows you to highlight (mainly the actions that Acrobat PRO provides) and write notes in the document that you can later access in your smartphone, tablet or computer. You can also join other researchers in groups of interest where you share bibliographic references online. Not everything is perfect in Mendeley though. There are issues on their importing plug in for Firefox and other small issues. But it is a pretty amazing FREE TOOL (Open Source) that you can use in your endeavors or with educating young researchers or students into better practices for working with bibliographic references.