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Knewton’s expanding Twitter presence

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In addition to Knewton’s main Twitter account, you can now connect with team members individually. Click an image to follow that person’s Twitter.

Lead Verbal Developer for Graduate Programs Alex Sarlin:

Associate Product Manager Sara Petry:

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Written by Knewton

October 27, 2009 at 10:23 PM

What We’re Reading

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From an informal survey of Knewton employees.

One Hundred Years of Solitude
Nineteen Eighty-Four
War and Peace

A Confederacy of Dunces
Love in the Time of Cholera
East of Eden

History of Philosophy, Volume 1
The Outline of History
The Essential Marcus Aurelius

Contemporary Fiction
Middlesex: A Novel

Europe Central
Flaubert’s Parrot
Olive Kitteredge
Little Children
The Lazarus Project

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: The Classic Regency Romance – Now with Ultraviolent Zombie Mayhem!
(two people!)
Tree of Smoke: A Novel
Sixty Stories
How We are Hungry
Pirate Lloyd

Contemporary Non-fiction
The Intellectual Devotional: Revive Your Mind, Complete Your Education, and Roam Confidently with the Cultured Class
The Botany of Desire: A Plant’s-Eye View of the World
Clean: The Revolutionary Program to Restore the Body’s Natural Ability to Heal Itself

Linked: How Everything is Connected to Everything Else and What It Means

The Innovator’s Solution: Creating and Sustaining Successful Growth
Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen
The Gun Seller
American Prometheus: The Triumph And Tragedy Of J Robert Oppenheimer

The Ascent of Money
Courage: The Backbone of Leadership
The Adderall Diaries: A Memoir of Moods, Masochism, and Murder
Small Is Beautiful: Economics as if People Mattered
Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies
The Inmates Are Running the Asylum: Why High Tech Products Drive Us Crazy and How to Restore the Sanity
Einstein: His Life and His Universe
On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen
I’m Not Hanging Noodles on Your Ears and Other Intriguing Idioms From Around the World
The Mac OS X Command Line: Unix Under the Hood
Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness
The Drunkard’s Walk: How Randomness Rules Our Lives
Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything
The Responsibility to Protect: Ending Mass Atrocity Crimes Once and for All

Written by Knewton

September 2, 2009 at 5:28 PM

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A note from Tony Poor — the UI intern who should never leave

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Four months ago, I answered a job posting for a summer internship at a test prep company. At the time, I had no idea that the company’s goals aligned so perfectly with mine.

As a student of human-computer interaction, I am passionate about making technology easier to use–bridging the gap between the brain and the system. The grand vision of my entire field is, essentially, technology that invisibly supports the goals of its users.

Here’s the kicker: Knewton is that vision, plus more. Anyone can make an e-learning product ‘easy to use.’ But adaptive learning – delivering a truly personalized education based on a student’s habits – is revolutionary. Through this single mechanism, Knewton is not just creating an easy-to-use product; it’s revolutionizing the usability of education as a whole. All in a completely invisible package. You don’t have to know that something behind the scenes is constantly tailoring lessons to your individual needs and learning habits. It just is.

I live by the mantra that the technology should support the user; why should we settle for educational practices that remain cruelly inflexible? No. Knewton doesn’t think so; that just won’t do. And I’m with them 100%.

Written by Knewton

August 10, 2009 at 10:33 AM

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A note (and a plug) from our Faculty Manager

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dave looking casual

Knewton Faculty Manager, Dave Ingber, responsible for hiring the best GMAT prep and LSAT prep teachers in the world, shares some of his vaunted shtick.

What’s the first thing you do when meet someone? Google search?  Take a look on Facebook? Seeing that my name isn’t especially unique, I figured I’d save you the suspense of a google search.

Here’s what you get when you look up me, David Ingber:

-David Ingber the stand-up comedian (that’s me!)
-David Ingber the jewelry designer (that’s not me)
-David Ingber the prominent rabbi (not me either, but I get his email pretty often)
-David Ingber the author and composer of the new show, “Fantasy Football: The Musical?” which will premiere this fall at the New York Music Theatre Festival (yes, that is me, and yes, I am making a plug)

Now of course I am also the Faculty Director here at Knewton.  I’m quite proud of my work because, if you were to stand in a room with all of the Knewton teachers, you would be in the company of a medical student, a political theorist, an amateur weatherman, a gang prevention specialist, authors, web designers, actors, musicians, and a sun-powered car builders. The common thread among these men and women is, of course,  a passion for education, but the diverse backgrounds and aspirations of our teachers make for a richer classroom experience.

Teaching classes via camera over the internet might, to the casual observer, seem cold and impersonal. This is exactly why we hire the most interesting people we can find to be our teachers.

Written by Knewton

July 27, 2009 at 12:51 PM

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Grad school or Peace Corps? You can do both.

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Knewton Office Manager Stacy Tice shares her experience as a Peace Corps Volunteer, and offers advice about how to earn graduate credits while serving.

Are you debating whether to join Peace Corps or go to graduate school? I was very anxious to live overseas, use my Spanish every day, and face the unknown—so I chose to go directly into the Peace Corps after graduating from college. However, looking back, I think I could have benefited from combining my experience as a Volunteer with graduate study.

Many people think that Peace Corps Volunteers mainly dig ditches and teach English, and although that may have been true 30 years ago, it is far from the truth today. Programs have extended their reach to include business development, environmental, health care-related, and information technology work. And, depending upon your interest and courses of study, there are many opportunities to gain valuable experience overseas that will benefit your host community, while also earning you a graduate degree.

Peace Corps offers two programs that allow you to both Volunteer and get an M.A.: Master’s International and Fellows/USA.

Master’s International enables you to combine your Master’s degree with overseas service through its partnerships with colleges and universities across the United States. This program not only offers academic credit and financial incentives to Volunteers, but allows you to be creative in folding your real-life experiences overseas into course credit.

The Fellows/USA program offers an opportunity to further your service upon arriving back in the States. Returned Volunteers work paid internships in underserved U.S. communities in exchange for scholarships or reduced tuition at participating graduate schools. The idea of Fellow/USA program came from a Columbia University researcher who found returned volunteers had the communication skills, creativity, and resourcefulness sought out by the Board of Education of New York. I knew a few returned Peace Corps Volunteers who went to work in inner-city schools after their service, and they all had very positive experiences.

Graduate school teaches a good amount of theory, but without the real-life experiences to back that up, an individual cannot stand out in today’s job market. Both serving in the Peace Corps and attending graduate school are once-in-a-lifetime experiences, so why not do them together.

RPCV Stacy Tice (Honduras ’03-’05)

Written by Knewton

July 14, 2009 at 1:40 PM

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So what is Knewton?

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An online test prep company.

The world’s most powerful adaptive learning engine.

An educational platform, about to do a great amount of good.

A second home to 35 extraordinarily talented people, working around the clock.

We like to believe all those assertions are true. And we plan to use this blog as the enlightenment arm of our apparatus. Check in often for thoughts and opinions on subjects ranging from subject-pronoun agreement to remixed vocab quizzes to the democratization of educational materials for learners across the world.

You’ll read insights from our teachers, our CEO, our interns, our investors and others—all from a majestic plural narrative perspective we haven’t really figured out yet.

Written by Knewton

June 28, 2009 at 12:16 AM