Dec 28, 2011

iPads for every student in an elementary school in NC, Smartboards in the classrooms, and one awesome principal


The effects of technology at this Title I school resulted in increased attendance, fewer discipline problems, and  college aspirations for the students.   I would like to visit this school soon and see how the teachers integrate iPads and Smartboards.

The story about the principal of this school is inspiring.

Buckley Report: Immigrant Principal
Montlieu Academy of Technology

Dec 15, 2011

Christian Bannister's Interactive Multi-touch and Gesture-based Subcycle Project. Use your hands to shape sound, create, and manipulate music. Wow!!

I came across a link to Christian Bannister's Subcycle Labs website when I was taking a look at the Creative Applications Network website.

If you have an interest in music technology and innovative gesture/multitouch applications, you'll appreciate the details that are shared on the Subcycle website.  In the meantime, take the time to watch a few of Christian's videos.  Enjoy!

Blip Shaper Walkthrough

Blip Shaper Walkthrough from christian bannister on Vimeo.
"a) creating percussive patterns with monome b) shaping the individual sounds that make up the patterns with multitouch gestures c) recording touchscreen gestures as automation d) storing, duplicating and navigation patterns e) recording the resulting audio to a dynamic buffer f) manipulating the buffer with a multitouch cut-up approach g) visualizing everything with dual screens"
Subcycle Walkthrough

Subcycle Blip Shaper from christian bannister on Vimeo.
"a) creating percussive patterns with monome b) shaping the individual sounds that make up the patterns with multitouch gestures c) recording touchscreen gestures as automation d) storing, duplicating and navigation patterns e) recording the resulting audio to a dynamic buffer f) manipulating the buffer with a multitouch cut-up approach g) visualizing everything with dual screens"

The following information describing the Blip Shaper is from Christian's Subcycle website/blog:
"For the drum sounds I have Drumaxx running for synthesized sounds and Battery running for sampled sounds.  These are running in parallel so for each voice there is a separate patch running in each VST.  The Parameters are modified with the touchscreen independently but in all cases a single touch gesture on the X-Axis will cross fade between the sampled version of the sound and the synthesized version of the sound.  I love this because I have never seen this before and I can never decide which technique I like better.  The synthesized drums are more malleable and have more interesting parameters to play with but the sampled sounds seem more substantial.  I will post a detailed list of parameters and gestures in the future."   

Christian currently uses Max for Live (ableton), and codes with Processing/Java, using Eclipse for organization.

Autopilot - Subcycle
autopilot - subcycle labs from christian bannister on Vimeo.
"sound visualization, multi-touch interface, break beat performance engine, autopilot, spacialized sound, dsp, max/MSP, fm synthesis, sonic navigation, sound storm visualization, time machine, granular, interactive sound sculpture, joystick array, more at"

Community Core Vision
NUI Group
BTW,I'm wondering if Christian or other NUI group members would like to do something with some of my ideas that incorporate interactive music. To learn more, see my post, "It must be  Voronoi: Looking for ideas for my music+art+dance+tech dream...."


Dec 13, 2011

Kinect in Education! (kinectEDucation)

Although I'm currently exploring the world of interactive HTML5, interactive video, etc., I think I just might make "kinecteducation" the focus of my tech-hobbies. I have some experience with game programming-one of my computer courses required a project using XNA- and I know quite a bit about gesture and multitouch, multi-user interactio, so it would'nt be too much of a stretch.

My motivation?

As a school psychologist, my main assignment is a school/program for students with disabilities, including about 40 or so who have autism spectrum disorders. Yesterday, the principal of the school attended a demonstration of the Kinect and requested that our school be considered for piloting it. One of my other assignments is a magnet high school for technology and the arts, and rumor has it that it will be offering a game programming curriculum.  I'd love to co-sponsor an after-school game club and encourage the students to program educational apps for the Kinect sometime in the near future! 

I'm also working as a client, in collaboration with come of my educator colleagues, with a team of university students who are creating a communication/social skills game suite geared for students with autism and related disabilities....

I'm inspired by the possibilities!

We have large SMARTboards in each classroom and in other locations around the building, and we have a Wii set up in the large therapy room adjacent to my office. The Wii has proven to be very useful in helping the students develop social and leisure skills that they can use in and outside of the school settings, but some of the students have difficulty manipulating the buttons on the controllers.

You can get Kinect-based apps from the Kinect Education website! Below are selected links from the website:

You can also get additional information from the Microsoft in Education "Kinect in the Classroom" website.

Below are a few videos to give you an overview of how open-source applications designed for the Kinect can be used in education: 

Dec 12, 2011

UPDATE POST: Educational Interfaces, Software, and Technology: 2012 ACM-CHI Workshop Call for Papers/Presentations

There is still time left to submit your paper!

3rd Workshop on UI Technologies and Educational Pedagogy
May 5-6 2012
in conjunction with ACM-CHI 2012, Austin, Texas

This will be our third annual workshop in conjunction with CHI 2012.

One of the primary goals of teaching is to prepare learners for life in the real world. In this ever changing world of technologies such as mobile interaction, cloud computing, natural user interfaces, and gestural interfaces like the Nintendo Wii and Microsoft Kinect, people have a greater selection of tools for the task at hand. Teachers and students can leverage these tools to improve learning outcomes. Educational interfaces and software are needed to ensure that new technologies serve a clear purpose in the classrooms and homes of the future.

Since teachers are always looking for creative ways to engage 21st century learners, there needs to be an academic venue for researchers to discuss novel educational tools and their role in improving learning outcomes. This workshop aims at filling this void: combining the pedagogical expertise of the cooperative learning, and learning sciences communities with the technical creativity of the CHI, UIST and interactive surface communities. The objective of this workshop is to become a conference within two years

We invite authors to present position papers about potential design challenges and perspectives on how the community should handle the next generation of HCI in education. 

Topics of interest include:

  • Gestural input, multitouch, large displays
  • Mobile Devices, response systems (clickers)
  • Tangible, VR, AR & MR, Multimodal interfaces
  • Console gaming, 3D input devices
  • Co-located interaction, presentations
  • Educational Pedagogy, learner-centric, Child Computer Interaction
  • Empirical methods, case studies
  • Multi-display interaction
  • Wearable educational media
Submission:  The deadline for workshop paper submissions is Dec 20, 2011. Interested researchers should submit a 4-page position paper in the ACM CHI adjunct proceedings style to the workshop management system. Acceptance notifications will be sent out February 20, 2012. The workshop will be held May 5-6, 2012 in Austin, Texas. Please note that at least one author of an accepted position paper must register for the workshop and for one or more days of the CHI 2012 conference.

Contact: Edward Tse, SMART Technologies,

Educational Interfaces, Software, and Technology Workshop Organizers
Edward Tse, SMART Technologies 
Lynn V. Marentette, Union County Public Schools
 Syed Ishtiaque Ahmed, Cornell University
 Alex Thayer, University of Washington
 Jochen Huber, Technische Universität Darmstadt

 Max Mühlhäuser, Technische Universität Darmstadt
 Si Jung “Jun” Kim, University of Central Florida

 Quincy Brown, Bowie State University

Now You See It: How the Brain Science of Attention Will Transform the Way We Live, Work, and Learn - an awesome book by Cathy "HASTAC" Davidson. (Her blog is awesome, too!)

Who is Cathy Davidson
According to her most recent bio, Cathy "served from 1998 until 2006 as the first Vice Provost for Interdisciplinary Studies at Duke University, where she worked with faculty to help create many programs, including the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience and the program in Information Science + Information Studies (ISIS).  She is the co-founder of is the co-founder of Humanities, Arts, Science, and Technology Advanced Collaboratory, HASTAC ("haystack"), a network of innovators dedicated to new forms of learning for the digital age.  She is also co-director of the $2 million annual HASTAC/John D. and Catherine T. MacAuthur Foundation Digital Media and Learning Competition."

Here is Cathy's book: Now You See It: How the Brain Science of Attention Will Transform the Way We Live, Work, and Learn
Now You See It: How the Brain Science of Attention Will Transform the Way We Live, Work, and Learn 

Note: I am almost finished with the book. Sadly, it went missing for several weeks, so I have about 50 more pages to read, now that it is found!   I didn't want to wait too long before writing my review, so I thought I'd highlight it here, since it will make a great read-or gift, for the holiday season!   It is well worth reading, as Cathy is a deep thinker who transcends disciplinary confines.

Here are a few Cathy Davidson's blog posts:
So What Again is HASTAC? Post #HASTAC2011 Reflections on a Network Founded on a Theory That's Practice 12/4/11
Why is the Information Age Without the Humanities Like the Industrial Revolution Without the Steam Engine? 1/24/10
Five Ways the Open Web Can Transform Higher Education

HASTAC website, where you can discover a number of excellent blogs and interesting links.

Near Field Communication (NFC) for SmartPhones at the Museum of London, plus related video and NFC links

I recently came across the following video demonstrating the use of NFC (Near Field Communication) at the Museum of London.  I wouldn't be surprised if this technology takes root in a variety of applications in the very near future!

Museum of London's use of Near Field Technology with Nokia

London History Museum Adopts Technology of Future
Claire Swedberg, RFID Journal, 8/16/11
"Museum of London has installed NFC RFID tags in its two location, to provide the growing number of NFC-enabled phone users with additional exhibit information, access to social Web sites and vouchers."
Byte at the museum
Trevor, Conversations by Nokia, 9/26/11

Apple, Microsoft Reported to Include NFC in 2012 Smartphones
Christina Bonnington, Wired Gadget Lab, 11/22/11

Gamification and NFC top 2012 Digital Trends
Wenlei Ma, AdNews12/12/11
Microsoft: NFC already supported in Windows Phone
Gareth Beavis,, 12/9/11

Near Field Communication
Android Developers
Intel joins NFC Forum board
Telcompaper, 12/8/11

Join the NFC (Near Field Communication) Revolution Today
NFC Data Inc, Sacramento Bee, 11/30/11
"Pledge support. Set a new mobile wallet standard for security, convenience, and affordability! Think outside the phone!"

NFC Near Field Communication Tutorial
"A summary overview or tutorial of Near Field Communications, detailing what is NFC and its technology"
Vending Machines Now Take Google Wallet Payments

-Wall Street Journal, MarketWatch

Dec 9, 2011

Quick Link: The Remote- Death by Voice Control?

Voice Control, the End of the TV Remote? Samsung, LG, and others are racing to bring voice control to the TV Set 
Peter Burrows and Cliff Edwards, Bloomberg Businessweek, 12/7/11

"Most consumers’ first opportunity to talk to their TVs—and have them listen—will be through voice-enabled apps for their smartphone or tablet."

I look forward to seeing if/how Apple TV uses Siri as a remote control!

Product Details
Picture from
Jakob Nielsen, Alertbox, 6/7/04  
(A great read, still holds true in 2011!)

Lynn Marentette, Interactive Multimedia Technology, 10/12/10

Harry Brignull, 90 percent of everything, 10/6/10

Bad hospital TV remote control:

Instructions for my last remote control: