Jul 31, 2007

Mobile Projection from a Cell Phone or PDA!

Microvision and other companies have developed projector that enable cell phones and PDA's to display pictures and videos. With the PicoP, the images work on flat as well as curved surfaces. It looks like it would be a great visual communication and collaboration tool.

The PicoP

If you have had the opportunity to use a mobile projector, please let me know!

Engaget article: Motorola signs on with Microvision's PicoP Laser Projection" (July 25, 2007)

Jul 30, 2007

Visual Learning Lab Supports Effective Teaching and Learning

It seems that the UK is often on the cutting edge of using multimedia technology in education.

Here is a quote from the Visual Learning Lab website, at the University of Nottingham about ways the Humanities department is using visual learning technologies:

‘Showing Seeing Centre’ & ‘Visual Analysis Lab’

"Archaeology and Classics are both highly visual disciplines. In order to further develop the use of visual in teaching and learning, the VLL supports the creation of two new facilities, the Showing Seeing Centre and the Visual Analysis Lab."

"The Showing Seeing Centre will provide a context for students to work with visual resources using 3D-enabled computers for access to virtual reconstructions of archaeological sites and ancient civilizations, e.g. in gaming environments. Students will also have access to a range of equipment for digitzing and analysing visual material and for producing presentations and portfolio material. The equipment provided by the VLL consists of a wall-mounted LCD-screen, 4 high-spec laptops, a
high-spec A4-scanner, colour laser printer and a Playstation."

"The Visual Analysis Lab will provide facilities for teaching and learning in relation to the identification of archaeological remains (such as plant materials, animal bones and ceramics). The equipment provided by the VLL consists of two high- quality microscopes linked to digital cameras, a laptop and a data projector."

A 2007 report (pdf) from the University of Nottingham's Visual Learning Lab reviews of how visual learning technology will be used by departments such as pharmacy, veterinary medicine, medical sciences, modern language and cultures, biosciences, humanities, fildm and telvision studies, learning sciences, and computer sciences.

Link to article from the University of Nottingham: Visual Learning for the 21st Century

Related information:

FutureLab, of the UK, hosted a debate of the educational merits of interactive whiteboards, one of the technologies used to support visual and interactive multimedia teaching and learning. With the rush to adopt this technology for primary and secondary students, the participants pointed out that in order for teaching and learning to be effective, appropriate teacher training must take place.

If you have been following the Interactive Multimedia Technology or the Tech Psych blogs, you know that I'd like to see something like Microsoft's Surface in classrooms. Touch screen displays, such as the NextWindow Human Touch, appear to be more effective if they aren't dependent on a projector.

Jul 28, 2007

HP TouchSmart PC - an interactive touch screen for the home- and classroom?

Photos from the HP TouchSmart Website

I think this PC has possibilities for use in libraries, school media centers, and in classrooms.

This is a short video clip about the HP TouchSmart PC, a medium-sized touch-screen display that runs on Window's Vista. From what I understand, it uses technology from NextWindow.

If you use TouchSmart PC or something similar, or if you develop applications for the TouchSmart or other interactive touch applications, let me know what you think!

For related videos, visit the TouchSmart YouTube channel.

Jul 21, 2007

Interactive web-based science and math: Link to my TechPsych post about ExploreLearning Gizmos

ExploreLearning is a website that offers a variety of engaging math and science activities, called "Gizmos", for students in grades 6-12.

ExploreLearning's Gizmos would be great on large touch-screen surfaces or displays, such as a NextWindow Human Touch, a SmartBoard, or Microsoft's Surface.

Since the activites are designed as learning modules and are web-based, the Gizmos might even work on iPhones!

Check out my TechPsych post for more information and links.

Photo courtesy of ExploreLearning.

Jul 20, 2007

Virtual Reality Field Trips

Take a look at my post on the TechPsych blog about virtual reality field trips. Imagine what a virtual field trip would be like on a large touch-screen display!

Jul 16, 2007

More touch screen "surface" display musings...

I had my first chance to use an interactive touch-screen SmartBoard, by Smart Technologies in 2002-03. Since I work mostly with kids and teens, I wondered why large-display touch screen technology wasn't more widespread, since there are so many free, interactive websites that provide pretty engaging activities for users.

One of the things I learned was that large-display touch-screen technology is in the preschool stage. There are problems with screen responsiveness, screen resolution, durability, and input.

In recent years, the idea of a touch screen has evolved to table-tops and drafting boards, embedded within wireless systems that allow for interoperability with mobile devices and remote applications.

Great technology exists, but no-one has pulled all the components together in a way that can easily scale for the people who would benefit from this sort of technology the most - people who spend most of day time teaching, learning, or both. I had a great experience using a NextWindow Human Touch large-screen display for some of my projects last semester. It was difficult for me to track one down, but once I got my hands on it, I liked it, even though it did not have multi-touch capabilities.

One laptop for each child? That was a good idea for the late 1990's and early 2000's. One high-quality, affordable, large touch-screen display or table for each classroom would be more effective.

One touch-screen display/table for every 4-6 students would be better.
Is there anyone out there who is up for the challenge?

Next Post: Updated links to interactive multimedia websites appropriate for large touch screen surfaces.

Jul 15, 2007

Interactive Multimedia Technology: Search data

For a change of pace, I thought I'd post the search words people used to find this blog over the past 3 days. My recent visitors come from over 13 countries, up to 10,000 miles away!

Feel free to use these keywords in your future searches!

Activities for children in counseling for stress and anxiety
Haptic controller novint
Facial expressions game
Touch screen UI design guidelines
Narrative counseling media clips
Interactive multimedia demo
Importance of media
Brain education interactive
The visual literacy development of a 10 year old
Universal design children’s games
Multimedia technology wikipedia
Ppt latest multimedia and interenet technology
Haptic falcon
Visual literacy computer games
Multipurpose multimedia gaming table
Positive technology journal
Multimedia technology
Interactive large displays
Mind habits games
Multimedia social skills
Interactive multimedia technology
Good interactive multimedia application
Interactive multimedia
Multimedia for psychology
Touch screen technology blog
What is good interactive multimedia?
Interactive self-esteem activities for kids
Math online headsprout interactive
Rome 3D
Bill MacKenty
Interactive social skills aspergers
UK design “learning spaces” multimodal research position
Free interactive social skills game
Ripple Effects interactive
Preschool interactive video
Free resources young people social skills
AS psychology interactive games
Rome 3D project
Interactive whiteboard games special needs
Multimedia and HCI and School
Free online autism interactive games
Rome reborn

Jul 14, 2007

Women in Technology: My editorial on the NCWIT blog -UPDATE

The above link is to my editorial, "Gender Beneath the Surface", posted on the NCWIT blog.

Although women make up half the population, they are under-represented in computer science and related technological fields. If your are interested in issues related to women and technology, the National Center for Women in Information Technology -NCWIT- is a great place to start.

I wrote the post on the day I learned that all of the members of the executive team for Microsoft Surface (Madrid) were male.


The Microsoft Surface website now includes photos and bios of other team members, including women.  One woman,  Gretchen R., was originally hired to develop games for children on the Surface. 

(dually posted - techpsych and interactive multimedia technology blogs)

Jul 11, 2007

Wired article: YouTube Does Science

John Geirland posted an article in Wired about the use of video by scientists to demonstrate a wide variety of science concepts and experiments. The article, "YouTube Does Science, From Fruit-Fly Fight Clubs to Stem Cell Extractions", gives video examples of some of the "must-see" experiments.

The videos are from JOVE, the "Journal of Visualized Experiments", where you can find videos of experiments in neuroscience, developmental biology, cellular biology, microbiology, and plant biology. This looks like a great resource for science educators and students.

The videos from JOVE could be put to use in a variety of ways. Science educators could use them to illustrate concepts and demonstrate lab procedures and techniques. Students could watch assigned videos for homework. Home-schooled teens and students enrolled in distance-education programs would benefit from these videos.

At the end of the Wired article are some links to similar science video resources on the internet, such as DNAtube and bioscreencast

Although JOVE does not target the K-12 population, a similar on-line journal for this age group would be a great resource, especially for visual learners. It might get more young people engaged in science!

(Warning: Some of the videos are not for the squeamish. Parents and teachers should review the videos carefully before sharing them with a child. For example, in the video about culturing mouse neural stem cell precursors, a mouse embryo is decapitated. Since the embryo is a mammal, it looks like a human embryo.)

Jul 8, 2007

Yet another video about an interactive touch-table desk with potential for educational settings

Here is yet another video of a touch table from Microsoft's Center for Information Work that I think has great potential for use in education settings and for "serious games".

Microsoft appears to be targeting business, retail, and entertainment for new "surface computing" applications. I'd like to see Microsoft focus some of their efforts with this technology on education, as I think this technology would support "engaged learning". It might also inspire young people to consider future careers in technology. Given that we have a high school dropout-rate of about 30% in the US, we don't have too much time to waste.

This system allows for hands-free search via voice, which would be great for people who have physical disabilities.

As a school psychologist, I can see many uses for this sort of set-up to support what I do at work. I can envision interactive assessments on this table- if you work in education or psychology, or if you are interested in this sort of technology, leave a comment!

Microsoft's Center for Information Work, the group working on the technology behind the table shown in the video clip.

For a glimpse of some of the work I did last semester using touch-screen displays, take a look at the following posts:

Touch Screen Poetry Picture Share

Google Earth with photo-overlays

Google Earth photo-overlay on a touch screen

Jul 5, 2007

Interesting discussion about interactive multi-touch displays and surfaces

The above link is to an interesting discussion about scenarios for multi-touch displays.

IxDA is an organization of people involved in interactive design. Although this group's focus is not primarily on interaction design for technology used in education or psychology/counseling, many of the ideas shared by the groups membership are worth some thought.

This is from the Interactive Design Association's website:

What is Interaction Design?

"Interaction design (IxD) is the branch of user experience design that defines the structure and behavior of interactive products and services. Interaction designers strive to create useful, usable and desirable products and services that satisfy specific user needs, business goals, and technical constraints."