Apr 28, 2008

Learning to Think Spatially: GIS as a Support System in the K-12 Curriculum: Free Online Book

I came across a link to an interesting book on Susana Valica's blog. Susana's master's thesis focuses on human-computer interaction and geographic information systems.

The book, Learning to Think Spatially: GIS as a Support System in the K-12 Curriculum is available for partial viewing online. This book specifically addresses topics useful to educators who are interested in visual thinking and learning and would like to improve their own visual skills, develop a better understanding of human spatial cognition, and share this with young people.

According to the authors, "..spatial thinking is powerful and pervasive, underpinning everyday life, work,and science. It plays a role in activities ranging from understanding metaphors, becoming good at wayfinding, and interpreting works of art, to engaging in molecular modeling, generating geometry proofs, and interpreting astronomical data."

If you are interested in this topic, you might also be interested in the work of Alan M. MacEachren, the director of the GeoVista Center at Penn State. I recently had the opportunity to see Dr. MacEacren's presentation at UNC-C and the Charlotte Visualization Center's Visualization in the World Symposium. I was impressed with the depth and breadth of his work.

Dr. MacEachren is the author of How Maps Work: Representation, Visualization, and Design.

Apr 27, 2008

muCi: Muscle-Computer Interfaces- Link to post on TSHWI blog

Take a look at my recent post on the Technology-Supported Human-World Interaction blog about an article written by Desney Tan and his colleagues. Their recent research focused on the development and user-testing of a muscle-computer interface.

I think that the muCI system holds promise for children, teens, and adults who have special needs. I believe that this sort of interface will prove to useful in healthcare, education, homes, and community spaces, if it allows for interaction and interoperability with the technologies that people encounter in their daily lives.

This was cross-posted on the TechPsych blog.

Apr 26, 2008

Cross Post from Tech Psych: Visualization Symposium, Visualization Day

This is cross-posted on the Tech-Psych blog.

I recently attended the Visualization in the World Symposium, hosted by the Charlotte Viz Center at UNC-Charlotte. I was impressed by the variety of disciplines represented at the symposium- the speakers came from fields such as architecture, psychology, and geography. The audience was also diverse.

The slides from the presentations will be available soon, so check back to follow the links, or visit the Charlotte Visualization Center's website.

If you are interested in visual thinking, visual literacy, visual communication, and visualization in education, take the time to explore the links once they are posted!

FYI: There is a growing group of people who'd like to get a "World Visualization Day" off the ground. Earth Day is celebrated in our schools, why not a visualization day?! Dr. Kosara, the author of the Eager Eyes blog, is a strong supporter of this movement.

At the moment, various colleges and organizations offer a "visualization day" from time-to-time. If you live in the New York area, you might be interested in attending Visualization Day at City College of New York.

Apr 10, 2008

Video of OLPC's Social Features

Take a look a One Laptop Per Child's Interactive User Interface:

Here is a video about OLPC's social features:

What do you think?

Somewhat off-topic:
Who's your user- Usability Rap Video, via 90percent of Everything via Information Architecture Television