Jan 31, 2012

Google in Education, Updated

Is Google is permeating the world of learning/education?  If you are a parent or educator, you might be interested in taking a look at the following links.  (I will follow this topic and include my reflections in a few future posts.)

Google in Education
Guide to Going Google (K-12 Edition,Google Apps Site)
Google in Education (Google+ Site)
Google in Education: A New and Open World for Learning (pdf)
Google Educator Resources
Example:  Google Lit Trips
North American K-12 Regional User Groups (Google Apps for Education)

Here is a good overview from the Mind/Shift website:
Google Launches Redesigned Education Site
Tina Barseghian, MindShift 1/30/12

Note:  Mind/Shift is curated by people at KQED, part of the NPR Argo Network.

Jan 19, 2012

iBooks Textbooks for iPads, iTunesU App -and links to info about 1:1 iPad initiatives in public schools

There is a lot of buzz about iPads in education. 

I'm convinced that tablet technology will be adopted by schools at a faster rate than anticipated a year or so ago, now that Apple has launched iBooks Textbooks for iPad and the iTunesU app.

Parents, teachers, students, administrators, and school IT specialists, hold on to your hats!

Learning Together: The Evolution of a 1:1 iPad Program
Carolyn Foote, Internet@Schools, 1/1/12
The Swiss-Army Knife of Education
Mr. Hooker, The WIFI--Eanes ISD iPad Pilot Project, 10/3/11
iPads in Education
John Evans, Curator
iBooks Textbooks
iTunesU App

iPad for Art: Sketchbook Express, via the Montlieu Academy of Technology, a public K-5 magnet school that adopted a 1:1 iPad initiative in August, 2011.

I have been planning on devoting more posts in the future about the iPad and related interactive technologies for learning- and for fun.  When I have a chance to write my mega-post, you won't be disappointed!

Jan 17, 2012

Jan 16, 2012

GeekDad's Post: The Changing Nature of App Design for Kids (quick link)

The Changing Nature of App Design and Development for Kids
Daniel Donahoo, GEEKDAD, Wired,  1/16/12

"During 2011, I have observed a real push towards app development and digital design for children that is respectful and purposeful - not just a marketing and money making exercise." -Daniel Donahoo

I encourage you take the time to read Daniel Donahoo's thoughtful post!

GeekDad Opinion:  We Need a Children's Apps Rating System
Daniel Donahoo, GEEKDAD, Wired, 12/11/10
Moms with Apps Workshop Summary
Moms with Apps, 12/4/11

Quick link: How to use game dynamics in the classroom, with good links, via Edudemic (Jeff Dunn)

How To Use Game Dynamics In The Classroom 

Although the article refers to the work of Liz Gross and her colleague(s) focusing on the use of game dynamics in a large university lecture class, there are links to a variety of interesting resources and posts that address games in education across many settings. This work is part of a research proposal for funding from the Digital Media + Learning competition.

Digital Media and Learning Conference 
March 1-13, 2012
UC Humanities Research Institute University of California, Irvine 
About the Conference (info from the DML website)
"The Digital Media and Learning Conference is an annual event supported by the MacArthur Foundation and organized by the Digital Media and Learning Research Hub located at the UC Humanities Research Institute, University of California, Irvine. The conference is meant to be an inclusive, international and annual gathering of scholars and practitioners in the field, focused on fostering interdisciplinary and participatory dialog and linking theory, empirical study, policy, and practice. The third annual conference – DML2012 – is organized around the theme “Beyond Educational Technology: Learning Innovations in a Connected World” and will be held between March 1-3, 2012 in San Francisco, California."
Keynote: John Seely Brown 
Plenary Panelists: Eleizabeth Corcoran, Renaldo Lemos, Leslie Redd, and Constance M. Yowell 
Conference Committee: 
Diana Rhoten, Conference Chair
Tracy Fullerton:   Re-imagining Media for Learning Chair
Antero Garcia:   Innovations for Public Education Chair
Mitch Resnick:   Making, Tinkering and Remixing Chair
Mark Surman:    Democratizing Learning Innovation Chair
Jess Klein:   Democratizing Learning Innovation Co-Chair 

Thanks to Yasmine Kasbi for sharing the post on Google+!

Jan 15, 2012

Immersive Learning for Math using DimensionU Games - new "Play, Learn and Earn" with an allowance component

Take a look at the latest development to DimensionU's interactive math games! Parents can track their children's progress and translate it into an allowance. Students who play the 3D multi-player games show significant improvement in their math skills.

Take a look at the videos below, and check out the website.

DimensionU's National Scholarship Tournament:

DimensionU YouTube Channel
DimensionU Website
DimensionU for educators

Off-topic: "Communication technology for human-dog interaction" and "The secret life of my dog: design and evaluation of paw tracker concept"...and my dog.

I was reading an article about interactive mobile video and along the way came across a couple of articles about "human-dog interaction" (see references and links below).  Maybe the research will lead to a solution regarding my dog, Tilly.  She does not want me to read or do anything related to technology!

Tilly's a quirky dog who always drops her chew toys on my lap when I am using my iPad or iPhone.  She likes to drop her bone on my iPad, too.

If I am doing something on my laptop, she will close it with her nose or paw.  If she doesn't close it, she will try to put her whole head on the keyboard. The following picture was taken while I was trying to write this post:

If I can find the time, I enjoy reading technical journals, but Tilly doesn't like it one bit. Here she's trying to take an issue of Pervasive and Ubiquitous Computing from me!

She chewed up the latest issue of IEEE Spectrum before I could read it:

In the picture below, she's chewing a chew-stick and making sure I don't get anywhere near my short stack of Communications of the ACM journals.  You can tell by her expression that she is probably thinking that the journals might make a tasty snack!

Tilly has NEVER chewed up a fashion or home decor magazine, and she NEVER bothers me when I am cooking or doing household chores.  

Paasovaara, S., Paldanius, M., Saarinen, P., Häkkilä, J.,  and Väänänen-Vainio-Mattila, K.  The secret life of my dog: design and evaluation of paw tracker concept.  In Proceedings of Mobile HCI. 2011, 231-240.

Paldanius, M., Kärkkäinen, T., Väänänen-Vainio-Mattila, K., Juhlin, O.,  and Häkkilä, J.  Communication technology for human-dog interaction: exploration of dog owners' experiences and expectations.  In Proceedings of CHI. 2011, 2641-2650. 

Jan 14, 2012

You Know You've Secretly Wanted to Learn To Code! (Info, links, video!)

You know you've secretly wanted to learn to code. Just do it! 

"Make your New Year's resolution learning to code.Sign up on Code Year to get a new interactive programming lesson sent to you each week and you'll be building apps and web sites before you know it." -Code Year  http://codeyear.com/

BTW, coding skills are needed beyond the world of apps and websites. Take a look at some of the posts and links on this blog - your imagination just might be sparked!  If you already know how to code, why not commit to learning something new?  

COMMENT:  There is much more to coding than what you'll learn through Code Academy's Code Year process. If you are serious about learning more about coding, computer science, and software systems, take an introductory course at your local community college or university extension program,  preferably with a friend. Ask the instructor if some of the assignments can be done through the "paired programming" technique.  It is more fun and social than the traditional way of coding!

Of all the textbooks, videos, and coding/programming self-help books I've come across, the series that has made the most sense to me is the brain-friendly "Head First" publications from O'Reilly.  It explains things well for beginners. Although it contains text and code, there are many pictures, diagrams, and humorous visual representation of basic concepts that are much more engaging than traditional "learn-to-code" tomes.

It is not too late to learn to code! 
There are so many great resources available to us now, in 2012, there is no excuse to ignore your inner geek.  If some (or all) of your hair is grey, why do crossword puzzles or Sudoku when you can be creative with code?

I took my first programming class about 8 years ago, when my youngest daughter was in high school.  It was daunting at first, because the textbook was dry, the programming labs were tedious, and some of my mostly-male classmates already knew how to code.  In my case, I was motivated to learn to code because I wanted to create games at the time, and this got me over the hump.  I soon learned that coding is both a science and an art, and learning to code opens up a whole new way of thinking. (See the video of Jeanette Wing's presentation about computational thinking, at the end of this post.)

Why your 2012 New Year's Resolution Should Be Learning to Code
Sarah J., SPOTLIGHT on Digital Media and Learning Blog 1/9/12
PLAYBACK:  Pedagogy, Coding and Teaching Kids to Think Deeply
Sarah J., SPOTLIGHT on Digital Media and Learning 1/13/12
Center for Computational Thinking
Computational Thinking (pdf) (Jeannette Wing)
Code Academy
Head First Labs
Coding4Fun Blog
Coding4Fun KinectToolkit
Kinect for Windows SDK
CSTA:  ACM K-12 Computer Science Model Curriculum, 2nd Edition
CS Model Curriculum, 2nd Edition (pdf)
Jeanette M. Wing's Vision: "Computational thinking will be a fundamental skill used by everyone in the world by the middle of the 21st Century"
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For 2012, my goal is to brush up on my previously learned coding skills and learn a few new ones related to the Kinect. I also want to become comfortable with HTML5.

Jan 3, 2012

"Kinect-based Telepresence with Room Sized 3D Capture and Life Sized Display", Includes Behind-the Scene "how-to" (UNC Chapel Hill)

Jim Spadaccini, of Open Exhibits, recently told me about a project that involves the real-time, interactive 3-D capture of people in a room.  As the viewer moves around the screens, the depth-detecting feature of the Kinect is harnessed to set the stage for a realistic telepresence experience.  

Take the time to view the video, which contains some interesting views of how the system works:

Thanks, Jim, for the link!

Kinect Real-Time Room Telepresence
Kinecthacks, 1/3/12
From the project's website:
Maimone, A. and H. Fuchs. "A First Look at a Telepresence System with Room-Sized Real-Time 3D Capture and Large Tracked Display." The 21st International Conference on Artificial Reality and Telexistence (ICAT) (Osaka, Japan, November 28-30, 2011) [paper] [video]
Maimone, A. and H. Fuchs. "Encumbrance-free Telepresence System with Real-time 3D Capture and Display using Commodity Depth Cameras." The IEEE International Symposium on Mixed and Augmented Reality (ISMAR) 2011 (Basel, Switzerland, October 26-29, 2011) [paper] [video]
Open Exhibits

Jan 2, 2012

Near Field Communication in Education? Arts? Wayfinding?

A few weeks ago I posted about the use of Near Field Communication at the Museum of London, and started to slowly gather information about the potential of this technology for use in educational settings.  Below are a few links, more to follow:

Future Forecasting: Near Field Communication (NFC) in mLearning
Diane Rees, Instructional Design Fusions

Reference for Diane's article:
Miraz, G.M., Ruiz, I.L., & Gómez-Nieto, M.A. (2009). University of Things: Applications of Near Field Communication Technology in University Environments. The Journal of E-working, 3(1), 52-64. Retrieved from http://www.inderscience.com/www/info/ijwi/art/tjew3101.pdf

One of Diane's links:
A Platform for Pervasive Infrastructures (pdf)
Saros, J., Lindstrom, D., & Karin Wollbrand, Ericsson Research

Near Field Communication adds a new Layer to Museums
Kirsten Winkler, Big Think, 8/18/11

Ervasti, M.; Isomursu, M.; Kinnuyla, M. Experiences from NFC Supported School Attendance Supervision for Children Mobile and Ubiquitous Computing, Systems, Services and Technologies 2009.  Ubicomm '0
Internet Librarian 2011:  Next Big Trends: Near Field Communication & Interactive Books
Gretchen Caserotti, Kristen Yarmey, and Sheli McHugh, Librarian in Black, 10/17/11
"Phygital" Wayfinding and Experience Mapping
Mark VanderKlipp, Corbin Design, 9/23/11
Near Field Communication: Changing the Digital Signage Value Proposition
NFC Bootcamp
How to Have Fun with Near Field Communication on Android
Ryan Whitwam, Tested,  4/27/11

More posts are in the works - update from interactive multimedia, games,  and NUI companies, links to great blogs, and more.