May 28, 2012

Interactive Music Challenge: The Reactable & the Reactable for Children with Autism Spectum Disorders

What I'd like to share today might be of interest to educators, techies, musicians, parents, and students. If you create a composition using the Reactable Mobile app and submit it, you might have a chance of winning your very own Reactable Live!  

Information about the challenge can be found on the Reactable website.

You can find information about creating music with Reactable Mobile for your phone or tablet (Android or Apple) on the Reactable Mobile site. I especially like that the company provides a load of support through the Reactable Community.

Acquisition of Joint Attention and Social Abilities of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders

The Reactable provided the centerpiece of Lilia Villafuerte Bazan's work for her Master thesis.  Her project focused on the acquisition  of joint attention and social abilities of children with autism spectrum disorders through music. Lilia's work was through the Music Technology Group at Universitat Pompeu Fabra, under the direction of Dr. Sergi Jorda.   

I was delighted to see Lilia's presentation of her work, along with the video, during the recent CHI 2012 conference. 

Project website:
Master Thesis:

-Lilia Villafuerte Bazan


If you follow this blog, you probably know that I am a school psychologist who has a background in technology, music, and related arts.  I spend much of my work week with young people who have severe autism and other disabilities. I also work at a magnet high school for technology and the arts.  I'd like a Reactable for students at both schools!

May 24, 2012

First Moment of Truth in digital signage environments: Bill Gerba's Words of Wisdom

Here is the link to a great discussion about FMOT and the user or customer experience in a range of environments that include digital displays: 

Examples of the First Moment of Truth in Digital Signage 
Bill Gerba, The Digital Signage Insider, 5/24/12

May 21, 2012

Leap Motion: Low Cost Gesture Control for Your Computer Display

Jessica Vascellaro, of the Wall Street Journal, reports about gesture,  motion. and even object control for computers, highlighting the work of  Leap Motion and Flutter.

Apparently the Leap Motion sensor is less expensive than Microsoft's Kinect. It can track movements down to 1/100 of a millimeter and can track fingers and movement. It handles interaction with 8 cubic feet of space.

Below is a video from the Leap Motion website:

Leap FAQs
Leap Motion Developer Kit Application
Leap Motion: 3D hands-free motion control, unbound
Daniel Terdiman, CNET, 5/20/12
FYI:  Do a search and you'll find many more articles and posts about Leap Motion!

May 20, 2012

A fun HTML5 interactive music video: Evelyn, performed by ABBY, coded by Bleech

ABBY's recent music  video, Evelyn, was created in HTML5 to support an interactive experience. As the band plays, you can select one of three paths for each musician, and switch them around in real-time to see what unfolds. The interactive version of the video can be found at 

Steffen Bewersdorff and Dominik Tranklein are the developers who created the video. Their web agency, Bleech, based in Berlin, Germany, focuses on providing innovative services to music and media industry clients.  (More information about the nuts and bolts of the development process can be found in a post on the Web Designer Depot site:  "An awesome HTML5 interactive music video".)

Note:  The interactive musical video performance requires a fast computer. You'll need a browser that has extended HTML5 support, such as a Safari browser if you have a Mac, or a Chrome browser if you are using Windows. Be sure to close your running applications, and enjoy creating/playing with the band! 

Below is the non-interactive version of the video, which provides a walk-through of one possible interactive musical experience:

UPDATE:  I used this interactive video, displayed on a SMARTBoard, with students who have special needs, in several classrooms, and it was a great hit.  They especially liked the drummer.  For some reason, we couldn't get the fifth section to show a musician.  The students didn't mind.

The Wilderness Downtown (Arcade Fire, Chris Milk)
OK Go's Interactive HTML5 Music/Dance/Message Video, Featuring Pilobolus
ROME: "3 Dreams of Black" An Interactive Film by Chris Milk, Music by Danger Mouse, Daniele Luppi & Norah Jones
ROME: "3 Dreams of Black" The Technology
Creating Responsive HTML5 Touch Interfaces (Stephen Woods) (open source HTML5 media framework)

Web goes pop: HTML5 is rejuvenating music videos online
Madhumita Venkataramanan, Wired UK
Behind the Scenes: The Interactive Music Video Game built in HTML5 (MSDN - includes link to code samples, including a frame code reader to sync video and interactive elements.)

User Experience and Windows 8, link to Steven Sinofsky's post.

Steven Sinofsky is an author of an informative MSDN blog. His recent post about user experience and the new Windows 8 operating system provides an interesting, detailed "back-history" of the development of the Windows UI over the ages. Steven's post is worth setting aside a chunk of time to read and reflect!

Creating the Window 8 User Experience


BTW, the numerous comments from readers of Steven's post are worth skimming.

May 19, 2012

Johnny Chung Lee's Recent Words of Wisdom & Google's Open-Source Ceres Non-Linear Least Squares Solver

I have been a fan of Johnny Chung Lee since 2007 or 2008, before he finished his Ph.D in Human-Computer Interaction.  Johnny went on to work at Microsoft (Kinect) and then Google, where he works as a Rapid Evaluator. 

Johnny is known for his experiments with the Wii Remote, which he introduced to the world during a TED Talk in 2008.  He continues to maintain his Procrastineering blog, and from time-to-time, uses his blog to share his take on the world of technology.  The following quote is a good example of his viewpoint, taken from his post, "Technology as a Story":

"...what saddens me is when I encounter technologists with the brilliance to create new and wonderful things, but lack a sense of what is beautiful to people. Technology is most often known for being ugly and unpleasant to use, because technologists most often build technology for other technologists.
...But to touch millions of people, you have to tell a story - a story that they can believe in, a story that can inspire them. Technology is a tool by which new stories can be crafted." - 

Today, I came across Johnny's most recent post, which asks, "So, what exactly is a "non-linear least squares solver"?  And why should you care?   Take a moment to read his post, "Ceres: solving complex problems using computing muscle".  Google just open sourced the Ceres Non-Linear Least Squares Solver.

If Johnny Chung Lee thinks that this is "probably the most interesting code library" that he's had a chance to work with, it probably has some value. 

Even if if you don't have a clue about the Ceres Non-Linear Lest Squares Solver,  you might appreciate Johnny's examples of how would it would useful. In today's rapidly-accelerating technology-supported world, you just might need it in your future!

Here are a few examples:
---Making sense of sensor data from multiple locations (see video "SLAM 1: Viewed at 6X speed")
---Figuring out the position of a camera and the objects in view (see video "Parallel Tracking and Mapping for Small AR Workspaces")
---Combining GPS data with vehicle sensors in cars. (see video "Street View Sensor Fusion with Ceres")

Johnny Chung Lee's Website
Excerpt from a post I wrote about Johnny Chung Lee four years ago:
I wish I could be Johnny Chung Lee for a Day! 3/2/08
I've mentioned in previous posts that I am a fan of Johnny Chung Lee, a Ph.D. student in the Human-Computer Interaction department at Carnegie-Mellon University. Johnny expects to complete his Ph.D this year. Johnny recently presented his innovative work at TED 2008. 

What impresses me about Johnny is the way that he has documented his intellectual journey in a very accessible way, by using YouTube and his well-organized, appealing website. Johnny has taken interesting ideas that most would dismiss as silly or impractical, and transformed them into useful, usable applications that hold great promise for future work. 

 In my opinion, many of Johnny's "hacks" will spark ideas related to the design and development of universally designed technologies and applications that will meet the technology needs of a wider range of people. This is important, especially now that an increasing number of "connected" interactive displays and kiosks (known by the marketing industry as interactive digital signage) in public spaces.

January 2011 post:
"Hi, Google. My name is Johnny Chung Lee": Johnny Chung Lee Leaves Microsoft. (I still wish I could be Johnny Chung Lee for a day.)

CHI 2012 SlideShow (quick)

Here are some pictures from CHI 2012:

 I'll be sharing about innovative, interesting interactive technologies in some of my future posts.

URBAN MUSICAL GAME: Play with musical-sensor sports balls and friends (Real-Time Musical Interactions team at IRCAM)

One of my favorite things at CHI 2012 was the Interactivity sessions.  I especially liked the  Urban Musical Game, played with musical sports balls.  I didn't want to stop playing!

This just might transform P.E. and recess.

Below is a version of the game from 2011 created for the Future en Seine festival by the Real-Time Musical Interaction team at the IRCAM, in collaboration with NoDesign, Phonotonic, and composer Andrea Cera:

The balls in the game contain wireless sensors, which trigger sounds and interactive music.  It is supported by MO  (Modular Musical Object) technology, and Max/MSP. Below is a video of the balls in action (in French).

Nicolas Rasamimanana - Phonotonic, Paris, France 
Frederic Bevilacqua - IRCAM, France 
Julien Bloit - IRCAM, France Norbert Schnell - IRCAM, France 
Emmanuel Flety - IRCAM, France Andrea Cera - IRCAM, France 
Uros Petrevski - NoDesign, France 
Jean-Louis Frechin - NoDesign, France

This would be a great activity for the large therapy room at Wolfe, a program for students with significant disabilities (including autism), where I spend most of my work days as a school psychologist.  I'd love to have it demonstrated in-person for students at the CATA (Central Academy of Technology & Arts), the high school I also serve, to inspire students about the creative aspects of technology.

I would also like to create my experiments with this sort of technology, based on a number of interesting ideas that have popped up in my mind over the past decade or so.  I'm especially curious to know how this could work in environments that also have multiple large interactive visual displays....

How can I make it so?
(Update:  It is a small world.  I looked up one of the people involved in the Urban Musical Game on Facebook and found that we share three mutual FB "friends".)

May 18, 2012

FYI: Google's Knowledge Graph

FYI: TED-Education Beta Website and YouTube Channel

TED-Ed aims share the wisdom and knowledge of great teachers by providing educators with the opportunity to have their lessons transformed into videos enhanced by creative animators. The videos and lessons are available for learners all around the world, online.  I'll share more about the TED-Ed concept in a future post.


Information from the TED-Ed website:
"TED-Ed's videos aim to capture and amplify the voices of the world's greatest educators. To achieve this, we pair extraordinary educators with talented animators to produce a new library of exceptional educational videos. This website, similar to, is ever-evolving and we depend on you, the TED community, to nominate inspiring teachers that have touched your life or clever animators who have the skills to bring a gifted teacher's lesson to life." -TED-Ed

Below is the TED-Ed Website Tour introductory video:

TED-Ed|Lessons Worth Sharing (website)
Flipped Learning Network
"Flipped learning happens when the teacher’s lecture is delivered outside of the traditional class time, via a video students view on their own as homework. Class time is used for active problem solving by students and one-to-one or small group tutoring with the teacher. Students can watch the short lectures as many times as they wish to grasp the content and then come to class ready to jump into the lesson, answer questions, work on collaborative projects, and explore the content further.  Teachers are embracing Flipped Learning in elementary and secondary schools for all disciplines"  -Flipped Learning.

May 15, 2012

NUITEQ's Latest Multitouch Showreel: Snowflake Suite

I've been following a number of people that have been working in the area of natural user interfaces and interaction for many years.  An example of this work is NUITEQ, a company lead by Harry van deer Veen.  Below is NUITEQ's most recent show reel of Snowflake Suite, an off-the-shelf multitouch SDK.

Here is the description of the software from the naturaluserinterface YouTube channel:

"NUITEQ's award-winning multitouch software product Snowflake Suite comes off the shelf with 30+ apps, a free SDK to develop your own multitouch software apps and its content is easy to customize. The solution is offers high performance, stability, quality and comes with dedicated support. Apps includes presentation, productivity and creativity tools as well as games. The software can be used in different scenarios such as corporate presentations, exhibitions, entertainment, education, public spaces, consumer electronics, retail and digital signage."

FYI: Tutorials about the user of Snowflake Suite can be found on the naturaluserinterface YouTube channel. 

Harry van der Veen has been sharing his NUI journey journey since 2007 on his Multitouch blog.

May 11, 2012

Interactive Technology from CHI 2012 Supporting Literacy, Storytelling, and Narrative

I spent the last several days at CHI 2012 and was so immersed in the experience, I held off blogging until I arrived home.  

I was pleasantly overwhelmed by the experience at CHI 2012, There was so much to see, hear, and touch, there were so many bright, creative people all around - I was on mind/sensory overload.  Omar L. Gallaga, the author of Digital Savant (Austin 360), attended the conference, and the quote below from his recent post nicely sums it up: "When your mind gets blown multiple times in a very short period of time, it begins to feel as is your brain is quickly rewiring itself to accept that the reality is that anything is possible and that the continual, pleasurable surprise of discovery is the new norm."

For this post, I'm sharing a few things that were presented at CHI 2012 that focus on literacy, storytelling, and narrative.  I'll share more in future posts.

Creating and Using Interactive Narratives: Reading and Writing Branching Comics 
The short video below provides a good overview of the project, which was presented at CHI 2012 during the Out of the Box" session, chaired by Shahram Izadi, of Microsoft Research USA

"We employ comics and combine paper with a multi-touch interface to explore an approach to reading and writing interactive narratives."
Dan Andrews and Chris Baber from the University of Birmingham (UK) 
Sergei Efremov and Mikhail Komorov from the Moscow State Institute of Electronics and Mathematics (Russia).

If you are interested in learning more about this process, take a look at the references that were reviewed in the paper about this creative, thoughtful work.

Tap & Play: An End User Toolkit for Authoring Interactive Pen and Paper Language Activities 
The following video was created several months before CHI 2012:

Tap & Play:  An End User Toolkit for Authoring Interactive Pen and Paper Language Activities
Ann Marie Piper, Nadir Weibel, James Hollan

The following video is related to the Textual Tinkerability paper, presented during the Literacy on the Margin session, chaired by Juan Pablo Hourcade, at CHI 2012:

Textual Tinkerability:  Encouraging Storytelling Behaviors to Foster Emergent Literacy    Angela Chang, Cynthia Breazeal, Fardad Faridi, Tom Roberts, Glorianna Davenport, Henry Lieberman, Nick Montfort, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Related: TinkRBook: Shared Reading Interfaces for Storytelling (IDC 2011)


CHI 2012:  brain expanding bits of brilliance

Omar L. Gallaga, Digital Savant, 5/11/12

FYI:   I was one of the organizers for the EIST (Educational Interfaces, Software & Technology) workshop, held on May 5th and 6th. The participants came from all around the world to spend two days of presenting, sharing, and brainstorming.  Everyone worked hard to make the workshop a success. (I'll share more about EIST soon, but if you are curious, the above link will provide you with more information about the program and papers that were presented.) 

May 7, 2012

Vignettes exploring the dual capacities of software and medicine to heal and hurt. Food for thought, by Jonathan Harris

I just checked my email and was pleasantly surprised to find a link to the Modern Medicine vignettes, created by Jonathan Harris to explore and compare software and medicine. 

The following topics are included in this work:
Social Engineers 
Urges & Outcomes 
The Ethics of Code 
Healers & Dealers 
The Problem of Advertising 
A Staging Ground for the Future 
Medicine Men 
Crazy Times 
A Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

I especially like this quote:

"As engineers, we can ask ourselves some basic questions:  Will we feel accountable for the behavioral outcomes of the software we introduce to the world? Will we recognize our responsibility to our fellow human beings to build them decent, useful, powerful, and ethical tools? Will we make things that trick and seduce, or things that nourish and teach? Will we optimize for page views and profit, or for social impact and beauty?"

Jonathan Harris "makes projects that re-imagine how humans relate to technology and to each other".

May 3, 2012

Games for Health Conference: June 12-14, Hyatt Harborside Hotel, Boston, MA

Note: In conjunction with the Games for Health Conference, the Fourth Annual Games Accessibility Day, "Enabled Play", will be held on June 12th.

Here is the press release:

Games for Health Project Announces Keynotes for Its Annual Conference in Boston

April 04, 2012 – (Portland, Maine) – The Games for Health Project announced the keynote speakers for the eighth annual Games for Health Conference, the nation’s largest conference dedicate to videogames, health, and health care, which will be held June 12-14 in Boston.
The Games for Health Conference brings together hundreds of researchers, health professionals, and game developers to discuss a wide range of topics involving health and videogames.
Over three days, more than 400 attendees will participate in over 60 sessions led by an array of international speakers. Topics will include exergaming, physical therapy, disease management, health behavior change, biofeedback, rehab, epidemiology, training, nutrition, and health education.
The 2012 event adds new tracks on sensors and gamification to its traditional exercise, sensorimotor rehab, cognitive and emotional health, and nutrition games tracks.
Keynote speakers include:
Constance Steinkuehler Squire
Constance Steinkuehler Squire, senior policy analyst for the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, will discuss the opportunities for videogames to address national challenges, including those in health, health care, and biotechnology.
Bill Crounse, MD
Bill Crounse, MD, senior director of worldwide health for Microsoft, will present “Connecting & Kinecting Health and Health Care,” which will explore how Microsoft and its partners are merging its information and game technologies to create global solutions for personal health and professional health care.
Jane McGonigal
Jane McGonigalNew York Times bestselling author and co-founder of SuperBetter Labs, will highlight the design and release of SuperBetter, a game-based social application designed to help people boost personal resilience and lead healthier, longer, and more positive lives.
“In the last year, it’s been amazing to see the games for health field take some major leaps,” says Ben Sawyer, conference organizer and director of the Games for Health Project. “The number of new game-based solutions coming to market from entrepreneurs, game developers, research labs, and even the government is absolutely amazing. As biometric sensors like Nike Fuel and JawBone Up! take hold, we’re seeing entire new categories of games for health emerge. The Games for Health Conference is the best place to see and evaluate these and other future opportunities.”
The Games for Health Project will also hold three pre-conference events focusing on game accessibility, mobile games, and medical modeling with games.
“We are excited about how far the field and this conference have come,” says Paul Tarini, senior program officer for RWJF’s Pioneer Portfolio. “As a sponsor of the conference and the Games for Health Project, we believe the hard work put in by early adopters in this field is beginning to pay off. The new investments and approaches we’re seeing, informed by what is and isn’t working from years past, tells us that continued gatherings like the Games for Health Conference as well as the ongoing work of its related program, Health Games Research, are helping make the promise we see in videogames increasingly real.”
Learn more about the program of events and register for the conference today by visiting the conference web site.
About Games for Health
Founded in 2004, the Games for Health Project supports the development of the health games community, champions efforts to mainstream health games, and brings together researchers, medical professionals, and game developers to share information about the impact games and game technologies can have on health, health care, and policy. The Pioneer Portfolio of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is a major supporter of both the Games for Health Project and its annual Games for Health Conference.
About the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and its Pioneer Portfolio
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation focuses on the pressing health and health care issues facing the United States. As the nation’s largest philanthropy devoted exclusively to improving the health and health care of all Americans, the Foundation works with a diverse group of organizations and individuals to identify solutions and achieve comprehensive, meaningful and timely change. Projects in the Pioneer Portfolio are future-oriented and look beyond conventional thinking to explore solutions at the cutting edge of health and healthcare. For more information, visit
# # #
If you’d like to register now for Games for Health you can go directly to registration now.

May 2, 2012

Looking forward to CHI 2012: Child Computer Interaction, Educational Interfaces, Health, Special Needs, and Much More!

I am looking forward to attending the ACM-CHI 2012 conference!

On Saturday and Sunday I'll be at the Educational Interfaces, Software, and Technology (EIST) workshop, which is part of the Child Computer Interaction/HCI and Kids community.  I've selected a few papers/presentations/panels that I hope to attend during the remainder of the conference below.

If you are curious about other topics that will be presented at CHI 2012, take a look at the short video previews on the CHIMadness2012 YouTube channel.  


VocSyl: Designing Visualizations to Facilitate Multisyllabic Speech with Children with Autism and Speech Delay (pdf)
Joshua Hailpern, Andrew Harris, Reed LaBotz, Brianna Birman, Karrie Karahalios, Laura DeThorne, Jim Halle (Social Spaces Research Group, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign)

Social Scripts
Fatima Bourjarwah: Facilitating the Authoring of Multimedia Social Skills Instructional Modules for Adolescents with High-Functioning Autism

Autism and Maths Tutor
Research Showcase - Autism & Maths tutor - CHI 2012 from George Chan on Vimeo.


Giles Bailly, Joerg Mueller, Michael Rohs, Daniel Wigdor, Sven Kratz
ShoeSense: A New Perspective on Hand Gestures and Wearable Applications

Escobedo, L., Nguyen, D.H., Boyd, L., Hirano, S.H., Rangel, A., Garcia, D., Tentori, M., & Hayes, G.R. (2012). MOSOCO: A Mobile Assistive Tool to Support Children with Autism Practicing Social Skills in Real-Life Situations. Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI 2012). Austin, Texas (May 5-10, 2012). New York: ACM Press. To appear

Design of an Exergaming Station for Children with Cerebral Palsy

(Research team from Queen's University, Canada, Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital)


Paper: IllumiShare: Sharing Any Surface
Sasa Junuzovic, Kori Inkpen, Tom Blank, Anoop Gupta, Microsoft Research

Panel: Tangible Interfaces for Children: Cognitive, Social & Physical Benefits and Challenges
Shuili Gilutz, Sandra Calvert, Kathleen Kremer, Barbara Chamberline, Geri Gay

Paper: Improving Literacy in Developing Countries Using Speech-Recognition-Supported Games on Mobile Devices 
Anuj Kumar, Pooja Reddy, Anuj Tewari, Rajat Agrawal, Matthew Kam

Tap & Play: And End-User Toolkit for Authoring Interactive Pen and Paper Language Activities (pdf) Ann Marie Piper, Nadir Weibel, James D. Hollan

About the CHI Conference (from the CHI 2012 Conference Preview)
"Originally a small conference for psychologists interested in user interface design, the annual CHI conference has grown to include a very diverse participant group (such as interaction designers, computer scientists, engineering psychologists, developers, performing artists and more). It has also grown to deal with larger problems such as the organizational integration of technology and the use of technology in the home rather than only office settings. This year's conference marks 30 years of research, innovation and development in the field of Human-Computer Interaction and is expected to draw more than 2500 professionals from over 40 countries. The experience at CHI 2012 offers innovative opportunities for interacting with future technologies. The following areas represent a small portion of the total conference. For complete information about this year's conference, consult the Advance Program."

"Featuring over 900 works, the CHI conference is the premier worldwide forum for the exchange of information on all aspects of human-computer interaction. Typically the works presented address the concerns of design, engineering, management and user experience professionals. This year's conference also features works that focus on: Digital Arts, Games and Entertainment, Human-Computer Interaction for Kids, Health and Sustainability. Works are presented in several different venues. After two days of intimate pre-conference workshops, the main conference includes panel discussions, courses that provide leading-edge HCI knowledge, paper sessions, case studies, works-in-progress, student competitions (involving design, research and games), interactive demonstrations, special interest groups, and a Tuesday evening video night (popcorn included)." 

SIG-CHI is the Special Interest Group on Computer-Human Interaction, and is part of ACM, the Association for Computing Machinery

Child Computer Interaction/HCI for Kids Chairs:
Janet C Read, University of Central Lancashire, UK
Panos Markopoulos, Eindhoven University of Technology
Allison Druin, University of Maryland

Educational Interfaces, Software, and Technology workshop organizers
CHI 2012 Facebook Page
EIST 2012 Facebook Page

The Autism Experience in Ubiquitous Computing (pdf)
Monica Tenority, Ph.D., UZBC, Ensenada, BC

Gillian Hayes:  Assistant Professor in Informatics, School of Information and Computer Sciences; Department of Education, University of California, Irvine.
Social and Technological Action Research (STAR), 

Interactive Technologies for Children with Special Needs IDC 2012 
(11th International Conference on Interaction Design and Children)
As special themes, IDC 2012 would like to discuss children's needs under the perspectives of "pedagogical aspects in theory and practise" as well as "children from diverse cultural backgrounds".

Grawemeyer, B., Johnson, H., Brosnan, M., Ashwin, E., Benton, L. (2012) Developing an Embodied Pedagogical Agent With and For Young People with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Accepted for presentation at the 11th International Conference on Intelligent Tutoring Systems, ITS 2012.

ACM SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems: May 5-10, Austin, Texas

I will be attending the upcoming  ACM CHI 2012  conference in Austin, Texas, and plan to share information, pictures, and video clips from the conference each day on this blog.  

I am on the organizing committee for the Education, Interfaces, Technology & Software workshop, which will be held on May 5th and 6th. My first two posts will be related to this workshop.  I'll have lots of exciting things to share!

During the conference, I plan to attend presentations that relate to information/data visualization,  use of technology for creative purposes, child-computer interaction, multimedia, and technology/interfaces that support people with special needs.  

Quick link: Nextgov, "the all-day information resource for federal technology decision makers"

I've been thinking more about interactive data exploration interfaces lately, and what might be needed to support people who do not have technical or mathematical backgrounds.  From time-to-time, I will share information related or somewhat related to this topic.

I came across a link to the Nextgov website in my FB newsfeed and thought I'd bookmark it for future reference. Although the Nextgov is geared for people who work as CIOs in government settings, it contains a lot of interesting food for thought if you happen to be a knowledge junkie or just want to be a a well-informed citizen.  

 Below is a quote from "About Nextgov" page of the website:
"Nextgov is the all-day information resource for federal technology decision makers. Through news, analysis and insights from our award-winning journalists and a nationwide community of expert voices, Nextgov provides the first word on technology and government." 

"Nextgov’s editorial mission is to lead the national discussion about how technology and innovation are transforming the way government agencies serve citizens and perform vital functions. Central to this mission is the exploration of emerging technologies and their potential impact on government. Nextgov contributors include influential thinkers across government, academia and the private sector providing fresh and provocative insights on key federal IT topics."

Nextgov is produced by Government Executive Media Group...."

For your convenience, below are links to various sections of the Nextgov website:
CIO Briefing
Emerging Tech
Big Data

I was disappointed that there wasn't a section about education, so I've some related links below:

Big Data - Avalanch? Flood? Tsunami?  What does big data mean for educators?
Evidence Framework for Innovation and Excellence in Education
Karen Cato, Director, Office of Educational Technology, U.S. Dept. of Education

The article contains a link to a draft of a related publication released for public comment:

Enhancing Teaching and Learning Through Educational Data Mining and Learning Analytics: an Issue Brief 
U.S. Department of Education, Office of Educational Technology
April 10, 2012

FYI: The above document was prepared by Marie Bienkowski, Mingyou Feng, and Barbara Means, under the guidance of Karen Cator and Bernadette Adams. A number of experts were interviewed for the report, including Shelby Andrews, Linda Chaput, Michael Freed, Dror Oren, Dave Gutelius, Michael Jahrer, Andreas Toescher, Jeff Murphy, Peter Norvig, Sunil Noronha, Ken Rudin, Steve Ritter, Bror Saxberg, David Niemi, and Chuck Severence.  Others cited in the document include Ryan S.J. d. Baker, Gautam Biswas, John Campbell, Gredg Chung, Alfred Kobsa, Kenneth Koedinger, George Siemens, and Stephanie Teasly

Nonprofit Data Visualization: a Gallery
Philanthropy:  Connecting the nonprofit world with news, jobs, and ideas
Nicole Wallace, 3/4/12