Archive for October, 2008

This is my favorite educational video about the way the election system works. It is short and didactic, clearly showing why votes do not all have the same weight.



The “in Plain English” series include videos like this about Web Search Strategies, PodcastingBlogging, Using Wikis, Social Networking, Social Media,…


Read Full Post »

YouTube Videos

First off, it looks like DARPA is going to expand the BigDog project.  If you’ve never seen the videos of the robotic mule, it really is a must.  It has an uncanny look and is the best representation of an autonomous walking machine.

To move to something that might be more useful in education, I just started watching video of Google’s Android cell phone OS.  Having used an iTouch pretty extensively last year (regularly bumming it off friends), I am impressed by the thought put into the Google applications and interface options.  I would recommend watching most of the videos Google has created at http://www.youtube.com/user/androiddevelopers but this video shows I think the best use of the applications:

I could see applications like this, with multiple input potentials being highly valued in education.  For just an interesting thought piece think of the 2d bar code on the developers business card.  What if a poster presentation included bar codes on the posters that downloaded the researcher’s information, downloaded any related papers from the Internet, and saved a picture of the poster right to your phone.

Expand this to a museum where being near a certain exhibit or scanning a bar code on a display send students to a virtual set of information.

Now expand this further to a classroom where students can move about and learn through their location in space.  The multimodal input capacity allows students to access on demand information and can even better allow them to access more specific information by way of a set of bar codes on an object of interest.  Think of a science classroom with various experiments set up displaying Newtonian Mechanics.  The experiment’s position is used to create connection on their Android.  As they explore the information, a link about gravity opens up a radar bringing them from a velocity experiment to a pendulum challenging any confusion that might be forming about velocity and acceleration.

I am a fan of multimodal computer input because I believe that like the example above it creates more chances for embodied learning.

Read Full Post »

Best U.S. elections sites

What are your favorite sites for analysis and discussion of the upcoming U.S. elections?  One of my favorites is FiveThirthyEight.com.  The site was launched by Nate Silver, previously best known for his work on development statistical approaches to project the performance of baseball players.  He has now applied similar statisical approaches toward analyzing U.S. elections. Silver’s quantitative analysis is complemented with writings by Sean Quinn, who is traveling  across the U.S. and providing in-depth reports on the mood and activities in different locations.

What are your favorites?

Read Full Post »

One Laptop Per Child News

For those of you interested in pursuing the developments and ramifications of the “One Laptop Per Child” program, one of the best sources of news, information, commentary, and discussion is the independent One Laptop Per Child News.

For broader technical updates on the development of small, inexpensive “netbook” computers, I recommend Lilputing.

Read Full Post »

Today and tomorrow -October 27 and 28- is taking place the fourth edition of the International Conference “Fundamentos Web” (“Web Foundations”), in Gijón, Spain. Speakers from different leading Internet companies and researchers are discussing issues related to the active participation of society in the use and development of the web. Workshops and debates include an exchange of opinions about the current and future Internet-based applications available and the emergent needs, both from a technological and a practical point of view.

Read Full Post »

A three-day workshop on Researching Computer-Mediated Communication in Foreign Language Education will be held at the University of Léon, Spain, April 23-25, 2009.  The workshop will cover a broad range of topics related to telecollaboration among language learners, the development of blogs, wikis, and podcasts, and participation in virtual environments and social networks.

Read Full Post »

The Atlas of Cyberspace

The Atlas of Cyberspace is a new book that explores the spatial and visual nature of cyberspace and its infrastructures through more than 300 color images and historical maps. The full contents of the book are downloadable for free.

Read Full Post »

Several news agencies are reporting that a stock plunge for Apple was caused by a teenage prank.

The teenager posted that Steve Jobs had suffered a massive heart attack on iReport.com.  The report caused Apple stock to drop $4.8 billion dollars until Apple released a statement denying the report.

iReport is a website setup by CNN where anyone can post news items.  The site is essentially a news based blog.  Still, investors believed a posting, not bothering to check their facts with any credible source including Apple itself.  Information illiteracy, not a teenage prank, caused this financial debacle.

Read Full Post »

We are already familiar with open-source software (e.g., OpenOffice, iTunes) but what about open-source hardware? Kate Greene writes about its emergence in the November/December issue of MIT’s Technology Review:

…open-source hardware actually predates open-source software by centuries: people have always shared blueprints and sketches for such things as furniture and machinery. But the visibility of the open-source-software community “has created a new awareness of what has long been the historical practice in hardware,” he says.

What’s different about today’s open hardware is that the Web and new types of design software are making it easier to build, share, distribute, and modify hardware designs. “Most products are designed in software first,” says von Hippel. “So you’re designing and simulating on the computer, and in the last step you turn it into hardware. If you think of open-source software as an information good, then open-source hardware is also an information good until the very last stage.” Hardware designs can be shared and improved and reshared as easily as software designs.

Read the rest of the article here.

Read Full Post »

Christine Greenhow, a postdoc at the Social Networks Research & Creative Collaborative at the University of Minnesota, has done some very interesting research on the educational benefits of social networking sites.  Check out the Media Release and the Video Release.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »