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From Edutopia: Teaching With Google Glass

by | Posted July 7th, 2013

Andrew Van Heuvel, a science teacher from Grand Haven, MI, recently won the contest Google held for a contestant to use the hashtag #ifihadglass with a tweet of what they would do with Google Glass if they had the chance. Google Glass, for those who don’t know, is considered, “the most highly anticipated (and intensely coveted) technology to emerge in years.” It is “essentially a computer you wear over your eye and control with your voice.”

Van Heuvel won and was able to use Google Glass to create up-close and personal videos to teach his online physics classes. He decided to create STEMbite: a series of bite-size videos showing the math and science of everyday life from a unique first-person perspective. He says one of the most exciting possibilities for this to emerge as a new way of teaching and learning is, “augmented reality — that is, an object coming to life when viewed through the device.” There’s so much more to learn from Google Glass that could make it the next wave of online teaching.

Source: edutopia

From Mind Shift: Video Games for Girls

by | Posted July 6th, 2013

In a recent article on Mind Shift, there has been reportedly an increasing focus on building video games geared towards girls and women. A gaming-based studio in Vancouver, B.C., called Silicon Sisters is doing just that. This first female owned video game studio is committed to creating and building video games for women and girls by women and girls. Their first game, School 26, “must help the character build friendships and navigate the sticky, awkward and sometimes awful moral dilemmas of school. These range from power struggles to peer pressure, romance, betrayal, alienation, acceptance – all real and relevant situations that girls face every day.”

Although there is still a need for more games to be geared towards girls, the Silicon Sisters’ studio hopes this is a step in the right direction.

From Ian Storm Taylor: “What’s Wrong With the iOs 7 Icons?”

by | Posted July 5th, 2013

Ian Storm Taylor, co-founder of Segment.io, recently analyzed the design appearance of the apps for Apple iOS7. His overall impression was many of the apps could do with a revamp in color and some came across as childish and rushed as if the software creators at Apple slapped their first draft on the keynote and called it good. He gives his designer recommendations for improvements, apps that shouldn’t exist, but also apps that Apple did a great job improving the quality and outlook of the design. Personally, I enjoy the bright colors and simplicity of the app face, but that’s me. Check out his analysis and see for yourself.

From Mental Floss: Neil Gaiman on Writing

by | Posted July 3rd, 2013

Hearing other writer’s talk about writing and give tips on writing is one of my favorite things to read. Mental Floss published 11 quotes about writing from the master of fantasy, Neil Gaiman. My favorite is what he says on rejection:

“First I got really grumpy, and then got very determined to write things that were so good that not even the stupidest most irritating gatekeeper alive could reject them.”

And what constitutes as a “good day:”

“Tomorrow may be hell, but today was a good writing day, and on the good writing days nothing else matters.”

How Digital Technology Changes Meaning Making

by | Posted June 27th, 2013

In this piece on Edutopia, Betty Ray introduces us to Douglas Rushkoff’s book Present Shock through an interview with him on the state of technology and education. As Ray writes, Rushkoff “turns his lens to the human experience in a world that’s always on, always connected, always in the now, now, now.”

Ray asks Rushkoff, “How did digital technology “break” this narrative?” Rushkoff answers, “Well, initially, it was the remote control… We can pause, go back and forward. The storyteller no longer calls all the shots.” This is an interesting perspective, one that challenges traditional notions of narrative by acknowledging the agency of the audience in the construction and reception of the message.

Neither Ray nor Rushkoff understand this breaking of narrative as a bad thing, more as a new understanding for considering how students construct meaning. Rushkoff says, “They are no longer required to submit to the official story in order to get the information they want.” In other words, digital technology’s capacity to break the narrative creates new paths to knowledge for students.

For more from Rushkoff, check out his appearance on The Colbert Report.

Five Web-based Tools for Creating Videos

by | Posted June 25th, 2013

I’m passing along a list compiled by Richard Byrne of 5 video editing websitesPixorial, WeVideo, PowToon, Wideo, and Weavly. That’s right, editing video in your web browser, which was nearly unheard of just a few years ago. The video tools Byrne highlights are easy to learn, some even using drag and drop features, and most of them are free. As video becomes more and more popular in writing classrooms, this list of video tools is incredibly valuable to teachers and students alike.

Source: Free Technology for Teachers