Ed's Tech Focus

November 2009 Archives

Video Learning Objects and Information Access

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With the directory of educational videos at http://www.watchknow.org/ that was launched by Wikipedia co-founder Dr. Larry Sanger in October 2009, I am reminded of the concept of learning objects that has been the topic of repositories such as MERLOT (the Multimedia Educational Resource for Learning and Online Teaching) for many years.  While MERLOT is well known in Higher Education, I have found that it is not readily utilized in K-12 education, despite is value for accelerated learners and advanced placement course materials.  I suspect that this will change as online learning continues to develop and grow throughout K-12 and individualized instruction empowers students to move beyond their primary curriculum. With the wealth of information that is now available through these and other organized sources such as iTunes University, Youtube, National Geographic, Discovery Learning, the Library Video Company, United Streaming, Google Earth, and other content providers.  The ability to have this information organized and available to learners on-demand is beyond what can be found in any individual printed textbook, college or school library.  This brings me to one last thought, the future of textbooks and learning.  Having experimented with content available through the Apple IPod Touch, Tablet PCs, and other portable devices such as the iPad, and content made available by publishers as supplemental resources for textbooks, I believe that we are on the verge of harnessing the power of electronic content for learning.  A dynamic electronic learning resource that can be organized and sequenced according to a college, school or individual course curriculum with embedded remediation, supplemental learning materials and potentially multiple languages could help to harness the ever growing body of historical, literary, and scientific knowledge our global communities are creating.  Given this, learners will need a sound grasp of the fundamentals, combined with a core body of advanced subject knowledge and the ability to research a topic, synthesize the information and learn on their own.  Individuals with this foundation will be in a position to learn and advance beyond any current limitations to create, invent and discover new knowledge breakthroughs which can be fed back into the global repository for the advancement of humankind.
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The Googleverse App

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I was recently reviewing new options in Picasa and Google Earth.  The Explore Earth, Sky, Mars, Moon features in Google Earth reminded me of a product integration idea I had a few years ago when Google first introduced http://moon.google.com and http://mars.google.com  As an individual with a scientific background and continued interest in interactive media and educational technologies, I think it would be cool to see the Googleverse App, which would basically launch as a planetary model where individuals could explore the entire solar system, turn on and off magnetic field layers, learn about gravitational forces, solar flares from the sun, see passing comets, and follow the various NASA space probe missions such as the Casini and Voyager projects. The earth, sky, moon, mars and other planets could still be selected for view from a menu, but in general you could just zoom out and then click the planet or moon that you want to explore. 3D models of orbiting satellites could be loaded in much the way Sketchup lets users add content and then much the way you can design and build virtual worlds in Second Life, users could colonize planets and explore new worlds.  Live videoconferencing could be enabled between users within the virtual worlds, or individuals could continue to learn and interact via their avatars. You could rotate around and between the planets or the rings of Saturn and moons of Jupiter.  Users and astronomers worldwide could contribute images captured from telescopes through tagged photos in Picasa. The product could eventually be developed to the point where it could be integrated with 3D imagery and stereoscopic views, much like the current trend in movies.  This advanced 3D version of the universe could then be tied into new projection technologies for education, guided tours and shows in iMax theaters, Planetariums and other venues around the world.
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About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from November 2009 listed from newest to oldest.

December 2009 is the next archive.

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