15 posts categorized "Data and Maps"

September 24, 2010

Technology's impact on learning: Pecha Kucha

In 6 minutes 40, the 20 ideas I think will affect educators in a big way in the next couple of years. This appears as part of New Zealand Core Education's EDTalks:

20. QR Codes and other smart mobile means of making the real world expand into the virtual world will become commonplace in the pockets of our students. With Layar you could craft a living history of your school transposed onto existing real-world buildings viewed through a smartphone camera.
19. We will gain a better understanding the hype curve, and what types of behaviour with technology can be spotted along it.
18. This gives us a chance to shorten that lead time to get to the learning quicker
17. Anything 'touch' changes the game, not necessarily because of the device itself but because of the way it affects the design of everything else around us, especially websites.
16. More will leave the desktop and go online, whether it's MIT's Scratch heading online next year thanks to the MacArthur funding we awarded earlier this year, or
15. Making real life products that students can feel, touch and use will be where the best learning takes place. Students will stop "doing" stuff at school and will more likely "make" stuff at school.
14. We'll think about how we build more interaction into our virtual spaces but also our physical spaces.
13. Think how engagement of the senses can do something as simple as encourage people to walk up the stairs rather than take the escalator.
12. The last 30% of our planet will get online in the next year as more of the world, south of the equator, gets powered up and online. This will mean an explosion in connections.
11. These connections will nearly all come from Africa and South America initially - most African countries are at the birth of their internet journey.
10. When we start collaborating with all these new partners at scale, we'll find that the ultrafast broadband of which our schools are so proud will become, rather quickly, slow-feeling.
9. This is especially true thanks to our changing TV habits. We'll be watching more television online than we do on the television, which will contribute to this higher demand for bandwidth.
8. We'll actually watch less television, but all of it online. Television choices will start to be made for us, using algorythmns to work out what we might want to watch based on our friends' and our previous selections.
7. We'll also stop just watching the television, and start interacting even more around it, online more than with the people in the same room as us. Maybe education will have a second chance at getting television use for learning right.
6. Understanding open data will become more important than social media has been in the apst five years.
5. This means, in the next two years, we might actually find ourselves with a teaching population that is more illiterate than the youngsters they are teaching, as this basic skill of understanding complex data is mastered by young people quicker.
4. There will be less money for spending in education, and innovation will start to appear as a result.
3. Open Source technologies will increasingly make us question why we spend so much on corporations' pay-for technology when so much else is available for free from passionate communities of practice.
2. The innovation will start to appear not from big industry making big things that do things for people, but from 'small' people in their bedrooms and startups making things that empower people to do stuff for themselves, and that includes learning.
1. And the people we're empowering will come at all ages, all cultures. The lead time for people to understand how they can become collaborators, makers and doers has decreased from the years and months of the industrial age to hours and minutes for new generations. Just see it in the way my daughter reacted to Skype over four minutes, from horror to fear to curiosity to comfort.

September 13, 2010

Visualisation explains why games-based learning gets a hard time at the same time every year

David McCandless' visualisations reveal amazing things. I've been amused, bemused, intrigued and shocked for the past few years by his Information Is Beautiful blog.

There's one example of visualisation that could help explain why my former colleague Derek Robertson has a regular meet with the press each year, at the same time, justifying (again) why video games are great stimuli for deep learning:

In the video above, McCandless highlights that news stories on violence in video games generally peak in huge numbers around November and April. Why November? It's the month that Christmas releases of video games appear. Why April? It was the month that the Columbine shootings took place and, every year since then, this is the point where the media would like to suggest to us that violent video games were responsible (even though, at the time, it was violent film that made the headlines, video games not yet having attracted that unwelcome kudos).

There you go - if we know it's coming, we can get ready for it.

August 05, 2010

HistoryPin shows students how much things have (sometimes) changed

Leith Walk Tram Building HistoryPin
HistoryPin lets users see historical photos placed up against current day street views, revealing how much their local area - or historical places - have changed over time.

The online service brings to normal Joes like you and me the power that we've seen demonstrated in the exclusive confines of TED talks in the past. Now, anyone can take advantage of this superb technology, which matches the topography of the photograph with the real world topography from Google Streetview.

I was amused to take a peak at my local area, seeing that the roadworks we've had lengthen our commutes for the past few years were experienced 150 years ago, for exactly the same reasons: building tram lines. (See the pic above, or explore it in HistoryPin).

June 09, 2010

Bing Destination Maps: Simplifying beautifully

Bing Destination Maps
Bing have offered up some lovely 'sketchy' maps as part of their Destination Maps project. Seemingly covering just the US for the moment, these maps reduce the complexity of a city grid or LA sprawl into a back-of-the-napkin sketch outlining the main routes and turns.

I think these would be great for students (or playful adults) wanting to make pirate treasure maps, 'olde worlde' effect documents or simplified materials for prospective elementary students coming to high school etc etc... If we ever get formalities sorted out (it seems some days like a real uphill struggle) this would be an ace way to map out the BeCuriousTour.

I smile at the juxtaposition between these sketches and the complexity of the 3D-scapes of Bing Maps, the ability to map inside buildings and see user generated photo content and live in-map video streams that Blaise Aguera y Arcas demo-ed at TED earlier this year, below.

March 17, 2010

Why understanding data must take its place in new media literacies

As a Commissioner with 4iP I'll admit to having struggled to convince those digital media producers around me that if only they could produce worthwhile data projects we'd fund them. "Why is data so important?" they'd ask, thinking of it as some kind of geeky pass-time, rather than something storytellers would use.

I'm going through the same process at the moment interviewing storytellers, one of whom will win £10.5k to spend six months uncovering stories the data tells us in the Revealing Stories programme I devised. Learning how to make data useful isn't easy - it's the latest digital storytelling skill with which the digital media world is struggling and for which the education systems of the world hold so much promise.

The above video, of Sir Tim Berners-Lee explaining in five minutes a few open-data-justifying stories, I think the reasons for us to rethink how we approach data are clear. Take just one example, where data revealed an American city was racist in its provision of drinking water. In schools, where does this lesson fit? It's not purely mathematics. It's not just language arts. It's not solely geography or history. It's not possible in the isolation of a graphics class.

For Scottish teachers open data represents the ultimate in Curriculum for Excellence opportunities. For educators the world over it represents cross-curricular projects with realworld application. For the digital media industries it represents another, emerging form of storytelling as important, and potentially as change-making, as film.

About Ewan

Ewan McIntosh is the founder of NoTosh, the no-nonsense company that makes accessible the creative process required to innovate: to find meaningful problems and solve them.

Ewan wrote How To Come Up With Great Ideas and Actually Make Them Happen, a manual that does what is says for education leaders, innovators and people who want to be both.

What does Ewan do?

Module Masterclass

School leaders and innovators struggle to make the most of educators' and students' potential. My team at NoTosh cut the time and cost of making significant change in physical spaces, digital and curricular innovation programmes. We work long term to help make that change last, even as educators come and go.

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