To kick-off my journey back into academe as a student, I’ve created a new site. I’ll use it to document and share research and activities related to my Masters of Arts program. It’s partially a blog, partially a journal, partially whatever you want it to be.
So far, so good. Have a visit, if you’re interested. Follow along, if you’d like.
An article in THE Journal, Measuring the iPad’s Potential for Education discusses iPad’s potential as a new publishing and development platform. The fact that it has it’s own software development kit will help to make it impactful in education, creating a new platform for educational apps to come to the market.
BUT, the *real* change, in my opinion, is that (to use Steve Job’s words), the iPad is a “post-PC device”. By design, it extracts/elevates itself from the world of personal computing into *something different*. It changes the game in terms of how users (students) interact with it, how they access content and communicate with each other. You do not need to know how to use a computer in order to use an iPad, and that’s the point. Love it or hate it, it’s revolutionary. It’s changing the way that people use computers. It’s changing the way people learn.
This can be quite liberating. If an instructor or student doesn’t have to worry about how their device works (provided that it does work), maybe we can get on with what’s really important – teaching and learning.
One of the nice things about data is that you can make graphs out of it. A good visualization can help tell your story. It can also help you cover-up some lies, but we won’t get into that right now. Add some graphics, colours, lots of lines and a quirky element or two and you’ve got it made. Your visualizations will go viral before you know it.
This is the second TEDxGuelphU, a student run initiative at the University. Props to this year’s organizing team for putting together an awesome event. Tickets for the live audience are sold out. The event will be livestreamed on on the TEDxGuelphU homepage.
From the “Research Interests” section of my application package:
“My course work will focus on media, technology and literacy. The proposal for my research project is to focus on media-enhanced presentation styles that encourage improvisation and participation. Specifically, I will be examining PechaKucha, Ignite, PowerPoint Karaoke, and Battle Decks events. My final project will explore how these presentation styles can contribute to meaning-making and community building in an educational setting.
My research will focus on these presentation styles as a new type of literary form; a digital, participatory, fluid and multi-modal script. Through an examination of these presentation formats, I’ll discuss how the enforced structure of these styles affects the information presented, suggesting that the rules demand a creative and intentional approach to meaning-making. I will look at ways in which this enhanced script creates a new performative experience, establishing new relationships between the presenter, audience members and external online participants who are contributing to the discourse during the presentation. I will explore the interplay between the live events and the online commentary, examining how the boundaries blur between the "real" presentation and the "backchannel" conversation, and how this interplay can serve to enhance or distract from the intended meaning of the performance.
My research will draw from and advance the work done by Guelph’s Media Education Project and the international Improvisation, Community, and Social Practice research project. I will be working with educators to explore how these presentation styles can be incorporated into course delivery and student assessment. Together with these educators, I will explore the new literacies necessary for students to be able to effectively participate in and learn from these new presentation styles. Beyond the context of the University, I will build partnerships with the technology and arts community and community-based organizations, with the goal of creating a community engaged approach to this scholarship.”
@barrydahl put it well: “Cool – you’re going to get a degree in PechaKucha and Karaoke. I’m looking for a program in slot car racing and ping pong.”
Here’s (some of) what I learned and was inspired by:
“Meeting the requirements of the AODA really isn’t the goal in itself…we need to nurture a culture of accessibility and inclusion, which is different than simply accommodation and compliance.” (Mike Ridley)
Chronic conditions are the health care challenge of the 21st century.
Accessibility means revenue. People with disabilities are an untapped resource.
Forget memorizing button sequences, drop the joystick, and put down the Wiimote: Microsoft Kinect, which can “recognize faces, obey voice commands, and track body movements,” according to the LA Times, will enable users to control their video game avatars just by moving their bodies in front of the Kinect (see video below). Kinect users will also be able to control movies just by speaking commands, such as “play” or “pause.”