Educational Technology

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Post-Web World

August 18th, 2010 · No Comments

“The web is dead.” Wired has made this bold claim with this month’s cover story.  The evidence: more and more, people are connecting the information and services they need via apps and internet-fed devices without actually calling on a web browser.  They see this trend continuing into a future where the web as we know it is relegated to the status of postcards or telegrams.

As much as we love the open, unfettered Web, we’re abandoning it for simpler, sleeker services that just work.  - Chris Anderson

While I agree that our traditional way of browsing is on the decline, I don’t think the web itself is leaving.  To the contrary, devices like the iPad and iPhone bring the web browsing experience closer to us than ever before and in more places.  We can now pull up a browser on a far more intimate device than a computer, making for more meaningful browsing sessions.  Perhaps the future will see the old web as something more akin to a library catalogue system, then, useful only for more in depth research?

Well worth the read if you are curious about the future of our connected hive-mind.

→ No CommentsTags: Emerging Technologies · Future Media · State of the Net

Symbol Origins

August 17th, 2010 · No Comments

Wired today is running a feature on the mysterious origins of the computing symbols that surround us every day.  Dig in to learn about the connection between Danish royalty and mobile phones, Swedish campgrounds and applications shortcuts and much more.  Useful trivia for the next time you are stuck in line waiting for a keynote address at a tech conference!

→ No CommentsTags: Hardware & Software · Off The Circuit · Unusual

New iTunes U Coming

August 13th, 2010 · No Comments

Apple has made some sweeping changes to the way that you use – and Instructional Technology manages – iTunes U.  The new front end generally brings iTunes U in line with the rest of the iTunes Store while also providing much-needed support for the iPad.  On the administrative side, it’s now possible to tag and categorize content, set up linked collections of audio and video and editorialize across the entire institution’s material.

What’s more (exciting for you), iTunes U can now easily be administered by a number of content-owners just by using an Apple ID.  This will make it possible for us to allow you to upload your own content for the first time!  If you are interested, get in touch with your friendly neighborhood technologist today!

This new iTunes U will be launching “mid-August.”  As today is the 13th, it should be very soon indeed!

→ No CommentsTags: Classroom · Ed Tech · Hardware & Software · State of the Net

Little Matchbox World

August 9th, 2010 · No Comments

I guarantee you that if someone had given me the technology when I was a child, I would have made something very similar to this with my enormous Hot Wheels/Matchbox collection (except it may have also involved a car wash.)

Tumblingerstraße from yo man on Vimeo.

(Via Jalopnik)

→ No CommentsTags: Art · Unusual

DRM Stays (But Takes a Hit)

July 26th, 2010 · No Comments

In any event, it’s clear that the legal tide is slowly starting to turn against DRM, and that’s definitely a good thing — regardless of how small each individual step might be.

Engadget reports on the Fifth Circuit ruling in the case between MGE and GE in which it was determined that DRM protection must strictly protect against copying, not just access.  While this ruling does not change the legality of breaking DRM to make a copy of a film (and only holds up in Louisiana, Texas and Mississippi), it certainly shows that digital rights management is not the courtroom darling it once was.

→ No CommentsTags: Copyright · State of the Net

Yes, But Does It Expand For Brains?

July 21st, 2010 · No Comments

The Fits.me mannequin may be the most cleverly futuristic piece of hardware I have ever seen.  It is a torso equipped with motorized panels that can approximate a wide range of male body shapes.  Clothing retailers can use this to create a database of photos of their garments and when a customer enters in their measurements, the correct photos is culled up.  It works like this:

See?  Genius.  Never wonder what size is going to look best on you again!

→ No CommentsTags: Emerging Technologies · Hardware & Software · Off The Circuit · Unusual

Back in Shape with iTunes U

July 19th, 2010 · No Comments

If you are a lacrosse player looking to get ready for the coming season – or a regular Joe looking for a good workout routine – then iTunes U and Washington College Men’s Lacrosse has what you’re after. We have just uploaded 11 videos that will take you through the Summer Workout routine and offer a total-body regimen. Download it to your iPod and get sweating!

→ No CommentsTags: Announcement · Ed Tech

B&N + Blackboard

July 15th, 2010 · No Comments

Those of you who were able to make it to the iPad discussion on Tuesday heard Shannon Wyble talking about the impressive new NOOKstudy (their strange capitalization, not ours) application coming down the pipeline from Barnes & Noble. If not, I did a bit of blogging about it just the other day (when it still had normal capitalization.) Basically, B&N is set to offer thousands of textbooks from the biggest publishers in completely digital format, opening up powerful tools like notes sharing, search within texts and ready access to online materials. By Fall.

Adding to the massive shift coming our way is an announcement from our campus bookstore’s parent company that now aligns B&N with Blackboard. What this means is that, via a building block installed on our Blackboard servers, students will have instant access to all electronic materials available for their courses, as well as easy links to reach printed materials for sale on campus and on the net.

Prepared for the eReader revolution that’s about to walk in to your classroom by way of every student’s backpack?

→ No CommentsTags: Announcement · Emerging Technologies · Hardware & Software · State of the Net

Discussing the iPad at WC

July 14th, 2010 · No Comments

Thank you to all of the participants who made it to yesterday’s iPad discussion in Beck Lab.  I really enjoyed hearing the faculty and staff sharing their opinions about the device and plans for how it will fit into the Washington College community in the coming semesters.

Three “pilots” were kind enough to give short presentations on their time with the device and specifics about how they want to incorporate it into their teaching from Biology to Economics to the Chesapeake Semester.  Our campus bookstore was represented, too, giving everyone a sense of where Barnes & Noble is headed and some of the trends in textbooks and publishing in general.

We were even able to facilitate a video chat connection with one panelist who phoned in from New Jersey.  During and after the session, attendees were given the chance to experiment with the iPad in a variety of configurations like projecting presentations and working as a miniature computer with Bluetooth keyboard and Apple case while running Pages.

I hope to organize another discussion in the same informal style this Fall semester, once everyone has a chance to settle in.  A suggestion has been to discuss the iPad’s potential as research tool.  Would you be interested in participating in a session with this theme or including this theme among others?

→ No CommentsTags: Campus Events · Classroom · Ed Tech · Emerging Technologies · Hardware & Software · Presentation

Your Film, The World’s Day

July 12th, 2010 · No Comments

If you hurry, you can submit your own contribution to a new project from YouTube, Ridley Scott and Kevin Macdonald called Life in a Day.  Not unlike the 24 Hour Challenges that the MPC has put forth, this “cinematic experiment” will give  all Earth-bound filmmakers an opportunity to submit a clip of their day on July 24th.  Just upload whatever it is that makes up your life during those 24 hours to the Life in a Day channel by July 31st.  As the official blog post/rules says, no matter if you are included in the final film, all entries will be forever included in the project’s channel on YouTube.

→ No CommentsTags: Art · Future Media · State of the Net