Reflections from DSC (additional emphasis by DSC):

I ran across Braden Kelley’s posting over at Blogging Innovation that’s entitled, “An Innovation Perfect Storm? In that posting, Braden lays out a powerful vision that he’s had for at least 2 years:

I believed two years ago and still believe that what the world needs is not more smart devices, but more flexible and plentiful dumb devices that are driven by the one smart device to rule them all – an extensible smart phone that can not only drive multiple display and input devices wirelessly, but also augment its processing and storage capabilities via wireless devices or the cloud.

Besides mentioning Motorola’s Atrix, RIM’s Blackberry Playbook , and Nintendo’s WiiU, Braden focuses on Apple’s product line. But later on in his posting, he provides a link to Teq’s WiD410 product — a conference room flat panel solution:


TEQ AV/IT June-2011 -- might be a part of the future smart classroom


Braden’s vision caused me to piggyback on my vision for what I’d like to see in our Smart Classrooms — the ability for students to quickly and easily project/”play” their content for others in the class to see — without interrupting the flow of the class.

This concept holds true for corporate conference rooms & training centers as well.


Addendum/see also:




Smart Pens and Learning — from Dartmouth Center for the Advancement of Learning by Thomas Luxon

From DSC:
I’m also pondering if Prezi can be used for long mathematical equations and/or problems… That is, can you zoom into a particular portion of the work being done, but then zoom out to see the entire work?

In other words, how can we capture and present several “chalkboards'” worth of material — with the end user being able to drill down where they want to?



From DSC:
The first article/item I want to comment on is:

A Potential Market for Courseware Developers — from by Richard Nantel

First of all, thanks Richard for tackling this subject and for putting a posting out there regarding it. For years, I’ve wondered what the best way(s) is(are) to pursue the creation of professionally-done, interactive, personalized/customized, multimedia-based, engaging content. It is expensive to create well-done materials and/or the learning engines behind these materials. Also, as at the faith-based college where I work, some colleges would want a very specific kind of content or take a different slant on presenting the content.  So the content would have to be modified — which would have an associated cost to it.

Some options that I’ve thought of:

  • Outsource the content creation to a team of specialists — at educationally-focused publishing companies out there
  • Outsource the content creation to a team of specialists — at other solution providers focused on education
  • Develop the content in-house with a team of specialists
  • Don’t create content at all, but rather steer people to the streams of content that are already flowing out there. Some content may be changing so fast that it may not be worth the expense to create it.
  • Have students create the content — that’s what school becomes. Learning enough to create/teach the content to others. (This would require a great deal of cross-disciplinary collaboration and cooperation amongst faculty members.)

As a relevant aside, I have held that if an organization could raise the capital and the teams to develop this type of engaging, professionally-done content — and scale the solution — they could become the Forthcoming Walmart of Education. The attractive piece of this for families/students out there would be that this type of education will come at a 50%+ discount.

The second article/item that caused some additional reflection here was the article at The Chronicle of Higher Education by Marc Parry entitled, Think You’ll Make Big Bucks in Online Ed? Not So Fast, Experts Say

What if the United States could reallocate even the cost of 1-2 high-end planes in the United States Air Force? Our nation could create stunning, engaging content that could reach millions of people on any given subject — as online learning has the potential to be highly scalable (though I realize that much of this depends upon how much involvement an organization wants to integrate into the delivery/teaching of this content in terms of their instructors’/professors’ time).

Anyway, Marc highlights some important points — that creating content, marketing that content, etc. can be expensive.

But I have it that if you don’t get into this online learning game, you won’t be relevant in the years to come. People want convenience and students’ expectations will continue to rise — wanting to learn on their own pace, per their own schedule, from any place and on any device; finally, they will want to have more opportunities to participate/collaborate/control their own learning experiences. (And this doesn’t even touch upon whether it will become even more difficult to get through “the gate”  — that is, getting the student’s attention in order to make it into their short-term memory, in hopes of then moving the lesson/information into long-term memory.)

If you want to truly engage students, give up the reins — from Ewan McIntosh

During the final half of 2010, I asked more than 1,500 teachers around the globe two questions: what are your happiest memories from learning at school, and what are your least happy experiences?

When I do the “reveal” of what I think their answers will be, every workshop has a “but how did he know?” reaction. It’s more akin to an audience’s response to illusionist Derren Brown than to the beginning of a day of professional development.

For teachers’ answers are always the same. At the top is “making stuff”, then school trips, “feeling I’m making a contribution” and “following my own ideas”. Their least happy experiences are “a frustration at not understanding things”, “not having any help on hand” and “being bored”, mostly by “dull presentations”. “Not seeing why we had to do certain tasks” appeared in every continent.
Most of these educators agreed that the positive experiences they loved about school were too few, and were outnumbered by the “important but dull” parts of today’s schooling: delivering content, preparing for and doing exams.

But while a third of teachers generally remember “making stuff” as their most memorable and happy experience at school, we see few curricula where “making stuff” and letting students “follow their own ideas” makes up at least a third of the planned activity.

More here…

Ten big ideas from TED

Ten big ideas from TED — by Richard Galant and John D. Sutter, CNN

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