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New Technology December 16, 2009

Posted by elearninginnovate in Laraine's Thoughts.
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Semantic-Aware Applications, I believe, will be utilized within the next five years. “New web applications are allowing meaning to be inferred from content and context. The promise of these semantic-aware applications is to help us see connections that already exist, but that are invisible to current search algorithms because they are embedded in the context of the information on the web.” Semantic-Aware Apps, The Horizon Project (2008)

Seymour Papert, an MIT mathematician, says to engage students with concrete, real-world examples to keep them motivated. He suggests that teachers start with engineering, then abstract out physics, then from that abstract out ideas of calculus and eventually pure mathematics. Real-World Issues Motivate Students, Edutopia

Semantic-aware apps will help educators to understand and motivate digital learners. Diane Hamstra, a teacher at Park Tudor School, in Indianapolis, found a way to get her tenth-grade students to dive enthusiastically into the nineteenth-century dark thicket of language of Nathaniel Hawthorne. Using a software tool called DyKnow Vision, she asked them to analyze certain passages. Then she asked them to do the same with pen and paper. She was startled at how focused and more indepth the analysis was using software tool. She called it a generational thing. Connecting the 21st Century Student, Edutopia

The Educational Semantic Web is based on three fundamental affordances. The first is the capacity for effective information storage and retrieval. The second is the Journal of Interactive Media in Education, capacity for nonhuman autonomous agents to augment the learning and information retrieval and processing power of human beings. The third affordance is the capacity of the Internet to support, extend and expand communications capabilities of humans in multiple formats across the bounds of time and space. (An affordance is a quality of an object, or an environment, that allows an individual to perform an action.)

This all points to the Constructivist theory of learning for implementing this new technology. Another digital technology I think will also be of value is the Geo-Everything.

In http://idlethink.wordpress.com/2008/08/31/indulgence-sin/ The Travels of Marco Polo contains text, photographos of the places, annotation, and links.

The University of Florida is using a two-dimensional web-based transparent reality simulation engine to teach medical students how to operate medical equipment for several years. All I can say is WOW! This would help me solve how to train mill workers on the various machines when there is turnover. We are having that problem now in Houston as many mill workers (experienced subject matter experts) are leaving to work in the oil industry which has seen a resurgence.

I also have to give mention to smart objects. An example I found was:

Sustainable cardboard PC – tagged results for greener gadgets.

I actually think all of the technologies mentioned in the Horizon Project (2009 Edition) would be valid to enhance instructional design.

As we know, Information Design began before our time and is not a new communication technique. The below historic examples, from campaigns for social change, show information design applied to analysis and advocacy respectively. In both cases, information design was used to tell a powerful, persuasive story on behalf of a cause.

Thomas Clarkson’s 1786 “Essay on the Slavery and Commerce of Human Species” influenced the abolition movement in England. This drawing shows how hundreds of enslaved Africans were crammed into ships. The image and accompanying description of the conditions shocked and appalled readers. The slave trade was abolished in British empire by the Slave Trade Act in 1807.

In 1859, physician John Snow mapped deaths from a devastating cholera outbreak in London to determine its cause. Snow gathered data by talking to local residents. His map revealed a pattern of infections around the Broad Street water pump. Despite skepticism, he collected enough evidence to prompt officials to shut down the pump, after which the epidemic quickly ended. Snow’s work promoting the idea that the disease was spread through contaminated water became a major turning point in the history of public health.

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