Audio Transcript – Immersive Education Forum March 28th : Touch devices and Immersive Education

Greenbush Island was fortunate to host las weeks immersive education
forum focusing on the role of interactive surfaces in virtual
environments. The event was held in the auditorium on Greenbush
Island by immersive education enthusiast and researchers
from around the world.

The audio transcript is below:
http://tinyurl.com/ynu8p8

The Immersive Education Anouncement:
http://immersiveeducation.org/events/#SURFACE

Aaron also mentions the newly formed Immersive Education K-12 Pilot
Group and the role Greenbush will be able to play as one of the first
“Education Grid Nodes” in this world wide network. Very exciting news
and times for this technology!

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Blog reactions:

Pacific Rim Blog

Crowsourcing and harnessing collective intelligence to create “better” things

Anyone involved in an opensource development project understands crowdsourcing – harnessing collective intelligence to create better more useful software, hardware, things. But crowdsourcing is becoming very popular not just in software communities any more !
[via - cnet.com]

Crowdsourcing has entered the mainstream big time. It has become daunting to find a brand these days that does NOT have some crowdsourcing program in place. My Starbucks is just the latest example: Starbucks asks its consumers for advice, and besides certainly receiving a lot of good ideas, the troubled coffee chain makes consumers feel part of the brand remake. It’s the same template as usual: engage your community, harness its creativity, and let it create some content for you.

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Microsoft Origami and the The Ultra-Mobile PC

[Via microsoft.com]

Now you can take your PC everywhere! Your ultra-mobile PC, with the full power of Windows Vista, is designed for your on-the-go lifestyle.

About the size of a paperback book, the UMPC is small and light enough to fit easily into a carry-on, a purse, or a backpack. And yet, the UMPC features a powerful processor, a big, bright display, easy-to-use input options, and support for the latest connectivity standards.

The UMPC offers a display of 4-7 inches and touch capabilities, all in a package that weighs less than 2 pounds. But don’t underestimate this small computer—it can run all of the same Windows Vista-compatible software you’re already familiar with.

And soon, using a UMPC will be even more fun and convenient. Watch for Microsoft Origami™ Experience 2.0 that is scheduled to ship in mid 2008.

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New inputs for 3D virtual environments (on mobiles?) – why the mouse and keyboard are too rudimentary

The more I work with 3D virtual environments the more obvious it becomes to me that the keyboard and mouse are fairly rudimentary methods for navigating and operating in them. Through my work with Edusim and interactive surfaces we get close (via the classroom interactive whiteboard) to interacting with the 3D virtual space in a more native way – obviously as the surface devices become smarter through the years and can provide more haptics feedback we will be much closer.

I am also a big believer in mobile devices (and have been for some time now). Where the mobile device and 3D virtual environments intersect is still fuzzy – at first glance the mobile device seems to small to have an immersive experience with. However I did run into an interesting blog post regarding the IPhone SDK and 3D interactive spaces [HERE]

The verdict is out where these technologies intersect. But Ill be sure to blog as I have more though and reaction on them.
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Google gets its way with 700 Mhz – now whats in its sight for wireless internet everywhere?

[via arstechnica.com] – Now that Google got its way with the 700 Mhz spectrum … Its going after unused TV spectrum “Whitespace” and what it is calling “Wifi on steroids” by 2009

Google famously bid on the 700MHz spectrum auction that wrapped up last week, but was outbid by Verizon. Most observers have characterized Google as an ecstatic loser, since the FCC’s open access rules that it wanted so badly will have to be followed by Verizon. With the auction behind it, Google is turning its attention to another wireless broadband initiative, the push to open up the “white space” in the digital TV spectrum for web access. Today, the company ratcheted up the pressure on the FCC to act on the white space issue, submitting a letter to the Commission outlining its plans for the spectrum.

Google believes that the empty spaces in the television spectrum used by channels 2 through 51 should be made available once analog television transmissions end in February 2009. “TV white spaces can provide uniquely low-cost mobile broadband coverage for all Americans,” wrote Google in its FCC ex parte filing (PDF). “In the context of TV white space, consumers will be able to enjoy robust access to the Internet, including the ability to download and utilize any lawful applications or content that is desired.”

read the rest here

[via news.com ]

Google on Monday said it has a plan to have American consumers from Manhattan to rural North Dakota surfing the Web on handheld gadgets at gigabits-per-second speeds by the 2009 holiday season.

The company, joined by other heavyweights like Microsoft and Dell, has long been lobbying for the Federal Communications Commission to free up unused broadcast TV channels known as “white spaces” for unlicensed use by personal devices. That portion of the TV band is highly prized because it can propagate long distances and through obstacles.

It also possesses the bandwidth to support vastly faster data rates than today’s standard Internet service offerings–”Wi-Fi on steroids” or “Wi-Fi 2.0,” as Richard Whitt, Google’s telecommunications counsel, put it in a Monday morning conference call.

In a renewed effort to get the FCC on board with the idea, Google filed a six-page letter late on Friday that attempts to erase lingering concerns from TV broadcasters and microphone manufacturers about harmful interference caused by the entry of new devices.

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Ultra-mobiles in the classroom !

[Via eSchool] & [Innovation for learning]

The “teachermate” handheld computer, as the device is called, features a 2.5-inch color screen, 512 megabytes of internal memory, an SD slot for expandability, a built-in microphone and speaker, and a battery life of four hours. An innovative case that holds 30 of the devices can charge them all at the same time using one AC outlet and synch all of the student performance data to a teacher’s personal computer using a single USB cable.

The teachermate includes reading and math software programs also developed by Innovations for Learning, which says it created the software first but was looking for an affordable, scalable way to deliver the software to every student.

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