Tuesday, April 27, 2010

National Park Service Delivering 3D Underwater Imagery to Students

According to an article published in the latest T.H.E. Journal, camera and monitor company JVC is working with the Denver-based National Park Service Submerged Resources Center (SRC) to create underwater 3D recordings through a partnership with the Advanced Imaging and Visualization Laboratory (AIVL) at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. SRC performs inventory and evaluation of submerged resources, such as shipwrecks, in the National Park System. 

They are currently working on three projects together that are expected to be released in 2011.
  1. "Alien Invaders," which looks at invasive underwater species found in Lake Mead National Recreation Area in Clark County, NV
  2. Underwater 3D HD footage of the USS Arizona Memorial in Honolulu
  3. A sample of the underwater wonders in national parks, which will also include specific footage for several visitor centers.
Students love 3D content because it engages them, said Brett Seymour, an AV production specialist with the Park Service. "3D also provides a 'wow' factor, which is great," he said but added that the SRC avoids 3D gimmicks in its videos. "We are using 3D to bring a new dimension to the underwater world of the National Park Service." 

Friday, April 23, 2010

College Students Use Wikipedia for Research

According to a March 16, 2010 posting to The Chronicle of Higher Education's Wired Campus, more than half of college students frequently use Wikipedia for course-related research. Students were more likely to use Wikipedia at the start of the research process to obtain background information or a summary of the topic--although Wikipedia is used in combination with other information resources. Wikipedia meets the needs of today's college students because it offers a mixture of coverage, currency, convenience, and comprehensibility. Architecture, engineering and science majors were more likely to use Wikipedia, especially if they were frequent users of Google for course-related research. Those at four-year institutions were more likely to use Wikipedia than those enrolled in two-year colleges. Only 16% indicated they used Wikipedia for its wiki capabilities.

These results were originally published in a report published in First Monday, an online peer-reviewed journal. The study surveyed 2,318 students at six different U.S. colleges with 86 focus group responses.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

New 3D Technology for Handhelds

Nintendo says it will begin selling a 3D version of the DSi portable within a year, tentatively called Nintendo 3DS. Sharp recently announced that its latest 3D displays (designed for smaller screens on mobile devices) work without 3D glasses. Mass production of the 3D LCDs was set to start earlier this month. Both Sharp and Hitachi (which released 3D-glasses free technology for cell phones last year) both supply LCD screens for Nintendo.

"3-D will really benefit education if it's relevant to the subject -- for example, a 3-D version of the human body for biology, or seeing how a plane flies for physics," noted Kurt Squire, a research scientist at the Academic Advanced Distributed Learning Co-Lab and a co-founder and current director of the Games + Learning + Society Initiative, a group of more than 50 faculty and students investigating game-based learning.. 3D technology paired with games-based learning allow for more interactive learning--a way to engage students using the technology they are familiar with. The key is to making the games curriculum-based that involve more than rote memorization or electronic versions of worksheets.
eSchool News (free registration)  

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Access e-learning Tutorials Available Through MERLOT

Georgia Tech's Center for Assistive Technology and Environmental Access (CATEA) offers a free, online ten-module tutorial that provides information, instructional techniques, and practice labs on how to make the most common needs in distance education accessible for individuals with disabilities and to enhance the usability of online materials for all students. The tutorials were the the 2007 Faculty Development Award winner and are available through MERLOT.

MERLOT is a leading edge, user-centered, searchable collection of peer reviewed and selected higher education online learning materials catalogued by registered members and a set of faculty development support services. MERLOT's vision is to be a premiere online community where faculty, staff, and students from around the world share their learning materials and pedagogy. 

To view a video of the award winning author, go to View Access eLearning - Faculty Development Award Winner 2007 video.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Teacher creates YouTube videos to reinforce math concepts

A first-year math teacher at a Pennsylvania middle school is reinforcing math concepts with his students by creating and posting math videos on YouTube. The irony is that access to the site is blocked on school computers, so students have to watch Tyler Binkley's problem-solving videos at home. "If I don't understand something I go on the Web site, and I stop it and try and do the problem. Then I see how he did it to get the answer," one student said. The Patriot-News (Harrisburg, Pa.) (2/11) 


Friday, April 9, 2010

Virtual Dissection Offered as Alternative to Dissection in Connecticut Bill

Connecticut lawmakers are considering a bill to allow students to opt out of dissections during science classes. Some biology teachers say there is no acceptable alternative to the hands-on activity, but some schools allow students to meet the requirement by completing a virtual dissection on a computer or using a model. Policies that offer alternatives are on the books in 13 states.