Teaching and Learning in 2015

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Looking at the furthest Time-to-Adoption Horizon: Four to Five Years in the 2010 Horizon Report is a fascinating exercise in imagining how these technologies might be used in teaching and learning in 2014-15. The two that made the final cut, from Horizon Report Wiki:


Gesture-based computing allows users to engage in virtual activities with motion and movement similar to what they would use in the real world. Content is manipulated intuitively, making it much easier to interact with, particularly for the very young or for those with poor motor control. The intuitive feel of gesture-based computing is leading to new kinds of teaching or training simulations, that look, feel, and operate almost exactly like their real-world counterparts. Larger multi-touch displays support collaborative work, allowing multiple users to interact with content simultaneously, unlike a single-user mouse.

Relevance for Teaching, Learning & Creative Expression

  • Researchers at Georgia Tech University have developed gesture-based games designed to help deaf children learn linguistics at the critical time of language development.
  • Using off-the-shelf existing technologies, the Sixth Sense project from MIT provides a gesture interface that can be used to augment information into real world spaces.
  • After discovering the significant improvement in dexterity that surgeons-in-training gained from playing with the Wii (48%), researchers are developing a set of Wii-based medical training materials.

Data Visualization & Analytics

A variety of tools are emerging that make it possible to extract data from large datasets and display it in new ways. These tools do not require sophisticated math skills--as used to be the case to do work of this nature--and they present data in forms that make patterns obvious and intuitive to grasp. Online services such as Many Eyes, Wordle, Flowing Data, and Gapminder accept uploaded data and allow the user to configure the output to varying degrees. Some tools, like Roambi, have mobile counterparts, making it easy to carry interactive, visual representations of data wherever one goes.

Relevance for Teaching, Learning & Creative Expression

  • New apps for mobiles place data visualization in the palm of one's hand: Roambi charts your data, while SimpleMind Xpress is a colorful and intuitive mind-mapper.
  • Harvard scientists are using data visualization to measure the expansion velocity of the supernova remnant Chandra.
  • With Wordle, students can analyze their papers and see in moments which points need further development, and whether or not certain language has been overused.


How might we start thinking about ways to use these applications way ahead of the curve? Might there be applications in areas like the humanities? How will we-- as an institution and individually-- keep up with all these new applications coming our way?


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Good questions. I tend to focus too much on the near term but it is interesting to think (even as we look at goals) of what we would need to do to be able to support these emerging technologies 4 to 5 years from now.

I know the Libraries have discussed the possibility of having GIS software on the computers. I personally think offering these data visualization tools will be important in positioning the Libraries for the future. Though I understand that we probably will not be able to provide support or expertise in all the tools throughout the Libraries. If we can figure out who the experts on our staff are, like we do with citation managers, I think this would work well.

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This page contains a single entry by Caroline Lilyard published on March 26, 2010 4:02 PM.

Horizon Report: I Don't Understand Augmented Reality was the previous entry in this blog.

Ebooks: Are we there yet? is the next entry in this blog.

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