Monday, July 30, 2007

Blog post about visual learning technology

Take a look at my Interactive Multimedia Technology blog post about the University of Nottingham's Visual Learning Lab and information about a debate hosted by UK's FutureLab about the merits of the use of interactive whiteboards in primary and secondary classrooms.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Interactive whiteboards increase student attention, engagement, participation, and test scores!

More about interactive displays....

According to a press release from Smart Technologies, a study conducted in the UK and Europe during the years 2002-2006 found positive results regarding the use of interactive whiteboards in the classroom:

"The following outcomes were among its key findings: interactive whiteboard use results in improved student performance in national tests in English, math and science, compared to student performance without interactive whiteboards; digital content on interactive whiteboards is engaging, motivating, and students pay more attention during lessons; and interactive whiteboard use encourages greater student participation in the classroom."

There are several types of interactive large-screen displays available for use in educational settings, and there are several companies working on large touch-screen displays that could be adapted for use in schools, media centers, and public libraries.

(I prefer large-screen displays/interactive boards that do not rely on an external projector)


Link to PDF of full report: "The ICT Impact Report: A Review of Studies of ICT Impact on Schools in Europe" (Anja Balanskat, Roger Blamire, Stella Kefala, European Schoolnet.)
Resource and Research List, "Interactive Whiteboards", from the National Clearinghouse for Educational Facilities (NCEF)
Education World article "Speaking of Electronic Whiteboards?"

Large Display Research Overview from Microsoft Research (PDF)

The following is a partial list of companies that make or sell interactive displays and/or whiteboards:


For Teachers:

Lessons and Links for Interactive Whiteboard Classroom Activities

Online interactive whiteboard activities for primary classrooms (from Topmarks Education, UK)

SmartTechnologies lesson activities for the SmartBoard

National Gallery of Art Kids

PBS Kids

National Geographic Kids


Discovery Kids

Music Tech Teacher (Includes online games and music learning activities)

Flash Music Games

(some games cam be downloaded)

I'll be posting more links on the Interactive Multimedia Technology website soon.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Take a look at HP's TouchSmart PC

Photo from HP TouchSmart Website

More information, including a video clip, can be found on the Interactive Multimedia Technology blog. ExploreLearning's Gizmos would work well on this system!

Saturday, July 21, 2007

ExploreLearning Gizmos, Interactive Displays, Revisited

ExploreLearning recently earned a 2007 Distinguished Achievement Award from the Association of Educational Publishers for Best Science Instruction Website. ExploreLearning offers interactive math and science activities, known as "Gizmos", for students in grades 6-12.

I used some of the sample activities with a few struggling high school students two years ago, using an interactive whiteboard. The students were engaged and seemed to grasp concepts quickly.

Take the time to look at the information on ExploreLearning's blog, including the testimonial section. You can subscribe for a free 30-day trial for use in the classroom or at home. The teacher support materials, in my opinion, are excellent. Each math and science activity aligns with state curriculum guidelines, available on the site.

With new interactive touch-screen technologies, such as the iPhone, the NextWindow Human Touch interactive large-screen display, newer-edition interactive SmartBoards, and Microsoft's Surface, imagine the possibilities for students- once the price of interactive devices and hardware comes down to an affordable level.

I bet most students would not object to playing with science and math Gizmos via a web-browser on their iPhones!


ExploreLearning's award press release.

Why Gizmos Work

The home page of theSmartBoard 2007 Blog, hosted by M.Gavel, a 6th grade teacher, has a list of links to on-line interactive learning websites that work well on the SmartBoard(and other interactive large-screen displays), such as StarFall, an engaging early literacy site.


Please leave me a comment if you know if there is any research about the effectiveness of ExploreLearning. Judging from the testimonials, this would be a great research topic for psychology, education, or educational technology graduate students!

Photo courtesy of ExploreLearning.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Virtual reality field trips created by psychologists

(businessweek photo)

Over the years, school districts have cut back on field trips, limiting exposure to learning environments outside of the school door. To counter this trend, Psychologist Alicia Sanchez and Janis Cannon-Bowers were members of team at the University of Central Florida that developed virtual reality field trips to provide students with opportunities to explore environments, with the goal of supporting reading and vocabulary development.

According to an article that appeared in Science Daily, the researchers planned to make the field trips available on the web in the future. The article was written in 2005. If you know about this, please leave a comment.


If you are looking for interesting video clips about psychology and related topics, take a look at Science Daily's "Mind and Brain" web page.

The BusinessWeek website has a slide-show with related articles about innovative classroom technologies, included the Virtual Field Trip.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Bill MacKenty's Words of Wisdom: Getting Started with Games and Learning

School will be starting in a few weeks, and many educators have been hearing more about the use of interactive video games for learning. As I've mentioned on previous posts, Bill MacKenty is a pioneer in this area. He's an instructional designer at the Hunter College Campus school and is an advocate of the effective use of technology in learning settings. He's been blogging since 2004, if not before.

It is well worth the time to visit Bill's blog on a regular basis or sign up for his blog feed. Here are some quotes from Bill's Games in Education page:

"Technology strengthens, deepens, and broadens our learning...
Are you a classroom teacher? So am I. I'm using games to teach, it works!

YES. Computer games are an incredible learning tool
YES. We can prove kids are learning
YES. We can see kids become excited and engaged about learning
YES. You can do it! "

Bill has some good information on how NOT to go about integrating video games in the classroom in his recent blog post, "10 easy ways to miss the boat".

With the push towards measuring student responsiveness to intervention and utilizing data for educational decision-making, those of use who work with K-12 learners might consider exploring this avenue. Computer/video games are excellent masters of keeping track of all sorts of data. This power can be harnessed to support education in a variety of engaging ways.

If you are new to my blog, take the time to do a search about games, education, and interactive multimedia applications. My Interactive Multimedia Technology blog also has a few treasures that you might find useful.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Women in Technology: My editorial on the NCWIT blog

The above link is to my editorial, "Gender Beneath the Surface", posted on the NCWIT blog.

Although women make up half the population, they are under-represented in computer science and related technological fields. If your are interested in issues related to women and technology, the National Center for Women in Information Technology -NCWIT- is a great place to start.

I wrote the post on the day I learned that all of the members of the executive team for Microsoft Surface (Madrid) were male.

(dually posted - techpsych and interactive multimedia technology blogs)

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Link to Interactive Multimedia Technology post about JOVE in Wired: "YouTube does Science"

Take a look at my post on Interactive Multimedia Technology about an article in Wired about JOVE: Journal of Visualized Experiments.

This is an example of how video/media can support engaged learning in science. This would appeal to visual learners.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Teaching in the Digital Age: Project-based learning and assessment

Edutopia is offering a video that profiles exemplary project-based learning programs in a mini-documentary format.

Project-based learning requires a broader means of assessing student progress, through portfolios, multimedia reports, and more. In the era of RTI(Response to Intervention), project-based learning and assessment practices appear to have promise.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Link to Bill MacKenty's Conference Notes

Bill MacKenty is an instructional designer at Hunter College Campus School. He is known for his innovative technology integration strategies, including the use of video games in education.

It is worth taking the time to visit his website/blog. Bill has a wealth of information about educational technology, games and learning. If you are new to technology integration, his HOWTO section is great place to start.