Bravo! to the Royal National Theatre for the online production here called Stagework. The site explores issues, ideas, people and performance in the work involved in a stage production. It is visually handsome and imaginatively interactive. Four venerable plays are used as examples. Bravo! Arts
Today’s THE FEATURE has an article here titled M-Banking Finds Success in Africa. An African industry leader is Fundamo. Why has such an obvious use for cellphones not happened in the US and Europe? Steve Wallage, author of this excellent report points out:
A veteran of the European mobile market and senior exec at an operator told me recently that although many issues in the mobile world were filled with self-interest and conflicting agendas, the world of m-banking was in a “league of its own”. He was very pessimistic on the ability of the European players to draw up common standards and push ahead with m-banking.
Established education is also in a “league of its own” in conflicting agendas surrounding the billions spent annually on learning materials for school consumption. M-education has barely gotten a toe in the door. It is to say the least provocative to read ó with education instead of banking in mind ó Wallage’s description of stakeholders and what can happen without them. One major effect: “mobile service can reach all parts of the populace.” Why don’t children in first world countries have cellphones that teach them reading, writing and arithmetic, for starters? This article has a major clue.
NASA’s primer on lightning here is authoritative and thorough. In is an interesting example of how even without a lot of interactivity webpages can more powerfully present a subject than can be done in print. Heavy on the print side, the pages do offer a sprinkling of interactive assets which hopefully will be amplified in later versions with more animation and digital illustrations for this highly charged subject. Earth Sciences
The sample page here from eOrthopod.com is a rich node of knowledge from the site’s marvelous network of learning content for students. The interlinked, interactive eOrthopod materials provide access to knowledge in a manner unimaginable even a decade ago for tomorrow’s doctors, nurses, research scientists and artists of the human figure. eOthopod is a fine source as well for anyone seeking to understand how the skeleton functions and the affects on it of orthopedic injuries and diseases.
Take a look at the past and the future in National Geographic’s new online tour here. The past from which the young Egyptian pharaoh departed is described, along with how he was wrapped for preservation and examined by modern forensics. A look at the online future of multimedia integrated learning content emerges before our eyes and ears in this state-of-the-art web offering.
Radiating with strong colors expressing the vibrancy of Mexico, the website here is an outstanding introduction to ancient Mesoamerica. The Moongoddess shown above holds the rabbit that was a symbol of fertility. Mesoamericans saw his face in the moon, do you? Visit this interesting and beautiful website for more lore, a timeline and very old Mexican original documents. Subject: History
The 2.8 pound Sharp Actius MP30 shown above is one of the new breed of ultralight computers. Today’s New York Times Circuits has a round-up story here on these machines that includes a slideshow of competing models. The thrust in making and using these little machines is still for the business road warriors who want something light to carry around. As I see the kids in New York City streets and buses lugging backpacks and dragging wheeled book carriers I wonder how long it will be until they get the machines which are making life so much easier for their parents.
Long a leader in placing superb open content for learning online, Cornell has combined its scientific and web prowess here in a dandy digital beetle concoction. The images are striking, the video interesting and there is a lot to be learned about how we share our planet with these insects in “the age of the beetle.” Subject: Zoology
Winston Groomís new book 1942 describes the first world events that I personally remember. I was five-years-old then, when the Axis powers seemed unstoppable. Snippets of events remain in my memory along with a vivid sense of the turmoil and resolve of my parents. No difference is greater between 1942 and 2005 than how connected individual people now are. That connectivity is thickening at warp speed with the spread of the internet and cell phones.
Stopping the Axis relied utterly on the response and heroism of individuals. Citizen soldiers prevailed. In my cynical moments I am convinced the failures of education today are because we donít think kids can respond. Which do you think would prevail: regimented, lockstep learning we now dish out or citizen students individually responding the internet knowledge commons? So, Iím a true believer in people; being a child during WWII made me that way.
To get a look at the future of web expression, browse the FlashForward Film Festival winners (click new winners here). My favorite winner in the education catagory is The Weather Classroom with a marvelous mix of teaching and learning assets. The great stuff being done in the other catagories should give us a heads up on what may be missing in education’s heavy reliance on pre-digital materials. More pedagogues should participate the FlashForward conferences, where the future is fully underway.
The Jane Goodall Institute here is a wonderful place to learn about champanzes, and to do so from one of the world’s top experts on these amazing creatures. The website is also a wonderful example of how to use the web medium to interface rich knowledge compellingly. The website’s important goal of protecting chimps reinforces instead of confusing the objective knowledge it provides. Little Nani, whose picture is above, benefits from the teaching the site does, as well as from its advocacy. Photo: Sandra Thoren Subject: Zoology
The American Museum of Natural History opened its new dinosaur exhibit last week. The online version here is a synergy of expertise in science, curating and one of the most fascinating study fields there is. The sequential text is a fine dinosaur primer and the illustrations from the new exhibit breathe fresh life into the ancient behemoths. Subject: Earth Sciences
By necessity, today’s schools must provide a very general knowledge fare for their students ó which is probably a main reason kids get bored. Here is an example of how the internet opens fascinating nooks, cranies and niches of ideas. The Smithsonian Museum of Natural History’s Paleo Art pages are a cool little primer on paleontological illustration ó a subject hardly likely to make into a K-12 curriculum or textbook. But the science, beauty and curatorial concern displayed might well lure a young person into a new field of interest.
Your GPS-enabled cellphone can help you navigate on the earth’s surface. Different from that, the hot new mobile navigation is virtual in the space you perceive within the phone’s screen. Here is a tutorial from Macromedia on Best Practices for Mobile Navigation written by Jermaine George Anderson. Anderson’s tutorial explains his design of the mobile TV guide MobTvG which he calls “an information-rich application that combines intuitive design and creative simplicity.”
The pixel pedagogues of 21st century education are following and sharpening the principles Anderson describes to establish best practices for compelling content in the navigation of knowledge. The tutorial is an excellent outline of the new virtual mobile navigation.
The Office of Navy Research displays here some interesting pictures with authoritative text about the old days and workings of submarines. The story is told about a one-man Yankee submarine named Turtle that tried to sink a British warship in 1776. The law of bouyancy that makes subs work, called the Aristotle principle, is explained. There is much more from these naval experts on science and technology. Subject: Technologies