Category Archives: talk

$150.000 for creating Open Source Shared Learning Projects

Shared Learning Collaborative logo

At the inaugural Shared Learning Collaboration (SLC) Camp in Chicago that was launched past weekend with over 100 attendees participating in content tagging and coding applications, $75,000 bounties for 2 open-source applications were announced. The Shared Learning Collaboration Camp was started by Stephen Coller, who heads up SLC Vendor and Developer engagement and blogs regularly on this spot, delivered the vision of the SLC and the opportunities it further creates for personalized learning. The keynote was followed by a lively panel discussion with four teachers that shared the challenges they faced in today’s classroom using data and technology. You can find all the Camps slide presentations on slideshare.

Announced on Saturday morning by partner lead Victor Alcantara, SLC launched a bounty program for two open-source applications at $75,000 each.  These two apps were identified through teacher and school administrator focus groups across multiple school districts.  The first application, Student Data Aggregation Calculator, gives teachers and school administrators a tool to create views of aggregate sets of student data based on a flag that they can define and put in the data set (example flags might be “Honor Roll” or “After School Program Graduates”).  The second application, Student Groups Tool, would help teachers to create groups of students and then view the data for that group.  Proposals are due October 2, 2012 and the selected applications will be announced at the SLC Camp in New York the weekend of October 20th and 21st, 2012.  The applications themselves should be completed no later than January 15, 2013.  More details about the SLC bounty program can be found here.

Talk: Use Sixth-Sense technology to interact with the digital world of data

In his interesting TED talk on ‘The thrilling potential of SixthSense technology’, Pranav Mistry shows several self built hardware tools that help the physical world interact with the world of data. He also discusses his SixthSense device and a new, paradigm-shifting paper laptop in detail. He says that he’ll open-source the software behind SixthSense, to open its possibilities to all.

This reminds me a lot on Prof. Hiroshi Ishii’s Tangible User Interfaces‘, (Tangible Media Group) research group at MIT, who’s work i really admire since my studies at the university. The Tangible User Interface group continuously publish great work on the challenge how to build tangible real world interfaces to interfere with digital artefacts. They combine art, media and technology to invent great interfaces!

screenshot taken from

TED: Daphne Koller speaks up for a revolution in online education

Daphne Koller is asking top universities, such as Stanford, to put their courses online for free, but not just as a service, but as a way to research how people learn. She tries to discover how knowledge is processed and absorbed by her audience, through tracking each keystroke, asking comprehension quiz and peer-to-peer forum discussion.

Daphne Koller is bringing courses from top colleges online, free for anyone who wants to take them. Her Website already has an impressive number of online students who follow her courses. Daphne Koller is working as a Stanford professor and founded her startup Coursera for sharing online courses.

She follows the same vision Peter Norvig has already presented before in his amazing TED talk on his experiences with his 100.000 student classroom on modern approaches of artificial intelligence last year.

Ars Electronica Festival 2012: THE BIG PICTURE Trailer

This year’s Ars Electronica Festival ‘THE BIG PICTURE – New Concepts for a New World’ presents digital and electronic art projects related to new concepts for understanding the big picture of our world and society. The festival takes place in Linz, Austria from 30.August to 3.September 2012. While waiting for these most interesting art installations, watch the recent Ars Electronica 2012 festival trailer:

Todd Humphreys: How to fool a GPS

We all know that our actual location-based systems and services, such as Google Maps, Foursquare or Google Places very much depend on the Global Positioning System (GPS). Of course there are some supporting technologies, such as Assisted Global Positioning System (AGPS) which combines the GPS signal with additional data that comes over other networks (like GSM) to increase the accuracy and availability of GPS. Today alternative location based systems such as WLAN based locationing systems are not as widespread as GPS, so GPS remains the one and only globally available positioning system on which we all heavily rely on, even if we know  that GPS has serious security flaws.

In this interesting TED talk Todd Humphreys forecasts the near-future of geolocation when millimeter-accurate GPS “dots” will enable to find pin-point locations, index-search your physical possessions … or to track people without their knowledge. And the response to the sinister side of this technology may have unintended consequences of its own.

Todd Humphreys talks about the GPS technology and its future and how we can address some of its biggest security problems.

ACM free Learning Webinar on ‘BigData’


ACM launched a very interesting portal for getting in contact with new technologies, which is called ACM Learning Webinar. This featured talk takes a closer look at Business Intelligence (BI) and BigData and asks: “After 20 years, is it still fit for purpose? Can it deliver the type of support needed for decision-making in the next decade?” They are witnessing the birth of a new “biz-tech ecosystem,” where business and technology have become symbiotic and collaborative behavior is the norm. In this environment, decision-making is very different from what is supported by today’s BI.
This webinar explores the emerging ecosystem and poses some interesting challenges for BI vendors and implementers in 2013.

Reinventing the encyclopedia game

As Encyclopaedia Britannica ends its print publication after more that 200 years, performance poet Rives resurrects a game from his childhood. Speaking at the TEDxSummit in Doha, Rives takes us on a charming tour through random (and less random) bits of human knowledge: from Chimborazo, the farthest point from the center of the Earth, to Ham the Astrochimp, the first chimpanzee in outer space.

Performance artist and storyteller Rives has been called “the first 2.0 poet,” using images, video and technology to bring his words to life.

Engineer Guy vs. The Microwave Oven

In his new video tutorial Bill the Engineer Guy explain the anatomy of a basic microwave oven, then come through with a great, memorable visualization that intuitively links the wave’s oscillating electric and magnetic fields to the rotational vibrations of water molecules, in the food, that actually heat it up. Other highlights include mapping the standing wave in the cooking cavity by heating a platter of grated cheese, and a cross-section of a real magnetron with overlays and a handy analogy explaining how it works.

TED Talk by Massimo Banzi – Inventing things with Arduino

Massimo Banzi one of the inventors of THE electronics prototyping system called Arduino spoke at TEDGlobal 2012 about the cool things people are making with Arduino. At the moment Arduino is one of the most popular prototyping platforms worldwide. Some weeks ago Massimo Banzi presented their new Arduino package design at the Maker Faire and he got a lot of interested people around him. The usability of the Arduino system is that good that even children are developing their first electronics project with it. And with a price around 20€ its definitely cheaper than the traditional PIC microcontroller programming enviroments i used.