$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.

Help GeoGebra crowd source for the iPad

Remember my recent post on GeoGebra, the innovative and open source mathematics learning software that has attracted a global community of school teachers? GeoGebra is the best interactive software for explaining and teaching mathematic examples. And the best thing is that you can get and distribute GeoGebra for free.

Now the creators of GeoGebra started a Kickstarter pledge for porting this cool piece of software to the iPad platform.

We want to make GeoGebra available for the iPad. An html5 version of the software is already available and partly working on tablets without Java. But this is not enough, we want a real iPad Application. A GeoGebra app free to download for everybody from the Apple AppStore.

The reason why we want to keep the iPad application free is because GeoGebra itself is free and keeping it so we want it to be available for everyone. If we reach the desired 10,000 dollars, we can support the development.

I think the team around GeoGebra really deserves a huge crowd of backers for their enthusiasm to bring maths and MINT topics to children wordwide!



SAGA – your personal recommendation agent

SAGA – Offers a mobile companion app that records your activities in order to give you personalized feedback about possible future activities. So SAGA is a personal recommendation agent, which helps you to organize your day and gives suggestions for restaurants at lunchtime or for great places you could visit. SAGA is continously learning your habbits in order to improve the quality of recommendations. It also records and measures the actual activity and the actual context, such as the weather or who is nearby.


GeoGebra: Understandable Math for Everybody

Some ideas have the power to change the way we are thinking about everyday technology and knowledge. For me GeoGebra is such an idea which has a really positive effect on how we are teaching basic and advanced mathematics to children and adults. The idea behind GeGebra is to provide a powerful open source software for visualizing mathematic topics in a very intuitive and understandable way. Over the last years hundreds of mathematic teachers worldwide created a GeoGebra community which shares mathematic examples and new ideas for the further development of this genious framework. The team that developed GeoGebra has already won several prices for their incredable work. GeoGebra offers interactive graphics, algebra and spreadsheet and a lot of free learning material from elementary school to university level.





nest – the learning thermostat

image source: www.nest.com

Nest was designed by the former fathers of Apples iPod (e.g. Tony Fadell) is advertised as the first thermostat that learns from you and that is as intuitive to control as other Apple products. You can teach Nest about your daily schedule well to stay comfortable at home and save energy when you’re away. Its all about changing your old thermostat with new intuitive and learing technology. Nest automatically programs itself in about a week. It creates a personalized schedule based on the temperature changes you’ve made and continually adapts to your changing life. About two hours after you’ve left the house, Nest will also sense you’ve gone and automatically adjust the temperature to avoid heating or cooling an empty home. It also helps you to keep track of your energy usage history, in order to identify devices or contexts in which you are using more energy than necessary. Some rumors mentioned that Nest’s Internet-savvy climate control could soon be in Apple Stores, presumably across the US, for the same $249 as it costs to buy one through Nest itself.

littleBits – Building blocks that blink, beep and teach

image taken from http://littlebits.cc/

littleBits, a set of electronics as easy to play with as Legos. TED Fellow Ayah Bdeir introduces littleBits, a set of simple, interchangeable blocks that make programming as simple and important a part of creativity as snapping blocks together.

littleBits are an open source system of preassembled, modular circuits that snap together with magnets – making learning about electronics fun, easy and creative. An engineer, inventor and interactive artist, Ayah received her master’s degree from the MIT Media Lab and undergraduate degrees in computer engineering and sociology from the American University of Beirut. Ayah has taught graduate classes at NYU and Parsons and taught numerous workshops to get non-engineers – particularly young girls – interested in science and technology. She is also the founder of karaj, Beirut’s lab for experimental art, architecture and technology. littleBits was named Best of Toyfair, has won the editor’s Choice award from MAKE magazine, and has been acquired by MoMA for its collection.

“Instead of having to program, to wire, to solder, littleBits allow you to program using very simple intuitive gestures.” (Ayah Bdeir)