Archive for January 25, 2010

An NSF for Educational Technology

Part of the reauthorization of the Higher Education act, the new National Center for Advanced Information and Digital Technologies is meant to be an NSF for education. From the NYTimes article:

“It’s time that education had the equivalent of what the National Science Foundation does for science, Darpa does for the national defense and what N.I.H. does for health,” Mr. Grossman said in an interview.

Congress Finances Program to Use Technology in Education – NYTimes.com.

I found more information on it at the Federation of American Scientists website:

The National Center for Research in Advanced Information and Digital Technologies will support a comprehensive research and development program to explore ways advanced computer and communication technologies can improve all levels of learning.  This includes K-12, college and university, corporate and government training, and both formal and informal learning.

January 25, 2010 at 3:45 pm 3 comments

Picture-driven computing

Researchers at MIT have a new system that allows one to program with screenshots.  For example, to get a message to a cell phone when a bus reaches a corner, “the programmer can simply plug screen shots into the script: when this (the pin) gets here (the corner), send me a text.”  It sounds too good to be true, but when Allen Cypher says it’s good, you gotta be impressed.

“When I saw that, I thought, ‘Oh my God, you can do that?’” says Allen Cypher, a researcher at IBM’s Almaden Research Center who specializes in human-computer interactions. “I certainly never thought that you could do anything like that. Not only do they do it; they do it well. It’s already practical. I want to use it right away to do things I couldn’t do before.”

via Picture-driven computing.

The article also says, “The researchers say that Sikuli could allow novice computer users to create their own programs without having to master a programming language.”  Interesting question: Would this increase interest in programming (“I can do that?  What else can I do?”) or decrease interest (“I can do whatever I want this way — why go further?”)?

January 25, 2010 at 8:21 am Leave a comment


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