Federal Virtual Worlds Challenge 2012

14 03 2012

The Maya Astronomy Center built in Second Life (HMS Center Region) is a Finalist at FVWC‘s Focus Area: Engaging Learning.

Here is the video tour:

Beverly Gay McCarter notes: “www.HumanMosaicSystems.com — This is a BRIEF video tour of the HMS Maya Astronomy Center_Phases 1 and 2 COMBINED.

The Maya Astronomy Center_Phases 1 & 2 is an interlocking kinetic modular learning system that is a resource intensive build. It explores the Maya understanding of astronomical events and how that information impacted their culture and society. This learning module utilizes a multi-floored resource Library, as well as related independent learning modules that expand on the central subject being taught.

The Center is a free standing learning module that is able to be a stand alone exhibit or be integrated into other related builds expanding its capability. It demonstrates a pedagogical model that can be used with a variety of subject matter. The learning environment uses interactive intelligent agents, a HUD learning management system, music and dance to reinforce learning, interactive 3D models, a narrative structure to help explain the complex dynamics involved with the topic and to set the learner on an engaging Quest, hidden traps and reward systems that impact tokens earned, and multiple quizzes that award prizes.

This self-guided immersive learning environment utilizes Maya cultural mentors who appear and guide the participant as they explore the various interactive 3D exhibits in the Maya temple and on the grounds giving the participant more in depth information through the use of interactive 3D models, chat, note cards, slide presentations, web links, and videos.

The exhibits help the participants understand the complexity of the subject by breaking it down into different related units that build upon one another as the participants explore the information in this interrelated learning module.”


Be sure to watch this video and tell us what you think! Thanks


Ender’s Game Goes to Hollywood

14 03 2012

On Feb 27, 2012, on ARVEL sig Ning, I blogged that while watching the Oscars, the news of Ender’s Game being given the big screen treatment was ongoing. Expected release date is mid 2013:

“I don’t know what you did last night, but my family and I were watching the Oscars and the On The Red Carpet after-Oscar programming…..during which some gossip came about Ender’s Game the movie coming to theaters in 2013 (starring Harrison Ford!). How exciting is that!!!!”

IMDb has the movie listed: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1731141/
and Deadline New York has a short piece on it: http://www.deadline.com/2011/04/franchise-hungry-summit-plays-enders-game-with-filmmaker-gavin-hood/

Fandom did not take too long to catch the bug and created some interesting unofficial trailers, such as this one:

Conversation threads: on the original blog, and at the Prophets of Science Fiction group space.

Repost of my comment on Prophets of SF: ” Ender’s Game is an interesting piece of literature for several reasons: It’s been used in classroom to illustrate and analyze different subjects: communication arts in high school, English class in Grade 9, cyberbullying in middle school, in psychology 101 in college, etc. As a prophet of science fiction, Orson Scott Card visualized a battle room (the anti-gravity CAVE), a personal desktop (similar to an iPad), a flash suit ( flash suits exists but they are thermal-protective garment made of heavy weight NOMEX, PBI or other flame-retardant material, that protect from temperatures of up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. However in the sf novel, the flash suit seems closer to a smart textile suit than a fireman protection gear), and Free Play (or The Mind Game, a data-driven game system). The novel explores the use of simulation and technology to train critical and creative thinking and decision-making (the military have been interested in training in virtual reality for quite some times; as well as medicine, surgery, architecture, etc.)

Today, I noticed that Amazon has started to drum up some interests again in the Ender’s Game novel. So if you do not have your copy yet, go get it, or start hanging out at your local library shop for the fifty-cent deal. I know my library shop has a couple copies for sale last time I checked.

Now, you tell me what you think of Ender’s Game. Have you read it? Have you used it in class?

Angry Birds

17 02 2012

yeah yeah I know, what’s up with the Angry Birds here? well, not only they are now on Facebook since Tuesday (with an EXCLUSIVE Facebook  Surf and Turf set!)…and come on, you can hardly ignore an app that is approaching the billion download, now can you?…

Image: my own screen

….[drum roll please]….in March 2012, Rovio is releasing Angry Bird Space

The hook? You’ll be lobbing birds on entirely new planets while contending with zero gravity, leading to new gameplay elements like slow-motion puzzles and “lightspeed” destruction. And just like with other Angry Birds games, expect those outer-space physics to be dead on. Andrew Stalbow, GM of Rovio North America, told Yahoo! Games, “They’re so accurate and easy to grasp that some teachers use Angry Birds in their lessons about projectile motion.”  So excited with Rovio’s efforts to integrate accurate science into the game that NASA and National Geographic are launch partners on Angry Birds Space.


If you are a teacher who is using Angry Bird in your science class, please add your comment here and earn the astroid badge!

Ravensburger AR puzzles

17 02 2012

Two days ago, Popsci reported on a new line of puzzles by Ravensburger: once the puzzle is completely assembled, you can interact with it via a free iOS app downloaded on your iPad or iPhone. Each puzzle unlocks different affordances in the app. So for example, “Paris provides viewers with a 360-degree panorama of the city in both day and night with clickable points-of-interest [while] an under-the-sea image pulls up a find-the-fish game, and a wildlife image cues up video footage” (source: http://www.popsci.com/gadgets/gallery/2012-02/most-incredible-toys-we-saw-toy-fair?image=8)

Image by Popsci at the 2012 American International Toy Fair on Feb 12 to 15, 2012

Still in the toys categories, robot cubes have magnets that hold the blocks together, allowing copper connectors to transmit data between the cubes. Cubelets offer different kits to different robots.

Have you seen a cool new toy that integrates an emerging technology into its interactivity? If so, list it here in comments and earn the joystick badge! Cheers.

Interactive Surfaces

7 02 2012

We are hearing more and more about flexible epaper, flexible screens -especially for mobile devices, and other flexible AMOLED-based technology…

My personal favorite is the Nokia Morph concept

…but here is something very interesting as well: Another really cool innovative proposal from glass manufacturer Corning, “A Day Made of Glass 2”

I believe that’s why we should add all science fiction resources as required readings or viewing. Now that we’ve caught up with the Minority Report, when do you think we’ll see something similar to the Matrix-download? Prophets of Science Fiction, all of them.

Add another prophets of science fiction in comment. Cheers!

Sony PS3 Video Store -Realtime Projection Mapping

7 02 2012

Posted a month ago. I can’t believe I did not see this sooner. Imagine this technique for school projects. I mean, come on! Shot in one take, all in real-time, no post-production.

Find the R&D story behind it here:

Enjoy. Tweet. Spread the word!

NatGeo live AR experience

7 12 2011

What a busy month with so many exciting news. First, great stuff coming our Augmented Reality way. On November 7, 2011, National Geographic used AppShaker to create some live AR experience at the mall for anyone  to interact. The great implementation here is that no one in the audience needs their phone and an app to see what is happening. A big screen is set up and showing in real time what the AR experience is. Now you can share the experience as a group -or a class- without limitation of a small mobile screen. Watch:

Whether the idea came from promotional application (such as this Victoria Secret Angel falling from the sky -March 14, 2011)

or not, the NatGeo application conveys more interactivity than the fallen angel. We had school in the park programs, what about museum at the mall?

Enjoy, and let me know if you found something similar.