Augmented Wearables and the Future of Museums: An Update


A year ago, I wrote “Augmented Wearables and the Future of Museums” for DML Central. Back then, most everything was in the conceptual realm. Tools were not yet for sale and most weren’t even available yet for developers. Boy, has a lot changed in one year (and I’m not even talking about Pokémon Go, which I did write about here a few weeks ago). When I was a kid, no baseball game was complete without a box of Cracker Jacks. I still feel that way. A few weeks ago, at a game with my family, I

Watchworthy Wednesday: Check Facts With Crap Detection Resources


Want to know if someone plagiarizes a speech? Is the content on a website copied from another website? Do those song lyrics sound familiar? What about those statements? Have they been stolen from books, articles or other public documents? Has a photograph been manipulated? Suspecting minds should check. And, DML Central’s most prolific and highly respected blogger Howard Rheingold shares a guide, listing more than 100 helpful websites he calls “crap detection resources.” His constantly updated and curated list includes sites that can: instantly verify whether a celebrity is dead or alive; research statements made by

Digital Media as Interactive Textbook


Recently, I was a guest on the Meanwhile in the Future podcast on an episode titled “Flash Forward,” speaking about digital media and education. While speaking with Rose Eveleth, the host, I said something that’s sort of stuck with me in terms of thinking about what the roles of media and communications are in digital media. I do not believe that it can ever replace the classroom space and I worry about all the edtech efforts that are so heavily invested in the attempt to do just that. Loss of other senses and effect on critical

Amino One Makes Bioengineering Useful, Easy to Learn


A chemistry set was a big part of what first interested me in science, back in the 20th century. Today’s scientist of tomorrow has the opportunity to play and learn with a bioengineering set! Yes, you can safely experiment with genetically altering bacteria to create your own pigments and more. It’s called Amino One from AminoLabs — a “laptop size Personal Bioreactor and Transformation Station” that enables learners to experience safe hands-on bioengineering — and make personally useful products. Personally, as a painter, I can’t wait to engineer bacteria to create my own pigments. Julie Legault, CEO

Watchworthy Wednesday: How Pokémon Go Promotes Learning Opportunities


In barely two weeks, the virtual reality game Pokémon Go has attracted millions of players. Now, educators are pondering whether the game can be used to promote learning. Three blogs — Aside, Discovery Education and EdTech — are nodding indeed. “Harnessing student excitement of this game can easily be used to support all kinds of fun and pedagogically-sound lessons and activities,” writes Discovery Education’s Kathy Schrock. She offers a number of resources educators can use to create lessons. Among her observations: “The journal component of the game automatically records the time and date of the events as they

The Secret Sauce in Pokémon Go: Big Data


Unless you’ve been holed-up in a cave playing Minecraft, you’ve heard about (and possibly even played) the new augmented reality (AR) mobile game sweeping the globe, Pokémon Go. For sure, AR can be exciting and compelling, when properly designed, offering us an experience of co-presence with a virtual character or object. And, it’d be understandable if you attributed Nintendo’s success to its use of the AR camera. But, you’d be wrong. The game’s AR succeeds, in fact, because it turned big data into a game. With Pokémon Go, we are offered the opportunity to pretend our

Watchworthy Wednesday: Music-making Revolution


Today’s stars are born on YouTube, Vine, Instagram and SoundCloud, and people are expressing themselves more than ever through social media using the written word, photographs and video. Musical expression, however, remains massively underserved, according to Craig Swann, co-founder of Looplabs, a cloud-based music studio that offers a free online collaborative production platform that allows anyone to create anywhere with an internet connection. Looplabs’ mission “is to help the world create, share and discover music together,” Swann said. “We’re quickly approaching 100,000 users since launching late last year in public beta. We have top users from 8

There are No Lessons for Alton or Philando


Like many of you, I cried on Wednesday as I watched Alton Sterling’s son cry for his daddy a day after he was murdered by the police of Baton Rouge. I watched that teenage boy and I wept in sadness, anger, and exhaustion. I watched that teenage boy knowing what Roxane Gay wrote later that day: “We have to bear witness and resist numbness and help the children of the black people who lose their lives to police brutality shoulder their unnatural burden.” And, while mainstream media spent the day in a cycle of did-she-or-didn’t-she about

Is It Time to Rethink Most Everything We Think About ‘Screen Time’?


Is “screen time” equivalent to… crossing the road? Necessary but don’t let little ones go unsupervised. Eating a balanced diet? Prioritize things that are “good for you” but you can occasionally sneak in some treats. Smoking? OK to experiment but stop before you do permanent damage. These and other sometimes-apt comparisons have emerged during our research project, Parenting for a Digital Future, where we asked parents how they imagine the role of digital media in their children’s lives — in the present and projected into the future. Part of the Connected Learning Research Network, our study demonstrates