"emerging tech" entries

Tracking the signal of emerging technologies

The first NASA IT Summit featured deep views into the future.

The first NASA IT Summit featured deep views into the future, including an interplanetary Internet, the evolution of computational computing and Gartner's top emerging technologies.

Teachers become senseis while tech handles drills

A school finds success moving drills to software. Is there a model here?

San Diego's High Tech High has found success with ALEKS, a software package that uses simple feedback to reinforce fundamental math skills. This example hints at a revised teacher-tech relationship, where the technology handles drills while teachers coach and offer guidance. Toss in additions like mobile access and 24/7 connectivity, and new possibilities — and new questions — arise. In this post, Marie Bjerede examines all these angles.

Educational technology needs to grow like a weed

Want to scale education reform? Plant a tech seed and help it flourish.

Iterative development and feedback loops have lifted the software world. Now it's time for educational technology and reform to benefit from the same techniques.

Cell phones in the classroom

Surprising field studies suggest cell phones could be effective learning tools

Guest blogger Marie Bjerede examines field projects that are studying the educational use of cell phones. In one limited example, 50 percent of students doing lessons by cell phone had higher math proficiency than classmates who learned the same material from the same teacher.

Burning Man Gets an API (and a Whole Lot More)

An API! SMS! Foursquare! An iPhone app! They are all coming to Burning Man this year. Will the festival be the same?
The annual tech-art festival in the Nevada desert, starts on Sunday. Normally the attendees leave their phones and laptop behind, but this year that may not be the case. As I ride from Seattle to Black Rock City, NV I am getting SMS from friends on the playa. In anticipation of wifi and possible data connections Foursquare has rolled out Black Rock City as a city (@sfslim is already the Mayor of The Man). If AT&T’s service doesn’t work then attendees may be able to take advantage of OpenBTS’s local SMS project. Most of the attendees aren’t there, but the tech is already making its presence known.

The Government Blocks Twitter No It Doesn't

In a recent CSPAN interview, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs noted that, “for some reason, Twitter is blocked on White House computers,” which created a minor frenzy among tech-savvy journalists ranging from UPI to The Hill. Later, news upstart Mediaite uncovered that the New Media team in the Old Executive Office Building could indeed access Twitter, but other people working on White House staff do not necessarily share the same privileges. This is all very interesting, but this story is far bigger than the White House, because it serves as a metaphor for rules governing social media tool use for the thousands of employees working throughout the Federal government.

Bantamweight Publishing in an Easily Plagiarised World

Even professional writers are prone to infrequent accidental plagiarism. But in the world of novels, newspapers, and college exams, there are rules about bootlegging others’ work that are well-established – most everyone agrees on what behaviors are unacceptable and what the consequences are. In bantamweight publishing, however, the rules are not so clear.

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bot

Web technologies often allow you to scale things that weren't scalable before. Unfortunately, that list of scalable things includes spam. From unsolicited phone calls to unwanted emails to unnecessary tweets, it can seem like we're getting progressively overloaded with information we don't necessarily want. One group blamed for the increase in online spam are Twitter bots – Twitter accounts created…

Twitter is Not a Conversational Platform

Perhaps the most common reason given for joining the microsharing site Twitter is "participating in the conversation" or some version of that. I myself am guilty of using this explanation. But is Twitter truly a conversational platform? Here I argue that the underlying mechanics of Twitter more closely resemble the knowledge co-creation seen in wikis than the dynamics seen with…

Geeks Invade Government With Audacious Goals

More and more people from the private sector are interested in playing a role in government, thanks in no small part to the excitement surrounding the Obama election and inauguration, in which social media technologies and information sharing were showcased at their best – massive fundraising from many small donors, empowering people to self-organize locally, and direct public relations that circumvented a mainstream media lens. Now, people enamoured with emergent social technologies want to know how they themselves can revolutionize not only politics, but also governance.