Friday, September 24, 2004

Campus Life Comes to Second Life 

Wired News: "It's not unusual for teachers and students to use an online environment like a chat room to meet. But Delwiche and a few other college professors are taking advantage of Second Life's fully three-dimensional virtual world and are the first to teach classes in a world where the students can fly, change body types at will and build fantastical structures that can float in the sky.

Second Life's 'online environment tends to be a little less stuffy than the real-world classroom,' said Delwiche. 'Suddenly (the students) got to adopt these ridiculous avatars and interact with each other in a completely different context. They had a lot more fun.'

Delwiche and professors like the University of Texas at Austin's Anne Beamish have for months been working on developing classes inside Second Life with Robin Harper, senior vice president at Linden Lab, the metaverse's publisher. Now the company, in an attempt to attract more professors wanting to experiment with this ultra-unorthodox teaching method, has formalized an outreach program to universities called Campus: Second Life.

...In order to help teachers bring their classes to Second Life, Linden Lab donates accounts for each student, as well as an acre of land in the metaverse for the teacher and students to work and build on. Afterward, anyone wishing to stay a member can do so at half price.
To date, in addition to Delwiche and Beamish, professors from San Francisco State University, the Rochester Institute of Technology and Vassar College have used Second Life in their courses.
Delwiche said it's an opportunity to show his students a different side of the digital media they hope to be creating in the future.

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Moodle - A Free, Open Source Course Management System for Online Learning 

is a course management system (CMS) - a software package designed to help educators create quality online courses. Such e-learning systems are sometimes also called Learning Management Systems (LMS) or Virtual Learning Environments (VLE). One of the main advantages of Moodle over other systems is a strong grounding in social constructionist pedagogy.

Moodle is Open Source software, which means you are free to download it, use it, modify it and even distribute it (under the terms of the GNU General Public License). Moodle runs without modification on Unix, Linux, Windows, Mac OS X, Netware and any other system that supports PHP, including most webhost providers. Data is stored in a single database: MySQL and PostgreSQL are best supported, but it can also be used with Oracle, Access, Interbase, ODBC and others."

Monday, September 06, 2004

About AIT 

About AIT: "The Agency for Instructional Technology has been a leader in educational technology since 1962. A nonprofit organization, AIT is one of the largest providers of instructional TV programs in North America. AIT is also a leading developer of other educational media, including

online instruction
instructional software

AIT learning resources are used on six continents and reach nearly 34 million students in North America each year.
AIT products have received many national and international honors, including an Emmy and Peabody award.

Created by Educators for Educators
AIT’s products are based on sound instructional design. Classroom practitioners are closely involved in the development of every resource.
AIT’s board of directors includes leaders from both the education and business communities.

A Pioneer in Consortium Funding
Since 1970, AIT has developed 39 major curriculum packages through the consortium process it pioneered. American state and Canadian provincial agencies have cooperatively funded and widely used these learning resources. Funding for other product development comes from state, provincial, and local departments of education; federal and private institutions; corporations and private sponsors; and AIT’s own resources.

Leading the Reform Discussion
AIT is also the home of TECHNOS Press. The press has published An Interactive Guidebook for Designing Education in the 21st Century, by Jerrold E. Kemp, Ed.D., and The Complete Handbook of Block Scheduling, by Thomas L. Shortt, Ed.D., and Yvonne V. Thayer, Ed.D."

Saturday, September 04, 2004

Design By Numbers 

Design By Numbers was created for visual designers and artists as an introduction to computational design. It is the result of a continuing endeavor by Professor John Maeda to teach the “idea” of computation to designers and artists. It is his belief that the quality of media art and design can only improve through establishing educational infrastructure in arts and technology schools that create strong, cross-disciplinary individuals.

DBN is both a programming environment and language. The environment provides a unified space for writing and running programs and the language introduces the basic ideas of computer programming within the context of drawing. Visual elements such as dot, line, and field are combined with the computational ideas of variables and conditional statements to generate images."

Digital Media Courseware 

Courseware: Hernando Barragán / Mauricio Giraldo.

A multi-purpose courseware web engine based on php/html/mysql. It is based on previous courseware experiences done for classes at the MIT Media Lab, Interaction Design Institute Ivrea and Processing workshops.

Installation instructions
This installation assumes you have a linux server with apache web server, php, and mysql database installed. The courseware once installed allows you to create as many courses as you need, every course web site will be individually located and customized.
Installation requirements:
PHP 4.x
MySQL 4.x
PHP must be compiled with the --enable-ftp option
The PEAR HTTP upload library installed
Download the file:
move the file to the right location and extract the file, this will create a set of files and directories needed for the setup. Remember that this location should be available on-line for people to have access to the web sites created.

Processing 1.0 _ALPHA_ 

Processing 1.0 _ALPHA_: "Processing is a programming language and environment built for the electronic arts and visual design communities. It was created to teach fundamentals of computer programming within a visual context and to serve as a software sketchbook.

The software is currently in a prerelease stage, but bug fixes are being made as we head toward a more complete '1.0' release. Processing will be free to download and available for Mac, PC, and Linux.

In addition to the many individuals using Processing, it is currently used at many universities and institutions including: MIT (Cambridge), Interaction Ivrea (Turin), Yale (New Haven), New York University, San Francisco Art Institute, University of California Los Angeles, Universität der Künste (Berlin), Royal College of Art (London), Universidad de Los Andes (Bogota), HyperWerk (Basel), Hongik (Seoul), Ateneo de Manila University, and more."

A nifty example is at http://acg.media.mit.edu/people/fry/zipdecode/

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