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robertogreco : physicalcomputing   20

Outside the Skinner Box
"There are two commonly repeated tropes about educational technology impeding progress and clouding our judgment. The first such myth is that technology is neutral. This is untrue. All technology was designed to influence behavior; the fact that a handful of people can stretch a technology beyond its normal trajectory does not change this fundamental truth.

It is not uncommon for a school committed to progressive learner-centered education to undermine its mission by investing in a well-intentioned school-to-home communication package that allows Dad to sit at his office desk and day-trade his eight-year-old when the expectation of continuous numerical reporting is offered by such a system. Similarly, I have encountered many independent schools committed to whole language development that then contradict their missions by using phonics software on iPads for no other reason than, “There’s an app for that.”

In schools, all hardware and software bestow agency on one of three parties: the system, the teacher, or the learner. Typically, two of these actors lose their power as the technology benefits the third. Ask a group of colleagues to create a three-column table and brainstorm the hardware or software in your school and who is granted agency by each. Management software, school-wide grade-book programs, integrated learning systems, school-to-home communication packages, massive open online courses (MOOCs), and other cost-cutting technologies grant maximum benefit to the system. Interactive whiteboards, worksheet generators, projectors, whole-class simulations, plagiarism software, and so on, benefit the teacher. Personal laptops, programming languages, creativity software, cameras, MIDI keyboards, microcontrollers, fabrication equipment, and personal web space primarily benefit (bestow agency to) the learner.

The second oft-recited myth is that technology changes constantly. If only this were the case in schools. Regrettably, much of what schools do with technology is exactly the same, or less than, what they did 25 years ago. Wordles, note taking, looking stuff up, word-processing essays, and making PowerPoint presentations on topics students don’t care about for audiences they’ll never encounter represent the state-of-the-art in far too many classrooms. We can do better.

I enjoyed the great fortune of leading professional development at the world’s first laptop schools nearly a quarter century ago. Those Australian schools never saw laptops as an experiment or pilot project. For them, laptops represented a way to rescue kids explicitly from a failing hierarchical bureaucracy. Every student learned to program from every teacher as a means to encounter powerful ideas, express oneself, and change the nature of the educational experience.

When teachers saw what was possible through the eyes and the screens of their children, they demanded rapid changes to scheduling, assessment, classroom furniture, and even school architecture. They blurred the artificial boundaries between subject areas, shared expertise, challenged peers, and transformed many schools to benefit the children they served. Those early “laptop teachers” often viewed themselves in new and powerful ways. An amazing number of them went on to become school principals, Ph.D.s, policy makers, and entrepreneurs. A school like Methodist Ladies’ College in Melbourne, Australia, changed the world with its existing teaching staff through a coherent vision articulated clearly by a bold, charismatic leader, David Loader, who focused on benefiting the largest number of stakeholders in any school community: the students.2"



"A Bold Vision for the Future of Computers in Schools

The future of schools is not found in a shopping list of devices and programs, no matter how interesting or revolutionary the technology may be. In order for schools to seize the power of computers as intellectual laboratories and vehicles for self-expression, the following traits need to be in place.

Awareness

Educators, parents, and policy makers need to understand that, currently, their investment in technology is not maximizing its promise to amplify the human potential of each student. Alternative models must be made available.

Governance

Too many schools conflate instructional and noninstructional technology. Such an inability to reconcile often-competing priorities harms the educational enterprise of a school. One role is of the plumber and the other of a philosopher; both are important functions, but you would never consciously surrender the setting of graduation standards to your maintenance department. Why, then, is educational policy so greatly impacted by IT personnel?

Vision

Schools need a bolder concept of what computing can mean in the creative and intellectual development of young people. Such a vision must be consistent with the educational ­ideals of a school. In far too many cases, technology is used in ways contrary to the stated mission of the school. At no point should technology be used as a substitute for competent educators or to narrow educational experiences. The vision should not be rigid, but needs to embrace the serendipitous discoveries and emerging technologies that expand the power of our goals.

Consistent leadership

Once a vision of educational technology use is established, school leadership needs to model that approach, enact rituals and practices designed to reinforce it, and lend a coherent voice leading the entire community in a fashion consistent with its vision to improve the lives of young people.

Great leaders recognize the forces that water down innovation and enact safeguards to minimize such inertia.

Professional development for professionals

You cannot be expected to teach 21st-century learners if you have not learned in this century. Professional development strategies need to focus on creating the sorts of rich constructive learning experiences schools desire for students, not on using computers to perform clerical tasks. We must refrain from purchasing “teacher-proof” curricula or technology and then acting surprised when teachers fail to embrace it. PD needs to stop rewarding helplessness and embrace the competence of educators.

High Expectations and Big Dreams

When we abandon our prejudices and superstitions in order to create the conditions in which anything is possible, teachers and children alike will exceed our expectations.

Some people are excited by using technology to teach what we have always wanted kids to know, perhaps with greater efficiency, efficacy, or comprehension. I am not interested in using computers to improve education by 0.02 percent. Incrementalism is the enemy of progress. My work is driven by the actualization of young people learning and doing in ways unimaginable just a few years ago.

This is not a fantasy; it’s happening in schools today. Here are a few vignettes from my own work.

Learning by Doing"
2015  garystager  computing  schools  education  technology  makers  makermovement  seymourpapert  edtech  physicalcomputing  governance  awareness  vision  leadership  nais  learningbydoing  learning  constructionism 
january 2015 by robertogreco
Meet the makers: How my iSchoolers turned curiosity into circuits | Chalkbeat
"I know nothing about physical computing. But that doesn’t mean my students aren’t learning about it.

I know a little about cartography, design and feminism, which I teach at the NYC iSchool in Manhattan. But physical computing — the programming of physical objects that humans can interact with, like a bike helmet that lights up when it gets dark outside — is beyond what I feel comfortable teaching.

However, I believe curiosity is enough to drive a class, and I had a hunch that physical computing would be an incredible opportunity for teaching programming, electronics, craft, design, prototyping and an entire list of other skills like persistence and collaboration.

So in September, I launched a quarter-long class (then called Media Lab, after MIT’s home of tech/design experimentation) that asked students to experiment with three different platforms: sewable circuits, using the Lilypad Arduino; conductive interfaces, using the MaKey MaKey; and 3D printing using a MakerBot. I didn’t know what I was doing, but I learned from teachers I follow on Twitter that I should do it anyway, so I did.

The 18 students in that first class really had to teach themselves. Because I didn’t have the answers, they had to find them elsewhere. This was an empowering — but also often frustrating — experience, and the lack of structure led to spontaneous collaborations. The student who knew the most about sewing helped everyone else with that, while the students who were more comfortable with programming shared their skills.

Towards the end of the course, I asked if anyone would be interested in sharing their unusual experience in the class with others, and five students took the lead in putting together a workshop.

Since then, the “iSchool Five” have been invited to talk about their experience at conferences in Philadelphia and Boston. Their workshops introduce educators to “maker education” — a model grounded in the belief that we learn best by making physical things with accessible tools — by teaching them how to make paper circuits, like the kind you can find in greeting cards that light up or play music.

Their goal with these workshops is to take educators through the learning process they experienced in my class: some basic instruction followed by lots of figuring it out. They want participants to leave with the confidence needed to bring this approach back to their classrooms."
christinajenkins  education  teaching  physicalcomputing  learning  howweteach  2014  students  makeymakey  3dprinting  makerbot  arduino  lilypad  notknowing 
march 2014 by robertogreco
LISA PARK
"Lisa Park (Yeon-Hee) was raised in Seoul, Korea and currently lives and works in New York. Her background was in Fine Art Media in her undergraduate degree at Art Center College of Design and her works range from painting, installation, photography, and film.She began to focus her artistic practice in interactive based works by integrating technology and art. She has her master’s degree in M.P.S from ITP (Interactive Telecommunications Program) at New York University. The program’s multidisciplinary education significantly extended her knowledge to use programming softwares like Processing, Arduino, Max/MSP to create into art works.

Over the past years, she used technology as an interface to create projects like Eunoia, Le Violon d’Lisa, and Obsession is sad Passion. She does performance and the recurring themes in her works deal with vulnerability, confrontation, suspension, self-control, and liberation."

[via: http://thecreatorsproject.vice.com/blog/eunoia-seeking-enlightenment-by-tracking-brainwaves ]
lisapark  art  artists  arduino  processing  physicalcomputing  eunoia  performance  interactive  technology 
june 2013 by robertogreco
Critical Making Lab
"The critical making laboratory is a shared space for opening up the practice of experimentation with embedded and material digital technology to students and faculty in the Faculty of Information. The lab provides tools, materials, and training for building devices such as wearable computers, RFID systems, ubiquitous computing networks, and other physical computing technologies. However, while the critical making lab organizes its efforts around the making of material objects, devices themselves are not the ultimate goal. Instead, through the sharing of results and an ongoing critical analysis of materials, designs, and outcomes, the lab participants together perform a practice-based engagement with the pragmatic and theoretical issues around information and information technology. Physical computational objects are increasingly part of libraries, museums, and information environments more generally. The lab serves as a novel space for conceptualizing and investigating the critical social, cultural, and political issues that surround and influence the movement of information processing capability into the physical environment."
toronto  canada  design  criticaldesign  theory  internetofthings  ubiquitouscomputing  computing  making  makers  physicalcomputing  rfid  openstudioproject  iot 
may 2013 by robertogreco
Eric Paulos
"Eric Paulos is the Director of the Living Environments Lab and an Assistant Professor in the Berkeley Center for New Media (BCNM) with a faculty appointment within the Electrical Engineering Computer Science Department at UC Berkeley. Previously, Eric held the Cooper-Siegel Associate Professor Chair in the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University where he was faculty within the Human-Computer Interaction Institute with courtesy faculty appointments in the Robotics Institute and in the Entertainment Technology Center. Prior to CMU, Eric was Senior Research Scientist at Intel Research in Berkeley, California where he founded the Urban Atmospheres research group - challenged to employ innovative methods to explore urban life and the future fabric of emerging technologies across public urban landscapes. His areas of expertise span a deep body of research territory in urban computing, sustainability, green design, environmental awareness, social telepresence, robotics, physical computing, interaction design, persuasive technologies, and intimate media. Eric is a leading figure in the field of urban computing, coining the term in 2004, and a regular contributor, editorial board member, and reviewer for numerous professional journals and conferences. Eric received his PhD in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from UC Berkeley where he helped launch a new robotic industry by developing some of the first internet tele-operated robots including Space Browsing helium filled blimps and Personal Roving Presence devices (PRoPs).

Eric is also the founder and director of the Experimental Interaction Unit and a frequent collaborator with Mark Pauline of Survival Research Laboratories. Eric's work has been exhibited at the InterCommunication Center (ICC) in Japan, Ars Electronica, ISEA, SIGGRAPH, the Dutch Electronic Art Festival (DEAF), SFMOMA, the Chelsea Art Museum, Art Interactive, LA MOCA, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, the ZKM, Southern Exposure, and a performance for the opening of the Whitney Museum's 1997 Biennial Exhibition."

[via: http://make.berkeley.edu/ ]
ericpaulos  berkeley  bayarea  interaction  markpauline  technology  making  physicalcomputing  interactiondesign  ix  ux  persuasivetechnologies  intimatemedia  media  newmedia  sustainability  ambient  urban  urbanism  urbancomputing  computing  glvo  srg  edg  citizenscience 
may 2013 by robertogreco
Adventures in Urban Computing
"Urban computing research may fruitfully be grounded in the daily practices of the present and not lead by architectural and technological fantasies of the metropolis of tomorrow.

Urban computing research requires a fundamental cross disciplinary focus. A broader understanding of urban computing includes alternative perspectives and values to the discourse and to the design process.

The understanding of urban computing and its implications must move beyond real vs virtual conceptual binaries. In daily life digital technology and “real” spaces can not be seen as separate domains.

Urban computing belongs in the broader context of digital technology in everyday life. It should be understood in relation to both domestic practices and general network culture.

Urban computing research should take the messiness of everyday life as its central theme. Computing and digital networks will never become the seamless and orderly utopia envisioned in traditional ubicomp research."
urbancomputing  urban  mobile  cities  2008  adamgreenfield  annegalloway  pauldourish  genevievebell  stephengraham  physicalcomputing  urbanism  research  einarsnevemartinussen  design 
february 2011 by robertogreco
Jørn Knutsen - Designing and researching
"I am an interaction designer and researcher working and living in Oslo.

Current design and research interest evolve around the social web and physical things that connects to it. For instance I have made Skål (and it's website) - a physical interface for digital media.

You can see more work in my portfolio."

[See also http://www.skaal.no/ AND ªªhttp://cargocollective.com/superduper ºº]
norway  jørnknutsen  design  research  physicalcomputing  digitalmedia  interactiondesign  interaction  oslo  skaal  superduper 
february 2011 by robertogreco
YouTube - Timo Arnall - The design of networked products
"Timo Arnall take us on a a very visual path where he talks about how we can use rich interaction with the world around us to create more meaningful experiences. Timo shares the most important learnings from the research work he's done in the past years."
timoarnall  momo17  physicalcomputing  mobile  phones  interactiondesign  ux  experiencedesign  2010  networkedproducts  digitalservices  rfid  nfc 
october 2010 by robertogreco
Modkit [I would love to have an invite for this.]
"Modkit is an in-browser graphical programming environment for little devices called embedded systems. Modkit can currently program Arduino and Arduino compatible hardware using simple graphical blocks similar to and heavily inspired by the Scratch programming environment developed by the Lifelong Kindergarten Group at the MIT Media Lab."
edg  arg  arduino  scratch  programming  coding  processing  physicalcomputing  automation  embedded  hardware  electronics  education  diy  toshare 
july 2010 by robertogreco
Sketching in Hardware is Changing Your Life, by Fabricio Dore - Core77
"Designers should be spending more time creating variations of experiences and running those through users instead of reassembling the building blocks...Reinventing the wheel is not exactly how we should spend our precious time."
interactiondesign  prototyping  physicalcomputing  arduino  hardware  innovation  research  design  microcontrollers  ideo  sketching  interaction  core77  engineering  ux  electronics 
october 2009 by robertogreco
NETLab Toolkit - NETLab
"The NETLab Toolkit is a free set of software tools that enable designers to easily "sketch in hardware". With no programming at all and working in the familiar environment of Flash, designers can hook up a physical sensor (e.g. a knob) and immediately get that knob to control a motor or a video projection. The toolkit works with a wide range of sensors, wireless sensors, input from the Wii Remote, controls motors and LEDs, communicates with MIDI devices, controls sound, graphics, and video in Flash, and communicates with DMX computer controlled lighting equipment, all with a simple drag-and-drop interface (of course, programming hooks are provided as well)."
physicalcomputing  arduino  processing  flash  prototyping  sensors  electronics  hardware  computing  diy  interface  tools  technology  development  programming  design  netlab  microcontrollers 
july 2009 by robertogreco
Why the Arduino Matters - Ideas For Dozens
"Today, the world of physical computing closely resembles the personal computer industry circa 1975...Recently, our Altair arrived...the Arduino...If [it] is the Altair of physical computing then what will be its VisiCalc? What will be the killer app that makes the physical computer of the future a necessity for business...what will physical [it's] Mac look like?...In the next few years, physical computing has as much of a shot at changing the world as technologies ever get...this is the time to get involved. Unlike the web, personal computer & green energy industries, physical computing is a space where 2 guys in a garage can come along & invent something that will touch billions of people around the world w/out anyone else's permission. That's because what's needed in physical computing is not advanced research, massive infrastructure investment, or huge production facilities. What's needed is close attention to applying the existing technology to solving human-scale problems."
via:preoccupations  arduino  physicalcomputing  future  history  altair  computing  diy  make  hardware  technology  hacking  tcsnmy 
may 2009 by robertogreco
Lowtech Sensors and Actuators
"This report describes the results of a collaborative research project to develop a suite of low-tech sensors and actuators that might be useful for artists and architects working with interactive environments. With this project we hoped to consolidate a number of different approaches we had found ourselves taking in our own work and develop both a "kit-of-parts" and a more conceptual framework for producing such works."
edg  make  art  howto  diy  electronics  toys  hardware  tutorial  robotics  sensors  hacking  arduino  physicalcomputing  computing  hacks  technology  opensource  programming  interface  lowtech  usmanhaque  low-tech 
may 2009 by robertogreco
The Hacktory
"The Hacktory promotes the use of technology in the arts through: * Classes * Community Events * Shared Facilities and Equipment * Artist in residence program * Art and Technology promotion * Materials Exchange The Hacktory is incubated as a project of the Nonprofit Technology Resources."
lcproject  hacking  make  machineproject  philadelphia  nonprofit  technology  art  electronics  learning  arduino  physicalcomputing  howto  diy  hacks  geek  classes  interaction  nonprofits 
october 2008 by robertogreco
Arduino Starter Kit
"Arduino is a tool for making computers that can sense and control more of the physical world than your desktop computer. It's an open-source physical computing platform based on a simple microcontroller board, and a development environment for writing software for the board. Arduino is open source!
arduino  edg  electronics  processing  microcontrollers  physicalcomputing  hardware  gifts 
october 2008 by robertogreco
OLPC runs Processing and Arduino • The Villamil Organization
"At NYU’s ITP program, the Processing and Arduino programming environments are widely used. Since my main interest in the OLPC is to use it as a controller for projects, and since most of my projects are built using those two tools, I was very interested in getting them running on the OLPC. In addition, both Processing and Arduino are projects that have a lot in common with the OLPC project: they are focused on education, focus on making computing technology available to groups that previously would have found it difficult, are fully Open Sourced, and rely on a community-based approach to support and development. Good news: it is strikingly easy (with caveats). The Arduino IDE runs under Sugar (the OLPC’s built-in user interface) and under XFCE (a more conventional Linux window manager). Processing runs fine (albeit slowly) under XFCE. However, it gets confused under Sugar, which doesn’t handle multiple windows well."
opensource  olpc  programming  microcontrollers  arduino  processing  xo  physicalcomputing  hacking  howto  via:reas  edg 
october 2008 by robertogreco

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