In preparation for the EdLab seminar on Wednesday, here's a front page article from the New York Times on rapid prototypers. Perfect timing!
I just came across these two websites for online cross-platform collaborative concept mapping tools. The first, Thinkature, provides a collaborative online workspace with voice chat integration. The second, Gliffy, provides an online diagramming tool. Maybe something like this could be integrated with Meety ver. 2.0....
It can even use materials like plaster, Play-Doh, silicone, and wax! Wow, imagine how that could change how kids play with Play-Doh!
Since I am interested how technology might impact the effectiveness of intercultural communications, I found this recent article on CNN.com about the recent introduction of MySpace in Japan very relevant. Currently the top social networking website in Japan is Mixi, which ranks as the third most popular website after Yahoo and Google. According to the article, MySpace will face significant challenges in being accepted by Japanese users because of the different cultural values reflected in the service. While Mixi is more aligned with Japanese cultural values such as conformity and in-group harmony (for example, new users must be introduced via a current user), MySpace reflects a more Western orientation with a focus on “me.” Considering that 1 out of 3 Japanese in their 20s currently use Mixi and the general reluctance of the Japanese to break the mold (“The nail that sticks up gets pounded down”), I think it will be very difficult for MySpace to succeed.
I just stumbled upon this website for a fascinating international online student art collaboration project called Creative Waves which took place in 2005. The project was structured with professionals, teachers and mentors, and consisted of individual and team assignments, lectures, live “chats” and online discussions, creating an environment for students to co-create their learning experiences. It’s a great example of how education, technology, and intercultural communication can be integrated. I particularly like the series of photos students were required to take at the same time across the globe (22:00 Omnium time) and one team’s response to the “Place” project – each member took a photo “Facing Iraq” in his/her respective country.
This piece of news seems particularly relevant following last Wednesday's seminar on TESOL 2.0, since my group had discussed the usage of cell phones and virtual worlds to aid in language learning. Virtual worlds can simulate environments promoting more authentic language usage, and cell phones can keep people connected to that world. Well, now cell phone users can log in to Second Life and communicate with other logged-in members through text messaging. Considering the ubiquitousness of cell phones in this day and age, this development will change the whole concept of social networking by enabling people to be virtually connected to millions of people across the world all the time.
For those of you interested in emerging technologies, I just received an email from the Stanford/MIT Venture Lab (VLAB) about an upcoming event on consumer product innovations. Although you probably won't be able to attend since it is taking place in CA next week, you may be interested in joining their mailing list. VLAB is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting high-tech entrepreneurial ventures, ranging from medicine to media to education. Take a look at some of their past events.