Desktop Research: Technology in Popular Culture

The initial listing of news on how technology is used by consumers or in popular media culled from a variety of sources we monitor on a regular basis.

We'd love to see your clippings here as well! Please use the edit this page button to add more, or add comments on how or why you think they may or may not be important. As is the convention throughout the Horizon Project Wiki, we ask you to identify items you think are of high interest to us, as I have done here by typing 4 tilde (~) characters-- - Larry Larry Feb 7, 2012. This will help us to sift through the articles and determine which ones resonate most strongly with the board as a whole.

Recommended Reading

  • Alta Devices’ Flexible Wearable Solar Charger to Make Soldiers’ Backpacks Lighter
    The more important our electronics and devices have become to our day to day lives the more we now are lugging around and continuously needing to keep charged up by plugging in whenever possible. This solar charging mat can be attached to a backpack to continuously generate renewable electricity, which is then used to recharge a lithium battery connected with it. Once charged, the battery can be used to power a range of portable electronic devices such as a laptop, tablet or smartphone.- cristiana.mattos cristiana.mattos Jan 20, 2014Recharging batteries is very important for using tech in the classroom. Every finding that brings longevity and mobility is welcome! - mrskeeler mrskeeler Jan 23, 2014 redesigning classrooms to allow for tech is going to be big, solar might be a consideration but it is not something that is really feasible to be a big consideration.
  • Anti-technology Bias: A Case Study
    This article presents a case-study on anti-technology fiction that comes across as a product of serious scholarship, but uses flawed methodology to distort data in supporting a specific claim. This particular case study pertains to genetic engineering, but the author warns us to look deeply at arguments against technology in all sectors.
  • App Brings Nelson's History to Life
    A history project that uses futuristic technology to teach Nelson’s 19th century heritage has won $45,000 from the NZ On Air Digital Media Fund. The funding will be spent on developing a smart device application - "app" - that uses three-dimensional scene recognition technology to share stories and information about Nelson’s formative years in the late 1800s and early 1900s.- cristiana.mattos cristiana.mattosÃugmented reality can have so many applications! Looking forward to having more content developed. - judy.oconnell judy.oconnell Feb 8, 2014 I was really pleased to read this. It's a stunning example of what we need more work on for best use of augmented reality apps. The trick is ensuring that a wide and balance selection of people or major events get showcased.
  • Coming Soon: A Children's Edition of The New York Times?
    The New York Times is looking to launch a digital edition of the paper just for kids, NYT Junior. - davidwdeeds davidwdeeds Jan 21, 2014 Time for Kids has aligned itself with Common Core. There's a family edition for the iPad, which is why we're considering subscriptions. - michael.lambert michael.lambert Jan 23, 2014 Our reading of content continues to shift–books, apps, Flip, Kindles, etc. Many new apps emerge as well as gadgets. I use You can even send an ipub file to your iPad. Create student reading lists for the week, a topic, etc. - mrskeeler mrskeeler Jan 23, 2014 modifies the reading level for the reading level of the student. More customization of materials for fluency level is going to be seen.
  • Creating a Braille smartphone for Blind People
    The touchscreen revolution has left out one sector of society – the visually impaired. The lack of textured buttons means blind people are unable to use them. Designer Sumit Dagar has invented a prototype Braille smartphone which may give the world’s 300 million visually impaired people the first phone developed with their needs in mind. - mrskeeler mrskeeler Jan 23, 2014 the problem is of course how many students does this impact, hard to be a trend when it's a smaller market. But improvements in tablet and mobile touch screen technology are definitely going to have the ability to impact learning. - judy.oconnell judy.oconnell Feb 8, 2014trends in assistive technologies are an urgent and important area to track in relation to emerging technologies - simply because without them our technologies are dividing rather than building society norms for the future.
  • 5 Tech Trends That Will Change Gaming Forever
    This year’s E3 Expo showed off the newest technology intended to enhance the gaming experience. Mashable highlights the five trends they expect to change gaming in the next few years.- cristiana.mattos cristiana.mattos Jan 20, 2014Loved these developments. They do it for the gaming industry, but educators end up winning as well! - davidwdeeds davidwdeeds Jan 21, 2014 The list of "Rift-enabled" apps/games keeps getting longer. I've used a tour of the solar system for astonomy classes, hope soon to take Fantastic-Voyage-like explorations of the human body. Never mind games, this is going to be big for education apps. Best $300 I've spent on a gadget. - mrskeeler mrskeeler Jan 23, 2014 multi-platform is going to have to be the name of the game. The cloud computing makes the most sense. Even if a school is not going BYOD different schools are choosing different platforms. If a game or Edu company wants to be successful their product needs to not be device dependent. I also see that management tools will start to be developed considering a BYOD environment.
  • Home 3D Printers Take Us On a Maddening Journey into Another Dimension
    The author of this article tested out the ease of use of a couple popular 3-D printers on the market and he describes his experience, concluding that he honestly wouldn't buy either of the printers because they both have some serious downfalls.- cristiana.mattos cristiana.mattos Jan 20, 2014Since we are going to start using 3D printers at our school this year, I've been reading a lot about it. This warning is important, because many who are using it report these problems, which you have to consider when you are developing a project with this technology. - davidwdeeds davidwdeeds Jan 21, 2014 Elsewhere I mentioned our frustrating experience with Solidoodle. Thought we were getting into 3D printing for $500. Might as well use it as a doorstop. - mrskeeler mrskeeler Jan 23, 2014 But David the fact that these cheap do not work 3D printers are coming on the market is evidence that there is a strong market for the devices and it is the cost that is keeping people from leaping. The costs are coming down... this is going to make them explode into K12. - davidwdeeds davidwdeeds Jan 23, 2014 Oh, I agree...just remember that you get what you pay for. I by no means have given up on 3D printers! Want to get one that (a) is affordable and (b) actually works ASAP! ;)
  • Raspberry Pi Commended for 'Inspiring Social Change'
    Credit card-sized computer Raspberry Pi has been recognised as one of the top 100 technologies being used for social good. The Raspberry Pi, which has sold more than 1.2 million units worldwide, was recognised for opening up basic programming to new generations as well as providing an ultra low cost computer in the developing world.- cristiana.mattos cristiana.mattos Jan 20, 2014This is big for Maker culture. Brazilians love open source options. - davidwdeeds davidwdeeds Jan 21, 2014 Kits like Kano are going to make the Pi even bigger. But I've found that kids need projects. Can't just give them a Pi and say "OK, do something with it." - michael.lambert michael.lambert Jan 22, 2014 Here's another type of module from MIT called littleBit. - mrskeeler mrskeeler Jan 23, 2014 Raspberry Pi curriculum is what is going to make this take off. Right now too many teachers do not know what to do with them, but considering the price and that EVERY school is wondering how to get more technology, the tipping point is going to be when it becomes easy for almost any teacher to start including them. - judy.oconnell judy.oconnell Feb 8, 2014
  • 7 Ways to Support Your Child in Being Digitally Responsible Without Contracts
    There are ways to be involved in your child’s digital life in ways that teach them to be safe and responsible online. This article describes approaches that don’t involve contracts and restrictions.- cristiana.mattos cristiana.mattos Jan 20, 2014Digital citizenship is always an important topic. - davidwdeeds davidwdeeds Jan 21, 2014 I've always resisted the idea of kids signing a contract to be a good digital citizen. Set social media policies/rules, sure. But beyond that providing practical lessons using examples is best. - mrskeeler mrskeeler Jan 23, 2014Digital citizenship is a big deal - judy.oconnell judy.oconnell Feb 8, 2014digital literacy along with digital citizenship is a pivot point in technology education.
  • Smart Wheel By FlyKly Could Change Everything About Commuting
    FlyKly is a Smart Wheel for the bike that is operated completely through one’s smartphone, which stays put on a handlebar mount (that also serves as a bike light and a phone charger) and connects to the wheel through Bluetooth. The FlyKly app monitors speed, distance, time traveled, location and route. The wheel's self-contained, battery-powered motor can propel a bike at speeds as high as 20 miles per hour for as far as 30 miles on one charge. The wheel recharges itself when coasting downhill.
  • Teenagers Say Goodbye to Facebook and Hello to Messenger Apps
    Facebook made a startling admission in its earnings announcement this month: it was seeing a "decrease in daily users, specifically among teens". Their gradual exodus to messaging apps such as WhatsApp, WeChat and KakaoTalk boils down to Facebook becoming a victim of its own success.- cristiana.mattos cristiana.mattos Jan 20, 2014We see our students reflecting these trends. I also liked this resource for all the numbers it provides. - davidwdeeds davidwdeeds Jan 21, 2014 Kids haven't quite abandoned Facebook yet. They're just keeping adults out of the loop. What Facebook should do is have a special version just for youngsters. It's funny. I was explaining our social media policy, which states that I can't be Facebook friends with my students. They were appalled at the idea of having an adult FF! - mrskeeler mrskeeler Jan 23, 2014 When any product becomes so mainstream all the adults are using it, you are going to see a drop off. The take away here is that kids crave to share. Giving them ways to do that safely will capture a huge learning potential. - judy.oconnell judy.oconnell Feb 8, 2014 the point is that kids are early adopters, and help establish apps that can be used eventually by everyone - doesn't matter at all that they more on. They're just leading the shoal of humanity forward in the tech era.
  • 10 Amazing Jobs You Could Land With the Right STEM Education
    This article profiles some of the exciting professions that are held by people who have a STEM background.- cristiana.mattos cristiana.mattos Jan 20, 2014Looking at future jobs and encouraging STEM are always motivating. - mrskeeler mrskeeler Jan 23, 2014 I heard a report that in 30 years 70% of todays jobs will be replaced by robots, including the cashier at McDonalds. Some fast food places already allow for users to order via a touch screen. The Nestle ice cream plant in California is 100% automated. Either education figures out the #1 export of Americans is CREATIVITY and INNOVATION or there will be massive unemployment. I see more kids getting hands on and DOING in the next few years and less memorizing. Focusing on jobs that are likely to stick around SHOULD be a hot trend.
  • The 10 Best Technology Advances of 2013
    According to Paste magazine, this year had no shortage of technology advances. Their 10 best technology advances of 2013 range from the bionic eye to helium hard drives.- cristiana.mattos cristiana.mattos Jan 20, 2014Cool stuff! - mrskeeler mrskeeler Jan 23, 2014 Voice recognition has finally gotten good. Google now translation is frequently 100% for me. The capability to talk to my mobile device could have some implications for K12.
  • This App Uses The Power of You to Report the Weather
    An app developed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the University of Oklahoma uses crowdsourcing to collect geographic, winter precipitation from users that cannot be detected using automatic systems.- cristiana.mattos cristiana.mattos Jan 20, 2014Seeing crowdsourcing being applied is always interesting. I can see it being used more and more and for different purposes. - mrskeeler mrskeeler Jan 23, 2014 I see more and more crowdsourcing. Classrooms are doing it, having students share outside of their walls gives them an audience and a purpose. - davidwdeeds davidwdeeds Jan 24, 2014 I foresee a School Kickstarter for school projects. And/or a Junior Kickstarter, for funding student projects:
  • A Tiny Computer Attracts a Million Tinkerers
    A good overview of the rise of Raspberry Pi, tiny affordable computers that are now selling so rapidly that many distributors are out of stock.- cristiana.mattos cristiana.mattos Jan 20, 2014This is a good overview. Good resource. - mrskeeler mrskeeler Jan 23, 2014 I like it - judy.oconnell judy.oconnell Feb 8, 2014 a tremendous way to re-introduce computational thinking in schools
  • Ubiquitous Across Globe, Cellphones Have Become Tool for Doing Good
    The cellphone has become more of a tool and less of a toy, especially among the poor, and those trying to help them, in emerging markets. It helps deliver, via text message, water, energy, financial services, health care and even education.- cristiana.mattos cristiana.mattos Jan 20, 2014Cell phones are ubiquitous in developing countries. We've already gotten closer to 1:1 in our school ever since we've allowed the use of cell phones. When we want to do an activity in class and couldn't count on tablets, we would at least have the smartphones and we got the activity done! - mrskeeler mrskeeler Jan 23, 2014 Read Don Tapscott's book "Grown Up Digital." Young people value having an impact, connecting student learning to allowing students to have a social impact will greatly influence students wanting to learn.
  • Video Games Are The Perfect Way To Teach Math, Says Stanford Mathematician
    InnerTube Games does not build video games to ‘teach mathematics.’ Rather, the instruments are built so that when you play them, you cannot fail to learn about mathematics. Moreover, each single game can be used to deliver mathematical challenges of increasing sophistication. - davidwdeeds davidwdeeds Jan 21, 2014 This was a big topic at the Serious Play Conference last year. Games make learning a normally dull topic like math fun, but more importantly, they give a "practical application" to what would otherwise be very abstract instruction. - mrskeeler mrskeeler Jan 23, 2014 True, but most games are "Playsheets" that awkwardly tie a rote math problem to a game environment. Answer the math problem correctly and your avatar can go through the gate. It is chocolate covered broccoli. BUT games give the potential to learn math IN CONTEXT. I wish more math games were like that, but the playsheets are too easy to make and teachers feel comfortable with them so they prevail. I don't see a flood of meaningful games hitting the market, but I wish there were. I think playsheets are going to be used extensively over the next few years. - davidwdeeds davidwdeeds Jan 24, 2014 Alice and I attended the Serious Play Conference last year, and there was almost a riot over this playsheet issue. I predict that the next big step for games will be teachers designing games. I mention this elsewhere. Anyone want to start a company?
  • Wearable Gadgets: In Search of a Value Proposition
    This article underscores how users feel personally connected to the things they wear and will need very compelling reasons to wear something like Google Glass or a smart watch. Such wearable devices would have to take place of normal individual fashion accessories and will affect how each user looks in public.- cristiana.mattos cristiana.mattos Jan 20, 2014This article reflects the same doubts I had about wearable technologies. I liked this analysis. I've been wearing glasses since I was two yrs old, and I totally identified with what the author said about there having to be a clear added value for you to do that!
  • What Coding and Great Wine Have in Common
    Computer science and coding literacy have become such a huge part of our daily lives and will be integrated into every industry in the future. This article describes why its important to introduce coding to students starting when they are young and how the maker movement is helping to do this. - davidwdeeds davidwdeeds Jan 21, 2014 The Do-It-Yourself Movement. I'm tellin' ya, it should be on our list of trends. - mrskeeler mrskeeler Jan 23, 2014 agree, coding should be on the list of trends
  • What's Holding Up The Internet Of Things
    Devices on the Internet of Things may have to handle a bunch of different tasks and there is very little consensus on which protocols to use. So there is no common standard by which all devices can communicate with one another.
  • Why Can't We Walk And Wear Google Glass At The Same Time?
    It's extremely difficult to process information simultaneously from both our environment & a wearable display. A new study led by behavioral scientist Terhi Mustonen of the University of Helsinki in Finland has implications for Google Glass and other wearable tech.- cristiana.mattos cristiana.mattos Jan 20, 2014I again identify with this caution. I have trouble walking and eating at the same time, imagine being distracted by more complex activities. I thought it was only me, but now I see it's an important concern.
  • Why Wearable Computers Will Need Advances in Notification Technology to Thrive
    As we quickly move into an era where even our jewelry, vehicles and household appliances are connected to the web, one of the chief elements of the mobile computing experience as we know it now will undergo a stark change: the push notification. That alert, which pops up with a pleasant ding or annoying buzz to alert us to the latest Instagram like, message, email, reminder or voicemail, will have to adapt when every kind of display is suddenly a computer.
  • A Kids’ Book Where Every Character Can Be 3-D Printed
This could be a sign that soon 3D printers will be common household items.- cristiana.mattos cristiana.mattos Jan 20, 2014I'd love to see this book, since we are just getting into 3D printing ourselves.