New Learning Institute - Place Based Learninghttp://newlearninginstitute.org/blog-topics/place-based-learning enMake an Android App? There’s a Meta-App for That.http://newlearninginstitute.org/blog/make-android-app-there%E2%80%99s-meta-app <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" property="content:encoded"><p><span style="font-weight: bold;">Google Introduces SF Bay Educators to App Inventor for Android</span></p><div><br /><a href="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-JDsg2KGGLzo/TgDHT9WTcTI/AAAAAAAAALY/0ReqEt-4rFs/app%252520inv%252520home.jpg" onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}"><img src="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-JDsg2KGGLzo/TgDHT9WTcTI/AAAAAAAAALY/0ReqEt-4rFs/app%252520inv%252520home.jpg" alt="" border="0" style="display: block; margin: 0px auto 10px; text-align: center; cursor: hand; width: 600px; height: 392px;" class="feature-top" /></a><br /><a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mobile_app">Mobile apps</a> have changed our relationship with information access in the wider world. With mobile devices such as smart phones and tablet computers becoming more powerful and affordable, more people are regularly supplementing their experiences out in the world by calling up services like Google Maps, Yelp, Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, <a href="https://foursquare.com/">Four Square</a>, and <a href="http://www.shazam.com/">Shazam</a> to record what they’re doing, find out what other people thought about whatever restaurant/park/business they’re at, or share their own opinion.<br /><br />Ten years ago, if I passed a statue of some historic figure and wanted to learn more, I’d have to make a note and then go visit the library. Now, I can just whip out my phone and Google the name. I can also use my phone to take a geo-tagged picture, upload it to Flickr (which will automatically highlight it in my Facebook feed), share a web link about what I learned about the statue on Twitter, and check in on Four Square. What’s that song playing at the café I just passed? Shazam! “Bossa for the Devil” by Dr. Rubberfunk. Apps are changing how we interact with the world.<br /><br />For youth, using apps to learn more about places as they experience them is second nature, and those apps can be powerful learning tools. What isn’t second nature is app development. Designing and building a working app generally requires some serious programming savvy, but youth are very interested in apps—they see how relevant apps are to daily life and how they’re being used by more people, more frequently—and this motivates those with an interest in tech to take the programming plunge. Learning programming can be a long slog through lots of information to create very simple programs. I remember taking an intro to CS class, which had us learn <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BASIC">BASIC</a>. I can’t find my notes, but I’m pretty sure it took us a week to know enough to code the “Hello, world” program that seems to be lesson 1 for just about any programming course, regardless of language. My classmates and I found our interest in programming waning fast. And if motivated college students ten years ago lost their interest so quickly, imagine what happens with the youth of today, living at a mile a minute.</div><div><!--break--><br /><a href="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-NMYYoa-MKns/TgDGhAmSKHI/AAAAAAAAALk/xO9yraMGXw8/AppInv%252520Srn1.jpg" onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}"><img src="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-NMYYoa-MKns/TgDGhAmSKHI/AAAAAAAAALk/xO9yraMGXw8/AppInv%252520Srn1.jpg" alt="" align="left" border="0" style="float: left; margin: 0 10px 10px 0; cursor: hand; width: 300px; height: 170px;" /></a>Enter <a href="http://appinventor.googlelabs.com/about/index.html">App Inventor for Android</a>, a web-based app that allows users to both design and build apps utilizing a drag-and-drop user interface. One screen controls the UI (user interface) and builds the code using puzzle-piece like blocks that are put together to create the app. It's not foolproof, but it doeseliminate nearly all syntax errors from programming. There are a number of <a href="http://appinventor.googlelabs.com/learn/">online tutorials</a> for building sample apps that walk you through different functionality possibilities. They'renot particularly kid friendly, but adults can get through them fairly easily. Don’t have an Android device to test on? No problem: you can install an Android emulator on your computer. While not as fun as seeing your app work on the phone, it does provide faster feedback as you tweak your app. When your app is finished (the first sample app took me only about 10 minutes to create), you can save it to your Android device and take it with you.<br /><br /><br /><img src="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-05X4xsuDKjA/TgDGg1cLeGI/AAAAAAAAALc/8ivwwvRX2Mw/app%252520inv%252520blocks%252520ed.jpg" alt="" align="left" border="0" style="float: left; margin: 0 10px 10px 0; cursor: hand; width: 300px; height: 146px;" />The palette for app building is large and includes a drawing canvas, password textboxes, tinyDB (tiny database) support, and a media player; and you can tap the device’s phone, SMS, Twitter camera, accelerometer, location sensor, and device orientation sensor. Google has also included tools for use with Lego Mindstorm robot controls, which should interest robotics educators.<br /><br />Our hosts at Google shared two case studies of how App Inventor's already being used by educators, both after-school programs that won the 2010 DML Competition, sponsored by the MacArthur Foundation:</div><div><ul><li><a href="http://youth-lab.org/index.html">Youth Lab's</a> <a href="http://youth-lab.org/youthAPPLab.html">Youth AppLab</a>: Youth based in Washington DC get hands-on experience developing mobile apps, learning the software development cycle in the process. It's been so successful that parents are asking for workshops, too.</li><li><a href="http://www.youthradio.org/">Youth Radio</a>: Youth in Oakland are teaming up with professional developers through their <a href="http://www.youthradio.org/mobileapplab">Mobile Action Lab</a> to propose, create, and market apps that address real needs in their communities.</li></ul>App Inventor for Android is still in beta and it has its issues (mostly around phone recognition in our workshop), but it has a very active user forum with helpful folks, including a <a href="https://groups.google.com/forum/embed/?parenturl=http://appinventor.googlelabs.com/forum/&amp;showsearch=true&amp;fragments=true#%21forum/app-inventor-instructors">dedicated forum page for educators</a>. I look forward to really digging into this tool to see what it can do, as well as hearing how other educators are using it with their youth.</div><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img src="https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/902885274664531497-2750124153934379448?l=newlearninginstitute.blogspot.com" alt="" width="1" height="1" /></div></div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-blog-topics field-type-taxonomy-term-reference field-label-above"><div class="field-label">Topics:&nbsp;</div><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog_topics/tools/index.html" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Tools</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/blog_topics/nli_play/index.html" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">NLI at Play</a></div><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog_topics/place_based_learning/index.html" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Place Based Learning</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/blog-topics/best-practices" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Best Practices</a></div><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog-topics/project-based-learning" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Project Based Learning</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/blog-topics/professional-development" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Professional Development</a></div><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog-topics/technology-education" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Technology Education</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/blog_topics/mobile_learning/index.html" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Mobile Learning</a></div><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog-topics/digital-learning" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Digital Learning</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/blog_topics/21st_century_skills/index.html" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">21st Century Skills</a></div></div></div>Tue, 21 Jun 2011 16:37:00 +0000Jennifer Dick112 at http://newlearninginstitute.orghttp://newlearninginstitute.org/blog/make-android-app-there%E2%80%99s-meta-app#commentsNew PBS Series: Digital Media: New Learners of the 21st Centuryhttp://newlearninginstitute.org/blog/new-pbs-series-digital-media-new-learners-21st-century <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" property="content:encoded"><p><a href="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/_6Zln-7k5oag/TVWOtfU4usI/AAAAAAAAAGQ/jLD_p8hyKTQ/PBS%20pg.jpg" onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}"><img src="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/_6Zln-7k5oag/TVWOtfU4usI/AAAAAAAAAGQ/jLD_p8hyKTQ/PBS%20pg.jpg" alt="" style="display: block; margin: 0px auto 10px; text-align: center; cursor: hand; width: 600px; height: 289px;" class="feature-top" border="0" /></a></p><p> </p><div>Our world is changing faster than our education system, and the rise of mobile technology means that now more than ever, learning can take place anywhere at any time. PBS’s new series <a href="http://www.pbs.org/parents/digital-media/">Digital Media: New Learners of the 21st Century</a> explores how thought leaders, practitioners, youth, schools and after school programs are using digital media and tools to engage youth and deepen their involvement with their communities and each other. The series website has extended interviews with the digital media experts, as well as background on some of the featured youth programs.</div><div> </div><div>We’re very excited to have some our work with the Smithsonian highlighted--we're in very good company!</div><div> </div><div><a href="http://www.pbs.org/parents/digital-media/airdates.html">Check here</a> to find out when the series will air on your local PBS station.</div><div style="font-weight: bold;"> </div><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img src="https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/902885274664531497-9135001842684901079?l=newlearninginstitute.blogspot.com" alt="" width="1" height="1" /></div></div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-blog-topics field-type-taxonomy-term-reference field-label-above"><div class="field-label">Topics:&nbsp;</div><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog_topics/technology_integration/index.html" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Technology Integration</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/blog-topics/nliatwork" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">NLIatWork</a></div><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog_topics/leaders/index.html" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Leaders</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/blog_topics/communities_practice/index.html" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Communities of Practice</a></div><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog-topics/work" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">at Work</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/blog_topics/place_based_learning/index.html" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Place Based Learning</a></div><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog-topics/technology-education" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Technology Education</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/blog-topics/museums" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Museums</a></div><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog_topics/mobile_learning/index.html" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Mobile Learning</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/blog-topics/digital-learning" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Digital Learning</a></div></div></div>Fri, 11 Feb 2011 19:22:00 +0000Jennifer Dick135 at http://newlearninginstitute.orghttp://newlearninginstitute.org/blog/new-pbs-series-digital-media-new-learners-21st-century#commentsYouth as Curators: User-Created Content at Museumshttp://newlearninginstitute.org/blog/youth-curators-user-created-content-museums <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" property="content:encoded"><p><a href="http://lh3.ggpht.com/_6Zln-7k5oag/TS9DSaEeofI/AAAAAAAAAFc/tRLfOnPYHIc/Monterey%20MLIPD050.jpg" onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}"><img src="http://lh3.ggpht.com/_6Zln-7k5oag/TS9DSaEeofI/AAAAAAAAAFc/tRLfOnPYHIc/Monterey%20MLIPD050.jpg" alt="" style="display: block; margin: 0px auto 10px; text-align: center; cursor: hand; width: 600px; height: 450px;" class="feature-top" border="0" /></a><br /><br />The idea of shifting the participation of museum visitors from internal (i.e., mental, or “look but don’t touch”) interaction to external (physical, hands-on) interaction isn’t a new one. Natural history museums have been doing this for years with exhibits that allow visitors to physically engage with selected artifacts. I remember going to <a href="http://www.coyoteptmuseum.org/">Coyote Point Museum</a> in San Mateo, CA as a child in the 1980s and touching a piece of raccoon pelt and taking my friends up on a dare to smell the skunk exhibit. We learned about the different kinds of fault structures by using the manipulables that mimicked dip-slip, thrust, strike-slip, and reverse faults. Being able to use a sense other than sight at the museum is why I remember these activities some 20 years later.<br /><br />But here’s what is new: The recent increase in the portability and ubiquity of digital media creation tools has helped push teaching and learning practice beyond basic internal and external interaction to a focus on actively making meaning. Now many museums and other cultural institutions are providing opportunities for visitors to record their reactions to exhibits and share them with subsequent visitors through audio, video, images, and social media. Bringing participatory culture into museums can help engage youth for whom this sort of interaction is integral to how they process their experiences – not only making these spaces more welcoming to young people, but also providing a platform for documenting the importance of these places to the community.<br /><br /><span style="font-weight: bold;">In Practice</span><br />Our work with <a href="http://www.newlearninginstitute.org/digital-media-programs/museum-programs/chicago-field-museum.html">Chicago’s The Field Museum</a> and the <a href="http://newlearninginstitute.blogspot.com/2010/11/visible-thinking-at-national-postal.html">Smithsonian Institution’s National Postal Museum</a> shows how two major museums are responding to the meaning-making trend by creating structured programs in partnership with local schools and organizations, giving youth a chance to own the issues and artifacts at these two institutions. When youth are provided an active way to engage with content and a platform that honors their voice and media preferences, they become invested in not only the content, but also in the space and in thinking critically about the knowledge they consume.<br /><br />Making meaning – and content – doesn’t only happen on site, or even in the classroom. While many museums have a strong online presence, sometimes including ways for site visitors to respond to content, there are some web spaces that allow people to create their own online exhibits. <a href="http://rhizome.org/">Rhizome</a> at New York’s New Museum of Contemporary Art is an arts organization that explores “emerging artistic practices that engage technology” and actively finds ways for people to participate in projects. Rhizome encourages their base to use their online archive, <a href="http://rhizome.org/art/">ArtBase</a>, to create <a href="http://rhizome.org/art/member-curated/">member-curated exhibits</a>. This gives people a chance to document their own aesthetic insights and inquiries, shifting power from a few art professionals to any interested consumer of art.<br /><br /><span style="font-weight: bold;">What’s Next?</span><br />Those cultural institutions that have been employing visitor-created content for some time are now wrestling with questions of <a href="http://uncatalogedmuseum.blogspot.com/2010/04/how-long-should-participation-last.html">what to do with the resulting physical artifacts</a> and how to store them. While easier to store, digital artifacts also raise questions of file showcasing and hosting – how will the pictures/movies/micro-blogs/etc. be shared? How long will these digital files sit on the museum’s servers before they are cleared away for new files; or will they be kept in perpetuity? And while showing these digital artifacts on a website is great, professional curators will need to continue to find ways to integrate user-created content into the physical exhibits if they wish to make visitor contributions seem meaningful and worth the contributors’ time and effort. It will be interesting to see how cultural institutions tackle these issues and move this practice along.<br /><br />Do you have any experiences with user-created content in museums or other cultural institutions? Please share them in the comments!<br /><br /><span style="font-weight: bold;">Additional Reading on User-Created Museum Content</span></p><p> </p><ul><ul><li><a href="http://spotlight.macfound.org/featured-stories/entry/art-mobs-strolling-moma-student-curators/">Art Mobs: Strolling MoMA with Student Curators on Your iPod.</a> Mac Montandon. Spotlight on Digital Media and Learning: MacArthur Foundation.</li></ul></ul><p> </p><ul><ul><li><a href="http://museumtwo.blogspot.com/2007/10/layer-on-for-long-haul-sustaining.html">Layer on for the Long Haul: Sustaining Visitor Co-created Experiences.</a> Nina Simon. Museum 2.0.</li></ul></ul><p> </p><ul><ul><li><a href="http://www.technologyinthearts.org/?p=1632">Planning for Engagement: Tech Strategy &amp; the Visitor Experience.</a> Thomas Hughes. Technology in the Arts: Exploring the intersection of arts management and online technology.</li></ul></ul><p> </p><ul><li><a href="http://flipthemedia.com/index.php/2010/01/to-curate-or-create-that-is-the-question/">To Curate or Create, That Is the Question.</a> Kathy Gill. MCDM: Flip the Media: A blog about the digital media revolution: University of Washington.</li></ul><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img src="https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/902885274664531497-9214435682763174391?l=newlearninginstitute.blogspot.com" alt="" width="1" height="1" /></div></div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-blog-topics field-type-taxonomy-term-reference field-label-above"><div class="field-label">Topics:&nbsp;</div><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog_topics/technology_integration/index.html" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Technology Integration</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/blog-topics/social-networking" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Social Networking</a></div><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog_topics/place_based_learning/index.html" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Place Based Learning</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/blog-topics/web-20" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Web 2.0</a></div><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog-topics/project-based-learning" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Project Based Learning</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/blog-topics/community" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Community</a></div><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog-topics/digital-learning" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Digital Learning</a></div></div></div>Thu, 13 Jan 2011 18:25:00 +0000Jennifer Dick142 at http://newlearninginstitute.orghttp://newlearninginstitute.org/blog/youth-curators-user-created-content-museums#comments