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Answerables

Who’s up for a Chat?

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Hopefully you’ve heard, but we forgive you if you haven’t, Answerables has moved into Open Beta! Close to 2 years in the making; we’re putting it out there for you to try out for free, and feedback to us on how to make it even better. So, if you missed the memo, head over to the Aswerables dashboard, sign up and download it,  and see what all the fuss is about! You can even do it right now if you like…this blog’s not going anywhere ;).

But if you ARE still reading, we’re going to be highlighting some of the awesomeness that’s been integrated into Answerables for your user experience pleasure in the next few blogs.

Today we’d like to introduce you to our voice and video chat, courtesy of a couple of cutting edge technologies: WebRTC by Google and OpenTok by TokBox.

WebRTC was developed by the good folks at Google, who then put it out ‘open source’ (which means free to use, which is always good). The RTC stands for ‘real time communication’. Basically, it enables web browsers to allow for real time communication between users.

We then took something called OpenTok by TokBox , mixed and stirred, and the next thing you know…after a few weeks of fancy footwork by our resident geniuses…voila! Voice and video chat that’s really been turning some heads with our first sets of users; it seems they haven’t seen anything quite like it. Perfect :)

Picture this. Your avatar wanders over to a set of backpacks on the floor (we call them Compacks). You click on one and it appears on your back. Click on the video chat button on the compack and you appear on a small screen- above your head to others, but on the compack as well so you can make sure your hair looks good ;). Click on the microphone button and you have voice. Cooking with gas!!

For educators this has got to get those cylinders firing: online face to face tutoring; after school ‘office hours’ from home; running a ‘live’ classroom portal; meetings with colleagues for PD sessions.

And for students…well, we know of at least ONE who wants to show Vince Carter’s Top 10 dunk videos to his friends, and provide live commentary to them as he does it!

Hey, sign up…maybe you’ll get an invite!

Answerables v1 Jan.31 testing delayed until Feb.5

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Apologies to all of you awesome Answerables testers out there “ the dog ate our homework!

We’ve been sweating it out in the STEMlab to make your first contact with Answerables out of this world….but we need a few more days for your test package to make it to Planet Earth. SO, instead of receiving your test package on January 31, we’ll be sending it out on February 5th.

Thanks for your patience, and if you know of any students in grades 5-10 who still might be interested in touring Answerables, giving us their feedback and entering our draw to win a Kobo Arc, please tell them to email us at hello@nexed.ca (or  click here to send us a shout-out) and let us know they want to be included in the virtual focus group.

Students in Grades 5-10 wanted for our virtual focus group

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Wanted:  Brave scouts ready to light out for the territory!

We are looking for students from Grades 5 to 10 who are interested in taking Answerables for a spin and giving us feedback about their experience.

Our goal is to get student opinions on version one of our Answerables virtual environment. Participating in the group is easy and should take about 30 minutes. We send participants a test package by email on February 5th, then participants:

  • Download  Answerables v.1 to their desktop or laptop computer (PC or Mac)
  • Customize their Ansible avatar
  • Tour through Answerables v.1
  • Give us their opinion about their experience in an online questionnaire  by February 20

EVERYONE who completes a questionnaire will be entered into a draw to WIN a brand spanking new Kobo Arc! AND of course, they’ll also earn bragging rights by being some of the first users to experience the awesomesauce we’ve been cooking up over here!

If you’re interested in taking part send us an email to hello@nexed.ca or click here to send us a shout-out.

Be sure to give us your email, your name, and if you’re an educator or parent signing up on behalf of a kid tester, please let us know that too!

Chips—check. Dip—check. Kids ready to change the face of their own learning—check!! Let’s get this party started!

Sheridan College students aboard the Nexed covered wagon

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As promised, we want to keep you up to date not only with the latest and greatest in juicy edtech tidbits for 21st century educators and parents, but also on the progress of Answerables, as it emerges from its embryonic state.

Many of you may have noticed the Sheridan College logo at bottom of the Sneak Peek page about Answerables at nexed.com. We have been working closely with an awesome group of post-graduate students since September. This project was initially funded by FedDev and has focused mainly on the creation of the first integrated gaming ‘Zone.’

We’ve met so many talented folks at Sheridan and they’ve jumped fully on to the Nexed covered wagon lighting out for territories unknown. A big shout-out and high-five to these fine people: Patrick McKenna (project lead), Will Barry, Jeston Silveira, Harsha Chandriani, Selm Pitcher, Young kyu Han, Huy Tran, and Varian Singh.

A week ago, we had a major ‘meeting of the minds’ bringing in both our data base architect and ‘dashboard’ guru for a marathon brainstorming session about connecting all the pieces of this puzzle together to prepare for beta launch in January.

Terrific ideas were brought to the table, things began to pivot, and before we knew it, not only had a couple major changes for the better been suggested, but there was also talk of Answerables going MOBILE. Exciting times indeed!

Stay tuned—MUCH more on this to come!!

Auditions for the Answerables Arcadium

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The holidays are fast approaching. Good times to cuddle up by a roaring fireplace and play a board game“ Nexed-style!

Today we’d like to highlight 4 games and interactivities that we are currently auditioning for the up and coming Answerables Arcadium- our 21st century version of the old-school arcades that so many of us remember from days of misspent youth! We’ve revved up the academia a little since the days of PacMan and Centipede, but the cool factor hasn’t changed a bit!

edheads1Edheads

This first one isn’t for the faint of heart, or the weak of stomach! It comes from a great site called www.edheads.org. They create educational science and math games that promote critical thinking skills. We’re looking at the “Virtual Deep Brain Stimulation Surgery” for our budding brain surgeons to experience first. Better for them to practice a little in the safe confines of a virtual world before being unleashed on the public at large;)! (more…)

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