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Technology

3Doodlin’ and Google Glassin’

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google glass snakeWell, we were going to sing the praises of Google Glass. Which, in case you haven’t heard, is  Google’s new pair of glasses where the lens is equipped with a voice activated heads up display and the frame houses a camera and speaker.  It seems like they’re really looking to change the game—and for folks to buy in (at $1500 a pop) for a chance to be a ‘Glass Explorer’. It is well worth a looksee AND they’ll fit nicely in a stocking—hint, hint Santa ;)

3Doodler

But move on out of the spotlight for just a sec Google—ever heard of 3Doodler? Over here at NXHQ, we think you are going to be hearing about them soon in a BIG way! They’re currently getting all Kickstartered-up and ready to put out a pen that lets you draw in 3D! It’s all about liquid plastic and internal cooling fans, and the result is something pretty out of this world. And if they can price it right—that MAY be a stocking stuffer we can afford!

 

 

Showing some February love for Digital Learning Day

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We’re almost done with the doldrums of the Januaries and it looks like the first few weeks of the Februaries are gonna give the last couple weeks of 12/12 a run for their money in terms of festiveness and frivolity! We start off with Groundhog Day on the 2nd (over here at NXHQ we think that Wiarton Willie is about as cool as a rodent can get), then a little bit o’ lag until Valentines’ on the 14th (who doesn’t need another heart shaped box?), and you barely have time to recover from your choc-over before the 18th hits with Family Day (EVERY day is FAMILY day).

But dread no longer that Groundhog to Valentines’ lag—make way for DIGITAL LEARNING DAY!  On February 6th those of us championing the effective use of technology by our students and children in our schools and homes are taking it to the streets—well, to the classrooms and living room coffee tables anyway; the streets are a little chilly right now ;). Educators and parents, if you’re not already involved, go have a looksee. It’s about remembering we’re not using technology for technology’s sake. We’re advocating its proper integration into our kids’ lives because being able to navigate it will be a GIGANTIC part of their future AND because when it’s used right, by the right folks (and we know that we have them front and center), it can truly engage them, and allow them to collaborate, discover and LEARN.

Steve Jobs displaying the Apple iPad Image: Matt Buchanan

Steve Jobs displaying the Apple iPad Image: Matt Buchanan

Have a chew on this—it always blows our minds when we think about it—the first iPad was released April 3rd 2010!!  A little less than 3 years ago. WhaWhaWhat? What’s going to be out there when our kids head into the great wide open in another 5 or 10? We don’t know—but we know they have to be ready for it. Let’s kick it off on the 6th!

All in favour?

Technology tools to teach social skills to kids on the Autism Spectrum

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We know that the good folks at Model Me Kids www.modelmekids.com have been doing some great work for a while now, developing high quality, engaging videos that teach social skills to children on the Autism spectrum.

But what we’re REALLY liking is their most recent piece of software that has come with a significant pivot- something we’re ALSO big fans of over here at NXHQ. It takes advantage of a tool that is quite literally staring us in the face every day- the much maligned webcam. With Model Me Interactive a student can first watch a video modeling, for example, a simple conversation between two peers, then use the webcam on their computer to observe and record themselves ‘practicing’ with their virtual buddy. When they’re ready they can press play and watch how it all comes together on the big (well depending on the size of your monitor) screen!

So as well as providing a great service and tool for kids with ASD, it goes to show that sometimes the best ideas don’t come from developing completely new technologies, but from recognizing more innovative ways of using what we already have. Hmmmm, sounds familiar—;)

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!!

Kickin’ it New-School: Answerables

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T.S. Eliot wrote “The end is where we start from.” And it’s with thoughts of new beginnings and endings of long journeys that we welcome you to Nexed.

Created by two fathers, educators and lifelong square pegs wiggling around in round holes, who saw such a great need for an evolution in how we are currently using educational technology, that we decided to light out for a new frontier, leaving behind the comforts of web 2.0, in search for something more for OUR and YOUR children.

What we began to discover along the way is something that as educators we have known all along, but that perhaps we could do well to remind ourselves. (more…)

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