Friday, November 17, 2006

ITM 3: Living in 3D

ITM #3 is finally here! In this episode we share tips and tools related to visual design. So put on your cool 3D glasses and let's go for a ride.


> Quicktime (52 MB)

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Show Notes:

NASA's team at the Lewis Center for Educational Research runs the Goldstone Apple Valley Radio Telescope (GAVRT) in a desert region outside Los Angeles, CA. They conduct a full educational program where students team with scientists to conduct cutting edge research leading to discovery. This is a great learning opportunity for kids to control and operate a deep space radio telescope. GAVRT provides training for teachers and detailed lessons plans, such as Mapping a Radio Source. And you can even see the live video feed of the GAVRT operation control center.

Since we're talking about space, you might want to check out NASA's education site, the NASA Kids Club,, and the xPrize Foundation.

The EVS-Islands website is produced by "Mr. Minton" - a teacher from San Diego, CA. With the help of his students, he is creating and sharing vector-based images of shorelines from around the world. Basically, he's combing basic shoreline maritime maps with real satelittle images and turning them into stunning, colorful maps that can be used by the rest of us. Much of the work is done with 20-30 students afterschool. His map collection is impressive, and you can download and use all his maps for FREE. He even gives us detailed map making techniques, so we can can join in the fun.

Sharing videos on the Internet is extremely popular with kids. If nothing else, you need to check out YouTube, MySpace, and Google Video, just so you know what kids are up to these days. While much of the videos are produced for fun, a growing number of teachers are using video sharing websites in the classroom. These websites make it extemely easy to post videos, and, in some cases, you can even control who sees them. How are you taping into this craze? Post your thoughts in our comments section.

And don't forget about sites like the Internet Archive, which houses thousands of PUBLIC DOMAIN videos that students can download and re-edit. Some of my favorites are Thomas Edison's news reel on the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, the 1952 classic"Duck and Cover" , and a 1963 production on how to use film in the classroom.

SketchUp is FREE software that empowers students to be 3D designers. SketchUp is a great tool for easily teaching kids to construct 3D models of buildings, trees, cars, and anything else they can imagine. You can use it as a stand-alone tool or in conjunction with Google Earth and the 3D Warehouse. On the main SketchUp website you can find a gallery of student examples, case studies, tutorials on how to use the tool, an educators forum, and even a book on how to use it in the classroom.

As one of the original inventors of the Internet, Vint Cerf is widely recognized as a leading thinker on how 21st century technologies are transforming our daily lives. Learn more about Vint on Wikipedia. In this segment, Vint talks share his thoughts on how technology is changing how we design things.

Learn more about the convergence of design and technology at the Designing Interactions , a book, DVD, and website from Bill Moggridge, one of the founders of IDEO. Check out the other feature articles on design on the IDEO website.

ITM 3 Homework: See if your kids can help you find out what the image is and where it is located. It's tougher than it looks. If you don't have any luck finding the answer, let me know, and I may release a few hints in the comments section. : )

Thanks to the students from Mr. Hernandez' class at Price Elementary School in Anaheim, CA, for helping us explain what the Infinite Thinking Machine is!