Innovative Professor & Closing the Gap Conferences

26 10 2008

I took the summer off from blogging, and have been a bit slow to get started. 

I recently gave the Keynote speech and a breakout session at the “Innovative Professor” conference in Teneessee.  Very cool conference with a lot of Web 2.0 technologies and energy.  From there, I went to the “Closing the Gap” conferenence in Minneapolis and presented with Steve Kann, VP of Engineering at Wimba.  Never been to either before, but like a lot of conferences, it was great for the people you meet and the sharing of resources.  Here are my top take aways:

1.   Utter Command – Voice Commands for Dragon for better Windows interface use. UC commands work across all programs. No matter what programs you use, you’ll be able to do everything by speech that you can using the keyboard and mouse, usually faster.” http://www.redstartsystems.com/uctasktours.html#contents

 

2.  Scale Liberated Learning –  Chattanooga State is interested in using the ViaScribe Wimba bridge web in their classes – http://www.liberatedlearning.com

 

3.  TobiiATI – has ran technology programs for people with ALS http://www.tobii.com  

 

4.     Centre for Learning & Performance Technologies (Learning 2.0) – http://www.c4lpt.co.uk

 

5.      Web 2.0 Directory – http://www.go2web20.net

 

6.      Assistive Technology Social Network – http://assistivetech.ning.com

 

7.      Sign Smith – Takes text and makes sign language with computer avatar (And my mind leaps to taking my speech output-into-text, then into Sign Smith!) http://www.vcom3d.com/index.php?id=signsmith_vault

 

8.      Open Source Assistive Technology – http://www.oatsoft.org

On the flip side, after seeing a half day of Second Life for Education, I am not sold.  Seems like a very engaging environment, but there is so much going on and such a steep learning curve, I can’t see it scaling across a lot of users.  Plus, the computer and network minimum requirements seem to be very high, as not more than three of us could get in at a time.

 

 

 





Eastern Canadian City – Halifax

1 06 2008

Just home from Halifax, which was great.  Was there on the Liberated Learning project, which uses speech recognition technology to imporve the access to information.  It was my first time to Halifax, and it’s an energic little town with a ton of live music and energy (most likely fueled by the numerous universities in the area).

Also had a chance to see a lot of the local sites, including the Citadel, the Alexander Keith’s Brewery (those who like it, like it a lot), walk the waterfront, and have a few pints in a few bars.  Best day was probably the Friday, as I went with Phil from Dalhousie out to the Bay of Fundy, and then that night saw The Sadies play forever.  They rocked the place hard with nearly 3 hours of surf guitar bluegrass foot stomping madness!  Absolutely loved it – exciting technology evolution and a cool city to do it in. 

Cue the numerous tourist photos (group shot is the Liberated Learning project partners from Saint Mary’s University, IBM, Canadian Hard of Hearing Assosication, Learning Disability Association of Canada, and of course, Neil Squire Society).