Thursday, September 13, 2012

Fujitsu is building a robot that can beat comprehensive university entrance exams

Todai Robot logo
After IBM's Watson computer sucessfully beat human competitors at "Jeoparday", Japanese researchers from Fujitsu are now working on a robot that can pass the comprensive entrance exam of Tokyo University (Todai). The full test involves language, science (physics, chemistry, biology, and geology), history, geography, English (plus some German, French, and Korean), civics (ethics, politics, and economics), and of mathematics. As a first step, the Fujitsu team focuses on solving the mathematical part of the test. This requires the Todai robot to translate natural language problem sets into mathematical formula (See picture below). The team hopes to succeed by 2016 and then extend to passing the full exam by 2024.

Todai robot's procedure to solve math problems

Microsoft is working on a holodeck for your living room

Microsoft Holodeck Room
[Image: Microsoft/USPTO]
Microsoft filed an US patent in early 2011 for an 'immersive display experience'. It consists of a standard video game system with a connected 'environmental display' capable of projecting a panoramic image that 'appears to surround the user.' Star Trek holodeck, finally!


A geographical map of physics from 1939

This map from 1939 depicts physics as a geographical map with different areas (e.g. astronomy, electricity, heat, magnetism, etc.) and scientists as towns (e.g. Galileo, Newton, Leibniz, etc.).

Map of Physics [Click to enlarge]

Friday, September 7, 2012

Interactive periodic table of elements with QR codes

Yinging Lu from Walls 360 developed an interactive periodic table of the elements by adding QR codes (linking to Wikipedia) to each element. Students can use their smartphones to quickly access more information about each element.

The periodic table of elements can be downloaded for free or ordered as a poster for pay:

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Envisioning Educational Technology of the Future

Educational Technology of the Future [Click to Enlarge]

Michell Zappa and colleagues at created a mindmap to visualize how educational technology might develop over the next 30+ years (See above).
In the visual there are three distinct domains/learning spaces: Classroom, Studio, and Virtual.
Within these domains are 6 sub-domains that represent both areas of growth and characteristics of how learning might change when fused with emerging technologies.
1. Digitized Classrooms: Rather than considering IT a standalone tool or skill, digitization tends to disperse throughout every facet of the classroom.
Examples: tablets, electronic screens, interactive whiteboards, data projectors, 
2. Tangible Computing: Embedding computation to the physical via intelligent objects, the internet of things, and connectivity with a profound impact on learning mechanisms.
Examples: reactive materials, reactive furniture, 3D printers, digitally intermediated field trips
3. Gamification: Billed as an evolution in grading mechanisms, gamification brings instant feedback to acquired knowledge through achievements and points systems.
Examples: student developed apps, educational games, educational programming tools, achievement badges, self-paced learning
4. Virtual/Physical Studios: Bridging the online–offline gap, these future technologies offer a potential future where embodiment is secondary to information access.
Examples: eyewear/HUDs, retinal screens, holography, neuroinfomatics, immersive virtual reality
5. Disintermediation: Undoing the traditional teacher-student model, these technologies offer a scenario where AI handles personalization while teachers focus on teaching
Examples: telepresence, algo-generated lessons, mobile learning platforms, task-assignment algorithms, S2S teaching platforms, assessment algorithms, student-designed learning mechanics
6. Opening of Information: Dissemination of information outside the physical silos of schools and classrooms, offering feedback and assessment to students anywhere.
[The text above is a reprint from:]