In Farmville, Learning from Others , Transforming the Teaching and Learning World

Longwood University / Farmville

Do you know Farmville? not the game but the place.

Mano works closely with 25 school divisions in Southside Virginia, particularly in promoting research based instructional practices and expanding the interactive videoconferencing projects using H.323.

My friend, Dr. Manorama Talaiver and I atended a conference in the fall. I learned from it we both shared information from it. She created a project from the Wireless Summit and other information she has gathered to create new opportunities for Virginia participants , She shared what she learned and crafted outreach, courses and people to learn from for the participants.There is also a page that was created to link participants with funding strategies, and grant information. At the conference you could sign up for summer workshops and projects.

One of the presenters sharing ideas.on augmented reality

One of our guru is Dr. Chris Dede, who puts together the Wireless Conference. Here is the URL to his conference so you can at least get the resources.( He also shared his resources at the ISTE Conference)resources from that conference are here.

The Wireless EdTech website includes the speaker presentations, recorded sessions and photos from the conference. Well you don’t need to glue yourself to the website, but you can research , and download the white paper on wireless at your leisure.

Bringing the Ideas Home to Farmville … and Virginia

It was a recipe for success that Dr. Manorama Talaiver used to create outreach in a rural University, called Longwood. She excels at bringing the ideas to the learning community in Virginia. It is in Farmville , Va. It is a wonderful place to learn.

This was the 5th Annual STEM Summit, Entitled“ Formal and Informal STEM , Learning with Mobile Devices“ on Valentine’s Day. Frederick Bertley gave us a great keynote.

The keynote, Frederic Bertley, from the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia, was brilliant — talking about informal science learning. In particular, he had some great slides about minority STEM  role models in science who should be better known (instead of just movie stars and singers). He shared photos of people we should know who are minorities important in STEM.

We learn about the Franklin Science Institute and how it nurtures rural and community

Can you name ten minority STEM  people?
The Center for Innovation in Science Learning, initiated in 1995 as the learning research and development arm of The Franklin Institute, is led by Frederic Bertley, Ph.D. Dr. Bertley is responsible for the sustained development of the learning research portfolio in school partnerships, educational technology programs, gender and family learning, and youth leadership in science and technology.  link

Augmented Reality

from  wikipedia

Augmented reality (AR) is a live, direct or indirect, view of a physical, real-world environment whose elements are augmented by computer-generated sensory input such as sound, video, graphics or GPS data. It is related to a more general concept called mediated reality, in which a view of reality is modified (possibly even diminished rather than augmented) by a computer. As a result, the technology functions by enhancing one’s current perception of reality. By contrast, virtual reality replaces the real world with a simulated one.

Augmentation is conventionally in real-time and in semantic context with environmental elements, such as sports scores on TV during a match. With the help of advanced AR technology (e.g. adding computer vision and object recognition) the information about the surrounding real world of the user becomes interactive and digitally manipulable. Artificial information about the environment and its objects can be overlaid on the real world. The term augmented reality is believed to have been coined in 1990 by Thomas Caudell, working at Boeing.[1]

Research explores the application of computer-generated imagery in live-video streams as a way to enhance the perception of the real world. AR technology includes head-mounted displays and virtual retinal displays for visualization purposes, and construction of controlled environments containing sensors and actuators.

Matt Dunleavy, from Radford University, also had a good presentation on ‘Mobile augmented reality for teaching and learning’.


The story-based, participatory AR games developed by the ROAR team are played on Apple iPhones and Android-based smartphones and use GPS technology to correlate the students’ real world location to their virtual location in the game’s digital world.

As the students walk and run around their school grounds, a map on their handheld displays virtual objects and characters (fig. 1 and 2) who exist in an AR layer superimposed on real space. When students come within approximately 30 feet of these digital artifacts, the AR and GPS software trigger video, audio, and text files, which provide academic and problem solving challenges as well as narrative, navigation, and collaboration cues.
John Hendron  shared– iOS Apps for STEM on Mobile Devices  this was fast and furious so I do not have the URLS

One of many dynamic sites he shared.

G21 – 21st Century Skills

MIT – lifelong K group – always learning, he shared the original work of Papert but then told of us new developments
Scratch app created for iPad but taken down after one day
Apple doesn’t want to use iPad for developers

Apps: That he shared and demonstrated for us.

Roller coaster physics

Virtual Roller Coasters powered by mobile devices..

Tinker box
Sketchpad explorer
Clean energy

CSTA is piloting AP  computer science course and he shared how to be involved.


Shodor Foundation – Patricia Jacobs & Jennifer Houchins gave  a  presentation on math flyer.

What better to start with than Math Flyer?

Math Flyer addresses a long-standing gap in Math Education. Traditional education uses static, motionless graphs to indicate the relationships between variables. While this works for some concepts, a student with a function and a picture of a graph gains no intuitive sense of the elements of the function and the relationship of each to the shape of the graph. With Math Flyer, we transform the static world of a graphing calculator into a truly dynamic experience. A student can plot a graph and manipulate all of the variables and constants in that graph, allowing him or her to see the relationships firsthand. For example, if a student plots “mx+b” within Math Flyer, he or she gets a graph of a straight line, but also two sliders labeled “m” and “b”. When the student moves these sliders, the graph updates in real time, giving immediate feedback on the role of “m” (the slope of the line, how steep it is) and “b” (the base or y-intercept, that is, the value of y when x=0) in this function. By focusing on the graph and its equation, rather than on the mechanics of plotting a single line, the student more rapidly builds an intuition about the meaning of “m” and “b” in that equation.

Some of the most popular math teaching software on the web!

All Online Activities →

Shodor’s  mission: to improve math and science education through the effective use of modeling and simulation technologies — “computational science.”

Shodor, a national resource for computational science education, is located in Durham, N.C., and serves students and educators nationwide. Our online education tools such as Interactivate and the Computational Science Education Reference Desk (CSERD), a Pathway Portal of the National Science Digital Library (NSDL), help transform learning through computational thinking.

In addition to developing and deploying interactive models, simulations, and educational tools, Shodor serves students and educators directly through workshops and other hands-on experiences. Shodor offers innovative workshops helping faculty and teachers incorporate computational science into their own curricula or programs. This work is done primarily through the National Computational Science Institute (NCSI) in partnership with TeraGrid, NCSA, and other NSF-funded initiatives.

A mentor works with students in the Shodor Scholars Program

For students from middle school through undergraduate levels of education, Shodor offers workshops, apprenticeships, internships and off-site programs that explore new approaches to math and science education through computational science.

Time and time again, Shodor has been recognized as a national leader and a premier resource in the effective use of computers to improve both math and science education. At this conference, the  primary information shared was the Math  Flyer.

Stephanie Playton – Using cell phones with young students

Even the smallest child in K-12 can be served by mobile devices. This presenter used cell phones to enrich and empower children on a field trip. They had to learn to use the device, they did some texting and used the phone to take pictures of the animals they saw. I don’t have the video on this, but it was so exciting to see that we can change the digital divide by involving students at the lowest levels.

Dr. Kevin Kochersberger – Va Tech is a flyer. Look here He flew the replica of the Wright brothers plane, and shared with us the ideas of  aviation and engineering. He practiced the recreation of the Wright Brothers experience with a simulator , Click through his pictures and you will see it. He also shared these items.

SmartPhone Robotics: Concepts for the Wireless Generation
Using smartphones are much more friendly to program a simulation than using VEX robot!

Mission statement:

The Unmanned Systems Laboratories bring together a diverse collection of researchers to a common facility dedicated to autonomous and remotely operated systems development and integration. Areas of expertise include acoustics, vision and LIDAR systems, image and signal processing, robotics, air and ground vehicle design, ground control stations, communications and vehicle test

Dr. Mary Kasarda and Dr. Brenda Brand, Virginia Tech
Dr. Kasarda gave information on pre-engineering, the STEM workforce, and Virginia Tech’s online courses for teachers. Dr. Kasarda proposed that the Commonwealth require at least one pre-engineering course in the preK-12 curriculum.r. Kasarda and Dr. Brand have developed two online, in-service teachers training classes to better prepare teachers to teach engineering concepts in the classroom.

Dr. Brand discussed the difficulty in attracting underrepresented populations to the STEM fields in the preK-12 system. One successful program highlighted by Dr. Brand was a high school elective class built around and integrated with the FIRST Robotics program. Their presentation was entitled unpack STEM.

There are barriers to use for teachers in technology. One thing is that we
often are given 2.0 resources as if they are the answer to the uses of technology. People are playing around on the web with light weight applications when they could be technofluent with technology in new and meaningful ways.

Mano offered us, Smartphone Robotics, MathFlyer, Mobile Augmented Reality for Teaching and Learning, Logo Draw with Ipad and more than that..

I enjoyed meeting a new person, Stephanie Playton, who shared how she used cell phones with little learners, and how we could get the resources. Her presentation was awesome as well.

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