Category Archives: techonology

Tatsuo Horiuchi | the 73-year old Excel spreadsheet artist


tatsuo horiuchi (1)“Cherry Blossoms of Historical Castle site” (2006) | click to enlarge.

“I never used Excel at work but I saw other people making pretty graphs and thought, ‘I could probably draw with that,’” says 73-year old Tatsuo Horiuchi. About 13 years ago, shortly before retiring, Horiuchi decide he needed a new challenge in his life. So he bought a computer and began experimenting with Excel. “Graphics software is expensive but Excel comes pre-installed in most computers,” explained Horiuchi. “And it has more functions and is easier to use than [Microsoft] Paint.”*

Horiuchi also tried working with Microsoft Word but it didn’t offer the flexibility that Excel did. “Take that, Wall St. analysts,” he later added. (not really)

*all quotes have been translated by the author.

[update] we have begun selling limited edition prints by Tatsuo Horiuchi in our shop.

tatsuo horiuchi (2)“Kegon Falls” (2007)

Horiuchi first gained attention when, in 2006, he entered an Excel Autoshape Art Contest. His work, which was far-superior than the other entries, blew the judges away. Horiuchi took first place and went on to create work that has been acquired by his local Gunma Museum of Art.

Don’t believe these were made in Excel? You can even download the excel file and play around with it yourself:

horiuchi tatsuo ph2_px420

horiuchi tatsuo ph1_px420

tenjishituT6tenjishituT3

tenjishituT7tenjishituT1

Source: http://www.spoon-tamago.com/2013/05/28/tatsuo-horiuchi-excel-spreadsheet-artist/

These are the first finalists for the new World Video Game Hall of Fame


Ladies and gentlemen, your finalists.

For all of the game industry’s myriad “game of the year” lists and “official” awards from various bodies, as well as ephemeral “best ever” lists from various media outlets, there have been precious few organized attempts to establish a permanent, concrete gaming “canon,” comprised of titles that truly represent the medium. That’s set to change soon, as the Strong National Museum of Play (which also houses the International Center for the History of Electronic Games) has announced the first 15 finalists for induction into its new World Video Game Hall of Fame.

Those nominees are:

  • Angry Birds
  • DOOM
  • FIFA
  • The Legend of Zelda
  • Minecraft
  • The Oregon Trail
  • Pac-Man
  • Pokémon
  • Pong
  • The Sims
  • Sonic the Hedgehog
  • Space Invaders
  • Super Mario Bros.
  • Tetris
  • World of Warcraft

The finalists were chosen from among thousands of public nominations by an internal advisory committee at the museum. That committee looked for games that met four criteria: “icon-status” (i.e., wide recognition), longevity (“more than a passing fad”), geographical reach, and overall influence (on games, entertainment, pop culture, etc.). A game with great influence could get into the Hall of Fame even if it didn’t meet the other three criteria, the Strong said.

Looking over the first list of nominees, it’s hard to find ones that don’t deserve Hall of Fame recognition based on those criteria. FIFA may seem an odd inclusion to an American audience, but the game’s huge success in the rest of the world meets the “geographical reach” requirement and then some. And while Minecraft and Angry Birds are arguably new enough that they haven’t been proven to stand the test of time, but their overwhelming influence is undeniable even at this point. “While [Angry Birds] is a simple game with a relatively short existence, it’s had major global impact on video game play and, in a sense, turned hundreds of millions of people into ‘gamers’ that might never have considered themselves that before,” Strong spokesperson Shane Rhinewald told Ars.

Not all 15 games will necessarily make it into the new Hall of Fame this year. A committee of about two dozen international “journalists, scholars, and other individuals familiar with the history of video games and their role in society” will vote on the final inductees, the Strong said in a statement. Committee members will be able to vote on their top five choice for final placement, though Rhinewald said he suspects “five to seven” will be chosen by the time the selections are announced June 4. Games that don’t make the cut will be eligible for renomination next year, and a minimum of 12 games will be nominated each year.

For now, though, the public can place their own votes on which game is most deserving in an online poll. The Sims is currently winning that vote by a large margin, but I’m confident Super Mario Bros. fans will correct that injustice shortly.

Source: http://arstechnica.com/gaming/2015/04/29/these-are-the-first-finalists-for-the-new-world-video-game-hall-of-fame/

The Evolution of Classroom Technology


Classrooms have come a long way. There’s been an exponential growth in educational technology advancement over the past few years. From overhead projectors to iPads, it’s important to understand not only what’s coming next but also where it all started.

We’ve certainly come a long way but some things seem hauntingly similar to many years ago. For example, Thomas Edison said in 1925 that “books will soon be obsolete in schools. Scholars will soon be instructed through the eye.” I’m pretty sure this is exactly what people are saying these days about the iPad.

Also in 1925, there were “schools of the air” that delivered lessons to millions of students simultaneously. Scroll down to find out how that worked (hint: it wasn’t by using the Internet!)

Here’s a brief look at the evolution of classroom technology. Do you have a piece of technology that you think should be included? Tweet @edudemic or let me know in the comments and I’ll be sure to add it to the timeline! Updated to include items suggested in the comments! Videotapes, Pens, Copiers, and more!

c. 1650 – The Horn-Book

hornbook

Wooden paddles with printed lessons were popular in the colonial era. Perhaps this is where fraternities got the idea? On the paper there was usually the alphabet and a religious verse which children would copy to help them learn how to write.

c. 1850 – 1870 – Ferule

ferule

This is a pointer and also a corporal punishment device. Seems like both this and the Horn-Book had dual purposes in terms of ‘educating’ the youths of that era.

1870 – Magic Lantern

magic-lantern

The precursor to a slide projector, the ‘magic lantern’ projected images printed on glass plates and showed them in darkened rooms to students. By the end of World War I, Chicago’s public school system had roughly 8,000 lantern slides.

c. 1890 – School Slate

school-slate

Used throughout the 19th century in nearly all classrooms, a Boston school superintendent in 1870 described the slate as being “if the result of the work should, at any time, be found infelicitous, a sponge will readily banish from the slate all disheartening recollections, and leave it free for new attempts.’

c. 1890 – Chalkboard

chalkboard

Still going strong to this day, the chalkboard is one of the biggest inventions in terms of educational technology.

c. 1900 – Pencil

pencil

Just like the chalkboard, the pencil is also found in basically all classrooms in the U.S. In the late 19th century, mass-produced paper and pencils became more readily available and pencils eventually replaced the school slate.

c. 1905 – Stereoscope

steroscope

At the turn of the century, the Keystone View Company began to market stereoscopes which are basically three-dimensional viewing tools that were popular in homes as a source of entertainment. Keystone View Company marketed these stereoscopes to schools and created hundreds of images that were meant to be used to illustrate points made during lectures.

c. 1925 – Film Projector

filmstrip

Similar to the motion-picture projector, Thomas Edison predicted that, thanks to the invention of projected images, “books will soon be obsolete in schools. Scholars will soon be instructed through the eye.”

c. 1925 – Radio

radio

New York City’s Board of Education was actually the first organization to send lessons to schools through a radio station. Over the next couple of decades, “schools of the air” began broadcasting programs to millions of American students.

c. 1930 – Overhead Projector

overhead-project

Initially used by the U.S. military for training purposes in World War II, overhead projectors quickly spread to schools and other organizations around the country.

c. 1940 – Ballpoint Pen

ballpoint-pen

While it was originally invented in 1888, it was not until 1940 that the ballpoint pen started to gain worldwide recognition as being a useful tool in the classroom and life in general. The first ballpoint pens went on sale at Gimbels department store in New York City on 29 October 1945 for US$9.75 each. This pen was widely known as the rocket in the U.S. into the late 1950s.

c. 1940 – Mimeograph

mimeograph

Surviving into the Xerox age, the mimeograph made copies by being hand-cranked. Makes you appreciate your current copier at least a little bit now, huh?

c. 1950 – Headphones

language-lab-headset

Thanks to theories that students could learn lessons through repeated drills and repetition (and repeated repetition) schools began to install listening stations that used headphones and audio tapes. Most were used in what were dubbed ‘language labs’ and this practice is still in use today, except now computers are used instead of audio tapes.

c. 1950 – Slide Rule

Slide rule and case

William Oughtred and others developed the slide rule in the 17th century based on the emerging work on logarithms by John Napier. Before the advent of the pocket calculator, it was the most commonly used calculation tool in science and engineering. The use of slide rules continued to grow through the 1950s and 1960s even as digital computing devices were being gradually introduced; but around 1974 the electronic scientific calculator made it largely obsolete and most suppliers left the business.

1951 – Videotapes

vhs-tapes

What would school be without videotapes? (Thanks to Jaume in the comments for reminding me about this one!) The electronics division of entertainer Bing Crosby’s production company, Bing Crosby Enterprises (BCE), gave the world’s first demonstration of a videotape recording in Los Angeles on November 11, 1951. Developed by John T. Mullin and Wayne R. Johnson since 1950, the device gave what were described as “blurred and indistinct” images, using a modified Ampex 200 tape recorder and standard quarter-inch (0.6 cm) audio tape moving at 360 inches (9.1 m) per second. A year later, an improved version, using one-inch (2.6 cm) magnetic tape, was shown to the press, who reportedly expressed amazement at the quality of the images, although they had a “persistent grainy quality that looked like a worn motion picture”.

c. 1957 – Reading Accelerator

reading-accelerator

With an adjustable metal bar that helped students tamp down a page, the reading accelerator was a simple device designed to help students read more efficiently. Personally, this looks like a torture device and is probably the least portable thing to bring along with a book. Is turning the page of a book or holding a book really that difficult?

c. 1957 – Skinner Teaching Machine

skinner-teaching-machine

B. F. Skinner, a behavioral scientist, developed a series of devices that allowed a student to proceed at his or her own pace through a regimented program of instruction.

c. 1958 – Educational Television

education-television

By the early sixties, there were more than 50 channels of TV which included educational programming that aired across the country.

1959 – Photocopier

photo-copier

Xerographic office photocopying was introduced by Xerox in 1959, and it gradually replaced copies made by Verifax, Photostat, carbon paper, mimeograph machines, and other duplicating machines. The prevalence of its use is one of the factors that prevented the development of the paperless office heralded early in the digital revolution[citation needed].Photocopying is widely used in business, education, and government. There have been many predictions that photocopiers will eventually become obsolete as information workers continue to increase their digital document creation and distribution, and rely less on distributing actual pieces of paper.

c. 1960 – Liquid Paper

liquid-paper

A secretary made this white liquid in her kitchen and sold the company to Gillette for about $50 million. The rest is (redacted) history!

1965 – Filmstrip Viewer

filmstrip-viewer

A precursor to the iPad perhaps, this filmstrip viewer is a simple way to allow individual students watch filmstrips at their own pace.

c. 1970 – The Hand-Held Calculator

calculator

The predecessor of the much-loved and much-used TI-83, this calculator paved the way for the calculators used today. There were initial concerns however as teachers were slow to adopt them for fear they would undermine the learning of basic skills.

1972 – Scantron

scantron

The Scantron Corporation removed the need for grading multiple-choice exams. The Scantron machines were free to use but the company made money by charging for their proprietary grading forms. Sneaky stuff.

1980 – Plato Computer

plato-computer

Public schools in the U.S. averaged about one computer for every 92 students in 1984. The Plato was one of the most-used early computers to gain a foothold in the education market. Currently, there is about one computer for every 4 students.

1985 – CD-ROM Drive

cd-rom-drive

A single CD could store an entire encyclopedia plus video and audio. The CD-ROM and eventually the CD-RW paved the way for flash drives and easy personal storage.

1985 – Hand-Held Graphing Calculator

graphing-calculator

The successor to the hand-held calculator (see above), the graphing calculator made far more advanced math much easier as it let you plot out points, do long equations, and play ‘Snake’ as a game when you got bored in class.

c. 1999 – Interactive Whiteboard

whiteboard

The chalkboard got a facelift with the whiteboard. That got turned into a more interactive system that uses a touch-sensitive white screen, a projector, and a computer. Still getting slowly rolled out to classrooms right now, betcha didn’t know they were first around in 1999! (I didn’t know that, at least)

2005 – iClicker

clickers

There are many similar tools available now, but iClicker was one of the first to allow teachers to be able to quickly poll students and get results in real time.

2006 – XO Laptop

xo-laptop

The ‘One Laptop Per Child’ computer was built so it was durable and cheap enough to sell or donate to developing countries. It’s an incredible machine that works well in sunlight, is waterproof, and much more. Learn more.

2010 – Apple iPad

ipad

Just like the original school slate, could the iPad bring Thomas Edison’s statement to life? Could the iPad make it so “scholars will soon be instructed through the eye.” Only time will tell.

Source:  http://www.edudemic.com/classroom-technology/?utm_content=bufferd6b5d&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

Google Play Store vs the Apple App Store: by the numbers (2015)


When it comes to mobile ecosystems, there are two giants locked in a battle, not only for revenue, but also for the hearts and minds of developers and consumers alike. They are of course Google and Apple. Google’s mobile operating system is Android along with the Google Play Store, while Apple’s offering is iOS along with the Apple App Store (iTunes).

Both Google Play and iTunes offer apps, music, books, films, and TV series. But which is better? Here is a look at the two stores to see how they compare.

So with both stores offering at least 1 million apps and both notching-up downloads measured in the billions, what other deciding factors are there that distinguish one store from the other.

Continue reading Google Play Store vs the Apple App Store: by the numbers (2015)

Tablets in schools: coding, creativity and the importance of teachers


From September, coding will be part of the primary and secondary education curriculum in the UK, as part of wider changes designed to boost computer literacy alongside reading, writing and maths skills for British children.

Some independent schools are already providing a glimpse at the potential. Which is why I recently found myself in Cambridge, watching a classroom of Year 5 girls – 9-10 year-olds – practising their programming skills on iPad apps like Hopscotch, Move the Turtle and Kodable. Continue reading Tablets in schools: coding, creativity and the importance of teachers

In 1965 the co-founder of Intel, Gordon Moore, claimed that the number of transistors in a dense integrated circuit doubles approximately every two years. Is it still valid or have we reached the limits?


Read more at: http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-32335003

Source: https://www.facebook.com/DigitalAgenda?fref=nf

100’s of Android App Recommendations for Teaching and Learning


androidguy

We’ve combed and curated the Web to find collections of the best apps for students and for teaching and learning, specifically for Android-based tablets and smartphones. Following are hundreds of recommendations from respected sources!

The 50 Best Education Apps For Android from TeachThought:
http://www.teachthought.com/technology/the-best-education-apps-for-android/

Best Android Apps for Kids from CommonSenseMedia
https://www.commonsensemedia.org/lists/best-android-apps-for-kids

11 best Android learning apps from Android Authority
http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/7-best-educational-apps-android/ Continue reading 100’s of Android App Recommendations for Teaching and Learning

Watch Out For These Trends in Mobile Learning: 2015 And Beyond


  • Global mobile data traffic grew 69 percent in 2014 and was nearly 30 times the size of the entire global Internet in 2000
  • Mobile video traffic exceeded 50 percent of total mobile data traffic for the first time in 2012
  • Mobile network (cellular) connection speeds grew 20 percent in 2014
  • In 2014, on an average, a smart device generated 22 times more traffic than a non-smart device.

These are just some excerpts from Cisco’s Visual Networking Index: Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast Update for 2014 to 2019, but they clearly prove a point. That, the usage of mobiles is growing faster than ever before, backed by the rolling out of quicker internet speeds and smarter phones at affordable prices.

  • The research has also made important forecasts for the next 5 years, such as:
  • The number of mobile-connected devices exceeded the world’s population in 2014.
  • 4G traffic will be more than half of the total mobile traffic by 2017.
  • Because of increased usage on smartphones, smartphones will reach three-quarters of mobile data traffic by 2019.

Now against the backdrop of such information, it is interesting to explore what role mobiles are playing in shaping up the workplace learning scenario. These trends with mobile learning are evidence to the fact that we are on the brink of a new era of learning – through the mobile device. Continue reading Watch Out For These Trends in Mobile Learning: 2015 And Beyond

Kindergarteners Who Share iPads May Perform Better: Study


Students perform better if they share an iPad with another student as opposed to having one all to themselves, according to a new study.

Though schools nationwide have ramped up their efforts to introduce technology in the classroom, there’s just a small body of evidence on the benefits for students. Now a new study suggests that iPads do have a role in academic performance, but the effect may be greater when students collaborate. Continue reading Kindergarteners Who Share iPads May Perform Better: Study

How to Use Twitter for Teaching and Learning


Are you an educator who is thinking about taking the plunge into using Twitter in your classroom? Many of us think of Twitter as a place to share pictures of our latest meal or as the place where industry gurus post their greatest observations. It’s common to wonder: how can we use Twitter in a meaningful way—especially in a classroom?

Image via Flickr by Tagxedo

Why Use Twitter in Education?

Continue reading How to Use Twitter for Teaching and Learning

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