Technology Unconference September

We held the first technology unconference at Illinois Central College on September 24, 2013. We had approximately 30 in attendance. Given the impact of technology on teaching and learning and the rapid pace of change, I thought it might be appropriate to share a few notes about this event. Here is a brief video overview of the event.

As mentioned above, the theme for our unconference was interactions. We focused on human and technology interactions and human to human interactions.

I introduced the event and welcomed everyone. For those who are interested I provide a copy of my slides (several asked about the quote from 46 years ago).

Anton Peck (One Fire Media) demonstrated his Google Glass and we had the opportunity to examine them and try them out. For those who are interested, there are 4 of these in the Peoria area. He mentioned that one does not develop applications directly for the device. Instead, the application sits on a server and the information is pushed back and forth. You get the information without it getting in your way. For example, you see that someone sent you a message and you can choose to review it on your tablet or phone or continue the current conversation. It is not meant to replace a computer, but augment it. We briefly discussed the implications of such devices on teaching and learning and in other industries. The biggest advantage of the device is that you are immediately notified of something. Anton had to travel to New York for a sitting with a Google Glass Fitter. The tensile material was warped and stretched until it was a perfect fit for him. This device appears best suited for individuals with good vision or those wearing contact lenses. It is a bit clumsy when wearing over glasses. The display appear to float a few feet in front of you. The device is also locked to a single Google account.

Amy Lambert (One Fire Media) discussed the StartUp Peoria initiative. The emphasis is on building an ecosystem to foster the development of start ups in this area. This should be a great opportunity for many interested in applications of technology to solve various problems. She discussed the most recent event/ training on crowd funding. The next will focus on intellectual capital and property. StartUp Weekend will happen in November. You will have 1 minute to initially make a pitch to the audience. After hearing roughly 80 ideas, groups will form and focus on turning some into reality. This will be an intense weekend. On Sunday night, each group will have 15 minutes to discuss with judges. It is hoped that some will also receive venture capital. There should be lots of opportunities for learning (no talk, all action).

I gave an overview of the Leap Motion controller and also discussed the Adobe Projects Mighty and Napoleon.

Our next event is scheduled for October 22. Hope you can participate. Contact me if you would like more details.

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