Before the school year gets too busy, I thought I'd give HASTAC folks an update about what I've been doing/will be doing:
The slideshow below is an example of the technology available to me at Forest Hills High School and Wolfe School, in the Union County Public Schools, N.C. Added to the mix are a few pictures from the CHI 2010 conference, held in Atlanta, Georgia this past April. I gave a short presentation at the Next Generation of HCI and Education workshop at the conference: Exploring Post-WIMP Interaction and Interfaces in Technology-Supported Learning Environments (pdf).
Although I have a busy caseload as a school psychologist, I hope to continue my mission to integrate interactive technologies into my work (within reason), during the 2010-11 school year.
Interactive Whiteboards and the SMARTTable
One of the most exciting news is that we have a SMARTTable at Wolfe, a program for students with severe disabilities, including autism. We also have an Interactive Whiteboard in every classroom. Since I use the music room on the days I'm at Wolfe, I plan on using the SMARTBoard for creating multimedia intervention activities that integrate music that can help students "chill" and develop related coping/social skills strategies.
At open house, one of the students I work will really loved the following video I put together of sea life at the Charleston Aquarium, which I've included in the video field for this post. I put the video together quickly, using soothing music from the iMovie application. Since I have a Motif 8 keyboard and music production software, I plan to port more of my own musical creations into my multimedia content/applications.
With the help of some of my colleagues, including a speech and language therapist, I have a few ideas for collaborative applications for the SMARTTable, targeting students with severe autism at Wolfe School. The barrier at present is that the SMARTTable programming environment requires a 32-bit computer. My home computer and my school-district issued laptop are both 64-bit, so I'm not as far along in this effort as I previously hoped!
At Forest Hills, time permitting, I plan to work with some high school students with special needs in an after-school group to create wearable fashions, something I learned about at the CHI 2010 conference: I*CATCH: A Scalable Plug-n-Play Wearable Computing Framework for Novices and Children. Several students came up with interesting design ideas at the end of the past school year, and some of the teachers at the school, including a computer teacher, offered to help in this effort.
I continue to post regularly on my main blog, Interactive Multimedia Technology, and to a lesser extent, the TechPsych and The World Is My Interactive Interface blogs. My blogs serve as my on-line filing cabinets, but since I've generated a loyal following over the years, I try to share information based on search terms that my readers have used to find my blogs. (I am a guest blogger at Innovative Interactivity twice a month.)
Here's a list of links to a few of my recent blog entries, including the most "popular" posts:
Online LEGO Universe: "LEGO tries to construct a new empire with pixels, not plastic" (David Kushner, IEEE Spectrum)
Learning and reflecting more about "Slow Media": Slow Media Manifesto
Return to Graduate School:
If I had the funds, I would return to graduate school in a heartbeat to continue my research related to post-WIMP interactive technologies. The recent economic downturn ate up much of my husband's retirement savings and also took a big dent out of my own. I have one daughter who is in college, and one in graduate school.
I'm open to learning about grants and fund-giving angels.
NOTE: The other two videos included in this post are from my recent trip to the newly updated Discovery Place, an interactive science and technology museum in Charlotte, NC. (If you visit the Discovery Place website, you'll see the potential of dynamic, interactive websites hosted by museums - another example is the Kids Zone of the National Gallery of Art.)