The Future of News…

This morning’s New York Times came packaged with a cardboard box. Inside the sleeve was a virtual reality viewer – branded with The New York Times, GE and Google. Of course. It blows my mind to think about what kind of work went into creating this gee-whiz, deceptively simple experience. The kids immediately were curious about this box – which is called Google Cardboard.

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I had to download the nytvr app from iTunes and get the contraption set up, which didn’t take long. I made the video to record how the kids experienced the tool for the first time. The VR videos on the NYT app are meant to accompany feature articles in today’s paper.

The viewer reminds me of the Poppy 3D, which I got from a Kickstarter campaign. It’s a tool that allows you to use your iPhone to shoot 3D videos. Read post…

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NYT’s Science Education Special Section

In case you missed it…

It’s worth checking out the Sept. 3 special section on science education in The New York Times. Of note, the report on the Institute of Education Sciences, which is:

“…a little-known office in the Education Department (that) is starting to get some real data, using a method that has transformed medicine: the randomized clinical trial, in which groups of subjects are randomly assigned to get either an experimental therapy, the standard therapy, a placebo or nothing.

“The findings could be transformative, researchers say. For example, one conclusion from the new research is that the choice of instructional materials — textbooks, curriculum guides, homework, quizzes — can affect achievement as profoundly as teachers themselves; a poor choice of materials is at least as bad as a terrible teacher, and a good choice can help offset a bad teacher’s deficiencies.” Read the full story here.

There’s also a story about a new version of Scratch, the programming language for kids that was created by the MIT Media Lab, that will be geared toward the younger set. Scratch Jr. is being tested in kindergartens and is expected to be available to the public sometime in 2014. Read that story here.

I also enjoyed reading comments from various leaders in tech, science and education on their thoughts about the state of education. Check out the section online: http://www.nytimes.com/indexes/2013/09/02/science/index.html