So we thought we had problems with RFID chips floating around. Well just wait until these little gadgets can start scanning us. This is coming up now I am going through my notes from the past 6 months in my little black book and finding out about all sorts of little things. I took this note down while at OSCON talking to people about the cool things from the prior year’s FooCamp. This was what Susan Crawford had to say about it.
Scott Gray (ex-LearningLab) has a couple of things to talk about. (I’m sure he has many things to talk about — he’s irrepressible and superlative by nature.) First, he wants to tell us about what he thinks is the BEST TECHNOLOGY EVER.
What is it? It’s using spectrum that we have trouble generating (terahertz gap spectrum, between microwave and infra red) that can bounce through materials safely and tell us what’s inside. He’s telling us that organic materials resonate at these frequencies. So you can point a reader (a tricorder) at yourself and see whether you have cancer, or a virus, or you can point at a road and see whether there’s a bomb buried there. The detector technology for this spectrum is very advanced, but it’s expensive and difficult (right now) to generate the waves. There’s a company that is working hard on this, and Scott thinks there’s a huge future here.
He notes that Star Trek gave us the communicator, and Get Smart the slamming doors — this will be a Star Trek device that we’ll carry around.
Then he switches gears and talks about online education. He’s into training people how to program by putting a lot of effort into technology (so they have a live terminal view of their environment) and not that much into teachers. Teachers can be coaches, answering queued-up questions. Students can be exploring, education can be cheap, and it can all be constructive. No simulations, no self-grading, and lots of interaction between teacher and student. No one-sided lectures (he got some reaction here from people who pointed out that we got interested in his first topic because he told us about the Star Trek link; context and scaffolding helps). He’s working hard on how to educate asynchronously.