Technology

Searching the web on my iPhone has been a lesson in frustration. I don’t want to see a bunch of random text links that may or may not deliver the information I need. I want quick access to relevant information that is optimized for mobile, rather than just repackaging the PC experience … and Leap2 Navigator delivers.

Leap2, available for both the iPhone and Android, links search results with direct web browsing. Here are its features:

  • The Query Wheel categorizes search results.
  • The Category Search Selector accesses related news, buzz, images, local information, maps and answer information.
  • Direct-to-Web takes you directly to web content for the top three results, rather than providing a search results text list.
  • The Tabbed Browser allows you to select from one of the top three search results. The tabs provide full browser capability.

Take a look at the product demo:

http://youtu.be/d4WSKMJn7sI

For example, I typed “Kauffman Foundation” in the search box. The query wheel shows “Kauffman Foundation” as the main selection but also lists related topics above and below on the wheel, such as the FastTrac program (entrepreneurship training offered by the foundation) and the Kauffman Foundation Conference Center (which hosts entrepreneurship business conferences in Kansas City). The bottom half of the screen has tabs to related sites. If you click on a tab, the corresponding web page appears.

What’s next for this Kansas City-based startup? They are brainstorming around taking the idea in the other direction — integrating the mobile experience to the laptop or tablet. Very cool!

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How We Learn Has Changed and Why it Matters

by Cathy on January 29, 2012 · 0 comments

in Ideas

Maybe my antennae is up but a common theme keeps emerging. I attended a volunteer training session at an art museum and the main message was that people now learn information in new ways. Therefore, the museum was implementing creative methods to engage visitors. A month ago, a client hired me to pull together research and write a white paper about the fact that religious institutions must engage the emerging generation in new ways. Why? They learn differently than previous generations. Then I read an article that explained the technology that college professors were employing in the classroom to connect with students. Why? They learn differently than previous generations. Each group cited different research but the findings were the same. You can learn from the principles below every time you are asked to speak before a group, lead a meeting, direct a team, connect with a group of teenagers, participate in a volunteer organization or seek to broaden your own learning.

1. The Lecture is Dead. The days when a teacher could engage a young audience in a 60-minute lecture with no visuals, just endless blah, blah, blah, are over.  NPR ran a segment recently in which some college physics professors (of all people!) realized that students weren’t learning physics through the lecture method. What these professors found was that …
2. Peer Learning is In. The professors spent just a few minutes at the beginning of class imparting basic physics information. Then the students broke into teams to explore the concepts further and learn from each other. (Listen to the following link if you want to learn more:  NPR: Lose the Lecture ) It worked. The entire class began understanding physics and doing well on the tests.
3. Technology is Huge. Whether you are tech savvy or not, the truth remains. Most learning in the present and future will involve technology. Educators are using a variety of tools to engage students and expand learning. Journalism students are using tablets to record interviews, edit and upload their audio files, and create story segments. University classes have created wiki sites where students can contribute and update information pertinent to the course. Professors are presenting material via podcasts and students are creating their own content using the same. HotSeat, which integrates with a student’s Twitter and Facebook accounts, allows students to post related information and questions during a college lecture to add to the information being shared. Professors can also use HotSeat to take a real-time reading of whether students are understanding the presentation to make adjustments as they present. Also, heavy, expensive and static textbooks are being replaced by interactive, constantly current electronic text books. Take a look …

4. Self-Learning is King. The model for learning has changed with the changing economic model. The agricultural society was the era of apprenticeship when people learned from their elders. The industrial age was the era of the institution when public schools became the norm. Now, we live in information age, which is the era of the learner in which the individual engages in self-directed learning. The teacher or leader is merely a facilitator and much information is imparted by software/technology. The new learning tools are portable devices, apps, video and 3D experiences and conferences/web content.

How are YOU learning and facilitating learning in this new world?

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