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educators program

there once were a girl and a boy
who made an educational toy
it counted and spelled
and ignorance felled!
and in the school system was joy

Creating an enticing environment that encourages learning and exploration involves creating a safe and stimulating interaction suitable to the needs of the individual. Computers can evolve the current "physical" community-based classroom into a specialized experience based on the individual needs of students and place them in a "virtual" community of students with matching skill sets. The SIGGRAPH 2005 Educators Program will explore individual versus community learning and how the computer can make the educational experience more engaging.

For SIGGRAPH 2005, we will consider devices and programs that accelerate the learning experience through engaging interaction. We will ask questions about the near future. For example: Can a virtual instructor replace a live human? What new pedagogical approaches can engage the mind in advanced topics at a younger age? Can toys assist this process? Is the individual or group educational experience better suited for learning, and does the virtual classroom count as "community" or "individual" learning experience? How can we make it better?

I encourage toy manufacturers, educational game programmers, and primary, secondary and post-secondary educators to submit topics that explore how the computer can create a more engaging learning experience. Possible topics include, but are not limited to:
  • Pedagogical purpose of interactive games
  • Simulated environments in education
  • Toys as teachers
  • Human vs. computer interaction in learning
  • Online education and its effect on culture
  • Traditional education vs. entertainment
  • Personal training (software that creates a custom-designed teacher)
The SIGGRAPH 2005 Educators Program will present Quick Takes, Forums, Panels, Papers, and an Incubator for testing theories and demonstrating projects. Educators Program Panels may be selected from or proposed by submissions to partner educators with developers of educational product.

Patricia Beckmann-Wells
SIGGRAPH 2005 Educators Program Chair
Bunsella Films