Educators Program Fact Sheet

The Facts A Quote from the SIGGRAPH 2006 Educators Program Chair

"Computer graphics and interactive technology are playing an increasingly larger role in education," stated Marc J. Barr, SIGGRAPH 2006 Educators Chair from Middle Tennessee State University. "Thus, SIGGRAPH is the place where today's educators get up to speed on everything from virtual reality to computer science that involves everyone from young children to seniors."

Highlights From the SIGGRAPH 2006 Educators Program

The JASON Project
Patrick Shea, Digital Media
The JASON Project, publisher of multimedia curricula for middle school students, is developing a next-generation online system for teaching and learning standards-based science content.

Touch, Toys, and Interactive Materials: Combining Art and Technology to Spark Creative Thinking
Janese Swanson, SIGGRAPH 2007 Educators Program Chair
Mitch Resnick and Hayes Raffle, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Lab
The MIT Media Lab has been investigating new multi-modal interactive toys and interfaces that utilize gesture and the sense of touch to improve interpersonal communication, education, and access to digital information. Children use these toys and interfaces to create musical sculptures, interactive jewelry, dancing creatures, and other artistic inventions, and, in the process, learn important math, science, and engineering concepts.

Creativity, Law, and Ethics: What Are the Boundaries?
Larry L. Burriss, Middle Tennessee State University
Henry Holtzman, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Lab
While the digital revolution has changed the way we work, it has also opened up a plethora of legal and ethical issues. From initial conception through final production, issues of copyright, deception, and privacy continue to befuddle creators, ethicists, and lawyers. When does sampling become copyright violation? At what point does editing become deception? How real is unreal? Who are artists ultimately answerable to: Employers? Audiences? Themselves? This panel examines some of these and other legal, philosophical, and ethical issues facing computer artists as they create and distribute their work. And it might offer some suggestions that could keep you out of jail.

An Immersive Virtual Environment for Learning Sign Language Mathematics
Nicoletta Adamo-Villani and Ed Carpenter, Purdue University
This paper describes development of a new immersive 3D learning environment to increase mathematical skills of deaf children. The application teaches mathematical concepts and American Sign Language math terminology through user interaction with fantasy 3D virtual signers and environments. The program can be displayed in immersive devices and includes a gesture control system comprised of a pair of pinch gloves and a six-degrees-of-freedom wrist tracker.

Using Augmented-Reality Games to Teach 21st-Century Skills
Karen Schrier, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Reliving the Revolution is a novel model for considering how augmented-reality games can support necessary 21st-century skills such as interpretation, problem-solving, collaboration, identifying biases, and using multiple sources. It takes place in Lexington, Massachusetts, the site of the historic Battle of Lexington. Participants interact with virtual historic figures and items, which are triggered by GPS to appear on PDAs, depending on where they are standing on the battlefield. Participants receive different evidence depending on their role in the game (Minuteman soldier, Loyalist, African American soldier, or British soldier), and use it to decide who fired the first shot in the battle. This presentation explores how AR game elements, when properly designed, can motivate the authentic practice of 21st-century skills.

The Graphics Teaching Tool
Anne Morgan Spalter and Dana K. Tenneson, Brown University
Being a literate citizen requires at least a basic understanding of computer graphics principles. One must be able to critically evaluate digital visual materials, make decisions using digital visual representations of data and ideas, and use computers to create effective visual communications. Existing curricular resources, however, are mainly aimed at students in computer science and related fields. For the majority of students, who do not pursue technical degrees, there is virtually no recognition of the importance of basic graphics principles or even reference to their existence. A novel interactive graphics teaching tool (GTT) addresses the needs of this audience. The GTT is a Java-based application (and applet) that offers 2D and 3D graphics in a single environment. It is expressly designed for teaching and uses a mental-model-based pedagogical approach not found in commercial graphics software.

A Framework for Teaching Fundamentals of Time-Based Design
Isabel Meirelles, Northeastern University
A theoretical and experimental investigation of the fundamentals of time-based design. This paper promotes discussion of a dynamic visual language that could be used in various disciplines involved with the creative process of image-making in a dynamic medium. Time-based projects, whether for communicating information or for artistic purposes, rely on understanding and exploration of the core principles of dynamic formations. This material introduces the theoretical framework while presenting a series of interactive experiments and short movies developed with the purpose of analyzing the theory. It includes student work that reflects the learning process in time-based design courses.

Designing Visual Information for a Global Audience
Chris Jackson, Nancy Ciolek, Rochester Institute of Technology
The web has evolved into a virtual global community. Cultural differences require localized translations of content for accurate information exchange. These localization systems maintain the validity of the information but at an exorbitant cost and demand on resources. Is there a more efficient solution to localizing content? Can new media designers push the visualization of information to communicate effectively with a global audience? This paper reports on teaching cross-cultural communication in interactive design at the Rochester Institute of Technology.

Shapes: Allowing K-12 Students to Work in 3D
Mike Bailey and Rozeanne Steckler, Oregon State University
Steve Lukas, Soapbox Mobile, Inc.
The Shapes program allows kids of all ages to create their own interesting and compelling 3D scenes. By gently and subtly weaving Cartesian coordinates throughout the program, the kids learn about X, Y, and Z (without even realizing it).

The SIGGRAPH 2006 Educators Program opens Wednesday, 2 August at 8:30 am and closes 3 August at 5 pm. Complete information