DeviantArt’s Muro Drawing App

DeviantArt’s new drawing app Muro works in all modern browsers. You can directly start drawing on a blank canvas using different brushes, all without Flash or any other plug-in. Several brushes are available to everyone, some of the advanced features are reserved for registered users. The image above was created by DeviantArt user loish using the new tool. It’s fascinating to see how new technology can help to liberate online creativity, which is no longer restricted to writing texts, but open to a much wider range of expression. If you ever wondered what HTML5 is good for, here is the answer.


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Street View becomes Street Slide

The latest fascinating contribution to Street View comes from Microsoft. With the new technology called Street Slide users do no longer teleport from one 360-degree bubble to another, but slide rather comfortably along a street panorama. The visual search has therefore become much more efficient and faster. Thanks to a mobile application, it will be much easier to find your way in the real world, using street signs and billboards both virtual and real ones.

Microsoft Research
MIT Technology Review

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How to Do Research for Kids

In libraries and on the internet, you can find answers to almost any question you can think of. If you know how to do research, it can be much more fun… and faster too!

This is a very good, board game like online-introduction on how to do research for kids. The award-winning site site was created in 2003 by the Kentucky Virtual Library Kids and Teachers Workgroup, with design and animation by Shere Chamness. Thanks to its clever focus on the essentials of research (plan, search, take notes, use the information, report, evaluate), it is still extremely helpful. Nevertheless, I was wondering if there is any newer version of something like this out there “in the known universe”? I should do some additional research, but now I know exactly how to do.


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Nuclear weapons – Countdown to Zero


In 1945, the U.S. government tested the first nuclear bomb ever. The first experiment in Los Alamos was led by J. Robert Oppenheimer, the “father” of the atomic bomb. As the blast went off, Oppenheimer became aware of the terrifying power of the nuclear bomb and of mankind’s inability to entirely comprehend the implications of this invention. In the above sequence Oppenheimer recalled the sacred Hindu scripture Bhagavad Gita: “Vishnu is trying to persuade the Prince that he should do his duty and to impress him takes on his multi-armed form and says, ‘Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.'”

Today, around the world there are more than 23000 nuclear weapons. Many people agree that there should be zero. The New START Treaty, a bilateral nuclear arms reduction treaty between the United States and the Russian Federation, was signed in Prague on April 8th, 2010.

A new feature length documentary film by Lucy Walker “Countdown to Zero” traces the history of the atomic bomb and makes the case for worldwide nuclear disarmament. It premiered at Sundance and screened in the Cannes Official Selection earlier this year. You can preview an excerpt with a quick introduction to Oppenheimer, the man behind the bomb, featuring interviews from the documentary film. Let’s count down to zero!


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Technology and Change

Stewart Smith provides an interesting comparison: Take a doctor from the early 19th century and ask him to take over an operation in an up to date operating theatre where somebody is undergoing an open heart surgery. The 19th century surgeon would probably not be able to continue the operation. Take a 19th century teacher and ask him to continue a math lesson until the end, the reverse is probably true.

In four videos Stewart Smith presents some experience based ideas about how change management and technology integration in schools are possible. You can watch these videos here: Part 1 (2:45), Part 2 (5:19), Part 3 (8:48) and Part 4 (1:42).

Stewart Smith is Director of ICT Strategic Leadership at the London Grid for Learning (LGfL) and ICT Advisor for the London Borough of Brent. On a recent visit to Australia, he outlined the opportunities and challenges of ‘Next Generation Learning’, a program about leading and managing change in London schools.

Web resources: Next Generation Learning, London Grid for Learning, Roar Educate.

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