I’m back in from the ICTCM keynote address, which was given by Frank Hughes of Tietronix Software. Hughes is an educator of sorts — he has been the trainer for astronauts and other NASA employees since the 70’s. At Tietronix, which develops simulation software for NASA, he is working on a project to take the 3D modeling technology used in space simulations and adapt it to teaching math and science. He gave us two web sites with some web-based 3D simulations. Unfortunately, one of the links didn’t work when I tried it just now, but this one — the “Virtual Astronaut” — at least goes where it’s supposed to.
It was interesting to see what they are doing, and I was especially interested to hear that they are working on developing haptic devices for using the software. I would have liked to hear with a little more specificity just exactly what Tietronix has in mind regarding classroom use of this stuff. The talk mainly focused on demoing the software with statements such as “All you have to do is plug in your math or science problem here!” But what math problem? And how do we plug it in? I guess that’s why they are looking for educators with whom to collaborate.
Coming up: Camtasia workshop in about 50 minutes. First, down to the Exhibit Halls to get a look-see.