The annual Educational Technology Grants awards deserving tech-related educational projects by faculty at the University at Buffalo (SUNY). Facilitated by the Educational Technology Center where I work, I naturally got to see some some of the best ideas presented. This was an opportunity to explore a wide array of resources and technologies available to faculty who are new to instructional technology or who want to incorporate additional technology in their teaching.
The festivities kicked off at 3pm where ETC Director, Carole Ann Fabian, welcomed everyone and introduced the program for the day. We quickly moved onto faculty presentations at the conference room, while informal networking occurred by the individual stands in the open computing area. All this happened over delicious hors d’oeuvres and beverages, to which I managed to gobble up a few.
While all the presentations were well researched, the one presentation which stood out for me was one by Marc Bohlen (Media Study) & Omar Khan (Architecture) on their “Machine vision for responsive architecture” project. They designed, developed and are said to be soon deploying a distributed camera-based sensing technology for responsive architectural environments. This project investigates which types of data processing work well with types of architectural settinew experiences. One line which Marc Bohlen won me over with was on “being cheap”. Cheap has the virtue of being accessible to students (or anyone in fact). Using cheap devices makes things simpler to understand and utilize, and I believe is also less proprietary in nature.