Educational Technology News - All Years

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  • OEIT Collaborates with Civil and Environmental Engineering to Help Students in 1.978 Visualize Nanoscale Problems---Software designed for genetics shows how materials behave under extreme loading

    This has been excerpted from a news item that appeared in the April 2, 2007 issue of MIT News, see A version of this article also appeared in MIT Tech Talk on April 11, 2007.

    An educational experiment during IAP demonstrated that students can learn to apply sophisticated atomistic modeling techniques to traditional materials research in just a few classes, an advance that could dramatically change the way civil engineers learn to model the mechanical properties of materials and provide enormous benefit to industry.

  • The Office of Educational Innovation and Technology announced a renewal of an informative and stimulating series, CrossTalk, presenting faculty from MIT, and periodically faculty from elsewhere, talking about core issues at the intersection of teaching, learning and technology. The board goal of the CrossTalk Seminars is to share strategies, solutions, and issues related to transformation in educational practice through the use of information technology.

  • A key recommendation of the ad hoc committee on the reorganization of academic computing services was that the Libraries, DUE and IS&T work together more closely to ensure that faculty have easy and coordinated (seamless) access to all academic computing services. A core group convened by Vijay Kumar and comprising Oliver Thomas from IS&T, Steve Gass from the Libraries, and Babi Mitra from DUE-OEIT has been established for this purpose. The group, now called ACCORD for ‘Academic Computing CoORDination Group’, has been meeting over the past few weeks to craft its charter, mission, scope and process going ahead.

  • As of December, the new Office of Educational Innovation and Technology (OEIT) was formed as part of the reorganization of Academic Computing. OEIT works with faculty, staff and students to enable and promote the development and dissemination of innovative uses of technology in teaching and learning. Look for an article about OEIT in the February 14 edition of TechTalk.

  • On May 1, UAAP and ATIC sponsored a networking event in E25 for staff, students, and faculty involved or interested in assistive technologies for people with disabilities. While there are a number of groups and individuals on campus dedicated to this work in many capacities, they are spread across campus and don’t often come together. This was a chance to share information and ideas about future collaborations.

    At the networking event, student leaders who organized the 2017 Assistive Technologies Hackathon gave a presentation about their annual event, which was held in March at the Beaver Works makerspace in Kendall Square. The AT Hackathon fosters collaboration between students and community members around impactful projects, exposes students to assistive technology, and provides an opportunity to work with a client to design a tool that meets a real need.

    Persons with disabilities who have a need for an assistive technology are matched with student project teams. They meet for dinner and discussion two weeks before the Hackathon occurs so that project teams can understand what the customer is asking for. During the two weeks between the dinner and the Hackathon, project teams develop sketches and plans for a solution. During the Hackathon, the teams attempt to create an actual product from their plans. 

    Some examples of projects include:

    • Team Dan – Man with cerebral palsy. Team created a number of pieces of technology for Dan’s house and installed them after the Hackathon.
    • Team Mary – Hackers created a head-mounted device that attaches to a baseball cap.

    The Department of Mechanical Engineering created a video about an AT Hackathon customer named Lilly and her project team (see above), which captures the spirit of the event...